“They’re going to stay up here and play….

kids playing, Inferno Cone, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve kids playing, Inferno Cone, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve

while we hike over to that next thing over there.”

or words to that effect.

group of people going up Inferno Cone, Craters of the Moon National Monument and PreserveWe were on top of Inferno Cone when I heard one of the moms in that group say that.

I couldn’t believe guess nothing should surprise me out in the nation’s parks and this probably wasn’t that big a deal.

Except it’s not a town or city kind of park.  It’s not a playground.  There isn’t any slides or swings.  And – that “next thing over there” was down off the Inferno cone and over at least a half a mile.

I could just imagine those little guys getting tired of playing up there and heading off to find the rest of the group.

heat shimmering off cinders on Inferno Cone, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a wild place.  Oh sure, there probably aren’t any bears and there certainly aren’t any dangerous buffalo or moose.

But there are snakes… and holes little boys can fall into… and other places where people can get lost – and, then, there’s the heat. 

Though it wasn’t terribly hot that morning, you can see the heat waves shimmering  above the cinder rocks in a photo taken not long after those above. 

In that whole group of adults and kids, there might have been two water bottles, maybe three – though at least one lady was carrying a good sized purse.

I guess it could be that these folks were from the area, that they were familiar with it and that there was nothing to worry about.

But then again, we used to live in the area and would never have dreamed of just letting our kids “play” in a place like this, wonderful as it was, while we went on down to the “next thing.” 

They didn’t have to be right there with us, but our rule always was that they had to be in sight, even if they were going ahead of us on a trail – never, ever, out of sight.  And that was in the 70s and early 80s.

Perhaps I’m just being paranoid and it was perfectly fine to leave those boys up there to play.

Perhaps.

What  Do you think?
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