The Carson Loop, Day 6: A Few Dirt Roads Lead to Rome

October 20, 2022, Winnemucca, NV- The flustered housekeeper felt she was behind schedule and would be on the outs with her motel’s exacting owner. She had mopped the floor in the room, and had moved a large table “temporarily” over the HVAC unit. She then moved on to the next room, leaving table over HVAC.

Evening guest is delighted with the large table, but can only see the cooling part of the unit. Since many motels have separate heating and cooling units, guest thinks that maybe the owner will seek to save money, by putting a space heater in, but just hasn’t put it in yet, as it’s not that cold.

The desk clerk, making the rounds to get a morning check-out count, explains the situation to the guest, who is no worse for the wear, after a mild night. Guest checks out and housekeeper sheepishly goes in to move the table to its rightful place.

So started a day that brought me to downtown Boise, including a welcoming State Capitol and very pleasant pedestrian mall. Security in the Capitol building is adequate and not overbearing. There were few other visitors today, so my walk around and visits to all five floors were unhurried and allowed for focused reading of the various panels on Idaho’s history and its governmental organization-which is similar to that of most states.

All public building tours start with the garden.

The gardens here are touted as being low maintenance. The flower beds are small, but varied in colour- if understatedlly so.

The building itself is majestic, if smaller than some state capitols.

Idaho State Capitol, north view
Idaho State Capitol, south view
Statue of Nike, Idaho State Capitol
George Washington, Idaho State Capitol
Interior dome, Idaho State Capitol

This is only the third state capitol I’ve ever toured on the inside. The other two were Massachusetts’-in 1964, and Texas’, in 2012. It was reassuring that there was not a wall of security regarded as necessary.

Boise’s 8th Street pedestrian mall features dozens of shops and restaurants, along two long blocks.

It was lunchtime, and I opted for a couple of slices, from the indelicately-named Pie Hole, which nonetheless turned out innovative, but tasty, vegetarian pizza. A nice touch is that kids, having the week off, for Fall Break, were safely walking around and enjoying the mall-much as we did as children. After pizza, I opted for a cup of sheep’s milk ice cream, from Negranti Creamery, which is actually a California import. The fare is not as creamy as cow’s milk, but does please the palate.

It is a nice touch that the most impressive large building in downtown Boise, after the government facilities, is an innovative apartment building: Idanha. It used to be the rail station area’s hotel.

Moderate housing in downtown Boise

Once out of the urban precincts, it was time to look, however briefly, at the Owyhee region’s stark beauty. Thus, as the title of this post indicates, I followed a dirt road to the Pillars of Rome. Settlers named it so, as the canyon walls reminded them of Roman temple architecture. It was too hot when I got to Jordan Valley, and so I passed on a climb up Pharmacy Hill. A brief view of the impressive canyon walls, north of Rome, OR, 20 miles further west,was a fine surprise stand-in.

Here are a couple of shots of the eastern section of the Pillars.

East Rim of the Pillars of Rome
East Rim, Pillars of Rome

Others have posted more detailed accounts of this area, so I would be glad to spend more time here, on a future journey this way.

2 thoughts on “The Carson Loop, Day 6: A Few Dirt Roads Lead to Rome

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