Thursday, September 29, 2011

Week 3..Our month is flying by!

Our friends, Beth and Chris, are buying a summer home here in Caldwell.  Beth lived and worked here years ago, has family and friends in the greater Boise area, so knows the local turf.  We jumped at the chance to join her and Chris on a guided tour of downtown Boise.

Taken from the Train Depot atop the Boise Bench,  this panoramic view of downtown and surrounding mountains on a very warm, 95 degree day:

Looking out on downtown

Beth, our tour guide, provides a history lesson
Most of our time was spent at the State Capitol building, admiring the Roman-based architecture and massive amounts of marble used in construction, four different types from various locations.  Probably the most distinguishable feature is the dome.

Idaho State Capitol building


When looking upward from the first floor, thirteen large stars and forty-three smaller stars can be seen. The thirteen large stars represent the thirteen original colonies and the forty three smaller stars indicate that Idaho was the forty third state to enter the union.

Starry dome

It just happened to be game day with the top-rated Boise State Broncos playing Tulsa.  The fans were out en masse with tail-gate parties in full swing, cheering on their team which, of course, won!

Go Boise State!

There was another very long day with a drive to Hell's Canyon...from the south/Oregon end.  We experienced the trip in from the north out of Clarkston, WA last year, only on a jet boat.  Much of our drive was "getting there", through the vast river plains, high desert landscapes, and small towns with fruit and/or farming in their resumes.  One can't be in a hurry with the essence of peaches beckoning us to road-side stands.

Once we turned off Highway 95 at Cambridge, onto highway 71, the journey became more like a roller coaster, from mountaintop to valley floor, and river's edge.  The mighty Snake River begins its tumbling course through North America's deepest canyon, averaging 5280 feet deep. We have lunch overlooking this wild and scenic river; we share roads with cattle.  We passed beautiful Idaho Power campgrounds, the Brownlee, Owbow and Hell's Canyon Dams, and several one-lane bridges criss-crossing Idaho and Oregon.

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Then we reached the end of the road and had to return!  By the time we got to the small town of Weiser it was time to stop and stretch our legs.  As luck would have it we stumbled into the Homestead Cafe, hungry and tired.  Our appetites were whetted with the Monday night special:  prime rib served with gravy over Texas toast, salad, baked potato and fresh peach pie...all for $8.75.  We are now fortified for the long drive home!
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