Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May 1, 2012. The Hawthornes Visit Twin Falls, Idaho.

The Hawthornes are in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Twin Falls is in the center of 500,000 acres
of prime farmland irrigated by the waters of the Snake River.
Known as the "Magic Valley" area,
this is one of the nation's most prolific crop-producing regions.

Snake River Canyon,one of the most spectacular canyons
on the Snake River,
was gouged out by the Great Bonneville Flood about 15,000 years ago.
The Snake River Canyon
is located near the south edge of the Snake River Plain,
 one of the largest volcanic plains of the world.

The Snake River Plain is a depression filled with a layer cake
of rocks over 5000 feet thick.
These rocks include sedimentary deposits
resulting from the outpouring of mountain glaciers,
the deposits of ancient lakes, streams, and rivers,
and molten lava, erupted from over 1000 volcanoes
located throughout the Snake River Plain.

The basalt or lava flows of the Snake river Plain
were generated by hundreds of volcanoes
of a type known as shield volcanoes.
Shield volcanoes are so named because
highly liquid lava erupts from cracks or vents
and spreads out creating a feature with the
appearance of an ancient shield.
The basalt flows of the Snake River Plain
are said to be of the Hawaiian type-
the lava is so liquid that it flows out
and conforms to the other volcanic cones,
filling in canyons and other openings.
The Snake River winds across the bottom of the
Snake River Plain, twisting between the saddles
formed by the numerous shield volcanoes that
popped up along the course of the river.
Sometime in history,
the river found cracks in the basalt flows
caused by contraction during the cooling of the molten lava.
The river settled into these cracks,
and over time enlarged them to create the canyons we see today.

Years ago, the largest lake in North America
was Lake Bonneville,
which was located in the western part of what is now Utah.
The lake was 350 miles long and 150 miles wide,
the largest lake in North America.
During the melting of the glaciers,
the lake grew rapidly and finally overflowed,
cutting a huge opening in the side of the lake.
Almost immediately, 25,000,000 cubic feet of water per second
poured out of the lake towards the Snake River.

The Bonneville Flood released nearly 1000 cubic miles
of water.
The flood followed the river west and enlarged the canyon
from 6-7 times its original size.
When the flood passed here,
the torrent of water was higher than the bridge
 and reached a speed of 48 miles per hour.
At the end, the flood drained out of Lake
Bonneville 1128 cubic miles of water.
Great Salt Lake is what is left of the original lake.
The Canyon we see today is the result of that flood.
Lake Bonneville's floodwaters completely filled
the Snake River Canyon, and in some locations,
flowed above the canyon rim.

If Snake River Canyon rings a bell,
it's the place where daredevil Evel Knievel 
attempted to leap across back in 1974
on a rocket-powered vehicle.

We first went to Perrine Memorial Bridge
which spans the Snake River Gorge 486 feet above the water.
This bridge is reputedly the only U.S. location
where BASE jumping is permitted year-round
without a permit.

(Not Rosie's picture.)
BASE is an acronym that stands for 
four categories of fixed objects from which 
one can jump:
Buildings, Antennas, Spans (bridges), and Earth (cliffs).

Of course, Rosie was all set 
to make a BASE JUMP, TODAY!

when I went up to ask these guys about jumping,
I was told it was too windy to jump.

Here's what I missed:

This is the Perrine Memorial Bridge,
named after Ira Burton Perrine.
Perrine moved to Idaho Territory in 1884,
from Delaware, Indiana,
and became a successful rancher and businessman.

Native Americans have been here for at least 10,500 years.
They were members of the Snake Indian Nation,
hence the name Snake River.
Indian writings and drawings can be found on the
rocks along the Snake River.

The present Perrine Memorial Bridge was built in 1976
at a cost of $10,565,000.
At 1500 feet long, it is the longest span bridge
in the west. 
Standing 486 feet above the river,
it contains 9,000,000 pounds of steel.
This bridge has four lanes and walkways on either side.
It replaced the first Perrine bridge, a two-lane toll bridge,
which was built in 1927
just west of the present bridge.

Ira Burton Perrine
May 7, 1861 - October 2, 1943
I. B. Perrine was an early Twin Falls settler and developer
who made his home - Blue Lakes Ranch -
in the Snake River Canyon.
His vision, planning, and dedication 
led to Twin Falls' growth from a desert outpost
to a flourishing city.

Perrine spearheaded the early 20th century irrigation projects
int the Magic Valley region 
and is largely credited as the main founder of Twin Falls.


Anonymous said...

WOW! Beautiful pics!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thanks, Anony. Kinda hard to take a bad picture out here.