Grand Tour of Idaho, Part 2
June 30, 2021
Our first stop on Day 3 was Tamarack Resort, which we accessed via back roads that turned out to mostly not be paved. They also mostly had no great scenery to look at, unless you are into signs of rich people starting to build huge houses where before there were ranches and farmland.
We first went to Tamarack in 2006, then returned once in 2007. That first year, the base village was comprised almost entirely of large semi-permanent structures that sort of reminded me of Cirque du Soleil tents but with slightly more features. The second year, those structures were still there but condos were being built behind them. We never got back there to ski; in 2008 the resort filed for bankruptcy and in 2009 it closed abruptly before the ski season ended, so it just didn’t seem like a great place to plan a vacation. Well boy howdy, it’s come back from all that. There are only remnants of the temporary structures; they were in the process of being torn down when we were there. What there is is huge faux Alpine village with condos and restaurants and stores. I understand that’s where resorts make a lot of money, but it still bothers me when skiing isn’t the main focus of a ski resort.
After we got done taking in the new Tamarack, we took the scenic route to Idaho City. More hills and mountains, more streams, more nature. I love looking at all that stuff, though I sometimes, like on this drive, wish there were more rest areas sprinkled in there. At least when one sneaks off into the bushes to pee at a scenic turnout, there’s something great to look at, unlike the situation at possibly sketchy gas stations.
The drive took longer than I expected so by the time we got to Idaho Falls and the restaurant purported to have the best pie in Idaho according to one list, I was super hungry. Still, I couldn’t finish the piece of chocolate cream I ordered for dessert. It was very very tall.
It was just a short drive after that late lunch to Boise, our stop for the night. The plan was to have a relaxed evening, with dinner in Boise and maybe some hotel pool time. That plan went out the window with the very late lunch meaning we didn’t need dinner and the pool being closed. So we decided to jump ahead and go see what we could see in two more counties that were nearby. Because we weren’t approaching them from same direction as on the planned route, we had to improvise, which worked out well, as that led us to finding the Wilson Springs Ponds nature area. We saw ducks and other birds and had a nice stroll on the paths around the water.
We were running out of daylight as we went for our fourth county of the day, so just intended to dip in and find a license plate wherever we could. It being a rural county and late in the day, pickings were slim, but we had success at the county courthouse. The sunset going on at that time was gorgeous, and we thought we could see it better if we could get over the nearby ridge. We saw trails leading up it from a state recreational access parking lot, so we booked it over there. Distances being hard to judge when there are no buildings or trees, we didn’t quite make it over the ridge to see the peak sunset but it was still worth doing.
All the pictures from Day 3 are here. I took so many that this day gets its own journal entry.