Fine, I’ll admit it. I missed Idaho just a little bit when I went abroad.
I’m suddenly very aware that I only have a few months left in Idaho until I leave for Austria, and I’m really not sure when I’ll be back. I don’t have any more time to take my hometown for granted, so I’ve devised a plan to make the most of the time I have: I’ve made a very Idahoan summer bucket list, and I’m dragging everyone I know along for the ride. My goals in making this list were simple:
- Bring together people I care about.
- Appreciate Idaho and all the things I know I will miss.
- Do the things I should have done by now as an Idahoan.
- Not go bankrupt in the process.
That brings us to the kick off adventure: the Shoshone Indian Ice Caves. Shoshone is about two hours from Boise, so six of us piled into two cars to road trip out there. The Ice Caves are out in the middle of nowhere, but the giant yellow native American and lime green dinosaur statues make them easy to find. The tour costs $10.00 and begins above ground, where the guide showed us the old volcano in the distance and some caved-in sections of the lava tube. I appreciated the classic sagebrush-steppe views, especially in contrast with some very questionable native American figures.
From L-R: Jade, Molly, Malik, Alethea, Brent, Me
Here you can see the entrance to the cave, along with a fake mountain lion because we can’t have nice things.
The cave was formed when a lava tube from a nearby shield volcano partially collapsed. The way the tube collapsed, combined with the type of rock it’s made of created a delicate airflow pattern which forces the water out of the air and causes the temperature to drop below freezing. The floor of the cave is about twenty feet of solid ice, covered with a few feet of water. Apparently, if you fell into the water you would get hypothermia in two minutes. We all decided against a swim.
We were only underground for about fifteen minutes as our guide explained the various features inside the cave, and then it was back to the surface for a few more fun facts and a visit to the little museum. One of my travel philosophies is if you can go to the top or go underneath, always do it, so I would definitely recommend loading up some friends and road tripping out to see the caves.
Nice rack, Malik.
After we were finished at the caves we decided to head an hour South to see Shoshone Falls. It was a gorgeous day for a visit. I hadn’t been to the falls in almost four years, and I’m always surprised by how pretty the falls are.
As the first adventure on a long list, I’m happy to say this road trip was a success! I am even more excited now to keep checking things off on my very Idahoan summer bucket list. Stay tuned.
Photos taken by Sandra Walker. Shoshone, ID May 2017.