Sunday, July 30, 2017

Idaho - It's Not Just About The Potatoes!

Summer Trip To Idaho

Did you know that about 1/3 of the potatoes grown in the US are grown in Idaho? That's around 27 billion potatoes annually! 

This past month my husband John and I took a trip to Idaho to scout potential retirement locations.We flew into Boise, rented a car and started our trek. Boise, I'm afraid is not for us...just way too much like Sacramento...a new housing tract on every corner. They are having a boom and we don't want to be part of it. No offense Boise, it's just not for us.  So after an overnight stay, we jumped in the car and headed out to see the surrounding areas. The name Idaho comes from the Native American word Idaahe which means "the land of many waters" and it aptly describes this beautiful state.
Garden Valley, Idaho
     First stop: Garden Valley and I successfully sniffed out a sweet little quilt shop there called Stitch n Snip. It didn't look like much from the outside but the inside was just packed with fun! Every nook and cranny was filled with goodies

Stitch n Snip Quilt Shop Garden Valley, Idaho

The Payette River was flowing at full force with all the snow melt this year.

The second day, we took a leisurely drive through Emmett Valley and Payette where we had lunch at the local A and W restaurant...what fun! It was like traveling back in time. Phones at the booths to order your meal and it was delicious! Not much going on in that town, mostly bars and banks on the main street and no quilt shops.

After lunch we piled back into the car and decided that we should take off to McCall and see what that was about. The drive was pretty as we passed through Council, Idaho.

Very much like the Lake Tahoe area here in California. There was a spillway from the lake into the river, just like at Tahoe.

Just past the spillway was a lovely little park complete with picnic tables and benches to sit on, a pretty sandy beach if you wanted to enjoy the water.

The view was so serene and lovely. Blue blue sky with white billowy clouds. We enjoyed some time there and John got some puppy time in with some locals who had brought their whole litter to the beach.

I could have stayed there all day, but I am married to a city boy and he has to keep on the move...LOL. 

Back to Boise and up early the next day to start our trek to the East side of Idaho, with a stop off at Twin Falls. To get to the falls you drive right by the beautiful Twin Falls LDS Temple.

A short drive further and you arrive at the falls. How to describe's like a combination of Niagara Falls and a mini Grand Canyon all in one. We are arriving late in the season and the full flow of the water is not as evident but it is still impressive none the less.

 Here is a photo of the falls in full flow.

Looking down from the falls you can see the canyon the water has carved.

Nice lunch in town at a fairly new restaurant McAllister's Deli. Delicious food and I can highly recommend a stop there for lunch!
Back on the road and off we go, lots of farm fields before our next stop at American Falls. Again, we are late in the season and there is no water coming over the falls. You can see the old power house which is in disrepair and no longer used. Above the dam is a large reservoir providing water to the surrounding farm lands.

To give you some perspective of how large this reservoir is, this is a photo taken from space.

Back in the car and we continue our drive to Pocatello and on to Idaho Falls and our destination for the next several days, Rigby.
We arrived at sunset to our friends the Morrows, home in Rigby and were very happy to hit the sack that night. This will serve as our base from which to explore the surrounding area.

Rigby is a sweet little town, don't blink you'll miss it! Rigby is most famous as the birthplace of television! Who knew?! Rigby was founded by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1884 and a significant number of it's residents as well as those of the outlying communities are LDS. It seems as though there is a chapel on every block! A young man that was in our Ward in Ukiah, as a little boy, years ago, Jason Richardson, is now the Mayor of Rigby and his father who served as our Bishop, Darwin Richardson, along with his sweet mother Nina have just recently relocated to the area. 

Rigby is high on our desired locations. We jump in the car and we are off to St. Anthony to peek at a house that I saw online...unfortunately it was sold, which is okay...we are not ready to move just yet, but it was a lovely cottage and another perfectly beautiful small town. We are up here and the Teton's are just over the we take off for parts as yet unknown to us to discover a breathtaking view. We drive along though back roads and farm lands as far as one can see and as we crest the hill...this is the view that meets us.

