“¡Síganme Los Buenos!”

What’s the best thing about being an Interpretive Park Ranger? For me it is being able to get to know and share information with visitors who came across Craters of the Moon looking to know more. The majority of the times visitors come to CRMO because they were on their way to Yellowstone or Grand Teton and happened to stumble upon here. They have no knowledge of where the vast lava flow came from and how old the lava flow is.  Usually, visitors excitedly come up to the desk and ask me “Where’s the big massive volcano where all this lava came from?” and as excited as they are to see a fiery symmetrical volcano I , as an interpreter, have to diverge their excitement into a different path. The lava flow did in fact come from a volcano, but it is not something that you would imagine instead it comes from a 52 mile long crack with in the earth surface that travels from north to south of the monument which created this lava landscape that is about the size of Rhode Island. After that, visitors will be even more interested to learn about the landscape and will ask about further details on how to attain more information. In my opinion, the best way to learn about the landscape is to be there and see it yourself. Guided tours are the best example of being able to interpret information in the most engaging way possible: visually and physically. As someone who is able to lead people into the lava tubes it is my favorite part of the day.There is a high turnout for tours at Craters and one of the more popular ones is going into the biggest lava tubes in the monument. Out of all the things that I get to do at Craters of the Moon my favorite part is being able to share information about CRMO to visitors who are truly interested in learning more about the landscape.Giving Cave tours is fulfilling to me as I get to inform visitor and their families about the landscape and see each one look around the cave in awe.  Even when I go inside the caves I am still amazed that the massive lava tube called Indian Tunnel was created over 2,000 years ago by lava flows! It gives myself and the rest of my group a sense of something bigger than your own self. And that’s what I love to do to have people feel connected to the lava formations that they witness and leave my tour feeling as though they did something amazing and feeling as though they want help in preserveg the landscape by following the rules and being mindful of their actions. There have been times after the guided tours I lead at Craters of the Moon where a visitor comes up to me and says “You did a fantastic job! I learned so much. Thank you!” It is moment like those that make my day at Craters of the Moon and no matter what I am feeling prior to the tour, after being given a compliment I feel 2x better for being able to provide a great experience.  I am now in week 8 of 10 at Craters of the Moon National Monument and I have to tell you that it has been an amazing time! There are so many great experiences from being able to work with professional’s right down to talking to visitors on guided tours. I look forward to these last two weeks!

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