Operation Idaho: Day 2

What do you think of when you hear the name “Idaho”?

Potatoes! Which are very delicious, by the way. Despite the fact that this tiny museum is like any other tiny museum tiny towns throw together to earn a dollar or two for its community, it was actually really informative. For instance, did you know where the term “spud” came from? If not, that’s why you read my blog! For up to date information to all your burning questions!

I also saw the world’s largest potato chip. Riveting stuff, people!

And as a courtesy to all of their out of town guests, I got a free box of hash browns for going! This might possibly be the best $3 I’ve spent on my trip yet!

After the museum, I swung by WalMart to pick up a loaf of bread to feed my peanut butter & jelly habit. The girl working the register saw my orange and purple Clemson garb and asked where I was from (apparently it was obvious not from Blackfoot, Idaho). And after saying South Carolina, she just died laughing, like it was the funniest thing she’d heard all day (maybe it was…I have no idea how funny Blackfooters (?) are). She asked what brought me to Blackfoot, Idaho, other than to see her. And when I told her I was on my way to see the Craters of the Moon National Monument, she thought it was even funnier that she didn’t know it had any national significance. Silly Idahoans!

But off to Craters of the Moon I went! It didn’t go nearly as well as it could have gone, but it was an interesting place. It’s a 7 mile loop through the park but a lot of the side roads were closed due to repaving THE ENTIRE PARK. It will look awesome when it’s done, but really? Did you have to do it right in the middle of my road trip? 🙂 I also need to mention how absolutely sick I am of seeing the signs that say all of the improvements are brought to me by the reinvestment and recovery act. Thanks Obama. I’m sure a national monument in the middle of nowhere Idaho needed brand new roads. But anyways…

It was also hovering around 35 degrees. Normally, I wouldn’t complain. I like me some cold weather. I’ve enjoyed the snowy conditions I’ve been through up to this point. Do you know what I don’t like though? 15 to 20 mph winds in 35 degree weather. The wind is brutal at that temperature. But, being the trooper that I am, I threw the hood up on the sweatshirt and took to the streets (paths?)!

All this park really is is a huge lava field from roughly 2000 years ago. It’s pretty much what many parts of Hawaii are today. Almost all of the information boards had present day pictures of Hawaii volcanoes and lava flows to show what this looked like many moons ago. So I walked around, taking pictures of anything that looked remotely different from the massive acres of charred stuff, and froze to death. In the back of the park though, they had some cool stuff. There were three caves and a tunnel from where the lava had hardened on the outside but still kept flowing in the center. The tunnel had an entrance and exit, so I was pretty comfortable doing that one alone. It was still really creepy at some points because of how quiet and dark it was, but I made it! I bypassed the caves though. I would have done it had I been there with someone else, but I’m sure my parents would hate to lose me to an old abandoned lava cave (as cool as that sounds…).

  • Old spatter cones. By reading the description, it sounded like they were just miniature volcanoes that bubbled up and spat out lava every now and then
  • A hill that’s starting to grow plants. It was kind of cool reading that eventually, the lava formations would be either broken down or eroded into soil so that plants would cover the entire landscape at some point.
  • A landscape shot to show how black and rocky everything was
  • The entrance to the tunnel
  • About midway through the tunnel
  • The tiny crevice I crawled through to exit the tunnel

Pretty cool stuff!

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2 Responses to Operation Idaho: Day 2

  1. You wouldn’t get me in those tight, dark places – no sirree. You should have gone in the Salt Lake in Utah – felt what it was like to float higher due to the salt. The potato museum sounds quirky – the people quirkier. Got any new recipes for spuds now?

    • I thought about that when I went through the tunnel…how you’d never go in them. No way I was going in water that cold. I was a little surprised that the lake is only 33 feet deep at its deepest point. Kind of weird to me, given how massive it is. And nope! The ad I had mentioned potato cookbooks in their gift shop, but I didn’t see anything worth buying.

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