It was on to Idaho in the morning. When we crossed the border we were in the heart of the potato business. Two memories came to mind, our dear neighbor Lou Steflik grew up in Bunnell, Florida, next to Flagler Beach and was a large red potato farmer something you don’t think about being a Florida crop, of course they were red and grew in the ground as opposed to the orange fruit that grew on trees! John’s father after World War Two started a business that supplied fresh-cut french fries and other potato products to restaurants in the Seattle area of Washington. It is interesting that it was not until the late 1950’s that frozen potatoes were used in restaurants. At that point the business changed from processing fresh potatoes to distributing frozen french fries. John remembered the stories of sending trucks to Idaho to pick up the potatoes and bring them back.
We were headed for Twin Falls and arrived around noon. Having the afternoon available we played golf at Canyon Springs Golf Course. The course was fun, but it’s setting was magnificent. It sits in the Snake River Canyon that runs through Twin Falls.
Perrine Bridge – Do you want to jump?
The Perrine Bridge overlooks the golf course and is the eighth highest bridge in the United States. The bridge is famous for allowing BASE jumping. What is BASE: Jumping off a fixed Building, Antenna, Span or Earth (cliff) with a parachute or wingsuit. BASE jumpers from all over the world come to jump from this bridge. It is one of the few that allow jumping anytime of the year without a permit. There were no jumpers the day of our visit.
The next morning we headed over to Shoshone Falls one of the highlights of Twin Falls and are referred to as The Niagara of the West.
The falls are 900 feet wide and drop 212 feet. It is one of the largest falls in the United States. We arrived about 9:00 AM and it was perfect timing to capture some beautiful rainbows. By 10:00 AM the sun was high enough so the rainbows disappeared.The falls were just great and made the trip to Twin Falls a special time.
Boise – Fix the RV!
Off to Boise for our next morning appointment to fix the RV. Arriving at 8:00 we went over the list of what needed to be checked and/or done. The refrigerator had arrived the evening before so they removed and installed the new one. The “House Battery” problem had been misdiagnosed and it required new batteries. They were nice to keep the battery converter they had ordered. we think since between the batteries, refrigerator and labor we had provided decent revenue to the business! We were fixed and on the road by 2:00 p.m. We can not say enough about Dennis Dillon! RV traveling is so popular that repair appointments are six to eight weeks out and trying to get in somewhere for an emergency is almost impossible. The way Dennis Dillon RV’s staff worked with us, ordering items in advance and than fitting us into their schedule when we were scheduled to be in Boise, made them an outstanding service provider.
Union, Oregon – The Eastern Oregon Livestock Show
We picked a town, Union, Oregon a few hours from Boise for our night stop. It had “in it’s day” been a small resort town because it had hot springs. The Hot Springs Hotel founded in 1906 became known as the “Mayo of the west”. It burned down in 1934 after financially failing during the Depression.
The RV park was built near the old hotel grounds and had a pool fed by the hot springs. Sounded good to us, so we fixed drinks ignored the “no-alcohol” sign and went to the pool. After we were there a few minutes, four lovely children joined us at the pool. We asked where they were from, around Medford, Oregon, and told us the were in Union for The Eastern Oregon Livestock Show where they were going to show their pigs over the next few days. One of the girls actually won last year so was hopeful she could win again. (remember when she won last year her pig was sold on the spot so this was a new pig). It was fun to listen to them talk about how they were doing in various shows and how much time they dedicate to the livestock.
In the morning we went a played a local Union County owned golf course called Buffalo Creek. We arrived and it was literally empty.
The green fees were about $25 and we started to play the course. As the pictures show it was a beautiful course with wonderful vistas of the area and the course from the higher elevations. As the morning moved along, more golfers came out to play. Some where in Union for the livestock show and the rodeo that weekend. It was a wonderful morning of golf.
We had decided the night before that we would go to the livestock show and see if we could watch the kids from Medford show their pigs. Here are pictures of the two girls showing their pigs.
It was so much fun watching all the kids groom and take care of the animals before getting in front of the judges. We were thrilled when we found our friend from the pool show off their prized pigs. On Saturday all the animals in the show are auctioned off.
It is a different lifestyle then most of us are familiar with The chores start the first thing in the morning, then school, back to the chores, dinner, study and bed. Well mannered, happy and just delightful. It was a pleasure to see them at the show. The 4-H and Future Farmers of America organizations are great.
Pendleton – Good Wool Shirts
We saw that Pendleton, Oregon was on our way so we had to stop. We both remember as kids when we would get one of the shirts or jackets as a gift, very special. We stopped at the mill, but the last tour of the day was over, so we spent our time looking in the store. Many beautiful wool items but not much need for their beautiful shirts and sweaters in Florida.
Wine Tasting in Washington
It was on to Walla Walla, On the way we stopped in Oregon and talked to a young lady in the local visitor center to get maps of the wineries. We ended up learning that there was a relatively new wine area, Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. Nested within the Walla Walla Valley AVA, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater resides entirely on the Oregon side of the Valley. 5.9 square mile (3767 acre) AVA within the Walla Walla Valley. It is very interesting how specialized and “cut out” these small AVAs are. We left and stopped at Zerba Cellers, in the Walla Walla Valley on the Oregon side but not in the Rocks District. The wines were outstanding. We started a conversation with Jim and Robin Giancotti from Oregon. They told us how they have been members of many wine clubs, and Zerba was the best, so we joined, bought a few bottles to put in the RV, outstanding!
Jim and Robin’s daughter ran the tasting room at Revelry Winery in Walla Walla and they suggested we join them over there. we enjoyed some more great wine. Jim and Robin’s daughter was due with a baby shortly and they invited us to stay for the baby shower at 3PM at the winery. It was a great offer, but we were headed for Yakima for the evening, enough wine tasting for the day.
We stayed at Yakima Sportsman State Park, great campground and the next day we had a lovely day touring the city and surrounding areas. We stopped at a few tasting rooms and enjoyed some wonderful wine.
Hillsboro – John and Sandy
Our next stop was to visit friends we had met on our South American trip, John and Sandy Wanner in Hillsboro, Oregon, just about 45 minutes west of Portland. There house is in the middle of a number of great wineries, up high in the hills with views of Mount Saint Helen’s. Well, they use to have a clear view, but the trees below them have grown and the views are a bit blocked. There home and property was gorgeous! Here is a picture from their porch down the front yard with their gardens.We spent the day wine tasting some excellent wines and had a lovely lunch in town. After sipping enough wine we headed back to their house for a wonderful dinner and then a keen match of table shuffleboard. They have an official table down in the recreation room. Girls against the guys, girls won the first match, then the men came back and won the second. REMATCH IN THE FUTURE!! It was getting late so we packed it in for the evening. John and Sandy had things to do the next day and we needed to head up to see John’s brother’s.