During our last full day in Idaho, we decided to do a little more exploring. The weather was gray and rainy, which isn’t particularly normal for Idaho in the summer but that didn’t stop us (honestly, we’d been getting used to it since arriving at Yellowstone, where the cold and wet welcomed us to the mountains). We broke out the umbrellas, socks and sandals, and all the hoodies and jackets we could find.
The Upper and Lower Mesa falls were a quick drive and the hike was much easier and domestic than the trails we normally take. Sometimes though, paved walkways and stairs with handrails are much appreciated.
The snow pole we passed was an impressive reminder how different the winters are in the mountains. Where we have ice storms and maybe four inches of snow at a time in central Indiana, snow was measured by the foot near the waterfalls.
Before we even set eyes on the waterfalls, the noise was impressive. That much water continuously pouring over the edge of the rocks produces a constant roar.
There were several platforms where we got progressively closer. The roar was louder, the spray of the water was thick, the waterfall angles were perfect for admiring the power of water.
The trail looped back around and stopped at the visitor’s center, which was closed. We peeked in the windows and posed with the formidable stuffed black bear, which, incidentally, is the largest predator in most U.S. states. Despite spending almost a week in wild country, we didn’t see any exotic wildlife.
The ONE animal we did see? A whitetailed deer. Pfft. We see a dozen of those a day at home. Where were all the elk, bears, mountain lions, moose, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep? Nowhere to be found as far as I could tell.
Probably the coolest animal encounter we did have was along the Henry Fork of the Snake River. There was a pull-off along the side of the road and a very clear sign that fishing wasn’t allowed, and a platform where people could feed the river trout. Where bass are dramatic and jump out of the water, the trout barely made a splash as they crested out of the water, gobbled up the Cheerios, and dove back under the water.
When we got back home, all the cousins, aunts, and uncles in the area came for a final hurrah. We had a nice dinner and stayed up way too late talking. But hey, that’s what vacations are for.
While the adults packed up, the kids kept busy, squeezing every last ounce of fun out of the morning. There is something so special about cousins.
On the way out of town, Jack picked up some hairstyling supplies as recommended by his sister in law after he got his new ‘do. Let’s just say, he needed a bit of practice before he got it right. A little bit of that stuff goes a looooong way.
Since we were driving south to Utah, we decided to stop at the Idaho Falls Temple area to see…more waterfalls! The area is smack dab in the middle of town but was so pretty. The falls had been tamed a bit and had walkways paved around it, so we took a few minutes to stroll around.
The best part of our stroll was finding this funky horse bench. I cannot say how badly I want one. I have no idea who the artist is but all I can say is bravo! That think was awesome.
Lunch was on the house from Uncle Alex and like most of our road trip, we ate in the car. Idaho treated us well, we loved spending time with our family in the west, but it was time to keep moving on to Utah, then head east for home.
Au revoir, Idaho! Your waterfalls were beautiful, your mountains were majestic and challenging, your potatoes were impressive–overall, you were a lot of fun!