Back in Boise

Anna and I are in Boise, Idaho, visiting Katherine and Tom and their children. It’s my first time back in this state since I left with my family in 1983; we lived in nearby Caldwell for five years, and moved to St. Croix that March. Tomorrow Anna and I will visit the street where I lived, walk along the downtown shops, then meet a couple who also served with Peace Corps Vanuatu and who now live in Nampa.

Today we shopped the Boise shops, then toured the studio of Boise State Public Radio, where Tom is general manager. In the afternoon we took a drive to Horseshoe Bend and the Payette River.

Anna is on her spring break, and we came here so she could ski for the first time. Yesterday Tom and Katie drove us up the mountain to Bogus Basin, a nonprofit recreation area within the Boise National Forest, where it was just around freezing and in full sun. We had a blast on the beginner slope, and thoroughly enjoyed the day. I want to bring Oliver and Malia and Erin here next winter.

We arrived in Boise Saturday afternoon, stopped by Hops and Bottles to catch the end of the Olympic marathon trials—a couple of Boise women ran in the lead pack but missed qualifying—then went next door for a leisurely lunch. Katherine showed us to her art studio, and the Boise River and the green belt path directly behind.

That night, I accompanied T&K to dinner with musician Phil Roy, who had decided to revive his tradition of inviting strangers to the table for a meal and conversation (back east he would also play and sing). This reminded me of my Long Table dinner, and the evening in Paris with Jim Haynes. In Boise we ate food prepared by a woman originally from Kenya, and we talked with filmmaker (Return to Mount Kennedy), a nurse who works with refugees at St. Alphonsus health system, a Québécois therapist, and a former reporter who now advocates for immigration policy and who maybe knew about the Idaho law that my father had pushed to make farmers provide portajohns for their workers.

So far, an enjoyable visit.



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