Sorry for not getting any blog postings the last couple weeks. However, I've got a big selection of images from Idaho to share. First, is the barren, high desert, lava field at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Reserve.
The park was used as a training ground for Apollo astronauts and to learn about volcanic geology. It is now used by some scientists preparing missions to Mars. You can hike caves formed by lava tubes.
After going underground, you can climb cinder cones that spewed lava 2,000 years ago. The main lava flows occurred 15,000 years ago. The giant lava dome under Yellowstone National Park used to be under this part of Idaho.
From atop the cinder cone, you can see other volcanoes and lava domes in the distance. One peeks from behind the right side of this tree trying to live on the little bit of soil in the cinders.
The park is also an International Dark Sky Park. The sky was even darker on the Salmon River. Those images, including a visit by Mars, will come later.