Let me begin by saying in the cleanest language possible there is a problem with loading the photos. I'm gladly turning this over to Corky before I loose patience!! Hopefully, I will be able to post an entire photo gallery.
Motoring along US 20 gave us time to drink in the beauty of the country side. Craters of the Moon carries a mystery best described by President Calvin Coolidge. When he preserved this area as a national monument he referred to it as "a weird and scenic landscape, peculiar to itself." Specific peculiarities are 750,000 acres of lava tubes, cinder cones, spatter cones, fissures, The Great Rift(a series of volcanoes resulting in a gargantuous fissure), and emerging yet barren plant life. Originally the Shoshone Indians, followed by explorers, then the eastern US emigrants all came to the same conclusion - a mysterious blank spot on the map. A more recent event spotlighted the lava beds-NASA astronauts learned volcanic geology and even practiced maneuvering the lunar buggy over the rough surface. Visitors are limited to a seven mile loop introducing one to the assorted results of volcano activity. We found that very interesting. During the winter season the loop is closed to automobile traffic; it is opened to snow and cross country skiing. Imagine this...summer temps are as high as 150 degrees; winter snow must drift as evidenced by snow fences.
On the advice of Broken Paw off we go in search of Quake Lake. It is just what its name suggests. In the 1950's a strong earthquake tore through the Madison River valley sucking in homes, resorts, and rerouting the river. The COE quickly dug a spill way to control the loss of lives and property. Did you ever wonder how long it takes for a tree to rot? Drowned lodge pole pines remain standing in the resulting lake!
Sometimes seeking out a camp site can be dubious. The NF campground was closed-what closed?! Oh, well...an inviting pull off, away from the traffic invited us in. While sitting along side the fifth wheel, siping a Dirty Nickle(the new name of G. Dickle), wild life became visible like never before. Thanks to a deer carcass on the frozen lake we got to see the hiearchy of feastors take place- vultures, eagles, coyotes, ravens(not in order). The next is an example of the commraderie that surrounds us fulltimers on the road. Another couple joined us in the pull-out/trail head area. After dinner they joined us to share travel stories. Very lovely couple from BC. It is truly a small world. They left us with a wise saying by her father, "you can not buy time"-most RVer's reason for traveling.