850 miles (much of it very scenic) and 16 hours on the road has landed me in Boise, which I learned is pronounced Boi-C and not Boi-Z. My destination the first day was Lakeview, Oregon – a tiny town in the SE corner of the state just past the border of California.
Lakeview boasts a White Settlement Rd. I looked but didn’t see any black, brown, red, or yellow settlement roads. My plan was to camp, but was considering alternatives given the rainy weather though I had no intention of dropping $40+ for a room. Asking a local, I found out about this RV park and motel down the road. Using my wonderful charm, the nice lady generously agreed to let me use her parking lot to sleep in my car.
After a surprising decent night of sleep, I woke to find my windows completely fogged up. It reminded me of those serious alpinists sleeping in snow holes…with one major difference. There would be no digging out for me. I only had to muster up the strength to turn a key and hit the defrost button, which worked like magic! Wasting no time, I hit the road eating healthy Pop-Tarts (it has fruit – blueberry) for breakfast. Along the way, I pulled off to check out Lake Abert and the adjacent Abert Rim, which is “one of the highest fault scraps in the United States” though I’ll admit I really don’t know what that means. I passed small town after small town though I don’t think it’s accurate to call them towns. One in particular made me laugh. I think Wagonwheel was the name. I saw a Wagonwheel sign as I entered the “town” and less than ten seconds later, I passed a sign that said, “Thanks for visiting Wagonwheel!”
Halfway to Boise, I visited Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. There’s not much to it unless you’re an avid bird watcher, which I am not. It is kind of cool simply because it’s a MASSIVE expanse of land and prone to sudden weather changes, which I got to experience first hand. Driving into the refuge, I was blitzed by the hardest, heaviest hail I’ve ever been in. Less then ten minutes later, I was in sunny weather. Shortly after, I got out to walk a very short trail to this overlook. After a couple pictures, I noticed a wall of dark clouds nearly on top of me and said to myself, “I’m about to get blasted.” Sure enough, not even one step towards my car, it was on me. I sprinted to the car and luckily avoided the worst of it.
Deciding I had enough adventure for one day, I drove straight to Boise.
Thanks to Let’s Go!, I found this great little hostel just outside the city for $19 (it’s really a house). I’ve been in hostels all over the world, but first time in the US. From a parking lot to a house, I’m moving up in this world! In the evening, I headed to downtown Boise, which is such a cute place.
I saw the (in)famous blue turf of Boise State’s Stadium then had a pint of Pilsner Urquell at a gay bar. In case you’re wondering, I did read it was “gay friendly” beforehand, but it was supposed to be a good bar, so isn’t that what really matters? I proceeded to also get worked at pool by the bartender. He was damn good. I actually played quite well, but not much you can do when he sinks all his balls in two turns.
Hopefully, the weather cooperates the rest of the week as I’m planning to head to the beautiful Sawtooth Region of Idaho to do some hiking the next couple days. It’s likely I’ll be moving back down in this world as I plan to camp. Weather report says the low will feel like 18…brrrr. Just give me no rain and I’ll deal with the cold.