Sunday, July 23, 2017

On the way to Bear Lake Utah

Left Twin Falls and the agricultural scenery via I 84 because there are no scenic routes in Southern Idaho.  Stopped for gas at this quaintly named place:

They gouged gas at 3.19 a gallon - maybe to afford to feed these creatures penned next to the pumps.

We are now heading into the mountains.

Now in Utah with more agriculture and bigger mountains.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Two Days Rest

Yesterday Roscoe got up early for a 7:30 tee time at Canyon Springs Golf Course.  On his way to the course he passed several parked cars who had come to witness the sun rising over the canyon.  A few weeks ago I would have jumped at the chance to do that but sleeping late has more appeal this weekend.  He enjoyed his round but again complained about the fast greens - with 17% humidity they will be fast.

Definitely some boundaries to this golf course!

A long nap was in order for the early riser and I attended to some long deferred household tasks.  Then we set out to see what downtown Twin Falls looks like.  Hmmm - come back in a few years after all the construction is finished.  So we decided to use a coupon given to us at the campground for 2 for 1 drinks at "486" - a restaurant located in a commercial complex  at the edge of the canyon  - a lovely setting!   We could see the golf course from above!  The sun does not set here until almost 10PM so golf can be played well into the evening - after dinner golf anyone?

There are actually two courses - one on either side of the river.

I am amazed at the flora above the canyon - wish I could bring some home.  Alas, they are desert plants, not low country plants.

Today was another golf day - no photos - it was a municipal course and a walking course!  I should have taken a photo of the exhausted golfer collapsed in deep slumber - but I know better!

Tomorrow we head to Cheyenne via Garden City Utah and Rollins Wyoming.  Monday is Pioneer Day in Utah - a (Mormon)holiday that the state celebrates.  We get to Cheyenne on Tuesday.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Waterfalls in Twin Falls

We left Nampa filled with rodeo memories - the Snake River Stampede is a winner in our book.  We had hoped for interesting scenery on our way to Twin Falls by avoiding the Interstate.  That worked in Northern Idaho with the mountains and rivers but Southern Idaho?  We thought the "loneliest highway in the world in Nevada" was boring last year...  

There were agricultural scenes between barren plains and some views of mesas and buttes straight out of 1950 western movies...but the haze ruined any chance of a photo.  We did see miles and miles of wind farms.

Arrived in Twin Falls and found our campground a bit better than the one in Nampa - still has quite a few "long stays" but amenities are better and the huge poplar tree at our spot is lovely.   We set up and went to view Shoshone Falls.  We were not prepared for the enormity of these falls.   They are in a canyon - the rocks look like they were being prepared for a giant's stone house: rectangular boulders stacked neatly everywhere along with blobs of stones that look to me like melted elephant legs.  There are places where time has washed down rubble and hollowed out huge amphitheater shapes. The falls are actually deeper than Niagara Falls and look to me like they were possibly wider before a hydroelectric dam was installed on one side in the early 1900s.

The above photos are from the entry road - there are several tiny waterfalls on the way in. 

Had to be sure to remember that Evel Knivel attempted to jump at the falls - unsuccessfully.  He was a ways down from the actual falls too.

We made our way to the Visitors Center after the falls and saw another marvel in the area: this one is manmade:  the Perrine Bridge.  It is a beautiful structure  and the Visitors Center has an overlook to get a grand view.

There is a statue of  Mr. Perrine and a brief bio near the overlook.

He was definitely a forward thinker.

Twin Falls has one more forward thinker whose name I cannot recall, but here is a photo of his gleaming factory.  

Twin Falls will be a Rest Stop - will stay three nights and then head towards Cheyenne.  Rest for me means sleeping late; for Roscoe it means three days of golf!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Museums and Raptors

Today's plan was to stay in cool places so we started at a fascinating artists' studio: one side was glass blowing and the other was cloisonne on copper (one of the minerals found in Idaho).  We could have stayed for a while and taken lessons.  Need something like that in Bluffton.  Next we went to BAM - Boise Art Museum.  The grounds are lovely - a large masonry shell for concerts surrounded by large mature oaks and possibly elms - leaves looked like elms and the size was appropriate.  The grounds were bordered by rose gardens - Roscoe has always promised me a rose garden...  The museum has free Senior day the third Wednesday of the month - our lucky day!  I admired two paintings: one Jackson Pollack that was not red, white, and blue but muted fall colors.  The other was a Jasper Johns titled "cicadas" and I understood why he called it that.  Then there was the gallery with six pieces of Lego Art.  Yes, art is in the eye of the beholder.

