The American Southwest, part two

We commenced our Autumn Road Trip on Blue Eyes’ 57th birthday, October 23, 2020. We drove from Portland to Boise, Idaho. We left just after lunchtime and drove straight through with the consolation prize for Blue Eyes being a birthday dinner out at a Boise restaurant, with proper social distancing. The restaurant, walking distance from our hotel on a crisp Fall evening, was lovely, and we only felt a little bit uncomfortable out in the “real world” during the surging coronavirus situation. We promised each other to limit our actual in-restaurant dining during the rest of the trip, however, since The Peacemaker’s 27th birthday was two days later, we broke our promise pretty quickly.

Downtown Boise, Idaho

On Saturday, Day 2 of 16, the Peacemaker had chosen two stops for our journey from Boise, Idaho to Salt Lake City, Utah. The first being Glenns Ferry, a very small town in Idaho and a stop on the Oregon Trail, where pioneers made their treacherous Three Island Crossing on the Snake River. There is now a State Park with Oregon Trail History and Education Center at this spot.

Glenns Ferry, Idaho farmland near the Snake River.
A lovely Autumn Trail along the Snake River.
The Beautiful Snake River

It was a bit chilly near the river (actually really chilly as I had to dig through the car to find what I like to call my Pillsbury Dough Girl puffy white coat), so on the way out of town we stopped into a little coffee shop that happened to be attached to the Glenns Ferry Historic Opera Theatre. As we entered the cute (and cozy warm) little coffee shop, we heard the most agonizing sound. I thought the shop owner was playing some horrific music and quickly exited after placing my order. As I ventured out front of the shop, I realized we were next to the theatre and there was a live matinee being performed of Frankenstein (the week before Halloween) and the noise we had heard was the performance. It was so eery and I totally wish I had thought to make a recording of it. I bet it was a good show! Small town theatre can be pretty great.

After warming our chilled bones, we headed to our second stop of the day, Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. If you are ever out in this remote location of Northern Utah in the American West, I highly recommend driving through this sanctuary. The Bear River marshes are part of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Bear_River_Migratory_Bird_Refuge/about.html

The visitor center is currently closed due to Covid, but the 12 mile Auto Tour is open, and amazing. It is a bit of a dichotomous situation, however, as there is hunting allowed (in season) at the “sanctuary.” We were a bit disappointed by this, as along with the gorgeous sunset and the sights and sounds of hundreds of birds, we also heard shots in the distance and saw numerous camouflaged hunting boats on the water, it was still one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. But seriously, who knew there was a Swan hunting season???

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge at dusk
Bear River.
A beautiful spot to spend sunset.

A couple hours later we were safely checked in to our Salt Lake City hotel, just in time for a bit of snow! Thank goodness we packed appropriately.

27 thoughts on “The American Southwest, part two

      • More than anyplace in America, I felt like I got into a time machine visiting that town. Apparently, in like 1960, the federal government was going to demolish most of the downtown to build Interstate 90. So the town (and state) pulled a fast one and declared the entire downtown a historical landmark. It saved the downtown, but ever since then, it’s hard to go by historic landmark rules, which make changing things almost impossible. It is literally like walking back into 1960 with their architecture, signage, parking, etc. If I was going to move to the northwest, it would be near the top of my list of places to consider.

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        • Interesting. Sounds like it is worth a visit. No doubt my dad had been there. He was a traveling salesman (of auto parts) in the 60’s & 70’s and his territory was OR, WA, ID. I’ll have to check it out.

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        • I probably should switch to another diet, but right now, making changes is overwhelming for me, and I am the only cook in the house. I could do pescatarian, but I don’t want to have more food / meal conversations with my husband. I cook healthy — two veg and lean protein for dinner. I love salad greens. He complains I make greens too much; it’s just not worth my effort with him on that issue right now.

          Liked by 1 person

          • My diet is driven by my blood sugars. So far this is working for me, but Blue Eyes actually can’t and doesn’t eat the same way, due to his digestive issues. One of the best decisions for me was giving myself permission to eat the way I need to without worrying about anyone else. It’s not easy though!

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