I have a hankering to take Ry Guy and The Dude to Idaho in search of fall foliage—or any semblance of autumn, sick to death of mercury rising above eighty in November.
The COW gets paddocked at SB Airport and we fly United Express (with that other dude, Jeff Bridges, aboard) to San Fran, grab another plane to Boise.
First stop after ensconcing grandsons and their mothers at Hotel 43: Juniper, to reacquaint myself with Planet Oregon pinot noir and bison meatballs.
The Saturday night scene in November, with Boise State University in full bloom, differs from my last visit in late June.
It is rowdier, and booze-fueled.
Next day, after breakfast, we aim to North End, Boise’s historic Hyde Park neighborhood, and satisfy my autumn craving in an Americana setting:
A couple of pubs, a couple of coffee houses, a book store (new and used titles), and a funky gift shop with wood-plank messages:
Listen to the mustn’ts, child.
Listen to the don’ts.
Listen to the shouldn’ts,
Listen to the never haves,
Then listen close to me.
Anything can happen child,
Anything can be.
We call a taxi for seven and driver named Zak arrives with a minivan.
I ask him to cruise down Harrison Boulevard, a residential street with grand houses named after President Benjamin Harrison, who signed Idaho into statehood and visited Boise to mark the occasion.
Next to Eagle, a neighboring city considered to be Boise’s most affluent suburb, which turns out to be new construction of gated communities and endless strip malls featuring every American chain store and fast food shack ever invented.
The New America.
Back in Boise, I visit Snake River Winery in Bodo to sample Idaho wine, all of which impress. Some of the best pinot noir comes from Oregon, just across a border border , so why not?
I plop myself at the bar in Chandler’s—a steakhouse within Hotel 43 and Boise’s finest restaurant—and consult the bartender about his gins.
He recommends The Botanist (from Scotland), which is new to me.
For dinner: Their finest steak, a bone-in filet (known as Delmonico), with mashed potato, grilled vegetables, and glass of pinot noir, maybe two.
My first novel about a road trip has been acquired by Skyhorse Publishing in New York City.
It will be published in Fall 2016.