Next stop: World Center for Birds of Prey
This is a remarkable and large center for research, education, and restoring populations of endangered species.  The Peregrine Foundation is also based there.  They have a breeding program to restore the condors - they have successfully reintroduced about forty adults to the wild.  The Center sits on a huge tract of land outside Boise - there is a beautiful view of the surrounding land with a backdrop of mountains.  No photos for that view - hot, sunny, dry and hazy.  Pretty much a desert.  

Off to the rodeo.

Snake River Stampede

Leaving the Salmon River and heading to Nampa Idaho for the Snake River Stampede to get the first part of our rodeo fix.  We did not hit a winner with our RV Park choice (we are campground snobs) but the rodeo has made up for that.  The landscape changed rapidly from mountains to valley - still gorgeous!

Hard to get photos of flat dry looking fields!  We did see some packing plants - for shipping potatoes!!!

The rodeo had some spectacular elements.  The announcer was not up in a booth - he was on his horse in the arena the entire time.  Loved seeing him check his cell phone and slide it back into a special slot on his saddle.  The participants for this weeklong event number over 700 with purses totalling over $444k.  The World Champion Bareback Rider, Bull Rider, and Bronc Rider are here too.  There was a drill team that rode into a darkened arena with red, white and blue lights on their saddles preceded by a rider with a lighted Anerican flag - really impressive!  Then there were the kids as young as 5 riding lambs - funny to watch and there was a sheep dog who made sure the lambs behaved.  Teenagers participated in the calf crawl - fifteen calves were released into the arena and the teens had to catch one and bring it to the center with a rope - and collect $1000 for college!  Then there was my favorite: an old cowboy and his adopted Mustang plus his two mutts - the photo shows all.

Liked the rodeo so much we are going back tonight.  Maybe I can get some photos of the horses - theyall got  photobombed last night. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hells Canyon

Did not get to post last night for two reasons: really bad wifi and total exhaustion after EIGHT hours in Hells Canyon.  What a trip!  We got the ultimate in Hells Canyon trips - the rivers were perfect for going as far as Cache Creek on the Snake.  We had lunch there - it is an outpost of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.  There is a tiny museum as well as a house for the woman who maintains the area during the season.  

Who knew Idahoans live for beach weather?  There are dozens of beautiful white sandy beaches along the rivers and there were all populated by sunlovers who get there on the water - very few roads lead to the rivers since the gorge they are in is deeper than the Grand Canyon.   There are even Luxury Tent Camps - you can pay a tidy sum to let others schlep all the stuff for you while you enjoy the sun!  

Before we even got into our boat we got a taste of what Hell's Canyon was going to be like.  A van took 13 passengers from the office to PittsburghLanding - took 45 minutes to go 17 miles over the mountains.  I did not look out the windows very often and a woman in the seat behind me gently asked in a very weak voice if the driver could stop closer to the other side of the road when pointing things out...  the driver is a native of the area and talked the whole way while looking at the passenger next to him.  

My phone battery died as soon as we got on the boat so some of the photos are out of order.  After Chute Creek we went back to the confluence of the Snake and Salmon and took the Salmon.  Rapids were everywhere and so were rafters and beaches.  We saw smoke in the distance and learned there were some fires ahead.  One of the passengers (another native) said we were in for a real treat.  ???  Turns out there were scooper helicopters around helping with the fire fighting.  We watched two choppers with 800 gallon scoopers  return to the river over and over to get water to dump on the fires.  They just happened to be using the river right next to where our boat was stopping for a swimming break.  Definitely entertaining.  

We saw only one bald eagle,  a few deer, and two families if Longhorned Sheep.  But the boat driver anddeck hand told stories of encounters with elk, bear, and moose.  Arrived back at headquarters eight hours later - this was supposed to be a six hour trip!  We would definitely want to do it again!

He's actually holding me up after the ride in the van.

Mountains...beyond the grass falls way down!

The wide part of the road over the mountains

No, we did not go all the way to the dam - next trip!

Gray stones are high water mark - 8 to 12 feet

More photos:

See smoke around the bend

Scary to see the fire so close - as the boat driver said: rivers don't burn so relax!  (He is too young to know about the Cuyahoga)

Yes, cery close...

Does not stop Roscoe from enjoying the water!

Across from the landing site

Our camp view

Time for bed!