Best Golf Hole
18 at Falcon Crest
Some golfers say it's a gimmicky hole, but that's just because they're upset they can't conquer it. At 477 from the back tees, 444 from the middles and 379 from the ladies' tee, it's long. But here's the catch: After your tee shot, you have to choose how long you want it to be. You can (try to) carry your second shot nearly 200 yards over the lake, or you can bail out to the narrow strip of fairway to your left--which isn't as safe an option as the term "bail out" implies. Along with No. 14 at Ridgecrest in Nampa, this could be the premier "choose your own adventure"-style golf hole in the Treasure Valley.
11102 S. Cloverdale Rd., 362-8897
Best Place to Get Snow Bombed
Under Some Dipshit Snowboarder
Hey! I saw that, you punk kids! You, up on the chairlift with the snowboard--don't pretend you don't hear me. Just because I'm a skier doesn't mean I deserve to have snow from your binding dumped on my head. I'd like to see you try half of the runs I take on my trusty old Voikl 210s on those glorified tongue depressors that you ride. Yeah, that's what I thought ... Just go back to your precious terrain park, you horrid little hipsters!
Best Snow Target
Those Uppity Skiers
Dude ... shake your binding ... NOW! Ha! You totally nailed that skier in the teal and hot pink parka. Nice coat, douchebag! Crap--pretend you don't see him.
Gawd, those old-world skiers are bunch of miserable mossbacks. Why do they always have to phrase everything like it's a matter of territory--like they own the Superior chair and we're trespassing. Can't we all just get along? Ooh--let's go up the Morning Star chair next and knock down some beginning skiers on the cat track.
The Shoshone Walk
A Walk is different than a stroll. Note the capitalization--a Walk deserves your respect, because you will be quite tired when you complete it, even though it's entirely on the sidewalk. Also, to qualify as a Walk, it should have some interesting anthropological features, pass by interesting houses of at least two different income levels and provide plenty of opportunities to snoop into people's private lives.
One of our current favorite such ventures is Shoshone Street--that is, the entire thing, from Rose Hill up to its end at Shoshone Park and back. While almost exactly four miles start to finish, this journey feels as if it passes through four separate cities. You'll pass three different types of churches, luxurious palaces with beautiful old trees, a trailer park, a classic raised community pool, some of the dumpiest track housing the 1970s had to offer and a tiny stretch of clustered old cottages that are as well-maintained and unique as anything on the Bench. Every Boise caste is represented, and feel free to peer into their individual cages from the curb. The inhabitants may act paranoid (correction: they do and will act paranoid), but we're pretty sure it's good for them in the long run.
Best Extreme Athlete
You'd think it was sufficiently impressive just to have an insane adventure race like the Raid World Cup visit Idaho, as it did this June. But no, old chest-poundy us, we also had to be the home state of the winner of that race. Michael Tobin of Boise was a member--we like to think he's the captain, though we can't find any verification--of Team Nike Powerblast, who handled the two-day, 170-mile lake-paddling-rollerblading-running-rapelling-mountain-biking-river-kayaking behemoth (they call it a "sprint") in a half-hour less than the second place team, France's Team Helly Hansen. Team Powerblast also won the first incarnation of Raid Idaho three years ago in Sun Valley.
Tobin told BW during the race that he chose to live in Idaho because "you can run and ride year-round,"and apparently his all-season training is paying off. Last week, in conditions that are far from Idaho in June, Tobin's team won the five-day Raid World Championship race in remote Quebec, again defeating the Team Helly Hansen by two hours and the last-place team by two days. Great crazy, er, great job, Michael!
Best Media Plug of Illegal Acts
Hey, we know one good way to establish your alt-weekly street cred is to side with the criminal underworld. But even we thought Thr!ve was taking it a bit far with their perky puff piece on riverboarding, the stationary-surfing activity that's, um, illegal in Boise. Dang if that didn't stop the Thr!vers from putting it on the front page. Good times, y'all! Just watch out for the po-po! In truth, the law, though ancient, specifically bans riverboarding. (Word is the law hit the books after a rogue riverboarder splashed an elderly matron, who subsequently demanded action from the city council.) City councilors say they're working with police to find a better way to accommodate riverboarding, given that at least one Boise-based entrepreneur is now selling the things like hotcakes. Call it the power of the pen! We eagerly await the Thr!ve story on several of our other favorite illegal pastimes. (Yeah, we know they took out the exclamation. What's your po!nt?)
