Surprise at Twin Falls

It was 500 miles from Hood River to Twin Falls and that is pretty much our max.  We stopped once for diesel and lunch and one other very quick restroom stop.  Our departure time was 7:45am (Pacific time) and arrival time just after 6:00pm (Mountain time).  And through all of that it was predominately hot and dry desserts.  I was starting to wonder why Steph had booked us two nights at Twin Falls as these falls must be a joke in this parched and flat landscape.  We had seen the Snake River a couple of times on our drive and it was definitely big….so maybe they have a little bit of water, but still, where could there possibly be a “falls” in this flat land.  Well, we turned off I-84 towards Twin Falls and there, right in front of us, was a gigantic gash in the earth.  An absolutely spectacular canyon that was a huge surprise after the sort of landscape we’d been in all day.  Conveniently for us the fancy Perrine Bridge allowed us to cross to the other side of the canyon to reach our campground.  Don’t worry, the bridge is not really bent like the picture below will lead you to believe…it’s an artifact of the the way I took the panorama image.
Perrine Bridge

We got checked in and parked at the Oregon Trails Campground and we all headed over to the game room for some ping pong (or is it table tennis, or ping tennis, or table pong?), foosball and pool.  It was hot in the game room but the games were free (and very well used) and we had a ton of fun.

The next morning I took the truck to Jack’s Tire and Oil to get an oil change. Hard to believe we’ve put 5000 miles on during this trip already.  I was the first one there and they got started on the Beast right away.  I walked back to the campground (shop was just a 5 min walk away!) to help get ready for the day then walked over to pick up the truck when it was done.  Our first stop of the day was down at the bottom of the canyon at the snake river to paddle some boats!

We’ve had a couple opportunities to rent canoes or kayaks or paddle boards but just never have for one reason or another (probably because I’m too cheap).  But this time we did it…we rented kayaks.  We got 2 tandems and one single for 2 hours.  We pushed off the shore and started paddling up the river.  THIS WAS SOOOOOO MUCH FUN!!!!  It was beautiful.  It was peaceful.  We got to rest in the shadow of the bridge and we got to watch base jumpers jump off the bridge.  Yeah, you heard me right….base jumpers!  The Perrine Bridge is the 8th highest bridge in the US (at 486 feet high) and is the only man-made structure in the US where base jumping is allowed 365 days a year without a permit.  There seemed to be a steady stream of these daredevils jumping then deploying their parachute which made this cool popping sound when it opened.  We even saw a set of three jumpers all go at the same time.  We paddled 2 miles upstream to Pillar Falls and got out of the boats to check it out on foot a bit.  The falls were more like cascades but still really neat. I only wish we’d had more time to spend here because the rocks and cliffs were a lot of fun to explore in this area.
Do we look cool?
But our 2 hours was ticking so we got back in the boats and headed back.  The boys each took a turn in the single kayak and although Brielle wanted to, she was too young to be in one by herself according to the rental company.  We pulled back into the dock just in the nick of time….2 full hours and 4 miles on the river.  Let me say it again….THIS WAS SOOOOOO MUCH FUN!!!!  Take a look at some of our pictures from the morning here.

Ready to go

Pro paddler

Cute paddler

Dacen and Steph

My motor!

Watching a base jumper

Paddling up the river

Perrine Bridge

Checking out the cliffs

Steph and Caden

Look at him go

Pillar falls

Girls out of the boat

My favorite people

Do we look cool?


Low rider boat

Heading to bridge

Coming back down river


After 4 miles of paddling we were hungry.  So we went back to the rig to get some lunch and check on Sheba.  It was a quick pit stop and we were back on our way.  This time further up stream to Shoshone Falls. $3 gets the whole car load in and we scored a parking spot in the shade.  These falls are amazing!!  Supposedly higher than Niagara!  Even though the water level was low the thing looked like a real rager….so much water flowing over the cliff into the magnificent, frothy, whitewater below as rainbows rose up out of the mist.  We snapped some pictures and then headed to Dierkes Lake as we heard you could swim in it and the HOT weather made a dip in a lake sound refreshing!

This place was much nicer than I expected.  It is THE spot to go swimming in Twin Falls, especially on a hot day like today.  Its a beautiful lake with rock walls in one area and a nice grassy hillside on the other with plenty of large shade trees where you could take shelter from the blazing sun.  There were docks and a diving board and life guards.  It was essentially a natural swimming pool!  There was a wading area but if you were 14 or under you had to take a swimming test to go into the deep water.  All three kids passed without issue while I would have had to pass based on my age.  I told you there was an area of the lake with rock walls.  Well, the thing to do is to scale these rock walls and then jump off them into the lake!  What could be more summer time perfection than jumping off a rock into a beautiful lake on a blistering hot day?  Both boys did it twice….it looked very cool!!
Caden cliff jumpingDacen cliff jumping
We bought the kids snowcones to enjoy while they dried off then we went home for dinner and showers and to get a few more games in at the game room.  With only 2 more nights sleeping in Ava I wanted to make sure I captured some pictures of the kids’ beds so they could remember their sleeping quarters.  I also listed Ava and the Beast for sale on Craigslist…I hope we can find an adventurous family to continue traveling with both!

Everything about Twin Falls exceeded my expectations…the place was full of great surprises!  Here are some pictures from the 2nd half of our day in Twin Falls.

Shoshone Falls

I'm "falling" for Steph

Not today!!

Fam at the falls

Hand in the air

Across the lake

Swim test

Caden cliff jumping

Dacen cliff jumping

Twin Fall's swimmin' hole


Wachs at Dierkes Lake


Anger management


Table Pong

Ping Tennis

She beat me!


Brielle's bed

Caden's bed

Dacen's bed

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