On September 30th, we headed back across the Idaho border and found ourselves in love again with this beautiful state. McCall is a cute little town north of Boise and on Payette Lake, in the Payette National Forest. We were surprised to pull into a spot right above the river overlooking rolling hills and the early changing colors of fall. Best view Clyde has had since Fidalgo Bay! We toured town the first afternoon (darling) but used most of our time to hike, enjoy the scenery, and cook a few meals at home. On our final day we hiked the Boulder Lake Loop Trail, rated “moderate” by AllTrails but I beg to differ. Perhaps Johan is hoping to spend the rest of this year riding solo with Clyde but I actually returned alive from the 6.9 mile hike (more like 8-ish since we lost the path a few times) with 1700ft. elevation gain AND encountered bear tracks (and no other human foot prints other than our own.) Just Johan, Kiki, and a bear hiking the Boulder Loop Trail. Snow, rain, icicles, a little sun here and there, and a tiny river crossing…and 5 hours later we were almost whole when we returned home (we lost a key to Bonnie but held onto the the bear whistle and pepper spray.) Plenty more to do in McCall after that, but it was time to head to the High West Distillery in Park City so we said goodbye to Idaho once again…we’ll be back.
We crossed back over the Washington state border into Walla Walla on September 26th and were pleasantly surprised with warm weather (as in, t-shirts & shorts at night warm weather) and an adorable downtown area within biking distance of Clyde’s spot. With over 140 wineries in town, there were entirely too many to choose from. As distressing as it sounds, we managed our way through. Ultimately we liked the wine best at Seven Hills, and had the most relaxing afternoon at Waterbrook, where we learned I am quite good at bocce ball. We also enjoyed a tasting at L’ecole, and varieties from Cadaretta, El Corazon, and of course Johan tried the local Reeser’s Rye whiskey. Put your hand flat out in front of you and alternate pinky and thumb dips for a sense of his reaction. To take a break from wine drinking, we took a bike ride to the historic Kirkman House for a tour that took us back to the late 1800’s when Walla Walla was just developing into a town where many gold-seekers settled. Mr. Kirkman, smart man that he was, realized he could become rich if he found gold, but knew he would definitely become rich if he provided necessary goods to the masses looking for shiny rocks. So he bought hundreds of acres of land, raised cattle, and became wealthy feeding the local gold miners. A non-profit group inherited the old Kirkman mansion and has worked hard to try to restore it to it original state. The volunteers at this historic site are deeply committed to telling the story of the Kirkman family, who had quite some characters and interesting stories worth carrying into the current times (as we learned during our THREE hour tour through the 8 room house). Go with some time on your hands.