Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sun Valley Idaho

It has been a couple weeks since my last entry. It was not entirely deliberate, but was the result of some deadlines and work and life stresses that sapped me of the energy to contribute to FE. I had a nasty cold/flu-type thing, a big proposal due, hosted a birthday party for my daughter and on top of that, tried to keep my sanity.

By the last couple of nights I became worried that my sleep schedule was scarred. I knew all of it was coming. Despite some money concerns I decided that an escape would be in order.

Opportunity had presented itself in the form of my girlfriend wondering if I could go with her to ski in Sun Valley, Idaho and partially crash her girlfriend's trip with her ski club. I can only say it would have been excellent to crash her full trip and stay the whole week. Sun Valley and the town at its base, Ketchum, were amazing.

We arrived Saturday mid-morning and wandered the town waiting for our room to be ready. It's a small town with some of the friendliest people I've encountered in a while. Found lunch and took in a drink at Sawtooth brewery. A "big fat nap" (as my girlfriend puts it) then occurred once our room was ready. We crashed her friend's intro to the mountain and had dinner.

We were up early the next day for skiing. The sun was bright and the sky was clear. First up the gondola and then took a trail over to the next lift to the Seattle summit of Mount Baldy. The wind whipped as though on top of a snowy mountain, go figure. However the runs, were sheltered in bowls and the bases of the lifts were downright warm as the day progressed.

We started easy. However, the one thing I learned about Sun Valley is that their "easy" was a lot of other places "moderate" or even "difficult". The hills were groomed, but steep. The sun hitting the snow left it a little heavy leaving thick spots where the traffic was heavy, but I only even encountered one patch of ice.

The careful cutting and negotiating the light traffic and terrain left our thighs burning and caused a good sweat. I still ski in a 20 year old Columbia parka without the climate control of zippable arm-pits or lighter liners, so I got hot. We spent the morning on the Seattle ridge, but heard something the previous night about tacos at the top of Baldy, so we skied to the lift and rode it to just over 9000' and had an awesome taco salad at the Lookout chalet.

Post lunch found us noticing our fatigue and we worked our way off the mountain. I can tell my fatigue when I'm not picking up my legs and my rear edges catch a little more.

We made it back to the River Run lodge. The sun was nearly hot (to me at least) and we watched the skiers make their way off the mountain drinking shandys on the patio. My face would be red with sun for the next few days, but it was an excellent day on the mountain.

From there we hot tubbed at the hotel and ate dinner at the famous Pioneer Saloon in Ketchum. The prime rib and ribeye were exquisite.

With the brevity of our trip, we explored and relaxed the next day. Meeting my gf's gf for lunch and then drinks and dinner in the evening.

Then so concluded our trip with a 7am flight back to reality. It felt too soon to return and too quick of a trip, but we do what we must. I got just enough to look forward to my next adventure out west.

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