Our second vacation was 10 days in
with great friends, old and new. Starting on a Thursday my parents drove in from their East Coast Summer Tour (via Idaho – you can read about it on Mom's Blog) to join us celebrating Ken’s birthday. We went to dinner at Paul Martin’s Bistro (yum). South Dakota
Friday afternoon Ken’s parents arrived and they visited with my folks while we were at work. Friday night Sharon and Bill came to our house and joined the party. 7am Saturday morning Rob and Teresa pulled in. Ken and I had only met them briefly last December at the Barn Party with Sharon and Bill so quick re-introductions were made and six of us jumped in our 3 trucks to hit the road.
Pulling out of the driveway
The plan was to caravan to
Boise on Saturday with stops in Reno and Winnemucca, NV; Jordan Valley, OR; and reaching our destination of the Doubletree Riverside in Boise, ID in time for cocktail hour at Joe’s Crab Shack on the . Shopping was the theme for the first 1/3 of the vacation. We would be spending two full days in Boise River shopping at Western/Tack stores and Sporting Goods stores. Sharon and I had plotted out a selection of stores to visit. We started in Boise at D bar M. I’m still looking for a Western Pleasure show saddle and was pleasantly surprised to see one here. Reno
Dale Chavez saddle at D Bar M in Reno
Because it was just the beginning of the trip I didn’t want to jump in and buy it, and they didn’t have a lot of information on it so I needed to do some research on it. It’s a Dale Chavez saddle that has no markings that we could find to identify its tree type (Blu should get a wide or flex tree). But it does have a 16-inch seat and the rigging appears to be a 7/8th. The silver is ok, with a gold starburst in it. But the price is a bit more than I’d like to pay for a used saddle. (Note: I emailed Dale Chavez to see if they could help me identify the tree and I’m happy to report their customer service is excellent. They don’t use serial numbers but from my photo they told me it was a semi-quarter horse tree and gave me the silver pattern number. They said it was an old saddle was no longer made. They also gave me the original retail value new - which is less than they’re asking now.)
Say Hi to OJ - This is the prison outside Lovelock, NV
Highway 95 through Oregon - No other traffic but our 3 trucks
Jordan Valley - Host of the Big Loop Rodeo
We continued on our way with the next stop a fuel stop in
. It is also the turn off for Highway 95 through the desolate Winnemucca, NV south east. Residents of the area might not like me calling it desolate, but really, you can drive for 20 miles without seeing any sign of life, and then when you do, its cattle. Their speed limit is also 55. Yes, 55! Talk about horrors. To come from 75mph on I-80 down to 55mph in Oregon Oregon (and we’re in for almost 200 miles) with boring scenery, it’s torture. I won’t tell you we sped, but I will tell you that having Oregon California plates in Oregon makes one VERY cautious when driving through . We made it to Oregon (the location of the Big Loop Rodeo) and stopped at our usual spot- Mrs. Z’s - to grab a snack and use the facilities (I know, too much info, but really, we’d been on the road for 200 miles….). From there we were a hop, skip and a jump from Jordan Valley . Boise
We arrived at the Doubletree Riverside and got our room assignments. We drove to the far end of the hotel so we could park closest to our rooms and it was there that I encountered “rabid raccoon.”
I was on the passenger side of my truck unloading bags when I heard a hissing noise. I glanced around but didn’t see anything and figured I was hearing things. Though I will admit that my first thought was “rattlesnake!” But when I heard the sound again, and it sounded like an angry animal I took a bit more time to look around. And through the bushes, next to a wall surrounding some type of equipment (maybe garbage cans, but I didn’t look that closely) was a raccoon hissing at me! Yikes! I told Ken there was an angry raccoon hissing at me and he said “get in the truck” and when I hesitated he repeated it – I was very clear at that point that I needed to GET IN THE TRUCK! So I squished myself in (I’d been unpacking so there wasn’t really room on the seats) and held the doors sort of shut. Ken got in and backed the truck out and moved us to a safer location. With that move everyone else was looking at us like “what in the world?” and as I was about to explain, here he came…waddling across the parking lot!
Rabid Raccoon (I don't KNOW he's rabid - but he's out in daylight and hissing at me)
After that bit of excitement it was nice to get into our rooms (side by side overlooking the river) dump our bags and hit the bridge over to Joe’s Crab Shack for some Shark Bites!.
The view from our balcony
Joe’s has become a bit of a tradition to start our trip. Ken and I hare HUGE fans of Dungeness Crab and they make it spectacularly tasty. It’s literally right across a walking bridge from the hotel, and makes cocktail hour enjoyable for BOTH of us since we don’t need a Designated Driver. When Sharon and Bill joined us on a past trip we tried the Shark Bites. It’s such a fun production with the server telling everyone in the restaurant “look out there’s been a shark sighting – everyone out of the water!” and Sharon and I join in and “sing” the Jaw’s theme “dun dun, dun dun, dun dun, do da looo!” as they tip the shark (plastic with a test tube full of grenadine) into the blue drink and we all scream with laughter as the red pours through the drink. Anyway- we’d been looking forward to our Shark Bites all day but poor Teresa chose a different drink as her first drink. When she realized what she was missing she joined us in our quest to acquire as many sharks as we could. (There are a couple varieties of sharks – next time your in our bar check out my collection.)
The 6 of us had a roaring good time. We sat outside, overlooking the river, made a lot of noise (it’s acceptable there – it’s a FUN restaurant) and had other tables ordering Shark Bites too – with us joining in the action. It was our first chance to really sit and chat with Rob and Teresa. They are really great. (And I’m not just saying that knowing that Teresa is now a new friend on Facebook and may be reading this! LOL) Rob is a plumber in the City and Ken and Rob talked a bit about Tim’s company, Reichel Engineering. Small world. Teresa is a horsewoman and I enjoyed hearing about her horses, including Hot Shot, who I think I got to meet when he was just a little tyke at the barn.
It was promising to be a great trip.
Ken, Rob and Bill on the hotel balconies