Lonesome Larry began his trip with a visit to Malad Gorge, a narrow, 250-foot-deep canyon formed by the Malad River in the Hagerman Valley. This natural wonder serves as habitat to rock pigeons, red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, and yellow-bellied marmots. A section of the Oregon Trail is visible from the hiking and picknicking area, just off of interstate 84.
Since he’s already visited the fiddling and whitewater capitals of the world, Larry thought it only fitting to pop into the potato museum in the potato capital of the world: Blackfoot, Idaho. Although potatoes were first grown and eaten in South America, the ones grown in Idaho were developed in North America by Luther Burbank in 1872. The burbank-russet potato (commonly called the russet) is perfectly suited to the rich, volcanic soil and warm, dry climate that persists in most of the region, making Idaho the number one potato-producing state in the nation.
Lonesome Larry wrapped up his road trip with a visit to the Craters of the Moon National Monument near Arco, Idaho. This strange, lava-swept landscape once rested over what is now known as the Yellowstone hot-spot. It’s cinder-cones, caves and craters served as a training ground for astronauts prior to the first journey to the moon. In the summer, it can get incredibly hot. With temperatures in the mid-nineties on Sunday, Larry fish-flopped his interesting self to a drinking fountain and left cave exploration to his buddies, Annie and Joe.
Larry traveled to these places to share his own story and to share in others. At first glance, the very different areas that Larry visits may seem to have little to do with each other, but they are connected in that each region holds a treasure that makes Idaho unique. From the whitewater of north central Idaho to the hot, dry craters of east Idaho, the Gem State holds a combination of wonders that is truly unforgettable.