When you drive through this part of the country, be it on Route 66 or even on 40, you can’t help but notice the sudden appearance of pitch black rocks everywhere that look like giant bits of coal, or chunks of burnt wood.
The first time I drove through here it was with a friend from university who has been a geology major, and he explained to me how these rocks were the result of lava rivers… but ones that exist well below the ground, but close enough to the surface that the heat from them had in fact burnt the ground above it. So it’s not lava but actually burn rocks (or at least I think that’s what he said… this was like 20 years ago)
You can see how the ground looks sort of burnt and cracked, like really badly burned wood, or food. Well within in this general area are TWO craters that rise well above the ground, and are actually evidence of Volcanic activity, i.e., those underground rivers of lava actually making it to the surface and trying to create mini volcanos —- or at least that’s how I sort of understand it… I’m no geologist.
Driving east on route 66 the first of these that you will pass is the Pisgah Crater
The other crater is the Amboy Crater… not much farther east (maybe another half hour…)
I didn’t have time nor did I feel comfortable approaching these craters alone. I would LOVE at some point in the future to go there… but I would want to do either with a guide, or at the very least a friend. Being stuck out in the middle of no-where, in the heat of the desert… all alone… did not appeal to me (should the car get stuck, or blow a tire or something)