Looking for Balanced Rock

Saturday May 20th 2017

I went in search of another south central Idaho natural attraction today. My goal was to visit the Balanced Rock park. I knew it was to the southwest of my location so I set off in that direction. It’s no fun when you know where your going. I assumed I’d see road signs once I got in the right area. I never saw any direction signs. Instead, I had a pleasant drive through farm land and farm towns. I have google directions now, so I’ll go to the park another day.

I drove through the same area that the emigrants to Oregon passed through in the mid 1800s on the Oregon trail. The first route west for wagon trains was along the south shore of the Snake River. They didn’t have the means to get the wagons across the river. The rolling landscape of the Snake River Plateau provided a better path than the mountains to the south and north. However, I did see one historical marker that indicated a route along the slopes of the northern mountains was used during conflicts with the natives on the main route and the route to California used during the gold rush years branched off to the south over the mountains in the Twin Falls area.


This is what the land must have looked like in the time of the Oregon Emigrants. A combination of grass and sage brush without the fence.

On the way back from my excursion I stopped at the Perrine Bridge to watch the BASE jumpers. The activity in the area was much greater than during the week. Down in the river I could see kayakers, paddle boarders, fisherman and general boat cursing. At the top of the canyon near the bridge several jumpers were in various stages of preparation for jumps. I sat on one of the benches and watched the activity for about an hour. During that time I saw three BASE jumps.


Kayaks in the Snake River 450 feet below the top of the canyon rim.


Paddle boarder in the Snake River.


BASE Jumper leaving the bridge rail.


Chute fully open.


Gliding over the river.


Barely clearing the trees.

One of the jumpers was a young woman. She was getting a lot of coaching from one of the other jumpers. She stood on the bridge, outside the rail, for a good minute or two before jumping. When she landed safely near the target she was jumping around in glee. Some of the other jumpers came over for a High-Five. I imagine it was her first jump. The guy who was coaching her jumped next. He landed in the bushes to the jeers of the other jumpers.


Young woman on her first (?) jump.

Back at the campground I have new neighbors on one side. The RV park is mostly full tonight. It has a combination of weekenders and travelers. The weekenders are the ones partying and the travelers are sleeping.

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