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Passing through Idaho…

Posted by on May 8, 2014

MAY 7, 2014: We’re now on our way to Cavitt Creek Falls in Southern Oregon. Today we left Salt Lake City and drove to Twin Falls, Idaho. idahoTomorrow we’ll continue through Boise and then into Baker City, Oregon before we stop again for the night. There is a shorter route, but because of storms and icy mountain roads, we chose the longer, safer route. Our drive was along Interstate 84, which runs all the way from Ogden, Utah to Portland, Oregon. So far, it has been a beautiful drive. There are rolling hills on each side of a divided 4 lane “country interstate” road. Not much traffic. Bright sunshine with huge white puffy clouds set in a deep blue sky. There is snow on the hills…it’s punctuated by dark green pine trees. And then out of nowhere the sky darkens and rain pours down on us so hard it sounds as if we’re inside a snare drum! The wipers are slapping hard across the huge Greyhound-bus size windshield. I love these weather extremes. Southern California is great but let’s face it: The weather is always so good it’s boring!


Interstate Highway 84 runs from Utah through Idaho and along the Columbia Gorge to Portland, Oregon. A beautiful drive!

LUNCH AT THE RANCH HOUSE DINER: About noon, the weather cleared and we stopped for lunch at a little spot in Snowville, Utah, population 177. Here’s the story: The first settlers came to Snowville in 1871 by way of Malad, Idaho. They settled near “Deep Creek.” In 1876, Lorenzo Snow, an LDS Church leader helped in further settling the area. Snowville is named after Lorenzo Snow, not for a plenitude of winter snow. Folks visit the area to enjoy hunting, fishing and 4 wheeling. The locals tell you that they live in the “outback” of the West. They love their peaceful country community. They make their living by farming and ranching. The gal who owns the Ranch House Cafe makes her living by cooking really good comfort food and serving it at the diner. Her diner deserves to be mentioned on my “Eateries” page…

There’s a 6 stool counter near the entrance to the place. Nobody said so, but I think it’s pretty much reserved for locals. There are deer and moose trophies on the split cedar walls and there’s a stone fireplace at one end of the dining rooms. Old saddles and other tack are draped around the place, along with historical pictures of the area. The owner – greeter was delightful. She told us her specials were homemade chicken noodle soup (“I even made the noodles.”), pot-roast served on mashed potatoes with brown gravy and fresh peach cobbler. Well alrighty, then. That’s just what I ordered! Other items on the menu included the “Buckaroo Burger” and the “Garden of Good Eaten” (Chef’s Salad), and the “Hen House Salad.” Everything I saw being served looked good and for sure the food I ordered was the best. Such a nice change from even a good franchise operation like Cracker Barrel. Doubt I’ll ever be in the area again, but I’ll for sure visit the Ranch House Diner again if I am.


A trophy on the wall at Ranch House Diner.

MAY 8, 2014: We spent the night in Twin Falls and drove all the way to the tiny town of Baker City, Oregon today. That’s about a 300 mile trip…better distance than average for us even when “we’re on the move.” After all, as we discussed before we departed on this Journey: “What’s the rush?” We’ll definitely come visit Idaho again when we have more time, but a couple of things impress me already about the state.


At a diner in Snowville, Utah. Population 177.

ABOUT IDAHO: It’s still the “Wild and Wooly West.” I’ve seen guys with holstered revolvers walking the streets on several occasions,  and in one store where we stopped today there was a counter where you check your guns while shopping! Fireworks are sold at roadside stands…and the 4th of July isn’t even close. Finally, the posted speed limit on Interstate 84 is between 75 and 80 mph. So as you’d guess, the flow of traffic is about 85 -90 mph. It’s kind of refreshing…lots less rules and government intervention than I’m used to seeing in San Diego.


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