CHAR in SO CA!!! Yay, Char! Thanks for all of your sweet blog comments. I think I have your address so I'll get your goodies in the mail this week.
Okay, if you'd like to hear about our little road trip last weekend, keep reading.
We started out last Sunday morning at about 10:30 and headed south. Our destination? Shoshone Ice Caves. The location is about 2 hours south of Boise. Mike had been there about 30 years ago with his church camp group. Since it was in relatively close proximity to our ACTUAL destination, we decided to add it to our agenda.
We arrived at about 12:30. I had called ahead to make sure they were open. I was told that yes, they were open. What they didn't tell me when I called is that if you're the only one there they won't take you on the tour until someone else shows up.
We waited around for about an hour for someone else to show up. Fortunately someone did and we embarked on our tour at about 1:30. Our wait gave us time to look around an amuse ourselves. It also gave my husband time to determine that nothing had changed since the last time he'd been there.
Here we are inside the cave. You cannot believe how cold it was in there. By the time the 1-hour tour was over I was REALLY sorry I didn't have my gloves with me. The sparkles you see on the ceiling are ice crystals.
Here are a couple more shots inside the cave. The ice was 20 feet deep - over 200 tons of ice. While it wasn't overly warm on the day we were there, this place is in the middle of the Idaho desert. I'm sure it's regularly over 100 degrees in the summer. Our guide said they have to pump the water out of the cave in the summer to keep it from filling up to the top and turning into a giant ice tube. They pump out as much water as necessary to keep the ice from covering the walkway. It really was very interesting and the boys had a blast. The cave is a giant lava tube. This part of the state has a lot of lava fields like this one and is just about an hour from Craters of the Moon National Monument which is also a fun place to visit.
Our actual destination for the day was Shoshone Falls. It was somewhere Mike and I had never been before and the flows over the falls are supposed to be at a 60-year high this year. Last Sunday was supposed to be the peak flow before they start diverting water for irrigation. It was spectacular.
Shoshone Falls is just outside of Twin Falls, Idaho. The "Twin Falls" are just down the road, although the gentleman who helped me with the map at the Visitor's Center said there's really only one waterfall there now, but I digress. They call Shoshone Falls the Niagara of the West. It's actually 63 feet higher than Niagara Falls. You can see more information here. There were so many people there on Sunday that it took us over an hour to travel the last 2 miles down to the falls. Luckily I had thrown a couple of movies in the car (after lecturing the kids all week about how we were NOT going to play DS for 4 straight hours on the trip.) I'm so glad we had those movies. It made a huge difference on that last hour when it was more like a parking lot than a road.
Here are my guys. When we were there, there wasn't any wind, which means that the spray didn't reach us. Someone else I spoke to who was there earlier last week said they got wet from the spray. I'm sure the boys would have loved that!
Here's a view of the canyon down river. The falls are to the right of this picture and you can still see the spray. This is the Snake River which flows through a good deal of Idaho. We finished up the day with Dairy Queen Blizzards for dinner on the way home, mostly because we didn't eat lunch until nearly 3:00 because of our late start on the ice cave tour. We were the heroes of the day to the boys. Because of the delay in getting the tour started at the ice cave and then the traffic jam at the falls, we ended up getting home a lot later than we had planned, but overall we had a great day and it was a fun little family adventure. I do think the boys liked the cave more than the falls, but I guess that's to be expected for little boys. Next time we head that direction for an adventure I think we'll try to hit Mammoth Cave and the Hagerman Fossil Beds.