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Boise and The Oregon Trail

I have always wanted to head west. In elementary school I had a guinea pig named Fievel and I loved playing Oregon Trail. I always knew that the real Oregon Trail was going to be a highlight of my trip and I planned to stop at as many landmarks as I could. One of these landmarks that was featured in the game was the Whitman Mission. There wasn’t really any of the mission left to see, but they had a nice museum and it had a park atmosphere great for leg stretching.

I was happy to get out and stretch my legs. The scenery changes drastically from eastern Washington to Idaho. The desert makes way to vast green hills. I had underestimated the size of the hills in my mind. I was driving along some elevation, but you would look over large amounts of flat land too. I’m so grateful for interstate highways and motor vehicles. Seeing those tracks winding over the sides of hills looked precarious enough without a wagon on them.

I arrived in the evening at my host’s house. I was spending the weekend with a single dad and his preschooler. Then during the week I was switching things up and staying with a single girl in her early 30s. I was happy with the arrangements I made. I feel like it’s easy to overstay in family situations. The dad was a long-time Boise native and he made for a pretty good tour guide. I enjoyed the local burger shack and got the driving tour. I got to see a view of the whole city from Table Rock.

The week came and I was happy to move to a new location and host. My host, the dad, had developed a crush and I had politely declined his request to “kiss me”. The social dynamics were becoming quickly awkward, as he had gone into self-deprecation mode and I was more than ready for girl time with my next host.

Pam’s place was a cute historic cottage walking distance to downtown. I stayed in her basement guest bedroom. Like some of my other Couchsurfing hosts she was really big into NPR, biking and cooking. I loved everything about her place – the homey decor, the maps on the wall (she was a cartographer), the herb water in the fridge, the wild game she cooked from her family’s hunting trips. It was such a relaxing place to be.

By this time I had stayed with enough hosts where I had kinda recognized some things I wanted to incorporate into my “home”. These things involved teaching myself to cook from fresh materials, unique decor, routine, hobbies, ect.

I’ve come a long way and I still have a long way to go. I finally have my pictures hung on the way and my bed assembled. I have a sculpture in the living room from my last art show and a neat craft storage area. I signed up for a CSA and have been slowly teaching myself to cook.

I spent a lot of time walking around. Boise has a really nice river walk area. Pam had simple routines of things that didn’t cost money, but made life more interesting. She mountain biked with friends on her lunch break and watched the LARPers in the park on Wednesdays.

After leaving Boise, I ran into more famous Oregon Trail landmarks. It was cool to see the sites and the trail at Glenns Ferry and then read all the names at Register Rock.


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