Photo Courtesy Of Kane's Kove

It’s the middle of summer, kids are bored, I’m restless and my husband desperately needs some R & R. The budget being tight has me wondering what kind of special outing we can really pull off. Then I remember a friend talking about an incredible place on the Snake River in the “middle of nowhere.”

Photo Courtesy Of Kane's Kove

The kayak launch site is about 4 miles up river just below the Minidoka Dam

Equipped with her directions, we head off in search of paradise. At first, we think we had plugged the wrong address into the GPS. Just as I think we’re at the end of the road (literally) one of the kids spots a huge piece of driftwood with some faded black paint simply stating “Kane’s Kove.”

We turn down a dirt road, fragrant with fresh-cut Alfalfa and a bonnet-clad Grandma Dorothy wandering the horse pasture with a welcoming wave.  I’m sure my husband is wondering what I’ve gotten us into now.

Photo © Jason Lugo

Ron Kane, known by all his friends as "Captain Ron" stands on his pontoon boat named "The Naked Parrot"

At the end of the quarter-mile drive, we are suddenly transported into another world. There’s some sort of calypso music playing, real totem poles, a beautifully manicured lawn that seems to disappear into the water, hammocks hanging in the shade. Now this is what my friend was talking about.

The “office” is a travel trailer, painted so many vibrant colors it could give a neighborhood in Mexico a run for its money. We are greeted by the owner, affectionately known as “Captain Ron,” who has the trailer preloaded with kayaks (the fat-bottomed, non-tippy kind) and a floating trailer for the ice chest. Adventure seekers need not apply; this day is all about rest.

Photo © Jason Lugo

The 1970's van is the shuttle to the kayak drop point.

We meet Ron’s son, Zac, who is home from college and every bit as charming as his dad. After paying $22 per person, we are escorted to The Van, which is an experience in and of itself. This is not a luxury van by any means – mid 70s, no AC, beach towels on the seats to prevent butt burning and painted/decorated by Zac and his friends when they were in high school, keeping with the same theme as the office, of course.

The crew piles in and away we go, bump, bump, bumping along. Captain Ron keeps us entertained with his many stories and adventures, sometimes on the colorful side. After a 15-minute drive, we reach the Minidoka Dam, where the van comes to a dusty stop. The kayaks are unloaded, we lather up in sunscreen and the cooler trailer is securely fastened.

Photo © Jason Lugo

The sounds of Jimmy Buffet sweep through the patio that overlooks the river.

With the refreshing water, pelicans swimming around you and the smell of the river, we are already relaxed. The next five hours belong to us as the water meanders along. No computer, TV, phone calls. Not even a single text message. I silently thank my friend for the recommendation. The sounds of the kids swimming and splashing and exploring on the many sandbars is music to my ears. Life vest are provided to everyone, so even the non-water folks feel comfortable taking a cool dip. Occasionally we see a red jetski cruising by as Captain Ron checks to be sure everyone is happy and taken care of.

An abandoned bridge marks the end of our journey on the Snake. We are greeted by the sounds of Jimmy Buffett long before we see the sweeping lawns of The Kove. As we get closer, our mouths begin to water from the smell of BBQ reaches us with a simple choice of burgers or hotdogs. We leave with a full tummy, a relaxed spirit and a few shades darker (or redder), depending on our sunscreen reapplication habits.

Cheeseburger in Paradise takes on a whole new meaning here.

Book your next family outing or special event between the end of May and the first week in August. Appropriate for all ages. Two hours southeast of Boise. Nearest overnight lodging located 25 minutes away in Burley, ID.

Kane’s Kove: (208) 431-5896

kaneskove@hotmail.com  (MAP)

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