Approaching Home: Painted Hills & Craters

Idaho came on fast! We bid the snowy bosoms farewell, going over an impressive mountain pass, then before we knew it we were in Idaho Falls. Bam. This time we learned, and called the Boise/Meridian KOA there first to make sure they were open. Then more of Idaho, until we reached Craters of the Moon National Park. This park was *really* closed. I was able to make a couple of flattened souvenir pennies in the visitors center, and that’s about it. We couldn’t drive much past the center, couldn’t hike (plus it was COLD). And I’d only gotten two hours of sleep, soo… we just took a nap there.

We talked to a guy from New York after we woke up, and he was also doing a roadtrip – he said as of a couple days ago, Yellowstone is almost completely closed. All roads except the Northern one are off-limits, and he got a $120 trespassing ticket for trying to drive on one. Yikes. I guess we were there just in time! And now we are back in the Pacific Time Zone – like we were keeping track anyway. What month is it, again? We bumped over the Blue Mountains, saw the Strawberry Mountains, and some covered wagons…

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We saw the Painted Hills, one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. Weird things, they are! I’ve never really seen them up close. They’re made of cracked, popcorn-like clay. Giant, stripey hills of clay granules. They soak up a ton of water when it rains, and get a dark, smooth texture, then as they dry out, they crackle and pop open. Neato. I want to come here when it rains!


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At Bend, we turned South for a jaunt, to visit my grandparents and see what we can of Crater Lake! Then Portland for the Chris Thile concert, then home! I am so ready for home. I never want to wear this selection of clothes ever again, & I would really like to know where my hairbrush is on a daily basis. You know, the simple things.
But for now we are chatting with Grams & Gramps, stoking the fireplace, listening to old family tapes (we are a superbly talented family, if I do say so myself), & drinking coffee at 10pm without anyone making comments of incredulity about it. 🙂



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