(Catching up because we’ve had little to no connectivity for since Saturday)
Hank – We had tea and a light breakfast and left Carey for the Craters of the Moon National Monument. Yesterday one person told us there was a hot springs next to the road about two miles from town. Another told us it was five miles. It was nine. Close. The springs were nice in that they weren’t that hot and they didn’t smell like sulfur. The ride to Craters was very nice with a couple of long climbs that Kathy handled quite well.
We stopped at the big sign announcing the park for a photo op. A couple in an RV pulled up and we said hi. They took a picture of us and we took their picture. Their accent sounded German to me and then I took their picture with his Nikon, the messages displayed on the screen looked German. So, being the deductive brainiac that I am, I asked, “What part of Germany are you from?”
The gentleman answered, “We’re from Holland.”
“Oh,” I apologized, “My mistake.”
“Yes,” he laughed, “And probably the worst possible mistake you could have made.”
So we met Louis and Corrine, who are not from Germany. They rented an RV in Vancouver, B.C., checked out Vancouver Island, took the ferry to Port Angeles, WA and visited the Olympics, dropped down to Portland, OR and drove across Oregon and Idaho on their way to Jackson, WY. They have a three-week trip lined up. They finish in Toronto and fly back–to Holland.
Arriving at the national monument, we found the plenty of camp sites available. This being the first day of the Memorial Day weekend, I was hoping we’d catch a break. We pitched our tent and threw the panniers inside. We rode the loop and stopped to check out the sites. The cinder cones, lava formations, lava tubes, and spatter cones were pretty cool. There was a bike rack at every stop. Kathy and I were the only ones using them. Not that we had a choice, right? Walking through a lava tube was not only cool, but physically cool. Water dripped inside and it was far more comfortable there than in the hot sun top side.
After working up more of a sweat we were ready to clean up and make some dinner. Dehydrated meals were on the menu. Louisiana red beans and rice for me. Lasagna for Kathy. Kathy also brought a four-pack of small bottles of Chardonnay. Those went over well. A storm blew in so dinner, wine, and cribbage were in the tent as the wind battered the place. It was the edge of a thunderstorm that caught us so it wasn’t bad and there was very little rain. We had also washed our clothes and had to hang them back up overnight to dry after the storm passed.
Kathy – It was another 80 degree day, 31 miles, and 2,000 feet of elevation gain between the ride to Craters of the Moon and our time riding within the park. Enjoyed a little dip in the hot springs on the side of the road on the way there. People in cars have no idea that the hot springs even exist. Lucky for us a local told us about it. I would have loved to stay much longer soaking in the warm natural springs but we had miles to finish up for the day. Craters of the Moon is really a cool place. We enjoyed traveling about the park on our bikes to the different stops to see all the amazing lava formations and caves. Cars within the park on the small winding roads were very courteous of us on our bikes. It was another night of camping and lucky for us they had a bathroom with running water so we had another night of washing up and scrubbing our hair in the bathroom sinks. We had to carry all our food in with us for today and tomorrow as there is nothing for about 90 miles. Even within the park there is nothing. My Lasagna soup (due to adding a bit too much water), the wine and our card came made for a nice evening. It was a good day riding of and a great time viewing/riding/hiking the sites within Craters of the Moon.