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We are happily bringing you more stories to Treasure Thank you to the readers who sent us such kind feedback about the 72-page May issue. We were proud of the expanded edition — with its additional room for photos and stories about the people and places in our community. This issue is also a robust 72 pages and includes a preview of the October Heritage Homes Tour (page 24), a celebration of Boise Contemporary Theater’s 20th anniversary (page 14), a look at 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards (page 54) and more. Also special inside this issue: tips for taking a trip to the Sun Valley area just in time for the Trailing of the Sheep Festival and more (page 61). There’s a look at Hailey’s Company of Fools, which is also celebrating a 20th anniversary. (We are blessed to have two great theater companies birthed in Idaho two decades ago). Outdoors writer Pete Zimowsky offers up some great choices for late summer and early fall hikes and bike rides at Bogus Basin as well as in the McCall and Sun

is a publication of the Idaho Statesman



Valley areas in our new Active Living section (page 64). Our stories have garnered great interest with readers who love to explore our wonderful state — from our quaint mountain towns to our wineries, breweries and restaurants. (If you want to share your travel photos and videos with other Treasure readers, contact me at We’d love to feature your adventures in our online photo and video galleries.) And looking ahead to the rest of 2015 and to 2016, we have good news. There will be an additional issue of Treasure this year, so we will publish again on Oct. 31 and Dec. 12. And we hope to evolve our once-quarterly magazine to six issues annually in 2016. If you have story ideas for us, please email me at If you are interested in advertising, please email Michelle Philippi at We appreciate your continued support. Thanks for being a reader.

CONTACT US: Editorial: (208) 377-6435; fax: (208) 377-6224 or Circulation: (208) 377-NEWS

TO ADVERTISE WITH US: To reserve space in the Oct. 31 issue, call Michelle Philippi at 377-6302. The advertising space deadline is Oct. 2.

VISIT US ONLINE AT: Treasure Magazine is published by the Idaho Statesman, 1200 N. Curtis Road, 83706. Copyright 2015 Treasure Magazine. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Treasure Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

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44 Terra Idaho: As Arrowrock Dam turns 100, controversy still overshadows the giant

Meet maestro Robert Franz of the Boise Philharmonic

10 What’s new in town for Valley shoppers? Tanya Carnahan has the scoop 12 The biggest style trend for fall might come as a big surprise

48 Idaho may not have many female chefs, but read about some standouts 54 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards aims to put the Eagle Foothills on the wine map 57 Beer notes: Idaho brews have out-of-state fans



58 Company of Fools also celebrating 20 years as a theater company 61 What’s new and cool in the Sun Valley area

14 Celebrating 20 years of Boise Contemporary Theater 22 Arts Notes: Learn about LED, Boise’s new artists’ collaborative


64 Plan a hiking or biking adventure 24 Peek inside two Boise Bench gems that will be on October’s Heritage Homes Tour. Both homes feature parklike settings and unique architecture.

68 FitOne aims to get us up and moving

ON THE COVER: Tour Lisa and Nicholas Hunt’s Boise Bench home on Oct. 4. PHOTO BY DARIN OSWALD / DOSWALD@IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

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ou wouldn’t think that an orchestra conductor and aeronautical engineers would have a connection. But the exploits and genius of Wilbur and Orville Wright are an endless well of inspiration for Boise Philharmonic Music Director Robert Franz. “I’m enamored with how specific, smart and tenacious they were,” he says. “For years, I had a picture of the first flight in my office. For me, the message is don’t give up, work hard and set the standard. I try to do that with the orchestra and in my personal life.” Franz brings dynamic energy, a honed musical sensibility and a wacky sense of humor to this position. He engages his audience with lighthearted banter from the stage that makes even the most complex works accessible. And he is known for pulling a few fun stunts, such as changing into a Superman costume in an on-stage phone booth to conduct Michael Daugherty’s “The Red Cape Tango,” or playing baseball during a performance of “Casey at the Bat.” He juggles two other musical groups across the continent: the Windsor Symphony in Windsor, Ontario, which is a chamber orchestra, and the Houston Symphony, where he is an associate conductor who runs its Family Concert Series. He also leads a chamber group at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Alaska each July. With all that travel, Boise is the place he loves to come home to, he says. “When I came here I knew it would be a great place to work, but I didn’t know it would be such a great place to live,” he says. “People are so nice, and they care about each other and the community here.” From Idaho, Franz has earned a national reputation as one of the best musical conductors in the business, not just because of his musical abilities, but because of his generosity of spirit that fosters an open approach to creativity in the conservative world of classical orchestras. “I want the musicians to feel like they can express themselves,” he says. “These musicians have such a hunger for growth — artistically and professionally. I think we feel like it’s not just an orchestra where you can do that; Boise is a city where it can happen.” It’s not just something he says, it’s what he does everyday, says violist and Serenata Orchestra music director Jennifer Drake. “Most orchestras have an acrimonious or adversarial relationship with the music director,” she says. “That’s what is so unique about Robert. He’s such a talented leader that we do feel like we’re all on the this trip together. And he’s so passionate about community outreach and engage6

ment. He’s just so willing to share his love of classical music with anyone at any time.” As a result, Boise enjoys a thriving classical music scene beyond the Philharmonic main stage. Groups have popped up under the leadership of orchestra players, such as Classical Revolution, a loose association of musicians that plays in alternative venues led by violist Lindsay Bohl and English horn player Lindsay Edwards; Chimera Duo, Edwards’ and harpist Matthew Tutsky’s side project; and Drake’s Serenata. There also is a group that focuses on new classical musical: 208 Ensemble was cofounded by Cello Collective founder Jake Saunders and incorporates several philharmonic players and Boise State professors. Saunders, who grew up in Boise, returned to earn his master’s degree through a collaboration between Boise State and the Boise Philharmonic to establish a string quartet at the university. Franz champions collaborations like this and those between his neighboring arts

groups, such as Opera Idaho, Ballet Idaho, Boise Contemporary Theater and Idaho Shakespeare Festival. He has expanded the orchestra’s reach into area schools and community orchestras through his side-by-side rehearsal initiative. For that, he embeds his 17 principal players into a youth or community orchestra to act as models, coaches and inspirations, while Franz works that group’s material from the podium. “It’s so fun to watch my colleagues interact with community players and talk shop,” he says. “This kind of outreach and bridge building is so important for our growth because it extends the dialogue about music beyond the stage.” He plans to do it again this season with the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Serenata and the Meridian Symphony. Franz grew up in the rolling hills of rural North Carolina, not far from Kitty Hawk, the site of Wilbur and Orville’s first success-

continued ÷

Boise Philharmonic 2015-16 season



The 80-member Boise Philharmonic and its 100-voice Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale will perform three times together this season, to mark the 40th anniversary of the chorus. You’ll also find a mix of new and familiar guest soloists.


Concerts are at 8 p.m. with a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. Friday nights are at Swayne Auditorium, 707 Fern St., at Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa; Saturday nights are at the Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, Boise State University, unless otherwise noted.

SEPT. 25-26: Opening Night: Famous Opera Choruses with the Master Chorale and Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dances.”

OCT.16-17: Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 and Idaho composer Jim Cockey’s “Gift of the Elk” with Grammy-winning Native American flutist Joseph FireCrow, Idaho’s David Biedenbender’s “Dance the Dream Awake.” NOV. 14-15: Andrew Grams, guest conductor, will lead Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Schumann’s Konzertstucke for Four Horns, featuring the orchestra’s French horn section, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 “Polish.” (Nov. 15 is at 3 p.m. in Nampa. Lecture is at 2 p.m.)

DEC. 11-12: Holiday Pops with the Master Chorale.

JAN. 22-23, 2016: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with pianist Spencer Myer and Beethoven’s Symphony No.2.


FEB. 26-27, 2016: Lan-Kui Han’s Qilian Rhapsody for Pipa and Orchestra with pipa master Changlu Wu, and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2. MARCH 11-12, 2016: Mozart’s Overture to “Don Giovanni,” Tchaikovsky’s ode to Mozart Suite No. 4 “Mozartiana” and Mozart’s Requiem with the Master Chorale. APRIL 16-17, 2016: Brahms’ Violin Concerto with two-time Grammy nominee Jennifer Frautschi, Smetana’s “Moldeau” and Borodin’s Symphony No. 2. (April 17 is at 3 p.m. in Nampa, lecture at 2 p.m.)



Season Tickets: $127-$435 general, $102-$293 student in Boise, and $115$253 general, $88-$174 student in Nampa; five-show flex packages run $106-$316 in Boise, $98-$190 in Nampa. Four-show flex packages are $90-$260 in Boise, $82-$161 in Nampa at 344-7849. Single tickets: $23.75 to $71.50 in Boise, $22 to $43.50 in Nampa at

Robert Franz is in his seventh year as music director of the Boise Philharmonic. A native of North Carolina, he’s found his new hometown in Idaho. AUGUST 2015


them. So, I’m performing with three of their four concerts. Our opening night is Italian opera choruses (some of the best from Verdi, Mendelssohn and Borodin), then we have the Holiday Pops, which is always fun, and then I’m going to do my first Mozart Requiem, and I’m super excited about that. I’m also looking forward to working with Spencer Myer again (pianist) and Jennifer Frautschi (violinist). Ever since I heard Spencer play, I’ve wanted to do the Beethoven Fourth (piano concerto). He’s got the right personality for it, and Jennifer was here a few years ago and did the Korngold. Now she’s back to do the Brahms, which is a real masterpiece.



In Houston, Robert Franz conducts that orchestra’s family series. At last season’s “Star Wars and More,” he dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi, then squared off against Darth Vader while the musicians played John Williams’ score.

ful flight. When he was 8, his music teacher, Willa Loescher, who is the great-grand niece of Orville Wright, gave him a cello to play. Franz never looked back. “She is the reason I’m in music,” he says. “From that moment, I knew that’s what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. We’re still very good friends,” he says. After seven years in Boise, he hasn’t gotten the itch to leave. Just the opposite. He’s dug deeper into the community, remodeling two houses he owns — his other passion is breaking down walls and creating new spaces — and settling down with his family. Now, at 50, Franz is ready to take things to the next level and tackle the tough questions, he says.

So, what’s the tough question? It’s not what to do with my hands or how I rehearse an orchestra. It’s how I relate to other people. I’ve become aware that being successful at my job depends on my relationships with the people around me. I’d like to be better at being more empathetic and open. It’s not just all about what I want, though it was when I was younger. That’s a hard lesson to learn in life. It’s about the directions you go when you’re interacting with others. Is that the challenge that comes with heading three groups? Yes, because you’re working with three different staffs, different boards and groups of musicians. Each has a different way of being, and they’re each dynamic systems that are always changing. I’m the through line. It’s difficult to balance being true to your own course with being flexible to fit into these changing cultures. 8

How are the three orchestras similar? Lots of collaborations. I make a huge effort to try and join forces that you might not expect to join. And I think all three groups are responsive to the audience, whether the audience is 50 or 10. Who or what inspires you? My family. At the end of the day they help me remember what this is all really about. Going home is a bottomless well of love, acceptance and inspiration. I’m lucky to have them. In all of history, whom would you most like to dine with? The Wright Brothers, of course. I just finished reading David McCullough’s new book. I think I might enjoy chatting with Orville more, but I think Wilbur would have been incredibly inspiring. What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn? Patience. My natural tendency is to identify an issue, formulate a solution and implement. What I am still learning is that this process doesn’t always allow space for the myriad of beliefs and thoughts that others bring to the table. I have a little reminder that I write at the top of my notes in a meeting. “Think, then speak.” It puts a moment in between the two so I can leave space for the unexpected to occur. What are you looking forward to in the upcoming Boise Phil season? I’m excited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the (Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale). I have a special connection with

Where do you most like to take out-of-town guests? I often take them to my neighborhood pub, the 13th Street Pub and Grill (1520 N. 13th St.). When we travel and stay in hotels, most of us long for a slice of “everyday life.” Living in the North End is one of my great joys, and I love to share that with my friends and colleagues. If you weren’t a conductor, what would you be doing? Perhaps I’d be a lawyer. I love to argue — and win! I also could imagine a life somehow attached to real estate. Even though I just bought a house, I still love to look at what’s on the market and imagine the possibilities. What is your motto? Have the courage to go into the unknown. Don’t predict what’s going to happen next. Be in the moment. What is your theme song? “Let It Go” from “Frozen.” I mean, really, who doesn’t need to be reminded of that on a daily basis! What is in your Mp3 player? “La Mer” by Debussy. I was listening to it while on the beach on vacation recently. What is the secret to your success? Be aware. Am I still growing? Has my environment changed? Is the amount of effort worth the potential outcome? I constantly ask myself these questions and hopefully, through awareness, I am able to continue to grow and develop as an artist, as a leader and ultimately as a human being. We are all on our own path, and how we treat others along the way goes a long way in determining how successful we are. What is your guilty pleasure? Well, how guilty would I be if I divulged that here?

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What’s new for Valley shoppers BY TANYA CARNAHAN



828 W. Idaho St., Boise 860-8057;

Wear Boise just opened a storefront in Downtown Boise. This much-loved local brand was founded by husband-and-wife team Paul Carew and Lisa McGrath, first as an online store and an experiment to see authentic localisms worn on T-shirts, but then it really took off. The new store features expanded Wear Boise merchandise, all designed by McGrath and Carew, as well as art and apparel from Boise artists such as Noble Hardesty, John Warfel, Beau Greener, Toby Robin, Julia Green, Kyra Bernauer and others. PHOTOS BY TANYA CARNAHAN / SPECIAL TO TREASURE MAGAZINE

JOSIE ANNE’S BOUTIQUE 404 S. 8th St., Boise 424-8900;

Annie Peterson, the owner of Chic Bridal Boutique in Downtown Boise, recently took over the space behind her bridal shop to open a very unique new boutique. Geared toward providing a fun diversion for those family and friends who are shopping with the bride, Josie Anne’s has racks of new vintage-inspired pieces, retro items from the ’50s to the ’70s, and one-off dresses from emerging designers from Los Angeles, Seattle and even London. Besides gorgeous and unique fashions from retro-to-bohemian brands like Josie Anne, Young Threads, Tatyana and Voom, Josie Anne’s also features delicious locally made candy, local lavender, accessories and home décor. Note that the shop is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Go in through the main doors or through Chic Bridal Boutique next door.

LUX FASHION LOUNGE 817 W. Idaho St., Boise; 344-4589

After 11 years as a cornerstone of edgy, thrifty shopping in Downtown Boise, Lux Fashion Lounge has completed its move — right up the block. The gorgeous new store is much larger than the previous location (also on Idaho Street). 10

Wear Boise’s iconic beard shirt.

Owner Michelle Sliger ran a vintage shop Downtown 18 years ago, and this stunning store is a brilliant reflection of those roots, with kitschy décor and home accessories for sale amongst the trendy fashion pieces and unique retro treasures. Lux features new, used and vintage clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women as well as accessories for your home.

Lux in Downtown Boise offers an eclectic mix of products.

FLEET FEET SPORTS 3573 E. Longwing Lane, Meridian 888-0359;

Fleet Feet Sports is a local family-owned and -operated store that offers specialty running, walking and fitness products and services in The Village at Meridian. While maintaining a welcoming environment, Fleet Feet’s staff also takes fitness seriously. The state-of-the art Biomechanical FIT system and video gait analysis help ensure that you get a customized experience when it comes to purchasing footwear and apparel. Owners Brandon and Kimberly Frank are both athletes who are deeply involved in the community, and the store also offers training programs and nutritional plans and conducts races and other fitness events in the Treasure Valley. (On page 68, read more about the store and how it is helping people train for a 5k.)

Ladies shoes from the Walking Company.


3540 E. Longwing Lane, Meridian 888-1851,

Anthropologie is now in its newly expanded location at The Village at Meridian. With the same beautiful clothes and inspiring home décor that you know and love from the now-closed Downtown Boise location, this new Anthropologie is a gorgeous addition to the Village’s bustling shopping and entertainment scene. Also new at The Village: Walla Walla Clothing Co. (which also has a Downtown Boise store) and Casa Del Matador restaurant

Find creative footwear at All About Socks.

hosiery, Italian intimates and sleepwear, unique stockings, sportswear, T-shirts, children’s accessories, geek apparel and more.

BELLA ELLA BOUTIQUE 350 N. Milwaukee, Boise (upper level of Boise Towne Square by Dillard’s) 658-2263;

Bella Ella Boutique began as a family-run store in Lehi, Utah, in 2010. The cute and trendy styles resonated with shoppers young and old, leading to six more stores in Utah and the company’s newest location in Boise Towne Square. From pink tulle skirts to floral maxi dresses, everything in Bella Ella leans toward a feminine, breezy aesthetic. Bonus: You’ll find beautiful and unique pieces here that won’t break the bank.

WALKING COMPANY 350 N. Milwaukee St., Boise 377-7277;

At Josie Anne’s Boutique, you can buy candy as well as clothing.

opened this month. Fashion retailer H&M and the Boise Co-op plan fall openings. Victoria’s Secret will open a 7,700-squarefoot store along with a side-by-side PINK store before the December holiday season.

