Wednesday October 2: Clifford and I are leaving Craters of the Moon National Monument in southern Idaho this morning. We have been camped here for the last several days as we waited out the storm that descended on the northwest, but today looks like a good day to travel.
It is 26 degrees as I hike up the trail to the lava knoll and take a few photos at sunrise.
Then we pack up and are on the road by 11:30, traveling US highway 93 through miles and miles of lava fields, which give way to farmland. After stopping for supplies and gas in Twin Falls, Idaho, we continue south into the more rugged Nevada landscape.
Our destination is Great Basin National Park, but today we are planning on stopping in Nevada at a wayside stop that we see on the map near Jackpot, Nevada. However, when we get there, we don’t see it, so we continue on, not knowing where we are going to spend the night. Eventually snow-clad mountains make an appearance in the distance.
We watch for other wayside pull-outs and find a good one just before Wells, Nevada. We park and level Cougar, with a small stand of junipers making a buffer between us and the highway. We are pleased to find this relatively quiet and scenic place to spend the night. We even have cell service!
Tuesday October 1: It is 27 degrees this morning at Craters of the Moon National Monument where Clifford and I are camped. We had planned to leave this morning, but due to a forecast of possible snow flurries or freezing fog, our plans are changed. At first we consider leaving this afternoon, but with snow off and on this morning, we decide to stay.
Since we are here today, we take advantage of the opportunity for another outing. We drive to the spatter cones and take the short hike to look down into the gaping holes left by these eruptions.
From there, we hike the trail that leads to the North Crater, but only go as far as Big Crater. One can only imagine the cataclysmic event that caused this caldera.
Then we stop at Inferno Cone, where I hike to the top while Clifford waits in the car. This turns out to be the best hike of all, as the top of the cone is flat with trees and shrubs and great long scenic views in all directions.
at camp, we have chili for dinner and work on our projects: editing
and journal writing for me, and Clifford is designing a program to
model ionospheric propagation and ham radio communications. Snow
flurries off and on remind us that we made a good decision to stay
Monday September 30: It is a chilly day at Craters of the Moon National Monument in southern Idaho where Clifford and I are camped. The storm we were staying ahead of caught up to us here yesterday with a skiff of snow and today the chilly temperatures remain: 26 degrees this morning, even though it is still September.
I go up to the lava
knoll, but it must be too cold for my cell to work and no texts are
sent. But I do take photos of the snow on the surrounding hills.
We had planned to drive up to Stanley to explore the countryside, but after cleaning up mouse droppings (ugh!) and scouring pans and counters, we don’t have enough time for a drive. Instead, we walk over to the Visitors Center to watch a movie on Craters of the Moon. We see that this area does get a lot of snow in the winter.
We work on inside projects, and since Clifford was able to get his hotspot to work, we even get on the net for awhile to check email. I make another trip to the lava knoll just before sunset. Chilly, but the light is pretty.
After dinner, I pack
up the kitchen as much as possible, as we plan to leave in the
morning. It has been fun here, but we want to get to Great Basin
National Park before the weekend crowd arrives.
Sunday September 29: Not only can I smell snow, I can see the snow this morning at Craters of the Moon National Monument in southern Idaho, where Clifford and I are camped. It is only a skiff, but foggy, which seems strange as there are no streams or rivers nearby. I dress warmly before walking to the restroom and then hiking up to the lava knoll where I can get cell service to send a text or two. Mostly I am excited to take a few photos in the misty ambiance.
Today is mostly a day of inside activities, being too chilly to be outside with the heavy overcast and wind.
Saturday September 28: When I open the door this morning, I smell snow. I don’t see snow, but I know it is not far away. I hike to the top of a knoll on the trail that goes past the amphitheater to the North Crater Flow Trail where we hiked yesterday. From that knoll, one can get enough cell signal to send a text, or even a photo now and then.
Rain starts at midday, so activities are mostly indoors. For me: journaling, blog writing, and editing Regent’s Way, the next book in a great epic fantasy series by an author whom I know. Clifford gets his ham radio set up. His phone has better cell reception than mine, so his hotspot works intermittently and he is able to take care of some of his projects using the net.
the afternoon, the rain lets up and the sun comes out, so we drive
the loop again and I take more photos.
at camp, before starting dinner, I hike up to the top of the knoll
again as the light is really looking good to me. As I walk back to
the campsite, the daylight ends with a striking sunset.
the evening, Clifford starts the generator and we have power for
lights and for charging our devices, which allows us to carry on with
our projects. We are very fortunate, as we see neighbors in tents
who turn in early to escape the dark and the chill of the night.
Friday September 27: It is 35 degrees this morning at the McFarland BLM Campground where Clifford and I spent the night on our way to Craters of the Moon National Monument in south central Idaho. Since we didn’t unhitch last night, it doesn’t take long for us to be packed up and ready to go this morning.
The valley widens, the road is flat and straight, some of our easiest traveling ever.
We arrive at Craters of the Moon about noon and find that the sites are small, very close together, and most are designed for tents or small rigs. In spite of this, we find a nice pull-through spot with our own little ravine and lava piles that will provide a little privacy from nearby neighbors.
After we get set up, we drive the scenic loop, stopping at a couple pull-outs to hike a bit.
We plan to explore a bit more another day, but for now, Clifford needs to nap after the drive, and I settle in to do some editing until the laptop battery runs out. After dinner I have time to write in the journal before starting the bedtime routine.
are happy to have arrived and to have found a nice spot where we can
hole up if the storm catches up to us.