May ’19: Hikes, Bikes, and YIKES!

posted in: Boise, Van Life | 4


My love affair with Idaho has been burning bright for the last 2 years and I’m almost positive the flame will never be stifled. Not only am I filled with a passion and desire to explore this heavenly state, but more recently, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for having had the opportunity to live in this wonderland. As we near the end of our stay in Boise, I’m on a mission to maximize my time and do as much hiking, biking, and adventuring as I possibly can before we leave.

Since moving to Boise, I have made so many friends—Something that seemed IMPOSSIBLE as an adult. After living in the Midwest for a number of years, I’d forgotten how accepting and welcoming the West can be. People congregate together based on their love of the outdoors. Isn’t that rad? In a perfect world, we can set aside our differences and appreciate, at our core, what really matters—The simple stuff. Here in Boise, that feels possible-IT IS POSSIBLE! I’ve been living it for nearly 2 years.

The Corrals

The hills are alive.

May was the perfect time to hike The Corrals trail located in the Boise foothills. The Lupin were in full bloom and lit up the hillside in a golden array of yellow, purple and white. It was another fabulous hike with Debbie, Jacquie, and Barbara. I’m so fortunate to have met these amazing women!

The foothills are much more diverse than one would think. One minute you’re staring at Lupins, the next you are walking between two massive hills that make you feel so small.

In the photo above you can see how the trail winds between the hills like a snake sunbathing on a warm spring afternoon. As we were walking through, you could hear the birds chirping, wildlife rustling in the bushes, and the water rushing over the moss covered rocks. Life was happening all around us.


Another great hiking trail located near Hill Rd. and Collister. One of my favorite parts of meeting the gals at this trailhead is the mile long uphill ride I get BEFORE the hike. I’m pleased to report that I made it up the entire way without stopping this time. I’d like to say it was because I dropped a few pounds, and technically that’s EXACTLY why. Unfortunately, it is because my new Trek is about 10-15 pounds lighter than my Surly. haha Steel bikes are heavy beasts.

My second favorite thing about hiking is that you meet new people all the time. Another fun group and a great way to sneak some fitness into the day.

Some interesting flora along the way.

And more dramatic views. Luckily the rain stayed away! I learned that day that Boise had received more rain to date than last year in its entirety.

The rain can sometimes be a buzz kill, but it sure does make for some beautiful scenery. Usually the foothills are an expansive landscape of deep, dark browns highlighted with golden hues of tan. Also strikingly beautiful in its own way, but I prefer the greens.


Break Time

Mountain biking in a collared shirt? Yep! Every once in a while on really nice days, I will take a break during the work day and go for a ride. It’s nearly impossible to spend ALL DAY inside when it’s 65-70 degrees and sunny. Matter of fact, it’s torturous.

So torturous that at 12 on the dot, I grabbed my helmet, ran downstairs, hopped on the bike and took off for the Military Reserve located about .5 miles from work. I really should do this more often, but most of the time I just want to get my day over with. Taking a lunch break just prolongs the misery.

I even made a new friend while out riding.

In Boise, you don’t really need to have a dog, you can just love on the ones you meet along the way! This is definitely one of the most dog friendly cities I’ve ever lived in. For every 1 person there are at least 2.75 dogs. <3

Discovery Park Ride

Photo by Gaby Taylor

Another great group of friends that I’ve made since I’ve been in Boise! Love the smiles, laughter, and adventurous spirit of each one of these gals. Left to Right: Gaby, Me, Marie, Estella, and Janet.

Marie planned another fun event—A bike ride to Discovery Park. I rode out to meet the girls at Kristin Armstrong Park as we tried to beat the storm on this 20 (ish) mile jaunt. Luckily we won the race against the rain and only encountered a few sprinkles along the way. The sky and lighting made for some dramatic photos. Score!

And of course, some fun photos too!

Photo by Gaby Taylor

Seriously, I’m going to miss you all!

And most definitely, I’m going to miss Boise!


There were many YIKES this month, but the one that takes the cake was cutting a 4 foot x 2.5 foot HOLE in the SIDE of the van. Yes, a HOLE.


We decided to get a window and install it ourselves. After a mediocre experience getting the back windows professionally installed, we decided, we could do just as good (probably better) for a fraction of the cost.

Eric, being the brave, confident soul that he is, cut a gigantic hole in the side of our van after at least 50 measurements. You could never be too careful! The scariest part of the day was a pop-up storm that appeared just moments after the first cut. Fortunately, it just missed us!

Confidence paid off. Despite the fact that it looks like Eric may have had a few too many beers to calm his nerves before making that first cut, the window fit perfectly!


The #2 spot in the YIKES category goes to this unfortunate accident.

First, let me say, this was TOTALLY Eric’s fault. *wink wink*

We burnt a hole in the seat! *smacks head*

It was definitely a joint effort. Eric went to use the heat gun for some electrical work he was doing but I had unplugged the extension cord. Not realizing the heat gun was in the “on” position when he left it laying on the seat, you can guess what happened when the gun got power! Luckily, I just happened to be standing on the other side of the van and heard it turn on. I’ve never seen Eric run so fast! We were SO SO SO SO LUCKY! Yikes. We could have burned the entire van down.

Lesson: We now stop working when we get tired. It’s just not worth the risk! At least it’s nothing a seat cover can’t hide!


Yikes #3 goes to the AGM batteries. These suckers are HEAVY and I decided that AGM must stand for “A GIANT MOFO”. At 130 pounds a piece, I literally got blood blisters from carrying my half only 50 feet out to the van. I’m so glad we only have 2 of these bad boys.

Van Updates

Eric and I took a week and a half off this month to get some work done on the van. Of course, it rained every single day except for 2, despite a month of sunshine prior to our stay-cation. I can’t complain because despite all the rain, we were still able to get quite a bit accomplished.

In addition to the window (see YIKES #1), we also nearly completed the trunk area, cut the metal braces for the bed, installed the head/foot board, placed the flooring, completed the electrical work (thanks to my amazing husband), cut the butchers block, we are so close to having the bathroom done, and about 10 other little things.

I would like to say that despite the fact that it looks like Eric does ALL the work in the photos, I have helped. Right honey shnukum pops? lol Hey, someone has to document this process!

The Trunk Space
Metal bracing for the bed
Headboard in bedroom area
One small piece of the “Electrical Puzzle” Pie
Cutting the butcher’s block. To only be seen during the VAN reveal PARTY!
A nearly finished bathroom!

There is a lot more, but I’ll save that for the next blog or van unveiling party 🙂

Other News

I gave my 3 weeks notice and I am beyond excited!

I was going to tough it out an extra month but with management changes, I just felt that NOW was the right time.

The other inspiration for ending the misery was during another one of my mini meltdowns about how much I dread my job.

Eric said, “You invest so much into everything you do. You invest into your studies, your job, your patients. Why not invest in yourself?” Those words really stuck with me.

I’m telling you, wisdom exudes from Eric’s very being and I feel so grateful to call him my best friend. I love that he supports my crazy ideas and pushes me to follow my dreams. He challenges my thoughts and makes me a better person each and every day.

On June 19th I will be officially/ unofficially retired until I can create my own path making money doing what I love. I’m looking forward to taking some time off, enjoying life, traveling, and spending time with my love.

Until next time….

4 Responses

  1. Barbara

    Your pictures are awesome! Millie is thrilled to be included as one of your new friends 🐕
    I can’t wait to see the van unveiling!!

    • admin

      I am happy to be one of YOURS and MILLIE’s new friends 🙂 Looking forward to picking a date to have you, Debbie and Jacquie over!

  2. Kym

    Wow….. totally exciting stuff going on in your lives. Love the photos as always!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *