August 30, 2014

8/23/14 - Shoshone Falls

I lived in Twin Falls, Idaho, when my kids were little.  Since it’s been almost 40 years, there had been a lot of changes.  (Really???  40 years?  How did that happen?)  

Shoshone Falls City Park is a must-see for tourists and ex-residents too.  There are even guardrails now.

Shoshone Falls has been an attraction on the Snake River since forever.  Called “the Niagara of the West”, it’s big and wide and at 212’, it’s 50’ higher than Niagara.  Not as much water going over as I expected after all the rains recently, but it’s still really impressive.  What I didn’t know is that the individual falls have their own names, including Bridal Veil and Sentinel.  
It’s been a city park since the ‘30s, but they’ve really made improvements, like trails and bike paths.  There’s an entrance fee now, but they let us use our National Parks Senior Pass.  The viewing platforms really let you see the falls from a better position than on the rim.
I used to waterski on the Snake upriver between Shoshone Falls and Twin Falls.  We’d put the boat in at the boat ramp, where the old ferry site was, and had a float our little group had salvaged that summer.   Our next-door neighbors were single guys, and they had a boat too.  They brought lots of girls and booze.  It was a ski party almost every day after work and weekends in the summer.  A few of us had little kids so it didn’t get too rowdy.  There are homes there now, so apparently it’s not state land. 
I was there in 1974 when Evel Knievel tried to jump the canyon.  There were 15,000 people there that day, on the south rim and down by the rock islands so they could see.  In retrospect, they were more entertaining than the actual jump.  Ours was the only boat on the river—we’d put it in on the north rim the day before.  We spent the day waterskiing with lots of friends ferried from the boat ramp over to the scavenged float we used on the other side (right about where that tall poplar is now.)  We watched the jump from the water.  I wasn’t terribly impressed.  If you look carefully, the jump ramp is visible on the picture below.  (It’s a dark strip on the downslope, top left.)  Apparently there’s a plaque, but they’ve got it all fenced off.  For posterity, I suppose...  
Since it seemed to be old-home week, we headed over to the Perrine Bridge, which spans the Snake River Canyon.  The brochure I have says it’s 1,500’ long, 486’ above the canyon floor.  The brochure goes on to say “This bridge is a popular destination spot for BASE (Building, Antenna, Span and Earth) jumpers throughout the year.”  I suppose it makes sense that the city that let Evel Knievel pull a stunt like the Sky Cycle wouldn’t have a problem letting people swing off the bridge deck.  As long as you've got a reputation for stupid stunts, you might as well go for it, I guess.
More pictures?  Click the link here:   Shoshone Falls City Park 

Post a comment.

  1. The falls are beautiful and I loved your memories of this place. I also really like how you linked up your extra pictures in a Flickr Album. Great idea.

    Kathy M.

  2. Hey now - it hasn't been "almost" (horse shoes and hand grenades and all) 40 years!! I still have at least 3 years left to go before the moving 3 times in the 3rd grade age.....
    ♥ your Daughter
    I do remember Evil Knievel attempting the jump. Was rather a huge fizzle out and this little girl was pretty bored. It does look a little different, but not much.


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