Here in Montana, locals flaunt shorts, with tans faded by winter's shadows. The red-winged blackbirds call "o-ka-leee" from the reed beds down at the lake. The first motorcycles of spring are gunning along the highway, clean chrome glinting in the sun. I can feel the surging desire to hit the open road, the sun-roof cracked wide and the wind whipping my hair. Well, it might be a BIT too soon for that, but we can imagine, right? For now, I will take you back to another segment of our October road trip.
At this point, we still found ourselves in Idaho. What comes to mind when someone says "Idaho" to you? Probably "potatoes". Me too. So, it was a no-brainer to visit the Idaho Potato Museum.Idaho has a climate (short summers with hot days and cool nights) and soil (windblown volcanic, a light soil) suited to growing spuds. Since Idaho receives less than 9 inches of rain annually, irrigation is required, and the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer satisfies that need.
The following two pictures outline the potato growing cycle. Click on the pictures to enlarge. I was fascinated to learn that potatoes are planted from the potatoes grown the previous season. Small potatoes are used whole and larger ones are cut into seed pieces about the size of a golf ball. (I am sure we have all had a potato that started to grown from the "eye" of the spud - that's exactly what happens, on a VERY LARGE scale!)
Of course, you can't have a Potato Museum without Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. Well, they had many!!!
The Idaho Falls Temple shines like a beacon along this stretch of the river - it is impossible to miss. It was the first temple constructed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Idaho. Construction began in 1939 and was completed in 1945. Its general design and individual details create a unique blend of two architectural styles -- Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern. "The temple's soaring tower draws the eye upward, reminding people of the building's heavenly purpose - to bring people closer to God." (from a plaque near the temple)
These single photos cannot capture the scale of the Falls; check out this short video to get a sense of the SIZE (and sound)!
If not for the cold, we probably would have walked further, or certainly would have lingered to absorb the picturesque Snake River. As the map below indicates, the Greenbelt is extensive; we only traversed 2.3 miles of it. (We brought our bikes specifically for the Greenbelt, but the glacial temperatures precluded that.) A number of restaurants sport outside decks along the river; I can easily imagine a pleasurable dinner there, in warmer, post-pandemic days! Watch this space!