Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Boise, Idaho

June 4 - 10, 2014:

It was a windy flight for the Grayhawk on June 4th to Boise, Idaho, but except for not knowing exactly where the GPS was taking me for a while in the Boise city limits, we arrived intact.  We rode along the thousand springs scenic byway (route 30) from Twin Falls to Bliss, Idaho through scenic farm country for the first 40 miles.  It was then onto route 84 for 100 miles, more of a highway route with scenic vistas, a few long climbs and more farm land.                                                                                                       

We arrived at the Boise Riverside RV Park in early afternoon where we have a water and electric site adjacent to the "Greenway" trail that follows the Boise river for about 25 miles.  It is adjacent to the Western Idaho Fairgrounds and the campground owner set us up with free tickets to the horse races Wednesday evening.  The crowd there was huge, the weather was perfect and it was much fun.

The Boise River behind the campground

View of the campground, several work at the fairgrounds next door

The horse race track

Should have bet on # 2
Thursday was going well until I slammed the motor home front door onto my ring finger.  The worst part was that the door locked closed on my finger tip, I couldn't open the door as I didn't have the key and Twinkles was not there to open the door with her key.  Somehow I was able to pull the finger out, but it was deeply cut.  Twinkles arrived back about ten minutes latter and we eventually decided I better go to Urgent Care.  They were close by and were very quick, thorough and professional.  After vital signs, cleaning, X-rays, anesthesia, stitching it up, a tetanus shot and bandaging I was good to go.  I find that at my age all types of accidental injuries happen more frequently, a very bad trend !  I rested most of the afternoon as Twinkles did some fabric shopping but then went to downtown Boise in the evening to check out the 1st Thursday activities there.  Boise has a very vibrant, happening, college downtown scene loaded with restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bars, offices and stores of all kind.  The first Thursday event is mostly about stores staying open longer and having special sales and promotions.  I ended up stopping at a Chicago Pizza and had an interesting conversation with a potential RV'er from Oregon.

The big blue finger,don't know why I'm smiling

I had spent a few months working in Boise overseeing the remanufacture of five GP40-FH-2 Locomotives at Morrison-Knudsen Corp. for NJ Transit in the early 1990's.  That was probably the favorite project of my career at NJ Transit and I loved Boise, was sad to see that project end.  This is the reason I routed us in this direction, I wanted to re-visit Boise. 

We did a walking tour of downtown Boise on Friday and had an excellent lunch at "Fork".  I am not a big fan of these trendy places with their one syllable names, but we ate outside on the patio, it was a nice sunny day and the food and service were really good. After veg'ing out in the afternoon, I ventured back downtown in the evening to the "Pengilly's" Saloon for a band CD release party.  The "Possum Liv'in" band were interesting musically and they had the place packed, but not something I would care to see again.  It was a fun night out though and I love this bar, it seems to be very original inside, from the early 1900's and very cool. The outside sign with the Buffalo head is pretty cool too !

The Pengilly Saloon sign with the lights on

Inside the Pengilly Saloon with Possum Liv'in on stage

Saturday was back downtown to the Farmers Market which was huge, over a hundred vendors, very well attended and one of the best we have seen in our travels.  Lots of excitement downtown on Saturday as they had a triathlon going on with the finish line on Capital Street.  We happened to be there as the young boys age group was finishing, it was much fun to watch.  Nearby we found the "Basque" area of town with a historical museum, restaurant and market.  We then decided that this was enough downtown action and headed for the hills via the incredible road to Bogus Basin Ski area.  The road is all curves up from 3,000 ft elevation at Boise to 6,000 feet at the ski area over 16 miles and has become a mecca for bicycle riders.  In fact the whole city of Boise is very bike friendly with bike lanes throughout the downtown.

Farmers Market view

A better Farmers Market view

The boys nearing the finish line
Great old Stearns car ad on downtown building

The Idanha Hotel is one of Boise's greatest

Will Rodgers comment

THe Idaho Capital building

Inside the rotunda

One of the things I miss most in this RV lifestyle is live music, especially the blues.  I was surrounded by it back in New Jersey.  In most towns or cities I do a search for it and usually come up with little to nothing.  I checked Boise as I wasn't seeing anything advertised and found the "Boise Blues Society" which have a blues jam every second Sunday of the month.  I went not expecting too much and to my surprise, it was absolutely great. As with most blues society's they are not too good at self promotion or promotion of the musicians, but they are involved with the Blues in the school program.  They could use someone like my friend, Ron Ungarini back in New Jersey to get the word out.  Anyhow, I had almost forgotten what it felt like to hear real blues again, sure was sweet, made my day. 

View of the Blues jam

A Mennonite couple with 4 boys who appear to be in age from newborn to 5 years old moved into a tent camping spot behind our RV Sunday evening.  It didn't look like much fun to me.  At 2 AM I woke with the sounds of horse noises from the adjacent stable area along with a crying baby from the campers.  It went on for a long time and I was debating whether the baby was crying because of the horses or vise-versa, but it was a strange and new night time sound for me.  RV'ers are notorious for complaining about train or highway noise in campgrounds, which normally doesn't bother me, but crying babies is a hard noise to ignore.

Monday morning, I have a muscle pain in the Butt / upper thigh area, don't know why, went to bed fine, maybe a little too much hip shaking yesterday at the blues jam ?  

We go to a local restaurant with great reviews for breakfast, the "Egg Factory" and it is as good as they say.  Twinkles had the lemon poppy seed pancakes with homemade syrup that were absolutely the best ever !  I had an egg dish with real ham, peppers and cheese that was just perfect.  

We then went to Julia Davis Park in downtown Boise with their great rose garden and then a mile away to the Botanical Garden.

The rose garden

Twinkles posing at the rose garden gate

Statue of Julia Davis, Boise pioneer

Trout at the Botanical Garden were the big attraction

Many downtown Boise building are heated by geothermal

A Freak Alley mural

Another with an Idaho theme

I always try yo get a garbage dumpster in for effect

THe historic Egyptian THeater

Interior of the old Boise Depot

The Big Mike Locomotive

The classic Union Pacific Depot

Back to Urgent Care on Tuesday morning where they take another look at the finger and give me a shot in the hip to fight infection and a prescription for an infection killing drug.  Also want to see me on Wednesday morning for a second shot. The muscle pain in my leg is what is really killing me today, can not walk without pain, not sure what is worse, the finger wound or the muscle pain. I am not a good sick patient, I'm in full blown hypochondriac worry mode, quite sure I have something terminal and am driving Twinkles out of her mind.

Wednesday I get another anti infection shot then go for a slow walk on the Boise Riverwalk while Twinkles goes on a 10 mile bike ride.  The muscle pain seems to be easing up, there is hope.  This has been a tough week for me, I'm ready for a change in scenery now, in spite of the pain.  Boise has been great, Twinkles is adding it to her list of potential settle down locations.

Congratulations go out to my daughter Miranda and Beth, a baby boy, that makes me a Grandfather again !

Next stop is the Riggins, Idaho area to a BLM Recreation site.

Got to keep moving on,
Twinkles and Slick

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