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For 91 Days in Idaho – The E-Book

Idaho is without a doubt one of the most under-appreciated of all America’s states. For three months, we explored the state from top to bottom, east to west, and found one amazing sight after the other. Unbelievable nature, adventure, funny people, bizarre museums, a surprisingly fascinating history and culture, and unknown gems far off the beaten path. We’ve now collected our blog into an e-book for your Kindle, Nook or other e-reader. With all our articles and over 250 full-color photos, this portable edition is perfect for when you’re on the road. And during any trip to Idaho, you’ll be on the road a lot!


Amazon Kindle

Direct Download (PDF, MOBI)

For just a few bucks, you can download your own copy of the book for use on your e-reader or computer, giving you access to our articles wherever you are, without having to connect to the internet. And, buying the e-book is a great way to support our project… take a look at some sample pages from the PDF.

Don’t forget to check out our other e-books, from our 91 days in Oviedo, Savannah, Buenos Aires, Bolivia, Palermo, Sri Lanka and Busan!

February 6, 2013 at 8:21 am Comments (4)

The Capitol Building and Boise Train Depot

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At either end of Capitol Boulevard sit Boise’s two most distinctive buildings. To the north is the stunning State Capitol, while on a bluff to the south, easily visible from the capitol’s steps, is the Old Train Depot.

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Of the two, the Capitol is the older building, completed in 1912, 22 years after Idaho gained statehood. It was built in the Renaissance Revival style, using sandstone from local quarries, and has a dome which reaches 208 feet into the air. Perched on top of the dome is a huge bronze eagle meant to keep watch over Boise. The Capitol building was recently renovated and its gleaming white interior is open to the public. On the bottom floor is a permanent exhibition about Idahoan history.

Just over a mile due south is the Old Train Depot, built in 1925. During the city’s early years, the nearest train connection was in Nampa, twenty miles to the west: a significant distance in those days. So the railroad finally coming to Boise was a momentous occasion. The depot, built to resemble an early Spanish mission, was immediately hailed as one of the most beautiful stations in the west.

Boise-Depot

We took a peek in and around the Old Depot. The last train rolled through in 1997, but the hall still has a board with schedules and a few small exhibits reminiscing about the past. Today, it’s mostly used for weddings and corporate meetings. With a hilltop view stretching out over Boise and the lovely Platt Gardens spread out across the front yard, it certainly lends itself to special events.

The Depot is only open to the public for a few hours on Sundays and Mondays, and otherwise sits on top of its hill empty and unused. A little frustrating for those on a rigid schedule, but you can always visit the Platt Gardens, and see Big Mike: a 2-8-2 Mikado steam locomotive built in 1920, and one of the last still in existence.

Locations on our Idaho Map: State Capitol | Boise Depot

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January 5, 2013 at 10:36 am Comment (1)

A Short Hike to Rainbow Lake

Hiking Boots

We were hosting a couple friends from San Francisco for the weekend, and had promised them an easy hike — just enough physical activity to justify soaking our bones in hot springs later in the evening. Rainbow Lake came recommended as a simple five-mile hike, just outside Cascade.

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I underestimated the time it would take to reach the trailhead, so we got a very late start on the day. Luckily, the supposed five-mile hike turned out to be even shorter than advertised, and we reached Rainbow Lake after only about twenty minutes of walking. The hike was beautiful — the forest lightly burnt in a long-ago fire and colored with fire-red bushes. The lake was small, picturesque and, considering the short length of the hike, surprisingly remote; we were in the middle of the Salmon River Mountains, and completely alone.

Anyone looking for a strenuous, all-day adventure will find themselves disappointed by the hike to Rainbow Lake, but for fishermen or families (or groups of friends who’d rather spend the time immersed in hot springs), the short hike is perfect. We came, saw the lake, ate lunch, and were back to our car within a couple hours.

Location of the Rainbow Lake Trailhead

Epilogue – A short time later, we were sitting down with a cooler of beer in the Trail Creek Hot Springs. We had arrived at the same time as a big biker dude, who wasted no time in stripping down into his birthday suit. Luckily, there are two pools at Trail Creek, so we weren’t compelled to admire the jewels.

Soaking in the hot water was the perfect post-hike reward and we could have stayed for hours, but felt compelled to leave after a rowdy family of locals arrived. They had quickly shamed Naked Biker into putting on his shorts (“this ain’t no porno-show”), but he made it clear he wasn’t going to abandon his pool. So they hocked next to ours, all ten of them staring at us. “No pressure, y’all. We’re jes waitin’ our turn!” Sigh. But it was time to be getting home, anyway, and so we emerged to dry ourselves off on the rocks.

As soon as we were out, they jumped into the pool. And then brought out the Palmolive. Under our horrified glares, they slopped dish soap into their hands and started cleaning their bodies and clothes. In the hot spring. With dish soap. I had never seen anything of the like, but was most surprised by their willingness to lather up in front of us, as though it were the most normal thing in the world. They could have waited five minutes, and we’d have been gone. Shameless? Ignorant? I’m not sure, but it was definitely amazing.

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September 21, 2012 at 3:31 am Comments (3)