Thursday I traveled from Evanston, WY down to Grand Junction, CO. To accomplish that the scenic roads I chose took me through a small section of Utah. This included approaching the southern edge of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area by way of a different route than the one we took when we came down from Lander back in June. Here were a few of the things I saw along the way which I wouldn’t have seen, or didn’t stop to take pictures of, on my earlier visit.
After spending the night in Twin Falls I headed west to the little town of Buhl to see Idaho’s version of “Balanced Rock”. It isn’t very far from Twin Falls but despite my early start it seemed to take forever to get there as my GPS unit sent me on a wild goose chase. I finally made it and was surprised to find myself descending into a 300-foot rocky cavity in the earth’s surface after having driven through many miles of beautiful, flat farmland.
At the lowest point of Balanced Rock Road a small road led off to Balanced Rock Park (lower portion of the photo above). That road led a short ways down to the Salmon Falls River, where there was a small campground and a nice grassy area with picnic tables. A nice, quiet oasis once you got there. I should also mention that the area around Twin Falls is known for their sweet corn and for having lots of salmon farms.
Looking the other direction from the main road was not quite so inviting:
But the river and the campground weren’t the reason I came here. I wanted to see Idaho’s version of Balanced Rock. Kind of like Bridal Veil Falls, there are several places featuring “balanced rocks” scattered throughout the United States, notably at Arches National Park in Utah and at Garden of the Gods in Colorado.
I drove back up the main road to the west and there it was, just off the road to my right – looking like a large question mark:
Having accomplished my first task of the day I headed back towards Interstate 84. While my GPS struggled with getting me to Balanced Rock (in it’s defense – there was no specific address to use getting here, just the town name) she did a much more efficient job of getting me out to the highway.
After I had visited Boise briefly a few years ago I scolded myself for not having visited the Idaho Potato Museum while I was there. Well, as it turns out the Idaho Potato Museum isn’t even in Boise, it is in Blackfoot, 250 miles to the east, so that was my next stop.
While I was waiting in the gift shop to pay to get in to the museum itself, located in an old railroad depot in town, I decided this was all rather hokey and just a big tourist trap and ended up leaving without even going in. I still had quite a bit of driving ahead of me and headed south.
I ended up taking several scenic roads in the extreme southeast part of the state, going through towns like Soda Springs and Montpelier, and around Bear Lake. I did stop briefly in Montpelier to take a photo of a bench in town which I thought was rather clever:
The Bears is the name of the town’s football team (given their proximity to Bear Lake). I also learned that Montpelier was the site of one of Butch Cassidy’s bank robberies.
I drove further south and left Idaho to spend the night in Evanston, Wyoming – in the extreme southwest corner of that state. I was born in Evanston, Illinois and when I saw there was an Evanston in Wyoming I couldn’t pass up the chance to stay there.