Sunday, May 16, 2021

Mosaic Monday #131: Wrapping up the Epic Road Trip

I didn't intend to milk our October 2020 road trip for seven months' worth of posts, but I suppose that is what happens when a) it is a 2300-mile, epic trip and b) life goes on and other topics take priority!  If you missed the previous instalments, you can check them out here:  Part I: Ghost TownsPart II: YellowstonePart III: Yellowstone and Teton ValleyPart IV: Jackson Hole and the TetonsPart V: High Life in UtahPart VI: Museum of CleanPart VII: Idaho Potato Museum and Idaho Falls; and Part VIII: Craters of the Moon/Silver Creek Preserve.

Our final days found us in Ketchum, Idaho, home to Sun Valley Ski Resort.  In October, a "shoulder season", it was quiet.  Social distancing and masking made it comfortable to peruse a few shops and go out for dinner.  But first, we were intrigued by the Sawtooth Mountains, and set out to hike to Alice Lake and Twin Lakes.  As we drove to the trailhead, we couldn't stop "oohing" and "aahing" over the dramatic mountains before us.  I am afraid the pictures do not do them justice.

It was 36 degrees and raining lightly as we left our vehicle.  The clouds were low, obscuring some of the peaks from view.  The trail wound through a valley between two peaks, and as the valley narrowed, we were rewarded with closer views of jagged cliffs and the mountains beyond.  It was easy to see why they had been named the Sawtooth Mountains.

Through this section, we saw several pikas, steadily gathering food and storing it in underground burrows.

As we gained elevation, we encountered more snow.  Although we saw a few footprints ahead of us, they were soon lost amid this gigantic scree field.  With little to go on for the direction of the trail, we had to abandon the hike and re-trace our steps.

On the return, the sun emerged, granting us improved views.

In the sun, Pettit Lake sparkled, and the mountains beyond were visible.  What a transformation from the morning mists that had shrouded the landscape!


On the drive back to Ketchum, we stopped briefly at a pull-out so I could take more pictures of mountains. As we like to ask each other - "Did I tell you I like snow-capped mountains?"  I marveled at the contrast between the plains and the mountain ranges - such a classic vista.

While my fly-fishing fiend visited two of the fly-fishing establishments in town, I made a bee-line for the only advertised embroidery shop.  I could easily have bought a number of projects, but the sticker shock put me off.  So I entertained myself taking pictures of a couple of murals on electrical boxes.

On the recommendation of the friendly staff at our hotel, we ventured to the Cellar Pub.  As you might guess from the food and drinks below, the joint earned a "10" from us!

The next day was our final one on the road -- destination?  HOME!  We left shortly after 8 am with almost 500 miles ahead of us.  An inch of snow lightly covered the landscape, and the temperature gauge read 19.  We hoped that Galena Pass would not be treacherous - the truck still sported its summer tires!  We were in luck - the roads there were dry!  We stopped for gas and a comfort break in Stanley, Idaho - population 63, according to the sign!  We chatted with the man behind the cash register, and he informed us that the town had voted to put a 10-year hold on the sale of ANY lots - now that's one way to arrest development in a place with spectacular views!

The drive from Stanley to Challis and on to Salmon, as it meanders along the Salmon River, was a photographer's paradise.  We resolved to return here when we have time to stop frequently.

As we began to navigate the switchbacks to the summit of Lost Trail Pass (also the location of Lost Trail Ski Resort), the road became more snow-covered.

And the temperature continued to drop.

We crested the summit, entered Montana and the roads became even icier - the shade on the northeastern aspect of the road, combined with the frigid temperatures, made for less than ideal conditions.  Yes, this was October 25!!!

The roads were not much better when we reached the valley; the heavy snowfall and low temperatures meant that the snow was frozen into ruts and driving was slow.  We were ever so relieved to arrive home safely at 5.30 pm.  Five hundred miles in 9.5 hours - yikes!  I am so grateful that Spousal Unit prefers driving - he certainly did the heavy lifting that day!  (If you look closely, you can see that #1 Son is opening the front door to welcome us, 12 days after our departure.)  Home Sweet Home.

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  1. Wow, what a great end of an epic trip. I've been to Idaho a lot over the years but have only explored the far southeastern end. It looks like I am missing out.

