Valley County, Idaho

Things have been a bit busy here at the blog, and I have been getting a little behind on my posting. Rather than get overwhelmed, or worse, not post at all, I have decided to start a Throw Back Thursday post on the weeks that I need them. So, I would like to formally introduce you to my very first The Places We Live #TBT post: Valley County, Idaho!

Josh and I grew up in McCall, Idaho in Valley County, and had been debating on whether or not to return during our month in Boise. The answer should have been an obvious “Yes” since it is, in both of our opinions, one of the most beautiful areas in the world. But there is a sadness about going back to a home town that is no longer your town. Both of our families have left the area, as have most of our school friends, and the town has seen a growth spurt in the 18 years since we’ve been gone. Will we even recognize it? Will anyone recognize us? Will it still feel like home?

Thankfully, my step-sister saved the day and whisked us off to the emotionally safer neighboring town of Cascade, Idaho (also in Valley County) for a trip to a hot springs. Cascade is about 1.5 hours north of Boise along a beautiful, winding canyon highway. Once in Cascade, we pulled off onto Warm Lake Rd and drove for what felt like forever on the lightly plowed, snowy road. Our hot springs guidebook described our destination as “a turn out with rocks on the other side”. There were turnouts ever mile or so, and all were rocky, so it’s actually a bit of a surprise that we were able to find Trail Creek Hot Springs.


It was an awesome, non-commercialized but still a well-constructed natural hot springs. There were a couple of ropes to help us climb down the steep and snowy slopes, and a couple of warmed rocks to put our clothes on while we were soaking.


There were three different soaking pools, each with handy nozzles to let in some freezing river water and maintain a comfy temperature. It was empty of people when we arrived, so we had plenty of space to explore and relax.

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Then the time came to decide whether or not to make the 30 minute journey to McCall. To face our worries and fears in order to visit the most beautiful place on earth. How could we not?

McCall, Idaho is the most adorable town that anyone has ever seen, ever (at least, in the humble opinion of Mrs. Dr. Lowry). It is located 100 miles North of Boise and hosts a lake, ski resorts, camping, fishing, hiking, and so much more. The current population is around 3,000 people, but that increases significantly during the peak tourism seasons of summer and winter. Even when at night, when the lake is frozen over, the view will take your breath away.


Like many of my irrational fears, it turned out to be… irrational. McCall was beautiful, we were recognized by a couple of locals, our favorite shops were still there, and the memories were still fresh. I love and will always love my foresty wonderland.


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