Sunday, October 7, 2007

Fire and Ice

While touring about the El Malpais, Kenny and I decided to visit the Ice Caves and Volcano. The hike up the side of the volcano was quite a little stretch. The trail was a bed of volcanic rock and cinders that felt like walking in sand. After a steep walk up the side of the mountain we got to look into the mouth of one of the most recent volcanos in the continental United States.
After we viewed the volcano we walked into a lava tube/cave that remains freezing all year round and has an ice bed over 12 ft thick at its bottom. Locals had used tunnels like that one for refrigeration prior to having electricity.
The site has been owned by the same family for over 100 years and has served as a trading post and then as a tourist attraction. The volcano is over 7800 ft high and sits virtually directly on the continental divide.

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