Snake River Canyon

I’m gonna make it! I’m gonna make it! This is the greatest thrill of my life! I’m king of the world! — Homer, “Bart The Daredevil”

Homer Simpson’s iconic jump of Springfield Gorge in 1990 calls to mind daredevil Evel Knievel’s much-hyped but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to jump Idaho’s Snake River Canyon in 1974. Leaving his motorcycle at home, Evel put over $150,000 into the Skycycle X-2, a steam-powered rocket that was to propel him over the 3/4-mile wide canyon before a live audience of over 100,000.

To give you an idea of just how wide a 3/4-mile canyon is, it’s about .75 miles wider than one can clear in a $150,000 spaceship (actual launch comes around 2:20):

To his credit, Evel himself acknowledged the likelihood of failure, a testament to the never-give-up and never-think-things-out spirit of the stuntman. This was, after all, a man who still leads the Guinness Book Of World Records with 433 broken bones over the course of his lifetime.

“I didn’t think I even had a 50-50 chance to make it,” Knievel remembers. “Everyone told me not to do it, but I was determined to keep my word, so I climbed up and got strapped in. When I punched that power button I thought, ‘God, here I come.’”

Though Evel passed on in 2007, his son, Robbie Knievel, has since voiced his intentions to someday successfully replicate his father’s jump, so we still may have a chance to see who gets the last laugh.

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32 Responses to Snake River Canyon

  1. Best. Simpsons. EVER!

    Thanks for the laughs…


  2. Maxim says:

    I wonder if Bart Simpson will also take up his dads failure one day… He should, it’s totally possible.

  3. Wow… I couldn’t imagine voluntarily staring death in the face, for nothing more than a dare. Glad he made it alive, though.

  4. Love Homer. My post on him 10/6/10. Am not trying to promote myself on your blog so delete this comment. I just wanted your feedback on it. Thanks.

  5. matthewhyde says:

    I’ve never seen that clip of Evel before….Love the blog, great idea, well executed. Glad you got freshly pressed!

  6. Yikes, my stomach is in knots just looking at the graphic.

  7. Baby Pickel says:

    Found this post on the homepage of wordpress today – enjoyed it, thanks for the read! Would you ever be open to sharing a story with our blog?

  8. gaycarboys says:

    Funny!:) I think the Simpsons have always been a bit of a funny slice of life. At least they wouldn’t be breaking bones like Evil Kaneval LOL

  9. YuzuHoney says:

    I just stumbled onto this blog-wicked! Time to hunt some torrents and have a Simpsons marathon!

  10. Great informative post. I enjoyed reading this. brings back fond memeories of when Evel was The Man.

    Have a Great Day!

    Mr. Brick

  11. 300hikes says:

    My grandfather was once contacted by Evil Knievel to fly him in his helicopter. He thought it was a prank and hung up… He was surprised to find an article regarding Evil Knievel’s appearance the next day in the paper.

  12. webstimme says:

    Yeah! I love the Simpson

  13. GFanthome says:

    Awesome! I love Evel!!!

  14. brianlamew says:

    Great historical account of Evel Knievel through the medium of classic Simpson moments. Thanks for the post.

  15. Ha! Simpsons, that brings back memories 🙂

  16. alexbpop says:

    Thanks also reminding us how great the first-season Simpsons episodes were.

  17. Cy Quick says:

    Since “it takes all sorts to make a world” we have to accept the presence of the Evel Knievel type (Malcolm Campbell was another) and look forward to the day (for their sake) when one of them does something intrinsically useful, not only eye-catching. Meantime, a guy like me, rides the bus, and feels relieved to have been born tame and boring. Aint it funny? Thanks for the interesting Post. -Cy

  18. Andi Benson says:

    Funny. I grew up always thinking his name was ‘Evil’ Knievel . Or was it ? Doh !

  19. wigsf says:

    Evel Knievel’s fame was the fact that he actually failed some of his stunts. But hey, to each his own, right?
    Who wants to see a guy successfully jump a canyon. Why do we remember Homer’s jump over Springfield Gorge? It’s not the jump we remember, it’s the fall down the side of the cliff we remember. Or maybe it’s the second fall down the cliff. Either way, we don’t remember the jump as much as we remember the plummet.

  20. Pingback: Snake River Canyon (via Springfield Historical Society @ « Ash's Blog

  21. yoshikixjpn says:

    yeah ..
    simpson 4ever !!

  22. Enjoyed it! Visited the canyon in 2002 and thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks for the memories!

  23. realanonymousgirl2011 says:

    I love that episode of the Simpsons!

  24. The posts are great but now I wonder how you may be connected to Matt Groening to be able to use his stuff for a blog of your own.

  25. Pingback: Idaho Postcard | Scott For State Collectibles

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