Banff or bust, part 2: Craters of the Moon

(If you missed it, our 3,400 mile road trip began with part 1.)

Today started just outside of Grand Teton National Park. Dan discovered a bike trail from downtown Jackson Hole straight into the park, so he took an early ride and we met up for breakfast at Dornan’s Chuckwagon in full view of the mountains. (All mountain views on this trip have been hazy, due to smoke from wildfires.)

After breakfast, we had a few hours’ drive to Idaho. Idaho was one of nine states that were missing from Dan and my map of places we’d been together; now we’re only missing Louisiana, Delaware, Hawaii, North Dakota, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Kansas.

We had two big stops in Idaho. First up, EBR-1 — Experimental Breeder Reactor 1, or the world’s first nuclear power plant. They’ve done a wonderful job of turning this defunct plant into an engaging museum with a self-guided tour.

For our second big stop, we had less of an idea of what to expect. We’d noticed Craters of the Moon National Monument on our map when we were routing our trip, but photos don’t exactly translate. Craters of the Moon is an intense landscape featuring volcanic rock and lava tubes and cinder cones. We toured the area (or part of it — the park is massive) by car, then ended our trip with a stunning hike up a volcano.

Fun fact: NASA dispatches astronauts to Craters of the Moon to practice rock sample collection and other drills that benefit from a terrain similar to the Moon’s or, more recently, to that of Mars.

Tomorrow we briefly check out Idaho Springs before driving 6-7 hours to northern Montana!

Audiobooks completed so far:

Part 1: Jackson Hole 
Part 2: Craters of the Moon
Part 3: Idaho Falls
Part 4: Kootenay National Park
Part 5: Banff National Park 
Part 6: Calgary
Part 7: Edmonton Fringe Festival
Part 8: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Part 9: The Home Stretch

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