Trip Start Nov 10, 2009
Trip End Dec 18, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Idaho
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My mind was spongy after the long lonesome road to Grangeville.  I knew I had to traverse a major portion of Idaho to get to Boise and certainly along to Portland, OR for the big feast.

My journey began typically late. I hit the road around 11 and followed route 13 to 55 clear across the state.  This day, a day spent roaming through Idaho was my best day yet.  The scenery was amazing.

I drove along rivers (Snake and Salmon) through national parks and saw it things change from a golden harvest feel to a pine winter scene. 

My first stop was a late breakfast which became lunch.  I stopped at Hoot's Cafe in White Bird, ID  http://www.whitebirdidaho.com/hoots.htm  As I bellied up to the 1950'esque diner stool/bar I thought "What should you eat in Idaho"  Two things came to mind potatoes and beef. I ordered the  Bacon Cheeseburger Deluxe.  Bacon is different out here. It is thick cut almost Peter Luger quality. http://gothamist.com/2006/08/03/the_hungry_cabb_15.php and is so darn good.  At the site of it one can feel the beginning ripples of the heart attack they will be experiencing in their mid 50's.  But so worth it.  The beef was steak quality, the onions were a sweet style that didn't leave your mouth tasting like you just had onions (hello, Subway!).  It was a great way to start a picturesque day.

The counter server was in her late 50's and had clearly survived many attacks on her life by said heart attacks.  She had a manic charm and unsettling cackle but, I didn't care because the chow was so good.  I complimented the chef/cook which she found hilarious and I departed further down the road.

The terrain today was hilly and steep.  Cutting through and around mountains and there were just too many vistas to keep in line.

I stopped at a shop along the way and met an old man resting from a bike ride outside of a general store.  He took his bike into town to get their chili.  His right hand man was a yellow lab mix who seemed young and spry.  He also knew how to separate the old man from his chili.  The old guy really loved that dog.  I took a short look around and he asked me when the last time I'd used my Bike.  It was Chicago.  Along the way it has gotten dusty and dirty and needs a tune up so I have begun decorating it with all manner of things I've found along the way.  Mostly flora.

And I would have taken that dog too, If it hadn't been for those meddling kids.

I kept trudging along and came upon a glorious lake with a glass type reflection.  It was reflecting the mountain's in the distance.  I think this was in McCall, ID.  I stayed there for a while.  Then kept moving along to Boise.

I was hot and tired and a little strung out by the time I reached the capital city of Idaho.  The desk clerk's while grand at checking me in acted like they knew noting of this town nor it's nooks and crannies, the funky spots.  It is 8:30 pm and I can't get Internet access in my room and I'm not too happy about it because I know I'm not updating this thing for a few days.  I'm also hungry and decide to go to 8th and Main St. where the action is.  The place I chose "The Bad Irish" http://www.badirish.com/  was barely alive.  I had a Bailey's on the rocks and scooted to a great little pizza place called The Pie Hole.  http://www.pieholeusa.com/  Marla, this place's website needs work.  Lots of work.  Call them. 

The pizza was thin crust and tasty.  I talked punk rock with the desk pizza dispenser young woman.  She wondered what real music was anymore and our card throwing of band names lead us to The Pixies. 

I had a slice of Pepperoni and one Boise favorite Bacon and Potato.  It sounds like it wouldn't be that good but, it had a unique spice to it that made it really, really good.  Or maybe I'm mistaking the potatoes in that pizza with Sara's Mom's potatoes which calling phenomenal would be an understatement.

I left there and looked for some bars.  They were all dead or closed.  I was horrified.  This is me, who doesn't even drink very much.  Horrified.  Boise is a city that portends a funk seen in Baltimore and Portland.  Their funk is just not all that functional and doesn't stay open very late.   Gawd!

So I went back to the hotel room and rooted around to try and work out a WiFi connection.  This is Holiday In Express people and you are not making me happy right now.  I ended up physically taking the laptop to the lobby where the signal was supposedly stronger, finding a connection there and then walking back to my room and thankfully keeping the connection going.  All of this to the horror of having to be in the presence of the final episode of Dancing with The Stars which I see as an abomination.  Seriously, people enjoy these shows.

I plunk down and entry and start scoping out the next day.  What to do in Boise.

The next day I'm up and Adam and off to get some breakfast.  I went to Goldy's  http://www.goldysbreakfastbistro.com/  I like to call this place a better version of Baltimore's Blue Moon West.  That is saying a lot people.  It is here that I order the Spicy Chicken Benny http://www.goldysbreakfastbistro.com/  and decide that I need to put together a consortium of friend to buy Blue Moon and the accompanying place next door. Blow it out, make it bigger and rake it in.  I have the people to do this too.  Miranda is a Mistress of Chievery (It's supposed to mean something like she knows how to make really good food)  Laake is a numbers wizard and knows outstanding fare.  Sarah has an epicurean palate and will tell her husband Kevin if he is over or under-rating potential new menu items.  Stilts is very tall and will not only welcome people to this institution with his funkiness and general Bon Vivantishness but, will also intimidate anyone that like Sai does bad things to that place at 4 am.  Yes, the road brings delusions but, I also might add that If we buy the other place next store or get permits to build on the roof there is a bowling alley idea.  A Patterson Park Lanes on steroids idea I have a cooking.

Where did this go.  I have no idea.  Don't even get me started on my No Autographs! line of casual cool-wear.

So as you can tell, Goldy's was delicious.  Next it was on to the Basque Center Museum.  http://www.basquemuseum.com/  Here I learned all about Basque history and remembered only that they have an untraceable language that is evolving in two different ways and that these folks may have been the only inhabitants of the lost continent of Atlantis.  There's other stuff I learned but, I'm going with that so far.  Mary runs to gift shop.  She was a good sport.  She let me goof around and make all sorts of wide ranging inquiries while I shopped.  I bought a ring.  A Basque Coat of Arms.  This will contribute to my being a "mysterious stranger" everywhere I go.

After the Basque visit I went to Boise State University.  I had a nice chat with the bookstore runners.  I forget names but, one of them was 27 and ran the place for years.  We discussed how different the east is from the west.  Everything from drive times, population density, cuisine, city funk-ability and life.  The other gal was studying to become a respiratory Therapist.  She might have actually been a Basque lady.  They were both very charming and honestly advised me on what I might buy.  I couldn't decide on sweatshirts so I bought a piece of the Blue Astro Turf that the field.  This turf makes up the field that once or twice a year makes you think there is something wrong with your TV.  The field is blue man.  Not that much of a different shade than the members of the Blue Man Group (ah....see how I did that).

I took a gander at the field through the gates.  The football team was practicing for their big game vs. Nevada (I think) then I was off to Portland, OR.

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