Lakeview to Twin Falls
July 25, 2016
Miles Driven: 470
Parks Visited: 0
I must be spoiled. Ok, don’t answer that. Let me start again. I’ve seen Yosemite Falls, which is just spectacular. I’ve seen Niagara Falls, which is thunderous in its volume. So, I was quite excited to have read that Twin Falls contains the ‘Niagara of the West’, a set of falls arguably bigger than its Eastern rival. But I’ve got to say. I was underwhelmed. Yes, I know it is not peak season for water flow. Yes, I know the dam detracts a bit (though I’ve also seen Hoover and Shasta Dams and those are more than a little impressive). So, if waterfalls are your thing, then Twin Falls and Shoshone Falls aren’t for your bucket list. That said, what was worth the trip was the gorge itself. No, it’s not a Grand Canyon. Yet, what it has is a certain understated presence. The landscape is just flat plains, farming fields of hay (I’ve yet to see a potato patch). Yet twice today I was driving along and then BOOM a bridge appears and you’re easily a hundred feet or more above the floor. Before you can blink you are on the other side. Glancing back, you don’t see anything. Truly, that is why you should visit Twin Falls.
The morning, as well, took me past some awe-inspiring, oft overlooked (I fear) beautiful scenery in southeastern Oregon. I had no idea that the highest fault scarp in the U.S., Albert Rim, shaded my morning route. A fault scarp for those of you who don’t know (I didn’t until I read the handy Oregon Geologic Point-of-Interest sign), is a layer of earth that has tipped up all in one piece. Albert Rim is 30 miles long and 2,500 feet high. It does rival El Capitan. And, as I learned it marks the northwestern corner of the Great Basin. The combination of colors in the area was just gorgeous. Now, after crossing into Idaho, I’m in the Snake River Basin, home of tomorrow’s destination – Craters of the Moon NM.
Here are a few random things I pondered throughout the day:
-Full Service gas in Oregon felt so luxurious. You can chat with friendly attendants while they bus your vehicle. (Now, I’m back to schlepping my own gas again).
-Idaho has an 80mph speed limit, and I’ve yet to see anyone go much more than 5mph past that. I’m wondering if that’s just about as fast as folks feel comfortable going. Also, people here are much more aware that you shouldn’t park yourself in the fast lane, going slower than anything else on the road.
-No potato fields to be seen. Lots of hay fields. Probably to feed all the critters at the hundreds of ranches I’ve seen.
-Oh my word, all the water being used by sprinklers... over farm lands... in the middle of the day. My California sensibilities are overwhelmed.
-Going north didn’t really decrease the temperature, as I had anticipated. It was 107 today in Glenn Springs when I was schlepping my own gas and watching a man out watering his lawn. Did I mention he was watering in the middle of the afternoon?!
Until tomorrow from… Craters of the Moon NM…
Roadtrip! Daily Game
Board Location: Idaho
Happiness: Irksome (3)
Energy: Animated (3)
There was lots to do on the way to Idaho today! Helen and Harvey really enjoyed the American West art show and Whiskers stalked mice in our spelunking adventure. Both brought back souvenirs. It made up for our reprimand this morning for feeding the bears.