I'm sitting in a living room in a hostel just west of Boise. I just spent the last 40 minutes talking to Judy, the only other guest at the hostel tonight, and didn't notice the sun disappear behind the highway. It's quiet except for the noise of the fan and the chirping of birds which haven't quite given over to the chirping of crickets. Judy is in the kitchen, books strewn across the table, a highlighter in her fist. She's from Twin Falls, spending two weeks in Boise for a crash course in Real Estate. "People don't think this is the best time to go into housing," she tells me. "But it's what I want to do."
I stopped in Twin Falls, Judy's future house-selling territory, in the afternoon to stretch my legs and grab a bite to eat. I can't say I know anything about the town, or the area, but I assumed there had to be waterfalls nearby. (Maybe two? That bear a striking resemblance to each other?) I was more than pleasantly surprised when, after following a few brown signs, I caught a glimpse of Shoshone falls. “Niagara of the West” a sign near the lookout proclaimed. And it was impressive, if not quite on a Niagara caliber. I spent an hour staring at the rushing water, walking a few trails along the canyon, and taking a photo for an Indian couple and a sweet grandmother in a colorful robe.
If you're going to jump in your car and hit the road, these unexpected gems along the way are really what make the trip. This is my first time doing it solo, with no particular destination or end point in mind, and I have to say I don't hate it. There's something great about not having anyone to please or a schedule to fill. The only thing I really need to worry about is the never ending job search. And I have nights for that. Thank you, wifi.
Tomorrow I hit the Columbia River Gorge. More updates forthcoming.
Photos (top to bottom):
1. a bridge somewhere east of Twin Falls. Almost ran off the road when I noticed how high up I was. Had to pull over and photograph.
2-4. Shoshone Falls.
5. Hostel Boise, cozy and cheap. Can't go wrong.