Saturday, 16 July 2016
Boise lies in the flat country just west of the mountains. A little online exploration reveals that there are no end of trails nearby, most of them in the mountains. The Table Rock loop sorted to the top of the list, and seems to be pretty interesting, so that’s where we went today. Parking at the old Penitentiary.
Which reminds me … what a misnomer that is! Had this truly been a home for penitents, it would not have needed guards or locks. It might have been called a monastery. The current equivalent is correctional institute, equally a misnomer.
There were no paper maps, but the kiosk at the trailhead showed the options. Pretty simple; we took trail 15A up, went around the hill on 16, and came back down 15.
There was a volunteer crew busy uprooting weeds. I thanked them for the effort. Always makes me feel good when I’m in their shoes and someone thanks me.
The whole area burned recently. Long enough ago that it only weakly smells of smoke, but not very attractive.
It was great to see the vegetation beginning to come back. For example, this green grass shooting out from the lump of burned grass.
The photo above came from the non-burned area, just to show what the single orphan flower further up will look like if it has a chance to mature.
Once we finally topped out and had a wide view further east, we could see the extent of the burn area, looking for all the world like cloud shadow.
It’s called table rock because it was once the sedimentary solid floor of a lake, now elevated a couple thousand feet above the surroundings.
There are communications antennas up here, consequently a road. But only a few cars; most people walked up and back down.
One of the bikies was a woman, who walked most of the way down, not confident in her brakes. The other bikie was a guy who rode the whole way. Not far from the bottom, and just ahead of us, he hit a rock the wrong way and took a spectacular fall. Not hurt beyond the usual scrapes, which is good.
We found a shady picnic table outside the walls of the old penitentiary and enjoyed the views of the warden’s house and the bishop’s house while we munched our apples. Didn’t sign up for the penitentiary tour itself; we’d rather spend the time at the botanical garden.
And so we did. It’s just outside the penitentiary walls itself, so we saw some of the outside.
I loosed off a raft of shots at this dragonfly, and am delighted that a couple of them turned out well. They clearly show that the leading edges of the wings are open.
Well, the botanical garden was very much worth the time, and I have a boatload of photos. But I won’t bore you with more than just a few.
There was a little creek, possibly with pumped recirculating water, covered with water striders. Cool!
Back to the B&B for naps, then laundry, then a cool beer in the back yard, then to a middle eastern restaurant for goodies.
Nice day. Tomorrow, Logan, Utah.