Day 6: Tuesday,
August 6, 2002
Johannes helping the pioneer woman
grind her corn.
We found out from the guide in
the visitor center that if we had come a week later, we could have seen
a reenactment of the Three Island Crossing, where volunteers pretend to
be early pioneers crossing the river. They try to be as authentic as possible,
wearing period costumes, crossing the river on horseback, and even towing
along real covered wagons. These volunteers must attend 4 practices before
they get to participate and still, every year, a wagon tips over in the
river. Can you imagine what it must've been like to be a pioneer crossing
with everything you own in those wagons? And they never got practice runs
before the real crossing.
On a whim, we decided to stop
by a museum off the I84 in Idaho to learn more about the Oregon Trail. The
museum was located at Three Island Crossing, where the early pioneers had
to decide whether or not to cross the Snake River. The crossing was very dangerous,
but if they were successful and reached the northern bank, the route north
of the river was much easier than the southern route.
excited that we got a great room for $44 in Boise, ID.
gate guard gave us a free pass to the Idaho state parks because we were on our
our map, we noticed that we went right by the Hagerman Fossil Beds, so we decided
to stop there, too.
taking a time-out to connect with her environment.
fossil beds are famous for the great number and variety of bones from the Hagerman
Horse, precursor to our modern-day zebra. Other fossils of small mammals were
also found here in abundance. These animal remains were buried in sedimentary
rock in the region, 3 to 4 million years ago, layer upon layer. 15,000 years
ago, a big flood swept through the Idaho Plains and exposed a cross section
of these layers, revealing the fossils that make the Hagerman Fossil Beds famous
Hagerman Fossil Beds are located along the Snake River, the river that the Oregon
Trail traversed. This road was so well-traveled that you can still see wagon
ruts left by pioneers on the trail. (See the white path through the middle of
the unplanned stops at the Oregon Trail and Hagerman, we visited Craters of
the Moon, one of our planned national park stops.
the North Crater Flow Trail. Craters of the Moon showcases fissure vents, volcanic
cones, and lava flows of the Great Rift Zone, an area that began erupting 15,000
years ago and only stopped 2,000 years ago. This was the second stop where we
learned more about the volcanic activity in the northern U.S. What is special
about this area is that the volcanic activity didn't originate from one volcano,
like at Mount St.
Helen's. Instead there are a series of formations that released lava because
this region sits on a fault in the earth's crust where magma pushes up to the
lava comes from extremely hot flows which harden in pleats like hot fudge poured
from a pan.
walking up Inferno Cone
of Inferno Cone
Idaho - right outside of Craters of the Moon
into Wyoming late into the night