Words & Deeds

Michael Deeds: 8 things you should put on your Boise summer bucket list

Michael Deeds
Michael Deeds

Climbing uphill through waist-high mountain grass in search of yet another lost frisbee-golf disc recently, I was struck by a realization: It’s time to compile my annual summer bucket list.

We live in a rare, amazing part of the country. Yet, too often, we wind up failing to take advantage of our good fortune. Driving to Bogus Basin is something that I’d never really fathomed doing in summer — at least since I’d gone mountain biking there a million years ago. But in mid-June, I somehow found myself cruising up to Bogus in an effort to entertain family visiting from out of state.

Now I know it’s something I should do every summer.

The air grew fresher and cooler as we ascended. The wide-open space and view of the wildflower-flecked terrain injected me with peace, adrenaline and Boise pride.

Granted, the day trek cost more than gas money. The ravenous, thick pine trees on Bogus’ disc-golf course ate three $12-$15 pieces of my plastic. But what the heck: Mom ambitiously hiked the front nine with her sons and grandsons, laughing at our antics. Dad lounged in the parking lot above and watched the local Porsche Club Association race sports cars up and down the winding road between Simplot and Pioneer lodges.

Bogus’ disc-golf course was a trip in more ways than one. At one tee, I managed to crush a gravity-aided downhill bomb that wound up in another state. My brother and I looked at each other, slackjawed, as the disc just kept soaring over the treetops and overshot the hole. There was no use even looking for it. Bogus’ course is fairly extreme. But it’s also the disc-chucking equivalent of batting in the thin air of Coors Field.

Don’t feel any need to play disc golf if you go to Bogus. Just pack a lunch, a chair and binoculars. Hang out. Or go for a stroll. Just breathe in that mountain oxygen. It makes for a refreshing, invigorating Saturday afternoon trip. ( Bicycling up to Bogus, on the other hand, I shall leave to more dedicated Idahoans.)

Here are a few more Boise summer bucket list suggestions. You might remember me beating you over the head about many of these ideas before. That’s the point: We know this stuff is here to do in the Treasure Valley, yet we don’t do it.

As I’ve said many times, life is short; summer is even shorter:


Alive After Five:

Recently, I got caught off guard on Channel 6 News when I was asked to name my favorite thing about summer in Boise. “Alive After Five,” I stammered. With time to think about it now, I have no problem sticking with that answer. The free, weekly music series at The Grove is part of the city’s cultural fabric. I always have a good time watching Boiseans have a good time, even if many couldn’t care less about the band. (Do not miss Houston-based soul group The Suffers on July 8.)


Boise Hawks:

I’m not just mentioning the Hawks because they’re


selling local beer, Payette’s Outlaw IPA, at the stadium. (More beer news, p. 26.) It’s the ballpark hotdogs. The minor-league promotions. (OK, the “shade blimp” is ridiculous.) The groan-inducing sound of foul balls nailing cars in the parking lot. What’s not to love?


Boise River float:

When’s the last time you’ve done this iconic Boise recreational activity? It’s so much fun. So exhilarating on a hot day. At least I think it is. I have two dusty rafts just rotting in my garage. Yet I haven’t floated the Boise River in years. Somebody whack me with a paddle.


Idaho Shakespeare Festival:

I always whine about getting off my duff and attending unless it’s a play that I’m fully confident that I will love. So, basically, every time. (ISF never does “Evil Dead.”) Yet, pretty much every summer, I do go — and I’m always struck by what a fantastic experience the company and amphitheater provide. (There is no “Steel Magnolias” out there this year, dudes. You’re safe.)



How do you pronounce it again? Why do Basques party only every five years? It’s time to find out: July 28-Aug. 2. I’m still not trying that wine ’n’ Coke thingy, though. (OK, maybe.)


Tour de Fat:

I attended last summer. What a riot. Crazy outfits on bicycles. New Belgium beer. Music. Smiles. It’s the sort of fundraising festival that I wish occurred more often in Ann Morrison Park. It’s Aug. 15.


Outlaw Field concert:

Yes, I know that an outdoor concert can be an expensive bust. There’s always someone blocking your view, yakking during the music, obliterating the portable toilet, not playing the hit song, instructing you not to take photos, frisking you for weapons, etc. But Outlaw Field at the scenic Idaho Botanical Garden pretty much has things dialed in. When the atmosphere is right out there, it’s really,



Funny how living in Boise often feels that way.

Michael Deeds’ entertainment column runs Fridays in Scene and every other Sunday in Explore.