It's time for me to swallow a bitter pill: I will never be an astronaut. I don't know exactly where I went wrong. It could've been when I failed to major in "Astronaut Studies (Swimming in Bulky Clothes)," or perhaps that one time when I don't really know what NASA stands for (I'm thinking the "S" stands for "Sonny Bono," but after that it's a crapshoot). Or maybe it was all over when I dropped high school physics after three days when the car I built out of toothpicks and Wheat Thins didn't actually locomote, so I kicked it, called it "Ugly and Too High in Gluten," and took study hall instead. Or maybe my astronaut dreams fizzled much earlier, when I watched The Right Stuff
as a six year old and got so bored that I was begging someone -- anyone
-- to put on Amadeus
("Oh please oh please, I'll watch the crazy guy in a wig chase girls in foofy dresses around a harpsichord, just please don't make me watch more Ed Harris being macho!").
So I'm not an astronaut. But I went to Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, which isn't the moon, but which is like the moon, in the sense that they both have rocks, and in the sense that people don't go to them very often. Behold... the moon!
|"Soooo... I hear I'm your dad."|
I was in this cave, and I was thinking to myself, “What is this life really all about?” And then I looked up, and I saw a light… and it all made sense in that instant. What it’s really all about is this rock. This one right here. This is what it’s really all about.
Grace isn’t really sure where she’s going, cuz this stupid hat, but she knows she’s taking this sandwich with her.
When Robert Redford was just a baby, the same mantle hotspot that now lies beneath Yellowstone, and which powers its famous geothermal tumult, drove volcanic activity on the portion of the North American tectonic plate where Idaho’s Craters of the Moon National Monument now sits. When it was beneath present-day Craters of the moon, that mantle hotspot released large amounts of magma that hardened into lava tubes through which park visitors can now walk. The volcanic activity produced pretty igneous rocks such as this one that has been sitting in a cave for eons, looking pretty.
“Kids, why would you be looking at that fabulous, blazing blue sky when you could be examining this dirt? It's special dirt, because we're on the moon. You know, you're looking pretty lucid. Here, have another pill.”
Robert Redford’s face only looks marginally better than this. Why am I getting all up in Robert Redford’s grill today? Man, lay off Abu Halen.