On a recent move from Oregon to Colorado, we made time this trip to visit two Park information centers we had used only for rest stops in the past. If you spend the time at these two, an amazing wake-up call is in store. Here’s their impact on us:
Craters of the Moon National Monument in southern Idaho looks exactly like its name: miles and miles of black lava flows with no relief in sight; but, with a contemporary geologic history amazingly spotlighted in the park’s information center. No photos and videos substitute for the extremely well-presented experience. Ancient and continuing geologic activity comes alive, confirming geologists’ uncomfortable warnings of the near-term threat of Yellowstone’s blowing its top with potentially catastrophic results on Montana, southern Idaho and Utah — at least.
That disquieting perspective in mind, over the next two days we headed south through Flaming Gorge Dam, on down to Dinasaur National Monument. This drive south from Green River, Wyoming, takes you through the west’s most beautiful high plateaus, a striking variety of geological formations and color, the dinosaurs, native pictographs — and finally to be confronted by the temporal nature of these creations over a long time.
Might we not be part of the future’s dinosaur museum?
The purpose of this post and its photos is to encourage you to spend a few informative hours if you can in this or another fabulous part of our national parks and monuments. No photos or video can replace the perspective of that time spent.