Idaho & Utah

We wrapped up our last night in Montana and kept moving into Idaho. The drive from Missoula to Boise was the longest stretch on the road for the entire two weeks, but it really wasn’t too bad. We took turns, and the scenery was far from ugly and boring. The first part of the drive was through a National Forest that took us on a twisty turny road that seemed never ending. Next we cleared the forest and passed through a handful of towns that specialized in tourism for whitewater rafting. We were able to see the river rushing along beside the road; it looked really fun but we had our own rafting plans in store for later in the day. Several hours later we had made it to the University of Boise bookstore to grab our gear before it closed. We made a quick pit stop at Panda Express for a romantic lunch and then drove to the park where we could launch rafts to float down the Boise River. We filled out the rental paperwork and took our tubes to the river. We had so much fun in the cold water getting carried downstream; we saw people swinging off of rope swings, dogs swimming out to catch tennis balls, and plenty of other tubers enjoying their trip. We finished the 5ish mile journey and caught the shuttle bus back to where the car was parked. Since we mastered the art of changing clothes in the car on this trip, we maneuvered a fast change and drove back downtown to walk on the campus. I was a huge fan, and definitely can say that I would’ve gone to Boise if I had ever considered it an option. Unfortunately, the blue turf field was covered with a white tarp, so we weren’t able to see the awesomeness of the field but I was still sold. We proceeded to drive to our hotel and check in for the night to change and get ready for dinner. We pulled up to the place and MJ immediately pegged it as sketchy. I had to somewhat agree, but I was also extremely confident in the preparations we had done for this trip, and I can’t imagine we had booked a dangerous place without knowing. We pulled it together after an initial panic moment and walked into the lobby area. We were warmly greeted at the Modern Hotel and more than pleasantly surprised with the room and amenities. Hotels with outside access doors don’t always guarantee murder! We changed and decided to walk the short trip to the main street downtown for dinner. The Bittercreek Ale House was the choice for the night and we certainly did not regret it. We had a great meal on the outdoor patio, taking in the downtown scene of Boise on a Thursday night. We talked to the local guy at the table next to us and got a small taste for what it’s like to live downtown. I really enjoyed our night there and would definitely go back should I have the change.

I’m sure it’s easy to guess by now, but the next morning we were on the move again. The next stop was Salt Lake City, Utah but with the added bonus of visiting and staying with my close friend/roommate Jamie! Our midway stop between the two cities was a place called Shoshone Falls, which is a large waterfall in the Snake River. It is deep within a canyon that cuts largely through the southern part of Idaho. It was a great view and a perfect stopping point for a break in the drive. We continued onward across the border into Utah and then soon after into downtown Salt Lake. MJ and I had plans to meet Jamie a little later in the afternoon since she was working, so we had a few hours of free time to do our own exploring. We had delicious sandwiches right downtown for lunch and then decided to walk into the Temple Square area where the Mormon Temples are located. It was a really pretty walk throughout the buildings along the city streets. We quickly perused the outdoor mall area as well before heading back to the car to drive up to the University of Utah campus. It was a quick stop since we had plans to meet with Jamie, but we saw the stadium, stopped in the bookstore and walked through the main quad area. The buildings on campus are all really nice and it sits on a hill overlooking the city, so the view isn’t bad either. We finally got the call from Jamie and drove to her place to meet her. Two perfect dogs greeted us at the door and I was so happy to see my friend! Jamie is living in SLC with her sister and sister’s roommate for the summer before going back to USC for her last year of nursing school. It was such a treat to see where she is living working and exploring for the summer. We caught up at her place for a while before deciding to go to dinner at a local brewery/pub called The Bayou. Before dinner, we made a pit stop at the state capital building so that MJ could check another off the list. Jamie brought us to a spot that gave us a view from above the capitol, which had the city and mountains behind and below it. Arriving at the pub, he three of us shared good food, great beer and the best conversation for a few hours. It is always so interesting to talk through big life transitions and happenings; we had a diverse range of conversation which was a really nice change of pace for MJ and myself. We made it back to Jamie’s place and settled in for the night with the agreement that we would do a short hike in the morning. And no, Jamie, I would not be running the first half of it with you. 🙂

We woke up to a pup licking our faces and greeted the day. We drove up to the campus area to find a trail near the popular Bonneville Shoreline trail but I’m not too sure we ever really found it. We chose a clearly marked path and kind of just walked for a while, with Ila the dog at our heels. We eventually began to climb a little bit and went until the trail flattened out, giving us a stunning view of the city below. We could see the mountains surrounding the city and the Great Salt Lake itself. It was a beautiful morning and I was so happy to share it with Jamie, the hiking extraordinaire. Unfortunately, we had to pack back up and set out on the road again, in the direction of Colorado. After saying goodbye we drove the quick trip into Provo, home of Brigham Young University. MJ and I changed into jeans because it’s apparently frowned upon to wear shorts, especially as a girl, on the campus. I am going to paste this blurb that I found on BYU’s website explaining this, to avoid sounding ignorant or disrespectful.

“The dress and grooming of both men and women should always be modest, neat, and clean, consistent with the dignity adherent to representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and any of its institutions of higher education.

Modesty and cleanliness are important values that reflect personal dignity and integrity, through which students, staff, and faculty represent the principles and standards of the Church. Members of the BYU community commit themselves to observe the following standards, which reflect the direction of the Board of Trustees and the Church publication For the Strength of Youth. The Dress and Grooming Standards are as follows:
Women
A clean and well-cared-for appearance should be maintained. Clothing is inappropriate when it is sleeveless, strapless, backless, or revealing; has slits above the knee; or is form fitting. Dresses, skirts, and shorts must be knee-length or longer. Hairstyles should be clean and neat, avoiding extremes in styles or colors. Excessive ear piercing (more than one per ear) and all other body piercing are not acceptable. Shoes should be worn in all public campus areas.
Men
A clean and well-cared-for appearance should be maintained. Clothing is inappropriate when it is sleeveless, revealing, or form fitting. Shorts must be knee-length or longer. Hairstyles should be clean and neat, avoiding extreme styles or colors, and trimmed above the collar, leaving the ear uncovered. Sideburns should not extend below the earlobe or onto the cheek. If worn, moustaches should be neatly trimmed and may not extend beyond or below the corners of the mouth. Men are expected to be clean-shaven; beards are not acceptable. Earrings and other body piercing are not acceptable. Shoes should be worn in all public campus areas.”
Basically, MJ and I may have burst into flames if we set foot out of the car. Buuut it was the summer months, and campus was pretty empty so we took our chances. We were able to actually walk into the football stadium, as there was a wide open gate right out front of where we parked. It was no Williams Brice, but the mountains in the backdrop added a nice touch. We walked through the main area of campus and did the obligatory bookstore stop. To my great disappointment, I learned that they do not sell koozies. It was a really hot day in Utah so we decided to wrap it up and make tracks back to Colorado, the final leg of the trip.

   
   

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