Welcome to my Idaho adventure blog!

Hi, my name is Chelle. I am a recent B.S.U. graduate and a lifelong Idaho resident. I have three loves in my life - my family, my writing, and my Idaho. The purpose of this blog is to share my extensive and intimate knowledge of Idaho with you, through my writing. As a woman with a family and a tight budget, I am often forced to make memories for pennies, and I want to take you along for the ride. The adventures I post will, almost always, focus on places or activities that are inexpensive and appropriate for children, without being a snore for adults. Some of the activities I write about are camping, fishing, rock hunting, history, environmental news, hot springs, hunting...Basically, anything Idaho.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Scuba Diving in Lucky Peak

On a recent family outing I witnessed a very strange sight – scuba divers in Lucky Peak. I stood back a respectful distance, and watched what appeared to be a scuba lesson is session. My interested was peaked. The high desert climate of the Treasure Valley is not exactly what comes to mind, when you think of scuba diving.

Turns out, Idaho is uniquely suited to scuba diving with its multitudes of different kinds of water. According to Mike Branchflower, co-owner of one of Boise’s two scuba diving shops, Dive Magic, there are a variety of diving experiences in or near the Treasure Valley. For a dive with great visibility Branchflower recommends Payette, Redfish and Stanley Lakes. For its close proximity – Lucky Peak, and for a “wild ride” you can’t beat the Boise River. Branchflower describes the Boise as “full of loot,” and "always changing". When I asked Branchflower about which Idaho waters he’s dived he said, “ If its got water we’ve tried to dive it.”

The diving lesson I witnessed on Sunday was part of the regular classes offered by Dive Magic. It was an open water class, where divers are brought to practice their skills in large, open bodies of water. Dive Magic teaches scuba diving using the PADI method. They offer a variety of class levels, beginning with the Seal Team for children, and progressing all the way up to Instructor. Becoming a certified diver at Dive Magic is reasonable. Lessons cost only $375.00 and include everything except mask, fins and snorkel, and can be completed in two short weekends.

Dive Magic is also committed to its diving community after the sale. All summer long, on every Wednesday night, the company supplies certified area divers with one free tank of air to use to explore Lucky Peak.

The company is also concerned about the environment and host’s annual “Clean up the Lake” outings. Dive Magic organizes teams of divers to clean up underwater, as well as diver support teams who work on dry land, to remove litter from area lakes. As incentive Dive Magic offers free food, air, and prizes for all who enter. Past year’s prizes included regulators, wetsuits and other diving gear. Regarding the company’s commitment to the environment Branchflower said: “We try to leave it better than we found it…it’s an easy thing to do.”

After watching the diving lesson at Lucky Peak and talking with Branchflower, I’ve come to realize that scuba diving lessons impart much more than just knowledge of the sport. If you discover diving at Dive Magic, you become a member of a close community, who enjoy spending time exploring a side of Idaho many of us never get to see, that which lies beneath the watery surface.

While scuba lessons do not fall into my normally low cost requirements, the idea is so intriguing to me that I’ve been considering options as to financing the venture. Regardless of whether or not I get to take diving lessons, I enjoyed watching them and I plan to join Dive Magic for a lake clean up. It’s an easy thing to do.

Out of sheer curiosity and fascination, I asked Dive Magic for some photos. They were kind enough to forward these.

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