Best Bike Trail
Five Mile Gulch Trail
We've snored through Corral's Trail. We've dodged peevish hikers on Hull's Gulch. And we've done Hardguy enough to know we ain't. So we're nominating a trail that might make our secretive riding buddies want to kill us for revealing it: Five Mile Gulch. Yep. We love it for so many reasons. One, if you want to ride it as a downhill (and you do) then you have to ride up another of our favorites, Orchard Gulch Trail. Gorgeous. And it requires riding up Rocky Canyon Road, which is the best long-haul warm-up you could ask for. Two, it's the only place in the Foothills where we've seen an actual moose. Yep, a moose. Top that, quail lovers. Three, it's a fast, exciting, not particularly death-defying downhill ride that won't leave you wishing you had a double suspension bike and a bug suit. We don't care how many miles it is. We love it best.
Best New Sport to Boise
Who doesn't want to see some sassy be-otches beat the snot outta one another while wheeling around the roller rink? Raquel Welch immortalized the rollergirl archetype in celluloid in 1972's Kansas City Bomber, but it's A&E's new show Rollergirl that has a whole new generation of roller chicks donning thigh highs and rollerskates. Boise's team, the Treasure Valley Rollergirls, are a group of "rough 'n' tumble rockin broads" whose Myspace site--complete with neon-flashing rollerskates and a kick-ass Le Tigre track--is calling all rollerskate-wearin', elbow-throwin' sexpots.
Best Middle of Nowhere in the Middle of Town
the Dirt Patch on Americana Terrace
Maybe it was a mirage, a slick trick of the wanting eyes on a brain that just didn't know any better. With a right hand on a well-revered piece of literature, we swear that after making a wrong turn on the Greenbelt (the part where it gets all confusing with the river going one way and the Connector going another), we spied with our little eyes an RV park (maybe even a campground?) far, far below, nestled between the Bench and the firefighters' concrete practice building. And when this little nomination came up, our search for the park proved completely fruitless. All we found was a large, treeless swath of dirt dotted with old street lamps. No, it wasn't some mythical tree-filled camping haven in the middle of the city--at least not anymore--but that dirt farm fits the bill of being a "middle of nowhere in the middle of town." Play baseball. Go four-wheeling (wait, is that legal?). Pitch a tent. But you gotta find it first.
Best Beer-Drinking, Bike-Racing Fun
Alley Cat Races
Despite its single-species moniker, alley cat races attract characters from all walks of the two-wheel social ladder. From the $10 thrift shop rides to the brakeless wonders the hardcore kids ride, the alley cat race is a gauntlet of competition for taskmasters who want to be the cat's meow of bike messengering. Drinking beer and biking at high speeds through heavy traffic--can you think of a better way to chip away at your nine lives?
Best Genius Freak Athlete
The 25-year-old Boise hospitality manager holds the world record for the fastest solve time for the gnarliest Rubik's cube in the world, the five-by-five-by-five. In fact, it takes him less time--52 seconds--to solve the infamously difficult puzzle than it takes most people to correctly spell Rubik's.
Best Place to Smoke a Joint
Well, it's not really a pagoda, per se. It's more of a picnic table under a stone and log roof, located on the Eagle Ridge Trail in the foothills right behind the Mountain Cove alternative high school. And even though it offers a beautiful overlook of the city with minimal hiking necessary to get there, it's not much of a place to smoke a joint, either. Know why? Because now everybody will know that's where you're going, stupid! Geez, go back to class before you get busted for truancy again.
Best Sport That's Not Really a Sport but Should Be
Spitting on Rafters From Rainbow Bridge
Don't think that just because the rafters are the targets they are the victims in this scenario. Get spit on by a group of loogie-hawkers high-fiving one another and doling out points for style, and the next time you float the river, you'll bring your potato gun and a five-pound sack of Idaho spuds for defense. The possibilities for misanthropic social experiments are endless.
