I’ve been thinking about learning to rock climb. Which is weird because as inspiring as I think rock climbers are, I also think they might be lunatics with a death wish. Aren’t they scared? Isn’t rock climbing dangerous? Don’t you need super human physical strength? These questions were on my mind when I recently visited City of Rocks National Reserve and it’s sister park, Castle Rocks State Park. In south central Idaho, these parks are a favorite among rock climbers.
Rolling into the Neurolux in downtown Boise, Idaho, I marvel that it is so cozy and intimate. A dark and narrow music lounge with a bar, small stage and dance floor, it’s a world away from big concert arenas. And tonight, a true Texas boy, Dale Watson, is performing. The Potato State is being treated to Dale’s brand of authentic Texas dance hall music, Ameripolitan.
I am an equal opportunity hiker. It’s easy to love a trail that winds through a tranquil forest, along a shimmering creek, with picturesque views of mountains every step of the way. And yet, beauty comes in many forms. Trails through strange, stark, dark places call me, too. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in south central Idaho is just such a place. The preserve includes three lava fields that were formed by volcanic eruptions from the Great Rift of Idaho 15,000 years ago. The aftermath has left a weirdly beautiful landscape with tons of volcanic features to explore.
The breeze is gently blowing through the trees. A wind chime sounds, and mourning doves murmur. Here and there I hear voices, people outside enjoying the summer evening, children playing. These are the sounds of my neighborhood. I’m walking through the Boise North End from the local gas station, carrying a 6-pack of beer and a stick of beef jerky. And I’m in love with my new hood.