Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Niagara Falls of the west and other sights

In exploring this part of the Snake River region, there were several places to see. As mentioned in a previous entry the national fossil beds park is closed due to the recent fire. However, after the byway tour, we headed to the Niagara Falls of the west-Shoshone Falls- located about miles five north of Twin falls, ID. Despite it being low water season, we found the falls to be very impressive and the photographs of the falls in high water season do immediately remind you of Niagara Falls.

On the way back to the campground we crossed the route 93 bridge at Twin Falls which has a spectacular view of yet another gorge on the Snake river, that begged we stop and get some more pictures.

Finally, today before struggling with our blind repair noted previously, we went almost across the street from our campground and visited the Malad Gorge State Park which preserves a 2.5 mile section Snake River Gorge and springs ,as part of the 1000 spring’s region.

A small rant

It is not usually part of this blog to rant and rave about problems along the road. However, today we had to again restring a day/night shade. As I am sure most of you have experienced, this is not due to wear and tear but lousy design enhanced by incredibly bad workmanship. They throw these things together without any thought to making smooth holes free of burrs. In fact it almost looks like they go out of their way to ensure they will fail with any level of use.

Winnebago sent out a notice that basically said, knowing that the blinds we have used for years are junk, we are now using a better product and would be glad to install them in your motorhome. When we called for a quote for our coach, they first said they really did not want to install them (too difficult??), but on pressing the point they allowed that they could install all new shades in our coach for a mere $3000 plus.

So that is why we just completed a frustrating three hours plus to restring and improve a blind by doing the quality work that the manufacturer did not do. Hopefully, they will last longer this time. Halley looked a bit concerned as we whined and moaned our way through the work.

This was our fourth blind repair in four years. I just happened to talk with a new neighbor who has been full timing for eight years. He said that he has maybe redone 20 blinds in that period. Yikes- that means that I am doing a lot better than his experience. Notwithstanding that, I still am not happy with this product.

Since so many RV manufactures used these blinds, I cannot but wonder if that is because that was all that was available or maybe because the RV manufacturer chose the cheapest product and decided to let the buyer beware?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Along a scenic byway

We headed out this morning to visit the National park service visitor center in Hagerman to check on the status of the fossil beds park. As we had heard on the news the park is currently closed indefinitely due to the damage caused by the wildfires. In Hagerman, we also ran across an encampment of firefighters who have been very busy in the area.

Next we decided to drive the Route 30 scenic byway between Hagerman and Twin falls. On this route, we first were able to see the fire damage to the Fossil Park. It was clear from the scorched hill sides that the fire was very intense.

Farther along the route there were numerous waterfalls that were created in the lava rock walls over thousands of years and created the current Snake River plain and allowed these falls to push out from the porous walls of the gorge.

This area is referred to as Magic valley and contains a rich and productive agricultural area that supplies food for the entire nation.

Idaho on fire!

We left Brigham City and headed in Idaho. As we moved up toward Hagerman, we noticed a good deal of fire damage along the road but did not take particular notice. As we pulled into High Adventure Tours RV Park, we noticed some smoke off to the north.

After setting up and getting the TV tuned to the local channels, we found a news show and the first thing we heard was” Idaho on fire! “Apparently, Idaho has the most wild fires of any state at the moment, with over 500 square miles involved. We quickly learned that they are raging just to our south and west. One of the national sites we are here to visit is reported closed due to the fire. Our route up to Arco is also reported closed at certain times due to smoke.

So we are not sure how long we will be here or where we will be able to go when we leave or are pushed out by the fires.

Aaaaahhh- the adventures of the road.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cache Valley Scenic Byway

Before leaving Brigham City and the state of Utah, we headed up scenic route 89 to Logan, UT and the cache Valley. The valley got the name cache from Jim Bridger and his fur trapping group who referred to the area as their fur cache. Our first stop was lunch at the Blue Bird restaurant, which will celebrate its one hundredth birthday in a few years. We then walked the busy downtown streets and found one interesting store front with a very catchy motto. From there we visited the county court house which is the oldest building in Utah that is still used for its original designed purpose. It was refinished just a few years ago and was a pleasure to visit.

We then headed northeast on route 89 to enjoy the scenic byway. There were many magnificent views to be had along with lots of vigorous trails to climb, if you have the time and inclination. It was a great way to spend our last day in Utah.