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Experiencing the Magic of Idaho: A Total Guilt-Free Experience

submitted on 23 May 2023 by
Ah, Idaho! The Gem State. The land of potatoes, nature, and rugged individualism. For the sophisticated traveler and the hick in equal measure, Idaho offers the opportunity to experience the great outdoors without the hassle of fighting off grizzly bears or getting trapped in a cult. Or, at least, not very many bears or cults.

Boise, the Capital of the Potato Empire

Let's begin our journey in Boise, the epicenter of Idaho's potato production. Boise proves that you really can't have too much of a good thing, unless that good thing is potatoes. But Boise is more than just a hub for spud farmers and potato chip enthusiasts. For the culturally inclined, Boise boasts the only Basque Museum in the United States, where you can learn about the curious lives of sheepherders who were drawn to Idaho's rugged landscape. Plus, you can enjoy authentic Basque cuisine at Bar Gernika, and I promise, it's nothing like a potato farm's cafeteria menu.

Sun Valley, the Hollywood of the Rockies

Moving on to Sun Valley, we find a place where the rich and famous come to play in the snow. This resort town, nestled in the majestic Sawtooth Mountains, has been a glamorous getaway for celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Ernest Hemingway, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you're lucky, you might even spot Leo DeCaprio making snow angels. But don't be fooled by the glitz and glamour Sun Valley is for everyone, not just the wealthy and the famous. Whether you're a ski bum or just a bum who likes to watch other people ski, Sun Valley has something for everyone. With over 2,000 acres of ski-able terrain and an average of 220 sunny days per year, it's no wonder that people from all walks of life flock to this winter wonderland.

Snake River, the Hells Canyon Thrill Ride

Let me introduce you to Snake River. No, it's not named after the treacherous reptiles, but rather after the winding, twisting path it takes through the breathtaking Hells Canyon. As the deepest river gorge in North America, Hells Canyon offers a thrilling whitewater rafting experience for adrenaline junkies and nature lovers alike. Before you plunge into the raging waters, don't forget to admire the ancient petroglyphs left behind by the Nez Perce Indians or spot a bighorn sheep perched on the canyon's cliffs. Just be sure to keep an eye out for the occasional rattlesnake. They don't call it Snake River for nothing!

Craters of the Moon, the Lunar Landscape on Earth

Now, we've all been to the moon and back, right? Wrong! Well, unless you're a retired astronaut, in which case, kudos to you. But for us mere mortals, there's Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, a bizarre and awe-inspiring landscape that resembles the surface of the moon. Take a leisurely stroll through the park and marvel at the eerie lava fields, volcanic craters, and towering spatter cones. But be warned: Craters of the Moon is not your typical walk in the park. It's hot, it's dry, and there's a whole lot of volcanic rock. So be sure to pack some sunscreen, some water, and a decent pair of shoes. And maybe avoid wearing your moon boots."

The Idaho Potato Museum, the Shrine to the Almighty Spud

Finally, no trip to Idaho would be complete without a visit to the Idaho Potato Museum, located in the aptly named town of Blackfoot. This modest but charming museum pays tribute to the humble potato, and all the joy it's brought to our lives.
  • Did you know that potatoes were the first vegetable to be grown in space?
  • Or that the average American consumes 142 pounds of potatoes each year?
  • Or that the world's largest potato chip, measuring 25 inches by 14 inches, was produced by the Pringles Company?
These are just a few of the fascinating facts you'll learn at the Idaho Potato Museum. And the best part? You'll leave the museum with a newfound appreciation for the potato, and maybe even a newfound appreciation for Idaho. So there you have it Idaho: a land of rugged beauty, potato aficionados, and a surprising amount of cultural diversity. It might not be New York or Paris, but it's a place where you can experience the magic of the great outdoors, and maybe even find a little slice of Americana in the process.

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