Bill and I have had two adventure filled days travelling in Idaho and then through Yellowstone Park in Montana and Wyoming.
After spending the night in Twin Falls, Idaho we got up early and arrived at the Shoshone Indian Ice Caves, just outside Shoshone, of course. This area of Idaho is very much influenced by the historic Shoshone tribes who made their home along the Snake River. In the early 1900s the tribe was moved off their land to a reservation.
These caves are spectacular to tour. The fee was 10 dollars and worth every cent. I expected underground caves with hieroglyphics instead; we travelled through a lava field and entered the largest cave by stone steps. The cave was accidentally discovered in1860 by a young child. So what is an ice cave? According to the tour guide, this natural wonder is actually a lava tube that is 1,000 feet long, with an ice depth ranging between 8 and 30 feet in height. As you go down into the cave, the temperature drops to about minus 5 to minus10 and the entire floor is ice, which is about 15 to 30 feet deep. It is
crater with snow
temperature outside was 80!
dark but fortunately the owner has put lights throughout so you can see the other lava tubes that run throughout.
Next on our list was a visit to The Craters of the Moon. The area was developed into an historic monument in 2002 and again, it is worth the price for the scenic drive and exhibits. This volcanic area is at an elevation of over 5000 feet. Essentially the land is one huge are lava field with numerous craters and obviously, given the name, it represents the same terrain as found on the moon. One picture shows a crater with snow at the bottom. If you choose, you can climb one of the large hills made of lava. The advertising claims that Neil Armstrong and the other astronauts practiced here before their historic journey to the moon. The area is also filled with wild flowers, which is interesting given the nature of the terrain.
We spent Saturday night in a very small town called Dubois. In trying to avoid the high hotel prices near Yellowstone park, we truly did take one too many forks in the road. You would not call this a hotel,
or a motel or an inn. It was simply a room in a building! However, the price was right!!!
In our desperation to get out of Dubois, we left very early to travel the 100 miles to West Yellowstone, which is one of the five entrances to the park. When you look at a map of Yellowstone, it appears to be in Wyoming. However, the West entrance starts in Idaho and then within minutes, you are in Montana and you can either exit in North Montana or Eastern Wyoming, which is what we did.
The park is impressive and is a must see for tourists. We spent one day touring but you could easily spend weeks in the park and not see everything. The highlights of our adventure were the buffalos crossing the road, the geyser fields, the scenery (especially the lake) and the HAIL STORM we encountered at the highest elevation (8500 feet). Yes, a hail storm! Huge balls of ice hitting the car as we drove the narrow and winding roads with an unprotected view down 8000 feet. After we exited the park, we were told that this area is considered a
“high desert” and rarely gets rain! Off to Mount Rushmore.............til next time.
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