August 29, 2009
I know this will sound weird but Ron and I both love it in this rock-strewn, colorless place. We have enjoyed the hikes, programs and even the silver fox that came through our campsite last evening. Jewel loves it here also and has made herself a very comfy dirt bed. All this for only five dollars a night.
Today we hiked the very short 1/4 mile North Crater Flow Trail with waysides describing and explaining the many volcanic features found in the park. We then decided to take the hike along the North Crater Trail recommended by Ranger Tiffany.
The trail is 1.8 miles one way so we would make our decision on the route back once finished. We left the Jeep at the Spatter Cones parking lot at one end of the trail and began our ascent.
The trail was difficult to say the least but worth every step. We stood by an overlook of a volcano, walked over ancient lava flows and enjoyed the spectacular view from the highest elevations I have ever hiked. Hiking the 1.8 miles at 6000 feet over rocky terrain, down steep inclines and over lava flows was not as difficult as walking from the end of the trail on the paved road back to our starting point. We opted to take the road instead of back over the rough terrain but by the end of the first mile we were thinking we should have retraced our steps. It was easier to walk on rough terrain then on the tarred roadways.
By 1.7 miles we were pooped and decided to sit for a while so we pulled up a curbing and sat for a few minutes. The last ½ mile we knew was uphill and would be a challenge. Even Ron admitted to being tired. As we sat several cars passed and one women and her son stopped to ask if we were OK. I guess we didn’t look OK. She offered us a ride up the hill and we gladly accepted. We have met some very nice people all across the country and they were no exception.
Back at the MH we decided we had covered the park, except for a couple of caves. We kicked
back, relaxed and then prepared the MH for the next leg of our trip. It will be on to Cheyenne, Wyoming via Salt Lake City.
Ron went to the evening program but I stayed behind to finish the blog. An arduous at best.