There's an Oregon penitentiary where I have some clients over near the Idaho border. So I flew into Boise this week, where I have never been or had a reason to go. A couple of things: The Boise airport contains a fabulous time capsule of pinball machines from the 1990's, my favorite pinball era. They had Rocky and Bullwinkle, Funhouse, Terminator 2, and a bunch of other machines, all in impeccable condition. So before I even rented my car I had to linger around of course, but then I finally headed out my lodgings. The local fed defender sent an email around a few weeks ago extolling the virtues of the town's hip new hotel, The Modern, where i ended up staying. Its one of those old L shaped two story travel lodge kinds of places that's been totally redone into an eames era monument, complete with flat screens, big tiled showers, and lots of wood and metal light fixtures. When i checked in, there was a Basque rock band, Amuma Says No, playing in the courtyard.
Come to find out, Boise has a huge Basque community. Apparently a bunch of them immigrated there in the 1800's as sheepherders and now its one of the largest concentrations of Basques in the states. I had dinner at a Basque restaurant and it was similar to spanish food, with more of a fried peasant angle. The chorizo was dang good.
The next morning it was off across the Oregon border to Snake River Correctional Institution. It was like a prison on the surface of the moon. No excitement to report. Although on the way out i saw a bunch of bumper stickers on cars complaining about wolves. one of them referred to grey wolves as terrorists.
i guess if you are a sheepherder you take it personally when a wolf munches upon your flock.