Thursday, July 20, 2017

Twin Falls, Idaho

Our goal on Tuesday was to Boise.  Fortuitously that did not happen, for by late afternoon we realized that we still had a hundred miles to go.  We stopped for the night in Twin Falls and I started looking in the park's office for information about the area.  This was one time John was not on the ball regarding local tourist information.  I soon discovered that in the town of Twin Falls there was the Snake River Canyon, a large bridge spanning it, as well as some scenic waterfalls.  I informed John that the next day we had to explore the area before moving on.
 Pictured above is the Perrine Bridge which is 1500 feet in length and spans the Snake River Canyon.  After crossing the bridge we parked our rig in a location near the visitor's center and began walking along the rim of the canyon.

The land surrounding Twin Falls is called the "Magic Valley".  It is mostly sagebrush and desert, but the Snake River makes it magic.  Notice the green areas in the picture above.  In the late 1800s development of the land surrounding the river began brought in dams, canals and irrigation systems.  Magically parts of the dessert became green.  More on that in my next posting.
As we walked along the canyon rim John pointed out to me the raised ramp at the edge of the canyon from which Evil Knievel attempted to fly his sky cycle across the Snake River in 1974.  It is the raised area off in the distance in the picture above.  That earthen ramp is the last remnant of that event.

While we were there two Base jumpers came down from the bridge.  Pictured above is the first part of their journey from the bridge.  Base is an acronym for fixed objects from which they jump: building, antenna ,span and earth.  The bridge is 86 feet above the river.  It is the only man made structure in the United States where people can jump without a permit.
I talked to a local person who said he walks the canyon rim daily and sees many jumpers, not only from our states, but from around the world.  They are required to make 200 jumps before attempting the Snake Canyon.  Circles are marked along the bank where they are to land, the jumpers we saw did get close to that target safely.   We visited the falls next, which are located about 3 miles from the visitor's center.  More on them in my next posting.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

On the Road Again

We are back on the road and I got so excited about what we have been seeing the past few days that I decided to start writing again.
John and I left Florida in May and returned to our home base in St.Louis.  Besides visiting friends, we did find a few new and interesting things to do- like visiting the mansion of the founder of Magic Chef stoves.  Also there were new exhibits at both the Science and History Museums.  We also got in one Muny Opera show.   I am forever impressed by St.Louis with all that it has to offer!
We left St. Louis in July to attend the Lohrmann family reunion in Colorado.  Fortunately our niece Heather and her spouse were able to find a resort with enough cabins to accommodate our large group, which numbered 69 people- from the ages of 3 months to 78 years.  The highlight of this reunion for me was that this was the first time when all eight of my living brothers and sisters attended.  We had 5 days of fun and fellowship, with one of the days spent at Royal Gorge.
From the resort (located near Salida Co.) John and I drove to Grand Junction, where our home was parked near the Colorado National Monument.  We have visited there before and I wrote about that park in a posting of Aug.21,2015.  Below is a picture of that park at sunset, from our home.
Part of the reason we decided to make another trip west was that John noticed on his map of the states that there were roads which we have not covered.  We had a beautiful drive out of Colorado into Utah.  John, however, did not realize that it would be slow going as we had several passes to go over on interstate 70.  It was all worth it, especially at Black Dragon Canyon.  An interpretive sign at the viewing area noted that we had climbed 1000 feet in elevation from the valley floor to the top of San Rafael Reef.   In that climb we had lost 50 million years in geologic time.  Sedimentary layers were deposited here 250 million years ago before the Permian extinction.  Pictured below are some of the red cliffs of the canyon, their color caused by the presence of iron oxide.
After leaving the canyon area we continued to drive through western Utah along the Sevier Desert which is marked by the presence of  large rock formations.
At this point of our drive a  rainstorm descended on us and we had lost our sunny day for a brief time.  Our stop for the night was at the base of the Wasatch Mountains near Provo.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Last Posting

Sadly this will be our last posting- at least for awhile.  As you, our readers, may know is that our postings have been few and far between since we have been sitting here in Florida.  Our grandchildren have become our major focus, we have been doing more babysitting than sight seeing!
We had forgotten how much work there is in caring for little ones, but the joy and love they give in return makes it all worthwhile.
John and I are certainly now in a new chapter of our lives.  We have not regretted the traveling we have done, for we have gained a lot in new sights and experiences.  Proudly we can admit that we have embraced it all- hopefully you can tell that from our postings.
 We have even found some unusual happenings here in Florida, as at the Dunedin Celtic Festival where we heard a rock and roll band with bagpipes.  That is what the musician on the far right is playing.    I did like the jazzed up version of "Danny Boy".   Dunedin is quite proud of its Scottish heritage,  and at the festival it was not unusual to find many of its residents dressed in kilts.
Also in the picture above is an inflatable sofa, which one family used for their five children to sit on during the concert- something which I have never seen before!
Since we have spent a good deal of time in Florida the past three years it seems appropriate to write about our impression of the state.  No, it is better just to narrow it down to parks- where we spend most of our time.  We have explored many of them in the Tampa Bay area, just because that is a place to go with our 2 year-old grandson.  The parks, especially those with playgrounds, are wonderful.  They are designed with safety in mind and the play equipment is quite different from park to park. The parks are also interesting because they are well used by people from all walks of life.  They reflect the diversity of the corresponding neighborhood.  Children from mansions play in the same park with children from small cottages.  New subdivisions are constantly being constructed, and it seems that what is most important is that one's home be located  near some body of water.  Consequently a subdivision of homes priced over $500,000.00 may be found next to an impoverished neighborhood.   There seems to be no problem with diversity in the Tampa Bay area!  I do like that about Florida. 
It remains to be seen yet where John and I will eventually settle down.  Yes, we are now considering that likelihood, but it may still be a year or so- for myself I am hoping it is sooner than later.  We are planning another trip up north to St.Louis in the spring, and maybe a trip west during the summer months.  Bottom line for me is that I do not wish to be away from our two grandchildren for any long stretch of time.!