America 2023 – Day Three

There ain’t no trucks in Texas
Ain’t no football in the south
Aint 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 missin’ you

– Ronnie Dunn

Saturday May 20 2023

Summer apparently only recently arrived in Boise after a long winter. Just in time for our arrival, clearly: the weather was amazing yesterday and amazing again today: temperatures in the mid-to-high thirties (Celsius, that is!), with more blue skies and sunshine to follow in the next couple of days.

I started my Saturday with a long walk over to the Boise Depot and down through Ann Morrison Park. Conditions were absolutely perfect, and I loved being out amongst walkers, runners and cyclists. One of the best things about Boise is the dozens of miles of pathways – mostly along the Boise River, known here as the Greenbelt – which makes it a great city to visit if you like to exercise.

After breakfast we drove over to Esther Simplot Park, one of the many parks that the afore-mentioned Greenbelt connects. This one features a couple of big lakes that are very popular with stand up paddleboarders and fisherman, and sits alongside the Boise River, where there is a rapid section for kayakers and the like. This park wasn’t even around when I first visited Boise back in 2009, and it is a sign of how far the city has come in a relatively quick amount of time – and why it often appears right at the top on liveability lists here.

We looped around the very busy park, walking about 2.5km in total, then went downtown and had lunch at The Funky Taco, one of my favourite eating spots in town. That restaurant is right near the Idaho state capitol, which is a scaled down version of the one you can see in Washington, D.C., but no less spectacular when you’re up close, or inside. A flag depicting the Great Seal of Idaho hangs right in the middle. We walked through the bowels of the old building, then took a lift to the top and walked back down the curving marble staircase. The architecture is stunning, and the views over Boise from the top are pretty amazing, too.

Dinner was at Western Proper, a restaurant serving very American fare, with my friends Dave and Lisa Southorn and Mike Sharp aka Sharpy. We ate and had a few rounds there, watched the pedal bars go past (not to mention some other interesting passers-by), and solved most of the world’s problems, whilst marvelling at how Boise State football had brought us all together in different ways. Kind of wild, when you think about it. That blue-turfed stadium across town has a lot to answer for!

When Sharpy left us around 8:30pm, we continued on, hitting three other bars in the downtown area and a cool arcade stacked with old-school games, the kind that used to be everywhere back in the 90’s. It was a really fun night.

Back to the Airbnb just after 11:00pm, another fun day in the books. A little worse for wear after the drinking tonight. I’ll definitely sleep well!

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