Boise and Anderson Ranch Dam Idaho

Boise Idaho, the City of Trees. The city has grown by leaps and bounds since the days I was growing up there. You don't see the endless fields of potatoes and corn that I remember. They've been replaced with Malls and Apartments.

Progress and building is a necessity of life, but its still sad to have your memories invaded by neon lights and apartments! But, as I said, it is necessary as the population grows.

I still think its a pretty area, even with the "progress" and traffic.

Boise has become a very diverse area, it is one of the few places you can ski or fish in the morning, play golf or tennis in the afternoon, eat a great meal and go to the ballet, opera, or live theater at night! It has something for everyone!

A 25 mile greenbelt runs through the center of town along the Boise River. Kathryn Albertson Park has a natural welands and diverse wildlife inhabitants. Julia Davis Park is the home to the Idaho Historical Museum and the Boise Art Museum. The Old Idaho Penitentiary State Historic Site is at the east end of town. In the summer, the town hosts the Idaho Shakespeare Festival at the Amphitheater and in the winter, visit Bogus Basin Resort for a bit of skiing fun!

The Idaho Statehouse, in Boise, is an architectual treasure. It is made of sandstone and heated with geothermal water. The interior is beautiful marble.

Still standing is the Historic Train Depot. It was built in 1925 and restored in 1992. Although no longer used as a travelers hub, it is used as the backdrop for special events, wedding receptions, and other activities.

There is also a Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area south of Boise. Boise houses the State University and the Idaho Human Rights Memorial.

The state is not lacking for things to do. There are so many scenic areas like Hells Canyon recreational area, Anderson Ranch Dam, C J Strike Reservoir, and Glenns Ferry. Idaho City remains a theme town of days gone by and is something you should see! Oh, and Lucky Peak Dam (which I called Puppy Lucky Dam in my younger days for some reason!) is beautiful. The State is full of outdoor recreation for all times of the year... skiing, fishing, hunting, windsurfing, picnicking,sight-seeing, swimming, hot air ballooning... all sorts of stuff!

And, now a few pictures from my trip with Dad to Anderson Ranch Dam

August 2003

Boise Idaho National Forest

Boise hmmm... something is missing! Who stole the trees??? LOL

It was a windy trip from Boise east to Mountain Home and then north to Anderson Ranch Dam and it was warm out, in the 80's by afternoon. It was downright goosebump cold however, when I pulled over outside of Mountain Home to get gas! Geez, that wind was just bitter! I was hoping it would warm up really quick!

If you have read my story about the Oregon trip with Mom, you no doubt know that I am not fond of high cliffs.. or any cliffs for that matter! lol. And, with my usual luck, as I turned off Hwy 20 to go to the Dam, it quickly went from paved road to sand and rock trail, no barriers, and really full of "washboards"!


But it was worth the trip when we got to the Dam.

Anderson Anderson Ranch Dam Reservoir
Anderson and spillway

Of course, the water was pretty low at this time of the year. But it was still beautiful. The water is such a deep blue!

Turning to the left after driving across the Dam, we ventured down a very steep road to the flatlands by the river. My Dad had lived here when the Dam was being built. I think that would have been in the late 30's or early 40's. He has told so many stories about living there that it was going to be a special treat to see it in person. Of course, the temporary housing, the commissary, the bowling alley... it was all gone. It was sad for Dad, but it brought the stories to life for me as he pointed out where things used to be!

The River



First thing we looked for was the whirlpool that had sucked him in and spit him out so very many years ago. He and his brother had gone against their fathers' warning to stay away from the river because it was so high. They gathered up some wood or logs that were floating in the river and made a raft... which they and the dog, Banner, climbed on and took a ride down the swollen river. The raft avoided the large rocks on the sides of the river but when it got to one that was right in the middle of the river, it dumped them both out, as well as the dog. Dad ended up going in circles in a large whirlpool until he lost consciousness and was spit out to the bank. My uncle, was on the opposite side of the river on the bank. Dad yelled at him to stay put and sent the dog across the river to retrieve his brother, he was too tuckered out to swim it himself after his adventure in the whirlpool!

(of course, the water is low during the time I took these pictures, so it doesn't do justice to how ferocious that whirlpool would be with another 3' of water or more!)

Boise The whirlpool

Boise Just down river from the whirlpool

So, we left the site of the whirlpool and went back towards the Dam. Dad pointed out where he lived and where the commissary and bowling alley were. He talked of being a pin setter after school, the snow that avalanched into their house, the sled he made from a piece of plywood and bumpers from an old car! He talked about the school bus ride to Mountain Home... I now fully believe that old story of riding 30 miles to school in a used military bus over rough mountainous roads! LOL Half of the road hasn't changed much! Its still nasty! He told me about a lady trucker who had a problem with her truck while driving in the snow trying to get out of the river area to the top (it was switchbacks back in those days) and how she backed the truck all the way back down those switchbacks, perfectly.
I found this old picture of Dad with some buildings in the background, the picture was developed in 1947, it gives you an idea of the type of housing and conditions they lived in out there.

This picture was sent to me by my cousin Karen, it shows my Dad and his brothers and sisters in the same place. Looks a bit too rustic for my taste!

We got back up to the Dam and I wanted to find the Fall Creek Lodge that Dad had talked so much about, his friends' family owned it, he worked there and he rode his bicycle back and forth from it. WELL, let me tell you, that lodge is about 9 miles of ascent from the Dam! AND, guess what? It is all sand and rock road with barely enough room in many places to get one car around the curves! AND NO BARRIER on the cliff side! (My favorite situation! NOT!!) LOL

Anderson The road to the Dam is on the right and the road down the river to the left

Anderson Idaho road block..bulls!

Anderson continuing to the lodge

Well, we made it to the NEW lodge (called a resort now) and learned that the old lodge of Dad's memories, had burned down 13 years ago... sigh. But we were hungry by then and ate lunch there. That was one of the best cheeseburgers I've ever had and Dad scarfed down his entire grilled ham and cheese sandwich! After lunch, we crawled back in the car and headed to the Dam.

Anderson Looking back at the Reservoir on the way back down

Having made it back to the dam and up the sand and rock road to the highway, we headed back to Mountain Home and Boise.

The day after the trip to the Dam and the day before leaving to drive back home. We had a delightful picnic at the Veteran's Park in Boise with relatives. Some of which I hadn't seen for about 15 years! That was really special and we were glad that they could come on such short notice!!

Pics from the picnic

City of Boise

Anderson Ranch Reservoir

Boise National Forest

Hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I did!

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