Well, during the summer it’s actually pretty hot, but not nearly as hot as it was some 15,000 years ago when volcanic eruptions shattered the earth’s surface and lava started flowing out of a series of deep fissures across what is now southeastern Idaho’s Snake River Plain. The most recent eruption occurred some 2,000 years ago, leaving behind an unearthly landscape that was actually used by astronauts back in the ’60s as they prepared to land on the moon. Today the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is home to spectacular caves, fields of lava fragments, beautiful mesas, spatter cones and craters. All of which you can view from hikes along a loop road that takes you through the park. Given the dry and rocky landscape, there’s also a great diversity of animal and plant life in the park. The town of Arco, Idaho, lies just 20 miles to the east of the park. Its claim to fame? Back in the 1950s it became the first town to be lit by atomic power. Pickles Place, a popular local restaurant, serves “the world famous atomic burger.” I passed.