It’s almost August, and it devastates me to realize that I haven’t blogged because I NEEDED to blog about my trip to Idaho in… (squeak!) May. Ben and I took more than 300 photos between our two cameras, so sorting them and uploading them to Flickr was frankly daunting. BUT IT HAS BEEN DONE. And I’m finally going to tell you, with what I’m sure will be anticlimactic fanfare, about my exciting weekend in May.
I’ve lived in Utah for almost four years now and had never driven into Idaho (which, for the record, I keep typing as “Idago” because really, who puts an H after the letter A?!?! srsly, WTF). I didn’t really have a reason to visit the land of Famous Potatoes until my Idahoan friend C. invited me to her housewarming party in Boise. I befriended C. through this very blog when she was SpudLostInUtah… we finally met in person last year and then a miracle occurred and she was able to escape crazyass Utah, and her blog name changed to FoundInIdaho.
Anyway. We left on Saturday a little before noon, and were pleasantly surprised by the drive through Northern Utah, where the rocky, industrialized mountain area gave way to green and sparsely populated landscape, perhaps similar to what Utah Valley looked like before it was inundated with tightly-spaced condos, churches, and McDonald’s.
The drive through Southwestern Idaho was much greener and hillier than we expected. Heavily-irrigated fields were filled with cows galore. (Ben and I played fiercely competitive rounds of Cows I Win, which is a game I learned in college. The first person to see a herd of cows and call out “Cows I Win” wins. Negative points if the herd turns out to be horses or sheep.) Silvery-green scrub brush dotted non-irrigated areas in interesting patterns. Hawks, eagles, and ravens, and possibly a falcon flew in and out of our view. I’ve turned into a little bit of a bird nerd, and really wished that I’d brought binoculars and field guide with me. At least Ben was driving so we didn’t have to worry about me swerving into oncoming traffic while pointing at them.
However, Major Fail: Ben failed to alert me, and I did not notice, that the Idago (what the hell, I’m just renaming the state) border was looming, so I did not take a photo of the “Welcome to Idaho” sign. I’m pretty sure we did actually leave Utah, though, since the drivers started behaving like actual drivers instead of rude, idiot asshole f*cktards. (I’ve experienced Masshole drivers, and they’ve got nothin’ on half-brained Utah drivers in F-350s with trailers of ATVs. Ahem. /rant. Sorry.)
We took a little longer than expected to arrive in Boise because we stopped at some of the scenic overlooks. This photo was taken just before we drove across the Perrine Bridge into Twin Falls, where there was reportedly a Visitor Information Center. That’s the Snake River and a taste of America the Beautiful. Oh, and a golf course on the right side.
We passed the Visitor Info building twice before getting there. Which might be hard for you to believe, given how large the letters are on this tiny building, but trust me. It’s hiding behind an Outback Steakhouse and faces the canyon and a small park instead of the road. Must have been some visiting Utah civil engineers who thought that up. But the short detour off the freeway to find it was absolutely worth it; the Snake River canyon was amazing and the guy inside the Visitor Center was incredibly friendly and helpful. Like, to the point where I wondered if there was going to be an ultimate reason for explaining all of that information as there was at the end of the movie Wayne’s World, which validated Chris Farley’s cameo-filled-with-seemingly-unnecessary-information. (See, Mom? There’s another example of how watching that movie a million times had a purpose after all!)
And here we have a non-sponsored appearance of Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. Seriously, If I don’t use this stuff regularly, I pick/bite my nails/cuticles until they bleed. I had it out and got all artsy with the Perrine Bridge in the background. I like that the curve of the little tin is echoed in the curve of the bridge.
Not included in any photos that I took: base jumpers. But they were there. Also, a little chameleon of some sort. At first we thought it was just a cute lizard doing push-ups on a rock to impress/scare us, but then it moved behind a bush and turned green. You BET I started singing karma-karma-karma-karma-karma chamel-e-on! According to Teh Internet, this little guy is not a chameleon after all. But you know what he was for sure? A diva. He kept moving closer until we got a good photo and said how cute he was. Then he grew bored of us and scurried away.
In other exciting news, I did not realize that the Oregon Trail was real. I thought it was just an educational computer game that I never played well enough to beat.
And this is for my mom. Horses have teeth, too! But I wondered briefly if that’s where horses went to learn about dentistry for their species? Because maybe they’ve advanced beyond the “paw once for yes, twice for no” intelligence? And now they’re capable of performing root canals—at least in this obscure Idaho town that had a two-pump gas station in front of a “COUNTRY STORE” that was the hoppingest place in town and probably the only liquor store for miles and even had a Shasta machine out front that ate my 50¢ and then, after a generous honor-refund from the cashier inside, was out of Diet Shasta and shot out cream soda instead of root beer which was too sweet for me and Ben had to drink though he didn’t really mind after all.
Boise eventually appeared over the horizon in the early evening, seemingly out of nowhere. We counted down the mile markers and were like, “um, does Boise actually exist? Because there’s no sign of life and it’s almost our exit…” and then BAM! A city in a tree-filled valley in the middle of what is otherwise nowhere. Sorry I didn’t take a photo of the BAM! moment.
We checked into our hotel—the Hampton Inn in downtown Boise. We had a great view over the newly gentrified neighborhood and movie theater below, and the room was nice and clean, but the walls were paper thin. It was easy to hear, um, bathroom sounds… from next door. Yay. Otherwise a nice place. We walked to meet C., her husband and son at the TableRock microbrewery for dinner, where I had a reuben that had never heard of New York but was otherwise good, and we tried some of the local beer on tap but unfortunately I can’t remember exactly what we had. I probably had the amber ale, and I do remember liking it.
Wow, so now I remember what blogging is like again. It takes time and energy! I’m going to do Idaho Day 2 tomorrow. If I don’t, you have my permission to slug me in my I.P. address. But I will blog, so you don’t have to plan how you would actually do that. You can get a sneak preview by looking at my photos from Idaho on my flickr photostream.