ALL ABOUT SOCKS (AND MORE!) 277 N. Milwaukee St., Boise 377-9227;

All About Socks was founded in Logan, Utah, by a husband-and-wife team who invented an industry-changing sock-sewing machine. They quickly became major manufacturers, making socks for Puma, Adidas and Reebok. They built a factory in Italy for their Itabessa line of gorgeous stockings and also opened boutiques across the country. Their newest store is located near Boise Towne Square, and it carries far more than just socks. You’ll find medical and compression

Also recently opened in Boise Towne Square, Walking Company is the newest comfort shoe store in the Treasure Valley. All shoes, boots and sandals are made with orthopedic thought in mind. But these aren’t strictly orthopedic shoes; the goal is, “Something you can stand in all day, and stand to look at all day!” The key is good arch support, comfort, durability and style. Top brands at Walking Company include Dansko, Abeo (which come in different arches), Rafini, Ecco, Taos and more. Step on the foot scanner to find your exact arch, and then the sales staff can help you shop by what’s perfect for your feet. Know about a new store or a store relocation that Treasure readers should know about, too? Email Tanya with your ideas and questions for Treasure at Visit her blog,, for more Treasure Valley shopping news. Some of the information for this feature comes from company websites and other press-release information. AUGUST 2015




This plaid dress is from local designer Retro Hunny.

all fashion is afoot. Back-to-school shoppers are packing local stores, and school supply lists are circulating like hot cakes. But the most interesting trend that has everyone buzzing so far this year, is … the notable lack of trends. Hear me out. In recent history, “trends” were defined by the decade. Everyone wore similar clothes in the 1920s, ’40s, ’60s, etc. It’s how you can tell what era that strange faded photo of your parents is from. The last few years, however, it seems as though the fashion industry hit a fast-forward button, bringing trends around yearly, and then seasonally, so that nearly every three months you may feel the urge to redo your entire closet. This year, however, hyper-trending fast-fashion seems to be having a negative effect, sucking the creativity out of designers and burning out consumers, not to mention burning holes in everyone’s wallets. This fall, shoppers and designers alike are putting the brakes on the over-proliferation of trends, calling instead for the fashion industry to just ... slow ... down. This season, you will still see new concepts and innovative outfits trending across the country, but the good news is that past


Daphne, 8, Ellia, 11, Ben, 9, and Moby, 6, are set for the new school year. 12


trends and styles are sticking around. You don’t have to ditch your wardrobe to stay in style. Instead, work on incorporating a few key pieces that you love into what you’re already rocking. If you loved the ’70s styles of summer, for example, I have good news for you: Bohemian fashions are still going strong. Here are some other micro-trends and new fashions you’ll see in stores. Have fun with the ideas that resonate with your style. Shimmer and shine: Fall fabrics and textures are rich and luxurious, embracing velvets, silks, furs and deep jewel-tone colors. Top your favorite black jeans with a burgundy blouse and silver jewelry, or go all out with a floor-sweeping navy blue velvet dress for head-turning drama. Look for rich brocades, floral patterns and shimmery fabrics, a la Studio 54 glam and decadence. Play in plaids: Last year’s ’90s-grunge styles are also holding strong. From capes and dresses to a classic lumberjack shirt tied around your rocker T-shirt and jeans, plaid continues to dominate the fashion landscape for both men and women. For a modern take on this classic trend, eschew the typical “schoolgirl” skirt and wear your plaid in unexpected ways, like a fitted jacket, tartan backpack or the custom-made rockabilly dress pictured on these pages that I commissioned from local designer Retro Hunny ( I’ve even seen plaid wedding dresses shock runway audiences with their simultaneous audacity and ability to invoke a highlander-esque magic. Culottes: Whether you’re a lover or a hater, there’s no denying that culottes are huge in fashion right now. For fall, they look best worn with a sturdy wedge sandal or tall ankle boot for limited skin exposure. If you’re opting for printed culottes, be sure to find a pair that’s wide and flowy so that it almost appears to be a full skirt. Pair it with a tailored, printed blouse or jacket. If you’re wanting to dabble conservatively into this trend, I recommend a denim pair for comfort and versatility. Nerdy chic: Take a cue from Gwyneth

Backpacks — and backpack charms — are being embraced by the grown-up crowd.

Michael Tetro models menswear.

Paltrow’s character in “The Royal Tenenbaums” and pile on pastels in 1960s candy colors. Shirt dresses, varsity jackets, quilted fabrics, structured satchels, brown brogues and sport-infused pieces are the way to go to achieve this style. It’s part 1970s sportif, part nerdy schoolgirl, and part dowdy grandma. Sound unappealing? It’s remarkably chic, when put together well, but this look definitely takes confidence and attitude in high doses to achieve. Leg up: Keep warm in the latest incarnation of patterned stockings, which range from sexy to playful in all ranges of colors and styles. It’s easy to go beyond fishnets and make a bold statement instead in stripes, bows, plaids and all manner of swirls and florals. Be careful when mixing patterns, though. Don’t wear paisley tights with a striped skirt, for example. Tights make your legs the statement piece, so keep them the focus of attention by turning the volume down on the rest of your ensemble. Shoes: The newest boot style is the mid-shaft ankle boot, which is higher than the typical bootie and worn fitted or laced. Dress it up, with a pointy-toe, shiny patent leather and sturdy block heel. They are best worn with culottes, cropped pants or a longer skirt. Platform boots and shoes are still going strong, as are classic pointy-toe pumps. Doc Marten’s-style boots are still popular, as are platform and military styles. It’s very ’90s grunge to pair chunky black ankle boots with a long floral dress and denim jacket. Handbags: Backpacks are always great

for back to school, but this season they’re also a huge trend for the grown-up crowd. Look for statement backpacks with words or patterns that you love, like this red one above from local leather craftsman, and customize it with another major trend in handbags: purse charms. Everyone from Louis Vuitton to COACH (also above) is creating adorable charms. They’re a great way to show your style (and own a small piece of your favorite designer brand without the hefty price tag). Children’s wear: For the first time in decades, it seems as though jeans are beginning to fall out of favor with the younger crowd. They are being replaced by athletic styles like sweatpants and track pants, yoga pants and leggings, and basically anything kids can run from the classroom to PE. in without having to change clothes. Bohemian looks are in for young girls, and statement coats in fun colors will be hot once the weather turns cold. Kids love soft textures, so watch for faux fur and shearling on everything from jackets to shoes. High tops are a must for every kid; for boys, bright colors are king, while your little girl will probably pine for blingy, bejeweled accents like Skecher’s Twinkle Toes, or the silver glitter high tops from Justice pictured on the opposite page. Statement sweatshirts and T-shirts are very popular, like the “Never Grow Up, Never Surrender” shirt from local children’s designer Huckleberry Threads. Call it a hipster invasion of the schoolyard, but many boys and girls are also embracing classic accessories, like bow ties, suspenders and fedoras. Accessories are a fun and inexpensive way for kids to personalize their look. For men: I asked Ashley Barkley, a local fashion stylist and H&M “Next Face” spo-

Soft color from Walla Walla Clothing Co.

kesmodel, about her predictions for menswear this fall. She told me that for men, the “Americana Heritage” look is huge. Must-have items for this style are warm earthy pieces, like beat leather belts and boots, denim jackets, slim cargo pants and joggers, and flannel shirts, which add Ashley a campfire-like, woodsy feel. Camel is the new fall neutral, Barkley Barkley said. “Discerning” gentleman, she added, also should look for items like gum-soled shoes, knits inspired by graphic art and grooming practices that enhance the overall look (fragrances, shave habits, groomed beards, etc.). Email Tanya your ideas and questions for Treasure at Visit her blog at stylespygirl. com for more Treasure Valley shopping news. AUGUST 2015



20 BCT

Boise Contemporary Theater founder and producing artistic director Matthew Cameron Clark.





Boise Contemporary Theater, 854 Fulton St., opened in 2000 as the Fulton Street Theater. The name changed in 2007.


Boise Contemporary Theater will flow into its future with The River Prize and a fresh commitment to developing new work

athew Cameron Clark produced his first play in Boise in 1996. He was just Matt Clark then, an ambitious 23-year-old who became enamored of theater in college. He grabbed his friend and fellow actor Matt Ramsey and produced, directed and co-starred in James McLure’s two-character play “Lone Star” in the basement of The Mode Building. He maxed out his credit card, sold 105 tickets over two weekends and made enough to bank $23. A minor profit, but it showed Clark that he could find an audience for his brand of theater in his hometown. The next year he founded Boise Contemporary Theater as a vagabond enterprise. Its productions popped up in storefronts, bars and small theaters for the next four years while he searched for a permanent home. Now, 2016 will mark 20 years of the company, and BCT now is one of the city’s core arts organizations. Its three-level brick building at 854 Fulton St. is a fixture in Boise’s Cultural District. Clark produces a five-show season, the 5 X 5 Reading Series and Family Series, and its reputation grows regionally and nationally with each year. In 2013, BCT received the Mayor’s Award in the Arts for Artistic Excellence. “I certainly intended to create something that was going to last,” Clark says, leaning forward on his office couch, his carefully honed baritone reverberating in the basement acoustics. “That’s one of the reasons I gave (the company) kind of a boring name, because I didn’t want it to sound like a fringe theater. I wanted it to sound established.” On stage, BCT’s work has encompassed everything from contemporary classics, such as Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” (2002)

to modern masterpieces such as Doug Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “I Am My Own Wife” (2005). Audiences have come to see a growing number of new plays such as “A Permanent Image” (2011), a commission from Idaho’s Samuel D. Hunter, and interactive experiences, such as Tracy Sunderland’s “SuperSecretSiteSpecificSomething” (2015) that took the audience out of the seats and onto Downtown streets. “It’s been amazing to watch BCT grow,” says BCT artistic associate Dwayne Blackaller, who worked with BCT as an actor when he was at Boise State University, and works now as an actor, director, playwright and head of the BCT Theater Lab education program. “When Matt first started, it was the scrappy underdog. That feeling has lingered, but now the company is maturing into one of the city’s two big companies. It’s fun seeing that scrappy position get taken over by Alley Rep, Homegrown Theater and others who are coming up.” That maturity is leading the company to a turning point as Clark and his team look to the next 20 years of BCT. Longtime Managing Director Helene Peterson, 45, departed in June after 14 years, and Clark and his board are conducting a national search to fill the position. “Helene is remarkable, and she’s done such a phenomenal job keeping this company in working order, and it’s sad to lose her,” Clark, 44, says. “But it’s also an opportunity to find a partner who can help me shape the vision I have and who can help me raise money to make it happen.” That vision includes an eventual expansion of the building to include a coffee and cocktail bar, cabaret stage and bookstore to better engage the audience. But that’s a few years off yet, he says. The more immediate AUGUST 2015


plan is to position BCT as a larger presence in the regional theater scene as a generator of new plays for the American contemporary stage. This year, Clark and BCT will launch The River Prize, a combination playwright’s residency and fellowship that will facilitate the invention, creation and production of an original play each season, in a deeper way than in the past. “The idea is to support a play from the very seed of it, all the way through the world premiere and then on toward a second production,” Clark says. “I want to build in the flexibility to be able to choose the playwright and their idea, then figure out how we best serve their process. I’m really excited for how it’s going to help us move forward.” The prize will start this season, thanks to a leadership gift from board member Susan May and her husband, Andrew Owczarek. Clark plans to establish an endowment that will support the prize annually. The first recipient is playwright Eric Coble. This will be Coble’s third world premiere at BCT and his first commission from Clark. Coble’s “The Velocity of Autumn” made its world premiere at BCT in 2011, before it opened on Broadway in 2014 starring Estelle Parsons, who received a Tony nomination for her performance. Coble wrote the first draft of his new play in longhand at his home in Cleveland. In January he will travel to Boise and spend a week working with actors, a dramaturge, a director and Clark to further develop the idea. Then in March he will again be in Boise in April for the production of the play. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity,” Coble says. “There’s no greater gift to a playwright, and to be able to do it in Boise,


Boise Contemporary Theater produced the world premiere of Eric Coble’s “The Velocity of Autumn” in 2011. Mary Portser played the lead character, a painter at the end of her life fighting for independence.

which is one of my artistic homes, is great. And there’s such a level of trust with Matt. Writing a play is like giving birth. It can be really painful. We have a shared language, and I know the people he pulls together will be good. I can relax, and that makes it


Actor Matt Damon created a scene when he came to Boise in 2002 for an advanced screening of The Bourne Identity” as a benefit for BCT. He met with fans at the theater on Fulton Street, including Shea Hall, who was 14 at the time. 16

a safe place for me to create.”

WORK AND PLAY “I started the company as an actor who wanted to create opportunity for myself and my friends, who all are so talented, and it’s been great,” Clark says. Clark discovered theater at Whitman College where he majored in English. One day, someone asked him to audition for a play because they needed a tall guy. Clark stands 6 feet 4 inches. He didn’t get the part but he did catch the bug. After that he spent most of his time in the theater department. After college, he headed to Seattle with the intention of going to graduate school for theater but decided he would just dive in and start his own company instead. “I read this David Mamet book and the one smart thing he said was, ‘Don’t go to school, just do the thing.’ So, that’s what I did,” Clark says. Then a trip back to Boise in 1995 changed his direction. He met Idaho Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Charles Fee and auditioned for the summer season. “He hired me,” he says. “I carried a spear for a summer and learned a lot.” continued ÷

Boise Contemporary Theater’s 2015-16 season ✦ “A Skull in Connemara,” a dark comedy by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh: Oct. 7-31. ✦ “No More Sad Things,” a co-world premiere by South Korean-American playwright Hansol Jung: Nov. 24-Dec. 19. ✦ “What Went Wrong?” by Lauren Weedman: Jan. 5-16. ✦ “Constellations,” a Tony-nominated play by Nick Payne: Feb. 10-March 5. ✦ “Margin of Error (Or, The Unassailable Wisdom of the Mouse and the Scorpion),” a commission by Eric Coble: April 13-May 7. Season tickets: $80-$150 general, $75 for students through Sept. 1; $85-$165 general, $80 students after.



Over the past few years actress and writer Lauren Weedman has made Boise Contemporary Theater an incubator for her one-woman shows. In January, she will perform “What Went Wrong?” a performance filled with her dynamic, fast-paced, biting comedy. Pictured above is Weedman in “No ... You Shutup” in 2008.

Season Opening Celebration 6 p.m. Sept. 12. The evening includes a cocktail reception, live and silent auction, dinner and a performance by Lauren Weedman. $120 at 331-9224, Ext. 205.

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Danielle Sacks and Kathy McCafferty in New York playwright Jeni Mahoney’s “Fata Morgana,” one of four world premieres BCT produced last season. Mahoney also co-founded the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference in McCall, a group that works tangentially with BCT in developing new work.

That summer he met Ramsey (who is now a Blue Man in Chicago), actors Tom Willmorth and Joe Golden, Sara M. Bruner, Stitch Marker, Danny Peterson and Lynn Allison Hofflund, to mention a few, and costumer Star Moxley — all of whom at one time have worked with BCT. In 2000, with the help of his father Rick, who at the time was a commercial real estate developer, Clark renovated the wholesale warehouse into a theater and cultural center. It opened as the Fulton Street Theater, but Clark changed the name to align it with the company in 2007 when he and Peterson successfully ran a capital campaign to purchase the building. “I think of it in terms of people who dug in and set down roots and it has been paying off,” says Hofflund, who has acted for and had a play produced by Clark. “The purpose has been to look around and pull into their circle people who are committed to this community. It’s been a boon to all of us who want to stay here and work professionally.” And now that’s still how it works for Clark, even though this circle has grown to include theater artists from across the country. He brings them to Boise to work and play in his theater. Lighting and set designer Rick Martin works with Idaho Shakespeare Festival and

is now a regular at BCT. He first came to work on “I Am My Own Wife,” a co-production with ISF. The experience was so positive, he jumped at the chance to return. He designed the set for last season’s “Fata Morgana” and will return this season for a project that’s still to be determined. “Here’s where they’re exceptional,” Martin says. “Matt is so good at perfectly matching the scale of the production with the support needed to do what you want. That’s an incredible accomplishment. I feel when I’m working there, there are no limitations. Now, that’s not practically true, but it never feels like a limitation.” Clark sports a graying beard these days. It somehow suits his role as producing artistic director and now playwright, having cowritten four plays with artistic associate Dwayne Blackaller. His office is a clutter of mementos and memories from his and the theater’s past: a photograph of the Parisian cafe Lapin Agile signed by comedian and playwright Steve Martin, a gift for the opening of Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” the production that inaugurated the theater in 2000; a cockeyed wooden window frame that was nearly the entire set for “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,” which Clark produced at Neurolux in 1998. There

continued ÷


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NOW! 2015 Plays


Kate Gustafson, Julia Porter and Rose Thompson in BCT Theater Lab’s “Control+Alt+Delete”in 2015.

The Secret Garden Through August 30 Book and lyrics by Marsha Norman,

BCT Theater Lab Another way BCT supports new work is through its Theater Lab. For the first years, the missing component for BCT was education. As it established itself, the company didn’t have an opportunity to create an outreach program or a way to bring the next generation of theater artists into the fold. That is until five years ago, when artistic associate Dwayne Blackaller returned to Boise from Cincinnati, where he co-founded a theater company. Blackaller acts, writes and directs plays at BCT, but his core passion is working with young theater artists. So, he created the BCT Theater Lab, an intensive program that brings 12 to 15 kids and teens together to learn about the theater process by writing, designing and performing a oneact play. The program has been more successful than he could have imagined. They’ve added more sessions to keep up with demand. He’s added a radio play session in collaboration with Radio Boise, and he is working on a partnership to create a touring production. “The most rewarding thing (is) to watch students go through the program and discover something about themselves,” he says. Lily Yasuda, 18, did two theater labs and a radio lab and discovered her desire to write for television. Now, she studies screenwriting at Chapman University in California, the fourth-ranked film program in the U.S. “The process of lab is awesome,” Yasuda says. “You get a lot of time and space to write and create. Lab prepared me for that communal writing, workshopping, sitting around with a group of writers and hashing it out.” Yasuda is one of several former lab participants to pursue theater in college. That’s the idea, Blackaller says. “The ultimate dream is to send a student from theater lab out into the world so they can work and do something amazing,” Blackaller says. “Then have them come back here to create. That would be exciting.”

music by Lucy Simon, based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett SPONSORED BY TRUCKSTOP.COM AND BOISE WEEKLY

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are posters from past productions, playbills from New York theaters and old BCT programs, a small library of thinly bound plays. A couple of dry-erase boards and a host of colored markers fill one corner. This is where Clark plots out his season with lists of titles and actors’ names, a column for directors and designers, some slightly illegible notations and, at this point in the process, question marks and blank spaces. The most recent addition was the title for Coble’s commission “Margin of Error (Or, The Unassailable Wisdom of the Mouse and the Scorpion).” It’s a two-character play about a savvy political operative and his young assistant who are stranded at the turning point of the campaign season during a freak snowstorm in Boise.

