With nearly 500 miles to cover that day, Mickey and I booked it as efficiently and consistently as we could. At our friend Margarita’s suggestion, we stopped briefly at Shoshone Falls to view the “Niagara of the West:”

Well? It was gorgeous. If we’d come straight to Shoshone Falls from Cincinnati, I’m sure we would’ve been floored. But after gawking our souls out at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone two days before, we didn’t quite feel the immensity of the Shoshone falls as we could have. Ah, well. $3 well spent!

Elk in a pen. Not right!

Soon enough, we were in Boise, where we spent an evening and night with the lovely, vivacious Ben, Kristina, Zahna and Alex — the son and family of two of my dearest friends and superheroes back in Cincinnati. They treated us to a colorful, delicious, homemade Mexican dinner (we loved your black bean recipe, Heather!), took us on a bike ride around the university area of Boise, and offered us their basement apartment for catching up on major Zzz.

We loved Boise much more than we had expected to. Young, funky people everywhere, lots of bicyclists, a great university area, and beautiful scenery. (Sounds a lot like Eugene, I can now say. But we didn’t know that firsthand at the time.) We stopped along the Snake river, where we saw dozens of college students lazily floating on rafts, midsummer grins on their faces. We stopped by an incredible monument, the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, where we filled our brains with the best of humanity, after filling our eyes with the best of nature.

Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial

We unfortunately left our cameras at the house during this trip, a little fuzzy-brained after so many hours on the road. And, with the children put to bed early and our own pillows calling our names, we didn’t manage to get a shot of the fully assembled crew before we all went our separate ways in the morning. (As one of my dear friends, Sam, would say, “FAIL.”) But we had a wonderful, sound night’s sleep after so many nights on the ground, and were so grateful to have a warm, love-full house to stay in, in a city where we hadn’t expected to know anyone! (Thank you, everyone — Wayne, Heather, Ben, Kristina, Alex and Zahna!)

After frying a couple of eggs and locking the door behind us, Mickey and I stopped by a local coffeeshop, Lucy’s Coffee and Espresso, to update our blog (who knows which backlogged entry that was), and before we knew it, we were on the road again!

Well-slept and ready to roll!

Casey, a truly sweet dog.

A chicken with PERSONALITY! Trust us on that one!

Of all the other things we didn't expect to find in Boise....

I typed away on my laptop as Mickey drove, documenting as many details as either of us could recall, churning out blog entries as swiftly as possible. It really didn’t sink in that, in that same day, we’d be in Oregon. Oh, we had only to wait!