Monday, June 22, 2015

Chapter 15 - Idaho Falls to Twin Falls, Idaho

Sunday, June 21st:
Our drive today from Idaho Falls to Twin Falls, Idaho was approximately 165 miles and we were on the road a little over three hours. Almost the entire drive was on the interstates and the road was mostly straight with only gentle elevation changes. The speed limit was 80 mph so with our driving around 58 mph it is understandable that everyone passed us all morning long. That was fine with us. No stress. The scenery did not vary much from what we have become accustomed, although the farm plantings were now mostly potatoes and wheat and because of the dry climate huge sprinkler systems were in use almost everywhere.  We crossed the Snake River on numerous occasions and we were not surprised to see signs along the interstate informing us that the highway was generally following the Oregon Trail. According to Kathy the sign was very similar to one of the patches on her jacket. Kathy has been for many, many years a prolific collector of souvenir patches.

Another interesting sight that we saw today were huge banks of wind turbines. Each turbine must have been 200 to 300 feet tall and as a group they must have covered an area of at least 20 miles long by 5 miles wide. Unfortunately the only photograph that we took of these turbines was this one at a rest area and it hardly gives an impression of the immense quantity and size of the towers or the area that they covered.  Fortunately today for us it was not windy, but without wind most of the blades were not turning or they were turning very slowly. The sight of the turbines was interesting but at the same time they had a negative impact on the scenery. Hopefully the pressure from the global warming alarmists does not result that sometime in the future wind turbines will be covering all of our landscape.  And to think I was worried about road signs; at least they seem to be on the decline.

Our campsite for the next two nights is called the Twin Falls/Jerome KOA and unlike the previous two RV parks where we stayed, it was only around 60% occupied, which is good.  Our space was a pull-thru with a picnic table on a concrete pad with full hookups and a shade tree and if you are an avid RVer, this is an ideal situation.  Furthermore despite the fact that Kathy put up our antenna (force of habit), we are on cable here at this park which means that we get all the news channels like FOX and CNN that are talking around the clock about the murders in Charleston, SC.  Turn the damn TV off!

Our campground is about five miles north of the Snake River and the City of Twin Falls. Since we needed to make a few food purchases, some gas, and most importantly, a bottle of gin, we headed south to Twin Falls to find the stores.  To our remarkable surprise we discovered that the Snake River passes through the area in a deep canyon much like the Niagara River runs through a gorge below the falls.  We had to cross a long bridge over the canyon to get into the city.  We knew immediately that we had lots of sites to visit tomorrow.

Monday, June 22nd:
We drove away from our campground by 8:30 am very anxious to view the Snake River Canyon and all of the sights associated with this totally unexpected tourist attraction. We stopped at the Visitor's Center on the south side of the bridge where they had a viewing platform overlooking the gorge.  The photograph to the right does not, cannot, do the view justice. I know that we have said this before but the sights we keep encountering out here in the west, continue to amaze us.  Deep in the canyon on both sides of the Snake River are golf courses that I knew immediately we had to visit.

The Snake River Canyon is famous for obvious reasons, although the one that gave it a national recognition was back in 1974 when it was chosen by a daredevil named Evel Knievel as the site for his attempted jump over the gorge on his steam-powered rocket motorcycle.  For those of you too young to remember Evel Knievel, he became well-known for his long jumps on his motorcycle. His attempted jump over the gorge failed but thanks to a parachute he survived.  The canyon is also well known as a site where people are allowed to parachute off the bridge down into the gorge.  It is astonishing that the local government allows such an activity, but it occurs daily and we had the good fortune of watching a group of jumpers each jumping one at a time off the bridge. The photograph goes not really catch the activity very well since the jumper falls at least 100 feet before the chute opens and our viewing point was not very close, but if you look closely at the photo you will see a little white parachute half way through its decline. Not sure that even when I was younger I would ever have had the nerve to jump off a bridge. The four jumpers we watched were in the 20s.  Fear or marriage usually occurs shortly thereafter.

The drive down into the gorge was steep and winding and beautiful. We wanted a photograph looking back at the bridge from the bottom, and we also wanted a photo of the golf course, but what Kathy really wanted more than photographs was a copy of the golf course score card.  The course which was named Canyon Springs Golf Course, carries the remarkably low price for 18-holes of only $28 during the weekday, and according to our souvenir score card, from the white tees, the course plays 6,028 yards. And best of all, every hole has incredible views and oh was I so jealous.

Before we arrived at the golf course Kathy and I and Cabo (being carried) climbed up a steep rock hill that we thought would offer another great view of the golf course. It sure did!

The golf course appeared to be in great shape considering this very dry climate in southern Idaho.  Like everywhere else around here, the sprinkler systems seem to run night and day including on some of the fairways.  Par for the course?  The two golfers on the green got a kick out of my taking this photo. I told them that I wish I could join them.  I did not however, ask their golf scores.

This waterfall shows in the background of the previous photo of the golf course and it was really special and worthy of this larger photo of Kathy and Cabo in front of the respected, Perrine Falls.              

Up the Snake River a few miles above the bridge and the golf courses is the Shoshone Falls. According to the literature published by the local community, the falls is 212 feet tall which would make it 50 feet higher than Niagara Falls. The actual volume of water going over the falls has been somewhat reduced recently because they are expanding the power plant associated with the falls. Nevertheless, Shoshone Falls was every bit as impressive as Niagara Falls, rainbows and all, and you can take that as gospel as spoken from the mouths of former Niagara Falls residents.

It was early afternoon before we decided to return home to our campsite.  On the way back Kathy saw off in the distance what looked to me like a church tower, but she insisted it was not just a church, it was another Mormon Temple.  So we made our way over to the building and what we found was a huge and very expensive, and really quite beautiful Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. According to the plaque in the front of the church, it was built recently in 2007.  As a former general Contractor, my guess is that this building cost upwards of $10 million to build. Very impressive in this city of only 46,000.  We tried to enter the church but not surprisingly the front door was locked.

This afternoon Kathy and Cabo did the wash while I wrote this blog and made our reservations for tomorrow.  I also set up our grill so that Cabo and I could cook and eat our Idaho beef burgers tonight while Cabo's mother, well, she could prepare and eat her green stuff.  Tomorrow it is Boise or bust.


  1. You definitely missed your calling, Charles. This writing sure beats that engineering stuff you used to do!! Pete Broderick

  2. We have been following your blog because Carol Young is a friend of ours. We live in Boise and see that you will be here today. We would love to have you come for a drink on our deck this evening...our phone # 650-224-1204 or email We live in S.E. Boise off of Park Center Blvd. close to downtown. Barbara and Jim McLaughlin