Saturday, July 11, 2015

2015-17 Downey to Twin Falls Idaho


Downey Idaho
Twin Falls Idaho

Chesterfield Idaho

Distance Traveled:  178 miles

Campground:  Downata Hot Springs, Downey Idaho.  PA rate:  $15.00  50 amp elect/water.  Extra charge $10 to use the hot springs swimming pools etc.  Nice rural setting.  Sites could use some trimming of trees as I’ve got two trees with branches rubbing against the camper…. Something I try to avoid if possible.

Campground:  Rock Creek Rv Park, a county park, Twin Falls.  Water and Electric (30 & 50 amp).  $15 per night.  No showers or restrooms or dump station available.  Nice paved walking path along the river.

It was time to leave, even though I hadn’t done much of any touring in the Spanish Fork Utah area.  It’s been more of a catch up on little chores like getting the tires rotated, washing the truck, doing laundry and getting a few prescriptions filled Walgreen's.

Reservoir used for irrigation and swimming hole

While at the Laundromat, I talked to a local guy from the area.  I had mentioned that I was surprised to see folks swimming in a concrete lined reservoir just up the hill from the campsite I’m staying at.  He told me that the reservoirs in this area  used only for irrigation and that they get their drinking water from multiple wells throughout the area.

Spanish Fork and much of the area I’ve traveled around in, like Provo, Springville and Ogden all appear to be very thriving communities.  With newly constructed homes and businesses everywhere.  I did not see many older buildings at all.  Even the small older town center of Spanish Fork had many new buildings filling in what I’m sure were once older buildings that had been torn down.

Heading north on hwy 15 through Provo, Ogden and Salt Lake City this morning, the traffic was very heavy.  Many backups on the on-ramps as those traffic lights only permitted two vehicles onto the highway at a time.  After about an hour and half of heavy traffic I finally reached the Utah/Idaho boarder where the traffic lanes narrowed to only two lanes in each direction and I could finally begin to relax.

over 100 feet long

A stop along the way at one of the Rest Stops brings me right next to a UPS truck.  Or should I say trucks.  Of course I had to talk to the driver who tells me the three trailers, each 28 feet in length along with the truck pulling them add up to over 100 feet.  Imagine towing something that long!  I asked him if it was scary driving such a long rig and he said, “only during the winter months with ice and snow on the roads”.  By the way, speed limits are 80 mph for vehicles and 70 mph for semi-trucks.

The scenery in northern Utah is one of large wide fertile valleys sloping upwards toward low mountain ranges on the east and western sides.  The highway is higher up on the eastern side of the valley providing a spectacular view of the valleys below.  As I reached the Idaho boarder, the mountain ranges quickly become enormous and the valleys turn into large rolling hills on one side with the valley continuing on the left.

Idaho's many mountains and valleys

Just north of the Idaho boarder is a lake called Devils Creek reservoir.  A magnificent small lake near the highway with stunning grassy rounded hills rising dramatically up around the lake.  Campsites are available along the lake and would be very easy access from the highway for we travelers.  I almost pulled over for a couple of days stay, it’s that pretty.

Downey Idaho

Downey Idaho, pop 650

But I’m heading to Down-at-a Hot Springs a bit further on up the road.

The hot springs at Downata are diverted into a couple of large swimming pools with water slides and large hot tubs.  Good wholesome fun for a summer afternoon or evening as they are open until 9pm.

The next day I head out to Chesterfield an 1875 Mormon settlement.  Along the way I pass by Lava Hot Springs a nice little town around two hot springs.  One continues to have old world charm and the second one in town has the large swimming pools and water slides for the kids.  On up and over a mountain pass and down into a large valley where I head north through the lush green farms on into Chesterfield which sits at the far end of the valley.  It has the distinction of being a part of the Oregon Trail.

an abandoned house, I so wanted to explore inside

I’ve been here in the past but it’s always nice to come back to a place like this to see the additional buildings that are being restored and of course get some great pictures of the Mormon settlement.  From the amusement hall, the pioneer meting house,  tithing house, general store and the houses, each still owned by family members of the original owners.  One of the first homes built is the humble log cabin built into the side of hill with it’s grass roof, the Danish house with it’s bright Scandinavian colors of pinks and blues and white on up to the various brick clad homes, ending with a wonderfully restored early 1900’s home. One of the first to have electricity and an indoor bathroom.  The Mormons all had great skills and were able to make their own bricks, cut lumber and could even make their own shoes.

scenes from Chesterfield Idaho

The Amusement Hall, rebuilt

each of the bldgs is owned by family members
who come back each year to fix and maintain

stunning valleys surrounding the settlement

The Danish House

love all the colors used in the Danish House

the 7 gabled house is the most elaborate in Chesterfield

early 1900's wall to wall carpeting throughout

1st home with indoor plumbing

an electric curler

A bonus was that the weather has broken it’s heat spell now that I’m in Idaho and the temps are in the low to mid 80s.  We even had a good rain shower the other day where it dropped down to the 70’s.

Distance traveled:  155 miles

Twin Falls Idaho

a Rock Chuck or Yellow bellied Marmot.... so cute

pictures from my campsite at Rock Creek Rv Park

nice paved walking paths

dramatic walls down in the canyon where my campsite is located

I’ve landed in Twin Falls Idaho.  A town of around 45,000.  It’s another town that is definitely on the move.  Many new stores along a couple of main roads around town.  From big box stores to smaller shops and many restaurant choices.

And I ate the yoke too!  I’m celebrating my Birthday in Twin Falls and as a big treat to me, I’ve cheated just a bit on my healthy eating choices by having an egg, including the yoke, two pancakes (really high in carbs) but oh so good and for lunch I went to a buffet style lunch.  Ordered some healthy choices but included a small piece of cake and two macaroon cookies dipped in chocolate.  Yum.  Happy Birthday to me… Oh and leading a simple life, I really don’t need much, so I went to the Dollar Tree and spent $10 on gifts for myself.  Life is good… and cheap (grin).

Had a great talk with my sisters Ann and Dorothy over the phone which made for the best Birthday gift of all.  We are all retired and it’s nice to know that we are enjoying life to the fullest.  I think Mom and Dad would be proud of us.

Shoshone Falls

A quick visit to Twin Falls and the much larger Shoshone Falls this morning.  First, I found out that construction is going on on Shoshone Falls so about 2/3’s of the falls are closed down during reconstruction of that part of the dam above of the falls.  A short ride down the canyon to Twin Falls where another hydro power plant resides and I discover that it should be renamed Mono Falls as the second of the two falls has been permanently closed due to the power generating plant.  Still,  interesting to read about the history of this area and see even partial displays of those waterfalls.

the lower power plant

one of a number of side waterfalls

once the dam is repaired this will be flooded and be
part of the seconds and third falls

Well, that’s what I’ve been doing during my Birthday week, hope you had a fun week where ever you may be.
Twin Falls

more photos on Picasa

1 comment:

walterterry said...

You are a photographer's photographer. Very nice work Doug.