(written by Bill)
Part 8 on a series about our road trip from California to Ohio, and back again, visiting 15 National – Parks, Recreation Areas, Forests, and Monuments. 13 have been reviewed and the last 2 are presented in this blog.
Shortly after visiting Mt Rushmore and the Badlands we arrived at my sisters home in Ohio. After spending a week with her and her family we were on the road again heading back to California (Dad, my other sister, and I). The trip home was more deliberate, which means we were going to visit only two National Monuments – Devils Tower in Wyoming and Craters of the Moon in Idaho, however, we decided to go back through Yellowstone National Park once again (yah!).
It’s interesting, when we went through Yellowstone on our way out to Ohio the weather was near perfect almost spring like. On our return trip it was quite the opposite. We were not sure if we would be able to make it over the summit due to a snow storm which hit the park and surrounding area. Since I already posted photos of Yellowstone, I will show only a couple shots. My intent is to focus on the two remaining National Monuments.
The road we took off of the highway to get to Devils Tower was a wonderful drive. The countryside was so green, peaceful, and beautiful, with a light breeze and the bluest of skies. As we came over one of the ridges Devils Tower could be seen in the distance like a small blip in the horizon. Driving closer we could see how really large and magnificent this monument truly is. Although we did not spend a lot of time here, it was one of my favorite locations.
Craters of the Moon is not one of the most well know Monuments, but it is an interesting place to see and to learn how it came to be. The National Parks website describes it like this: “Craters of the Moon is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush”.
There are many lava tube caves that you can go into, but be aware that permits are required (no cost) which can be obtained from the gate, when it is staffed. We forgot to get ours when we arrived but bumped into a ranger on a trail who was kind enough to issue us one, whew. In addition, you will need flashlights to see in most of the caves. This is another must-see location.
Click here to see more photos of Devils Tower
Click here to see more photos of Craters of the Moon
I will do one more blog for this National Parks series to show a few random photos we took along the road during this 3 week journey.
Hope you enjoy…