Tuesday, May 17, 2011

#104 - Road Trip

Recently, we packed everyone (except the dog) into the more fuel-efficient of our two vehicles and took a little road trip. We traveled about an hour south of Boise to an area known as Swan Falls.

One sample of the promotional
material on display.
Swan Falls is the site of one of Idaho Power's many dams along the Snake River. The original dam was built in 1901 and is the oldest dam on the river. In 1994, a new power plant was built alongside the old plant, which was converted into a museum, open just a few times a month for tours.

The museum features much of the original equipment used in the first power plant, along with some samples of promotional materials used by Idaho Power during the first half of the twentieth century.

The day we visited there was an open house being conducted by Idaho Power, so we took the opportunity to get a closer look and take some pictures and video. This short video combines both still shots and motion to try to give a sense of the facility from both inside and out.

The dam is located in the heart of the Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. There are places upstream and downstream from the dam that are suitable for primitive camping if you have a tent, camper, or small trailer, although we did see a motorhome as well. Trees are nowhere to be found, making shade almost non-existent. As a result, summertime is not the best time to visit if you have issues with the heat.

One thing I discover the longer I live in Idaho is that much of what is worth seeing is found a little off the beaten path. Swan Falls certainly falls (pardon the pun) into that category.

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