Best Place to Break Your Collarbone
Somewhere near the middle
What is it with you, Boise? You hardcore sinewy people, it seems like everyone and their brother has taken a whack at snapping this design flaw of a body part. Don't believe us? Break yours, and wait for the hordes of people to stop you, ask what happened, and reveal that, hey, they did that, too! So, after lots of research, we've discovered the best place to break it: somewhere in the middle. Heals nicer.
Best Multi-Use Dating Facility
Bogus Basin Ski Resort
Everyone needs a little inspiration in the dating game, and we're here to help, people. Forget the overpriced dinners. Can the casual stroll down the Greenbelt. Show that date of yours you've got what it takes to be his or her everything. Go to Bogus Basin for a date. You can do so many things up there on a date, it boggles our minds why we're not seeing more couples. Don't like skiing or snowboarding? Go cross-country skiing! Snowshoeing! All right, never mind such high-minded winter sports hooey. The Bogus sledding hill is a blast and it's easy and cheap. Say, was that a romantic tumble at the bottom of the hill? Hot chocolate in the lodge for the frost-nipped, anyone? Best of all, there's that drive: On the way back down to Boise, you'll either have breathtaking views of the city to aw-shucks about, or it will be so icy and slippery that even if things don't go well, you'll have something to talk about.
2600 N. Bogus Basin Rd., 332-5144
Best Poopy Race
For simple reasons of comedic value, we take every opportunity to insert the word "poopy" into otherwise normal conversation. Although "Best Poopy Race" could certainly be construed as one such situation--because, after all, it is plausible that we're simply giving a backhanded nomination to the YMCA's Y-Not Triathlon as the Best Triathlon--what we mean to discuss is, indeed, the best poop-filled triathlon. For disclaimer's sake, let us say that we love the idea of the Y-Not, a triathlon for the beginner in which triathlon amateurs get to race without the big dogs. So what the hell are we going on about? The swimming leg of the race. Ask any Y-Not competitor and they'll say, "Y not? Because the ParkCenter Pond is a cesspool of duck poop, that's Y not."
Best Adult Playground
Willow Lane Athletic Complex
We know some of you may disagree with this one--especially if you attempt to Google the phrase "adult playground." But trust us on this one. Search that phrase, and there'll be no sign of a jungle gym (maybe some guy named Jim's jungle, but we digress). Back when Doctor Blanco Thônng was doing his now-legendary Boise Weekly Summer Guide photo shoot, he stumbled upon this gem of an old-school fitness obstacle course. You know, the kind that was really huge in the '80s, when side bends and leg lifts were still considered aerobic activity. You run along the Greenbelt for a few feet and then stop and do three sets of pull-ups on the bars set at three different heights. Then you run for another stretch and stop at the lunge station. Run, and then stop at the inclined sit-up thingy. And then there are some mystery stations, like the two-by-fours of varying heights. Does anybody know what the heck those are for? No, because the instructional sign is faded. But once you're done with the fitness course, we urge you to stop and check out the kids' playground. With exactly one slide and one geodesic dome, you'll feel much more fortunate to be an adult.
4623 W. Willow Ln.
Best Sport Orgy
Subaru Race and Ace
Dirty-mindedness is why all you snickerers are hee-hawing right now. An orgy doesn't have to be sexual, it simply has to be "wild, drunken, licentious revelry or festivity." We didn't race and ace because we were too busy being journalists (well, that and the entry fee was a bit cost prohibitive on our pennies-per-word paychecks), but from the sounds of things, the Subaru Race and Ace was certainly wild and revelrous. It's making the cut here, however, not for its orgiastic qualities, but because we think skiing down a mountain barely covered with snow and then playing 18 holes on a golf course still soggy from melting snow actually sounds like a damn fine way to spend a day in May.
The word on the curb is that the new Grindline McCall skateboard park is fun--perhaps the most fun in all of Idaho. Blasphemy, you say. How can it be better than Hailey and Ketchum's hallowed skateparks? Quite easily. It's even better than the two combined, and it's just barely open. Go see for yourselves, but get there before the snow starts flying.
