In 1974 world-famous daredevil Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in a steam-powered rocket. He ended up falling into the canyon on a parachute. To this day, that’s probably what Twin Falls is most known for outside of Idaho.
This weekend Hollywood stuntman Eddie Braun will attempt to complete Knievel’s failed jump in a rocket built by the son of the designer of Knievel’s original. Only invited guests will be allowed near the launch site. Camera crews will be there to film it for a later TV broadcast. Mychel Matthews has been covering the lead-up to this weekend’s jump for the Twin Falls Times-News. Matthews says the crew doesn’t even know when exactly it will happen.
“They don’t have a scheduled launch time,” Matthews says. “They have really no idea what time all the conditions are going to come together and say go.”
Matthews says Braun and crew hope to make the jump Saturday but it might happen as late as Sunday or as early as Friday.
Many in Twin Falls, including the city’s mayor, believe the jump will be good for the city. But the plan also stirs up a lot of old resentments. For example, biker gangs followed Knievel to Twin Falls and terrorized the locals.
Matthews, who also writes a column about Magic Valley history for the Times-News, talked with Adam Cotterell about this new attempt and the original one. She was a senior in high school at the time and went to see the jump. Listen to their conversation here.