On Saturday, we went on an outing with Ophelia and Peter and the Boise contingent of their family – Ophelia’s son John, his wife Emily, and their kids Lucia, and Maribel – to my first Winter Carnival. It was a two and a half hour drive, through the stunning country north of Boise. We drove through a long, open, valley surrounded by soft hills and then a narrow canyon carved by the Payette River, then another open valley – all covered with a light dusting of snow that was only sticking to the north slopes – and so on, until we got to McCall.
I have never been to a Winter Carnival before and really didn’t know what to expect. I do like to go to local get togethers – Fiestas, Market Days, Street Fairs or Faires, Auto Shows – it is a great way to see the culture and the Winter Carnival, for me at least, was one of those things that are great to go to at least once, if only for the novelty. Maybe more than once, if you are young and like to drink beer and listen to music around an open fire…in the cold (it was about 28°).
Or, one could go to a frozen outside bar surrounded with huge crystals.
It was also a great place to go to more than once if you are into making ice sculptures. Most of the sculptures we saw were not particularly good – I should put in a caveat here, I have never seen ice sculptures before so my standards may be entirely unrealistic, there was not much snow to work with, and, I have the feeling, that we never actually got to the Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championships in Depot Park – but the winner was excellent (and didn’t photo very well in the flat light).
After lunch and after looking at some of the sculptures, we walked out on McCall Lake. I have never walked out on a lake before and it was not as surreal as I would have expected. Part of the normalcy of it was because it is hard to tell where the shore ends and the lake begins. Yes, the shore is sloped and the lake is flat – I am pretty sure – but they seem to fade into one another. The shore is a great place for children to sled and they keep sliding out onto the lake.
We all had a good time but I think that the kids had the best time.