Nampa, Idaho and the Snake River Wine Country

It’s been much longer than I intended since my last post. We are having a pretty busy summer, and I have been to two major horse shows with my wife in June. So, I thought in the interest of staying connected, that I would make a little post about our trip to Nampa Idaho for Sheri’s Region 4 Arabian Championship horse show.

Sheri left for the show on Tuesday, June 19, but I had an important meeting and did not leave until Wednesday afternoon of the 20th. It’s just under 400 miles from our place in Utah to the show grounds in Nampa. I thought I might share a little bit about what we have been doing this summer so far and show you around the area  around Nampa. Nampa is a western suburb of Boise.

PSX_20180625_132156
This rest area is just east of Boise, ID on I-84.  This is one of my favorite stops along the way to just get refreshed and enjoy some fresh air.

About 220 miles north of the Salt Lake City area the highway route to Nampa (Interstate 84) generally follows the Snake River all the way to the Oregon border and then a little way into Oregon before the route finally departs once and for all from the river. For much of the way there are many farms and ranches, but the Snake River Valley in western Idaho has now become known for its outstanding wines.

 

Obviously, we were there for the horse show, so here are some looks at the show grounds as well as one of Sheri’s classes in which she one a Reserve Championship in the region (second-place).

Nampa Horse Park wp
This is the official entrance to the horse show.  The main show arena is just to the left of the photo.
Ford Arena
Here is the outside of the performance arena.

Nampa has a really wonderful facility with a nice show ring and a couple of open air, covered practice arenas adjacent to the main show building. Additionally, there is a wonderful restaurant at the south end of the building that has a pretty diverse menu.  Napa is a fairly small town, so there are other places to eat nearby without having to travel very far at all. This facility is just off of Interstate 84, and there is plenty of hotel lodging within just a few blocks of the show facility.

Sheri entering wp
Here is Sheri on our horse, Genuine Shoc, (we call her Ginny) about to enter the show ring for her ride.

 

Ginny Canter R wp
Sheri rides a discipline known as Country English Pleasure.  The horses are judged in many areas including their strides and their builds.  The horse and rider must perform both directions at several “gates”, or different types of strides.  Here Ginny is cantering on her second pass.
Ginny Trot L 1 wp
This is just about the perfect country English trot.
Lineup wp
Here are Sheri and Ginny after the ride awaiting the judges decisions.  Each class has 3 judges and their scores are averaged to determine final placement.  She seems quite pleased with her ride.  Ginny likes to play with her bit, and she usually gets pretty slobery.
Ginny Ribbons wp
And here they are receiving their ribbons and plaque.  I think Ginny is getting used to this winning stuff.  She definitely looks happy and attentive.
Ginny Victory Pass wp
This is Ginny and Sheri on their victory pass after receiving the show ribbons.
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As you can see, pet people are everywhere.  This little pup is enjoying her view of the show.

Sheri had a day off on Friday, so we decided to head down to the wine country a little way out of Nampa. There’s a winery that we like down near the Snake River called Sainte Chapelle. They have a beautiful facility and offer tours as well as tasting samples. They also have a lot of snacks and homemade hors d’oeuvres. Southwestern Idaho has an abundance of sunshine with really rich soils due to ancient volcanic activity in the general area. So as you can imagine, they make some pretty nice wines here. We spent the morning sampling different wines to decide what we wanted to bring home, and then we decided to have some hors d’oeuvres with some wine before driving back to Nampa.

After having a glass of wine as well as having sampled five different flavors, we needed some time before we hit the road back to Nampa. So Sheri stepped out onto the patio to kick back and do some reading on her phone, while I decided to go take some photographs of the grounds. Here are some photos of the Sainte Chapelle winery and the beautiful grounds. The winery also sponsors bands on the weekend in the evening, and sometimes they have large shows down on the grassy area below the main building.

St Chapelle Winery Entrance
The main building at Ste Chapelle.
St Chapelle Grounds 1
Here is a side view of the grounds, patio and the main building.
St Chapelle Grounds 2 wp
Looking northwest toward the patio.  Sheri is the shade reading.
St Chapelle Grounds 3
Another view of the patio and yard looking northwest again.
Winery view 1
Looking southward now towards the vineyards.

 

For those history and geography buffs, the Snake River is one of the principal rivers in the United States. Its headwaters are up in the Grand Teton Mountains in southwestern Wyoming. The snake River flows down out of the mountains and then generally travels westward through Idaho and forms part of the border between Idaho and Oregon. From there it eventually flows into the Columbia River which then flows directly to the Pacific Ocean. The first non-natives to see the snake River were likely Lewis and Clark in their expedition to find the proverbial “Northwest passage” in the early 1800’s. In fact, Interstate 84 is a pretty historical route as it follows the Oregon Trail route fairly closely across Idaho and then up into Oregon.  (As a side note, if you continue on I-84 into Oregon, there is a wonderful musuem and National Historic park in Baker City dedicated to the Oregon and Mormon Trails.)

I had some time early Saturday afternoon, so I decided to take a drive farther down into the wine country towards the actual Snake River. There’s a little town named Marsing on Idaho Route 55 just on the west side of where the highway crosses the Snake River. I found a nice little park here, and so I pulled in for a walk and to take a few photos of the area. Here is what I found.

Snake River bridge
This is the bridge on Idaho Route 55 that crosses the Snake River.
Snake River 2
Looking generally southward from the west side of the Snake River.
Snake River Afternoon
It was really hot that afternoon.  This shot is looking southward on the Snake River towards some of the vineyards in the area.
Water Birds
I got a little lucky and caught these birds in the cattails down by the river.  If any of you know what bird this is, I would appreciate knowing.

I hope you enjoyed the photos from our trip to Nampa, Idaho and our little sightseeing adventure in the beautiful wine country along the Snake River.  Thanks for stopping by

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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