Hello to everyone out there! I’m calling in to tell you about my rest day today, which was really very nice. We rested in Boise, ID today, which I was very pleasantly surprised to find out how really nice the Boise community is. As we entered into Boise yesterday, I noticed how much of a community it is compared to all the other areas we were coming from, with the desert conditions and scarce houses, etc. As we came in I could see that it is a community, but after being here for the day, I can really say that the people who live here are very happy to live here. I can see why.
Just to tell you a little bit about the place, Boise’s population is about 420,000 people, which is big but not huge as a city. What it offers is being Idaho’s capital and the largest city in the state, but it still isn’t overcrowded or crazy busy. There are financial and professional businesses, great transportation and great recreation. It’s known as the City of Trees, and it serves as a border between the desert and the Rocky Mountains and an urban area, which offers a lot to the people. For instance, it has four seasons, but they’re in moderation. The area has a lot of golf courses that are beautiful, and they have longer daylight, so they can actually golf longer. As a matter of fact, 325 out of 365 days a year people can golf here. I never knew that this is kind of a golfer’s wonderland! I know that the Carolinas on the East Coast are known to be really good, but actually this is even better because the daylight is longer and the weather is a little bit more moderate. At the same time they have the mountains only 45 minutes to an hour away, where there are a lot of ski conditions. So it makes it great for skiing but they still don’t get a lot of snow in this particular area, just because of the way the mountains are and the way the weather is. So it works out very nice for everyone.
Also, there’s the gorgeous Boise River that runs through here, which provides people with great opportunities for fishing. For you fishermen and fisher ladies out there, you can do fly casting for rainbow trout, and for bass. I had some trout tonight and it was actually delicious, really, really good. There are gazebos and all kinds of pretty things around here. I can see that there is just a real quality of life around here. The Boise State University is here also, so it’s also a college town area, which is really, really nice. People are happy to be here.
There is a beautiful parkway area that I went to today that has a very scenic 25 miles of path for cycling and roller skating and jogging and strolling. It goes along the river and is called the Greenbelt area. For 25 miles you can go and go and go, and it’s really beautiful. There are lots of pretty parks in that area, such as the Julia Davis Park. Inside that park is a beautiful rose garden that I went to today, and all the roses were in bloom. I got some pictures that I have to send to you that were just beautiful.
Julia Davis was very beloved by her husband. It’s an interesting story how they met. He came over from Cincinnati looking for gold and found his way to Idaho and ended up stopping and claiming his land with the Homestead Act (for my students out there who had American History this year!) He claimed 360 acres and was actually one of the first to start an irrigation process and started growing apples and potatoes and other things, and he became very successful doing this. As I said, this is known as the City of Trees, and there are lots of lush, beautiful trees all around. So this woman Julia had come to visit her uncle who was a lieutenant, and they found love and got married and had six children. They were known to be people who really helped the immigrants coming over and welcomed people as they came through, gave them rest and comfort from the desert lands they had come across looking for land. They were very hospitable and known to be very friendly, and did a lot for this area. When his wife died he was very heartbroken, so he named this whole park area after her. They have it set up as a memorial area to be remembered as a very hospital place where people are welcomed.
Within the Julia Davis Park they have the Boise Art Museum and the Idaho Black History Museum, a Discovery Center, a historical museum, and a zoo. I also saw the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial within the park. Reading a lot of the information there about Anne Frank is really a very, very large reminder, thinking about her age of 15 when she died and how she was treated so horrifically in the war time. It is really a reminder of how fortunate we are to be so free in America. I was thinking about that again today in seeing that memorial for Anne Frank and remembering all I’ve learned from the book of her diary before as well as the information today. It’s so great that she has been honored, and so many other people who had been forgotten to be honored. Just knowing what some people have gone through during war time, and even still today in keeping our country free and keeping us free from people who would be treating us so inhumanely if they were in control of our country. We’re very, very blessed that we’re safe and that we have the freedoms that we do, and that we have the beauty and the opportunity that we have in America. That was something that was very important for me today as I was pondering and having a quiet day and enjoying the rest and peacefulness of this beautiful place, even with all the activity, lots of active people here, especially bike riders. They have touring bikes around here that are very big. It’s easy to see with runners and families out with strollers and the different fountains and the tennis courts, there are just a lot of activities going on in this area.
This morning I woke up not really feeling all that well, had a backache and just didn’t feel well. So I took it easy and did some stretching and kind of laid low. I went to the bike shop and got a few things that I needed to help me with my feet. I got some insoles and some better gloves with gel in them so that I can have a better grip on my bike without it numbing my hands. I took care of that and that’s when I walked around the park leisurely and took it easy and met some people at this lunch place called The Ram. The food was great and the waiter there has lived here his whole life. He was very friendly and really excited about hearing that I was riding across America. I gave him my card for OLT, so hopefully he’ll take a look at that and pledge. I also met another couple that was there and they were excited about it too, so it was fun to talk with them. I also walked over and got a haircut, then got back to the hotel and rested a little bit. I went out with a few girlfriends from the group here and we had a nice, leisurely dinner.
So it was a very needed rest day, and now that it’s evening here I really do feel strengthened and feel much better and ready for the ride.
Tomorrow we head out on the first of July for Mountain Home. We only have to go 50 miles tomorrow, so that will be easier. We do have another bit of a climb, and also we will be in highway traffic for quite a while tomorrow, that’s the one thing we’ll have to be very careful about tomorrow.
So I just wanted to give you a little info about Boise. It certainly is a great place and I can see why people want to live here. You may want to check it out for visiting. There’s a lot to do, all kinds of arts and ballets and museums, just about anything you’d ever want to do. I guess I can’t say enough about Boise, it’s fabulous!
Thank you so much again, everyone, take care and remember that every day we have, no matter what your day is like, it’s just a blessing to be here and to be free and to be in America and have all the blessings and freedoms that we have. Enjoy them, and enjoy your summer. I’ll be in touch again tomorrow.
God bless everyone, and God bless America.