I knew this holiday would be like one big field trip the moment it was dreamed up; what I didn’t know was quite how amazing this stuff would be in real life.
Of course no geology course would be complete without learning about volcanoes. I knew the concept behind flood basalts from studying them—what no textbook can show you though is any scale. The Craters of the Moon is vast! You can easily stand on the edge of the crater a look out as far as you can see and see nothing but black lava.
Despite my GCSEs and A-Levels, I still found myself unable to explain the features we saw, fortunately there we frequent boards explaining in layman’s terms (and a jolly good they were as well) the processes that formed it.
One thing I did know from my lessons though (I’m glad four years counted for something!) was the difference between the smooth Pahoehoe (its a Hawaiian word) lava that we actually got to walk on and the sharp a’a (blame the Hawaiians for that word as well) lava that would have mangled my brand new walking boots if I was to attempt to walk on.
Too interesting in fact, as we all ended up rather sunburnt and dehydrated. Well, at least we won't make the mistake of walking miles and miles over an old lava flow with no water again.
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More recent sightings
We planned for an early start. The alarm clock buzzed at 6:30am, but needless to say I didn’t get up until 7:00am. A quick coffee, slice of bread and jam and a splash in the kitchen sink (the RV’s bathroom tap has given up for good) and we were on the road for our 322 mile dash to Idaho.
One of the nicest aspects of a road trip in a motorhome is that when you feel like changing your itinerary, you can. And that’s exactly what we did today.
A Looking For Yogi video from Forks, Washington.
For the first time on this trip, we woke up to rain bouncing off the roof of the RV as yesterday’s sunshine had given way to thick Washington cloud.