Idaho Potatoes, Evel Knievel and Boondockers Welcome

September 8-14, 2018 — History, agriculture, and geology education was the theme for this week as we traveled across Idaho from Boise, east to Twin Falls and then north to Arco.

The trip from Boise to Twin Falls follows the Snake River and the Oregon Trail. The Twin Falls area is a major agriculture mecca with huge dairy farms, milk processing plants and sugar mills.

Heading north from Twin Falls toward Arco the landscape changes dramatically as you pass the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Our Boondockers Welcome hosts provided several great ideas of stops to add to our agenda while in the area. Locals are always a great educational source when it comes to finding “off the beaten path” destinations. 

All nights this week were free stays at three different Boondockers Welcome host sights. All were very pleasant stays with great hosts that started as strangers and now are considered friends. 

Mile Driven - RV
Miles Driven - Car

Saturday is Farmer’s Market Day with stops in Nampa and Boise, Idaho. It’s always interesting to try different locally grown and made products as we travel. Favorites this week were blackberry cider, white plums and huckleberry flavored almonds. Yum!

Love the Boondockers Welcome program and hosts. Some locations are dry camping but others like this one offer full hookups sites. 

Boondockers Welcome is a membership that allows free overnight RV parking on private property. Locals invite travelers to spend the night, share their stories, and save money for the real adventure.

Once a host has accepted your request to stay and you have all the necessary driving directions, you will be able to arrive at their location knowing you have a safe, legal, free place to stop for the night. Please respect your hosts’ privacy; some may be extremely friendly and invite you in for a drink, some may be busy and just have time to point you to your spot for the night. Do not overstay your welcome, most hosts only expect guests to stay for 1-3 nights. Be thankful, polite and respectful of their property.

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Fall to us means football season. It takes a bit of creativity but somehow we manage to find a way to watch the Green Bay Packers every week while on the road. Go Pack Go!!

Waterfalls are abundant in the Thousand Springs area near Twin Falls, Idaho. 

Genuine Idaho potatoes. These potatoes were just dug and are being conveyed from a field truck to a semi that will transport them to a nearby processor. There they will be transformed into dehydrated hash browns and potato flakes. The operator gave us a few potatoes and we were amazed at the huge size of them. Each one was over eight inches long!

The potatoes were huge. Wow! They tasted great on the grill, too. 

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Idaho may be famous for potatoes but it also is a big producer of sugar beets. Here beets are being delivered from the field to the Amalgamated Sugar Company in Twin Falls, Idaho. The factory processes 6,800 tons of sugar beets and granulates 1,000 tons of sugar per day. That is enough sugar per day to make 128,000,000 cookies. Wow!

Speed breakers? That’s a new name for speed bumps.  Want to check out some more quirky signs we have found on our travels? Visit us at instagram.com/OffOurRockerSigns.

Found this fellow along side a road near Twin Falls, Idaho. We believe it is a non-venomous bullsnake. 

The Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho, site of Evel Knievel’s attempt to jump the mile wide canyon on a rocket motorcycle September 8, 1974. His attempt failed as his parachute opened upon takeoff and he landed on the riverbank below the take off site (small bump near the upper right of the photo). Crazy!!

Minidoka National Historic Site near Jerome, Idaho commemorates the more than 9,000 Japanese Americans who were imprisoned at the Minidoka War Relocation Center during WWII. Minidoka was one of ten internment camps present during the war. 

The 486 foot tall Perrine Bridge over the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho. The bridge is a popular site for base jumping as it is one of only a few locations in the United States where it is legal. The video below is our first official Youtube video!

A rainbow at Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho. The falls feature a 212 foot drop and are 900 feet wide making it one of the largest natural waterfalls in the United States. The water level is very low this time of year but the falls are still spectacular. 

Another great Boondockers Welcome host site. This one was in a dusty field but the location was convenient to our destination, cell service was more than adequate and electricity was available if needed. Across the field was a KOA campground that charged $40 a night so we are grateful for the BW program and hosts that allow us to park for free. 

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Graduation Mountain in Arco, Idaho. Every year since 1920 the graduating high school class climbs this mountain to paint gigantic numbers of their graduation year on the mountain to symbolize their school spirit and everlasting memories. 

“The Devil Boat” in Arco, Idaho is actually the preserved sail of the submarine USS Hawkbill. Not only was this submarine given the devilish hull number of 666, it’s name was actually mispelled as it was named after the hawksbill turtle and the “s” was inadvertently left out. 

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is located near Arco in central Idaho. It encompasses three major lava fields in an area of over 1,100 square miles. 

One of many hiking trails in Craters of the Moon National Monument. 

An example of a lava flow at Craters of the Moon National Monument. Such an interesting landscape to explore. 

Permits are required to enter the caves at Craters of the Moon. The purpose of the permit is an attempt to reduce the spread of White Nose Syndrome that is responsible for killing bats that live in the caves. Permits are free. 

One of the caves available to explore once you obtain a permit. Flashlights are helpful as the caves are very dark. Also hard-soled shoes or boots are necessary as the terrain is extremely rough with sharp rocks. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone followed this simple rule and respected our public lands….

What a great week! We learned so much about southern Idaho and met many great people along the way. With such a busy week we could use a few days rest before exploring more but with the cool weather approaching we need to keep moving. Watch for next week’s post as we travel to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. See you then!

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