On Hwy. 55 going into McCall, turn left at Deinhard. Go a half-mile, turn right on Mission. Pass McCall High School, turn right on Idaho Street. It's on the right next to the alternative school. McCall Parks and Rec, (208) 634-3006
Best Terrain Park
Sure, we picked it last year, too. Time for honesty: The snow at Tamarack isn't that much better than anyplace else in southern Idaho. However, this is ... southern Idaho. How many powder days are we going to get here, period? We make the most of what we have--and for an ever-increasing number of us, that means showboating at terrain parks like Tamarack's "No Business." This place is an embarrassment of riches, meaning it's rich with places to embarrass yourself. The Donnelly folks deal in numbers that us valley folks can barely wrap our brains around ... like a 35-foot-down double barrel rail (one of four rails), and two 35-foot back-to-back jumps. The ride up Tango to the summit is pure painful anticipation. And then when we're done, we'll go back to the lodge and have Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi serve us drinks while wearing their tennis shorts! That is what they came here to do, isn't it?
2099 W. Mountain Rd., (208) 325-1000
Best Place to Catch the Plague
If you have kids, chances are good that you've received the e-mail forward about moms finding used condoms, drug needles, dirty diapers and other unsavory paraphernalia in the ball bins at indoor playgrounds. While that specific of a threat might be urban legend, it is widely assumed that those places are breeding grounds for nasty germs. Whether it be Chuck E. Cheese's, McDonald's or Carl's Jr., indoor playgrounds are loud, smell like boogers and are just begging you to contract ring worm, the latest cold, a migraine from all the noise, or, God forbid, the plague. If you want something to be paranoid about, start here. And please pass the antibiotic hand gel.
Best Place to Sneak Obscene PDAs and Not Get Arrested
Wouldn't YOU Like to Know?
If you don't believe that public groping is a sport, then you're not doing it right. Dark hidden corners for public displays of affection are plentiful in Boise's downtown and parks. Pick any of the parking garages for their quiet stairwells or dark corners. The third floor of the Boise Public Library has seen its share of bookshelf snogging, although Boise State's library has views of the river as well as expansive nooks and hiding spots for gettin' it non-explicitly on. But the number one spot for pubic, we mean public, displays of affection would be movie night at Satchel's Grill under a nice warm blankie. Everyone is so focused on the film, they don't notice that less than four feet away a couple is gettin' down in blankie town.
705 W. Bannock St., 344-3752
Best Place to Scumbag It Up
Les Bois Turf Club
All year, nearly every day, you can go down to Les Bois Park and let your paycheck ride on a raft of regret and cigarette butts to exotic racetracks around the world. What's your simulcast pleasure? Australian sprinters or Kentucky thoroughbreds? Do you dig the dogs? The trotters? They're all here, playing on old TVs with no sound except for the people yelling at them. Here, as well, are all the forms you need to think you know how to pick out the winners. (By the way, the winning ticket is a 6-7-10 exacta box and a 6-7, 6-7 with the 2-4-5-10 trifecta wheel.) Ah, the track. The only bad thing about it is that there's not one just like it downtown next to the BW offices.
5610 Glenwood, 376-7223
Best Cheap Entertainment
Hitting stuff is fun, and girls like it when you win crap for them. These axioms have survived all the paradigm shifts and critical schools of thought completely unsullied (not to mention having kept open the arcade Pojo's--the only one left where you can win tickets and exchange them for fabulous prizes). However, the raging debate about what the best way to maximize your tickets-per-quarter ratio has never really been settled.
Actually, there's no debate: The best way is to have someone distract the staff while you cheat by reaching up into the skeeball machine and putting all the balls in the "500" ring. But the best way to legally win the most tickets is Whack-a-Mole. For a $1 investment, you can win enough tickets to get two plastic snakes, a Chinese finger trap, three army guys and a couple of No-N-Laters. 'Nuff said.
7736 W. Fairview Ave., 376-6981
Best Place to Do Something Dangerous
Forget a game of chicken crossing Capitol Boulevard. Need to prove you're a daredevil? Get your need for speed and feed your adrenaline addiction Wyle E. Coyote-style. Strap yourself onto another human being and jump out of a perfectly good airplane to plummet thousands of feet to what could be your death or perhaps the highlight of your life. And they'll even get it all on video for you, with your choice of "Free Falling," "Against the Wind," "I Believe I Can Fly," "Wheel In The Sky," "Highway to the Danger Zone" or whatever other terrible song you want as the soundtrack.
4317 Aviation Way, Caldwell, 455-0000