PLAY AND PLAYWRIGHT It turns out every playwright’s process is slightly different. Some need space and quiet. Others want to be in a room working with actors by day, writing and perfecting a script by night. Some want a bit of both. Creating new plays always fascinated Clark. He first dabbled in it in 1998, with his friend Maria Dahvana Headley’s “Drive Me.” He produced a successful run of it at the now-defunct Bacchus Cabaret. The experience of putting something on the

boards for the first time stuck with Clark. In the early development of BCT he decided to ease his company into becoming one that would regularly create new plays. He started by producing the second production of a new play, legendary contemporary writer Don DeLillo’s “Love-LiesBleeding” in 2006. It happened by chance, when Clark met DeLillo while working with his friend, Boise-based film director Michael Hoffman, who was directing DeLillo’s “Game 6” in New York City. The film starred Michael Keaton and centered on the fateful game six of the 1986 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets. DeLillo and Clark connected through the discussion of the play DeLillo was writing at the time for Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. “I couldn’t believe it. He let us do a 5 X 5 Reading of it,” Clark says. “Don was a legend to me. I had a little bit of an inferiority fear, you know, being this kid from Boise, Idaho, who was trying to do this thing. I’d have these conversations with people from elsewhere and they would be like, ‘Boise? Really?’ So, for me personally as an artist, getting that affirmation from someone like Don DeLillo was huge. He said ‘I’m going to come to Boise and we’re

going to tell this story. Then, I’ll let this theater company I’ve never heard of — and most people hadn’t — do the second production after Steppenwolf.” Since then, he’s been on a steady path toward establishing The River Prize, as Clark sharpened his aesthetic for new theater. He produced new plays by a mix of local and national playwrights: such as Boise’s Willmorth and Golden and Michigan’s Brian Quirk. In 2011, Clark commissioned Idahoraised playwright Sam Hunter for a Christmastime comedy. It was one of Hunter’s early commissions, just after his debut with the Obie Award-winning “A Bright New Boise.” Today, Hunter is a highly sought after playwright with commissions across the country and a recipient of a 2014 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. “The amount of faith that BCT had in me and my writing at that point in my career was unparalleled,” Hunter says. “BCT was one of the first professional theaters to do my work, and when Matt commissioned me he gave me pretty much total artistic freedom. It was thrilling. At the time I was a relatively untested playwright, so for an organization to have that much faith in me and my work was very inspiring. To find it in my home state was



The Boise Contemporary Theater black box theater is a flexible space that has become a venue for music, film screenings, benefits and more. This photo was taken at a film screening of Montana director Jason Burlage’s documentary “Mi Chacra” in 2011. 20

close to unbelievable.” Hunter’s production was less successful than either would have liked, largely because of timing, Clark says. “We laugh about it now,” Clark says. “The truth is I asked Sam to write a comedy for Christmas, and he wrote a play in which a mother and father kill themselves. It ended up being difficult to market.” If there had been more time to develop the idea, or to move it to a different slot in the season, things might have been different. The play is getting more productions that are proving to be successful. But that experience got him thinking of ways to build more flexibility into the play-writing process. That’s how he came up with The River Prize, inspired by his admiration for programs at New York’s Signature Center. That organization supports five playwrights who are assured three productions of new plays over the next five years. “We’re not on that level but this is a great way to start,” he says.

Read about the Wood River Valley’s Company of Fools on page 58. The theater troupe also celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.


Moscow-raised playwright Sam Hunter found early support for his work at Boise Contemporary Theater. Clark produced two of his plays, including “A Permanent Image,” which he commissioned. Hunter is pictured tweaking the script during rehearsals in 2011. Clark promises to bring Hunter back to BCT for another commission. Dana Oland is a former professional dancer and member of Actors Equity who writes about performing and visual arts for the Idaho Statesman. She also writes about food, wine, pets, jazz and other aspects of the good life in Boise. Read more arts coverage in her blog at ArtsBeat.

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Discover LED, the newest creative force in Boise ARTS NOTES By Dana Oland


horeographer Lauren Edson grew up in Boise, so she knows it’s a great place to live. But after living and working in New York City, Chicago and Portland, she now understands that Boise is a great place to create. “You don’t have the distractions you have in larger cities,” Edson says. “It’s easy to get to a studio. Now that we’re raising our child here, we understand even more how wonderful it is. The culture is developing in such a great way that this is the perfect time to start something.” Earlier this year, Edson and her husband, musician Andrew Stensaas, founded LED, a collaborative venture they hope will spark a creative fire in the city. LED started out as lauren edson + dancers, a dynamic company started in 2013 by the former Trey McIntyre Project dancer when she decided to strike out on her own. She received positive reviews, bookings and teaching engagements from the get-go, but she wanted the experience to be about more than dance. She started collaborating with Stensaas on a few projects and saw magic happening on stage. Now, LED is less of an acronym and more of an idea. It’s a multifaceted, multimedia venture that seeks to bring all stripes of artists from around the globe to Boise to collaborate, work and make art. “We want to reawaken the performing art experience with live original music, movement, sound and visual design,” Stensaas says. It’s an experience that is pushing both artists creatively, Edson says. “Andrew continually pushes me,” she says. “There’s a constant dialogue between us. We put each other in some uncomfortable places, and we surprise each other in great ways.” The couple is building on the Trey McIntyre Project legacy, and attacking dance as part of a larger artistic scheme through which to engage the community, Edson says. 22



Musician Andrew Stensaas and choreographer Lauren Edson founded LED in April. It’s a collaborative venture that aims to bring dancers, musicians, media artists (film and digital), designers and other visual and performing artists together to create highquality multimedia performances and events.

“We want to continue the kind of highquality work Trey and John Michael (Schert) started here,” she says. Their first project is a collision of artistic mediums titled “This Side of Paradise.” Based on the lives and relationship of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, it blends dance, music, digital projection, design and fashion, with Edson’s choreography and Stensaas’ music at its core. “The constants will be Andrew and I, at least at first,” she says. “But the company will be fluid. It will have the capabilities to do small tours, not a traditional model, and do engagement in the community. We’re keeping it project-to-project right now to stay nimble.” This summer, they performed in Seattle and Portland, and in the coming weeks

they have several engagement performances in the area. For “This Side of Paradise,” they are collaborating with seven dancers, Stensaas’ musical group Edmond Dantés, a duo with guitarist and bassist Ryan Peck, six other musicians, digital artist and filmmaker Kyle Morck, graphic designer Stephanie Inman and “Project Runway” season 11 winner Michelle Lesniak, who lives in Portland. The piece is inspired by the biography and writings of Zelda Fitzgerald, who arguably was one of the 20th century’s most enigmatic figures. She was a socialite, dancer, painter and writer who became a celebrity after her husband’s first book, “This Side of Paradise,” became popular. F. Scott Fitzgerald became the voice of his generation with his novel “The Great Gatsby,” using

✦ 7:30 p.m. Aug. 26, Idaho Shakespeare Festival Greenshow (ISF ticket holders only). 5657 Warm Springs Ave., Boise. ✦ 8 p.m. Aug. 29, The Spot, 220 Lewis St., No. 2, Ketchum. Presented by the Ketchum Arts Commission. Free. ✦ 8 p.m. Sept. 24, “Behind the Scenes of ‘This Side of Paradise’,” excerpts and discussion, The Rose Room, 718 W. Idaho St., Boise. ✦ 1:30 p.m. Sept. 12, Art in the Park, Gene Harris Bandshell, Free. ✦ Flash performance, First Thursday, Oct. 1, Record Exchange, 1105 W. Idaho St., Boise. Free. ✦ “This Side of Paradise,” 8 p.m. Oct. 10, Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, Boise. $29.50-$60. and

Zelda as inspiration for many of his women characters. They were both icons of the Roaring Twenties and both met tragic ends. He died at 44 in 1940 from poor health brought on by alcoholism and hard living. She died in 1948 at 47 in a mental institution fire. Now, Zelda is a newly minted feminist figure, after the publication of Nancy Milford’s biography that shows her as a victim of her husband’s overbearing nature. The first section of the performance is “Barbarian Princess,” a character study of Zelda, followed by a study of F. Scott. The second act explores their passionate and tempestuous relationship. “There is a through line but it’s abstract enough to pull in different facets,” Edson says. As much as it is about these two historical figures, “The Other Side of Paradise” is really about the struggle to create and collaborate, and bring two different ideas together to synthesize something new. “Co-existing as artists is difficult in any era, but the struggle to meet (in the middle) can be really beautiful,” Edson says.

THE CABIN SEEKS A NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The Cabin executive director Britt Udesen departed this month to head The Loft Literary Center in her hometown of Minneapolis. She started her career as an intern at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts before moving to Idaho in 1998. She was the director of education and humanities at The Sun Britt Valley Center for the Arts in the mid-2000s and took over Udesen The Cabin in 2013.

For Udesen, this opportunity is a combination dream job and the fulfillment of a personal dream. She and fiance Matt Furber, who also is from Minneapolis, met in Idaho and are excited to move back. “We will miss Idaho very much, especially because my whole family is here now, but Matt’s family is there, and it’s a direct flight,” Udesen says. In her time here, she helped increase the Boise-based literary organization’s reach, diversified its offerings through collaborations with other Boise-based arts groups and worked to make it more accessible. The Cabin turns 20 this year and is now a sustainable vital organization, she says. “I hope in my time I helped make it a little bit more fun,” she says. “The quality was well-established before I got there, but maybe now it’s a little more alive.” The Cabin’s board launched a national search for her position.

REDISCOVERED BOOKS EXPANDS Celebrate the grand re-opening of Downtown Boise’s independent bookstore, Rediscovered Books, 180 N. 8th St., on Sept. 5. The shop is expanding into the space to its north that formerly was filled by Lux Fashion Lounge. Lux moved down the street to 785 W. Idaho St. earlier this summer. Rediscovered will use the larger space to expand all of its offerings and space for events. Laura and Bruce Delaney opened the store nine years ago on the Boise Bench. They moved it Downtown in 2010. Since then, it has become a fixture in the cultural scene by hosting literary events and presenting name authors in partnership with area libraries. The Re-opening Party will go from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with local author readings, live music and in store-discounts. Beer tasting from Post Modern Brewers starts at 5 p.m. Find more information at ART IN THE PARK It’s time to get Art in the Park on your radar. One of the Treasure Valley’s signature events, it draws thousands to Julia Davis Park for a weekend of art and music. This year, 260 artists will populate the park, with a variety of fine art and artisan craft from painting to jewelry to metal yard art. You’ll find about 50 Idaho artists in the mix this year, plus artists from across the U.S. and Canada. Art in the Park is 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 11-12 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 13 in Julia Davis Park, 700 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise. For more information go to Read more about arts and culture at Dana’s blog at

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This Boise storybook home was built in the early 1930s by Harrison R. Crandall, a well-known painter and photographer at the time.


Kootenai Street Historic Neighborhood





reservation Idaho’s most popular annual fundraiser is also its largest fundraiser of the year. It brings you the rare opportunity to tour a handful of historical homes in one particular part of town. Previous neighborhoods have included Warm Springs Boulevard, Harrison Boulevard, Hays Street District, Crescent Rim, East End Historic District, the Highlands and 17th and 18th streets in

Boise’s North End. This year’s choice might surprise some because it’s not a commonly known area when discussing historic areas of town. Nor is it consistent in its historic characteristics because of the way it has grown from rural-like settings to infill growth and population influx from the 1930s through the 1950s. That was also a time of varying home styles.

Welcome to the Kootenai Street Historic Neighborhood, described as the area on the Bench between Vista and Roosevelt streets just north of Overland Road. It’s a diverse neighborhood, and Kootenai Street is the only east-west street on this part of the Bench with bike lanes. Barbara Perry Bauer, the Idaho Preservation Special Events chairwoman, said some have described this area as “the Harrison Boulevard of the Bench,” many of its homes having large lots that have not been divided. Homes on this year’s tour range

Take the tour Sunday, Oct. 4 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

from Idaho’s best example of “storybook” architecture to Dutch Colonial Revival to a Prairie home that incorporates a variety of styles inside and out. Many are tucked away from the street under a canopy of old, protective trees. One of the potential homes on the tour is an early 1900s farmhouse. Overall, it’s an eclectic collection of homes built over a period of several decades. “I think people are going to really enjoy that,” Bauer said. Some of the neighborhood’s homes are more modest in size, Bauer said, but visitors will be able to see how people can comfortably

Registration is $20 for members; $20 for nonmembers before Sept. 19 and $25 after the early-bird registration expires.

live in a 2,000-square-foot home much as they did in the 1940s and ’50s. Many feature original architectural features like those little nooks that used to be so popular, as well as several intact, charming kitchens and bathrooms where you might see some of that nostalgic mint-green or turquoise-and-pink tile. The tour will include about eight homes. The tour takes approximately three hours, rain or shine. Children 10 and under are admitted free; the tour is not wheelchair accessible. Read more about these homes ÷


“The Mack House,” a Dutch colonial home, was built in the 1920s. It later became home for two generations of the Mack family.



A long, winding driveway leads to the cottage, isolated from nearby busy streets by nearly an acre of trees and landscaping.

Nicholas and Lisa Hunt fell in love with their storybook home immediately after setting eyes on the European-style cottage nestled in a small forest of trees.


Photographer-artist built this Boise Bench house for his family in 1930s



storybook home

ou cannot see this house from the street. It’s not very far from the rushing traffic on Overland Road, but it might as well be hidden in the middle of a forest. As you walk down the curved driveway past the tangle of trees near the road, you begin to feel a bit like Hansel and Gretel. A warm, picturesque cottage slowly opens up in front of you, like a storybook page come to life. “It is, without question, the most carefully orchestrated of all the storybook houses in Idaho,” said Dan Everhart, architectural historian and an important member of Preservation Idaho. “It has been made intentionally whimsical.” As the walls taper upward, with bigger boulders at the base of the foundation, they reveal themselves through the stucco “almost as if the stone is sticking out of the wall,” Everhart said. The bowed curve of the roof looks as though it has fallen over the weight of time and centuries. The home bears a less extreme resemblance to the famous Spadena House, or Witch’s House, in Hollywood, often called “the quintessential Hansel and Gretel house.” The home was designed and built in 1932 or 1933 by Harrison R. Crandall, a well-known painter and photographer of the time. He and his family lived in the Tetons during the summer months — he had a studio there — but he wanted a home for his two daughters during the school year, and Boise was his choice. His concept drawings of the home looked like sketches for a Disney movie. The home looks very similar to the way it looked back in its heyday. It still has two front entrances, though today, the second entrance is little used and opens into a small office area. Back in the day, it was essentially the party entrance. There was a curved bar inside the door where guests would grab a drink before spilling out into the house and grounds. Some modern skylights have been added to bring light into the upper rooms, but the raw, red jasper fireplace still dominates the main room, although the surface of the rock has likely dulled somewhat over the decades. Population growth increased dramatically in the years following the home’s

continued ÷ AUGUST 2015


A red jasper fireplace dominates the home’s main room, with large windows all around letting light into the house.

The central hallway acts as a junction accessing the entire house from the bedrooms to the home's front rooms and entryway, and to the kitchen on the left. All of the wood floors were replaced except for one bedroom. 28

construction, when it was more like a miniestate setting. There was also a large studio building that burned down in the 1950s and was never rebuilt. The Crandalls had moved in 1948 after their second daughter graduated. Today, doctors Lisa and Nicholas Hunt and their teenage daughter and 5-year-old son live in the home. “Older homes have a charm to them that you can’t find in a newly constructed house,” Lisa said. “You can tell it was made with a lot of care,” Nicholas said. How the Hunts wound up in this house has a bit of storybook charm of its own. The couple moved to Boise in 2001. In 2006, they wanted more space. They spent six months searching for the right house. They finally found the one they wanted in the North End. But this was during the real estate bubble. Their offer was one of several, but it was not to be. They were devastated. “I was in tears,” Lisa said.

