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Bucket List Item #3: Visit a Museum

Tomorrow will mark 2 months since my 29th birthday, and we are only on bucket list item #3! A little behind pace, but so many of the events are weather-dependent and geared towards summertime. Finding the next task to check off was a little limiting as Boise wasn’t climbing past 60 degrees over the weekend, so I selected “Visit a Museum.” Ideally I would have liked to find a more exotic or adventuresome museum, but we made do with what our hometown had to offer.

Zeb and I looked up local museums that we hadn’t been to before. (For anyone visiting the area, the Warhawk Air Museum about 20 minutes outside of Boise in Nampa, Idaho is a fun visit and one we’ve gone to many times!) We picked the Idaho State Museum in downtown Boise and made it a full “date day” with brunch first a cute new-ish spot called Huck House Brunchette.

Everyone is short-staffed right now and we are always being reminded to be patient and give grace to the employees who did show up; which is why we decided not to say anything when my eggs benedict arrived….sans eggs. 😁 Oh well, the brioche bread, avocado, bacon and hollandaise sauce was still a delicious plate, and we had split a little flight of mimosas to go with our coffees.

The museum was three stories with exhibits that included little interactive stations for families and kids. Here’s a little Idaho history you probably didn’t know and can enlighten your friends with over your next happy hour:

Idaho’s Parachuting Beavers:

In 1948, Idaho Department of Fish & Game dropped 77 beavers via parachutes into the Idaho back country. The first was named Geronimo.

Credit: Idaho Fish and Game

At the time, the mountain town of McCall was becoming more populated and residential. However the pesky beavers in the area were becoming a major problem for the new residents. Trapping and relocating them was difficult as there weren’t many other suitable habitats to relocate them too.

A local Fish and Game employee named Elmo knew of the perfect habitat, the Chamberlain Basin in what is now known as the Frank Church Wilderness of No Return. Issue was, as the name implies, there aren’t any roadways into the basin. Next he needed to brainstorm a method of transportation that was safe for his team and the beavers. He knew there was a surplus of parachutes from World War II. He planned to put beavers into wooden boxes, but began to fear they would chew their way out. He designed a special box that would automatically open upon impact with the ground and allow the beavers to safely escape. Enter Geronimo, the guinea pig parachuter. Elmo’s team sent Geronimo up for test flight after test flight, parachuting him to the ground, watching him leave the box and repeating until they were sure it would be a successful mission for transplanting the unwelcome beavers into the wild.

77 beavers in total were sent into the Chamberlain Basin via parachutes and created their habitat in what is now the largest protected roadless forest in the lower 48 states.

And now you know a little something about Idaho State history that you probably didn’t before. :)

Another interesting tidbit we gleaned from our tour: The unique national monument in central Idaho called Craters of the Moon, which is a preserve made up of over 400 acres of lava fields, was visited by astronauts prior to their mission to the moon.

We learned about early farming tools, pioneer houses, mining, and rock formations. At the end of the day, we stopped at the gift shop for some “Beaver Brigade” stickers to mail to a friend, then we were eager to reunite with our little 6-week-old sweet pea.

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