Day 3 of The Great Wilks Family Adventure was all about lava, caves, and the attempted reading of maps and signs. We started out at the longest hike of the day, the North Crater Trail. The Hunky Hubby dropped the rest of us off at the beginning of the trail and drove to the end to park. He then hiked quickly, intent on meeting us halfway. We had all very carefully looked at signs and consulted maps and figured out where our end of the trail was before he left. Grandma Judy, the boys, and I then proceeded to enjoy the interesting lava rocks…although not everyone enjoyed having their photo taken as much as they enjoyed the lava.
Sweet Boy#1 with the lava rocks.
Sweet Boy#2 with the ripply kind of lava…ask the boys, they know what it is called.
Sweet Boy#3 with this smooth flowy ripple bubbly lava.
Sweet Boy#2 enjoying having his photo taken by either a destroyed cinder cone or huge pieces of rock that were thrown here, they are not sure which, but the rocks are impressive nonetheless.
Sweet Boy#3 waiting under a tree as we have finished the hike and see no sign of The Hunky Hubby. In fact, the end of the trail has a sign that says the rest of the trail is closed for reconstruction. We begin to become worried.
Oh my! Look at that sign. We have been hiking on “The North Crater Flow Trail” and the Hunky Hubby has been hiking on “The North Crater Trail” and never did find us and had to hike the whole thing. Look how short the North Crater Flow Trail is and how very very long The North Crater Trail is and now we realize that our car is at the other end and The Hunky Hubby is going to have to hike it twice…
But after a few drinks of water and a bit of exasperation from all parties we are ready to move on out and hike the real live North Crater Trail (I am secretly grateful that I do not have to hike it twice as it is quite long).
We get to cross the lava flow at one point in the trail, which is really awesome because they tell you not to walk on the lava on most parts of Craters of the Moon.
Sweet Boy#1 spots an interesting looking small cave from high up the mountain and after a park ranger informs us that the caves are safe they lead the way under the lava flow.
Exploring caves was Sweet Boy#2’s absolute favorite part of our trip. He does love bats after all.
Sweet Boy#3 and his brothers inside the cave.
Sweet Boy#1 exiting the large cave that The Hunky Hubby spotted.
The Hunky Hubby and myself. Yes, I was there and wearing the beautiful earrings that Sweet Boy#3 bought me with his own money.
It really was a long hike through blistering and desolate land with a whole lot of rocks. Amazing, but hot!
After the long long hike we visited the amazing spatter cones.
Then on to The Buffalo Cave where we scrambled underneath the lava and through several neat tunnels but did not see any buffalo.
After a long and amazing day we get some yummy food and pile onto Momma and Daddy’s bed to watch Mr. Bean’s Holiday (A very sad movie according to Sweet Boy#3) and store up a bit of energy for the next day of our big adventure.