America 2022 – Day Ten

And there ain’t no trucks in Texas
Ain’t no football in the south
Ain’t no bourbon in Kentucky, and I ain’t drinkin’ me some now
Ain’t no stars in California, Memphis never had the blues
Oh, there ain’t no trucks in Texas, and I ain’t missing you

They don’t get high in Colorado or party down in New Orleans
Ain’t no losers out in Vegas
Ain’t no Jack in Tennessee
I ain’t had me one too many, and if you believe that’s true
Oh, there ain’t no trucks in Texas, and I ain’t missing you

– Rodney Dunn

Friday 26 August

A stunning morning in Treasure Valley. Woke up just before seven and went out for a walk. Stopped at the Boise Depot, which was one of my favourites places to see the city and the foothills behind when I was last here – the Capital is one mile off to the northeast. The Depot closed in 1997 after opening in 1925, built for the Union Pacific Railroad, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The sunrise didn’t disappoint. Absolutely spectacular – you can see what I mean below. But photos don’t properly do it justice.

From the Depot, I went down to the Boise River, cutting through Ann Morrison Park and down onto the Greenbelt for a couple kilometres before turning around. It was one of those mornings where I didn’t want to go in, and by the time I got back to the Airbnb, I’d done nearly seven kilometres. A great way to start my day.

We went to Starbucks for morning tea, then over to one of Boise’s bigger malls to visit the Orange and Blue Shop, where we bought some Boise State University apparel in honour of the visit we are making this afternoon (more on that later) then went to nearby Esther Simplot Park, which I visited a dozen years ago, and is one of many parks that are connected with downtown by the Greenbelt pathway. Although it was hot, we walked for about 2km around the lake and stopped to have a look at the white water park. It was actually hot enough (over 100 Fahrenheit/40 Celsius) that I might’ve gone in if I’d had my boardshorts with me.

Lunch at Jimmy John’s, before we went to a local brewery, Payette, for beers with my buddy Dave and his parents and sister, who are in town this weekend from Colorado. The Southorn clan are all wonderful people. Lots of laughs and lots of beer. We were outside, but the shade cloths they had up were worth their weight in gold. (There are many breweries scattered across the city; in recent years, Boise has really become a craft beer mecca).

Might have drunk more than we did, but we had an appointment at Albertsons Stadium on the Boise State University campus. The field is blue, and is arguably the most famous thing in Idaho other than it’s potatoes. The Broncos have had significant football success since I was last here, and in line with that, the stadium has gotten bigger and more impressive. Dave, through his journalism career, has enough contacts within the program and was able to get us out onto the field, which is a rarity. We also met the men’s basketball coach, who used to have former NBL star John Rillie as an assistant before Rillie went home to coach the Perth Wildcats.

Having watched a tonne of Broncos football over the years, it was awesome to walk across the turf field, and a little surreal. It was also so hot that you could feel heat radiating off the turf, known colloquially as The Blue, even if it was so hot that heat was actually radiating off the turf. (Each square foot of turf contains about 3 kg of sand and 1.5 kg of cryogenic rubber).

Tried out one of the tackle sleds, and am in awe of how strong those kids are who can actually lift the sled off the ground. Went up into the press box and got a bird’s eye view of the stadium and the spectacular foothills behind.

We left the stadium and went to another bar. Then Idaho Pizza Company for dinner. Given how much I ate and drank today, just as well I did that 7km walk this morning!

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