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But then, the very next day … “Nick found a really cool house.” It was the Crandall home. “Literally, it was like love at first sight. ‘I don’t care how much it costs or how much it needs, but I MUST have this house,’ ” Lisa said. Nicholas said they bought it practically sight unseen. “This house was on the market for three hours,” Nicholas said. “And that was that.” “Nobody else even got to see it,” Lisa said. Not that the home didn’t need some attention. It did. For one thing, there was no air conditioning. That alone was an expensive proposition. “Because there was no duct system,” Lisa said. “It was a huge process, but it was worth every penny.” At about 3,000 square feet, the home needed a complete remodel, and it was a major chore. “The remodel probably took three years,”

continued ÷


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Lisa said. Although it was an extensive project, Lisa says some of that long time period could be attributed to her decision-making process of getting things just right. “It took me a month to pick out a toilet for one of the bathrooms,” she said. Even so, it was a time-consuming project. “I spent a year stripping wallpaper from everywhere,” she said. The kitchen was redone, all three bathrooms, the upstairs was re-imagined, new drywall was put up, a new water heater was needed, heated floors were added. There was painting, of course, and so on. “Even the staircase is new,” she said. “Every room in that house has been redone. Every light fixture, doorknob … it all had to be redone.” The floor was a major project in itself. There was carpet everywhere. And it had to go. That’s when they discovered that the original wood flooring had been covered with vinyl flooring — glued to the original floor. It turned out that the condition of the original flooring was “abysmal.” It had been done in fir, a softer wood that had not held up well. Fir is not a durable choice for a floor. The original dark woodwork and interior of the home called for something compatible. Light-colored flooring would be out.


“I love modern houses, but I didn’t think it would match well,” Lisa said. “It just wouldn’t look right.” That left them to search for a darker wood. They felt it was a duty to improve the home and preserve it the way it was intended. “I like the idea of a dark floor, but I didn’t like the idea of having to stain it,”

continued ÷

The main entrance opens into the front room. It’s a step up to enter the dining room here, the central hallway or the adjoining television room and office. Lisa’s office, originally the entryway for entertaining guests, is filled with mementos from her travels doing humanitarian work as a doctor.

Nick and Lisa both have an affinity for this distinctive bat and serpent light fixture. The master bathroom is now spacious and modern.

On her international travels, Lisa Hunt found this Sumatran marriage and happiness trinket traditionally given to newlyweds.



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The kitchen has lots of space for storage.

The Crandall home in the 1930s

The cozy loft also is home to enclosed bookshelves.

she said. “I wanted something that would be its own color.” A hard-to-find fumed oak would fit the bill perfectly. It would never need re-staining, just simple re-sealing. “It matches the rest of the house,” she said. The kitchen was updated, too, “But it’s not incongruous,” she said. “It doesn’t look out of place.” The north end of the upstairs, however, looks like somewhere else entirely. There’s an extra family room/library, an extra bedroom, a loft, lots of storage space and a skylight to brighten the area, which is all done in a lighter wood that would not fit anywhere else in the house. Used as a guest room, or a getaway spot for their daughter 32

and her friends, the space truly looks and feels like a mountain cabin tucked into the farthest part of the house. After all the enhanced character of the rest of the home, this alluring spot at the end of the upstairs hallway comes as a delightful surprise. The yard is just as cozy. At just under an acre, there is plenty of shade, trees and backyard. Especially for 5-year-old Eli. Not only is there a mini-forest in the front yard, but the back has plenty of space for a boy and a dog under the trees. A couple of comfortable chairs and a back patio make for a relaxing day under the large horse chestnut tree. “You can sit out here when it’s raining

continued ÷

In 1935, the Crandall Studio opened to the public with a display of his scenic photographs, paintings and hand-painted photos of the Teton Mountains, wildflowers and Christmas cards. Located behind the photographer-artist’s home, the studio was open only during the weeks before Christmas. In 1938, an article in the Idaho Statesman promoted a “hobby and treasure tour,” sponsored by the Columbian Club. The Crandall home was one of three stops on the tour. While his works “intrigued spectators,” the hit of the exhibit with many mothers was the Crandall nursery, decorated with pictures from childhood stories. Prim little Dutch girls, bold knights in armor, ducks, butterflies, and little boys and girls were hand-painted on the walls. The girls’ doll collection from around the world was also popular. Another stop on the tour featured historic items, such as a 1776 sampler, an Indian stone doll, souvenirs from 3600 B.C. Crete and a silver spoon carried by a Boise soldier during WWI. The third stop on the tour was a paint store where nationally advertised patterns of washable wallpaper were on display.




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This is a historical photo of the home that now belongs to the Hunts.

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A large brick patio extends from a traditional wooden deck in the backyard. Lisa Hunt said they have plans to redo the whole patio.

A gnome keeps watch near the driveway.

and not even get wet,” Lisa said. “Eli and I like to sit out here and watch the hummingbirds.” And there are plenty of trees. One of the biggest ash trees in Boise can be found here. There is also a large tulip poplar, and even a banana tree, which goes back into the greenhouse when the weather turns. The previous occupants were Boise State botanists, she says, and they used to do some of their research on the property. Some of the small willows still have identification tags on them. They were also the ones who installed the greenhouse in the backyard. The next big project will be to rip out the back deck and turn it into a nice stone 34

A lamp with a model of the chalet home marks the home’s entry off the main road.

patio with vines and to add a small swimming pool. But for now, it is enough to sit in an outdoor easy chair and relax. The house has a way of getting inside you. Lisa says she has had a couple of visitors who have walked up to the home because they had been a cousin or friend of previous owners and had fond memories of the place. In fact, Lisa still corresponds with

one of the women she met that way. “People never forget this place,” she said. “It has a very welcoming, warm, enveloping feel. All the families who have owned this place seem to be happy people.” Kind of like a storybook. “I don’t think there’s any other place like this in Boise,” she said. “That’s what I love about it.”

The history of the Boise Bench It’s hard to visualize today, but in the early days of Boise, very few people lived on the Bench. It was desert. There was no water there until the Ridenbaugh Canal began to supply the area in the late 1800s. “Suddenly, the Bench could be used for agriculture,” said architectural historian Dan Everhart. The Bench changed from dry sagebrush land to an agrarian landscape of orchards, farms, dairies and homesteads. There was a Dan reason behind the naming of Orchard Street. By 1912, Everhart nearly 165,000 acres had been claimed from the desert and were now capable of producing a variety of crops — apples, prunes, peaches, cherries, asparagus and hay. Some of those products were shipped across the country, and even to Europe. Some of the first home sites sat on 5-acre plots. It was rural, but it was growing. But at the same time, it wasn’t really Boise yet. The train track went Downtown along the river, and it was a spur that only went to Nampa and back. The main line didn’t come to Boise in those days.

That finally changed in 1924 when the Boise Main Line (also known as the Boise Cut-Off) was finished atop the Bench. When the now iconic Boise Depot was finished in 1925, people were unimpressed with Union Pacific’s location choice. It sat up there overlooking the city and its hotels, and the muddy, uphill road to get there could be frustrating. Even the airport was closer to town. (The airport was then where Boise State University now stands.) Then things changed: paved roads and motor vehicles. “All of a sudden, the Bench is a lot closer,” Everhart said. “There are even street car lines going up to the Bench.” The Bench — with the Kootenai Street area sometimes referred to as the Whitney Bench — was now accessible, and it started to develop as one of the city’s early suburbs. It was not like the elitist urban neighborhoods of Warm Springs, East Boise or Harrison Boulevard, but it was a pleasant commute with large, comfortable lots. From the beginning, it was generally platted with elbow room and large yards in mind, something not found in the North End, for example. There was an upper middle class

feel to much of the Bench area that would attract many of the city’s movers and shakers of the time. The 1930s and ’40s would see an explosion of population growth here. Many people moved west during the Great Depression or because of the Dust Bowl. The construction of Gowen Field in 1939 brought more people. By the 1950s, nearly half the population was living south of the river in an idyllic post-war suburbia. Americana Boulevard was also built in the ’50s, allowing another route to the Bench. There were brick homes, spacious front and rear lawns, single- and double-car garages, family rooms — and closet space. Vista Village, reportedly the nation’s first strip mall, was built in 1949. It included a movie theater and an A&W Drive-In. Meanwhile, the country — and the Bench — was in architectural flux. There was no set popular design. It was a revival era in home styles — Tudors, Ranch, Cape Cod, Colonial Revival, Spanish Revival and so on. “Everything old was new again,” Everhart said. Dusty Parnell

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The yards and gardens on the home’s large lot are elegantly portioned with hedges, iron fences and pathways.

Home is a

Bench gem Long history of gardeners has created a parklike setting


t takes a certain kind of family to move into a historical home. Not everyone can do it. Sometimes not even your friends or family understand. “They didn’t get it at all,” said James Steele. He and wife, Christin, and their two kids moved into “The Mack House” in 2013. “But now that they come here, they get it.” The original owner of the home back in the 1920s was a landscape architect who made his mark on both the home and the city. A couple of generations of Macks in the home also included an outstanding gardener. Today, James Steele, who followed his father’s footsteps as a secondgeneration financial adviser, is happy to spend time working in the yard, too. “I think the house chose us as much as we chose the house,” he said.


While the home and lot seem quite large and spacious, it only sits on seven-tenths of an acre. “It’s urban living, but it’s kind of in a park,” James said. “It looks bigger than it is, probably because of the big trees on it.” Fred Mack, who lived in the house for most of half a century, talked about two landscape eras of the home. The first was by landscape architect J.A. “John” Jensen, the original owner of the home, and the second by Mack’s wife, which he calls the Mona Era. Mack mentioned the white birch tree in the backyard — planted by Jensen — which is a good 3 feet in diameter. Birch trees generally don’t always have long life spans, but this one is probably at least 80 years old. Not bad for an area that had been sagebrush less than a century earlier. The yard also boasts one of Boise’s few

sequoias. Mona had to nurse it along the first winter, but it is tall and strong now. She also worked to establish the weeping cherry tree out front. There’s also a 12-foot honeysuckle that pays tribute to her gardening skills. “I’m going to count the species some day,” James said. “It’s a lot.” The trees seem part of the home, even from inside the house. “Everywhere you look out, there’s a tree,” Christin said while giving a tour of the upstairs rooms. “It’s like being in a treehouse up here.”

THE HOUSE CHOOSES THEM The Steele family had been living in Eagle for 12 years, and the North End before that, but they wanted more space, and they wanted to be closer to work. “I was really hoping to build my dream home,” Christin said. Their Realtor pushed them to look at the Bench. When they continued ÷

The Steeles said they wanted to make the rooms lighter and brighter as well as match the decor with the historic sense of the home.

James and Christin Steele recently completed a remodel of The Mack House after moving into the historic home in Boise.



The Mack House’s yards and garden have benefited from decades of gardening aficionados, including James Steele, who now tends to the grounds. Part of the vision is to foster an inviting place for birds. “I love birds,” he said. “I feed them all winter.”

found this house, everything seemed to fit. “This just immediately had a good feeling to it,” James said. “There was so much light coming into it.” And James could have a large yard. At this home, one of his favorite parts is a dedicated garden shed. The location also made their family more functional. The couple met on the tennis team of Bishop Kelly, and they are very active with the BK Foundation. They have a strong core belief of giving back to the community. In addition to the foundation, James is also a former president of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and is involved with The Arid Club, Idaho Business for Education, the Boise Chamber and more. The shorter commutes for everything fit their lives so much better. And so, in the middle of a snowstorm, they moved in during December 2013, just a few days before Christmas.

MAKEOVER But as is often the case with older homes, it was time for someone to give back to this house, as well. “James promised me I could finish it to my taste,” Christin said. And there were plenty of structural and design challenges. 38

Comfortable outdoor lounge chairs offer a cozy spot near an outdoor fire hearth.

“We went through three layers of flooring, and we found a concrete floor we didn’t even know was there,” James said. It wasn’t very big, maybe 4-foot by 2-foot, and it was in the middle of the kitchen floor, where there was likely once a porch. There was also a drain that ran straight to the sewer line, which explained a certain smell. “There were lots of little surprises,”

Christin said. “It was nice, but it wasn’t us.” During any remodel, it is very common to reveal parts of a home that now have new code parameters to meet. (Code requirements have changed significantly over the years). And, like the three layers of flooring, one can never be sure when

continued ÷

History of the Jensen/Mack House The actual construction date of the large Dutch Colonial Revival home is “slightly undetermined,” according to Dan Everhart, architectural historian and member of Preservation Idaho, but it was sometime during the mid-1920s, probably around 1924. John Jensen, who moved to this country from Denmark at the age of 14, had bought his brother’s office supply/stationery store on 8th Street in Boise, but his first love was that of a landscape architect. “I think that explains the huge landscaped lot,” said Everhart, who dug up this information during his historical search. Jensen wrote several landscape articles for the Idaho Statesman, was involved civically in landscape projects and sat on the Parks Board. In 1949, he sold his interest in the store to return to landscape architecture. He was responsible for the garden developments of the Historical Museum, Municipal Airport, the Capitol, the Federal Building, the State Industrial Administration Building and the Gooding Tuberculosis Hospital (yes, that’s the reportedly haunted place).

Read more about John Jensen and the important dates in his life One of the highlights at The Mack House is a distinctive and rare sequoia tree in the front yard.

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The large Sub-Zero refrigerator that came with the house was moved to this new location to provide more countertop space.

changes occurred over the decades. Even Mack, who lived in the home for several decades, said he discovered brass air vents that had been painted white at some unknown time in the past for some unknown reason. “We wanted to take the little quirky things people had done and make them right,” James said. The dining room was purple. And much

of the house had a dark craftsman style to it. “And I’m ripping it all out,” Christin said. “We’re just kind of lightening it and brightening it. I’m ripping out almost all the light fixtures.” “And the hearth,” James said. “It’s a restoration with a functional, modern twist.” Designer Hailie Thomas of Design Vim

There is a 50-case wine cellar in the basement.

said the goal was to stay true to the character of the home, and the reworking basically “simplified” it from its previous look. “It’s classic architecture and close to its original form, but with modern amenities,” she said. “I’m proud that I’m recycling a house,” Christin said. The hearth’s design, for example, has been simplified yet modernized by using the

The kitchen’s herringbone hardwood floor was installed after three layers of previous flooring were removed.


About the project team for the recent Steele remodel

same theme found in the kitchen. “We used some of the same design features from the kitchen — the Calcutta marble slab porcelain,” Thomas said. “And we used a similar mosaic tile around the face of it.” (Also of slab porcelain.) Of course, not every quirky aspect was re-imagined. The “Harry Potty — The Bathroom Under The Stairs” remains. As does the upstairs bathroom. “It’s very Laura Ashley — that English country look,” Christin said. There’s still an old-fashioned laundry chute, as well as a classic Romeo and Juliet balcony off the master suite. And the door to the wine cellar is an antique heavy commercial refrigeration door.

Hailie Thomas of Design Vim LLC of Boise was the lead interior designer. Design Vim is a full-service interiordesign consulting firm founded by Thomas and Katy Hoxsey in 2013. The word Vim is defined as robust energy and enthusiasm — which Thomas and Hoxsey feel sums up their firm to a T. Their firm offers a full range of services for both commercial and residential projects. See more of their work at or email for more information. Buster Built Construction is owned by Stuart “Buster” Dancer, who has been involved in residential construction in the Boise area since 1976. He started as an apprentice cabinet maker and has several years of handson experience in many trades relating to remodeling and construction. Buster Built is a family-run business — Buster’s wife, Patty, and son Jerimy play key roles in the operations of Buster Built Construction. Learn more at or email Here are some of the other contributors to the project:

Tile/countertops: Oregon Tile and Marble, Boise

Fabrication: Mesa Tile, Garden City Cabinets: JayCo Cabinets, Garden City

Wood flooring: Majestic Flooring, Garden City

Lighting: All About Lights, Boise Appliances: CHF, Boise Plumbing: Ediger Plumbing, Eagle Painting: Snake River Painting, Boise

BECOMING A HOME Overall, there is almost 5,000 square feet to deal with. A special space with a special lighting fixture was created for their daughter, a fourth-generation University of Idaho Vandal. The basement is the realm of their teenage son. (There’s also a bathroom and steam shower down there.) The later-day second-floor addition has room for an office space next to the master suite and the modern master closet. The three-car garage out back has also grown over the years. Mack’s father used to build boats and things in the building next to it. And later, a second story was added for extra living quarters. (It served as the Steele family’s “home” during the remodel.) 1856819-01

continued ÷ The Steeles say they are particularly proud of the vaulted archway that leads from the front room to the kitchen. Family dogs Quinn and Targhee are pleased, too. AUGUST 2015


The narrow master bathroom feels spacious with a half wall to isolate the toilet and an enclosed shower stall.

“I love old houses,” James said. “It’s got lots of cool rooms,” Christin said. “I love having lots of separate rooms. Every room has its own terms of endearment.” The separate dining room is one of those places. “I like a dining room where you can’t see any TVs,” she said. It makes for better family time. “We’re traditional in our tastes,” James said. “It’s super traditional,” she agreed. “And that’s part of our lifestyle to have the family together.” The kitchen was one of those challenging spaces that now blends traditional with modern. “It was like two overlapping squares,” Christin said. It’s now white with brass handles. Very traditional. The countertops combine that traditional look with a contemporary material — the slab porcelain. “There are only a few houses in town that have it,” Christin said. “Just like we’re one of the few houses with a sequoia tree.” But here’s the kicker. While there is no television in the dining room, you’ll find a large-screen TV in the kitchen for Mom. “She’s the only wife I know who orders the NFL Sunday Ticket,” James said. 42

James Steele can only stand upright in the center of the finished attic “Lego Room.” He said nephews and nieces love the space for playing games in a space just their size.

SIT BACK AND RELAX While the cars buzz down around them unaware of this fine example of a Boise Bench home, life seems to slow down in the backyard and patio among all the trees and plants. It has seen its share of parties over the years, buried in this parklike setting. It’s also a relaxing neighborhood. There’s a community pool not far away, and the

Vista Neighborhood works to keep the area vibrant and friendly. With the remodeling project just complete, Christin praised Thomas of Design Vim with bringing the right styles and taste of design to the project. Thomas lives on the Bench herself in a home designed by noted Boise architect Arthur Troutner. So when it comes to older homes, she gets it,

A separate guest house the Steeles call the “casita” offers a 733-square-foot private living space with an extra finished room above the garage.

