Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 10: Connie Francis Saves the Day

Well, we are in Idaho now, having driven from Elko, Nevada to Twin Falls this morning.

One of the best things about the car we rented is that it has digital satellite radio, so there's plenty of options to choose from during those long stretches between destinations. At first we were smitten with the sheer volume available - a station that plays nothing but Bruce Springsteen, another devoted to Elvis. But eventually we found our way to the 50's station, playing nothing but songs from the first decade of rock 'n roll (as the station kept reminding us in its promos) .

Having grown past the age where we could amuse ourselves by guessing the color of the next car, we instead started playing a game on the way to Elko where we each picked three singers or groups. The winner was the one who picked the most performers who went on the air before we reached our destination.

LK took a pretty quick lead when they played the Platters. I was pretty sure I was going to catch up but song after song came on - almost all singers and groups I had thought of picking. We were literally in sight of our hotel when Frankie Lyman came on. At last! Goal for the Good Guy! Tie game at the buzzer.

Then yesterday we headed off to Twin Falls and each got to add another singer. LK took Connie Francis. I took Jimmy Rodgers. And we were no more than 20 minutes into the trip when the station played another Frankie Lyman song. I'm ahead! I yell. No, you're not, says LK. She insists that I am cheating, that once they play your pick you don't get a second point if they play it again.

I counter with --- well, you don't really care about the argument. Suffice it to say that she won, and I didn't get to count Frankie Lyman. LOL when the Platters came on soon after. She couldn't count them, either.

Anyhow, with about 2 hours to go in the trip Jimmy Rodgers comes on and I am looking strong. LK has three good picks - Connie Francis, the Everly Brothers and Bobby Darin - but she's being whitewashed. We roll into Twin Falls and wouldn't you know it - they decide to play the No 1 song from 50 years ago today. You know, the one by Connie Francis. Another goal at the buzzer. Another tie. If only I had driven faster, we would have been in the hotel by the time Connie started singing her lungs out.

Anyhow, I want to tell you about Twin Falls, Idaho.

I met a woman in Elko last night who was raised in Twin Falls. She lives in Salt Lake City now. It will tell you a lot about her life that she travels hundreds of miles from Salt Lake to have fun in Elko.

Anyhow, when I told her we were driving to Twin Falls the next day, she told me how she had grown up there. Then she said, "There's not much to do there."

I dismissed it as bad vibes from someone who has spent too much time lately in the Mormon capital of the world. I started to change my mind today when we had lunch after landing in Twin Falls and this super-friendly waitress confided to us, "You know, there's not much to do here."

Well, they were both wrong. We found plenty to do.

After lunch we went to Target and loaded up on stuff (a cheap watch, a tablecloth, three bags of Goldfish snack crackers, Mr & Mrs T bloody mary mix). And laundry detergent, because Linda decided there was plenty to do here - like washing my undies.

We had seriously discussed going about 45 miles to Hagerman where they have a national monument devoted to fossil digs. At first we had been keen to do it, both of us thinking it would be cool to see dinosaur fossils where they were discovered.

Then we read up on it this morning and found out that even the dinosaurs seemed to have skipped Twin Falls because there wasn't much to do. The best fossil they have is of a horse. And a gopher. And a turtle. You know, the sort of things you can probably find in at least 50 percent of the backyards here in Idaho.

Suddenly, adding a two-hour round trip onto our three-hour drive to get here didn't seem worth it. And besides, those undies had been sitting in the car in scorching heat for several days and were in danger of becoming fossils themselves. It seemed better for public health and safety to heed the advice of the lady from Salt Lake and our waitress and just accept that there's not much to do here.

Tomorrow, though, we are exploring Craters of the Moon National Park, boasting three lava fields with some of the word's deepest open rifts. That's the real reason we're stopping here. And after the lava fields we're on our way to Idaho Falls where, I suspect not much happens. But it gets us just one stop away from Yellowstone.


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