SilverStreakZiplineFirst thing I asked Silver Streak Ziplining owner Dave Deroos was, “What’s your philosophy on safety?” People: if you go on any zipline, this must be the first question you ask. It’s your life that you are putting into their hands and they must be professional and up to date about minimizing your risk. Dave told me that he went a little “overboard.” I like his style. Indeed, not only was his staff very well-trained, they also showed me the extra efforts they made with regard to safety when we were on the towers from where we zipped.

SSZDrew

Made me feel good as I was zipping through a forest above the town of Wallace on a thousand foot zipline going about 40 miles per hour. I felt so safe, I wasn’t even the least bit nervous. I’m the mother of a 6 and 8 year old. I knew I would return to them.

The guides had a protocol for each and every move we made and they didn’t deter themselves from going through each point – no matter how redundant.

The forest that we zipped through is the subject of the Timothy Egan book, The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America.  Egan is an incredible writer, making the history of the West totally enthralling. Reading the book before you go will make the travel all that more meaningful.

Wallaceatnight copyAfter ziplining, we went to dinner with good friend and Kellogg resident, Mary Heston. She suggested we go to The Historic Smoke House Barbeque and Saloon. We sat at a table on the sidewalk, next to some locals who were having a good time, shooting the breeze on this warm Saturday night. The smoker was parked on the curb and the owner drank his drink in the Jeep behind the smoker. Quite colorful.

MaryCenterofUniverse

centerofuniverse copyAfter we ordered, Mary took me to the Center of the Universe, just steps from where we were. Who knew! (I thought it was Manhattan. I was wrong. They have a marker.)

We enjoyed the local micro-brews (Idaho is a GREAT beer state – don’t fool yourself) until the food came. Here’s what I want to know: how do they make such great food in such a tiny town? I’m not a BBQ afficianado, but I know good food and this food was extraordinary. Forgot to take photos of the food because I was so hungry. The sides were magnificent as well: mac and cheese, potato salad to die for (not too mayonaissey, with purple onion and other crunchies), and a pulled pork sandwich. The bun could be better, but I’m nitpicking, here. Great beer — as there is seemingly everywhere not only in Wallace, but all of Idaho.

One of our ziplining mates from earlier in the day stopped by our table with a doggy bag of Jambalaya. I had seen that on the menu and thought to myself “don’t order shrimp in Idaho.” This woman was from Seattle and she had traipsed through the kitchen to thank whoever made the jambalaya. It was the son of the owner. Some good cooking genes, there.

Wallace seems like a good-time town and we were sorry not to have spent more time there. Dave Deroos said that the mining tour was authentic and worth seeing and I just wanted to walk around the place a bit more, but time was running out. Wallace is an old Western town, but doesn’t have a touristy kitsch to it. Real people live there and survive without the tourists. I will go back.

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @erodg
To read more of Elizabeth’s posts on TravelingMom.com, click here.

Please note: Silver Streak Ziplines hosted our visit through the trees. My opinions are my own and please know that I would never recommend something dangerous.