After making sure I could get a place to stay near Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in Wyoming and doing a few other things this morning, I set out to explore the nearby area in the afternoon, even though it was hot.
The state map of Idaho points out some areas of interest, but it doesn't show minor roads, so it is easy to wonder if I found the right roads for the sites I wanted to see. but that's fun, too. For one thing, I know that every small road will come out on a more major road, or dead end. So, I can look at a map once I find a route number or turn around if the road leads nowhere!
One dead-end road led to a boat launch and docks along the Snake River. I didn't have extra water with me, so I vowed to go back to the Bell Rapids Access road in the evening or tomorrow.
The Thousand Springs Scenic Byway goes by the springs, but I needed to find the side road that would lead me right to them. I had stopped into the visitor center in Hagerman and got a photocopy of a small area map. I saw the road, but it wasn't labelled on the map, so it was fun trying to guess which turnoff was a road and which was a driveway! One reason I don't give up easily is because I know that once I find what I'm going after, it is usually worth the effort.
Thousand Springs was a dairy farm in the early 1900s, run by Minnie Miller, a shrewd business woman. She brought in a certain kind of hereford cow (Idalia) and was very successful on the farm. And what a location, with all the natural springs coming out of the rocks across from her house on one side, with the Snake River on the other side! She even buried the "mother cow" on her lawn and whitewashed a rock to use as a marker and epitah to her.
Next stop was the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, as it had a couple of overlooks to see. My favorite - grand vistas. It was too hot to be adventurous and walk the trails or even a part of them - didn't bring water so I needed to spend most of the time in the air-condintioned car.
I was on my way to Twin Falls and saw a sign for Balanced Rock, a point on the state map for us tourists. I smiled and checked it out (17 miles out of my way) with the pictures of the rock formations back in New Mexico in my head. It was a miniature of the rocks at Chiracaua National Monument, but good to look at just the same. I especially liked the park nearby. It was an eerie place to be around 5 PM because the sun was set in the gorge, the birds and wind made scary sounds, while the rock faces added to the ambiance.
Last stop for the day was at the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls. I hear it's a favorite spot for bungee jumpers and that Evil Knievel had planned a stunt to jump the gorge here on his motorcycle. While I had the nerve to jump out of an airplane, I don't think I can get up the nerve to bungee jump anywhere, but especially not here! Besides, I understand the new thing is latching on to a wire and riding the cable out to the middle of a lake before letting go - maybe I can be talked into that, maybe not.