Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Around town in Boise

First, on the way to Boise, a short break to walk around Mountain Home, Idaho.  While there, we had to get a look at the Penny Wall:

It's made of pennies, I guess obviously.  Here's an explanation:

Yep, lots of pennies!  Quite a neat topo map type piece of artwork.

OK, on to Boise!  We mostly used this stop for resupply/errand running, but also found time to bike downtown along the path along the river.  Right from our RV park, most convenient.  The bike trails and trees and parks make for a very nice downtown.

Our first foray was in the evening for First Thursday (and yes, I just revealed how late this posting is!).  We biked down, investigated several galleries and partook of $1 Ben & Jerry's scoops, what a deal!  We also happened to walk down a side alley where a couple guys were working on mural paintings, to discover it was a once-a-year event where the entire alley gets new murals.  It was quite a sight!  They were setting up flood lights so they could work all night.  It wasn't so easy to capture photos in the growing dark, but I've got some in the daylight further down this post.

So, that was a fun evening and a nice intro to Boise.

Long run day, with a camera.  First stop - watching a bunch of people surfing in the river, another "something new" for me to see:

Outdoor art:

Giant Lincoln!  Or Little John?

Confirmed, it's a Giant Lincoln.  He likes to hold things in his hand:

I journeyed up into the nearby hills on some trails and happened to spot a coyote walking across the trail and down into the field.  Awesome.  He didn't hold still for a picture, so here's kind of some indication that he's there in the grass (enlarged and cropped):

View toward downtown from the barren hills (there are many more trees in the valley compared to outside the city):

A top-down look at the old penitentiary:

The state capitol:

Another Lincoln:

"Hospitality of the Nez Perce":

Basque Mural (there is definitely a basque influence here):

Another interesting piece of outdoor art:

I captured on film a bunch of the murals from the funky alley that the artists had been working on all week.  It was hard to cull, so I just threw a bunch in this post:

Pretty neat that we got to see many of them "in progress."

John on the bike path near the RV park, hi John!

We were heading to the nearby track to watch the horse races from the back.  It was a different experience from seeing it in the stands, missing a lot of the hoopla of the setup and finish, but in return getting to watch the horses speed around the back side.  Even with thundering hooves it was remarkably quiet, and we could even hear the jockeys talking.

Well, I tried to get a picture of the horses but gave up after one shot (and didn't hang around for enough races to try again).  Here's the track with the stand across the way:

Overall we fit quite a bit in and still got a lot of errands done, so that was a successful visit to Boise.

That's the last I have from Idaho!  Next we spent a week at Mount Rainier, and I have a couple posts queued up for that.  But it will have to wait, as I'm starting another project that will occupy my time for a few days.  Stay tuned!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Scenes from southern Idaho - part 2 of 2

More scenes from driving around southern Idaho, this time near Hagerman.  Actually, I don't even have pictures of the best part - a hot springs/RV park combination, now that was awesome.  Walk to the pool, relax in the hot water, walk back and slide into bed.  Totally loved it.

OK, on to the daytime stuff.  We saw lots of agricultural-related things, like hundreds of miles of irrigation canals and giant sprinklers watering the crops - and sometimes watering the road (we had to watch for when to roll the windows up!).  And crop dusters, amazing acrobatic planes.  Just a quick catch with the camera:

An interesting "castle" as part of a utility plant.  This place appeared to be harnessing the water falling out the sides of the cliffs in the "Thousand Springs" area.  It's a neat place to drive around and see waterfalls.  This is at the entrance to Ritter Island:

See, a waterfall!  Here we're starting a run on the Ritter Island trails:

If you look really hard (well, I'm not sure the reduced blog resolution will be sufficient), you might spot John working on his "summit pose":

A short while later I made it up to the same high point for an excellent view of the Snake River:

And looking north toward the island:

Fabulous Falls.  That's not really the name, but since I can't recall it at the moment...

It's neat to sit and try to figure out where all this water is coming from:

The lovely calm Snake:

An exhibit at the Hagerman Fossil Beds visitor center, including the skeleton of a little horse.  They found a bunch of these in this area and theorize that they had stripes like a zebra, although I'm not sure they really know that:

And the river over near the Fossil Beds, with the high banks in the background where oodles of fossils have been discovered:

We also did a run along the pioneer trail there, but it was threatening rain so I didn't bring the camera.  If I had, you'd be treated to a picture of oodles of tumbleweeds blown into a ditch and blocking the trail.  That was pretty cool!  Especially since John did most of the clearing of the way through.  Not your normal trail dog work.

Fun couple of days in this area!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Scenes from southern Idaho - part 1 of 2

Although we're now a couple states away, here is a look back at some scenes from our recent time exploring southern Idaho.  It's not a place that was on our radar, until we starting looking at the map and finding things to check out.

For example, the beautiful bridge over the Snake River at Twin Falls:

Quite the scenery along the river gorge:

And BASE jumping is legal from the bridge!  We didn't know that when we saw a couple guys jump (tiny parachute sort of visible in this photo) and we were wondering if they were going to hurry away to avoid the authorities.  Nope, totally legal!  And there are companies that do tandem jumping!  Didn't quite get the beta on that for John to try it, maybe next time!

Statue near the bridge:

Memorial for Evel Knievel who attempted to jump across the Snake River near here on a rocket-propelled motorcycle.  He failed when his chute opened early, but at least he was OK.  Kinda crazy...

Balanced Rock, now that's pretty crazy in a different sense:

Close up look from up top (with our truck down in the background):

Just perched there, who knows how long that will last:

Looks like a drunk line painter, but apparently this was to warn about an approaching intersection.  Sure got our attention:

Shoshone Falls, very pretty!  In the spring there is even more water (before they start diverting for irrigation), still quite a sight:

Downriver scene as we started a nice little run on the park trails:

The Evel Knievel jump site - too funny!  Here's the view he would have had before taking off:

The wide canyon across the Snake River:

Side view of the jump hill:

And trying to get the whole picture (it's worth checking out in person if you're ever in Twin Falls):

Looking back toward Shoshone Falls:

We did another excellent run at Box Canyon.  Here's John looking over the top of the canyon, a wide bowl with a rocky drop-off:

This water just came out of the bottom of the cliff!  Must be a super-large springs coming out of the aquifer.  This aquifer covers the huge plains area that includes Craters of the Moon (and probably drains from Borah Peak), pretty neat to see it all from top to bottom in our travels:

Part of the extensive canal system that is used for irrigation and the like:

Nice clear water in the canyon:

John thinking about swimming?  Or just checking out another little springs flowing out of the rocks across the way:

Lush canyon vegetation:

And an excellent waterfall that we could see up close:

Malad Gorge, another huge canyon with water coming out of the rocks from seemingly nowhere, pretty dang cool:

Pretty waterfall right under the highway:

More pictures to come!  Maybe not today, but eventually  :)