Tater tots and gun crazies — my first week in Boise

Ok, it’s been a week in Boise, Idaho.  A week yesterday morning at 7:34am to be exact.  It’s been a busy week.

After having coffee with my host and client, Adrienne Evans, I met a few more people who know about the political situation here in the Potato State.  It was an eye opener.

I’m like most people.  When I think of Idaho, I think of mountains, tater tots and some gun toting crazies up north around Ruby Ridge.  Idaho is more than that, it’s a lot more.

There’s whitewater rafting; no thanks, after my dunking into the Arkansas River in Colorado I’ll do my photography from the bank for awhile.  There’s broad valleys, lots of history – ever hear of Lewis and Clark – and yah, there’s a few gun toting crazies in the statehouse; but more about that later.

Running on empty, Adrienne made it possible for me to spend a few days at her mom’s place out in a little town called Parma.  Parma isn’t known for much – there’s a couple of beat up old sidewalks, a concrete reconstruction of Ft Boise – along with two of the ugliest sculptures I’ve even seen in my life and a wide spot on the road where they planted the “Welcome to Parma” sign.

But it’s also home to Rollingstone Chevre which is the largest goat farmstead, cheese making place in the country; I may be wrong about this, but I think it’s the oldest also.  And it happens to belong to Adrienne’s mom.

So three relaxing days on 60 acres with no pressures, no demands and a great opportunity to step out of the chaos which my life can become and just have a little down time.  Karen was awesome.  A full pot of coffee all day long, fresh scrambled eggs for breakfast and a meal each night which would be at home in any five stare eatery in the country.

I was able to get a lot of relaxing done, a few articles written, submitted and accepted and learn a lot about the making of goat cheese.  My only regret is that I was never able to figure out a way to get into the “cheese factory” and swipe a gallon of goat’s milk without Karen finding out.  Well, there’s always another chance.

After a few days, I think Karen was ready to get rid of me because she graciously offered to let me use an extra car she had so that I could get around.  I learned in Colorado that it’s no fun being trapped in the middle of nowhere with no wheels, so I gladly accepted her kind, gracious and generous offer.

Tossing the camera gear bag into the back seat of a ’89 faded, blue Volvo, I cranked up the Beach Boys on the radio and headed on down the highway; next stop, the other side of Parma.

Alma and Jim Hasse were to be my hosts for a few days; but more than my hosts.  Alma is a candidate for State Senator and the recognized expert about the dangers of fracking.  So a few days on top of a windswept hill that overlooks the Snake River and the valley where the early settlers rode in on the Oregon Trail gave me an education in this method for drilling for oil and gas.

Alma also made a tour of Silver City, Idaho possible.  Silver City is a living ghost town.  Founded right after the Civil War, Silver City was a thriving, typical western town until the early 1930s.  Then when the economy went bust, the town did too.

After laying dormant for quite a few years it was‘re-discovered’ and people started buying up property and opening up summer homes.  A stipulation in the homeowner’s association though limited what work could be done to the exterior of the buildings and the result is a town of dusty roads and old western buildings that used to house the barber shop, the undertaker’s cottage, the hotel, the saloon and other early staples of pioneer living in the high desert.  With the interiors having all modern appliances and are very livable, the exterior gives you the sense of what it was like to have settled here at the height of the gold rush.

Alma set up a few more meetings with some folks whose lives had been round housed by fracking, the economy, healthcare or those gun toting crazies in the statehouse.  Meanwhile Jim is a whiz at business and he graciously took his time to help me make my website.  The next day it was back into Boise for more meetings with folks that Adrienne had lined up, then a quiet few hours on her back porch with her and her partner, Trish.

Right now, it’s 3:12 in the morning and I’m sitting in the living room of “my” house on the outskirts of Boise.  Adrienne – being the smart lady she is – knew she’d grow tired real quick of be being underfoot at her place, so she arranged to let me have m own space in a three bedroom nice home on a cul-de-sac just north of town.  Yep, Adrienne and United Vision for Idaho is sure taking care of this ol’ boy and I want to make them happy with my work here.

So make sure to follow along; you already know the typical places to check out and I’ll keep you posted on what’s going on here in Boise and with those gun toting crazies in the statehouse.  In the meantime, I’ve got to find a cup of coffee – I know there must be some grounds around here somewhere.

CLICK HERE TO SEE SOME OF THE SHOTS FROM MY FIRST WEEK IN BOISE

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