Friday, August 2, 2013
August 2. Boise, Idaho - Salt Lake City, Utah
After the storm, the morning was crisp (59 degrees) and clear. We decided to take a walk about the central part of idaho's capitol city. We visited the Capitol building that has a small exibition about the state, its history and prominent citizens. What I have discovered was somewhat disconcerting: Idaho belonged to Native Americans according to the treaty sighned in 1861. By 1863 white settlers flocked to this country attracted by the rumors of gold. And when gold was really found, there was no stopping the settling of the land. Even the US army could not prevent settlers from illegally moving in, building permanent housing - and mining! In a couple more years US government de facto assumed Idaho is US territory and who cares about Indians? Two more years and Idaho territory became three states - Wyoming, Montana and Idaho....
One of the largest groups to settle here were Mormons. They were frowned upon by folks of other faith and ... several laws were made to prevent Mormons from voting. The last remains of restrictive legislature against Mormons were reversed only... in 1984.
Boise is also home to the largest Basque communty outside Basque territory in Spain. We walked past their cultural center, and friendly Basques were trying to make us come in .... They have a museum, a cultural center, and a whole block of late 19 century structures that is called Basque quarter.
We left Boise at 11, and immediately faced stark dry hills that keep rising all the way to Rattlesnake pass. There were very few villages, with at least 40 miles in between - in small valleys where they could get water for artificial irrigation. We crossed the Snake River at least 3 times... hence the name, I imagine. On the other side of the pass there was a bit more vegetation, mostly grasses and twisted, gnarled, stunted junipers. We made a stop close to Utah's border, and I ventured out into the juniper grove lured by the sticky aroma of conifer pitch I remember since childhood - oozing in the dry heat, the needles, the tiny fruit and the cracked bark needles emanated peace and happiness. Too dry, though.
We arrived to Salt Lake City around 6. The hotel - Double Tree Suits by Hilton - welcomed us with fresh artesan cookies. Delicious! This hotel looks like a transplant from Hawaii - or Cancun. The same plan - a circle of rooms surrounding an inner courtyard with a fountain, trees, plants, tables.... a restaurant, plus conference spaces. They have a nice small swimming pool and spa.
I love these movies!
- The Fall, directed by Tarsem
- Amelie, directed by Jean-Pierre Jennet
- Lord of the Rings, directed by Peter Jackson
- Moulan Rouge, directed by Baz Luhrman
- Moonsoon Wedding, directed by Mira Nair
- Australia, directed by Baz Luhrman
- Despereately seeking Susan, directed by Susan Seidelman
- Miss Pettigrew lives for a day, directed by Bharat Nalluri
Favorite books and authors
- Boris Vassiliev, historical novels
- C.Cherryh, Morgaine Sagas
- Ch.Dickens, The Bleak House
- George Martin, The Chronicles of Ice and Fire
- Gregory Frost, Shadow Bridge novels
- Heinrich Mann, Henry the IV
- J.R.R.Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
- Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Emma
- Robert Jordan, The Wheel of Time
- Sir Thomas Mallory, Le Mort D'Artur
- Ted Williams, Green Angel Tower
- Terry Goodkind, Magician's First Rule and the following books in this saga
- Thomas Mann, Joseph and his Brothers