Monday, February 20, 2012
Craters of the Moon National Monument
When my friend Pam and I took a road trip through Southern Idaho, we spent an afternoon exploring the otherworldly landscape at Craters of the Moon National Monument.
We had intended to drive through the park, snap a few photos and then move on. But once we were there it was almost impossible to drive away without going deeper. Literally.
Although neither of us is ever particularly eager to go underground, we knew that if we didn't at least peer into one of the famous lava tubes, we would have gotten only half of the experience. So, with the day waning, we followed the narrow asphalt path onto the broken basaltic ground leading to the entrance of the Indian Tunnel tube.
Once inside, skittish of the bats we knew were hanging in the shadows over our heads, we walked deeper, to a place where the light streams in through a broken ceiling. Testing each step, we picked our way across the fallen stones littering the floor of the cave.
Then we made our way back to the car just as the golden light of late afternoon washed over the road ahead of us.
That night, in my hotel room, with the experience still in my mind, I sat down and wrote this essay for my Home Planet newspaper column.
And, as is so often the case, I want to go back again with my family. I've discovered that may be the most unexpected benefit of solo travel. It's human nature to want to share what we've seen with the ones we love the most.