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The under-stairs bathroom is often referred to with a smile as the “Harry Potty Room.”

Christin said. Stuart “Buster” Dancer of Buster Built was in charge of the remodel. Buster even lived up to his name by taking a sledgehammer to that concrete slab they discovered in the kitchen floor. Christin credits them both for handling the daunting challenges. “Hailie and Buster are my therapists,” she said. “I’ve had all these really talented people help us make this house work for us.” Now more than 90 years old, this is an interesting historic home that deserves the attention it will receive during this year’s Heritage Homes Tour.

“I have nothing but fond memories of that house,” Mack said. But at the same time, when you’re sitting on the back patio, it’s hard to tell whether the landscaping enhances the home or vice versa. “The best room in the house is actually right where we’re sitting,” James says, as a light summer breeze drifts through the backyard.

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Dusty Parnell is a freelance print, radio and video journalist who has worked in the Treasure Valley for more than 20 years.

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Arrowrock turns 100

Controversy still shadows Idaho’s iconic dam


he Great Pyramid of the Boise River — the tallest dam on the face of the Earth, staggering and monumental — overshadowed even the feats of the Pharaohs as an icon of human triumph. So said a man named Moses at the 1915 dedication of Arrowrock Dam. Gov. Moses Alexander, a Bavarian-born Jew, tipped his hat to “the strength of the people” and led the faithful in song. “My country ’tis of thee,” he sang in tune with Idaho farmers. Before them the arching Goliath shot streams through cast iron valves. One million tons of concrete. Two hundred sixty rail car loads of sand and Portland cement. Plugging and pooling the granite canyon for 18 slackwater miles, Arrowrock held enough water for 200,000 settlers on 240,000 sagebrush acres — enough water, said Alexander, to bloom the Garden lost to the fall. Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, marks 100 years to the day since the epoch of high-rise concrete dawned at Arrowrock Canyon, forever transforming the West. Plenty since that time has been said about dams as engines of progress. Less has been said about the revenge of technological systems — their costs and consequences, and the judo trick through which a system designed for a lofty purpose sometimes flips the results. The Snake River Plain with its fertile valleys once seemed ideal for irrigation, but to unlatch the purse of Congress, the bombast had to be strong. Engineer Frederick H. Newell, the founder and first director of the U.S. Reclamation Service, saw in the Arrowrock project a masculine future of pulleys, wheels and bearings, a future in which the slide rule would replace the rifle as a means of social control. Manly feats of muscular science framed the local reporting. “It had been a man’s task,” said Boise Capital News after the dam’s dedication. Newell’s colossus, added the Idaho Statesman, was “strong,” “firm” and “robust.” Through Arrowrock, the engineers preached a gospel that Theodore Roosevelt called Bull Moose Progressivism. Its higher 44


purpose, said Newell, was “to bring about a condition whereby that land shall be put into the hands of the small owner, whereby the man with a family can get enough land to support that family.” Settlers responded in a rush to the Boise Valley as the Great War in Europe pumped the demand for Idaho crops. Even when prices fell, when the dream went sour and dust took back the valley, the commissioner of reclamation defended the engineering, calling dams “an unquestioned success.” Today with Anderson Ranch and Lucky Peak plus three big dams on the Payette



A 1917 postcard colorized the Boise Foothills as the sacrament of reclamation that brought life to the desert — as if the barrens were lifeless before dams and canals.



With Arrowrock, completed in 1915, the Boise River became the birthplace of the high-rise gravity arch construction that remade the face of the West. Architects topped the dam with sleek modernization, including a curving driveway and cast-iron lamps, 1916.

To Idaho City




wrock Road rro






To Boise

Lucky Peak Reservoir


2 miles



Where to learn more Boise State University is marking the Arrowrock centennial with a new book in the Investigate Boise Community Research Series. “River by Design: Essays on the Boise River, 1915-2015” is the sixth volume in the series and was edited by Todd Shallat and Colleen Brennan. The 136-page book ($19.95), which includes maps, photos and illustrations, was designed by Toni Rome. The book is available at Rediscovered Books, which will host a panel discussion and book signing at 7 p.m. Sept. 17. A PDF of the book may be downloaded for free at Click on “River by Design” and scroll to the bottom of the page. You can also visit the official Arrowrock website at DamsIrrigationProjectsAndPowerplants/ Arrowrock_Dam.html

River, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Boise-Payette Project claims $1.2 billion in annual yield from cattle and crops. Add $13 million from hydroelectricity and $30 million from beaches and boating. Add $170 million for allegedly sparing the valley damage from river erosion and floods. Karl Ames of Boise, a bureau engineer



Arrowrock’s arching curve forced the Boise River against the wall of its vertical canyon, taking pressure off the concrete dam.

and spokesman, seemed perplexed by my request for Arrowrock cost-benefit data. “Imagine the valley’s economy without Reclamation’s infrastructure,” Ames said. Yes, the feds fronted the construction money, but the return on that investment, says Ames, has been one-hundred-fold. But always there are mirages in deserts. An official history of the Boise Project details the tonnage of concrete. No mention is made of Heartbreak Row, the project’s hard-luck nickname; nothing about the summer of 1917 when the failure of the main canal destroyed Canyon County’s wheat crop; nothing about the boosterism that oversold the amount of available wa-

ter, or about the defection of Arthur P. Davis, once Arrowrock’s chief engineer, who later denounced his former employer for “blasted hopes” and “misrepresentations.” In 1924, as Davis vented in Salt Lake City, the U.S. Fact Finding Commission presented an audit of the battered bureau. Everywhere below federal dams the commissioner found “shacks instead of houses … bareness instead of comforts; cold instead of warmth … mortgages and foreclosures instead of growing bank accounts.” New mega-marvels of mass at Boulder Canyon (Hoover), Grand Coulee and Shasta mostly restored the bureau’s standing. In the Eisenhower years, however,



Herbert and Sadie Mersdorf wait for water on their desert homestead near Caldwell off the Notus Canal, 1940. The water finally came in 1947, five years after the Mersdorfs abandoned the farm. 46



A government camp with a school, hospital, rail depot and barracks housed more than 1,000 people at the height of the construction, about 1914.

battles at Hells Canyon and Echo Park laid bare the dam economics. Free-market hawks cried foul on the bigger-is-better bias in the bureau’s cost-benefit data. In 1977, President Carter unveiled a hit list of dams to be decommissioned. Public hearings blasted tycoons and cattle barons who posed as threadbare farmers in order to siphon the subsidized water meant for small-acreage farms. In 1982, the Reagan administration renegotiated the quid-proquo: Big farms could still get water but the feds would clamp down on their loans. Gaps, however, remain between the law and its implementation. “Deadbeat Dams” (2015) depicts the bureau as a ham-handed giant, its “nobility” a glutton for pork. “We need to stop catering,” says author Daniel Beard, a Clinton-era commissioner of reclamation. Otherwise, urban populations will suffer. The Boise River, dewatered, will wander like a lazy bayou. Trout streams will stagnate and die. “We set out to tame the rivers,” wrote Marc Reisner in “Cadillac Desert” (1986). “We set out to make the future of the American West secure; what we really did was make ourselves rich and our descendants insecure.” For richer or poorer, the 1915 sensation still freights a heavy tonnage of hope and

Arrowrock dwarfs New York’s Flatiron Building in photographer Walter Lubken’s frontpiece for the Boise Capital News, 1915. /

fear and scientific conjecture. For Gov. Butch Otter and five irrigation districts, the hope is that the feds will cover the cost of 74 vertical feet added to the aging dam. For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the fear is that failure to raise the dam would endanger housing in the crowded floodplain. For Idaho Rivers United, the conjecture is that riverfront easement would tax the environment less than raising the dam.


Arrowrock at 100 remains a beast and a benefactor. Mythic, the structure remains much like Moses saw it: a sublime manifestation of cultural and political values, a pyramid to which all Boiseans contribute a stone. Todd Shallat, Ph.D., directs the Center for Idaho History and Politics at Boise State University. AUGUST 2015



Kindness restaurant owner and head chef Anna Tapia. Kindness is in the Owyhee in Downtown Boise: 1109 W. Main St. (; 629-7444).

Kelly Steely is the chief instructor and program chairwoman for the College of Western Idaho’s Culinary Arts.



he National Restaurant Association has stated, on average, that around 20 percent of chefs and head cooks working in professional kitchens today are women. In Europe, especially in France, that number is most likely lower because the prominence of male chefs there is embedded like beurre blanc on a menu. But America is the land of opportunity, right? It’s at least a place where cultural gender barriers don’t appear to be such a consideration in a stressful industry


where men typically run the show. “Women seem to be better at multitasking than men, so it does seem odd that there aren’t more women in the industry,” says Kelly Steely, chef instructor and program chairwoman at College of Western Idaho Culinary Arts. In general, about 70 percent of incoming students at CWI Culinary Arts are women, and the numbers tend to be similar for graduation rates. So where do all these aspiring female chefs go? Over the years, Steely has directed a steady stream of



Pastry chef Sarah Mallard shows off a blackberry Balsamic coconut pudding.

culinary students — both men and women — who come in search of a new career, and she’s noticed a few trends. “We have at least one female student a year who consistently goes through the program, and does well, but has no intentions of working in the restaurant or food industry,” Steely says. “We don’t get men like that. Guys want restaurant jobs.” This may help to explain why most chefs in high-profile positions in the Boise area are men. “A lot of women coming through the program want to become nutritionists, dieticians and even food stylists,” Steely says. “We have one graduate who went on to become a really successful food stylist (for magazines, cookbooks and videos) in San Francisco.” Steely says many female culinary students become pastry chefs, an area of the industry where women typically excel. Sarah Mallard, a local pastry chef who graduated from CWI Culinary Arts in 2012, chose the baking-and-buttercream path for her new career. This single mother with two children was working in retail sales in the Denver area before moving back to her native Idaho in 2009. She took a job — to make ends meet — in the bakery at Paul’s Mar-

ket, and it wasn’t long before she realized her passion for baking. “I was encouraged to go to culinary school, so I decided to dive in head first,” Mallard explains. “I’m also more productive in the morning (when most pastry-chef work is done).” Mallard, who’s in the process of starting a business called Sweet Chef, works hard to strike a balance between raising kids and managing a career known for having long hours. “Being a chef is a demanding job. It’s a hard industry to be in. It takes a lot of hard work to make your way to the top. This is especially true for women with children.” Steely, who has three adult children, is all too familiar with the dynamic of raising kids and balancing a time-consuming career. “Many women with children don’t want to work nights and weekends, and those are the hours required for restaurant chefs,” Steely says. “Pastry chef jobs tend to be a better fit for them.” Mallard’s schedule recently got a whole lot busier when she was named as the new president of Idaho Chefs de Cuisine, the local chapter of the American Culinary Federation. Idaho Chefs de Cuisine is an organization that promotes local chefs and their

endeavors. But its membership numbers are indicative of an industry where men outnumber women. There are currently around 80 members, 11 of which are women. Mallard expects to have her business up and running by the end of the year. Sweet Chef will focus on custom baking (wedding cakes and other sweet treats) and pastry chef consulting for restaurants looking to develop recipes. Other female pastry chefs have had great success in the Boise area. Aimee Wyatt, a classically trained pastry chef who spent time in Paris, turns out beautiful cakes and pastries at Amaru Confections in Boise’s Bench Depot neighborhood. Many of her confections are gluten-free, which keeps her busy because of the increasing demand for gluten-free products. Anyone who’s been to Janjou Patisserie in Boise’s North End can attest to the talent of Moshit Mizrachi-Gabbitas, an Israeli pastry chef who’s known for her delectable French-inspired puff pastry, chocolate éclairs and flaky tarts. But while it’s easy to find women around these parts who have chosen to go down the pastry path, naming female chefs who run restaurants is a different story. Anna Tapia, chef and co-owner of Kind-

continued ÷ AUGUST 2015



Kindness restaurant owner and head chef Anna Tapia prepares a BLT made with six pieces of thick-cut bacon, truffle oil-infused field greens and creamy slow-roasted tomato relish served on bread from Gaston’s.

ness in the recently renovated Owyhee in Downtown Boise, didn’t start out as a line chef, otherwise known as a chef de cuisine. Tapia’s culinary journey began with catering. She and her husband, Michael, owned a catering business on Broadway Avenue before they started doing catering and banquets at the Owyhee. In the past, Tapia has helped local culinary maven Rory Farrow with catering and cooking classes, and she was also a former catering manager at Life’s Kitchen, the local kitchen-training program for youths ages 16 to 20. But Tapia didn’t set out to become a restaurateur. “I never thought I would own a restaurant. But we decided to go big with Kindness,” Tapia explains. “I’ve learned a lot — kind of trial by fire — in the last year about running a restaurant.” So far so good. Her cuisine at Kindness is nuanced and ingredient-driven. The seasonal menus bounce around the map, yet they are decidedly rooted in the Northwest. As is the case in most professional kitch50

ens in America, Tapia’s kitchen has more men than women. “Even my pastry chef is a man,” Tapia says. Regardless of all the testosterone in the kitchen, she’s quick to point out that the vibe remains mellow. “There’s a reason we’re called Kindness. There’s no yelling in the kitchen,” she says. Chef John Berryhill has seen his share of cooks over the years at his popular Downtown Boise restaurants Berryhill & Co. and Bacon. “We always have a woman or two cooking on the hot line,” he says. Having an equilibrium of male and female energy in the kitchen can be a harmonious thing. “Women offer a great balance for the team, that’s for sure,” Berryhill says. Like Berryhill, Tapia strives to strike a congenial balance with her kitchen staff, many of whom went to culinary schools around the country. “I’m the only one in my kitchen who didn’t go to culinary school, but I’m still particular and want things done a certain


Pastry chef Sarah Mallard makes a blackberry Balsamic coconut pudding.

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Blackberry-Balsamic Compote with Coconut Pudding (Gluten-free and vegan) Courtesy of Sarah Mallard, Sweet Chef Makes four servings BLACKBERRY-BALSAMIC MIXTURE: ⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar ⁄3 cup sugar 2 cups blackberries, cut into halves 1 1

COCONUT PUDDING: 1 14-ounce can of coconut cream 3 tablespoons sugar 1 ⁄4 cup corn starch 1 ⁄4 cup cold water Add all ingredients for the fruit mixture to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Bring to a simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and place berry mixture into a bowl to cool. Add coconut cream and sugar to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down. Add cold water and corn starch together using a whisk and make a slurry, then add it to the coconut cream, whisking continuously. Simmer until thickened. Remove from heat to cool. To assemble, add one cup of cooked blackberries and top with one cup of coconut pudding in dessert glasses. Place uncovered in fridge to cool and set. To garnish, add one tablespoon of toasted coconut and a fresh halved blackberry.

Snake River Farms Braised Pork Shanks Courtesy of Anna Tapia, Kindness Makes six servings 6 pounds Snake River Farms pork shanks 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 1 five-ounce can tomato paste 12 whole garlic cloves 2 tablespoons flour 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence paste (basil, thyme, rosemary, sage and fennel seed) 2 cups full-bodied red wine 2 ½ cups beef stock

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes 1 bay leaf Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat the bottom of a heavy stock pot with four tablespoons of oil. Salt and pepper the pork shanks. Working in batches, brown the shanks well on all sides. Transfer to a deep roasting pan. Pour off all but two tablespoons of oil. Add onions, carrots and celery. Cook until well browned. Add tomato paste and cook until browned. Add garlic and flour and stir for one minute. Add herbs de Provence, garlic, wine and broth. Bring to a boil and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add all ingredients to the roasting pan, making sure the shanks are covered with liquid. Add more wine if necessary. Cover with foil and roast in the oven until tender and falling off the bone, which should take about 2 ½ to 3 hrs. Serve with creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.

Fall Chicken Salad Courtesy of Kelly Steely, College of Western Idaho Culinary Arts Makes two servings 2 chicken breasts ½ red onion, sliced ½ cup mushrooms, sliced 1 sprig rosemary 1 Gala apple, sliced 2 tablespoons smoked almonds 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 8 ounces fresh spinach, cleaned Salt and pepper to taste Grill chicken breasts (to 165 degrees) on a hot grill and set aside. Place olive oil in a small sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add onions, mushrooms, apples and rosemary. Cook until onions and apples are just starting to caramelize. Add smoked nuts to the pan and heat an additional two minutes. Add cider vinegar and immediately turn off heat. Toss ingredients to coat. Stir the warm vegetables, apples and pan dressing into spinach, divide onto two plates and top with grilled chicken.