  2. ./..I do love snow, but I'm ready to move on. This morning I planted my peppers, gardening is in full swing.

  3. Wow quite a journey but I enjoys your tell of it. Spectacular scenery too. Snow can be a gamechanger but fun also.

  4. you really had a great trip, one I envy you. I love the mountains country. I have none or that where I live.
    Take care!

  5. I love to travel, but now staying on one place or make a small walk is enough... therefore I enjoyed reading about other places. What a fantastisc Tour, Angie, sure it's a treasure of rememberings for long time.

    Happy MosaicMonday

  6. That really does qualify for EPIC and everything was just so darn beautiful!

  7. What a wonderful journey you had, the scenery is stunning.

  8. What an incredible road trip. I love the mountains, really enjoyed seeing your photos. Glad you got back safe and sound.


  9. The mountains are so majestic and awe-inspiring. What a great trip. I'm glad you made it home safely in spite of the early snow. And to have your son open the door to welcome you home is just the best!

  10. Hi Angie
    This post made me realize that I have not seen enough of Idaho! Such beautiful scenery and mountains. I;m glad you made it home safely from that early snow and ice--high elevations are a whole new world in October. My husband is also the one who prefers to drive--I am the photo taker co-pilot!

  11. I think such an EPIC road trip is worth a number of posts. I never get around to completing all of mine when life takes over. Thanks for taking us along! Stay safe and happy travels, and have a great week.

  12. Hello,

    Beautiful scenic views, the end of your trip looks fabulous! The dinner looks yummy and murals are pretty. I would have been freaking out driving on the snowy/icy roads, I am a wimp. So glad you arrived home safely. Beautiful photos. Take care, have a happy new week!

  13. Happy Monday

    Stay Safe

    much love...

  14. Epic it certainly was! But how beautiful were all of the places you visited, Angie! Wonderful to be on the virtual back seat and vicariously enjoy your trip!

  15. I love snow covered mts too and your photos are amazing. It's nice to be on a trip when you can stop when you want to take pics. Home never looks so good though! Enjoy your week!

  16. Dear Angie - I marvel at the nature of your country beautiful and dynamic at the same time. I can imagine how you felt when the snow-capped mountains beyond the lake emerged out of mist, so awe-inspiring. I enlarged the photo to see the opening door and two animal figures welcoming you back.


  17. Splendid Scenery! What a trip. I posted a "last" today too. Now that the pandemic has lessened, there will be lots of firsts.

  18. My kind of road trip. enjoyed the photos and commentary. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yes I do have my pilots license but haven't flown for many a year. Interests change over the years. More into golf these days LOL

  19. Glad you made it across the mountains!

  20. An awesome road trip with magnificent scenery. I miss being able to travel anywhere at this point. And temperatures are now close to 110 F so daytime walking has been curtailed. I sure hope the folks of Stanley, Idaho stick with the plan to not sell lots. Would be a shame to lose even more of the natural world and its peaceful views.

  21. Your home is so welcoming … the best place it the world to be after such an interesting trip and a bit scary I image with no snow tires. Well worth the trip, however, with those spectacular views.

  22. Beautiful vistas for sure. Snow capped mountains are a treat. Another wonderful adventure in the books and a wonderful homecoming with your son to greet you. Happy new day to you!

  23. That was a great roadtrip. (Well, maybe except for the icy conditions at the end of a long travel day. But we've done that pulling a fifth-wheel trailer so I know it is survivable. In my case as yours if the other guy likes to drive!). You chose a lovely route for that Covid-era trip -- so beautifu, so much to remember, and not a whole lot of people really. The food pic makes me smile -- we have favorite "joints" we remember from our travels -- sure more fun as well as more delicious to find those than to patronize the same-everywhere chains!

  24. Goodness me! That was such a great road trip wasn't it.
    Lovely to see your photographs.

    My good wishes.

    All the best Jan

  25. Those landscapes, they are beautiful Angie. Wonderful.

  26. Thanks for the virtual trip Angie. I don't envy Driver With The Wheel with 500 miles and snow covered ruts. Did I tell you my new car has done over 200 miles now? In three months.

  27. What a wonderful trip you had Angie. Lots of beautiful photos, I love those mountain shots. Enjoy your weekend.


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