It was short drive from the Timmerman Rest Area to Craters of the Moon. We expected that this National Park Campground would be like other ones we have been to where the campsites fill up quickly and you need to snag one early in the morning. We were wrong.
As we trolled the campground, we found many campsites, scattered among the lava rocks, were available that Friday morning. We chose one that faced east so Sparty could shade us in the afternoon.
Our first hike was out to the tree molds. We rolled in to the parking lots early but spent several hours talking to several other Ram van travelers. We expected to get out early but ran into a few other Ram van dwellers and talked for hours before starting our hike.
Once we got out onto the trail it was hot. Very hot. We hiked from shady spot to shady spot using up lots of the water Mr Ram was carrying in his pack. The pay off were holes and rocks with bark imprinted on them.
God smiled on us on the return with many clouds making for a more comfortable hike. We were once again surprised at people walking out without hats or water wearing just about anything on their feet.
We saved the Lava Tubes for the next day thinking it would be cool in the tunnels. And it was. We did wonder why they decided to put the parking lot 3/4 of mile from the entrance to the Lave Tube. We were hot by the time we got to the etrance and were quite reheated by the time we got back to our van Sparty.
We found ironic that we saw a man with a scout troop who could not go into the cave. He was wearing flip flops.
Mrs Ram did well clambering over rocks and even boosting herself out of the hole at the end of the cave. As I stood in front her to offer a hand up, a young man stood behind her in case both of us fell over.
In the evenings we enjoyed the cool shade Sparty provided. No camp fires were allowed here but we did not miss it. One group near us was determined to have a fire though. They filled the campsites charcoal grille with charcoal and doused it with lighter fluid. When they dropped that match, there was a huge blaze. And when it died down, it seemed they gave it several more squirts. The pungent smell of lighter fluid reminded us of one our neighbors in Massachusetts.
Like our old neighbors in Massachusetts they eventually ran out of lighter fluid and we could breath again.