All yesterday’s activity induced a fantastic night’s sleep for me & it was late in the morning before we got downtown on another clear, sunny day. Set in a beautiful park, we were happy to spend a couple of hours at the Idaho State Museum to see if we couldn’t discover a bit more about this state that we hadn’t really intended to visit (I think we are both really glad that a ride, of all things – imagine that, induced us to duck east from the Pacific states). I won’t bore you with the history of a state that most of you won’t visit – but nonetheless I found it interesting. We got another good dose of Lewis & Clark history – which we got a lot of at the start of the trip.

After lunching in a nice big leafy park & wandering through a decent rose garden we headed to the historic area of downtown. We didn’t find many old buildings, but did manage to find the Basque Center. Apparently, Boise has the second largest Basque population in the States – after Bakersfield, CA, of all places. Eventually we made it to the Capitol building. Not overawing from the outside (I think the dome looks too skinny), the interior is fantastic.

It’s been recently restored & all the (Alaskan) marble inside it just great. Unlike other Capitols we’ve been in, the walls are remarkably free of portraits & other such things – this suited the place very well. Looking up, I really wanted to be going up the little spiral staircase to the top of the dome. But that wasn’t open to the public of course. With the best display about the state we’ve seen in a Capitol & not many people around, it was a great visit.

Always keen to get another ride in, there was only time & energy for a short one close to town. Miles had told me of one starting on the road to Bogus Basin (what a great name for a ski-area) just out of the suburbs. Corral Trail started with more climbing than I was expecting, but it was mostly doubletrack & not too bad. A local guy snuck up behind me, told me I was riding well & then proceeded to beat the pants off me the rest of the way up. But Bernie was great, he changed his ride to make sure I got the bonus mile on the end of Bob’s Trail that is not so easy to find. The first half or so of the downhill was on Corral & it was fast & flowy. There were plenty of little jumps – these irritated me for a while as they weren’t quite right for the speed I was going, I kept touching the front wheel down first (just). I finally figured out that loading up the front fork just on approach made life much better, I was pretty happy from then on.

Bob’s Trail started out much the same as it followed a gulch all the way down to suburbia. But one had to be careful around blind corners, as pesky rocks would suddenly jump out & plant themselves in the side of the trail. More technical, this trail was most enjoyable – even if I had to walk down a few metres (still have that fear of ending the riding component of this trip early doing something stupid). Skirting around between a golf course & some really nice houses we were all done an hour after I set off. What a great ride for only an hour’s worth of effort & so close to the city too (the trail map & markings were great – there looks like there’s quite a network of trails to be explored up there).

Driving back to the hotel through central Boise, I though I recognised a bike on top of a Cayenne at the lights. Sure enough, we’d caught up to Miles – strange parallels with our first random meeting in Fruita. We had a quick chat at the hotel before he headed to Oregon. Any energy I burnt on the ride was soon regained – we went to a nice Basque restaurant for dinner. How are they not all fat? I was more full from that meal than I have been for ages – & that’s considering all those large portions we’ve been served.

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