See a recipe for Kelly Steely’s Sausage and Zucchini Pasta


way,” Tapia says. Having a culinary school in Boise has been paramount to the success of the local restaurant industry over the years. But next year, CWI Culinary Arts will have to move from the campus of Boise State University, and there’s no word yet on what will become of the program —whether it will be relocated to the soon-to-be-built Boise CWI campus or elsewhere. That’s a real concern for Steely, who is worried that aspiring local chefs may have to move to places like Seattle and Denver for culinary school. “I think it’s a huge issue for our industry,” she says. “The pay in Boise is not that high for these kinds of jobs, and some people may leave town for good if the jobs don’t pay well.” Steely, who will likely soon be looking for a new job because of the uncertainty at the culinary school, also believes that some potential student chefs might choose other careers if there’s no local culinary school, or if it takes a few years for CWI to find a new location for its culinary program. “Now you will have to move from here to get a culinary education, and you have to be able to do that, which can be a hard thing if you have a family to think about,” Steely says. Mallard has similar concerns for the industry, and for the advancement of Idaho Chefs de Cuisine, which relies on student

Some other notable Idaho female chefs ✦ Cristina’s Restaurant in Ketchum has earned an ardent following since it opened in 1993. Italian-born chef and owner Cristina Ceccatelli Cook, who’s also a successful cookbook author, keeps diners coming back with her tasty baked goods and Tuscaninspired breakfast and lunch offerings. She also offers Sunday brunch, which has become wildly popular over the years. ✦ Kate Metzger is another Ketchum chef who has earned big kudos from Sun Valley area diners. She has a penchant for using locally sourced food at Il Naso, a wine bar and regional Italian restaurant where she’s been executive chef for five years. How does grilled octopus with chorizo, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of smoked paprika oil sound? ✦ Chef Tanya Alexander, owner of Forage Bistro in Driggs, has redefined cuisine on the Idaho side of the Tetons. Her inventive, ingredient-driven fare favors local foodstuffs over products trucked in from elsewhere. The global menu features meaty items such as country-style rillette (think pate) and an elk strip loin with tomato-fennel hash, but she also excels at vegetarian fare. ✦ Crossings Winery head chef Hilda Reyes doesn’t have to look far for fresh produce thanks to the winery’s big vegetable garden that overlooks the Snake River in Glenns Ferry. Her dinner menu features grilled local lamb chops and wine barrel-roasted wild salmon. But Reyes really shines at the winery’s frequent winemaker dinners, where she sources everything from Hagerman Valley sturgeon caviar to farmstead cheeses from Ballard Family Dairy. ✦ Stacey Kucy, wife of Gary Kucy, executive chef at Rupert’s at Hotel McCall, has made McCall a whole lot sweeter in recent years. This baker and pastry chef started out selling her French-inspired goodies — sweet and savory tarts, chocolate brioche, cakes and cookies — at the McCall Farmers Market, before moving her Stacey Cakes business into a brick-and-mortar spot next to Paul’s Market. She uses mountain foodstuffs well, as evidenced by her delicious lemon-huckleberry meringue cakes.


Kelly Steely, chief instructor and program chairwoman for CWI’s Culinary Arts, creates a couple of her favorite recipes: Fall Chicken Salad and Sausage and Zucchini Pasta.

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members to move the organization forward. “It’s disappointing that the school is closing. It’s a tragic thing,” she says. “A big part of what we do (at Idaho Chefs de Cuisine) is try to get students involved.” During a time when the local dining scene is seeing growth after the country’s economic downturn, it’s imperative that the area have a culinary school to keep everything running smoothly. “Boise’s culinary industry is booming. We’ll see a big wave of restaurants coming, and with it will come more jobs,” Mallard says. “This is good for men and women, but we need a culinary school here so we don’t lose our workforce.”

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Couple’s efforts may put Eagle Foothills on the national wine map


artha Cunningham, a housewife from Eagle with a degree in physical education, has written what may turn out to be one of the most important documents in the history of Idaho wine. “I’m an honest-to-goodness housewife,” Cunningham said. “I pay attention to things, but my education is not related to wine in any way, shape or form.” Despite that, the co-owner of 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards petitioned the federal government to establish the Eagle Foothills as an American Viticultural Area (AVA). If her 63-page submission is successful — and it breezed through the public commenting phase without any dissent — this specific growing region would be a sub-AVA of the Snake River Valley. Its designated 49,815 acres also would be the first AVA entirely within Idaho’s borders. Greg Jones, a professor at Southern Oregon University and recognized as one of the world’s leading figures in climate research for viticulture, said he believes the Eagle Foothills petition has merit as a grape-growing region in part because of the influence of nearby Prospect Peak, due east at 4,874 feet in elevation. “No. 1, the landscape is so unique from everything around it,” Jones said. “The climate is clearly unique because of the drainage flow of the air that comes from the hills in the area around it. And I think the boundary was fairly easily definable. I think it makes sense.” Caldwell vintner Greg Koenig, an acclaimed winemaker in Idaho for 20 years who also makes the 3 Horse Ranch wines, points to the distinctive qualities of the grapes grown in the Eagle Foothills. “The most striking aspect of the grapes grown there is the uniformly small berry size and loose clusters, which can be attributed to the extremely well-drained, sandy and quartzladen soil,” Koenig wrote in a letter to the federal government. “A second related aspect of the fruit is high ripeness levels and phenological maturity achieved at lower sugar levels than any other vineyards in Idaho.” The federal government, wineries, grape growers, wine merchants, sommeliers and consumers all rely on AVAs as a way to help define a grape-growing region, and these 54

GREAT NORTHWEST WINE By Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman

areas are useful not only to vineyard managers and winemakers as identifiers, but they also help to market wine. In France, such regions are known as as appellations. “Napa Cab” is the best example of the economic power behind putting an AVA on a bottle of wine. The establishment of the Napa Valley AVA in 1981 was the second in the nation and first for California, and the 30-mile-long growing region continues to serve as the epicenter of the American wine industry. The name recognition creates instant credibility in the marketplace and allows Napa Valley producers to charge more for their fruit and their wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. (There are now 16 sub-AVAs within the Napa Valley.) The establishment of the Snake River Valley AVA in 2007 — spearheaded by the Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission — continues to be seen as the watershed moment for Idaho’s wine industry. Five years before that, though, Martha and her husband, Gary, began planting vines. “People thought I was the craziest loon to walk the face of the Earth,” Gary said. “I ended up putting in 9 acres the first year.” Gary, a consummate salesman, left Sacramento, Calif., after a successful marketing career in the world of corporate business travel. When he and Martha first came to Idaho, they lived eight years in McCall before buying more than 1,600 acres along Willow Creek Road. They named their property for the three horses that belonged to their family, and for years they boarded other horses to help pay for their vineyard plantings, which stand at 46 acres. It’s not a hobby business for either of them. He manages the vineyards when he’s not on the road selling their wine, and Martha operates the tasting room across Pearl Road from their barn. Since its launch in 2002, they’ve built 3 Horse Ranch into the largest family-owned

winery in Idaho, ranking third in production behind Ste. Chapelle and Sawtooth. And thanks to their association with Koenig, the Cunninghams’ wines continue to shine. Wine Press Northwest magazine, a publication based in Washington state, named 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards its 2011 Idaho Winery to Watch. Earlier this year, their 2012 Merlot won best of class at the Seattle Wine and Food Experience Wine Awards, and the 2014 Estate Pinot Gris merited a gold medal at the Great Northwest Wine Competition, the country’s largest judging of Pacific Northwest wine. Annual production stands at about 12,000 cases, but Gary claims he could sell twice that if Idaho vineyards could supply the fruit. And since nearly 80 percent of 3 Horse Ranch wines are sold outside of the state — a startling figure for a winery its size — the Cunninghams serve as important ambassadors for the Idaho wine industry. Martha’s inspiration to establish a new AVA for Idaho came while she pored over a suitability analysis written by Jones for the Idaho wine industry in 2011. He spent time at 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards as part of the research, and the site fascinated him. “As you are driving out, once you leave

Visit 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 5900 Pearl Road, Eagle. The tasting room is open noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. PHOTOS BY DARIN OSWALD / DOSWALD@IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

Gary and Martha Cunningham farm 60 acres at 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards in the rolling hills north of Eagle. Martha drafted the proposed Eagle Foothills AVA.

Eagle you won’t believe there is vineyard out there,” Jones said. “You just won’t believe it. The landscape is gorgeous. It’s the Wild West, but they are doing a nice job. There are three or four vineyards in the area.” Its rolling hills, sagebrush and dusty roads are reminiscent of 30 years ago on Red Mountain in Washington’s Yakima Valley. And to know that a respected wine scientist sees value in their hard work and vision motivated Martha to get cracking on the Eagle Foothills petition. “It’s important to have someone validate why we are doing what we are doing,” Martha said. “We’d lived on the ranch for almost 10 years by the time we planted grapes, and we thought we were in a special place. And when I saw Greg’s climate report and soil report, it solidified it. I thought we could be an AVA. That was in November 2011.” Their plantings make up two-thirds of the 69 acres of vineyards in the proposed AVA. Gary manages two other vineyards between 3 Horse Ranch and Eagle, so he and Martha guided Jones on a tour of the region as part of the Idaho study.

“I really enjoyed meeting the Cunninghams,” Jones said. “I enjoy their wine, and I talked to them a lot. There was good interaction. I didn’t do a lot of work, but I helped Martha pull information together.” In early 2013, Jones successfully petitioned the federal agency that regulates the wine industry — the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) — to establish the Elkton Oregon AVA, so his experience proved invaluable. Martha also recruited Clyde “C.J.” Northrup, a geosciences professor at Boise State University, to serve as collaborator and lend his soil expertise to the petition. He views the soils as distinctive because of the granite pebbles mixed in with the volcanic ash/sandy loam, a sign of the Eagle Foothills’ position along the Boise Front and near the northern margin of Ancient Lake Idaho. “Rather than multiple flooding events that stacked things up, there was a long-standing lake here that occupied the Snake River Valley — about the same size as Lake

continued ÷

Some upcoming area wine and beer events SUNNYSLOPE WINETRAIL FESTIVAL: 2 to 6 p.m. Today (Aug. 22) at the Train Depot Plaza, Caldwell. Several wineries, music, food and artisans. $25 at gate.

STE. CHAPELLE CONCERT SERIES: Continues at 1 p.m. Sundays (Aug. 23, Aug. 30, Sept. 6 and Sept. 13) at Ste. Chapelle, 19348 Lowell Road, Caldwell. Special 40th anniversary event celebration with High Street on Sept. 13.

HARVEST FEST AT INDIAN CREEK WINERY: noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 1000 N. McDermott Road, Kuna.

SNAKE RIVER BREW STOCK: 2 to 9 p.m. Sept. 26, Four Rivers Cultural Center’s Japanese Garden, Ontario. $25 to $30. Sixty craft beers on tap, food and music. EAGLE FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL: 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 3, BanBury Golf Course, Eagle. $40.

HOPTOBER FRESHTIVAL 2015: Oct. 17. More details to come at AUGUST 2015


Lewis-Clark Valley’s AVA fate awaits debate LEWISTON — The oldest growing region in Idaho might become the state’s newest American Viticultural Area, but it won’t be established without a bit of grumbling. Commenting on the proposed LewisClark Valley AVA ended June 15 — the same day it closed on the Eagle Foothills AVA. And while the Eagle Foothills petition sailed through without any discussion, 37 comments were posted on the federal government’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau website regarding the Lewis-Clark Valley petition. “We are growing a lot of grapes and producing a majority of our wines from grapes grown in the valley,” said Coco Umiker, the Timberline High School grad who owns Clearwater Canyon Cellars in Lewiston with her husband, Karl. “Now we want to put an AVA on these wines.” The Columbia Valley AVA, established in 1984, does not extend into Idaho. That limits Clearwater Canyon to using a state designation on the label — either Idaho, Washington or the clumsy combination of the two when producing a wine using grapes from both sides of the Snake River — rather than an AVA. The Umikers and the owners of Colter’s Creek Winery, Mike Pearson and Melissa Sanborn, collaborated on the petition and drew the boundaries. They supported the findings with research involving history, geology, weather, enology and viticulture. If approved as perfected, the petition also would shrink the massive Columbia Valley by about 57,000 acres and move vineyards in nearby Clarkston, Wash., within the Lewis-Clark Valley AVA. Rick Wasem, owner and winemaker of Basalt Cellars in Clarkston, has vineyards in the Columbia Valley AVA and wants to continue to use that on his wine labels. “I support the Lewis-Clark Valley AVA,” he said. “But I don’t support taking Clarkston out of the Columbia Valley. The Columbia Valley is well known. I planted my vineyard in 1996 and started my winery in 2004 in the Columbia Valley. I hate to be removed from that.” Wasem was one of only two commenters who weren’t in full support of the Lewis-Clark Valley AVA proposal. The entire American wine industry is waiting for the TTB to rule on the bistate debate surrounding The Rocks of Milton-Freewater AVA, which involves Oregon and Washington in the Walla Walla Valley. That complication means the Eagle Foothills AVA could stand a better chance of becoming established this year before the Lewis-Clark Valley AVA. 56

Michigan today,” Northrup said. “A lot of the rocks that we see here are lacustrine sediments that accumulated in that lake. “There’s a mixture of material that washed from the highlands adjacent, so you have the granite that sits in the uplands north of Boise that produced some of the sediment, but there’s also the Yellowstone hotspot that was migrating its way along,” Northrup continued. “So there were big ash clouds that went out and rained down through the water column of the lake as well.” Both scientists know the wine industry. Jones’ father is the founding winemaker/ viticulturalist and owner of renowned Abacela in Roseburg, Ore. Northrup, who earned his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also has winemaking in his background, including work last fall at Hat Ranch Winery. Each collaborator was quick to hand off credit. “They were the orchestra,” Martha said of Jones and Northrup. “I was more of the conductor. They were fantastic. By May 2013, we had it done and in the TTB’s hands. It took six months. We were determined.” Northrup said, “She carried the day, and it’s very much like Martha to not take credit. This would not have happened without her sustained effort.” A delicious bit of irony is that Martha is a proud graduate — class of ‘78 — from the University of California-Davis, home to the nation’s most important winemaking program. It’s also where her daughter, Taylor, is studying literature and Italian. Martha’s petition initially sought to call it the Willow Creek Idaho AVA because of the natural drainage formed by Willow Creek — which flows through 3 Horse Ranch. It’s also the name of the road that connects the town of Eagle to the region. However, TTB forced Martha to generate a new name and resubmit the petition. There’s Willow Creek Winery in New York, but according to the TTB, the reason for the rejection was “the name evidence provided in the petition did not sufficiently demonstrate that the region is known by that name.” No one is complaining about the federal agency in this instance. “For us, changing it to Eagle Foothills was a really positive thing,” Gary Cunningham said. “In Idaho and the Treasure Valley, Eagle is pretty well known as the premium high-end market for property, so there’s a lot of identity with that.” In a good year, 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards grows a significant percentage of its own grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne and Sauvignon Blanc. One of the nearby vineyards, not far from Beacon Light Road — which forms much of the southern boundary of the AVA — grows Sangiovese.

“The Cunninghams could have drawn the boundary for a potential AVA around their own little valley, but they didn’t,” Northrup said. “Right from the get-go, there were community meetings and all kinds of ways to include people and make sure no one was alienated. Martha did a great job of handling the people, and so much of the (AVA process) is about people, in addition to addressing the science.” Alas, winter damage at 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards wiped out much of its crop for the 2013 and 2015 vintages — similar to vineyards in other portions of the Snake River Valley — so there would be few wines from either vintage to carry the Eagle Foothills AVA on the bottle. Going forward, the Cunninghams hope global climate change will help their vineyards, which top out at 3,000 feet in elevation, and the availability of water for irrigation does not loom as an issue. Aquifers and nearby rivers paved the way for Arizona developer Bill Brownlee’s plan to blend homes, schools, business and agriculture into the 6,000-acre M3 Eagle/Spring Valley Ranch community just over the hill from 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards. “Eagle is an area where there are a number of nice housing developments,” said Jones, the Southern Oregon University professor. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful area, and then once you pass Eagle, you are in those foothills. If people get enough access to water, I think those are going to be great places to grow grapes.” According to the AVA petition, the Spring Valley Ranch master plan includes 400 acres of vineyards. The Cunninghams estimate 3 Horse Ranch includes an additional 550 plantable acres, and that the best sites have not been touched. And while she may not realize it yet, if the Eagle Foothills AVA is established, Martha might end up fielding calls and emails from across the country asking for tips on how to write petitions to the TTB. “I’m going to tell them, ‘Call C.J. Check with Greg,’ ” she said playfully. Later, she turned serious. “I am so fortunate to live in a time and place that allows me to accomplish the things that are important to me,” she explained. “We knew we were right about this place and this drainage. Gary knew the soils. We knew the sun exposure. We knew the water. We could feel this is the right thing to do for us — and the right thing for Idaho and the right thing for Eagle.” The phone calls and emails could start before the end of 2015. Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman run Great Northwest Wine, a news and information website. Learn more about wine and see more of their stories at

Boise beers go out of state B

oise-area breweries have come a long way since they started canning beers a few years ago. At first, most of this canned brew — made by Sockeye Brewing, Payette Brewing Company and Crooked Fence Brewing Company — was only available in the Gem State. But as the popularity of Boise’s brewing scene spiked at a local level, the breweries soon realized they could sell their canned beers in neighboring states. Payette, which recently announced it would be building a new $4.5 million production facility and taproom near Downtown Boise, slated to open in 2016, sells about two-thirds of its beer in cans. Most of Payette’s brew sales come from Idaho, but the brewery also sells canned beer in Oregon, Utah, Nevada and parts of Washington. The new, much larger facility will allow them to break into other markets such as a highly competitive one in Seattle. Payette plans to keep its Garden City brewery open. Sockeye Brewing, known for its Dagger Falls IPA and other flagship and seasonal brews, has been a tour de force (when it comes to canning beer) since it built a sprawling production facility on Fairview Avenue in Boise. “We are probably canning close to 6,500-7,000 cases a month,” says Josh King, Sockeye’s head brewer and brewery manager. Besides Idaho, Sockeye brews are also available in parts of Utah, Oregon and Washington. And when Sockeye unveils its new, automated production line in early September, expect the brewery to expand canned beer sales into Montana and Wyoming. “We’ll have a 20-barrel system and a 40-barrel system side by side. It could potentially double our canned beer output,” King says. Crooked Fence Brewing’s canned beer program is considerably smaller than Payette’s and Sockeye’s, yet the brewery still manages to can about 2,000 cases of beer a month, with the help of a mobile canning operation. Crooked Fence cans five of its brews, including 3 Picket Porter and the recently introduced Trainwreck Red amber ale. Much of the brewery’s canned beer — emblazoned with bright artwork made by brand manager Kelly Knopp — is sold in Idaho. But Crooked Fence brews are available in the Portland area and in parts of Washington as well. Surprisingly, the brewery


BEER NOTES By James Patrick Kelly

recently tapped into the Midwest market when it signed a deal with a distributor in Wisconsin, a state known for its profusion of canned beer. “The distributor approached us. They wanted beers that nobody else has over there,” Knopp says. “So we are now having Northwest Canning (a Portland-based mobile canning operation) come in twice a month to beef us up.”

