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Old 05-23-2014, 05:52 AM
 
Location: On my way to Reno! :-)
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Winter Questions:

1) During the peek of winter, around what time does it get dark?

2) What are the outdoor activities in the winter?

3) Is there somewhere close by to go cross-country skiing?

4) How bad is the black ice? (This is a major concern for me.)



Re: The Bench ... where is it exactly? I've read on this forum people mentioning The Bench and also seen it mentioned on Craigslist (was looking there to get an idea of apartment rentals) but for the life of me I haven't figured out where it is.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:17 AM
 
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I didn't know what the Bench was either before I moved to Boise. Think of the downtown area along the river as the floor, then about where the train depot is land rises sharply like a mesa. The Bench extends from roughly Federal Way on the east to I-84 on the west. The West Bench neighborhood is west of I-84 and goes out to about Maple Grove.

Never had issue with black ice in Boise, winter driving for the most part was fairly easy. Toughest part of winter driving was giving myself an extra 5 minutes to scrape ice off my windshields every morning.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:30 AM
 
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At worst it gets dark a little before 5:00 pm. It doesn't last too long, though, especially since daylight savings time has been moved up. With proper gear you can do a lot of things in the winter. Obvious answers are skiing, snowshoeing, and that sort of thing, but you can also get outside in town on the greenbelt or often some of the deserts south of town where it tends to be warmer and less snowy. Really the sky is the limit, you just might need to invest in some warm clothing.

And there are lots of places to go cross country skiing nearby. Bogus would be the closest, but there are other resorts within a couple of hours not to mention lots of wintery forest service roads you can explore (the caveats being know what you're doing, be prepared, bring more than adequate supplies, plan for contingencies, don't go alone, make sure somebody not with you knows where you're going and when you'll be returning, and all that good stuff).

The bench location was described pretty well above. It's...eclectic. Some really nice houses and neighborhoods mixed in with some pretty run down houses and neighborhoods. Nice central location, though. I wouldn't rent a place until you can be here to scope out the specific surrounding neighborhood for yourself.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:36 PM
 
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I grew up on the bench and loved it the descriptions here are accurate but keep in mind its one of the more affordable parts of town to. Very centrally located it was easy to get where I needed anywhere in the valley. Black ice is no biggy the biggest problem with the valley imo is the smog that settles in or the fires
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:21 PM
 
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The Bench is a geologic terrace or maybe a couple of terraces on generally the south side of the Boise River. The river cut down and created the flood plain with the Bench a relic feature of the downward cutting.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:29 PM
 
Location: On my way to Reno! :-)
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Sorry for the delayed response ... been super busy. Thank you grmi66, IdaD, boiselover, Carlyee3 for your help. Winter sounds pretty user-friendly. It's a relief to know I don't have to worry about black ice. Everyone's description of the Bench is terrific! I'll definitely save everyone description for future reference. Once again, I really appreciate everyone's help!
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Tigard, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissKathrine View Post
Sorry for the delayed response ... been super busy. Thank you grmi66, IdaD, boiselover, Carlyee3 for your help. Winter sounds pretty user-friendly. It's a relief to know I don't have to worry about black ice. Everyone's description of the Bench is terrific! I'll definitely save everyone description for future reference. Once again, I really appreciate everyone's help!

The bench is a great central location and has been mentioned very ecclectic. After reading the posts and then yours, MissKatherine, I suggest that if you are considering a long term rental or buying do thorough homework on the area before you commit. My sons lived there for over a year and during that time I learned just abit more about the area. Overall Boise is quite safe but this is one of the areas that can have, lets say, sketchy events here and there. As IdaD says, be sure to scope it out well. It may be just what you are looking for, but after your response, I didn't want you to think it was teriffic with no downsides. Afterall every area will have its plusses and minusses, just know what they are. I hope you find a wonderful place to land here in Boise!
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:31 PM
 
Location: On my way to Reno! :-)
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Thank you zoso1979. I really appreciate your input & advice
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:56 PM
 
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I like the Bench well enough, especially the areas off and around Shoshone and Kootenai, and the Central Rim, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Boise.

One thing it does not have going for it is walkability. That's not to say you can't walk the neighborhoods, because you can... it's just that there's nowhere to walk to (no neighborhood center), and it's really too far to walk to the river/greenbelt/downtown (with the exception of the Central Rim area).
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:24 AM
 
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I've seen little stip centers and larger neighborhood shopping centers and small nook stores/cafes/bars around the Bench. It all depends on where on the Bench one were to live as to how close one will be to these centers.
If walking seems to far to one of these places I would recommend biking.
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