Lunar Landscapes and Lava Caves of Idaho

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: lava flowsNational MonumentsIdahovolcanic rock • Places: Craters of the Moon National Monument

After a not-so-enjoyable evening in my motel, I was excited to get back on track with my road trip.

My next destination: Craters of the Moon.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

A place so named because it served as a training ground for Apollo astronauts. A gigantic area of lava flows and basalt features. The most ancient of these flows dates back to some 15,000 years ago, whilst the newest are a mere 2,000 years old. This place is home to dormant fissures, which may erupt again in the next thousand years...

Text Messages from Motel 6 (😭)

✍️ 🕑 September 23, 2021 (Evening) • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: unpleasant encountersmotelsIdaho • Places: Motel 6 - Rigby, ID

This post contains real, barely edited text message conversations for all the verisimilitude readers demand when you promise the tale of an awful night in a motel.

Friend: How long has it taken you to go all that way?

Me: I've been on the road since the day before labor day, but I've been taking my sweet time in many locations: Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Yellowstone... and also taking a bunch of detours.

Me: My tripometer is ~3.5k miles

Friend: Sounds real nice

Friend: Where have you stayed the night?

The answer was mostly at campsites, but after my tire excursion, I decided to finally grab a shower and sleep indoors for a change.

I'm a cheapskate, (actually, let's be polite and say I'm "frugal"), so my hotel of choice was the Motel 6 in Rigby, Idaho. I soon found myself wishing I slept outside instead.

An Idaho Welcome

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: bird photographyflat tiremuseumsgood eatsIdaho • Places: Clark Hill Rest Area Teton Volkswagen Farnsworth TV & Pioneer Museum

It was as if the Tetons were taunting me.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

How dare they look so beautiful, so enticing, so inviting, bathed in the soft glow of an early morning's light. When I could explore them no longer. When my skinny spare tire demanded that I get it replaced as early as I could.

My only course of action was to drive some 220 miles, sticking below 50 MPH on my skinny spare.

My only course of action was to cross into Idaho.

Grand Teton; Poor Tires

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: lakesautomotive foiblesflat tirebuffaloNational ParksRocky MountainsWyomingGrand Teton National Park • Places: Colter Bay Village Campground Two Ocean Trailhead, Grand Teton National Park Jackson, WY

In today's post, I briefly visit (and very briefly manage to enjoy) one of the most beautiful sections of the Rocky Mountains, before tragedy (partially self-inflicted) strikes and I have no choice but to change my plans.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

The setting is Grand Teton National Park, and in the morning when I set out, them Tetons were indeed grand and spectacular...

Mammoth Hot Springs, West Thumb, and Goodbye to Yellowstone!

✍️ 🕑 September 21, 2021 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: wildlife photographybuffalovolcanic rockgeothermal featureslakesYellowstone National ParkNational ParksWyoming • Places: Mammoth Campground Mammoth Hotsprings Sheepeater Cliff Biscuit Basin Black Sand Basin West Thumb Geyser Basin

And so, all good things come to an end.


I awoke on Tuesday, September 22nd with "a zip in my bip and a pop in my bop," (rather like this kid) ready to spend one final day exploring the cold and phenomenal park before heading south to the Grand Tetons, where I would camp a few more nights.

The first order of business was to visit Mammoth Hot Springs. It was close to where I was camping that I did not feel compelled to stop there the previous days, knowing it would be so easy to drop by in the future.

But, on my last day, it was my last chance to see the beautiful cascading travertine, so there I dutifully went...