Day Two started with a visit to Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro on South Capitol Blvd., which is located in the increasingly hip downtown area of Boise.
Goldy’s delivers the solid hipster breakfast experience, which includes long lines and no reservations. Food-wise it pretty good, but personally I’m a little hipstered-out right now. Gretchen’s meal included Hollandaise sauce, and it was really well done – very light and fluffy. However, it did lack flavor and needed some lemon juice and salt.
Overall, good food but not if you’re in hurry.
We continued out of Boise on highway I-84. It started raining very hard before we left the city limits, and then the wind picked. For the next two hours, the heavy rain lashed at the car, driven by winds of 50 mph. Sheets of rain hung across the sky like gauzy curtains. The wind also created another hazard – Killer Tumbleweeds.
Ok, the tumbleweeds didn’t really injure anyone, but they really had me worried. The powerful winds broke them loose from their roots, and pushed them straight across the highway. The cars were barreling along at 85 mph, and some of these tumbleweeds were at least four feet in diameter. According to the locals, the weeds usually just break apart without issue, but they can get caught under your and cause problems if ignored. After two hours of constantly weaving and avoiding the barrage of tumbleweeds, I was pretty frazzled and glad when the wind died down.
The rest of the journey to Salt Lake City has filled with the magnificent views of the mountain, which were often lightly dusted with snow. Around 6 pm we were driving along the Great Salt Lake. Development now stretches continuously from north of Ogden to Salt Lake City, and south to Provo and Orem.
It occurred to me that this area may be facing some of the same challenges as the Seattle metro area, in that both regions are forced to develop North and South because they are constrained on the East and West sides. Seattle has Puget Sound to the West and Lake Washington to the East. Salt Lake City is more limited, with mountains to its East.
The entire Salt Lake region has experienced some of the strongest growth in the United States, appearing on many of our Best Places lists in the last 15 years. It has been one of those rare areas which have remained affordable, yet with a strong economy and high quality of life.
All this growth is causing some problems however, in the form of persistent air pollution which is magnified by inversions resulting from the geography of the surrounding mountains.
After a nice meal, we settled in our comfortable old hotel to get ready for the next day’s journey to Denver.