It was a day on the road for the most part, we did get some lunch at a brewery, got great MPGs,
hit up a walmart to reload the cooler and saw some crazy neon yellow fields.
Eventually we made it to the campsite.
We took a break from roughing it in the national park and now had a yurt, and access to showers and toilets that flush.
The yurt had electricity, including a big box fan and big screens we could open for a breeze during the day but it got really cold at night and we could seal it up and stay warm.
We started out with a quick bike around the campsite to see the surrounding area and then got busy making a fresh meat and veggie dinner.
It went over pretty well
The girls set up a little cards/game area in the woods.
Peanut helped heath and I cook dinner while we taught him about Johnny Cash.
We took our time again in the morning sleeping in and then enjoying the site
and making a big breakfast.
The Castle Rocks state park where we were staying was right next to the City of Rocks National Reserve where we were going so we had like no driving.
At least in the car
City of Rocks was awesome and just what I had hopped it would be.
A playground for the kids
and the adults
After climbing around all morning we found some shade and cooked lunch.
After lunch we headed back to the visitor center for a pre Independence Day party.
They had watermelon and several arts crafts and other activities but mostly the kids liked the water balloons.
It was darn hot out but we decided to do some more rock climbing after the party.
Once we were worn out from the rocks we headed to camp to cook up a big pot of chicken tortilla soup.
While we were cooking the kids entertained themselves. Pumpkin had gotten really interested in curin trail markers on the hike and decided to make a few leading to the yurt.
We all rode bikes a bit with Peanut.
And Bean thought the table needed some curins also.
After dinner we made an apple cinnamon oat bake thing and ate it all.
After showers we tried to get to bed a bit early and get prepared for leaving the next morning.
I woke up too early and made a big breakfast and got as much stuff cleaned up as I could. Eventually we got everyone else up and packed the van back up and drove over to Craters of the Moon National Park. We stopped in the visitor center for Jr. Ranger books then headed out for some hikes. Right away we found a ranger program we wanted to do but had some time to kill
so we did a few hikes.
It was a crazy place formed from lava and pretty interesting. There was a lot more people around then the City of Rocks and it was really hot on all the black lavarock.
We made it to the ranger program a little early and visited with a really cool ranger geologist. Then we started the guided hike.
There was a huge group of folks but we were always right next to the ranger.
I think we hiked about a mile on the surface with several stops to learn about stuff before she took us down a stairwell into caves the lava made.
The space was pretty huge in the first ones but obviously only pictures taken near holes turned out.
The program ended with us all in the cave and we were left to wonder around it and the 4 other caves we had passed on the way out. First up we asked for Jr. Ranger badges.
So off we went looking for more holes in the ground.
Then we explored them,
Some went a long way and some did not.
We had a few headlamps and lanterns but not really enough for major exploration.
After everything was explored we filled up our water bottles, used the bathroom and hit the road.
We stopped at a greesy spoon for burgers fries and shakes and then drove through the night squeezing in as much sleep as we could.