Week 2: 7/6-7/11
Southern Idaho is enchanting. Waterfalls!
Twin Falls area
It was a variety of spots over 5 nights giving us breathing room to explore and enjoy the journey. Our goal is to always find quiet, free, easy to access overnights and home base and this week we accomplished both plus had cell signal which was a plus.
We wild camped out on Curlew National Grassland overlooking a reservoir. It was just the right driving time between Rawlins, WY and Twin Falls, ID area to allow us some time tomorrow afternoon for site seeing before we arrived at the Harvest Host Winery. Definitely quiet. Definitely dirty and dusty and no one had traveled that road in quite some time. The reward was a beautiful sunset.
Synder Winery is a Harvest Host location in Buhl, ID and it was a nice surprise. It was a small family winery and the winemaker, Claudia was our host. She had lovely gardens, restaurant and lounging space inside. I enjoyed a nice Cab in the garden patio and walking about the garden and small vineyard.
Located only 10 minutes from Twin Falls area was a Boondocker’s Welcome host property. We enjoyed a nice grassy area and Cooper got his first sighting of a Marmut; evidently a big rodent and problem for farmers.
After some research we determined the best place would be the Snake River paddling upstream from Centennial Park (near HWY 93 and the Perrine Bridge) to Shoshone Falls.
In the middle of this 4 hour journey is a portage over Pillar Falls. Most years it’s a simple trek over a rocky area of the falls to get above Pillar falls and hop back into the kayak continuing to Shoshone. Usually by this time of year, irrigation needs divert water from the river resulting in lower water levels. 2019 being a very wet year meant a delay in diverting water and the river was higher than usual. Even with all the water and in some places nearly knee deep in water we got up to the top and back far enough to push off and head to Shoshone falls. Coming back seemed to be going well until we navigated into a tree instead of around it. Water flow was fast enough to pin us there until Steve could wrestle the kayak back in position. Steve had already planned on jumping out of the kayak and into the shallow water to get us to the portage section. Him jumping out kept us from tipping completely over. Took in some water however. Once back on the rock area we took some time to dry out, empty out the kayak and have lunch in the middle of the portage area.
Navigating the portage back down was definitely easier after we survived navigating away from the falls and into the shallow water above. Note: if a video frame doesn’t show, click this VIDEOLINK.
Shoshone Ice Caves
We left on Thursday the 11th and enroute to the Sawtooth National forest we made brief visit to the Shoshone Ice Caves. The history here was interesting and well documented…but is really just the tip of the iceberg so to speak of the volcanic activity that formed this Snake River Plain area.