Sunday, January 6, 2008

Cool Lava!

The view from the road...had to stop!

Hey, who needs Hawaii when we have Idaho?? Don was driving at this point, and I was looking out the window. We were driving between Idaho Falls and Pocatello on I-15. I wished I had a copy of The Roadside Geology of Idaho with me..

See the nice lava flow pattern on the ground?

I kept staring, and thinking that it looked as though we were driving through an old lava bed. We stopped at a rest stop for the kids, and so I could get a closer look.

A sign invited Annika and Paul to touch a lava wall!

The great thing about the west is that EVERYTHING is a learning experience. This rest stop doubled as a small geological center, with two paths well marked as self-guided tours through 4000 year old lava beds! It was so cool, which is a good thing when walking over lava.

An immaculately maintained pathway, marked with informative signs, took us through a mile long loop, where we learned about micro climates in lava bed caves, pioneer plants, and historical geology in the area. OK, so , it's not Hawaii, but it was so unexpected and refreshing to get out and hike around a lava flow that we were beaming with quasi-tropical delight (it was a hot August afternoon). Thanks, Idaho!

Paul takes a sample...lava is light!


MaryM said...

Very cool, MacBeth. This was practically my backyard growing up. Someday on another trip west, you'll have to make it to Craters of the Moon National Monument. It's west of Idaho Falls - . If you thought this area south of Idaho Falls was cool - Craters of the Moon is surreal. You almost feel part of a moonscape.

Meredith said...

You were in Idaho and you didn't call ME??? What a great time you had, and ditto what MaryM said!!

MacBeth Derham said...

Meredith, I was only in Idaho by accident... And due to Don's scheduling fuss, I didn't call anyone, anywhere, during the whole trip, except Alice (to try to convince her to drive home). I really feel bad about it, but one of these years, I'm going to meet everyone.

Mary, I saw the Craters of the Moon website while searching for geology in ID. It was so time!