Idaho amidst pandemic. Yes, I hit the road in the middle of all the craziness. I needed to get out of the concrete jungle and the four walls that felt like they were closing in on me! I wanted out, and I needed it bad. I was convinced that nature was going to be the balm for all the troubles in the world.
Idaho was the second state I visited during my road trip, right after Oregon. Just saying the name gives me a warm tingle inside. The name "Idaho" has a fascinating history. It was chosen by an eccentric lobbyist George M. Willing, who claimed that it meant 'gem of the mountains' in the Native American tongue. Later, it was revealed that Willing made up the term himself, and the original territory was renamed Colorado because of Willing's lie, yet the name persisted with time.
Like its name, the beauty of the state enchanted me. When I arrived taking route 84, straight from Portland, Oregon, I found a wild camping ground close to its capital city, Boise. Yes, we were in the middle of a pandemic, but the campsite in one of the national forests was almost empty. I went running in the early morning, and when passing by beautiful rugged hills, mountain streams, and meadows, I imagined Native Americans walking this land centuries ago, or that perhaps the souls of their ancestors were there. I felt the vibration of the earth, the vastness of the wilderness, the charm of its sky. If I could, I would have stayed there forever. No words can describe the beauty that I saw and the multiple times the vista took my breath away.
There are so many extraordinary things to experience in Idaho! One of the must-see places in Idaho is Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, often referred to as the Niagara of the West. The name is well-deserved since standing 212 feet tall and 900 feet wide, the falls surpass the height of Niagara Falls. What makes the falls even more magnificent is its location on the beautiful Snake River, which is also another great attraction in Idaho.
At 1,500 feet long, Perrine Memorial Bridge is located near the city of Twin Falls and offers pedestrian walkways with views over the river, lakes, and waterfalls. The bridge is extremely popular with base jumpers who enjoy it year-round as the launching point for parachuting to the canyon below. The bridge is as photogenic as the coveted Sports Illustrated cover. I guarantee that no matter where you point your camera, the photos will turn out to be quite spectacular.
As I mentioned before, do not miss Boise, the capital of Idaho. It boasts a beautiful grand Capitol Building. It also has a fantastic River Greenbelt walk and Kathryn Albertson Park. The Idaho Botanical Garden is a popular destination among locals.
One of my best adventures during my road trip happened in this state. When staying at one of the wild campsites with my travel buddy, we met one of the biggest onion producers in the region while swimming in Boise River. After we started chatting, our local friend took us to his onion fields. The vastness of the fields was so grand that they appeared endless on the horizon. I got an extensive tour of the onion fields, all the equipment, and the technology behind operating the business, which was fascinating. We also took a ride on an off-road vehicle, with piles of dust billowing behind us. It was a very dusty but fun experience! I took some fantastic drone footage in those fields!
Idaho left me hungering for more. It was in Idaho that I came to the realization that this country has so much more to offer than the East coast, which I had made my home for the last few years.