Triple digits disrupt Boiseans' holiday plans

kterhune@idahostatesman.com, kmoeller@idahostatesman.comJuly 1, 2013 

Triple-digit highs in Boise this week may force some Fourth of July celebrators to tweak their plans in order to stay cool.

A six-day streak of 100-plus weather will continue through Wednesday. Independence Day is expected to be just shy of 100 degrees.

Bill Davis, store manager for Idaho Mountain Touring, said the company's bike rentals were taking a hit as temperatures climbed.

"We are definitely finding that we're not renting as many bikes right now," he said. "It's just too hot, and it's not as much fun to ride in this type of heat."

But the store has had an uptick in visitors looking at clothes and other equipment, a phenomenon Davis attributes to people wanting to get out of the house, but stay indoors in the air conditioning.

"We have seen quite a few people coming in here and doing some clothes shopping, even test-riding bikes and stuff like that, especially early in the morning," he said. "It's definitely shifted the schedule of the day around a little bit."

Triple-digit heat drives many people to water - but attendance at Roaring Springs Water Park typically drops off above 100 degrees.

"We just start competing with air conditioners," Roaring Springs spokeswoman Tiffany Quilicisaid. "People don't want to leave their house. It's not as busy as it would be if it was just in the 90s."

The water park gets about 280,000 visitors during its 100-day season. If you prefer shorter lines - and don't mind blistering heat - this is a good week to go.

The We The People Liberty Day Parade, which begins at 11 a.m. on the Fourth, may be another no-go for some heat-conscious Boiseans. Alissa Leon said the projected temperature of 98 degrees would likely prevent her family from attending.

"There is NO WAY I can take our three babies and pregnant me to the parade," she wrote on the Statesman's Facebook page.

Some residents hoping to stay out of the heat are resorting to fleeing the city in search of cooler climates. John Huston, front desk manager for central Idaho's Redfish Lake Lodge near Stanley, said the lower temperatures were contributing to the lodge's Independence Day popularity.

The camping area, located three hours east of Boise, is already booked solid for the holiday week, Huston said. With an elevation of more than 6,500 feet, the region will remain in the 80s for most of the week, he said.

“Our lake is such a large body of cold water, its maximum temperature is going to be low 60s,” he said. “It’s all snow runoff, which is definitely a good thing for people trying to beat the heat.”

One constant as temperatures rise: The Boise River is a magnet for those who want to cool down.

Connie Zeller of Epley's Boise River Rentals, the company that runs raft and tube rentals at Boise’s Barber Park, said there was a line to launch boats Sunday.

“I have never seen that happen in June before,” she said. “What I’ve seen so far, if it’s hot, we have a lot of people who want to float.”

On weekends and holidays, including the Fourth of July, Epley’s has three shuttles and three equipment trucks running between Barber Park and the take-out at Ann Morrison Park. Shuttles run every 20 minutes.

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