Winner Winner Chicken Dinner: So Glad We Stopped by Idaho!
This week it was time to say goodbye to Oregon after five wonderful weeks. I mentioned before that I am a little bit in love with Oregon. However, as is so often the case with romance, it was a fickle love. You see, what I never mentioned to Oregon is that this was just a summer fling. I don't do snow, rain or cold.
I have had enough of all that after growing up in the UK. I know what I like so we are heading south, chasing the warmth and sunshine. There a couple of destinations we have to reach by certain dates in the Fall; the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and the Austin Formula 1 Grand Prix. Apart from that, we have no other reservations. However, to make these dates we have to cover ground a little faster than we did in California and Oregon.
We decided that Salt Lake City would be a great place to stop for a few days on our route. That meant clipping the corner of Idaho and we are so glad we did. We are a member of Harvest Hosts. This is a program where, for a small fee annual fee, you get access to a directory of farms, wineries etc. that allow you to park on their land for free for a night.
We spent our first night at Huston Vineyards in Caldwell just outside Boise. They are located on the interestingly named Chicken Dinner Road. How can we not stop there? Mary and Gregg were very gracious hosts and the wine was great. After a tasting and buying a few bottles we arranged to park overnight right outside their tasting room. We got talking with a family while enjoying the wine who lived a few miles away. It was wonderful chatting with them and they made us two irresistible offers. Did we want to join them boating the next day and would we like to park up for a few days on the ten acres at their home while we explored the Boise area.
They say strangers are just friends you haven't met yet and this certainly turned into the case with these guys. We parked on their beautiful property and spent Sunday with them on the boat. Iain tried wake boarding but didn't manage to stay up for more than a second. He was much braver than me since he at least gave it a shot. Kudos to him. Jenna and Destinee, our hosts, showed us how it was done. Knowing my own limitations, I stuck to the activities that required zero skill i.e. jumping off the boat into the lake and being pulled along in an inflatable. We had a really fun day and went back to the trailer exhausted to sleep the sleep of the dead!
Next day we headed into Boise to look around. The North End is a very cute hipster neighborhood where we enjoyed lunch in the Hyde Park area before heading downtown. Boise has a very progressive Green Belt area which is a network of trails and parks along the river through the city. It allows people to commute by bike and the downtown area really benefits from the green space. Boise seems like a great city that is thoughtfully developing as it grows. That's fantastic to see.
We came home to a casual dinner with our hosts, drinking local wines and Thai food. It was great to get to know the family better. Listening to Destinee play guitar and Collin wondering if our take-out curries were tubs of puke ready for Halloween! Thanks so much Darren, Jenna, Miranda, Destinee and Collin for being so hospitable and showing us how friendly Idaho is.
Heading south again we made one final stop overnight in Idaho at Murtaugh Lake. This is a small remote county park. As it was a weeknight, where we were the only ones staying there. We got to park by the water and watch pelicans and otters enjoy the lake as the sun set. Idaho is the 44th most densely populated state in the union, but I am pretty sure they didn't count flies! We did our best with population control swatting at least a dozen of them (fly swatting is our new hobby by the way). Realizing we were way outnumbered we decided to move on the next day and head out of Idaho to Utah. Just four nights in Idaho this time around but you left a wonderful impression on us. No doubt we will be back again soon to explore the beauty of the rest of the state.