America 2023 – Day Five

Sun coming’ up over New York City
School bus driver in a traffic jam
Staring out at the faces in a rear view mirror
Lookin’ at the promise of the Promised Land

One kid dreams of fame and fortune
One kid helps pay the rent
One could end up going to prison
One just might be president

Only in America
Dreamin’ in red white and blue
Only in America
Where we dream as big as we want to

– Brooks and Dunn

Monday 22 May, 2023

Went for another great walk this morning and discovered – somewhat deliberately and also somewhat by accident – some new Boise suburbs, with some absolutely beautiful houses. I got to the Boise Depot, which is the best view in town, and was rewarded with a pretty amazing sunrise. Early morning, the clouds were clearing away from the adverse weather, offering some stunning vistas. Also tracked through Ann Morrison Park before heading back to the Airbnb. Good weather for exercising, as the temperature has dropped markedly compared to yesterday – maybe almost too much.

The original plan for Monday was to drive north a couple hours to McCall, Idaho, which is a beautiful spot with a big lake and some ski resorts dotted around it, but the weather up there wasn’t going to be quite as nice as it was in Boise. Between that fact and a late-ish start, we decided to stay in Boise.

First stop, the Bronco Shop, where we had the company of Mr Mike Sharp. Not sure if he was checking to make sure we didn’t shoplift anything or what, but it was – as always – a pleasure to hang with Sharpy.

From there to the Boise Zoo, which, for a mid-sized city, had an impressive collection of animals. I loved the giraffes, penguins and anteater the most. Oh, and let’s not forget the free-roaming geese and ducks who we saw tasting mustard – the goose had the same reaction to a hot mustard as I do sometimes! – and cotton candy aka fairy floss.

After lunch at Jimmy Johns, where they make sandwiches incredibly quickly – Freaky Fast is their slogan, and they really are – we drove as far up Table Rock as we could, before the road was closed off. The only way to reach the summit is to hike up on a trail starting behind the Old Boise Penitentiary. No time for that, unfortunately, today, but it’s on the Boise Bucket List for my next visit.

Then, on a Sharpy recommendation, we drove out into the desert away from Boise (in the direction of Salt Lake City, Utah) to Bonneville Point, where the Oregon Trail that was, for a time, the only way to get west of St Louis, connecting the Missouri River valleys to Oregon…as you probably figured, based on the name. At Bonneville Point, the desert vistas were almost endless, and you can look back towards Boise, which is easily noticeable even from a distance thanks to the amount of trees dotted around, hence the town’s City of Trees slogan.

In the evening, we went down to Fort Boise athletic fields to watch Dave’s softball team, the Idaho Mets, play. Their Twitter account says they are the “Best damn softball team in all of the Treasure Valley”, and whilst that is perhaps debateable, what isn’t debateable is the number of great guys on that team, and the amazing weather we had sitting down the first base line, watching the Mets explode offensively for a 22-18 victory. Of course, there were Tim Tams for the winners – nothing but the best!

Earlier in the day, Sharpy gave us a pizza recommendation. So we headed there after the Mets game ended but the restaurant was in what you could perhaps charitably describe as “sketchy”, whilst there are other less PG-rated words that could also be used. Just as we were pulling up, a vagrant went past, muttering to herself. That did it – we double-checked the doors were locked, drove home and ordered delivery. For the record, Americano Pizza is very good. And very large.

Another great day. A shame that tomorrow is the last in Boise. (For this trip, anyway).

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