Idaho Hot Springs

We now know where we want to live. Yeah, San Jose has the great job market and the temperate climate, but it also has terrible traffic and unbelievably high housing costs. Boise on the other hand may have more extreme weather, but the capital of Idaho feels more like a university town.

We arrived in Boise in the evening. At 8:30 the sun was still in the sky and the air was hot and dry. We were quickly whisked away from the airport by our warmshowers host Dan. That evening we assembled our bikes and chatted some with Dan and his wife Christie.

After breakfast with our lovely warmshowers hosts, we hit the streets to get food for the next three days and to get a taste of life in Boise. We decided to stock up at Albertsons because the grocery chain was born in Boise. I felt we had a duty to do so. To pay tribute. Why? I have no idea.

The only traffic jams you'll find in Boise on a Sunday are in the river.
The only traffic jams you’ll find in Boise on a Sunday are in the river.

After that we headed for the Greenbelt, a multi-use trail that follows the Boise River through town. This is a beautiful trail and a main city attraction. While we wanted to continue cruising along the trail, it was well before noon and the temperature was already speed walking through the 80s, so we decided to seek air-conditioned refuge in the High Note Cafe downtown. With lunch promptly dispatched and a full day of oppressive heat to contend with, we decided to slip into the Flying M Cafe for dessert and some more cool air lounging. Soon enough however it was time to brave the heat. We stepped out of the Flying M and into the frying pan. Our only method for survival was to quickly retreat to the Greenbelt so we could take a dip in the Boise River.

Riding through downtown Boise on a Sunday afternoon, we expected to be jockeying with motorists for road space, but the streets were eerily quiet. When we got to the river we knew why. Inner tubes, kayaks, paddle boards, and boats were busy carrying the citizens of Boise casually downriver. I can think of no better way to spend a hot and lazy Sunday afternoon than to join in on an inflatable parade!

Although we lacked the means to float, we did cool ourselves in the shallows of the river’s edge. Unlike the creeks in San Jose, the Boise River has wonderfully clear and clean water that’s completely accessible. Small sandy beaches were overrun with screaming teenagers, while signs on the bridges that crossed the river warned you to be careful when jumping off so as not to land on someone tubing underneath. In Boise, you jump off a bridge to impress a girl. In my neck of the woods, you jump off a bridge to end it all.

Okay, that was a little dark and probably unfair, but Carrie and I are quickly falling in love with Boise, and when you’re in the romance stage of a new relationship, everything else but your beloved seems to be offensive and ugly. Sorry San Jose. Boise is way hotter than you now.

Tomorrow we plan to leave our new love at sunrise to head east. We’d like to get most of our miles in before noon so we can retreat to the shade for the heat of the day and then continue in the cooler evening.