Just a few more photos to catch you up on our stay in Boise!
The Idaho State Capitol Building is in the center of downtown. It was fun to spot the building on our walks up Camel’s Back and Table Rock.
Ann Morrison Park is very large and very lovely, except for the seriously overgrown population of geese!
Freak Alley is tucked away downtown among a nice restaurant district. The walls are covered with graffiti and murals by local artists.
Although we did not try the famous Idaho Ice Cream Potato, I did enjoy a delicious cherry milkshake at the Westside Drive In!
I don’t know which peak is lucky, or why. In fact, we didn’t even walk up any hills here. We did walk on a nice trail through a wide canyon, along the Boise River. I’m pretty sure we saw a couple of hawks flying around. (Amanda, I’m getting better at birds after visiting the World Center for Birds of Prey!)
The sign across the dam wall reads “Keep your forests green.”
We were looking forward to a swim at the Sandy Point beach after our walk, but holy cannoli, that water was cold!
This was a tough hike! It was dry and dusty and steep. The land at the beginning of the trail was covered with tall grasses and bushes, but that soon gave way to a barren wasteland. I know that sounds very dramatic, but I’m not exaggerating! A wildfire swept through the area earlier this summer. The burnt bushes and charred ground were kind of an eerie landscape to walk through.
When we reached the summit we could see all of Boise below us, and pretty far beyond the city, too.
We discovered that the top of Table Rock is dotted with antennas and various communication towers, cables, and shed-like structures. Boring. But, not boring was the awesome graffiti covering the sheds. It was like visiting a small art show!
Boise is a small city, but there’s lots to do. Here’s a simple recipe for a fun weekend…
- Visit a brewery. There are several! The food and drinks at 10 Barrel Brewing are fantastic.
- Watch a roller derby match. An hour of alternately cheering for the jammers who break through, and cringing when someone gets knocked down. These women are brutal! In each round, both teams have blockers and a jammer on the track. The jammer tries to skate through the pack of blockers, and scores a point for every opposing skater she passes. This match featured Boise’s Treasure Valley Rollergirls skating against Salt Lake City’s Ladies of the Lake. (My team would be called Jam and the Holograms.)
After the roller derby, the Boise Bombers set up their court for a wheelchair rugby match. These dudes are bonkers! I lost track of how many times a chair was flipped over because they were moving so fast. Two of the guys are on the US team going to Rio for the Paralympics.
- Climb up the Camel’s Back. Have to get that outdoor time! It’s a steep walk, but you’re rewarded with great views of Boise when you reach the top. And when you come back down, you can get a real reward by stopping in Hyde Park for a shave ice!
Late evening was the perfect time to arrive at Bruneau Dunes State Park. As we walked up the dunes, the sunset gave the sand a pretty, orange glow.
The astronomy program was amazing! We spent about 3 hours walking back and forth between the huge telescope in the observatory and the smaller, but still very powerful, telescopes set up on the terrace. Their observatory is on a track so the building could move around as the guide pointed the telescope at different objects. The telescope is so large that we had to climb a ladder to see through the eyepiece! We saw Jupiter’s Galilean moons, the rings of Saturn, the Witch’s Broom Nebula (and a few others), and we even looked into the center of our galaxy. It was so dark out there that we could even see the Milky Way in the sky! And I saw a shooting star with a bright green trail, so yeah, it was a pretty awesome night!
I was looking forward to making a scenic detour on our drive to Idaho to see the so-called “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls. Turns out we visited while the Snake River was being diverted, so the water flow was low. It was a neat place to visit, with great views of the canyon, but would have been more impressive if the faucets were turned on* full blast.
*Look, Dina, I’m learning about presidents! When we visited Minnehaha we read a plaque about LBJ’s visit.