There is a roadside pull off and we do just that, to enjoy the view. Remember I said I was married to a city boy...okay, that's enough time at the pull out, lets continue...LOL So we drive down into the valley below and continue to make a circle through the Teton Valley up over highway 31 to Swan Valley and back down to Idaho Falls. 

We had to stop at the Little Quilt Shop in Idaho Falls! Daydreams Quilt N Sew.

What a sweet shop! There was an ample selection of a variety of fabrics, a little something for everyone. Lots of great patterns, notions and creative inspiration!  John struck up a conversation with shop owner and pattern designer Annalee Leonard. "Are you from Oregon?" she asked. "No, we are from California, a little town called Foresthill" he says. I am looking at the fabric and I hear a voice from the back of the store yell out "Sister of The Divide!" My husband looked at me startled to think that someone in Idaho might actually know who I am.  I was just as stunned and excited to meet, Jeanette Hanson. Well, there was a group of gals in the shop and they were sewing in the back and so we just made ourselves at home and enjoyed talking with all of them. Picking their brains about the surrounding area and becoming even more convinced that this is where we should be. We looked like hell's half acre (as you do when you are doing a marathon drive by in Idaho) but they made us feel so at home. I could have broken out my machine and just spent the afternoon stitching happily with all of them.

I wanted to get something special to memorialize our trip and provide a giveaway for the folks that follow us on facebook as well as here on our blog. Annalee was kind enough to provide two of her patterns, one for the quilt below and another one which I will be giving away this next month.

If you would like to purchase Annalee's pattern which is called "S'more Fun" you can visit her site here: 

Be sure to explore her website Daydreams Quilt N Sew
She has lots of great patterns, beautiful fabrics, Riley Blake, Moda and more, including wide quilt backs, quilt kits, specialty rulers and a nice selection of notions.

Be sure to check back with us in August when we will be giving away Annalee's pattern "Farm Grown" along with some fun fabric!

I had so much fun making my own S'more Fun quilt top. It's in my pile to quilt on the longarm and will be a fun memory of our trip to Idaho!

Time to head home. We are up early and heading off to Boise to catch our flight. A quick stop for breakfast in Blackfoot at the Homestead Restaurant. OMGosh the cinnamon rolls were to die for!

Our next stop on the trip back to Boise will be Rupert. We have been instructed by Annalee to be sure to visit "The Gathering Place" It's her quiltshop on steroids she says. And so we are off!

Downtown Rupert...not much to write home to mom about. I'm looking at the block that the quilt store is on and it's mostly bars. At the very end of the block is a nondescript building with the signage that reads "The Gathering Place". This must be it. Doesn't look like much from the outside, nothing special in the way of window dressing. Quite the contrary, you would never know it's a quilt shop, it could just be another one of the bars on that street.

Getting out of the car, the first thing that you notice is the distinct smell of cows, yes, that's right, there is either a feed lot or a dairy or a manure processing facility close by. I'm thinking, hmmm.
Well, I walked through the doors with my husband in tow and was immediately thrown into total overwhelm. This is the largest quilt shop in Idaho with over 17,000 bolts of fabric. YUP, overwhelm. John looked at the glazed look on my face and told me he would be out in the car taking a nap, take as long as I liked. Well, I knew we only had an hour to spend there and that is certainly nowhere near enough time to do that place justice. The building is cleverly divided into "rooms" and sectioned areas for particular focus. There is a room dedicated to "modern" fabrics, an area for "traditional" fabrics, an area for "juvenile" fabrics and on and on and on. There was just too much to see and I was just as tired as John, so I made a quick dash through the store to get the overlay and then circled back to the items that I wanted. You really need several days...a week even to check it all out.  I'm sure once we move there, if I can't find it at Annalee's I'll be making a trip to Rupert.

Back to Boise up early the next day for our flight back to Reno, Nevada.

And a two hour drive home from the airport in Reno...There is still snow on the mountains!

Planning another trip soon to continue our scouting!