Twin Falls, ID- Our Destination

Moving north, we paused briefly in the town of Jackpot, Nevada. How could we not?

After Idaho outlawed all forms of casino gaming in 1954, "Cactus Pete" Piersanti and Don French moved their slot machine operations from Idaho to the Jackpot townsite. Piersanti's and French's gaming establishments were named Cactus Pete's and the Horseshu Club respectively (and they are still there- wow). Piersanti in particular is credited for founding Jackpot.
Shortly after Jackpot, we entered Idaho. I am a huge fan of stopping at the Welcome to ___ signs but this one's defacing made me kind of sad. Are you reading this Idaho?
A favorite thing for me to do is go to visitors' centers. Twin Falls (and Southeast Idaho's) is located at the I. B. Perrine Bridge. It was built in 1927. By the early 1970s, the original bridge was outdated and unable to handle heavy loads and required replacement.
The new one, completed in 1976, goes across the Snake River and is the eighth highest bridge in the United States. Named for I. B. Perrine (1861–1943), a settler who spearheaded the early 20th century irrigation projects in the Magic Valley region and is largely credited as the main founder of Twin Falls.
The Perrine Bridge is a popular BASE jumping site known all over the world. It may be the only man-made structure in the United States where BASE jumping is allowed year-round without a permit.
We watched three guys plunge off the edge. This was scary and intriguing... all at the same time.
Our last stop was at Shoshone Falls, known as the Niagara of the West. It is a natural beauty on the Snake River. At 212 feet, the falls are actually higher than Niagara Falls. There is absolutely no development nearby, so they are truly spectacular.

This is Steve's second visit here (note him in the bottom left corner), a very different experience from his first time (read below). Interestingly, a stream gauge downstream of the falls suggests the annual average volume of water reaching the falls is around 3,600 cubic feet per second (currently it is 4,970 cfs- wow). During the spring months when snow is melting in the Rockies, near the source of the river, that figure may double, ensuring plenty of water flows over the falls.
However, during the dry summer months, when rainfall is sparse and peak irrigation is underway, the river can shrink and in turn the falls can be sucked totally dry by the hydro project. That little speck at the end of Steve-- is actually him, the first time he was here in 1977. So what does 15 year old Steve do with his older brother? They scale the waterfall and traverse its face. Interestingly for us, they had diverted the Falls this past May for irrigation and according to a local, they were just turned back on again TODAY.

Needless-to-say, we are thoroughly enjoying our adventure north! Seneca (4 BC – AD 65) said it best, “Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”

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