Most of my day today consisted of driving. I traveled 505 miles from Seattle to Boise, Idaho. In total it probably took around eight hours. Honestly, Boise has never been a location that I wanted to visit. I scheduled this stop because it was too long for a direct drive from Seattle to Salt Lake City. There are a few stops along my trip that I consider to be "rest stops". So, it wasn't an issue that I arrived later in the day (around 7:00pm MST to be exact).
As I was approaching Boise, I was listening to the local radio stations. I was flipping through the numerous country music stations when I overheard a commercial that stated "Now that we are past Covid...". The wording definitely threw me off. I have been living in California and just traveled to two other states along the Pacific that all take Covid precautions and are aware that the virus still exists even for those of us who have been vaccinated.
Once I finally made it to downtown, I parked my car at the hotel and began to unpack with my mask on. Once I reached the elevator, there was a couple who weren't wearing masks and were patiently waiting for the lift to arrive. When it arrived, I stepped on and the couple refused to get on the elevator with me. Which, I assumed is because I was wearing my mask. Then when I reached the lobby, I realized that I was the only one wearing a mask inside, besides the employees. The hotel has signs out detailing all of the "precautions" they are taking during the pandemic, including providing masks for anyone that needs one. I am fully aware that probably most, if not all, of the southern states that I visit will have the same mentality. I was unprepared to deal with the "Covid is a hoax" mentality so early on in my trip.
Because I do not want to put myself at risk, I was almost ready to stay in my room for the night, eat a protein bar, and go to bed early. I am so glad that I decided against this. My hotel is on the same street that the State Capitol is on, even though the lighting was not ideal, I decided to head down and take some pictures.
When I arrived at the Capitol I noticed that there was something happening. As I got closer I realized that people were wearing masks and once I started listening, I realized that the Boise chapter of Black Lives Matter was hosting the event. There were maybe around 20 people in total. Regardless of the size of the crowd, I was happy to have found like minded individuals and I ended up staying for the remainder of the event.
I then wandered downtown looking for a place for dinner. At the beginning of Covid, Boise completely shut down part of eighth street to create space for outdoor patios. I was happy to see that there were many restaurants that still had outdoor dining and required masks inside. I ended up choosing a restaurant called Fork. The restaurant is in a historical building that was once a bank, therefore, they cannot make changes to the actual building, but I think it gave the restaurant some character.
Tonight I ordered a spicy chicken sandwich and a kiwi mojito. The sandwich was good, but it wasn't as spicy as I was hoping for. I am interested to try a spicy chicken sandwich in the south! Because it is Idaho, it was also important that I ate some potatoes, so as my side I tried the house made potato chips which did not disappoint (I held onto the leftovers for my car ride tomorrow!)
Before I headed back to my hotel, my server suggested that I take a look at Freak Alley. Freak Alley is a space where artists paint murals and it is updated annually. It is similar to Sacramento's Wide Open Walls, but instead of murals being placed all around the city, the murals are concentrated in one alley. There were many creative and interesting art pieces including this one:
My favorite was of Jimmy Hendrix that the artist made out of broken mirror! The artist was able to place the broken pieces in a way that created shading and made it look three dimensional. I took some video of this piece that I have not had the time to look through yet, video editing will start soon!
(P.S. if you understand the reference in the title of this blog entry, then you are cool!)