I have always been fascinated by volcanoes. Going back to school projects of paper mache mountains filled with vinegar and baking soda, and plenty of dinosaur movies with volcanoes roaring in the background, they have always interested me. So I was in heaven at El Malpais National Monument in New Mexico. It's about as close as you can get to seeing the effects of a big time eruption, without any of the danger. The cinder cones of 30 volcanoes and 5 separate lava flows cover over 100,000 acres in this other worldly alien landscape. Some of the lava flows are nearly 500 feet thick. Where we got up close to the flows, the jagged lava rocks tumbled in piles as far as the eye could see, and just dared you to try to walk in them. It's a pretty cool experience to see this magnificent place up close, and think about the raw power and apocalyptic events that left them here for any tourist to see. Highly recommend, and it's only about an hour away from Albuquerque by car.