Road Trip: Boise

I needed to take a vacation at least once this summer. Why? Of course, to keep up my streak of vacationing every summer.  I think it’s somewhere around 10-12 now. My optimistic plans were to get to a ‘new’ state, perhaps Wyoming. Ultimately, though, I’ve had lots of other exciting plans, mostly friends and family visiting, that are happily filling my schedule and leaving me 6 days to travel. I could also have done it mid-August, but I don’t want to be busy, busy, busy right before the school year starts.

Today I met up with a couple friends at the Portland Brewer’s Festival for some 3 ounce tastes of various beers, local and distant. At the reminder that I was heading out for a vacation, one friend said, “Boise? Why are you going to Boise?” I qualified my choice by stating that I was also going to do some nature sightseeing. But really, I enjoy visiting cities, too. I enjoy urban areas. I enjoy walking around in ‘other’ places, seeing what life is like there, taking photographs, and I especially enjoy trying new/regional/unique food joints. I’m glad I’m not a person who needs to have a full to-do list when I travel. Well, actually, I do have such a list, but it doesn’t have all the popular sights you’d hear about if you went to AAA or read a tourism guide.   While some people come to Boise to visit the Capitol, see the Shakespeare Festival, and see the zoo,  my list includes wandering through Boise State university, running on the river(green)belt, going to the Basque neighborhood, wandering downtown, driving to Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, and floating down the Boise river (a 3 hour journey with cheap raft rental prices). I’m looking forward to it. As I type this, it is 1 AM. I forgot Idaho is in the Mountain timezone.

My drive was uneventful, starting in a rainy 58 degree Portland, and ending in a sunny 99 degree  Boise. Believe it on not, I packed this morning, got distracted, and realized just in time that I hadn’t packed any shorts. I also brought running gear, for those morning runs on the greenbelt, but I left my running shoes at home. Coincidentally, I did just trash one pair of worn-out shoes, so it will make sense for me to go buy some tomorrow. There is a Nike factory store nearby; I might try that.

More tomorrow…or later today. I have a list of nine restaurant/pub/bar/lounges I want to visit, and about four days to do it. We’ll see how that goes.  For the last few days, I plan to stop somewhere in Northeastern Oregon to see and photograph canyons, forests, other geologic features…who knows?

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