The mountains were covered in smoke from the wild fires. Realizing this, my friends were somewhat disappointed that this would distort my view of Stanley's breathtaking mountain peaks. Somehow, I was able to look past the smoke and almost did not understand what they were saying because I was in awe at how perfectly the trees were aligned with the mountains and how softly the warm breeze whisked through the leaves, like I could have sworn they were whispering something. I suddenly went silent and almost shed a tear of happiness from the beauty created by the waves on the lake.
There is a reason they call it ‘the dog days of summer.’ It’s so hot here in Idaho, my neighbor began suffering from mild hallucinations that he was a border collie named Trixie who likes long walks on the beach and chasing the mailman.
At first glance, McCall, Idaho seems like your average resort town; beautiful beaches, eclectic shops, and some of the best ice cream this side of the Mississippi River (unproven, but I’m pretty sure that’s accurate). But, as I learned while vacationing there last week, McCall might also be home to Idaho’s best kept secret. You see, below the glimmering surface of the lake lies something…mysterious, which has puzzled residents of the picturesque town for decades and had me embracing my inner Nancy Drew as I endeavored to discover the truth behind Sharlie, the monster of Payette Lake.
Between plays, athletic events, club events, planetarium shows, classes, practice, delicious food, some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and homework, there is so much going on that there isn’t much reason to leave campus.
Every once in awhile, it is good to get off campus and explore everything that there is to do in Boise and the surrounding area. There is a lot to do. This Saturday, it was an unbelievably gorgeous 60 degrees and sunny. By early afternoon, it was obvious that it was just too nice to spend the day anywhere but outside.
This morning, this lovely group of fourteen people and one super cute dog got out of bed early enough to be on the way to Boise by 9:30. This is pretty early, for a Saturday at least.
We parked at the old Penitentiary and hiked up a dirt trail that wound its way up hills covered in delicate dry yellow grass and rough scrub brush under a heavy gray sky. It was just barely drizzling and pretty windy, but surprisingly warm today.
With the first week down and classes in full swing, I could feel the pressure starting pile up on me. I have learnt to deal with stress quite well during my time here, and one of the best ways to deal with stress is to simply get away. I was lucky enough to have a weekend off soccer just when the Outdoor Program decided to hold a backpacking trip to Stanley, Idaho. Having never seen the Sawtooths, I signed up straight away. We left Friday night after class and backpacked until Sunday morning.
So my first summer in Idaho is progressing and is sadly almost over for me. Soon soccer will start and I will be doing 2 a day sessions in the Caldwell heat as we prepare for this year’s season of Women's Soccer. However before I am tied down in one place, I have been lucky to do some more exploring of this lovely state.
Last week, my family and I packed up the car and headed west for a family vacation. We drove to the Oregon coast, passing good old Caldwell in route. Considering how vast the U.S. is Idaho—or at least the Treasure Valley—is located far enough away from the coast to make a road trip feasible, but still tiring. This time around, we actually drove down the length of the Oregon coast to the very southern end of Oregon so that we could make forays into Northern California’s redwood forests.