No travels and attending to my work season has me longing for a blogging opportunity! So here we go! Summer was filled with taking care of business at BoCo Sluice Box as well as our home and rental properties. Preparations for the celebration of our lil’ mountain town produced by the Idaho City Chamber with myself and my dear friend, our postmaster, as co-chairs was also what occupied my time. Fall has kicked off with actually making Idaho City Days happen. A great weekend event with lots of aspects. I attempted to entice a few of you via The Inquisitive Scorpions Tale Facebook page. Check out this year’s great schedule. Fun for sure, you missed out! Needless to say, if you have ever co chaired this kind of event, I am super ready for a break.
Simply Fun toy store and resident of the mountain approximately 26 years. I must say I found this kickoff tour extremely informative and interesting. The concept behind these tours is to meet at a location that exposes you to business member businesses, starting at 5pm. Actual tours start at 5:30pm. They are walking tours which offer exercise and information in the beauty that is our slice of heaven in this lil’ mountain town. Immediately following the tour is an opportunity to dine, drink or play together with other Chamber member businesses. This tour date found us gathered at the Idaho City Visitor’s Center which is managed by our member, Boise Basin Interpretive Association. This is a great first stop when arriving in Idaho City. It holds a variety of information and maps to educate visitors about the town, the surrounding Boise National Forest, the Boise Basin and the Ponderosa Pines Scenic Byway which is Highway 21. The Visitors Center also carries trinkets related to nature available for purchase which funds this association’s endeavors. Nearby are our member’s Tom’s Service and Season’s Mountain Dining and Grocery where snacks and drinks are available for those who want them for the short, easy hike to the 67 acre City Park system. Nancy Holbert and John Roberts both who held key roles in the Idaho City Parks commission in applying for and utilizing grant funds and matching dollars to bring the parks concept to its present point of fruition, were our guides. John Roberts currently serves as the head of the City Parks commission along with members Tina Erbe, Doug Pottenger and Lori Merriam The pond area adjacent to the Visitors Center is the beginning of our adventure in this park system and has a name which is Rupert Thorne Park. It is believed he owned the brown house above the pond and the pond land. He is said to have built the Titanic model at the Boise Basin museum and delivered mail in inclement weather on skis which are on display at the museum as well. His mail route is said to have taken him some 40 miles on those skis. Not a lot more confirmed information is known about this man. Anyone with information please email email@example.com so we can include it in future tours. This quiet area adjacent to the highway, is a nice place to relax with picnic tables at the pond’s edge. Fish and Game stock the pond and host an Annual Kid’s Fishing Day in early June. Feel free to drop your line in to see what kind of luck you can have! Ducks, other birds, frogs and random wildlife can also be seen in the area. Our tour group left from the Visitor’s Center and utilized the crosswalk which leads to the paved bike/walking path that winds its way adjacent to Highway 21 to the City Park system. The crosswalk (one of two in the system) is in need of upkeep, maintenance and even upgrades such as lights. Opportunities for organizations to “adopt” these as well as grant possibilities were tossed about by the community members participating in the tour. We learned about the hoops that were jumped through to put this pathway in place which included protection of the potential historic items that might be disturbed as the path crossed its way over what used to be a dump area as well as Highway, BLM and private land right of ways. Paul White of Esco, Inc. and developer of Mores Creek Crossing was a willing partner in land sharing/use agreements to achieve some of the goals of this path and these parks while other land owners have created obstacles with their lack of willingness to offer ease of right of way and use agreements which contributed to the stalls in further development in the direction of Boise. We learned of the requirement of placement of straw swaddles along the existing pathway to reduce erosion in the area. There was discussion of the need for spraying (done seasonally by Nancy) to reduce growth of trees that would cause eruption of the pavement with their roots if allowed to grow as well as spraying to control weed growth such as skeleton weed. Nancy spoke of the dreams/plans that are yet to be achieved for this path to make its way to join the one that is part of the Greenbelt in Boise that comes out to the Lucky Peak park near the dam along Highway 21. The path led us to a vehicle entrance where one 3 legged log blank sign laid on the ground. This sign was intended to have the overall name of the Park system which has never been named. One suggestion had been Gold Dust Park but it has never been put to a final vote. On the opposite side of the vehicle entry stands a 2 legged sign intended to read skate park but it and the other five 2 legged signs throughout the park which flanks both sides of Highway 21, stand bare. Original proposals were for plasma cut metal to be placed on these log templates. Discussion ensued amongst the group for reaching the goal of this signage. BMX Park/track, the Little League ball field with its concession stand, dugouts and bleachers (managed and maintained by the league), a dirt bike trail fondly referred to as the “whoop-t-dos”, restrooms and parking also fall on this side of the highway. City sewer and water are run to the restroom facilities. Utilizing the second crosswalk located near the restrooms we made our way back to the “town” side of the highway. This side of the highway bears a donated sign that read Idaho City Recreation Area. (Not an official name). This side of the parks system boasts an RV dump station and the other restroom facility which are fully running water/flushing facilities. This part of the park area was built with funds from the fees for stickers from the Idaho Stare Parks Dept that are purchased for RV’s in the state. A quaint playground nestled in the forest with swings, slides, bouncy horses, teeter totter and merry go round graces the edge of a parking lot that was the original rodeo grounds. The present Jim Haswell rodeo grounds include the fenced ring area itself viewing stands, announcers booth and corrals and is rented annually for the Gold Dust Rodeo. Behind it is the stage and amphitheater. This area also includes plans for future development that have not yet come to fruition. Funding and manpower are the stalwarts. On the ridge above the sheer cliff that creates the backdrop for the amphitheater is the remainder of the undeveloped park land. A dirt hiking path led our group past Hill road and dropped us back in at the back of the pond and to our vehicles in the parking lot. I encourage you to wonder the path that I have described and become active in the proliferation of this wonderful attribute of our ‘lil mountain town! Although I had to take my leave, the culmination of this outing was to introduce attendees to our Chamber member Harley’s Pub. I seriously was wishing my time allowed for quenching my thirst with one of the best Bloody Mary’s around. Tour attendees were also encouraged to soak those muscles we just worked out on our trek with a soak at our chamber member, The Springs. Another great amenity found on our mountain! Join us next week on Monday 10/16 at 5pm when we gather again! Check Idaho City Chamber Facebook page or our website www.idahocitychamber.org for details.