I didn't do a very good post on my stay at Craters of the Moon due to not having internet ....So I wanted to go back and fill in that blank! It was a very unique spot...I enjoyed my stay there...the landscape is other worldly looking for sure. I met the nice lady here who gave me the tip on the butane stove I told y'all about. She was a van camper too using a minivan for her camper. She has a folding cot in the back with a 4 inch foam mattress on top and then her sleeping bag. I enjoyed seeing everyone's version of how to "hit the road"
I arrived in the afternoon so I saved the next day to tour the park...it was a little tight the way I wanted to situate my van but with some back n forthing etc I got it in the way I wanted! The sites were not paved they had a fine layer of volcanic pebble on them..and it was hard to keep our feet clean so if you go there get a good foot mat by your entrance.
my spot had some exposed rocks to stumble and trip over ;o).. the reason I wanted to put it HERE in between the picnic table and the grill is for one thing I don't use the grill and it was the most level spot I don't carry anything to level my van so I try to park on the level-est part of my site and in this site that was the spot.
The CG has water and bathrooms no shower house no hookups and it was a $5 self pay camp fee for seniors and Free Entrance to the park with the senior pass...a VERY nice Visitor Center within walking distance of the CG and a paved walk to get there.
This flow happened 2,000 yrs ago...so around 15 AD? It became a park in 1924 and the name came via an article by Robert Limbert published in the National Geographic magazine. "Among the Craters of the Moon." Before that it was referred to as the Cinder Buttes Limbert hiked the entire length of the "Great Riff" in 1920. This area is the youngest example of fissure eruption in the US and President Coolidge singed the proclamation making it a National Monument. In 1962 the addition of an island of vegetation completely surrounded by lava known as Carey Kipuka increased the size of the
monument by 5360 acres and in 1970 it was increased to included the entire Great Riff Zone.
... the walking paths are paved and signed...so it makes for easy viewing of an other wise kinda hostile landscape...
Don't you wish EVERY trail you ever hiked had this wonderfully detailed signage???
These little white Buckwheat wildflowers help to break the smaller cinder pebbles down into even finer Lava Dust..
Here is a cinder garden and you can see the finer dust mound behind with less flowers; winds can now carry this lava sand to other areas and trees can get a hold in that.
and there is a nice driving tour of the park...the distant treeless hills are a beautiful backdrop for the lava beds..
The plants help to change the lava into the volcanic soil like that in the campground.. I found the plants to be very hardy! How do like this ropy lava flow...I think its my favorite kind...so if Im asked those tried and true questions like Coke or Pepsi, Republican or Democrat, Ford or Chevy, Aa or Ropy, I'll go with Ropy which is really a type of Pahoehoe lava....it depends on how fast or slow it cooled as to what name describes it!
And even tho Im saying it breaks down I don't know that it actually does but the plants are able to establish themselves in different types of the flow.
Actually its Aa, Pahoehoe, and Pillow is another type of Basalt lava where it looks like biscuits that rose in a pan, the Ropy looks like coiled rope! And Rhyolite is chemically different than basalt lava...
These are cinder cone fragments....they are as tall as a two story house!
and the views were beautiful! Here we're looking through 2 cinder cone mounds.
It was warm there on Sept 14-15 when I was there....and the heat remained for the first hour after the sun started to set so I kept my screens up and the side doors open till it cooled to a chill...later in the night I heard some rustling of plastic...I kept asking Casey what was he doing...but when I turned the lamp on he was not doing anything...hmmm found out next day when I went to eat my p-nut butter nabs we'd had a critter in the night!! Then I got to wondering if it was still in the van...I looked everywhere found nothing...but we sure had us a bold visitor of some sort come in and help himself!! Of course I have not removed the turtle shell that fits over the interior part of my engine..Maybe I should! ;-O
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.