We arrived in Caldwell, Idaho, in the early afternoon Sunday and got the couch set up to live in. It was over 100 when we got there and it got hotter as it got later. We drove over to Susan and Jeff’s house in the late afternoon and had a great dinner with the family.
Monday morning I booked campsites for Winnemucca, Carson City, and Lone Pine, for the drive home. Still need to make a rez for somewhere near the Cajon Junction, but I never did make one as we just wanted to get home and not cook another day in the desert.
We then drove over to see Jeff’s construction site. It was a huge project with 22 large apartment buildings, 290 units, way larger than what I was thinking. We went out for burgers at a place called Famous Dave’s. I had never heard of him, so maybe he isn’t as famous as he thinks. After lunch we dropped Jeff at his office and we headed over to the capitol building, which was gorgeous inside with all the white marble, then the Old Penitentiary and Botanical Gardens.
The riverfront park or Boise Greenspace, as it is called here, is pretty incredible with its 25 or so miles of pathways for walkers and bikers next to the Snake River. There were lots of folks in rafts and tubes floating by while we were there.
After hanging in the shade of the Greenspace for a while, I wanted to drive down to the basalt cliffs southwest of town, but I missed the turn and stumbled on a very large earthen dam on the Snake River just a few miles from Boise before we could find a place to make a U-Turn. It was complete with a hydroelectric power station. We drove over the top to the boat launch area. It was a big lake with lots of power boats pulling kids on rafts and tubes at high speed.
On the way up to the top of the dam, we spied a large cove at the bottom with a big water jet spraying up maybe 50 feet in the air and lots of people all around on kayaks, rafts and tubes trying to keep cool in the high heat of the afternoon. We drove down there, but ended up turning around as all the signs said no pets allowed. As we got close to the kiosk at the gate, one of the signs even said no pets allowed in the car either. So we turned around and drove back toward the cliffs I had come to see in the first place. Just prior to the turnoff for the cliffs, I spotted a small dam, so I stopped to take a look at it. Kathy wouldn’t get out of the car it was so toasty outside. She stayed in the air conditioning and I walked over to it in the sweltering heat.
We also found a diversionary dam further back the way we came. It appears to take some of the water from downstream of the dam and divert it into irrigation canals. We snapped a few pics of the basalt cliffs and headed back into town to find Freak Alley. Kathy told me it was closed today, but that sounded a bit odd to me. How would they close an alley? It turned out to be one of the most interesting places in Boise. What Kathy had read was closed was a place called Freak Alley Gallery, a store next to one of the entrances to the alley.
It was a great place to spend twenty minutes walking thru and looking at all the crazy paintings on the building walls. There are some excellent artists’ paintings there. The alley is about two blocks long. I am sure my pictures won’t do it justice, but if you are ever in Boise, it’s a must see.
On Tuesday I headed out alone to see the Warhawk Museum. On the way I mapped out a much needed car wash for the toad. To my surprise, it took a long time to find an actual full-service car wash. Each “full-service” spot I drove to was self service, but included some free time on the vacuums. Appears that is what they call “full service” here in Idaho. I had almost given up when I happened to drive past what looked like a regular car wash. Pulled in and it was! They did a great job getting all the dead bugs off the front of the car. Now that I think of it, we hadn’t washed it since leaving home. The interesting part of the car wash was the gas station, regular gas was $3.35 a gallon and next door to them regular gas was $2.91. That’s a pretty large difference for two name brand stations next to each other.
BTW, I wanted a full-service place since it was about 106 degrees outside.
The Warhawk Museum is a small place crammed full of stuff from WWII. Planes, vehicles and small vignettes with personal stories of GI’s. The most amazing thing I saw in the museum was a glider from the D Day invasion force. I didn’t know any had survived, and from the looks of this one, it may be the only one. It was in pretty bad shape but really gave you a sense of how small and vulnerable to gunfire they were.
Sure hope it’s a lot cooler back in San Diego as we should be there in less than a week! (It wasn’t)
Heading for Winnemucca (the armpit of hell it turns out) in the morning.