A trip to Meridian, Idaho, reveals a very different kind of dessert

John R Beyer

Welcome to Meridian

My beautiful wife Laureen and I recently decided to travel to Idaho. More specifically, to the city of Meridian to meet our brand new grandson. We also wanted to spend some time with our daughter and son-in-law, but actually we wanted to see our grandson.

We have met our daughter and son-in-law before.

“I’m so excited to meet Eli for the first time,” Laureen said.

I nodded. So was I and had decided to drive to Meridian rather than fly to spend some time along the road to see what we could see.

We like the journey.

At that time, medium grade gasoline was hovering around $200 a gallon. So I cashed in some life insurance policies a few days before the trip so we could afford the gas for the trip.

“You know,” said Laureen, “hotels are getting expensive too.”

“Hotel? Yes,” I replied while discreetly tossing the two bedrolls back into the closet.

Located west of Boise, the city of Meridian is the second largest city in Idaho. Meridian is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.

That could be due to the business-friendly vibe, lush, vast green spaces, pet-friendly parks, people-friendly parks, long greenbelt next to the Boise River, and more.

Tree lined streets in Meridian

I’ve thought about it a lot and I believe people flock to this Ada County town for a compelling reason.

The reason: Meridian houses the largest Albertsons supermarket in the world.

Enough said, apart from meeting the new grandson – I went shopping.

Meridian was founded in 1891 at a place known as Onweiler Farm, just north of where the city is today. In 1893 an IOOF (Independent Order of Odd Fellows) was organized and named their lodge Meridian after realizing that it was on the Boise Meridian.

In 1903 the founding municipality of Meridian was incorporated.

In all honesty, I don’t know much about the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but I found it strange that an organization should come up with that name.

“Let’s come up with something unique,” someone might have suggested.

“How about an independent Order of Cool Guys?” another may have replied.

“Guys, that sounds pretty weird,” came the reply.

“Okay, let’s do that.”

The city of Meridian is said to be semi-arid, similar to the desert. The Cascade and Blue Mountain Ranges in Oregon and Washington retain most of the moisture from the Pacific Ocean, so rain doesn’t fall as much as in those regions. The Rocky Mountains to the east also stop many of the big winter storms that plague the country east of the high and long mountain range, allowing Meridian to have a fairly mild winter.