Mile 634

Twin Falls

9:20 am

Niagara of the West

Shoshone Falls, Idaho

Mattski slept in. My alarm went off, I showered, banged around the hotel room a little, and that guy still wouldn’t wake up. So I did a few things online until he finally rolled out of bed around an hour after my alarm went off. He said he forgot to change his clock from Pacific time but I think he really wanted to get an extra hour of sleep.

Since we enjoyed the Snake River Gorge last night, we asked the front desk if there was more to it than what we saw. They tipped us off to the fact that there were some really nice waterfalls down the road. So we headed that way and weren’t disappointed.

The College of Southern Idaho wrote some good stuff about the falls on their web site:

“Thousands of people travel to Shoshone Falls each year to marvel at a sight many call "the Niagra of the West". In fact, Shoshone Falls tumble 212 feet to the canyon floor -- more than 50 feet farther than the famous falls on the New York - Ontario border. The waterfall's terraced thousand-foot span is truly one of Idaho's most magnificent sites.”

It was bitterly cold. The temperature was 38 degrees Fahrenheit, but with the wind chill it felt more like 17. I took about 10 pictures and had to call it quits because my fingers were about to fall off.

After the looking at the waterfalls we farted around a little too much, dilly-dallying here and there trying to find some good coffee, finally getting on the road around 10:20.

Mile 739

Arco, ID

12:15 pm

Interstate Highway Free

Idaho countryside

OK, let’s get up early and have at it…or forget to set the clock forward to Mountain time and end up sleeping until 8:30. (oops.) For the record, Berty was on time. After a brief stop at some amazing waterfalls, and a coffee snafu, we were finally on the road.

Our first major stop was Craters of the Moon National Monument. This is such a cool place. The “hot spot” under the Earth’s crust that is currently under Yellowstone Nat’l Park was under this place in the Snake River plain over 2 million years ago. Lava oozed out of small volcanos onto the plain and spread out in a curtain of basalt.

This place is COVERED in cool black rock formations – totally awesome. Too bad the weather was still crummy. Wind and 34° at 4500’ = cold as heck. After that, we bee-lined it for Idaho Falls where yet another Mormon temple scraped the sky. Something weird…87 octane gas is the middle grade gas there. They actually sold 85 octane as regular. What the heck?

Mile 955

Swan Valley

3:00 pm

Mattski Goes Fast

Getting a ticket

We had a few mountains to go over so Mattski stomped the gas pedal to the floor and really eked out as much power as he could from the anemic 2.2 Liter, 4 cylinder, 133 horsepower engine that “powers” his car. It sounded like a sewing machine on crack.

We actually motored through two different passes; Pine Creek Pass had a top elevation of 6,764 feet and Teton Pass had an elevation of 8,431 feet. I thought the car was going to die. I think at one point he had it floored and we were doing about 45 miles per hour. Of course the 10% grades on the hills didn’t help any.

But we made it! Both times it was a very similar experience. The road conditions were nice, then got a little snowy, then the visibility dropped some, then as we crested and headed back down it got better again.

Going downhill was actually a lot of fun. Twisting, turning, slightly speeding. At one point Mattski passed a slower motorist (one who was going about 10 miles per hour below the speed limit) and I guess he kept his speed up for a bit too long. We had a nice little chat with a Deputy. The Deputy asked for Mattski’s license and registration. I asked the Deputy how the weather was on the Teton Pass. He let us go with a warning.

The only disappointing thing about traveling through the passes was the weather. We were both bummed to know that we were going through some awesome scenery and seeing very little of it.

I took over driving in Jackson, Wyoming, and had to deal with blowing snow, reduced visibility, and a few deer that thought about going across the road. The first part of the drive really sucked, but it got real nice near the end.

Mile 978


4:00 pm

Snow in the Hole

Jackson Hole

After descending Teton Pass, we arrived in a very snowy Jackson, Wyoming. What a ritzy town! Nice shopping, great accommodations, and 4 different US highways all on one road running through it.

The snow was incredible…we couldn’t see much, sadly. When we drove North from town into Grand Teton National Park, blowing snow prevented a stellar viewing of the mountains. This was some rough driving, folks. About 100lbs of ice froze onto the car during this awful weather…we couldn’t believe it. We knocked a lot of it off in Dubois, WY. Kind souls at the local Exxon gave me some hot water to loosen it up. Tomorrow, more Wyoming! What a cool state.

Mile 1041


5:30 pm

Wyoming Is Beautiful

Picture of cattle in front of a large mountain in Wyoming

Both Mattski and I loved Wyoming. We’re not done with it, and are looking forward to tomorrow’s drive. You wouldn’t believe the diversity of scenery that is in this state. We went from snowy, evergreen-covered mountains, to sunny, barren, rocky mountains in a few hours of driving time.

The central part of the state flattens out a little and you can really get the Camry going. I think it was pushing 85 or so when I decided to back off the gas. That decision turned out to be a good one.

Apparently the police don’t like it when you go too fast, and we had another kind Deputy remind us to slow down and drive safely. Honestly, I was looking at all of the beautiful scenery and not really paying attention to the speedometer.

After having the chat with the kind police officer (who let us off with a warning) we continued (at the speed limit) to Riverton. We were planning on making Casper, which was another 130 miles or so, but we called it a night early because we were tired from the more challenging driving.


Did You Know That We Took Pictures?

You'll find 55 photos in the appropriately named Photos section on the Day Two photo page.


429 Miles

Twin Falls, ID, to Riverton, WY

Map of route from Twin Falls, ID, to Riverton, WY
  • THE END. We arrive in Sterling at 4:33 pm. Total trip time: 5 days, 11 hours, 33 minutes, and 27 seconds.
  • Day Six – 4:08 pm, We enter Virginia.
  • Day Six – 3:21 pm, We enter Maryland.
  • Day Six – 2:00 pm, We cross the Susquehanna River. We plan on being done in 2 hours.
  • Day Six – 11:45 am, Lunch time at Baby's with Mattski's buddy Brandon.
  • Day Six – 10:34 am, We arrive at Mattski's alma mater: We Are…Penn State.
  • Day Six – 9:30 am, We cross the highest point on I-80 east of the Mississippi. Elevation: 2,250 feet. Big whoop.
  • Day Six – 9:26 am, We see signs: “Buckle Up Next Million Miles.”
  • Day Six – 9:20 am, Entering Chesapeake Bay Watershed in PA.
  • Day Six – 7:36 am, The early morning has impaired the judgment of the Geeks and they decide to play the best of Hall and Oates.
  • Day SIX! – 7:20 am, We get an early start on the day and are off on the final leg of our trip.
  • Day Five – 7:58 pm, The Geeks call it a night and stop in Youngstown, OH.
  • Day Five – 4:15 pm, We enter the fourth state for the day, Ohio. We are now on EDT.
  • Day Five – 12:20 pm, We enter Indiana with very little fanfare. Interesting smell…can't quite place it.
  • Day Five – 12:05 pm, We drive through Chicago on I-90. Traffic not that bad. Mattski's upset with the signage.

To see all of the Status Reports from the trip, head on over to the Two Geeks Twitter page.