University towns – we seek them out. An active, younger population; greater cultural diversity; a variety of entertainment and events; independent retailers and restaurants; and excellent people-watching all are attractions for us. Boise is not only a university town, but the state capitol of Idaho as well. Since we were nearby – and since we needed some urban services – off we went to Idaho when we left Baker City.
Before we settled into Hi Valley RV Park (click here to read our review and see photos), we made three stops: two for the repair of our hot water heater and one to replace our two-year old GPS. It was a very successful afternoon.
Over the next three days, we enjoyed many of the attractions Boise offers: long walks along the riverside greenbelt parks; a glimpse of the famous blue turf of the Boise State stadium; a self-guided tour of the empty Idaho State Capitol building (we were amazed to learn that their legislative session runs for just 4 months and had adjourned April 7, 2011 – the place was deserted); an afternoon at the Territorial Prison; walking the various interesting “districts” of downtown Boise; and several delicious meals at lively Boise restaurants.
When we weren’t out sightseeing or eating and drinking (and even when we were!), we puzzled over our refrigerator. Eventually, after many, many hours of scouring the internet and obsessively recording our freezer and fresh food temperatures, we have concluded that our refrigerator is working as designed - even though we aren't completely happy with aspects of its performance.
Though Norcold provides very little information, we learned that our refrigerator is designed to shut off every 48-50 hours (more or less) for 3-5 hours to de-ice the cooling “fins” at the back of the refrigerator. While the refrigerator is shut off, the temperatures in the freezer and refrigerator climb, until the ice on the fins melts. For us, that means the refrigerator temperature rises to 40 +/- degrees and the freezer to around 22. The way to stop the de-ice cycle is to turn the refrigerator off and back on – exactly what we did (as a last resort) three times in the past when we noticed the temps were rising and the cooling unit was not operating.
By the time we had gleaned from internet sources this information about the de-ice cycle, our refrigerator was relatively empty, so we decided to let the cycle run its course to prove to ourselves that it WOULD come back on and start cooling. Yes, almost 5 hours later, when the fresh food temperature climbed to 40.5… ping! The cooling unit fired up and the refrigerator began to chill.
Based on what we have read, learned, and observed, we plan to use the on/off button to "manage" the de-ice cycle when we are in warm weather, particularly when we have a major grocery shopping planned. By turning the refrigerator off and on the night before (which restarts the 48 hour cycle), we can make sure the internal temperature won't be climbing as we arrive home with a load of groceries and freezer items – and in hot weather, we’re likely to restart the refrigerator once we see that the frost on the fins has melted, rather than waiting for the secret signal that turns the cooler back on.
Happily, we saw a lot in Boise, learned a lot in Boise, and accomplished a lot in Boise. All of today’s photos are of Boise attractions, and I hope we’ll get back through there one of these years.
Above: Odel enjoys a chocolate break on the convenient bench outside The Chocolat Bar.
Above, right: a fraction of the temptations we found inside!
Right: Downtown Boise has many beautiful old buildings, and a two block stretch is dominated by restaurants with comfortable outdoor seating. We visited this area twice for lunch at the Bittercreek Alehouse, a restaurant with an emphasis on local ingredients and beer - many, many beers!
Next stop: Crystal Crane Hot Springs – again!