Day 14 Crater of the Moons National Monument- Arco Idaho
Welcome to 463,000 acres of jagged lava rock and cinder cones. Only 2,100 years ago this place was to roiling with active volcanoes. Lava flowed freely across the land and made hills, tunnels, and caves. We were up at a bright and shiny 0800 and out the door by 0930 in order to go see some of this majestic beauty first hand.
Warning signs litter the entrances to the tunnels and caves. The NPS has taken the appropriate steps warn people of collapse. The signs say if this collapses we die, and they will not be held responsible. I don't hear any creaky noises so we call that good enough and get some of our walking miles in early.
Katie was stoked to use her headlamp for the first time ever
A few caves lie beneath the trail and only one of them has a way out. It takes us through a hole in the ground that is about fat person big. Too fat? Turn around and burn some more calories off. Skinny dude who needs a sandwich? Come on through and follow the poles back to the trail.
Our checkout time to leave our campsite is at noon sharp. We elected to only stay one night. This place is $15 a day and that will burn through our cash stash pretty quick. Shirley gets charged with running point duty and drags our butts through the rest of the park.
Our time at the park is up and we gotta roll. Our prior hosts in Blackfoot had invited us to swing on back through for another night if need be. We opt for the ladder and turn Penny west to circle the remainder of the Moon. There's a little red dot on the map that says we should drop into Twin Falls and see the Perrine Bridge that crosses the Snake River Canyon.
Constructed in 1926, Perrine bridge holds it's place as the 8th tallest bridge in America. At 486 feet from the river it's just tall enough for lunatics to base jump off of it. If you don't know what base jumping is listen close. Some nutjob walks to the edge of the bridge with a parachute in their hand and jumps. Then they count the seconds it would take for them to splatter against the rock and let the parachute go. I'm sure there is a fresh change of underwear waiting for them at the bottom.
Another main attraction for the town is Shoshone Falls. Billed as "The Niagara of The West" you have to pay $$ to get to a park in order to see it. Luckily for us the GPS takes us the wrong way and we end up on the wrong side of the river. It doesn't look that impressive and we are both glad to save the time and money.
The rock face is bare and only a trickle of water is running over. I've been to Niagra Falls. This isn't even close.
Now the crucial decision of where to park. There isn't much on the map and freecampsites.net doesn't help either. It's1500 and we are 180 miles from Salt Lake City. There's a Cabela's in Salt Lake. Cabela's let's you sleep in there parking lot for free. Whatever will we do? We should be in town around 1830 and that is just in time for dinner.