Quick update: I found my tent! In my backpack... where I'd put it... haha
Today was mostly a beaurocratic day--some more ice-breaking games, paper work, going over benefits, regulations, all that fun stuff... but our trip leaders very kindly broke it up with a 3 hour hike outside the city limits in the afternoon. Weather was clear but chilly; it's supposed to snow tonight. The hike went through and around some sagebrush hills, which didn't look like much of anything in the pictures Brian had sent before we arrived but which were actually kinda scenic in person. There were very few trees so you could see everything; the hills rolled and plunged in strange formations; and there was a very long, intricate network of red dirt foot trails that wound all over the place. We made one loop up into the hills a bit, past some sandstone cliffs, and another that followed a creek through some willows and brush. Boise is actually on a very flat plain and has a desert climate, so I guess in the summer everything is just brown and parched. But at this time of year plants are blooming everywhere and the sage hasn't dried out and turned into tumbleweeds yet. There's no snow at all left in the city--people are mowing their lawns, there are dandelions, trees all in blossom, and more geese than I've ever seen in my life--but the hills are still snowy at the tops and the mountains we can see in the distance are pure white. There are a few ski resorts outside the city that are still open; they just got a foot of fresh powder last week and will probably get more tonight! Others (including Sun Valley) had already set mid-April as their closing date, though, and had to stick with it for insurance reasons. BUT, apparently, where we're going out in the mountains, there's still up to FOUR FEET! Ahhh, I wish I brought my board!!
Tonight I'm going to bed early; we have to meet in the hotel lobby at 6:55 a.m. tomorrow for a Serve Idaho conference that'll last 3 days. More on that later... for now, I'm going to kick back and enjoy Alaska Week on the Discovery Channel before I get separated from this lovely flatscreen TV--and to take my mind off the hot tub that I can't go in because of my new tat :)