PRE FUNK OPENS 3RD LOCATION Pre Funk opened its third location in July in Downtown Meridian’s historic Heritage Building, 729 N. Main St., across the street from Sunrise Bakery and Cafe. The craft-beer bar has had great success in Downtown Boise, and more recently at its second location in Nampa’s Belle District, so opening a Pre Funk in Meridian seems like a logical progression for this up-and-coming local libation chain. Don’t be surprised to find 40 handcrafted local and regional brews on tap, as well as draft root beer and ginger beer for those not looking to cop a buzz. The bar hosts live music on weekends, and a patio is in the works. As for grub, expect to find local food trucks parked out front on busy nights to feed the hungry masses. BOISE BREWING GROWTH SPURT Boise Brewing, a small communitysupported brewery in Downtown Boise’s

Central Addition district, recently doubled its brewing capacity by installing two new 30-barrel fermenters. This means more tap handles of Hip Check IPA and Snowboarder Porter at watering holes around town. Or stop by the brewery’s taproom, at 521 W. Broad St., and quaff a few brews with fellow beer geeks. Over the summer, head brewer Lance Chavez and his crew also bottled a Boise Brewing beer, Roosevelt Red Rye, for the first time, with the help of Woodland Empire Ale Craft’s bottling line. It’s available at the brewery, 521 W. Broad St., Boise, and at its namesake Roosevelt Market, 311 N. Elm St., Boise, while supplies last.

LIQUID COURAGE Down a couple of pints and grab the microphone at Crescent Brewery’s stand-up comedy night — held every Tuesday, starting at 7:30 p.m. — where inspiring comedians are encouraged to give it their best shot. Crescent Brewery, at 1521 Front St. in Downtown Nampa, is known for its array of handcrafted seasonal and flagship brews, including malty Scottish ales with names like Tilted Kilt and Highland Hammer. FALL BREWS Crooked Fence Brewing will celebrate autumn with a seasonal brew (draft and 22-ounce bottles) that boasts an ominous name. Evil Harvest is a fall-inspired dark amber ale with hints of nutmeg, vanilla bean and pumpkin. “It has all those comforting fall spices that everyone likes,” Knopp says. Starting in September, Sockeye Brewing will once again be celebrating the Oktoberfest season with a seasonal lager aptly called Socktoberfest. This German-style Marzen (draft only) goes down smooth and boasts a toasted malt finish. AUGUST 2015


to Sun Valley

20 years of


in the Wood River Valley Hailey’s Company of Fools holds a unique place in the mountain community KIRSTEN SHULTZ / COMPANY OF FOOLS

BY DANA OLAND Twenty years ago, a merry band of players landed in Hailey to create a life for themselves and nurture a community through their love of theater. They call themselves “Fools,” but nothing could be further from the truth. These savvy theater artists turned what could have been their biggest weakness — living in a small town — into their greatest strength by going deeper into the roots of their community rather than seeking a larger audience. “Twenty years! It’s crazy,” Company of Fools core artist Denise Simone says. “As I stop and look back, I don’t just see the life of the theater company. I see life: births and deaths and divorces. We decided to do this beautiful souvenir book and, when I look at it, it brings tears.” If they had landed anywhere else, things might have been different, but the confluence of creativity, resources, scenery, size and isolation in the Wood River Valley helped set the stage for this company’s success. “I can’t describe or tell you why this happened,” Company of Fools core artist John Glenn says. “Denise and I weren’t 18 when we came here. We’d worked a lot of places and knew what we wanted to be different here, and there is something about Idaho that makes it possible. I mean look at what happens here. Look at Matt (Cameron Clark) and BCT (Boise Contemporary Theater) and what they are able to do, and the (Idaho) Shakespeare Festival and what an amazing event that is when you attend. We are so blessed to be here.” 58

Company of Fools is as much a community organization as it is a professional theater company. It produces riveting, thoughtful and well-acted productions of contemporary plays, from Pulitzer Prize winners and up-and-coming playwrights. They sit on boards, offer outreach into under-served communities (such as troubled teens and adults), turned the Liberty into a gathering place beyond the plays on stage,

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore purchased the Liberty Theater, 110 N. Main St., Hailey in 1995. The 1930s-era movie house was renovated into a performance space for theater, and Willis and Moore encouraged their friends Denise Simone and Rusty Wilson to bring Company of Fools from Richmond, Va., to Hailey the following year to fill it with life.


Company of Fools’ Denise Simone starred in the theater’s production of “Shirley Valentine,” which traveled to Boise in 2003. Between 1999 and 2005, Company of Fools produced six plays in Boise at different venues.


Company of Fools has produced a special 20th anniversary souvenir book ($20, at and at the Liberty Theater). On the cover: Adrian Rieder and Hanna Cheek in “Other Desert Cities” in 2013.

Patsy Wygle and Denise Simone in the Fools’ most-recent production, Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” which opened the season in July.


Actor and emeritus board member Bruce Willis returned to his roots with Company of Fools for a production of Sam Shepard’s “True West” in 2001. Willis played Lee, and Chad Smith was Austin — two brothers who come to blows at their mother’s Southern California house.

and collected a loyal following. Simone’s then-husband Rusty Wilson founded Company of Fools in 1992 in Richmond, Va. He and Simone brought it to Hailey at the suggestion of their longtime friends and fellow actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, who still own the Liberty. Willis and Simone met in college and continue a close friendship. Their colleagues Glenn and R.L. Rowsey came along for the ride, and together they built Company of Fools into one of the strongest performing troupes in the region. The company received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2004, and Simone received an individual Governor’s Award for Excellence in 2014 for her acting. The company’s unique structure comes out of the organic theater movement of the 1970s, with not one artistic director but four “core artists” who each brought different strengths and abilities to the table. Together they’ve educated an entire generation of Wood River Valley kids through their Stages of Wonder program for elementary students and theater classes and workshops for high schoolers and the community. They cast from a growing pool of actors from the Sun Valley area, Boise and beyond and bring directors and designers to work in Hailey. They made business and creative deci-

sions together, planned each season, acted in and directed the plays, and along the way forged a community connection that most arts groups only dream of. “We’re neighbors in this town,” Simone says. “Because we’re closer to the ground here, we feel that pulse quicker than theaters that are in much larger locations and because of that, we’ve remained this small boutique theater on Main Street in Hailey that will stand up anywhere.” When the economic downturn happened in 2008, many theaters and other arts groups folded across the country. Both Company of Fools and its Treasure Valley counterpart, Boise Contemporary Theater, made changes, cut back their seasons, but both survived. “We didn’t close the doors,” Simone says. “We were tenacious. We were family and we had a community that wrapped around us and we made it through.” Of course, things change over time. Wilson departed in 2005 and returned to Virginia, where he’s a freelance theater artist and teacher. Rowsey retired from the company in 2010. Now he heads music education for the Sun Valley Symphony, is music director for Caritas Chorale and other groups in the Wood River Valley, and sits on the Hailey Arts Council.

continued ÷ AUGUST 2015


Company of Fools 2015-16 season Glenn and Simone run the company now. They take turns juggling the tasks of administration with Simone’s time on stage and Glenn’s time in the director’s chair. In 2013, Company of Fools merged with the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, a multifaceted arts organization that runs museumquality art galleries, presents educational programs, music, dance and film screenings in venues around the Wood River Valley. The Fools have a presence at the center’s main hub on Fifth Street in Ketchum, along with their main stage at the Liberty. The merger of the two groups created the largest arts organization in Idaho and freed the Fools from worrying whether or not their company would go into the future. “It was really a question of sustainability,” Simone says. “We had to wrestle with our egos to let go a bit, but because of the support we receive, it felt like our community wanted us to continue.” Now they are looking for ways to further ensure the company’s future and are entertaining the possibility of passing the enterprise on to another creative team in the future.

Sept. 20-Oct. 17: Tracy Letts’ Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning “August: Osage County.” Dec. 16-Jan. 3: Robert and Willie Reale’s “A Year With Frog and Toad.” Feb. 17-March 5: John Patrick Shanley’s “Outside Mullingar.” Tickets: $35 general, $30 for seniors and Sun Valley Center for the Arts members, $15 for 18 and younger. Discount nights: “Pay What You Feel” preview; Educator Night, $15 for teachers at,, and by phone at (208) 578.9122. Rush tickets: 10 for $10 for each performance at the box office only.

“We have been on a continuum of a big change that started five years ago,” Simone says. “I’m excited about the conversations we’ll be having in a year.” Both Simone and Glenn are exploring new interests and projects, both on and off stage and are again wanting to deepen their experience of creating theater. To celebrate the 20th year of the company, a donor gave

Glenn and Simone funds to do some professional development, money that couldn’t be used for lumber for a set or costumes. Glenn spent seven days in New York City, saw 14 plays, met with old friends, and spent time at the Lincoln Center Library doing research and investigating new plays for future productions. Simone is going to take a train trip from Chicago to Washington, D.C., and New York City. She plans to take workshops at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, and the National Center for Creative Aging to learn to apply her theatrical chops and teaching skills in new directions. They’re both coming up with new ways to deepen their ties to the community. Simone is working on a plan for the company to become the community’s official storyteller and touch more segments of the community along the way. And, of course, they plan to continue to produce their work on stage. “The core of who we are really has never changed since the beginning,” Simone says. “We tell stories, and we connect to community.”



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to Sun Valley

Head to the Wood River Valley for the Trailing of the Sheep.



in the Wood River Valley Aspens, empty trails, reduced rates, new restaurants and fun festivals make fall an ideal time to visit the Sun Valley/Ketchum area BY LISA CARTON SPECIAL TO TREASURE MAGAZINE

Days are warm, nights are cool. Locals call it “fall slack” — the moment after summer crowds have gone and before ski-happy visitors swarm the slopes. Before those pristine Sun Valley snowflakes fly and after the wildflowers have painted their last canvas on the hillsides, the fall foliage casts a spectacular array of color over the Wood River Valley. The aspen trees are shimmering gold with just the smallest amount of green, and the hills are alive with red oak and orange maple. These incredible fall colors provide an awesome backdrop for loads of activity and fun in Sun Valley and Ketchum, including some great fall deals. Pamper your palate at several new restaurants, or experience the spectacularly remodeled Sun Valley Lodge. The seasons may change, but one thing never varies — a fall “to-do” list as tall as the surrounding mountains. continued ÷ AUGUST 2015



There’s still time to bask in the sun at the remodeled Sun Valley Lodge.

The Golden Eagle package runs from Sept. 28 to the end of the season. Enjoy 18 holes of golf and one night’s lodging at the Sun Valley Lodge for $166.50 (or the Sun Valley Inn for $124), per person, double occupancy. Sun Valley Lodge: 1 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley, ID 83353 Reservations: (800) 786-8259. SunValley. com. PHOTO BY LISA CARTON / SPECIAL TO TREASURE MAGAZINE

Scott Mason’s newest restaurant is the Town Square Tavern.

LODGING 4-star experience: Sun Valley Lodge The Sun Valley Lodge was originally constructed in 1936 as America’s first destination ski resort. It was closed for nine and a half months for a complete remodel, reopening June 15. The reimagined lodge has refurbished guest rooms — 94, down from 148. Most of the new rooms are now larger, modern suites. One of the grand additions is a 20,000-square-foot spa and fitness center. “It’s more than a renovation, it’s a rebirth of the lodge,” said Director of Marketing and Public Relations Jack Sibbach. “Last September we closed and took it down to its 13-inch concrete walls and pillars. We’re now up and running with a spectacular reception, and the fall is an absolutely wonderful time to experience Sun Valley, where you also can take advantage of our great lodging deals.” The Aspen Glow package includes one night’s lodging and 18 holes of golf anytime from Sept. 8 through Sept. 27. Stay in the new Sun Valley Lodge for $229 per person, double occupancy (or at the Sun Valley Inn for only $184 per person, double occupancy). Package includes golf cart. 62

Boutique charm: Knob Hill Inn Experience personalized service and a warm and inviting European charm at the Knob Hill Inn, Sun Valley’s premier boutique hotel. Generously sized, newly remodeled guestrooms offer spectacular views of the surrounding Sawtooth mountain ranges. “We offer customized and tailored service to our guests,” said General Manager Andrew Wall. “With only 29 rooms, this allows us to focus more on the guests, providing them with suggestions on activities, dining and ways to enhance and shape their time in the valley.” Indulge in distinctively Northwest cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant, The Grill at Knob Hill, Sun Valley’s popular hot spot for dining and socializing. The Inn is also walking distance to downtown Ketchum and close to all the amenities the Sun Valley area has to offer. “We enjoy sharing our valley with our guests,” Wall said. “It’s a beautiful time of year here.” Check out the website,, to find out about special deals for the fall and winter seasons. Dogs are also welcome as part of the Inn’s Wagging Tail escape program. Knob Hill Inn: 960 N. Main St., Ketchum, ID 83340 Reservations: (208)726-8010, (800) 526-8010

GOOD EATS World cuisine in the heart of Ketchum: Town Square Tavern Scott Mason is a successful restaurateur and veteran of The Wood River Valley culinary scene. He oversees his three very popular establishments: The Ketchum Grill, now in its 23rd year; Enoteca, with its delicious Italian fare; and his latest creation, Town Square Tavern, which opened July 4. “It’s a gathering place in the center of Ketchum serving fresh and inspired world cuisine,” said owner and chef Mason. “With flavors inspired by the Mediterranean regions stretching from the Middle East, to North Africa, to Spain, Italy and France, we think there’s something to please everyone’s palate.” Sample the “triad” of dips with warm pita. The dips include carrot and ginger, beet yogurt zatar and roasted eggplant. Also indulge in the roasted corn cakes — simply yummy. Town Square Tavern: 360 East Avenue N., Ketchum, ID 83340 Reservations: (208) 726-6969, Open 7 nights a week at 5 p.m., lunch beginning in the fall Pub fare redefined: Warfield Distillery and Brewery You can’t miss this high-profile location at the corner of Sun Valley Road and Main Street in Ketchum – it’s the new home of the Warfield Distillery and Brewery, which opened its doors in July. Owners Alex Buck and Ben Bradley did a complete overhaul and remodel of the building. With a focus on traditional recipes, Warfield is currently releasing two tasty beers per season right from its brew and spirit facility on the premises. Spirits will

The Wood River Valley The Sun Valley area is about 2 and a half hours from Boise by car. Learn more about visiting the area at The website has information about lodging, restaurants, shopping, dining, events and more. If you are on a budget, try camping at one of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area sites. For reservation information, visit Other lodging options besides the ones mentioned in this story include the Lift Tower Lodge, the Clarion Inn and many more. Other restaurant favorites include The Kneadery, Cristina’s Restaurant and Bakery, Irving’s Red-Hots (a hot-dog shack in the middle of town), Globus and more. A fun day outing includes a visit to Galena Lodge (, 24 miles from Ketchum. The day lodge is close to many recreation trails, and its restaurant is a great place to grab a bite. (See related trails story on page 64.)

happen later this year. Their philosophy: Put good in, get good out. That’s why they only use organic malts and spicy, earthy whole-leaf hops. Try their Toothy Grin British Bitter, a full malt flavor beer which is actually not bitter at all, and their Hefeweizen Short Pants, with a beautiful copper color. The Warfield has a great bar scene and a beautiful outdoor rooftop deck with fire pit complete with gorgeous views of Bald Mountain. “In the back room we have nine tanks; that’s our brewery,” said General Manager Robert Jensen. “We also have our copper still, which we haven’t implemented yet, but soon we’ll start making some gin, some apple brandy and whiskey.” Chef Ryan Stadelman brings his Midwestern roots and passion for flavors. “We emphasize innovative pub cuisine, seasonality and sourcing fresh local ingredients.” Sample fare such as pickled popcorn or Alaskan halibut tacos, or dive into lamb Reuben sliders. Warfield Distillery and Brewery: 280 N. Main St., Ketchum, ID 83340, (208) 726-BREW (2739)

FALL INTO EVENTS Welcome to yesteryear: Wagon Days, Sept. 4-7 Main Street in Ketchum plays host Labor Day weekend to the largest parade in the country without motorized vehicles. Celebrate Idaho history before railroads or automobiles reached the town. The Big Hitch Parade is the event centerpiece and features museum-quality wag-

ons, buggies and stagecoaches. The grand finale to the parade is Ketchum’s own Big Hitch, the Lewis Ore Wagons. These large freight wagons are the best preserved, most original functioning wagons of their kind in existence. Watch them roar down the road pulled by an authentic 20-mule jerk line. Also experience Basque dancers, marching bands and cowboys traveling by horse or mule or on foot — anything goes, as long as there is no motor. Also enjoy a pancake breakfast in Town Square, a bareback riding demonstration, an arts and crafts festival and an antique fair. Information: A wild, woolly weekend: Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Oct. 7-11 One would be hard-pressed to find a more authentic or unique cultural heritage event than the 19th annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival. Each fall, the popular festival celebrates the 150-plus-year tradition of moving sheep from mountain summer pastures south through the valley to traditional winter grazing and lambing areas. This annual migration is a weekend-long family-friendly festival that highlights the

people, arts, cultures and traditions of sheep ranching in Idaho and the West. “This is not a re-enactment; it is Idaho living history at its best,” said Mary Austin Crofts, executive director of the festival. “Sunday, Oct. 11, our parade plays host to about 1,500 sheep that will be coming out of the mountains as they have for 150 years right through Main Street. It’s quite a sight to see with about 12,000 folks lining the streets. People love this event, and there’s something for everybody.” The Trailing of the Sheep Festival ( has garnered its share of top accolades, including recognition as one of the Top Ten Fall Festivals in the World by Travel, and is a recipient of the Idaho Governor’s Award for Cultural Heritage. On a warm autumn day in 1939, the prolific American writer Ernest Hemingway, who made his home in Ketchum, read aloud a eulogy for his friend Gene Van Guilder, a publicist at that time for the Sun Valley Resort. The author of “The Sun Also Rises,” “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” and “The Old Man and the Sea” seemed to have said it best on behalf of his dear friend: “Best of all he loved the fall.”

