I did not succumb to the temptation to title this post “The West of the Story”, since someone already used that. Also note that “West Side Story” is also taken.
A week ago we were in the Boise area, packing our things and getting ready to leave the next morning to fly back home. Now I’ve had time to download all 500 photos from the trip and go through some of them.
Here are some highlights of the first two days of travel:
Snacks on a Plane
Here is a rare sighting of Alpha and Gamma. They are not in their native habitat, and they are curiously awaiting to see what we do next.
The first novelty of being out west was the tumbleweeds. The boys found some right away, which was not difficult since they rolled right in front of us at the park (the tumbleweeds, not the boys).
However, the kids’ tumbleweed-gathering skills varied:
Alpha got a decent tumbleweed
but then his cousin, the resident of Idaho and therefore more familiar with tumbleweeds, showed what a real tumbleweed looks like
Beta joined in the fun, and he succeeded in finding one about his size.
We all climbed the hill there at Camel’s Back park, played on the playground, and then went to dinner (pizza, in case you were wondering). Then there was evening and morning, the first day.
Playing the Slots
We had thought about going out and seeing some things in Boise that first full day, but, after a long day of travel the day before, we just wanted to stay close to the house. So our hosts broke out the slot-car track, which kept the older boys occupied for a while.
Attack of the Tumbleweeds
After lunch, we set off on a little adventure, just to get the older kids out of the house for a change of scenery. We got to see what happens when someone puts a fence across the tumbleweeds’ migratory route. Hint: they don’t like it. They attack the fence until they break through and can continue on their way.
Since the weather was still nice when we got back, we took advantage of it. Of course, the children can’t play by themselves in the backyard when there is an able-bodied adult standing around. So I played football with them, as did our host (although he is not in the picture).
A-hunting We Will Go
The last thing we did before dinner was go on a black-widow hunt. The kids had been asking about black widow spiders, so we figured we’d see if we could satisfy their curiosity. At the end of the block was a drainage ditch that doesn’t get much use in the dry mountain weather there.
There were plenty, plenty, of rocks for the boys to overturn. They found a couple spiders, but no black widows. Some other boys saw them, and they came over to help too. The two packs of boys didn’t quite gel, but I did learn one thing: if you want to get the attention of a group of boys and get them to come to you quickly, simply yell “Hey! I found something!”
On our way back up the block, we ran across a few more neighborhood children. They had collected a hobo and we told them “No thanks, but let us know if you find a black widow.” A little while later, we heard a knock at the door. There were several neighborhood children and one of them had a plastic jug. Sure enough, the jug contained a black widow. I did not have my camera nearby, so I can’t show you the spider. Then all the kids ran into the back yard to play, and they took the black widow too. I’m pretty sure they did not release it in the back yard.
As I see him from the top of the rocks,And I look at him from the hills; Behold, a people who dwells apart,And will not be reckoned among the nations.