Wednesday, July 16, 2008

on to Burley

July 16, 2008
Today was a long ride but parts of it were the most scenic yet. We were first in farm country that resembled Iowa except for the fact that it is all irrigated and there are a series of canals all through the country. Another difference is that right through this area is the Snake River Canyon, a straight drop, with sheer cliffs and a beautiful river scene below.

A big industry in Idaho is dairy and we were able to tour a midsize dairy operation, Miller Farms. They had about 1700 cows. A very interesting part of the operation was the milking parlor. It was a big circle that held about 20 cows. The interesting part was that it continually rotated. The cows were all in a pen to one side, they stepped into one of the pens of the circle as it was moving -- they did this all by themselves, no one had to push or lead them in. As the table turned a man attached the milkers to the cow. As the table continued to rotate this was repeated over and over. The milker unit could detect when the cow was out of milk and would drop down automatically. When the cow had come almost full circle she went out into the next pen, again without any prodding or leading. As the empty pen crossed into the first pen another cow would step in. Wow.

The next stop was a very much appreciated lunch stop in Twin Falls, ID, put on by the RCA church there. Sub sandwiches were on the menu and it was good. They gave us directions to take a slight detour to see the Shoshone Falls, sometimes called the Niagara Falls of the west. They were wonderful and I think even more scenic than the Niagara Falls. Twin falls is also where Evil Kenevil did his attempted jump over the canyon on his motorcycle. One of the penalties we paid for taking the side trip was a big climb back up and out of the canyon, but it was worth it.
The rest of the 83 miles was rather uneventful, although very hot. After the trailer was unloaded we suddenly had another round of sprinkler attacks, right where the bags were all sitting. We are spending the night at Burley, ID. Everywhere we see people they are curious about what we are doing and we are able to talk to them about why the ride started in the first place.

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