The big highlight of our trip was visiting Yellowstone and the sites I’ve already shared with you in Idaho. However, there were some other stops we made that are worth mentioning…
On our second day, we visited the Minidoka Historical Site where thousands of Japanese Americans were imprisoned after the attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII. The camp was located in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully we arrived at opening time because they were closing early due to a heat advisory and a broken A/C unit. We were able to visit the historical center with tons of photos and artifacts, watch a video of survivors, and take a tour of the camp. Honestly, it was hard to keep a dry eye learning about this tragic chapter in US history.
The camp was not fully preserved and intact, but we were able to tour some of the buildings. The building on the left was the cafeteria and the building on the right was where 6 families lived. They were not furnished inside, just empty buildings. There wasn’t a fee to visit the historical site and take a tour. It was a solemn adventure off the beaten path, but worth the stop if you are interested in history.
Afterwards, we decided to take a drive to Jackpot, NV to try to liven up our spirits a bit. It seemed we took a lot of back roads and even had the experience of watching a crop duster spray the field we were driving next to. I’ve only experienced seeing that a few times in my life and never so close.
Jackpot is right across the border of Nevada. It was a town created when Idaho outlawed gaming back in the 1950’s. It came up when I googled things to do around Twin Falls, ID since it was 45 minutes away. The pictures made it seem like it would be full of wild, wild west casinos but mainly it was a small area along the highway with outdated machines. Quite a different feel than Las Vegas which we visited earlier in the year. Paul and I had a set amount of money we were going to spend. I lost my allotted amount right away at Cactus Pete’s. Paul gave me some of his winnings and we walked across the street to Club 93 where we spent the rest of the afternoon and came back with most of our money.
Our last day of vacation we spent in West Yellowstone buying souvenirs for my mom, our kids, and their significant others. There were tons of shops to spend money in but after awhile everything was pretty much the same in each store. Surprisingly the stores were not a lot less expensive than the ones within Yellowstone. As far as dining on our trip, there wasn’t anything really impressive.
I felt like we had our down time days on the first day and last day of the trip. The rest of the time was run, run, run and it would’ve been nice to break it up a bit. For flying in, we spent a lot of time on the road. I’m glad I decided not to add a couple of days in Oregon and Washington to the trip, it would’ve been too much. I’ll have to check off those states some other time.