Pick up a copy of Boise Weekly, flip open the Idaho Statesman, or tune in to Boise State Public Radio, and you might catch Ophidia Studio’s owner, Allison Holley, spreading the gospel of pole dancing. "It feels fun," she told Boise State Public Radio's Scott Ki. "It's kind of like playing on a jungle gym, and adults don't get that chance." Along with a coterie of experienced instructors, Allison casts off the bad rap of an activity that she says some see as "demeaning or degrading" in pole-dancing classes that build fitness and self-confidence in a playful atmosphere. Inside a hot-pink studio peppered with stationary and spinning poles, Allison and her crew walk students of all levels through a number of creative pole-dancing moves, beginning with spins and working up to inversions, choreography routines, and ceiling-fan impersonations.
Their expertise doesn’t stop there, though. The instructors also offer an arsenal of other sensual classes such as belly-dancing, hoop dancing, poi fire dancing, and Curvesque, which helps whittle waists and define the feminine form through fluid, dance-inspired movements. They also offer the more-traditional fitness classes of Zumba and body blast, along with yoga and its elevated counterpart—aerial yoga, which suspends students in a fabric sling hung from the ceiling.
Through displays of both native and cultivated flora across several regional gardens, Sawtooth Botanical Garden celebrates and educates the community about the plants and flowers that flourish at high altitudes. Trek through the alpine garden to spy plants that normally grow above the tree line, or wander through the riparian garden to get a close-up view of cottonwoods, willows, and other plants that make their homes near rivers and streams. Nearby, a children's garden hosts educational classes and a spray pool for summer fun. For a more inward journey, visit the Garden of Infinite Compassion. It was established in honor of the Dalai Lama's visit to the Wood River Valley as a place where people can calm their minds in the serenity of nature.
Whitewater Pizza & Pasta?s chefs know how to build a unique pie. They first roll out a regular, sourdough, or gluten-free crust, which adds a unique personal touch to classic pizzas simply topped with pepperoni or cheese. But it's the specialty pies that really reflect the culinary team's creativity?the Maui pizza, for example, swaps out traditional sauce for a sweet chili base, creating a sweet-yet-tangy flavor profile that's matched by toppings like chicken, pineapple, red onion, and bacon. Meanwhile, the taco pie forgoes a sauce base altogether. Instead, it derives flavor from a layer of refried beans, a perfect foundation for the toppings that follow: ground beef, olives, crumbled corn chips, cheese, and a side of salsa. Other pizzas include ingredients like garlic alfredo sauce, slivered almonds, and even Thai peanut-ginger sauce.
But despite the uniqueness of its pizzas, Whitewater's pastas aren't to be overlooked. Homemade alfredo and fresh basil add an extra-layer of richness to plates of cheese tortellini, while baked penne arrives with a medley of sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and artichoke hearts. And the dining room is just as vibrant as the cuisine: a pinball machine and dart boards provide plenty of entertainment and can also settle disputes over who gets the last slice and who has to be content eating the napkins.
We spoke with KC Bess—operations manager and river guide for Mad River Boat Trips—about what to expect on your trip and why you want to get splashed.
On the Snake River
"It's a great river for your first trip," says KC. The relatively high volume of water and the lack of rocks mean that the runs are straightforward—and exciting. Tall, clean waves are common, and the rapids are "kind of like riding a roller coaster while getting buckets of water dumped on you."
On braving whitewater rapids
If passengers are a bit apprehensive about the rapids, KC suggests sitting near the guide at the back of the raft, where the ride is a bit more gentle. Once people are comfortable, he usually encourages them to move up a bit — where they can enjoy the thrill of hitting the waves. "Sit up front. Go all the way and have fun with your first time," he says. "It's worth it."
Every trip is different, but KC always likes getting out onto the water, experiencing how intricately connected the natural world is. "It's fascinating how it all works together," he says. He keeps an eye out for ospreys, eagerly explaining how the birds are the perfect hunters: hovering above the river, plunging five feet beneath the water, and then emerging with a fish dangling between their talons.
On bringing the whole family
Most of the whitewater trips are suitable for children as young as 6, and KC loves when parents bring kids along. Younger passengers tend to relish the adventure almost more than the adults; but, more importantly, KC sees whitewater runs as an immersive way to introduce children to the natural world. "Kids don't get that kind of experience very often," he says.
On the outdoor tactical playing field at True Paintball Adventure Park, players skulk behind burned-out cars and plan evasive routes to safety while under fire from paint-splattering combatants. That?s at just one of the facility?s outdoor fields. There?s also a hyperball field peppered with plastic barrels. Indoors, teams take to towers and take cover behind wooden sheds set up under a weather-neutralizing roof and overhead lighting. It?s an ideal spot for creating memorable birthdays, bachelor parties, corporate events, and Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
TQ Speedway & Hobbies' warehouse hobby shop is infused with the earthy smell of a 5,000-square-foot miniature off-road racetrack, its intricate curves and jumps constructed from clay and topsoil. Remote-controlled trucks vault over gaps and skid around corners as their operators and grandstands full of action figures cheer on. More than 40 pit stations give visitors ample space to set up their 1/10th-scale rides for the day's races, and an AMB timing system allows racers to accurately track their lap times.