Lisa Carton is an award-winning broadcast and print journalist who has previously worked in San Francisco and New York. She is an avid skier, cyclist and runner, and an all-around outdoor lover, who now makes her home base in the Wood River Valley, where she spent her childhood.



The Knob Hill Inn offers beautiful views and a relaxing atmosphere. AUGUST 2015


Look to the mountains Late summer and early fall are perfect times for hikers and bikers to hit the trails — whatever your skill level BY PETE ZIMOWSKY


A cool, refreshing breeze comes across the ridge at the summit of Brundage Mountain Resort. Grab a light jacket. The temperature cools down with every gain in elevation as the chairlift makes its way to the 7,640-foot summit. The views of the Salmon River Mountains are incredible but that’s just part of it. The cooler temperatures make for superb hiking and mountain-biking conditions. Mountaintops are nature’s answer to air conditioning, and bikers and hikers should take advantage of it in the heat of summer — even late summer. When the heat is in the 90s in Boise, you can count on mild 70s at Bogus Basin. Even in mountain towns there’s a big difference in temperatures between the valley floor and a nearby summit. It could be 80 in McCall but expect it to be in the high 60s on the summit of Brundage. In Sun Valley, 82 in town can mean 62 on Baldy. Heat can linger at low elevations in southern Idaho in August and September, and some of the best mountain biking and hiking is at high elevations. Mountains around Sun Valley, McCall, Stanley, and even north of Boise around Bogus Basin, can offer excellent biking and hiking. There’s still plenty of time to plan treks or rides, too, because Idaho’s late-summer and fall hiking season can extend well though October even at higher elevations. It’s also the time to relish the changing season’s fall colors. Here are some ways to enjoy hiking and biking in Idaho’s mountains: 64

The easy way

The quickest and easiest way to get to the top of a mountain is in a chairlift, and several ski areas in southern Idaho offer chairlift rides through Labor Day weekend. It’s a way to get a workout at high elevations without the long climb to the top. And you can end the day with a burger and brew at the resort’s lodge. Here’s a look at what’s going on at ski areas during the summer:

BOGUS BASIN The mountain, just 16 miles north of Boise, is available for mountain biking, hiking, disc golf and picnics in summer. Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area offers free public trail systems in the 6,000to 7,000-foot alpine environment. Trails and ski cat tracks wind around the mountain offering views of the Treasure Valley on one side and the Boise Mountains on the other. On a very clear day you might even get a glimpse of the Sawtooths through a bluish summer haze. The J.R. Simplot Lodge is open 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 6. It offers soups, sandwiches and salads in addition to a full bar, billiards and darts. The Deer Point Chairlift will operate for scenic rides and mountain bike transport from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 5. Cost for an all-day pass is $25. Single rides are $10. In the meantime, a bike shuttle service runs from Simplot Lodge to Pioneer Lodge during the summer from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Cost is $25 per


Ponderosa State Park offers relaxing lakeside hiking.

day for unlimited rides or $10 for a single ride. Tickets are available at Simplot Lodge. See

BRUNDAGE MOUNTAIN Brundage Mountain Resort, north of McCall, is open four days a week (Thursday through Sunday) for scenic chairlift rides, lift-served downhill mountain biking and disc golf through Sept. 6 with bonus days on Sept. 7 (Labor Day), Sept. 12 and Sept. 13. Food, snacks and beverages aren’t far from the trails. Smoky’s Bar & Grill is open during the same times as the lifts. The resort boasts more than 20 miles of “hand-built” single track trails, and it only takes a 12-minute ride on the BlueBird Quad to get to the top of the 7,640-foot summit and the beginning of those trails. Not into mountain biking? Views from

the summit are impressive and worth the chairlift ride even if you’re only going to gaze at the scenery. Long Valley, Payette Lake, West Mountain and the Seven Devils Mountains can be seen from Brundage’s summit. If you’re just getting into mountain biking on a resort’s trails, Brundage has its Triple Play Skills Park in the base area. It’s a practice playground for greenbelt riders who want to transition into downhill mountain bikers and offers rolling terrain, wider trails and well-spaced bank turns. Lessons are also available. Scenic chairlift rides are $12 for one ride (ages 15-69) and $5 (7-14 and 70 and over) with children 6 and under free. A full-day ticket is $32 (15-69) and $20 (7-14 and 70 and older). A one-ride lift ticket for you and your bike is $16; $12 (7-14). Full-day mountain bike rentals, including

continued ÷



Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area is a popular hiking and biking spot for Treasure Valley residents. AUGUST 2015


If you are up for a more difficult hike, try the Pioneer Mountains near Sun Valley.

a lift ticket and helmet, are: $99, downhill package with pads (downhill bikes are built for speed and agility for downhill riding); $89, cross-country package; and $55, youthsized bike package. See for more information.

TAMARACK RESORT Tamarack Resort near Donnelly has an array of trails for scenic bike rides and hiking across meadows plus downhill biking on the slopes. West Mountain, which towers over Long Valley and Lake Cascade, is impressive for hiking. Hikers can access trails from the end of Discovery Road at the resort to get views of meadows and Lake Cascade. Those looking for more advanced forested trails can take off from the base area or top of Whitewater Drive. A shuttle service for mountain biking to midmountain runs is offered Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 6. Prices are $36 for a full day and $26 for a half day. Reservations are needed. Call (208) 325-1000. Bikes, including helmets, for all sizes and abilities are available to rent inside the resort’s Sports Dome. They include: adult cross country, $30 half day and $35 full day; 66

Galena Lodge offers a welcome respite from a day of hiking or biking.


junior cross country, $25 half day and $30 full day; adult downhill, $45 half day and $55 full day. For more information, see

SUN VALLEY There’s nothing like a comfortable gondola ride to the Roundhouse Lodge or a chairlift ride to the top of 9,150-foot Bald Mountain at Sun Valley Resort, where you can see a 360-degree view of the Smoky, Boulder, Pioneer and Soldier mountains. Talk about chilling down at that elevation.

Be sure to bring a sweater or jacket on your ride or hike. There are about 34 miles of biking and hiking trails on Bald Mountain and five miles of trails around the White Clouds Golf Course, so plan several days for exploring the area. Connecting both areas are miles of paved trails, part of the Wood River Trail System, referred to as the “bike path” Trekkers can hike the Bald Mountain Trail or ride the Roundhouse Gondola to the Roundhouse Lodge and continue to the top of Bald Mountain on the Christmas Lift.

Take a scenic chairlift ride at Brundage Mountain Resort.

You can bring your own bike or rent a mountain bike at Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports. And don’t worry about packing a lunch. Just head down to Roundhouse Lodge, which is open daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with an outdoor grill and bar service. Prices include: Adult sightseeing and hiking single ride, $23; mountain biking all day, $35. Child (3 to 12) and senior sightseeing and hiking, single ride, $19; mountain biking all day, $25. For more information see

Moderate and invigorating SUN VALLEY AREA HARRIMAN TRAIL: One thing you’ll never run out of in the Sun Valley area is hiking and biking options. There are nearly 400 miles of single track and 30 miles of paved, car-free trails ranging from fast and smooth to technical and challenging. The Harriman Trail, which runs right along Idaho 75 north of Sun Valley, offers several trailheads along the 19-mile route. Elevation varies from 6,200 to 7,200 feet with easy riding for beginners or long distance for advanced riders. You can also take a stroll anywhere along the trail, which follows the Wood River. Stop at Galena Lodge at the northernmost end of the trail for a gourmet lunch and craft beers. Galena Lodge also has a trail system in case you want to stick closer to the lodge. An excellent side trip from the trail is the trail to Norton Lakes in the Smoky Mountains. You can hike two miles to the lakes and then branch out into other alpine areas. Drive north of Ketchum on Idaho 75

for 15.5 miles and turn left on Baker Creek Road No. 162. At 6 miles, turn right onto Norton Creek Road, and the trailhead is in 1.3 miles. TITUS LAKE: Here’s a moderate hike to an alpine lake and makes for the perfect first-time, serious trek for beginners or children. The trailhead is just up Idaho 75 from Galena Lodge at Galena Summit. It’s about 5 miles round trip from the highway to Titus Lake and back.

The Meadow Marsh Trail is 1.4 miles and a good bet for hiking because it’s only open to foot traffic. The Lily Marsh Trail is about a mile and also for hiking only. Trails go through a variety of terrain and are easily accessible in the park. For more information, stop by the park’s visitor center. If you want a good mountain biking workout, head from the visitor center on park roads to Osprey Point overlooking Payette Lake. See and look under Ponderosa State Park. BLUE LAKE: This is one of the best beginner hikes, especially for children. It’s easily accessible off Idaho 55 about 7 miles south of Cascade. The 1-mile in and 1-mile out trail goes downhill to stunning Blue Lake, offering views all across Long Valley and well into the Warm Lake area. Side hikes to the top of the ridge of West Mountain also offer views of Council valley. There is a lot of cross-country hiking on the ridge line, but make sure you have your map and GPS. Get there on Idaho 55 about 9 miles north of Smiths Ferry. Turn left on Cabarton Road and go 2 miles to the Snowbank Mountain Road and drive about 10 miles to the trailhead.


BRIDAL VEIL FALLS: This trail, just past Stanley Lake, northwest of Stanley, is a perfect trail for youngsters and beginner hikers. Parts of the trail are also designed for wheelchairs. Hike 2 miles or more for opportunities to see the Sawtooths up close and also picturesque Stanley Lake Creek. There’s not too much of an elevation gain. This trail is part of the Centennial Trail. REDFISH LAKE CREEK TRAIL: A good way to get into the Sawtooth Wilderness for a day hike is on the Redfish Lake Creek Trail. The trailhead is across the lake from Redfish Lake Lodge, so you’ll want to take the shuttle boat across the lake. It cuts about five miles off the hike to the wilderness trailhead. Redfish Lake Lodge caters to hikers with the boat shuttle, which costs $10 one way or $16 for a round trip for adults. For more information, go to and click on Marina. Redfish Lake is about 7 miles south of Stanley off Idaho 75.

BOULDER MOUNTAINS: There are a lot of trails leading into the peaks in this mountain range north of Sun Valley with incredible views of several mountain ranges. The Upper North Fork Wood River area offers lots of basins to explore. You’ll have to hike at least 3 miles to get to the first meadow on the Upper North Fork Trail and at least 4.5 miles to get to timberline. From there you can climb 10,000- to 11,000-foot peaks such as Glasford, Ryan and Kent. Get to the trailhead by driving 7 miles north of Ketchum to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters and head up Forest Road 146 to the end of the road. PIONEER MOUNTAINS: The East Fork of the Wood River area offers trails that go to 11,000- and 12,000-foot peaks in the beautiful Pioneer Mountains. It’s rugged country and takes 4- and 5-mile hikes to get to mountain basins. Highlights are Pioneer Cabin, Hyndman Peak, Johnstone Pass and Cobb Peak. Be forewarned: This is strenuous hiking. You can get to the area by driving 6 miles south of Ketchum on Idaho 75 and turning east on the East Fork Road. Drive to the end of the road to a trailhead.

MCCALL AND CASCADE AREAS PONDEROSA STATE PARK: The state park located on the shore of Payette Lake is ideal for hiking and mountain biking. The giant, hundreds-of-years-old ponderosa pines and Lily Marsh will wow kids for sure.

Pete Zimowsky, a retired Idaho Statesman journalist, has been writing about the Idaho outdoors for nearly 40 years. He loves to hike and bike — especially with his grandchildren.




Getting on track for FitOne BY ALLISON MAIER Shannon McNall never saw herself as a runner. Contending with a bum knee, she hardly ever ran beyond warm-ups in fitness classes. So even though the mother of two was looking for a way to incorporate more exercise into her life, she quickly dismissed the idea of joining a running group. But Brandon Frank doesn’t accept those kinds of excuses. As far he’s concerned, there’s a runner inside of everyone — whether they realize it or not. “Being a runner isn’t about the act of running — it’s the promise of something better,” says the co-owner of Fleet Feet Sports in Meridian. “It’s the promise of a better life.” Frank introduced McNall to the No Boundaries program, designed to help people of all abilities cross the finish line of a 5K. She signed up two weeks into the 10-week training course and convinced two friends to join as well. So far she has shaved her mile time from 14 to 12 minutes — she’s aiming for 11. And at the end of September, instead of walking as she has in past years, she has every intention of running a 5K race at St. Luke’s FitOne event. It’s been two years since the fundraiser for St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital transformed itself. After two decades as the Women’s Fitness Celebration, founded by Olympic runner and Hall of Famer Anne Audain, the program broadened its scope and added another Olympian — Kristin Armstrong — to the fold in 2013. Now called FitOne, its goal is to be a year-round resource for healthy activities and advice in addition to hosting the annual 5K, 10K and half-marathon races. “Our mission is to build a healthy community through active living,” said Heather Hill, FitOne executive director. That effort has included collaborating on the St. Luke’s $10,000 Weight Loss Challenge, which offers cash as an incentive to shed pounds; FitOne Kids, an effort to inspire children to adopt healthy habits; and the Fit for the Road Reunion, a June walk held just for those incorporating physical activity back into their lives after or while going through treatment at St. Luke’s heart, joint replacement or bariatric clinics, or the Mountain States Tumor Institute. In addition, FitOne’s blog and social media accounts continue to provide recipes, exercise tips and details about fitness events in 68



No Boundaries training sessions are held in Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park.

The details on FitOne RACES


There are options for all ages — from competitive 5K, 10K and half-marathon races to non-competitive 5K strolls.

The place for race participants to pick up race packets and T-shirts, visit vendors and event sponsors and get health screenings.

When: Saturday, Sept. 26. The half-marathon starts at 7:15 a.m.; the 10K starts at 7:30 a.m.; and 5K waves begin at 9:30 a.m.

When: Noon to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24

Where: Starting line at Capitol Park in Boise

Where: Boise Centre, 850 W. Front St.

Registration: registration


10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25

Learn more about training programs No Boundaries: Boise Galloway Program:

the area. The No Boundaries program is also aiming to reshape people’s lives beyond race day. The training course launched in July just as Frank and his wife, Kimberly, opened Fleet Feet Sports in The Village at Meridian. Since it is still establishing itself in the

community, it offered the course for free. About 90 people have participated, attending sessions Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Meridian’s Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park to run and learn about everything from hydration and nutrition to injury prevention. The 30 people either mentor-

ing or training participants are all volunteers. For McNall, it’s been a life-changing experience. The program — along with some advice on proper running shoes — has, indeed, prompted her to identify as a runner. And the progression was easier than she imagined. “It showed me that I am capable of achieving more than I thought possible,” she said. Frank plans to offer three No Boundaries courses a year through Fleet Feet Sports — in the fall, spring and summer. In addition to No Boundaries, the FitOne website directs participants to the Boise Galloway Program as a possible source of guidance. Both provide training to people of all ability levels so that they can safely complete a distance run. For anyone considering running a FitOne race for the first time, Frank recommends seeking professional advice specific to your ability level. What works for one person is not necessarily the best route for another. “So many people are getting good advice — for other people,” he said. FIND MORE INFORMATION ON FITONE Also, link to details about other nonprofit events

Some other upcoming nonprofit events

Feet Hurt? We have the answer!

Andrus Center Conference on Woman and Leadership Wednesday, Sept. 9, to Friday, Sept. 11 Idaho Parents Unlimited Front Porch BBQ and 30th Anniversary Celebration Thursday, Sept. 10 Blue Jean Ball Tuesday, Sept. 15 132nd Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Gala, featuring John Ondrasick of Five for Fighting Friday, Oct. 2

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See Spot Walk Saturday, Oct. 3 Walk to End Alzheimer’s Saturday, Oct. 3

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The 100th anniversary of the Arrowrock Dam is the subject of Dr. Todd Shallat’s Terra Idaho history column in this issue on page 44. You can also learn more in a book edited by Shallat and Colleen Brennan. “River of Design” revisits the pyramids we Boiseans built on the Nile of our sagebrush Sahara, Shallat says. MORE ON THE BOOK, PAGE 46

Looking down the Boise River below Arrowrock Dam, before 1912. On the left of the river is a railroad. On the right of the river is a wagon road. /



“Any river is really the summation of the whole valley. To think of it as nothing but water is to ignore the greater part.” OUTDOORS WRITER HAL BORLAND (1900-1978) IN “THIS HILL, THIS VALLEY”



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