While neither your psychologist nor your warden probably recommend "getting out" (for purposes of either escaping or escapism), Dr. Thonng advises all non-incarcerated individuals to do the next best thing: Get out, get some fresh air and enjoy all the physical and spiritual healing powers of the great outdoors have to offer. For some, enjoying Idaho's outdoors is a perpetual cycle of biking, kayaking, swimming, running, boating, hiking, climbing, balling ... sweating, in short. For others, outdoor enjoyment is measured inversely: the least amount of time spent scurrying in the heat between air conditioned environments, the better. Regardless of how you gauge your tolerance to outdoor activity, Boise Weekly has compiled a fat list of phat stuff to do once you get out.
Festivals, fetes and fiestas
Horseshoe Bend Banjo Contest and Festival--All ages pluck it out in a battle for the title and $850 in prize money June 3 and 4. Aside from the music makers, the Horseshoe Bend Banjo festival is just a good excuse to get out, eat, drink, camp and play bingo. Visit www.horseshoebendchamber.com for more information and a full schedule of events.
Boise Pride 2006--Your Family, Friends and Neighbors hosts the annual gay pride celebration June 4 through 11 with events throughout the city, including the Pride Festival, Pride Parade and Pride Rally on June 10. Visit www.yffn.org for more information and a full schedule of events.
Juneteenth--Traditional Southern soul food, entertainment and live music make this daylong celebration of the end of the slavery a popular day in the park. June 17 at Julia Davis Park. Visit www.visitidaho.org for more information.
National Oldtime Fiddler's Contest and Festival--If you've never been, it's a must-do in order to call yourself an Idahoan. Trek out to Weiser June 19 through 24 and watch as hordes of fiddlers descend upon the small town. Visit www.fiddlecontest.com for more information.
San Inazio--Each year Boise's Basque organization Euzkaldunak ropes off Grove Street between Capital and Sixth streets and puts on San Inazio with Basque dancing, music and food. It's a Boise favorite for sure, with barefooted dancing and merry singing continuing late into the night. This year's San Inazio is July 28 through 30. Visit www.basquecenter.com for more information.
Star Mule Days--Enjoy a carnival, parade, pancake feed and entertainment June 3 and 4 in one of west Ada's quaintest towns before the suburbs swallow it up. Visit staridahochamber.com for more information.
Eagle Fun Days--All the usual community fun with golf, a pancake breakfast, live music, a carnival, bike races and more at various locations on June 9 through 11. Visit www.eaglefundays.com for more information.
Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed--Also fondly referred to as the Eagle Nut Feed, the annual spectacle is a fundraiser for the Eagle Volunteer Firefighters Association. A ticket gets you three beers (but of course you can buy more if need be), music and all the gonads you can stomach at Eagle's Merrill Park on June 10. Visit www.eaglefire.org for more information or to buy tickets.
Meridian Dairy Days--Featuring the Dairy Days Princess Pageant, the COW WOW art contest, the annual pancake feed and more. Various locations on June 13 thorugh 17 at various locations in Meridian. Visit www.boiseweekly.com for more information.
Deli Days--Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel sells homemade Kosher meats and sweets June 15 and16. Visit www.ahavathbethisrael.org for more information.
Emmett Cherry Festival--It's the 72nd year for the pit-spitting, pie-eating, all things cherry-fest this June 14 through 17. Visit www.emmettidaho.com for more information.
Huckleberry Festival--The annual event, held August 12 and 13 in Donnelly, proves that huckleberry is more than just a flavor of jam. It features baking contests, a car show, music, games and a parade. Visit www.donnellychamber.org for more information.
Rodeos and area fairs
Canyon County Fair and Festival--All the usual food, rides, live music and livestock competitions, plus a few new events this year, including the Taste of the Treasure Valley Celebrity Cooking Show and Fairest of the Fair Pageant July 27 and 30. Visit www.canyoncountyfair.org for more information.
Western Idaho Fair--Forget mullet watching this year and get your fix of food and stomach-dropping rides at the Western Idaho Fairgrounds August 18 through 27. Who are we kidding, at the Western Idaho Fair you city slickers can get your mullet fix and your animal fix all at once. Visit www.expoidaho.com for more information.
Caldwell Night Rodeo--Watch the wrangling beneath a starry Caldwell sky August 15 through 19. Visit www.caldwellnightrodeo.com for more information.
Snake River Stampede--Celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, the SRS is |the rodeo event of the summer. July 18 through 22 at the Nampa Civic Center. Visit www.snakeriverstampede.com for more information.
Random ways to get out and about
Drive Idaho's scenic byways--From Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway along Highway 55 to Teton Scenic Byway in east Idaho, it's a wonder the entire state hasn't been set aside as a national park. Fill up and ogle at the scenery. Visit itd.idaho.gov/Byways for more information.
Visit Idaho's state and national parks--Our fair potato state has one national park (Yellowstone), 27 state parks, a national reserve, two national monuments, two national historic trails and 13 national forests. Have you seen then all? Visit www.us-national-parks.net/state/id.htm to see.
Take a Train Ride--Given the price of gas, traveling by rail is a scenic and affordable way to do some sightseeing. Thunder Mountain Line out of Horseshoe Bend has several routes and regular special events (like the Wild West Train Robbery Ride and the Murder Mystery Dinner). Visit www.thundermountainline.com for information.
Climb a Mountain and Then Turn Around--Boasting impressive mountain stats, Idaho's borders contain 80 recognized mountain ranges and more than 50 peaks ascending higher than 10,000 feet. Before setting out to conquer Kilimanjaro, consider climbing the top 10 tallest boys in your own backyard: Borah Peak, Leatherman Peak, Mount Church, Diamond Peak, Mount Breitenbach, Lost River Peak, Mount Idaho, Donaldson Peak, Hyndman Peak and USGS Peak.
Once you're done with that (no problem, right?) go low. With the state's geographical low point at 710 feet below sea level, it's almost as much fun to start at the top of a canyon and climb down. You may already know that Shoshone Falls drops farther than Niagara Falls, but did you know that Hells Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon? Visit www.idaho.gov for links to information on Idaho's peaks and valleys.