A few years ago, I took a survey on the air where I asked only one question: what's the most fun thing to do in Boise on the weekend? When I compiled all the answers I received, there was one glaring most-popular answer: leave town.
So I altered the survey, asking instead what listeners thought was the best weekend destination. I got a lot of answers. Some of them mentioned camping and fishing sites. Others claimed that to get anywhere interesting, you have to get on a plane. However, the three top answers were McCall, Sun Valley and Jackpot. The three sites are similar. They all qualify as resorts. They're all between two and three hours' drive from Boise. And they all require that you bring money.
I rarely leave town, but this weekend we've been invited by friends to stay with them at their timeshare in McCall. The timeshare company is called Timbercrest, and I've stayed in one of their vacation homes before. I loved it. The houses are more than twice as large as the one we live in, and everything in them is very high quality, including the furnishings, fixtures and appliances. The big-screen TV even rises up out of the coffee table. That might not be exciting to you, but it was to me.
I've never owned property in McCall, and I don't believe I have any family members who own any, either. But I have been there a few times. Usually I've been there as part of a group. In high school, I went there and camped out around the lake with the Twin Falls DeMolay chapter. We did that three years in a row, and that's where I became a member of the Polar Bear Club by diving into the lake at 6am.
In college I went a few times as part of different Boise State organizations. I've been to one wedding there. And any time I've traveled to a destination in north Idaho, I've always stopped in McCall to eat. Also, my friend Rob, who is an attorney in Maryland, rented a place in McCall for a week and invited my wife and me to stay the first weekend, which we did. Rob's plan was to have his parents drive up from Twin Falls and his in-laws drive down from the Tri Cities so the whole family could enjoy the week together. But his stepfather was ill, so he and his wife spent the weekend with us, then drove to Twin Falls for a few days, then drove back to McCall to meet up with his in-laws.
Going away for the weekend is a good step toward my eventual goal of becoming much healthier. Despite the fact that we're mainly going to McCall to relax, we will end up doing a lot of walking, which is more exercise than I get on a typical weekend at home. And that's mainly because I have a TV and a computer. One day I'll hook them up to a human-powered generator, and my health will improve drastically. Or I'll swear off appliances. One of those two things will happen.
Anyway, I'm excited about the trip, so I decided to check the Internet to find out what's interesting to do in McCall. Here are the top suggestions: golf, hiking, boating, skating and skiing. I won't be doing any of those. The best suggestion I found? Sightseeing. And that's because you can do it any way you want. My favorite way involves sitting in a car. Or sitting on a couch, staring out a window.
On the other hand, if I simply add up the number of McCall-related websites and categorize them, it turns out that McCall's most-popular activity has literally hundreds of businesses dedicated to it and people willing to drop everything to help you participate. It's called "shopping for real estate".