April Skies, Moonscapes and Albino Rock Stars

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“Uh, let me guess … you’re still blogging about your April 11-13 weekend get-away.”

Why, yes!! Could I really NOT share my photos of Idaho’s magnificent April skies?

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Behold divine inspiration and energy exploding before your eyes.

Sunday, April 13, 2014. We are headed on Highway 20 toward Idaho Falls now after our stop at Shoshone Falls. David is driving, Eric is navigating, and I’m in the back seat mesmerized by the sky.

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Good-bye Magic Valley! I snap this photo:

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“Uh, let me guess. You’ve maneuvered your way into a cattle feed lot and captured a close-up of a gargantuan pile of manure.”

No, actually! … we’re at the Craters of the Moon National Monument, which lies along highway 20 between Arco and Carey, Idaho, or, if, perchance, you haven’t heard of the tiny towns of Arco and Carey, halfway between Boise and Yellowstone Park.

Craters of the Moon is the spot along Idaho’s Snake River plain where the earth had one of it’s biggest bowel movements from 15,000 to just 2000 years ago. Well, or actually, one early traveler called it “Devil’s vomit.”

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The lava field spreads across 618 square miles, southeastward from the Pioneer Mountains. It is part of the Great Rift volcanic zone that extends across almost the entire Snake River Plain. The rugged landscape is still remote and undeveloped with only one paved road across the northern end, where visitors enter the park.

You can hike on paved trails and explore tunnels and caves.

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Deeming it best to heed the signs and stay on the trails, we head off on the trail to Indian tunnel.

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Not exactly a photographer’s paradise. I snap a photo toward the Big Southern Butte. Ah… how does that Easter verse go?.. (by Thomas Blackburn)

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“Awake, thou wintry earth
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers,
Laugh forth your ancient gladness!”

Yeah, well, these plants are trying. What a hardy, willful bunch! If the weather conditions are favorable (moist and cool) for the next several weeks, then there could be an abundance of flowers blooming toward the end of May and early June – prickly pear (cactus), red Indian paintbrush, and the sego lily.

We’re at the entrance to Indian tunnel now. It is actually a lava tube, which, the way I understand it is, the lava cooled on the top while it kept flowing out underneath, leaving a hollow space. “Let’s do it!” exclaims Eric. David decides not to – he is wearing sandals. But he will meet us at the other end.

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Eric and I entered the cave down this handy flight of stairs:

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and then tried to keep an eye on each other-

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Do you see Eric ahead? One of the rules is to never enter a cave or tube alone.

Half way through we greet David peering down at us from on top.

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The lighting isn’t exactly conducive to capturing photos, but I do have a flash on my i-Phone. Here, behind Eric, I think we are coming out, but it turns out we are just entering another chamber …

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But we have reached the far end now:

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“Born again, Ma!”

David is waiting for us.

We follow the cairns back to the cave entrance.

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And head back to the car on the neatly paved trail.

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To view about every photo imaginable of the Craters of the Moon, check out this site!

So, we’re driving east again on Highway 20 alongside the Big Southern Butte now:

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Then the highway curves past the twin Buttes

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We’re just outside Idaho Falls now; Taylor Mountain has come into view. I’m sitting in the back seat, looking at Taylor Mountain in the distance – and see this herd of free-range cattle ahead. I snap a photo as we’re sailing by:

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Eric pipes up, “That herd of cattle has its very own albino rock star!”

Huh?

“You know. We humans have our albino rock star; why can’t a herd of cattle have their albino rock star too?”

“You mean ….” well, if you were born before say, 1960, you know exactly who Eric is talking about. But I’ll give all you old fogies a hint, just in case: His initials are E.W. and his brother, J.W. is also an albino musician.

Okay, so here’s a link to E.W.’s Wikipedia page. He states, “In school I had a lot of friends. I wore a lot of white shirts to, like, blend in I guess. No one really gave me a hard time about being albino or taking special education classes. Then again, I wasn’t really popular.” He and his brother were both in Special Ed classes in High School (I guess because people couldn’t deal with their looks?) even though Edgar (has it come back to you yet?) was a musical prodigy.

All right, so here are you-tube links so you can listen to E.W.’s monster 1972 and ’73 hits, ‘Free Ride’ and ‘Frankenstein.’ (Has it come back to you now?)

And on that note, I guess I can officially declare it a ‘wrap’ on the blogs about our April 11-13 weekend-getaway.

Um, unless I’ve forgotten something … is that possible?

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One Response to “April Skies, Moonscapes and Albino Rock Stars”

  1. Rene Miller Says:

    Loved following along with you on your trip!

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