Floating the Payette River in Idaho

Excited by sub $4/gallon petrol, we took off to Boise to hang out with some Chicago (now SLC) chums over the Labor Day weekend.

Night 1 – I-90/82 to Yakima

After Obama’s (excellent) acceptance speech, we cruised out to Yakima to knock out a little bit of the drive.  Another free night thanks to Wyndham Rewards’ BRG program, this time a lovely king room with kitchenette (complete with spatulas and whisks) at the HoJo Yakima.

I spent the next morning trying to replace a headlight in the parking lot…and failed.  I can’t believe you have to remove the bumper to swap a light bulb.  That’s the patio of our HoJo room…convenient.


Day 2 – I-84 to Boise

The temperatures were well in the 90s which means Zizou just laid in the back seat panting nonstop.  And sadly, there’s not a whole lot of water in Eastern Oregon to cool off in.  But we did find some sprinklers at Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area.  Also spotted a few Pileated Woodpeckers here–never seen ’em before, so it was a fun random sighting.

Many hours later we were in Boise for two nights at the Red Lion–$85/night was quite attractive with their “Stay two nights, earn one night free” promotion.  And here we met up with newlyweds Adam and Juliette, and more importantly Oscar the Italian greyhound.  We (including Ziz and Oscar) went to Bungalow in the Hyde Park neighborhood for dinner–good grub and the young waiter volunteered that he’d be voting Democratic for the first time in his life.  Excellent.

Day 3 – Floating on the Payette River

First of all, the folks at Idaho River Sports couldn’t have been friendlier or more helpful.  We rented a 13′ Super Duper Puma for the four of us and two dogs.  Sweet ride that could be purchased for just $2,700.

We took a 9+ mile float down the Payette between the towns of Horseshoe Bend and Montour–less than 30 minutes outside of Boise.  None of us had a clue what we were doing and it showed.  But the waters were calm as can be allowing for plenty of time to eat Pik-Nik Sticks.  Nothing whitewater about this trip.

Zizou was a bit of nuisance to get into the boat, but eventually got his bearings.  Oscar who had never been in the water before could have cared less and was usually seen napping on the raft. 


About five hours in the water and we saw just a handful of other people.  Good times.  After cleaning up at the Red Lion, we had a 10:40pm dinner at Cafe Ole.

Day 4 – Farewell Idaho

After returning the raft rental in the morning, we hit up Wheat Montana for coffee/hot chocolate/bear claws–I’m a big fan of this place.  Check it out next time you’re in Eastern WA/Montana/Idaho.

Strolled around the Hyde Park area and Camel’s Back Park and ate some pizza at Lucky 13 Pizza–the waitress brought many, many biscuits to feed the dogs.

At 3pm, Oscar and Zizou said farewell to one another.  And we both began our respective long drives.  Farewell Bend State Recreation Area in Oregon along the Snake River was a real gem.  Zizou took a dip in the river to cool off and then we lazed around the green grass for awhile with barely anyone else in sight.

Lillie and Zizou both staring blankly…

And finally, here’s Zizou looking a bit like a real hunting dog a bit southeast of Pendleton, Oregon…

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