In the Treasure Valley, the approach of winter doesn't just bring a chill to the air and the urge to snuggle beneath a blanket, it brings wistful dreams of glistening white snow and piles of powder just begging for first tracks.
The still-brown Foothills do little to fulfill those dreams, but at least there's the annual Bogus Basin Ski Education Foundation Ski Swap to help get us through the shoulder season.
The fundraiser for the organization that supports youth skiing draws thousands to Expo Idaho for the chance to pick up new and used gear on the cheap, while those whose garages are already packed can sell their old gear to make room for the new.
This year, the Swap opens on Thursday, Oct. 31, when sellers can drop off gear from 3-9 p.m. The sale opens to the public Friday, Nov. 1, from 5-10 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m-8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Those who want first dibs on the best gear will pay $5 to get in on Friday, while the cost drops to $3 on Saturday. Admission is free on Sunday with the donation of a can of food to the Boise Rescue Mission or $3 sans can.
Shoppers can stock up on both Alpine and Nordic ski gear, snowboard gear and even clothing and accessories. Sellers keep 75 percent of the profits from the sale, with the remainder going to BBSEF.
For the uninitiated, here's a tip: Go early and be ready to wait in line. Just keep thinking of those first tracks.