We woke up Sunday morning in Utah with very little to do except head north to Idaho so we got out the atlas and checked what was up there. The closest thing we were interested in was Craters of the Moon National Monument. So, we pointed TomTom to it and hit the road. On the way there Kate’s Roadside America app told us that we’d be passing the world’s first nuclear power plant (EBR-1 is a National Historic Landmark) and that they give tours. This sounded great so we stopped there.

In the parking lot they have two versions of a nuclear jet engine developed in the ’50’s, the program was never completed.

This is the original plant that was built as a proof of concept that electricity could be generated using a nuclear reactor to create the steam that drives the turbines.

Below is the SCRAM button that was used to stop the reactor by dropping the control rods into the core. In early reactor tests a man stood by with an axe to cut the rope holding the rods above the core. He was the “Safety Control Rod Axe Man.”

Kate getting ready to handle dangerous toys using the glove box.

The plant was really interesting and worth the stop. Next we pushed on to the Craters of the Moon National Monument. This area is a vast plane of lava flows and cinder cones that I thought only existed in Hawaii.

The park has a great scenic drive that takes you to the hiking trails, interesting spots and, what we loved most, the lava tube caves.

The largest of the cinder cones can be climbed.

Kate took the one-way scenic road as an opportunity to drive the RV and get used to the feel for the beast. She did well. When we were done at the park we backtracked to the closest town, Arco, and took a spot at the local RV park.

This entry was posted in National Monuments and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Idaho!

  1. Dorothy says:

    So far Idaho is looking very promising!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *