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Old 10-21-2004   #1
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 47
boise v. spokane: opinions?

wifey has job offers in both boise and spokane. i know the boating around boise is awesome, but what about spokane? also interested in info about biking, skiing, backpacking... but mostly interested in quality and duration of the paddling season. where would YOU rather live?

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Old 10-21-2004   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 97
boise. eastern washingthon is worthless.

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Old 10-21-2004   #3
Meng's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 787
Of course Boise has great, practically year-round paddling (the Gutter/bladder, the Payettes and much more. Who wouldnt want the Payettes to be their home runs.... its great boating). However, the skiing there is extremely mediocre, as is the general scenery/mountain feel. I have heard that there are tons of nice folks and a great paddling scene though.

I think Spokane actually does have some pretty good and pretty year round paddling and there are plenty of boaters there too. If you pick up the Playboaters Guide to Idaho, you'll notice that at least 3 spots are almost always in on the Spokane river right in town. Also, nearby Sandpoint has great nearby creeking in the spring, including the steep, slidy, bedrock kind that is not often found in Idaho. Add in the Kootenei and Supervave, runs on the Yaak and tons of still undiscovered creeks (over in the ID panhandle and northern MT areas) and it adds up to a veritable boating mecca. Additionally, Schweitzer Mountain in Sandpoint is probably the best skiing in the state besides Sun Valley (ok, I admit, I havent ridden either....just heard).

Id probably pick Spokane becaue of all the above mentioned elements. Plus, heading over to ID/MT from there gets you to some incredibly beautifull and wild places while Boise is pretty deserty and flat.

Realize these insights come from a Coloradan who has just visited/baoted hung out there briefly a few times and this is just my impression, not long-term experience. What I'm sure of is that both places are great and you'll be siked in either if you are an outdoor enthusiast/paddler.
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Old 10-21-2004   #4
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 108
Meng makes a good point about Boise. I moved to Boise from Summit CO. I lived in Dillon and had views of both the temmile and Gore ranges from my Balcony. This is what I miss most about CO. The general mountain feel. On the other hand Boise is just, well, different. The town (not big city) lies in the Treasure Valley against the desert like foothills. They have their own unique beauty and I have grown to love the early morning or late evening views of purple rolling hills while hiking or biking. Speaking of Biking, there are miles of fast single track trails in these foothills to keep you busy.

Now, Boise is right on the edge of what we all consider real mountains. Thirty minutes to the north (the way to the river) the landscape starts to change. The forests start to come back, Granite outcrops can be seen ect... If you want excellent biking and backpacking, it is unlimited. Ninety miles north is the town of McCall. Big beautiful lake surounded by killer mountains to bike, hike, fish whatever. Not a lot of jagged peaks though. If you want jagged peaks, drive 2.5 hrs NE of Boise to Stanley and the Sawtooth mtns. Just google Redfish lake and take a look at those peaks. They are some of the best I've ever been in.

These are just two of the more popular areas in Idaho. In between this stuff there is just too much more stuff to even discuss on this forum. So, Meng is right, Boise is a little deserty (sp?). But if you don't mind a little driving, and if you live in Denver your used to that, Boise is very close to the great outdoors. Here is another thought, no interstates. All the driving is on windy senic two lane roads. No four hour traffic jams comming home from the Mtns.

Skiing...well, it sucks compared to CO. We do get a lot of snow. But the steeps and huge vert isn't in this area. Yet we are only 5 hrs to Salt Lake. McCall has a pretty good area, Brundage Mountain.

Paddling, world class big water eight months or more every year. If you can paddle the North fork Payette, you are going to love it. I've already said enough on this forum about that river. It kicks ass!! If you aren't up for the NF you might not want to move here for the paddling. While the rest of the Payette system is great, all the class I-III stuff is run off season type stuff. It is the dam release out of Cascade that gives us the long season around here. But that is all Class IV+ and a lot of V. If you do like class V and like to creek boat, Hood River and the Little White Salmon is only 5 hrs. This runs during the rainy (winter) season. So you can ski or go creeking.

I'm not trying to alk anyone into moving here, just giving you good first hand information.

I don't know much about Spokane other than it is a bigger city. I did know someone who lived there and said it felt a little dirty. They like the quality of life better in Boise.

Damn, I should have just emailed this to you.

More than my two cents,
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Old 10-22-2004   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by ID Surfer
Damn, I should have just emailed this to you.

More than my two cents,
Glad you posted it. I'm considering Boise too, have a job application pending there. Sounds like a great place.

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Old 10-25-2004   #6
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 490
I grew up in Sandpoint so IMO I'm qualified to rate Spokane Vs. Boise. I would take Boise any day. We used to call Spokane, SpoCompton, after all the little rugrat thugs around there that like to break your windows and rob your shit. Trailer trash and crystal meth. Eminem and 8-mile.

The boating is better in Boise and the there's more energetic, outdoor population there. Way more rivers to run, too. Sandpoint's changed for the better since I lived there, now there's more outdoor folks, but I'd still rather be in Boise. Just more partners to have adventures with around there. There was an artical in Kayaker or some boating magazine about a 1 1/2 ago about the steep creeks in north ID. Written by Grayson S(c?)haeffer if you want to search for it. It should give you a taste of what's there. . .to me it sounded like short runs with lot's of sketch. Lot's of new stuff to do there though if you're willing to sweat for it. Now that there's more interested outdoor folks there it might be a new golden age?

That's just my two cents. Hope no one from Spo-Compton reads this and comes rob my house.
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Old 10-26-2004   #7
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 27
I've actually lived in Compton. Not a bad place for the most part. The paddling wasn't that great, though. Crack was cheap and accessible - a nice treat after a day of floatin' the arroyos.

We had some thuggy types around that did the window breakin' thing in Compton. That's why we used to call it Compkane.

Sorry if anyone from Compkane reads this. If your missing any stereo equipment or guns - I probably bought 'em on the cheap. Later.

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