As it turns out, being in Idaho and being on the moon have something in common. That’s the whole joke…now on to the story!
When I rolled into Craters of the Moon National Monument is was blowing up a gale and raining sideways. The thought of setting up my tent in that was…unpleasant. A chat with the rangers and drive around the park in my nice dry, warm car (Lady Bird) was much more appealing. So that’s what I did. The rain let up about the time I got close to something called the Inferno Cone. I had to look twice at the park map to make sure I was actually going to hike up something called an “inferno cone.” Yes, indeed. Glad the rain let up, and I took that walk! When I got to the top, this is what I found.
For a name like “Inferno Cone” the top was full of desert green grasses, bleached white dead-falls, and leaning, windswept Junipers. I also saw a kid who looked sooo happy to be out of the car, and running around the top of an Inferno Cone. I could identify with that.
On the way down from the top of the Cone, I came across spatter from ancient volcanic eruptions. They lay much where they landed years and years and years ago.
I took a short walk through the lava tubes, went as far as the light would reach. My time in the lava tubes was cut short mostly because I’m a big chicken. I was all by my lonesome in a deep, dark tube devoid of breeze, light, life…except for the occasional bat that jutted crazily about and a dang pigeon that kept scaring the heck out of me. I didn’t last long down there at all.
The daylight was waning and the campground calling. I spent a peaceful, dry night at site #10.