(Craters of the Moon National Monument, Arco, Idaho--June 2014)
Idaho marks my 48th state that I have personally visited. But aside from our visit to Craters of the Moon National Monument near Arco, my husband and I weren't all that impressed with what we saw in the time that we were in the State of Idaho. Now, maybe I'm not being fair because we spent less than 24 hours in the state, and we just mostly visited the eastern side on our way from Montana to Wyoming with a stop at Craters of the Moon and an overnight stay at the Towneplace Suites in Pocatello. Part of the problem was that we arrived on a Sunday, when most museums and attractions on the eastern side of the state are completely closed for business. But we were also unimpressed with driving through scrub desert that was occasionally interrupted by irrigated potato farms. When we drove through Soda Springs, Idaho, we also recognized that the town has a geyser that erupts approximately every 80 minutes or so, but doesn't have much else in the town. Let's just say this: we had only been in Idaho for at most a total of six hours when my husband and I looked at each other and agreed to leave Idaho a day earlier than originally planned and spend the extra day of our two-week long road-trip in Denver, instead.
(Craters of the Moon National Monument)
As with many other worthwhile national monuments and national historic sites, Craters of the Moon is, however, an interesting geological attraction in the middle of nowhere. Craters of the Moon is just as "black" as White Sands National Monument in New Mexico is "white." It's fascinating to see how plants and animals have adapted to survive in each of these arid, brutal landscapes. The formations made by ancient lava flows at Craters of the Moon are also interesting. you can drive along the 7-mile one-way park loop and then make occasional stops to get out of the car and walk easy paved paths to view the various lava formations, including an ancient cinder cone if you don't mind climbing and getting a little dirty with black dust.
(Family members walk down from the top of the cinder cone at Craters of the Moon)
- Craters of the Moon National Monument near Arco, Idaho--http://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm
- Towneplace Suites, Pocatello, Idaho--2376 Via Caporatti--http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/idats-towneplace-suites-pocatello/
Towneplace Suites in Pocatello, Idaho