All together, we spent 20 days in Greg's Boise 3-bedroom flat waiting for our new house to close. We tried not to count down the days, but there were definitely times when craziness reigned, space was tight and walls were thin. Not to mention we were down to bare-bones supplies with cooking, activities and our normal routine.
In other words, WE DID NOT HAVE OUR BIKES!!
Fortunately, we kept busy and discovered what this south-western section of Idaho has to offer. Turns out there’s a lot. And I think it helped with the homesickness.
#1 - Table Rock
This is a "must" hike among locals. And the day we hiked it could not have been better - storms in the morning which kept the high around 68 degrees. Air smelled fabulous! Everything was clean and bright with a light wind when we reached the top.
We saw a bull snake and a badger on the way down. Woa!
#2 - Mercin, Idaho
Ruthann showed us where the LDS church's farm is located in Mercin, Idaho. The town was quite scenic - even though we only saw the tip of the place. I'm determined to return with my bike and zoom through the endless miles of open country.
In the meantime, we scored many many pounds of cherries for $1/pound. We discovered Chicken Dinner Rd. - seriously, there is a road with this name - and we all spent an evening at the Horton's house preserving the cherries for the coming year. Yum!!
#3 - Old Idaho Penitentiary
I cannot say enough about how cool this place was - absolutely amazing! This prison operated for a little over 100 years (closed in 1970s). So much sordid history and ancient stone buildings. Super super cool. Greg's parents are visiting in another few weeks and we can't wait to take them here.
|The microscopic area for solitary confinement. The only ventilation was a single hole cut in the top of the cell. Shudder...|
|Solitary Confinement - this place gave me the creeps.|
#4 - The Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology
This museum gives free tours for kids from April-Oct on the geology of the Boise area. Naturally, I called them right away to make a reservation. To make it more bearable for the kids, we enlisted the Horton family again. Our kids are meshing exceptionally well.
This tour was surprisingly very good. The kids had tons of questions - shock?! - for our guide, Eliza. And then I quizzed her about hikes/sites/must-see spots while the kids got lost in the museum. We got Slurpee drinks on our way home.
#5 - Boise National Forest, Crooked River Trail
The original plan was to hike Jennie Lake (a path I'd researched like crazy online), but by sheer luck I happened to pull over at a Ranger Station in Idaho City for bathroom breaks and casually mentioned our plans to a sweet lady at the counter. I'm so glad I did. She was a wealth of information - Jennie Lake still had snow and there were half a dozen other hikes I'd never heard about that were ideal for kids. Score!! My bucket list of hikes for the rest of the summer is complete.
This day was great because it was our first venture into the Sawtooth Mountains above Boise. It smelled heavenly and everything was beautiful! I'm still struggling getting my head around this massive forest. All the major roadways are two-lanes and you lose cell coverage the moment you leave any civilization. Nothing is marked with any regularity and you're really at the mercy of pre-printed online directions and your own car mileage. This is going to take time (along with the purchase of a solid Boise National Forest MAP), and lots of repeat visits.
We stopped for pie on the way home at Trudy's back in Idaho City. This place is supposed to be famous for pie. But I think I chose the wrong one. Pretty Girl's was much better.
#6 - Emmett, ID
Beautiful town! Definitely another road-biking-potential spot.
This place holds a cherry festival every mid-June. And sadly, it was kind of lame. A festival of major expensive rides, booths and food trucks all squeezed into a small city park - all of which were completely devoid of cherries. Amazing! Not a single cherry to be seen (the fake cherry in Pretty Girl's shake doesn't count).
I don't think we'll go back next year.
I don't think we'll go back next year.
#7 - Camel Back Park
Extremely cool park in the Hyde Park District in Boise. We went with the Horton family again. This one was a definite repeat - and we loved all the little shops and restaurants in the district proper. Lots to explore.
And that was our first 2 weeks...