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21 Reviews
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a very special book.
I live in the closest city to Idaho, so I figured that if I went to the city library to find tour books on the potato state, there would be a multitude available to me. I was sadly mistaken. This was the only guide book I could find for that state. It's size and shape and the fact that it was hard-bound made it seem an unlikely choice to take on a road trip. As it...
Published on November 17, 1999

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a travel guide
Misclassified, this is not a travel guide rather a historical guide to the state. May be interesting reading but it isn't at all helpful for travellers.
Published 5 months ago by C. Melville


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a very special book., November 17, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Idaho for the Curious: A Guide (Paperback)
I live in the closest city to Idaho, so I figured that if I went to the city library to find tour books on the potato state, there would be a multitude available to me. I was sadly mistaken. This was the only guide book I could find for that state. It's size and shape and the fact that it was hard-bound made it seem an unlikely choice to take on a road trip. As it turned out, however, this book was to prove the existence of fate. This book was meant for me and I for this book. You see, I am now Boise's biggest touristic fan because my Idaho book helped me to fully understand and appreciate that town. The guided tour was full of detail and precisely laid out for our one day drive around Boise. But it doesn't stop there, this book offers complete coverage of all the small towns and natural wonders of the state. I have come to the conclusion that the reason I was only able to find one touristic guide book about Idaho is simply because the only one which will ever be needed has already been written - and it is called Idaho for the Curious. And I am the Curious. One small note, however, is that this book is slightly out of date. The hilltop destination called "Table Rock" above Boise no longer lays at the end of a dirt road. The road is now paved.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great guide, very informative, November 28, 2005
By 
Bomojaz (South Central PA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Idaho for the Curious: A Guide (Paperback)
If every state could offer up a tour guide as thorough as this one, travelers would have much to cheer about, no matter where they were. This is a major achievement in the field.

Conley has arranged the book into three major sections (Lakes and Forests - North; Rivers and Canyons - Southwest; and Mountains and Deserts - Southeast), and then by major highways within each section. He takes the traveler along each route, pointing out historic sites, geological formations, archeology, towns and cities, and all kinds of points of interest along the way. When appropriate he will venture down side roads to highlight sites.

