Friday, July 6, 2012

Twin Falls, Idaho

We had such a nice visit for a few days with Becky Hazen and Lonnie Hodge in Twin Falls. Our dinner the evening we arrived was at a new restaurant Elevation 486 overlooking the beautiful Snake River Canyon. The name comes from the height (in feet) of the flat land surrounding the canyon.


The restaurant is in the Magic Valley Arts Council building, with beautiful art pieces, landscaping and fountains surrounding us.



In the distance we could see the Perrine Bridge which we passed over on US Hwy 93 when arriving in town earlier that afternoon. This picture was taken at the visitor center near the bridge.


Becky cooked a delicious chicken on the rotisserie of her BBQ the next evening, and we enjoyed dinner and conversation on the patio of her lovely home.


Watch how you handle that knife, Becky!


The Fourth of July was a full day, starting with a benefit breakfast at the City Park.


Next, we drove five miles east of town to Shoshone Falls. There was a double rainbow, just barely visible in this picture.


The height of the waterfall is 212 feet, which is 45 feet higher than Niagara Falls.



Dierkes Lake, a short distance upriver of the falls, offers a popular place for picnics, hiking and swimming.


Two young men contemplated a daring dive from rocks on the far side of the lake, but they didn’t overcome their fear while we were there.


Next on our “tour” was a boat ride on the Snake.


We joined several kayakers, who picked a perfect day for a paddle. I wish our visit could have been longer so we could have put our own boats in. But the day we left it rained anyway, so we wouldn’t have enjoyed the ride!


The boat captain was assisted by two faithful friends.



We were treated to a great view of 5 base jumpers descending one after the other from the Perrine Bridge above us.




The target for landing is in the trees below, where the jumpers pack up their chutes and climb the hill, possibly for another jump from the bridge.


Looking up from beneath the bridge, I could see the platform where we stood on the first day when I took a picture of the bridge. Scary!


Don wore his most patriotic shirt to commemorate the day!


We got up close and personal with the Pillar Falls, named for the pillar-shaped rocks they surround and small (20 ft.) in comparison with Shoshone Falls, but the water flow was still too rapid to navigate.



It was a beautiful ride that we all enjoyed.


Later, we took sandwiches and drinks to the patio near Elevation 486 and the Arts Council building, where we met several of Becky & Lonnie’s friends.


We were entertained by “honky tonk surf rock” music provided by Boom Chick, consisting of a young couple who formed the band after meeting in Brooklyn, NY. She’s originally from New Hampshire and he’s from Southern California.


We watched the sky become aglow as the sun was setting.



And, finally, what would July 4 be without fireworks? I didn’t take any pictures, but we enjoyed the city’s display set off in a field of the College of Southern Idaho.

Becky & Lonnie, thanks for a wonderful and memorable visit to Twin Falls! And thanks to Becky for this great picture of us, taken with her camera by a fellow tourist!

Shoshone Falls

Sunday, July 1, 2012

FMCA Rally, Driving Lessons & Heading East

The past couple of weeks have passed quickly because we were so busy. We attended the FMCA Northwest Area Rally at the Mill Casino in N. Bend, Oregon with George & Valerie Mayleben of the RV Driving School.


Only a small percentage of the 574 RVs at the rally were parked with hookups, and we weren’t among them. Our boondocking site wasn’t bad until the rain created a huge muddy area right in front of us. The sun was out in this picture.


We were lucky to have an almost unobstructed view of the bay from our site.


We enjoyed this rally more than we have previously with the FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) organization. People were friendlier and it was fun to help with the Driving School booth and give one of two seminars – George gave the other one – both to SRO audiences!

One of the times when the sun was peeking out from the clouds was when we saw a demonstration of the traditional Native American method of cooking salmon fresh off the boats.


Later, we had baked salmon for dinner, but I think it was cooked inside the hotel/casino’s kitchen. There were certainly a lot of rally attendees enjoying the dinner, and this was just the first seating of two that evening..


At the end of the rally, I gave three mini-lessons (3.5 hours each) for RV drivers in their own rigs, two on Sunday and one on Monday, and George gave one on Sunday. Don and I then went to Coburg (near Eugene) where I gave two 2-day lessons, one to a single man (two 4-hr. days) and one to a couple (two 6-hr. days). Whew! Six students in 7 days! I don’t think this is how the School normally breaks in new instructors, but I sure feel like I know my job a lot better now.

Throughout the rally and subsequent lessons in the N. Bend/Coos Bay area, it rained or drizzled with occasional partial sun. We hoped to get away from the rain and clouds when we moved inland to Coberg, but it just continued. I got lots of experience setting up and moving markers in parking lots while wearing my rain jacket, to teach new RV drivers to back and maneuver their motor homes.

We left Coberg this morning and the rain held off while we were getting ready to roll. It wasn’t long before it started to drizzle again, though.


Our path along US Hwy 20 took us through lots of tight turns over narrow roads. And yes, it rained most of the way until we left the mountains.





We were getting a little nervous when we saw several signs referring to “Snow Zone” and “Chains.”



Gladly, we didn’t experience snow, but it was nice to see it far away on these mountain peaks.


We arrived in Burns around 3 pm, and had several hours to enjoy the high-70 degree temps and sunshine before turning in for the night.


Tomorrow we’ll drive further east to Twin Falls, ID.