Monday, June 14, 2021
Our first stop today was a visit to Tire Discounters in Provo to get our tire fixed. It turned out that the tire had a bad valve stem. Thank goodness it didn’t take too long to be repaired. Once it was attached to the RV we were off to our next campground in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
On our way we saw individuals paragliding. It was beautiful to watch them.
When we stopped for gas Dave noticed that one of the bottom storage bins where he kept his toolbox was not locked. When he used his tools to put the tire back on the spot for the spare he put his tools away but forgot to lock the bin. It was a misfortune but easily fixed. We’ll stop at a hardware store and replace those tools.
Mid-morning we crossed into Idaho which is our eighth state. So far we’ve traveled 2300 miles and that doesn’t include the miles on the Prius. There were a lot of potato fields along our route. A lot of the crops had irrigation systems and we saw a lot of water being used. It’s been hot and dry so the fields of crops need water!
Once we checked into our campground and set up we drove through Arco which was the first city lighted by nuclear power and its population is under a thousand. This town was along US Route 20.
This historic route is the longest U.S. highway in the country at 3,365 miles! It begins in Boston, MA and ends at Newport, Oregon along the Pacific Ocean.
Along Route 20 is the EBR-1 (Experimental Breeder Reactor-1) museum. Unfortunately we couldn’t stop and visit because it is temporarily closed due to COVID. It is where the world’s first nuclear power plant generated electricity in 1951! It became a National Historic Landmark in 1966. The EBR-1 was built at the National Reactor Testing Station and was followed by what is now called the INL(Idaho National Laboratory)! It was eerie driving along this route and seeing the signs for the INL everywhere and wondering what they were doing in all of these buildings! We then got on the INL.gov website and saw that they are involved in many programs, such as nuclear energy, energy and the environment, national and homeland security. Their website mentions that their isolated site is good for their programs.
A visit to Craters of the Moon National Monument is filled with lava flows and cinder cones. We hiked around the area. It was 95˚ and a full sun was beating down on us as we hiked the black surfaces. We were melting quickly and drinking a lot of water!
We met with the Park Ranger to get a free permit to explore the caves which were former lava tubes. The questions we had to answer were to make sure that we don’t spread any diseases that would harm the bats particularly white-nose syndrome. It is a fungus that is deadly to bats.
The landscape is filled with hardened lava from lava flows. The lava found here came up out of fissures in the earth and sometimes spewed out of vents. The monument is a dormant area and geologists believe the area will become active in the next 1,000 years!
After dinner we walked along the River Walk in Idaho Falls which follows the Snake River. The walk consists of the falls and 14 miles of river bank. We walked several miles along the path. Idaho Falls is named after the falls in the heart of the city.
We can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!