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Grand Tour of Idaho, Part 8: Reflections

July 26, 2021

I find I have a bit more to say about this trip. I’ve covered the where we went and what we saw, but there’s more to it I want to remember.

We were in a different hotel almost every night, which gave us the chance to experience a range of responses to the pandemic at what we thought then was the tail end of it (Delta variant was not much talked about in early June as far as I recall). Only one property required masks in all public areas. Some of the pools were open; some still closed. Breakfast was the most noticeable area of differences. One place was back to pretty much pre-pandemic normal, with a self-serve buffet set up in a room where physical distancing was hard to maintain. That felt strange. Some places were offering pre-packaged breakfasts to be picked up at the front desk and eaten in one’s room. One place had room service (of packaged items), with orders due in the night before. Another had a table service breakfast at a nearby restaurant (with very limited choices).

This trip was a return to vacationing habits Mr. K and I had earlier in our relationship, with all the driving around and moving from hotel to hotel. It feels a bit rushed sometimes, but does let us see a lot of places, if only for a short time each. If I had it to do over again, I’d have two or three days in the middle of the trip where we stayed put in a place and just explored it more deeply. That would break up the routine of checking counties off the list, though it seems odd to think of vacation as having a routine that we’d want a break from.

I was happy with the planning I did, so I knew that setting foot in all 44 counties in 10 days was realistic. I was also happy that we were able to change that plan when it made sense to, though that did mess up my spreadsheet a bit.

I’m glad to have seen more of the state I live in. I wish we’d done something like this in Michigan before we moved. I suppose we could still take that tour, but unlike with Idaho, if we found something we really liked, it would be more of a hassle to get back and dive deeper.

My top choice for place to go back to from this trip is Moscow. I found the Rexburg Museum/Teton Dam Site combination and the BASE jumpers in Twin Falls to be the most interesting things, but I’m not sure I need to go back and do more in either of those places. Moscow, though, I know there’s more to see and do. Of the Panhandle counties, Latah (Moscow is the county seat) had the highest percentage of Biden voters in 2020, so I guess it’s not surprising that I felt more comfortable there. The highest percentage of Biden voters in Idaho was in Blaine County, which is down in the potato growing part of the state, and I didn’t feel any particular affinity for that part of the state (don’t like their ski resort, for one thing). So who knows.

I’m glad we did the trip. I’m looking forward to more travel this summer and fall if conditions allow it.

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