craters of the moon

Idaho..high desert and the snake river plateau dotted with sagebrush and wildflowers. Underneath it all, just below the surface almost, is a percolating mess of magma. This area has had its most recent earthquake in 1983. A 6.9. And there are volcanoes here….but not the exploding WMD kind. The oozing move massive amounts of earth and mountains sideways kind.
The first nuclear generator designed to make usable amounts of electricity sits atop and around this plateau in the town of Arco. It was an experimental breeder. It opened in 1951 and was publicized as “Atoms for Peace”. There is a place called Atomic City too.
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Now this is something to see. I took many pix but they do not communicate the pristine nature or the incredible silence nor the breadth and width of the images your brain confronts. Native people have a story of how this area was formed. A huge snake…this is my friend’s memory of how it was told to us.

“There was a huge snake and the people were fearful of it. It wrapped itself around the mountain and it squeezed the mountain because it was erupting…which caused the mountain to begin sending out lava. The snake started to slither away. The lava burned the snake and it died. In the lava floes you can see the snake remains. That’s why the lava flows have unusual striations and forms. The volcanic rocks are lifted, heated and used for the people’s sweat lodges. The lava floe area is a special place.”-sd

The people we have met here are open and friendly. They go to bed early and get up before the sun and work on the surrounding highways and in the shops and stores in town. Some keep horses and have small alfalfa farms and we did see some small fields of potatoes. A group of strong looking young men were having beers outside by the pool and were overheard talking about the economy. One said his friend was a bartender at a local hotel and only was paid $2.37/hr. Another thought that must be illegal because the minmum wage in Utah is closer to $7/hr.

We passed a small high school made of wood…painted white..with a very green baseball field on the surrounding grounds.

I wondered what school means to the people here. The young people we have encountered here are different from the youth in LA. Here they are men and women sooner. School might be mandatory but it seems that maybe it is connected to the future for people in a utilitarian way.
On to Yellowstone this morn.
Writing to you on my iPhone as we glide through the rain

Across the way from our hotel we had a view of the temple, the person at the desk told us with a glowing, good news face.


About cthebean

Educator, musician, social justice activist...and now a blogger. Children deserve unflinching support from adults.....they deserve nothing less. All kids . Everybody's kids. Everywhere.
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