We met Harry and Karen (from NY) and Geoff and Pat (from CT), nearly 30 years ago, in NJ. With shared passions for biking, hiking and skiing, it didn’t take long for us to become fast friends. At the time, Pat and Geoff lived near us in CT and they are still close by even though we migrated northward, so we get together with some regularity. Less so for Harry and Karen. We were sad when they told us after 5 years that they were moving to Boise ID. But no worries – we’ll just continue having outrageous ski and bike vacations together! We have fond memories of meet-ups for adventures in Sun Valley, Alta/Snowbird/Solitude, Breckenridge, Whistler/Blackcomb and more. Then came kids (mostly theirs), injuries (mostly ours), jobs with lots of travel (pretty much all of us), and all of a sudden 19 years had gone by without an adventure together… Gotta fix that!
Although Harry and Karen haven’t changed a bit, sons David and Chris have in that time – on our last adventure together in Breckenridge, the boys were 3 and 1, respectively. David is a very recent (~1 week!) UCSB graduate who was home for the weekend before heading off to his first job, back in California. Chris is in his second year at Emerson College in Boston and was home for the weekend from his camp counselor trainer role. So fun to get to see both of these young men!
Boise is a totally cool city, and there’s no better way to get to know such a place than to be guided through it by locals who love it like Harry and Karen. On Saturday, the Boise Farmers’ Market takes over a chunk of downtown. It was a great hook to get us into town to see the urban sites, do a little shopping, have lunch, watch the people. We walked the relatively new water park, where one can go surfing on the Snake River (we didn’t try it), and we made a stop to test drive a couple of e-bikes. What a rush!
Since our last adventure, Harry’s parents, as well as his sister and her son, have all moved to Boise. Having heard about them for years, we were glad to get to meet them over a wonderful dinner, part pot-luck and part authentic Japanese. And it turns out Harry’s mom and stepdad are also RVers – fun to exchange travel tales.
For old-time’s sake (and to escape the 88-degree heat in town…) we took a hike to the summit of Bogus Basin, Boise’s local ski area, elevation 7600. The hike afforded us views, more catch-up time, and prompted us to recall that time we skied at Bogus, way back in 1996, before heading up to Sun Valley. Once back to the trailhead, it took us all of 30 seconds to decide none of us were up for cooking dinner, so we capped off our hike and weekend at a delightful neighborhood eatery back in the city.
Our approach to Boise included a few places Harry and Karen had told us about. The Minidoka National Historic Site, one of the 10 Japanese-American internment camps during WWII, was a sobering tour of a dark part of American history, a reminder of how much we can and should learn from our past. The Shoshone Falls, in a city park on the Snake River just outside of Twin Falls (which turns out also to be a great town in which to get a flat tire fixed, though I wish we weren’t finding quite so many of those…), are beautiful! And, although there are few paved, non-interstate roads between Twin Falls and Boise, we were able to take a back road through Buhl ID, Karen’s hometown.
As we departed Boise, still in a bit of a heat wave, we headed for the higher and cooler ground of Sun Valley. We found a delightful boondocking spot right off Trail Creek Road, 5 miles from downtown Ketchum with a view of Devil’s Beadstead – a peak within the Pioneer Mountains. We spent the next couple of days in Ketchum and Sun Valley, biking the dirt roads and drinking in the cooler mountain air while remembering the times we spent here years ago. And thanks to Harry for the suggestion – we LOVED our hike to Pioneer Cabin!
It won’t take us 19 years to visit again!