Trip to Idaho: Sawtooths, Salmon River, & Sunshine

I thought I’d get so much writing done while I was on vacation in Idaho, but I only started two blog posts and didn’t finish anything. Here’s what I did do:


Finished packing, took the dogs to the boarder, made a ridiculously large amount of coffee, loaded up the car, drove to my dad’s, got in a cab and went to Midway, flew from Chicago to Phoenix then Phoenix to Boise, sat in a car for 3.5 hours on the drive to Stanley, visited our friends, and then finally arrived at our cabin around midnight. Fell asleep immediately.



Officially checked in at Redwood Cabins in Lower Stanley (the owner was very friendly!), bought baked goodies at Stanley Baking Company & Café, and headed to John and Julie’s.

Hung out for a while and then decided to do a hike to Farley Lake, went on a very bumpy ride near Yellow Belly Lake and Petit Lake and then walked around 8 miles (according to my Fitbit?) and went from around 6300 feet above sea level to 7800 feet above sea level.

It was tough – the last mile or so my legs were exhausted, felt very good to wash the dust and dirt off my feet and relax that night, Julie made a great dinner of pasta with local morels and salad. Fell asleep immediately.



Headed to Ketchum and Sun Valley around midday, but stopped at Galena Summit Overlook to take in the great views of the Sawtooths on the way.

Headed up Mount Baldy on ski lifts – went from around 5853 to 9150 feet above sea level. Walked around downtown Ketchum for a little while, enjoyed a glass of wine at Sun Valley Wine Co and then headed to the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.

They performed Dvorak’s Carnival Overture and then Augustin Hadelich joined them to perform Concerto for Violin in A Minor, Opus 53. Was a very relaxing way to end the day.



Jonathan and I were lazy bums. We hung around John and Julie’s and read our books and napped. Juno kept us company while the rest of the group went back to Sun Valley for another night at the orchestra. We at least walked out to the Salmon River behind the house (while being herded by Juno).

We went to Redfish, walked along the beach, and enjoyed a delicious dinner at the lodge.



Last full day in Idaho. We went to Redfish and Jonathan hung out on the beach with my dad and stepmom while Julie and I went on a walk. I felt super wimpy because I was out of breath the entire time, even though it was an easy walk. We walked the Fishhook Creek Trail, but I gave up and turned around just as we were getting close to Fishhook Creek Meadow…but needed to get back to take Jonathan into town to the spa. Sounds luxurious but really he pinched a nerve in his neck and I convinced him to get a neck massage so he wouldn’t be miserable the next day while we traveled. While he enjoyed a 30-minute massage at Meadow Creek Inn & Spa, I enjoyed the view.


We grabbed a quick bite to eat (tuna melt – it was amazing) at Sluice and then relaxed back at our cabin for a little while. The cabins were right on the river and had great views of the mountains and foothills. We met everyone later and enjoyed a glass of wine at Sawtooth Spirit and watched a fox hang out in the meadow below. Ate another amazing dinner at the Sawtooth Hotel before heading home, packing, and attempting to sleep on an overly full belly.



Up early, yummy homemade muffins before leaving John, Julie and Juno, 3.5 hour drive to Boise, returned the rental car, checked our bags, got a bite to eat and boarded our plane to Las Vegas, short layover in Vegas (enough for Jonathan and I to both lose a $1 in the slot machines), connection to Chicago, overly long wait for a cab (not cool, 303 Taxi), stop in Downers Grove, got in our car and headed home. Jonathan and I were basically communicating and in nods, grunts, and sighs at this point. It was a long day.

Yesterday we relaxed, picked up our bad dogs, and enjoyed being home.

Today, back to the grind.

I used to go to Idaho every summer starting when I was 8 or so, to hike, camp, look at the stars, kayak, and enjoy the scenery. Ever since Jonathan met our family friends John and Julie – probably 4-4.5 years ago – we’ve been talking about visiting them. I’m really glad we finally did it.


PS: I finished the book The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen on our trip and started Twin by Allen Shawn. I read Freedom by Franzen a few years ago and loved it. The Corrections was definitely a page-turner, although I found all of the characters pretty depressing and hard to like. Overall I liked how the book ended, but it was a bit of a struggle to get there. The way Franzen narrated someone suffering from dementia and Parkinson’s was really well done and interesting. I liked seeing the same event from multiple perspectives.

I’m almost done with Twin, and I’m glad to be. Shawn is not the best writer in my opinion – very repetitive. I feel like Twin could be condensed into a short story vs. a novel.

Just started Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children last night – I needed a break before finishing Twin. I’m excited for this one. I bought this book probably three years ago and have never started it. So far, very interesting.


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