So Spake Mo…
Once there was a man who—despite being on record as having broken nearly every bone in his entire body over the course of his illustrious career—managed to secure all the necessary permits from the city of Twin Falls, Idaho to stage a media extravaganza!
Before a crowd of spectators and media, Evel Knievel strapped into his X-1 Skycycle, preparing to make a leap of approximately 1,500 feet…over a 486 foot deep section of the Snake River Canyon.
He made it.
The rocket car’s parachute deployed prematurely, dragging Knievel back over the river, then further still to land on the launch-side riverbank. A few more feet to the north and he wouldn’t have walked away with minor injuries; he would have drowned. His parachute wasn’t the only thing to malfunction. His harness failed to release, trapping him in the Skycycle until help arrived.
Strip away the newsmen and the elaborate machinery.
Bring on the lower-budget daredevils: the fishermen. Approximately a quarter of a mile from the site of Knievel’s jump stands an abandoned platform overlooking those dizzying heights. Feel like dangling a line in the waters of the great Snake River? Grab your gear and your pole and join in your mind’s eye the fishermen of yesteryear as they shimmied down a ladder that hung from this platform in their quest to catch The Big One.
Funny, but the city of Twin Falls, Idaho decided to shut that one down…
So Spake Me…
For those of you unfamiliar with the man, Evel (formerly Evil) Knievel was the stuntman rockstar of his day. His Snake River Canyon jump has been called Woodstock with out the mud and rain.
Yes, hard to picture that in Twin Falls, Idaho.
My folks actually saw
the jump. They were stopped on the Perrine Bridgethat spans the canyon on their way
to pick up some peaches. They watched him nearly land; they watched the wind
sweep him back into the canyon.
And then there’s me.
Who snaps a picture of the fisherman’s platform as fast as she can and scurries away from the railing before the vertigo can pitch her head over heels into a picturesque death on the rocks…way…down…there.
PS--Did you know the Shoshone Falls(right next to these two historic sites) is
taller than Niagra? Oh yeah, it’s WAY down there.
PPS--I, obviously, didn’t take the Knievel picture, having been less than a year old at the time, but I couldn’t find the name of the photographer who did. So, my apologies. On that note, the photo of the Perrine Bridge, a favorite haunt of
base jumpers, was taken by my father.
The Story of Place