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Mon 3-Jun-2024 Idaho, Travel, Wyoming | | Map

Wind, rain, and fog

Wind, rain, and fog

It was quite a day. We left the Gros Ventre CG and drove through Jackson where we admired the elk antler arches. The Tetons were covered in fog today — nearly invisible. In town there were more signs of spring — some cherry trees and chokecherry in bloom. We took the Teton highway (US 26) west through the Teton pass — 8425 feet.

Crossing into Idaho we were amazed by how green the fields were and bright yellow where the canola was in bloom. Apple blossoms were already starting to drop. Water is brought up from the Snake River for irrigation. At a Snake River overlook we once again saw choke cherries, larkspur, and fleabane. As we crossed the plateau — about 5200 feet — every house had huge lilacs in full bloom. Some crops are in, other fields are bare.

Soon after Idaho Falls there were patches of lava flows between the green fields. The lava flows are covered with sage brush and one or two trees. About this time the wind began to pick up — very strong gusts and some rain.

We stopped in Blackfoot to visit the Idaho Potato museum. Well worth the visit. I am always interested in seeing the machinery that is used to bring food from the field to our tables. The short film about how McDonald’s French fries are made was particularly entertaining.

Because the wind continued to be so strong we decided to head to Craters of the Moon National Monument which was just an hour away. We are glad we made the trip, but the wind was incredible. At on point we stopped an overlook and nearly were knocked over. At the town of Arco (“the first city lit by atomic power”) we headed in a more southerly direction and felt the cross wind. As we approached our goal we enjoyed views of four volcanic cones which were probably responsible for the lava flows.

Craters of the Moon has a small campground with no reserved spaces. We found a spot that was somewhat protected from the 30-50 mph winds. $7.50 per night for Seniors — no electric, picnic table, and hibachi. We took a short walk on the north loop but still were disturbed by the strong winds so we headed back to the van for dinner. We hope that in the morning the winds will have abated and we can walk peacefully among the rocks and tubes.