The trip to Twin Falls, ID took us about two and a half hours to cover the 128 miles through almost entirely farming country. It was completely interstate highway travel so was easy except for the many construction zones. We are staying at the Anderson Campground about eight miles East of Twin Falls. We have a 50 amp full hookup site with satellite access and good Verizon coverage as well as decent WiFi. The sites are about 25 foot wide and was not very crowded as we pulled in. We will see how it fills up this holiday weekend.
After getting set up, we journeyed into to Twin Falls to see a few of the sights there. First was the Perrine Bridge
which spans the Snake River Canyon just North of Twin Falls. It is a four lane bridge 458 feet above the Snake River. The support structure for it is very unusual as you will see in the picture I have posted. It is named after I. B. Perrine who was instrumental in settling Twin Falls. This was mostly accomplished when he figured out a way to use the Snake River to irrigate the surrounding area from the Snake River. The whole area was arid desert until that time. You will see in some of my pictures that sage brush still covers the land that hasn't been irrigated. As we traveled we saw all of the fields under almost constant irrigation of some kind. The Snake River Canyon is formed due to the Snake River eroding the lava layers evident in this area. When we ran parallel to the river about 50 miles outside of Twin Falls, the river was almost level with the land, not the dramatic 450 foot drop present in Twin Falls.
We then headed for Shoshone Falls
which has to be one of the prettiest falls we have ever seen, including Niagara last year. Coincidentally, Shoshone Falls is also called the Niagara Falls of the West. It is 45 feet higher than Niagara but much narrower and also has far less water running over it. But the way that the water falls in different levels and over projecting rocks makes it prettier in our opinion.
We next went to the Twin Falls that the town is named after. It is a little farther up river form Shoshone Falls and is used to supply some of the power for the town. Currently there is only one falls since the other was blocked when they built the power plant. It is still a large falls but doesn't compare with Shoshone.
Friday morning we were awakened at 5:30 a.m. by dive bombers, no, wait a minute, they were crop dusting in the field behind us at that ungodly hour!! I did go ahead and get up to snap a couple of pictures as I knew inquiring minds would want to know what got me up so early!!
After breakfast we set out for the City of Rocks. This was a 154 mile trip to an area Southeast of here where the California Trail came through the lower part of Idaho. It was a scenic drive up into the mountains surrounding the valley where Twin Falls lies. The City Of Rocks is an area where everything but the granite boulders (some very, very large) has eroded leaving those boulders standing in the desert like skyscrapers is some cases. This area was used by those on the California Trail as a respite after leaving the Fort Hall/Salt Springs area en route to California. One of the boulders there is called Register Rock due to all of the names that were left by the travelers as they passed through.
We then went to Rock Creek which is located a few miles almost due East from Twin Falls. This is the home of the Rock Creek Station where a depot was erected where the Oregon Trail travelers stopped. Again this was the first civilization for these travelers after leaving Fort Hall. It is really in ill repair and doesn't seem to be maintained much at all but hopefully that will change. Supposedly it is under renovation but it needs a lot of it!
Saturday we made another trip for 200 miles. We first went into Twin Falls for their farmer's market. We were a little disappointed with the lack of vendors and especially the lack of farmer's products. It was more like a small flea market. Of course it is still much to early in the spring to have many vegetables. Doris was happy though as they had a llama and a couple of very young alpacas there too. She's now ready to start an alpaca ranch!
We then headed to Shoshone, ID and attended their flea market. Again, it was very small but they had a lot of interesting stuff we managed to let them keep. Then, on to the Shoshone Ice Caves
which were very interesting and educational. It's not really a cave in the normal sense of the word but a subterranean lava tube that water seeps into and then is frozen due to the action of the wind coming through the tube. It was discovered in the late 1800s and the people started using it as a source of ice but their attempts to get easier access to the ice wound up interrupting the flow of air through the tube and the ice melted. In the 1950's current owners did massive research and after a few years managed to get the breeze right again and the water has continued to freeze since then. The temperature remains between 26-29º all the time. Needless to say we took our coats and were glad we did!
As we left the ice cave we decided to make a run to Sun Valley, a ski resort up in the Sawtooth Mountains about 60 miles North of Shoshone. It was a nice drive through more of the lava fields and then up into the mountains. It apparently was a popular thing to do today as the traffic was horrendous once we got within about 15 miles Ketchum, which is the main resort area. The ski slopes look mighty steep to me and I am sure glad I never took that sport up. I am clumsy enough just trying to walk!!
Sunday we just stayed in and relaxed after three full days of touring. Monday we headed out again and the first stop was Balanced Rock, located almost 40miles from the campground. The trip was through the area South and West of Twin Falls and was a mixture of large farmland and dairies. We have found this same mixture to be true all around Twin Falls in this area called the Snake River Plains that receives irrigation form the Snake River. The Balanced Rock itself is located in a canyon that shows up out of nowhere as you are driving through all of this flat farmland. It was more impressive to us than the one in Arches NP simply because there was much less holding it up.
We then proceeded to Hagerman, ID which is home to the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
. This is one of the riches finds of fossils in the country. It is a fairly new Monument and they still have a lot of work to do to make it tourist friendly. Much of the area is inaccessible with just three turnouts and one of them closed.
From there we went to the Minidoka National Historic Site
which was an internment camp during World War II. It is a brand new Historic Site and is definitely a work in progress. It shares the visitor center in Hagerman which is about 30 miles away. The visitor center had a small display which was very well done and it will be moved to the actual site when the visitor center is built there. The site itself was very interesting and the two stone building's foundations still remain in good shape. This will most likely be a very nice Historic Site when finished. It's too bad it has to illustrate one of the darker times in this country's history. Hopefully that type of overreaction will never occur again.!
Tomorrow it is travel day again as we head for Mountain Home, ID for a three night stop.