Native Idahoans, feel free to disagree. Like a lot of the Lower 48, Idaho is a place that one begrudgingly passes through on the way to someplace else. With a few exceptions, the state is generally featureless. Pockets of scary fundamentalist extremism lurk in the shadows. Much of the local signage is misspelled. But thanks to the Harvest Hosts program, I’m warming up to Idaho.
Because of the long hot days and cool nights—conditions that developing grapes just love—there’s a nice little wine region northwest of Boise by the Snake River.
I drydocked overnight in Caldwell at stunning Bitner Vineyards, a family operation run by Ron and Mary. Daughter Amy—who helped plant the Chardonnay there when she was five—pours the tasting flights.
RVers are instructed to have as little impact as possible on their Harvest Host’s property (and since camping is free, buying a bottle or six is strongly encouraged). But the friendly Bitners allowed me to make myself at home. I hung out on the deck of the tasting room all evening after closing, to drink and think and admire the soothing linear patterns of the vine trellises and soak up the sunset over the Owyhee Mountains.
Don’t visit Carmela Vineyard in Glenns Ferry for the wine (read between the lines here), but it’s a fun place to overnight in Idaho between Point A and Point B, and it would be perfect destination for a ladies trailering weekend. Near Three Island Crossing State Park, Carmela—now rebranded as Crossings Winery—has a small campground located on a little nine hole golf course. Inside, there’s a tasting bar, microscopic pro shop, and a homey restaurant. As usual, I had chicken fried steak.
Idaho bonus tip: Heading East on I84? You need a quick monotony break, so take easy exit 173 to Twin Falls, pull over at the big visitor center, and go look over the edge of the parking lot into massive Snake River Canyon. Refreshing! Have another hour to kill? If you’re traveling during late spring, drive over and griswold Shoshone Falls, the “Niagara of the West”. That’s a bit of a stretch, but well worth the three dollars.
I hear Craters of the Moon is also a thing. Stay tuned.