We are officially in the potato state, our “Idahome” for the summer.
Joining me for the initial ride, my brother-in-law leads the way towards Stripe Rock.
City Of Rocks National Reserve is a popular destination for climbers, but cyclists will find some nice flow trails.
With our time in Ketchum (Idaho) winding down, I’m scrambling to find (new-to-me) high alpine riding areas that are open for the season; many locations remain buried in snow/mud or are temporarily off-limits due to seasonal closures aimed at protecting mothering elks and their newly born calves.
Hmm … now what?
Enter the #galenatrails, or more specifically the #galenagrinder mountain bike course, to the rescue.
One of Idaho’s longest running races, the course is steeped in history and hits most of the trail network over a 25 mile effort.
Checking off multiple boxes (mixed terrain, hills, beautiful scenery, etc.), it was a no-brainer to download the course to my GPS, drive 30 minutes to the trailhead, and under deep blue skies get lost in the backcountry for a few a hours.
While places like Moab and Sedona routinely get all the MTB love (and deservingly so) these big mountain trails will always be my preferred scene.
Increasingly, enjoying scenes like these are becoming my preferred version of Casual Friday.
Today, on the eve of Memorial Day weekend, atop two wheels I enjoyed the sweet smell of Spring. As I whooshed along smooth trails, marveling at the wild flowers basking in their own glory, I couldn’t believe I had the trails all to myself.
A good thing to as the scenery invoked movie memories resulting in my singing aloud to myself “the hills are alive …”.
Despite what must have been me being woefully out of tune, I still think the Von Trapp family would appreciate my carefree spirit and approve.
You know the feeling – how slipping into you favorite pair of jeans feels so right, natural.
We rolled into Ketchum (Idaho) this afternoon and let me tell you, doing so was easy.
Arriving felt good. Familiar and comfortable.
Another mountain town Spring season is underway around these parts and it’s simply a glorious time to be here.
A full slate of hiking and trail riding, followed by visits to our favorite breweries and restaurants lies ahead.
Definitely one of our happy places, we are thrilled to be back, even if only for a few days.
As mentioned in my last post, we left Ketchum, ID on Sunday afternoon knowing we had to close 825 miles by the July 4th weekend. Accordingly, we set our sites on Stoddard Creek Campground, 180 miles down the road.
About three hours later, having covered a mix of highways, gravel roads, and interstates, we arrived to this fairly small National Forest Campground, which will be our home through the work week. We now find ourselves nestled under a thick canopy of evergreen trees, which, while problematic for our rooftop solar panels, does provide plenty of anchor points for our hammock.
It’s been a few months – far too long really, since we’ve had an opportunity to enjoy the hammock, so the trade-off for quality sunshine seems like a good one. And, we have portable panels to keep our batteries from draining, so there isn’t any significant downside. Anyway, not one to waste time … with a book in hand, last night after dinner Kelly made sure to begin catching up on #hammocktime.
Five weeks ago we arrived to Ketchum not knowing what to expect. Today, with 825 miles to cover ahead of a July 4th family commitment, with mixed emotions we decided to move on. We did so however knowing that we will be back someday … hopefully sooner than later.
Kelly and I love mountain towns and nestled in Sawtooth Mountains, Ketchum is just that. Unlike other resort towns however (Sun Valley is located there), Ketchum has a unique feel which results is a low key vibe. A common theory for this centers around the fact that the town is not necessarily easy to access – visitors must ‘want it’. For many, places such as Park City, Lake Tahoe, or Mammoth Lakes are far easier accessed and afford more skiing options, more restaurants, more night life, more shopping, more this and more that.
To our pleasure, we didn’t pick-up on any over the top nonsense commonplace to the aforementioned towns. Mainly, it didn’t feel over the top like over places can.
Its mood fit us like a glove.
We stayed in two locations during our time here – both fantastic boondocking sites minutes from town, but offering plenty of solitude and easy access to trails.
Having only scratched the surface of this region during our stay, Kelly and I are already discussing plans visit again in the fall. We cannot wait to visit again.
Saturday we visited Stanley, which is sometimes referred to as the gateway into the broader surrounding Sawtooth Mountains. The town itself is quite small – population 63 according to the city signage. As a metropolis, don’t expect much if you visit. However, one doesn’t visit Stanley for it’s urban experience – you go for the insane beauty completely surrounding the town.
We only dipped our toes into the area. There is a lot more to see and I hope to relocate to Stanley in the next week or two in order to more fully take in the area.