Much historical information is related by Conley (the book is 700 pages long), and there are photographs (mostly historical) galore. As useful as the guide is on the road, it is equally as entertaining and informative for the armchair traveler as well. This book will not help you with finding motels, restaurants, or modern day tourist attractions; it is strictly written with the history of the state in mind. And in that regard, it's a beauty. Travelers in Idaho or those interested in the state's history should be sure to get a hold of this book - you won't be disappointed.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Prize gift for Idaho Expatriates, January 7, 2000
By 
This review is from: Idaho for the Curious: A Guide (Paperback)
This volume was on the bookshelf of a friend's home when we visited Boise Thanksgiving ' 99. I grew up in Lewiston and had Idaho History as part of the basic Elementary School curriculum. I therefore fancied there would not be many surprises between the covers of Mr. Conley's treatise. I can honestly say it caused me regret to reshelve the book unfinished when our visit to Boise was over. Besides the text, the vintage photos carry the reader back in time. I have no hesitation in endorsing this as the best Idaho History book I've ever read. As soon as we returned to Bozeman, I ordered a copy to present my buddy Steve Etheridge who is a professional Storyteller in Indiana, not just for the great details of history, but because he once lived in Idaho and has a deep reverence for the land and its spirit. I am sure this would be a highly prized gift for any friends or family who are Idaho Expatriates.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Bliss, December 7, 1999
By 
Rebecca Mitchell (Salt Lake City, Utah) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Idaho for the Curious: A Guide (Paperback)
I was with Peter(The author of the other review for this book) on his fate filled trip to Idaho, and not only can I attest to the fact that Peter is Boise's biggest fan, but that Idaho for the Curious is the only Idaho guide book period. Idaho for the Curious was more than a meager surface level guide, noting were to stop and what to see, but this book went deeper much deeper. It was the single most influential element making our trip a success. I thought is was a sick joke when Peter heaved his seven hundred four page cannon ball of a guidebook on the floor of my car. (The book on sale here is a more convenient lightweight paperback version.) However, I soon realized how wrong I was and how critical every and I mean every page of this book is. Idaho for the Curious was so in-depth that it covered old ghost towns. The radiator hose on my car could have burst 13.3 miles from the exit to Bliss, and I could have walked the entire way barefoot with gum, bits of windshield glass and melted asphalt tar on my tootsies and been glad the whole way because Idaho for the Curious told not only where the nearest telephone could be found but when it was put there, by whom and why. In other words you can not experience Idaho unless you experience it curiously.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, little-known history, April 10, 2009
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This review is from: Idaho for the Curious: A Guide (Paperback)
This is not a travel guide in the usual sense--but a boon for history buffs. While campgrounds, hikes, and other attactions are mentioned in passing, the emphasis is on history and sometimes geology of each route covered. It's as interesting an armchair read as it is a companion for the road. As a Montana resident, I wish we had a book like this covering the Treasure State.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Idaho -- It's not a confession, it's a state, October 3, 2002
By 
This review is from: Idaho for the Curious: A Guide (Paperback)
Let's face it - what about Idaho DOESN'T make you curious? Whether it's the state capital Boise, or their infatuation with potatoes, Idaho has always been one of the more unusual states.
Well, thanks to author Cort Conley's vivid descriptions of the lush landscapes, and the colorful people that populate this great state, Idaho is well on its way to becoming much more than just "the state next to Montana".
As long as there are imaginative travel-authors like Conley around, Idaho will not be forgotten.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars should be on bookshelf of every northwest native, January 26, 2003
By 
mark twain "vandal101" (San Marcos, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Idaho for the Curious: A Guide (Paperback)
Cort Conley is to Idaho what Frank Dobie is to Texas. There is no man who has seen more of the Idaho landscape and backcountry, and known more of the Idaho people than Conley. And few people (if any) can tell you more about Idaho's underappreciated history and Indian lore. This book should be on the bookshelf of every native to the Pacific Northwest, alongside Evie Litton's Hiking Hot Springs of the Pacific Northwest (they just look good together).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touring Idaha, May 28, 2013
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This review is from: Idaho for the Curious: A Guide (Paperback)
If you appreciate history of areas you are traveling, this is an excellent book. It give depth to what would otherwise be an beep-beep and zip driving tour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Bliss, December 7, 1999
By 
Rebecca Mitchell (Salt Lake City, Utah) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Idaho for the Curious: A Guide (Paperback)
I was with Peter(The author of the other review for this book) on his fate filled trip to Idaho, and not only can I attest to the fact that Peter is Boise's biggest fan, but that Idaho for the Curious is the only Idaho guide book period. Idaho for the Curious was more than a meager surface level guide, noting were to stop and what to see, but this book went deeper much deeper. It was the single most influential element making our trip a success. I thought is was a sick joke when Peter heaved his seven hundred four page cannon ball of a guidebook on the floor of my car. (The book on sale here is a more convenient lightweight paperback version.) However, I soon realized how wrong I was and how critical every and I mean every page of this book is. Idaho for the Curious was so in-depth that it covered old ghost towns. The radiator hose on my car could have burst 13.3 miles from the exit to Bliss, and I could have walked the entire way barefoot with gum, bits of windshield glass and melted asphalt tar on my tootsies and been glad the whole way because Idaho for the Curious told not only where the nearest telephone could be found but when it was put there, by whom and why. In other words you can not experience Idaho unless you experience it curiously.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the gold standard on Idaho guides, April 9, 2009
By 
Randy Stapilus (Carlton, Oregon, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Idaho for the Curious: A Guide (Paperback)
There are a bunch of guidebooks to Idhao, and some of those covering narrower and more specific areas might be more thorough for specific spots. But Idaho for the Curious is the gold standard for guidebooks for the state overall. It's hard to see how it will be surpassed any time soon, and it has been around for a generation now.

Well organized by highway routes, the sheer amount of information in it is only part of the usefulness. There are stories here, lots of good ones, and well told. And one other thing: Cort delivers a particular Idaho sensibility here. It is not the same as a guidebook for Minnesota or Nevada; it not only tells alot about Idaho, but a lot about the traditional Idaho mindset.
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Idaho for the Curious: A Guide
Idaho for the Curious: A Guide by Cort Conley (Paperback - June 1982)
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