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Eye On Boise

Hollywood stuntman to attempt to jump Snake River Canyon

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Hollywood stuntman is hoping to do what famous daredevil Evel Knievel never could: jump the Snake River Canyon. Eddie Braun is planning to strap into a steam-powered rocket and travel 430 mph to soar to the other side of the canyon this weekend. The launch had been slated for Saturday, but the crew says it’s being flexible due to thunderstorm activity in the area. The jump is not open to the public because the launch pad and landing site are located on private property. Braun has spent more than three years preparing for this jump, and says that completing it would fulfill a lifelong goal.

The Smithsonian has a video about Knievel’s 1974 jump attempt online here. Among its gems: It reports that Knievel wanted to jump the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle, but the U.S. government said no. “So he scouted the country by helicopter searching for a comparable challenge.” That brought him to the Snake River canyon. After reporting that Knievel survived his unsuccessful jump with just a broken nose, the video says the attempt “proved that there just might be places in Idaho that humans can’t conquer. And with so much wilderness in this rugged western state, it’s not hard to see why.”

Also today, Idaho Statesman sports reporter Mike Prater has an article sharing his first-hand memories of the 1974 jump; it’s online here. Entitled “Hanging with Evel Knievel on jump day in 1974: A dream come true,” Prater recalls being a 12-year-old with a very excited 9-year-old brother, meeting Knievel, and watching the jump from the roof of a family friend’s house, while his mom worried about the “riff raff” in town. “I remember it well because it may have been the most fantastic day of my life,” Prater writes. “It certainly was for my little brother.”

Braun's "Return to Snake River" Facebook page here reported on Sept. 12 that the jump won't be streamed online, but will be televised. “Once we are able to release the details, we will announce which network and when the launch will be televised,” the site reported.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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