June 26 – July 2, 2020.
Yellowstone has stayed put, but Idaho is on the go.
It has taken 15 million years, but southern Idaho, which is part of the North American Tectonic Plate, has moved westward over the volcanic hotspot we now call Yellowstone. This movement has left a 70-mile break in the normal north/south basin/range pattern seen throughout the western US.
The Yellowstone volcanic hotspot poked holes through the skin of Idaho as it passed over. We looked at some of these earth zits in our travels. The slow crawl over Yellowstone also left gaps in the Rocky and Cascade mountain chains. These gaps allow moisture from the Pacific Ocean to pass freely to Yellowstone, dramatically enhancing the effects of subterranean heating. (But that’s a later post).
Black Magic Canyon
Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve
St. Anthony Sand Dunes