From Jackpot to the Magic Valley

You probably aren’t panicked about this, or anything, but I never got us (David, Eric, and I) safely home from our weekend get-away to the City of Rocks two weekends (and two blogs) ago. You’ve been worried, haven’t you? No? I do have a few more photos to share, granted, it has occurred to me that, given modern technology, smart phones, and the like – just about every other Joe Blow on earth has photos to share, too. Yeah, but do they have THIS photo:

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of us entering Jackpot, Nevada, a gambling town in northern Nevada sitting on Highway 93 about a mile south of the Idaho border.

Jackpot, Nevada, middle of no-where. Population: 1200 – of which, save a few stragglers out on the nearby golfcourse, I’ve likely about captured the entire population in this photo.

That tall tower on the left is Cactus Pete’s Hotel and Casino and off to the right is the Horseshoe Inn and Casino (owned by Cactus Pete’s). Otherwise you can stay at the West Star Resort on Poker Street or the Four Jacks Hotel a bit further south on Highway 93.

We had reserved a room at the Horseshoe for Saturday night (April 12) on account of to consider this a ‘weekend’ get-away we had to be away at least one more night. Jackpot is about two hours south of the City of Rocks. Cactus Pete’s brings in respectable entertainment from time to time, too, and I was game to see a show. Eric and David were game too – for about any show, really. Oh WOW! The Chippendales 25th Year Anniversary Show is in town! – an all-macho-male erotica troupe of ten hunky guys putting on a big sexy strip show! Check out the link here. (Great photos! You could piece them together for your own virtual show. Gr-oww-lll!!!)

“The Chippendales dancers’ distinctive upper body costumes include a bow tie and shirt cuffs worn on an otherwise bare torso.” Whoopee! “Established in 1979, Chippendales was the first all-male stripping troupe to make a business performing for mostly female audiences. Through the quality of its staging and choreography, Chippendales also helped legitimize stripping as a form of popular entertainment.”

“We’re not going.” Declared Eric and David.

“AWWWWWWW.”

They played poker instead, which was fine with me. I was exhausted anyway, from all that hiking in the City of Rocks we did earlier today, and I fell straight into bed after dinner. As for Eric and David’s success at the Poker tables, let me just say, they were both back in the room before midnight and neither one are furthering their fantasies about quitting their day jobs and becoming professional poker players.

It’s Sunday morning now, and we’ve hit the road north back toward Idaho Falls, through Twin Falls, or the area known in Idaho as the “Magic Valley.” It’s magic all right, with the smell of concentrated cow manure strong enough to burn out the insides of your nostrils. We must have passed about five enormous cattle feedlot operations. I tried to just ignore them at first but finally snapped a photo of one.

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In these operations the cattle are fenced in – in a big mud-shit hole (surrounded in the fenced area by huge mounds of collected manure) and the rancher just sets the hay bales along the outside perimeter of the fence – with holes in the fence barely large enough for the cows to stick their heads through to get the hay. We passed the largest feedlot you could ever imagine, which was back from the road about a half mile. You could barely see it; we gasped to glimpse the size of it – you could surely smell how large it was. I have now solemnly sworn to serve only pastured beef raised in humane conditions at our house (and I’m sticking to it). The images and smells of those feed lots still make me sad, and sick!

The feedlots aside, (YUCK YUCK YUCK) there is a very magical place in the Magic Valley, Shoshone Falls – a waterfall on the Snake River located about five miles east of Twin Falls. At 212 Feet high and about 900 feet wide, they are known as the Niagra of The West. The Shoshone Falls are actually 45 feet higher than Niagra Falls.

Depending on the volume of water present in the falls it may take on many different forms. When the water is high it will rage over the cliffs in a solid broad wall of water, and drop low enough (depending on time of year and diversion of the Snake River for irrigation) to where three or four delicate streams braid down the nearly dry cliffs. (Check out this great informational link about the Falls)

A park overlooking the waterfall is owned and operated by the City of Twin Falls. Here we are, standing on the overhang checking out the falls and the canyon. I see Eric is wearing his bomber hat and another one of his fashionable t-shirts:

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offering invaluable care-for-the-liver advice.

Here is a picture of the canyon below the falls (taken on Sunday, April 13, 2014.)

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Gorgeous! With a beautiful sky to match.

In 1974 daredevil Evil Knievel attempted to jump the south ridge of the Snake River Canyon – about 2 miles down that canyon from where we are standing.

And here are pictures of the falls:

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“Braided streams.”

Okay, so today the water level is low and although it’s still beautiful, it’s a bit underwhelming compared to the experience we had here three years ago, June 11, 2011. Granted, we were standing here at the same time the Snake River in Idaho Falls was overflowing its banks, flooding the riverside parks. But hey! We took photos and videos of it then. And I still have them on my i-Phone. Of course. Here they are:

The canyon:

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The Falls:

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My video of the falls:

David’s video of the falls:

And one last shot of a very magnificent rainbow.

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Yeah. The ‘Magic Valley’ in south cental Idaho. You really gotta see it to believe it.

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