Dark Side of the Moon: In memoriam two lost hikers

552938_3699011110851_150341029_nWhen lava flowed into Craters of the Moon two thousand years ago, limber pines burst into flames. Molds of trees were retained, as rock cooled and solidified where the trees had been.

Were you lured by this magic, by these stone sirens? You walked into a vast maze of desert rock, sharp, irregular, raven black, with no path leading out. Was this the route towards death? Dehydration came, breath by breath, then tears and desperation.

You had lost your way. There is no exit if the way-in is lost. Blistering in sunshine, freezing at night; confusion comes like a blink and death is but a vision. Every time you’ve walked in this wilderness, you’ve flirted with immortality.

Last fall, two hikers, Dr. Jo Elliott-Blakeslee, 63, and Amelia Linkert, 69, became lost in the lava rock of Craters of the Moon National Monument and died in that unforgiving wilderness. Author Mike Medberry suffered a stroke in the monument in 2000, which is documented in his book On the Dark Side of the Moon.

Photo by Doug Schnitzspahn.