We're back in civilization now, spending the next two nights in Ketchum, Idaho, and Sun Valley. The two little towns are just two miles apart. That means I have decent internet and cell phone access again, and I can get you all caught up on what's been going on. When last we wrote, we were headed to Stanley. The title to this post is a little misleading because it was crystal clear in Stanley for our day on the lake...a little smoky on the drive up and as we left.
This next image shows how it looked on the drive toward Stanley as we passed through the little communities of Garden Valley and Lowman. We learned that this fire was burning near the town of Lowman and that the firefighters had a difficult time keeping the fire out of the community.
Visibility was pretty good for us, but it got worse as we approached Lowman.
We followed these folks up the hill, which made us both feel all schmaltzy.
We passed by them at a roadside pullout where the new groom was taking a picture of the new bride. They were young and purty. Life didn't seem to have dealt them any battle scars yet.
As we left Lowman, we noticed a tent city of firefighters off to the right. You can see them almost smack in the middle of the image below, and you can see that it's a lot more hazy from smoke here too.
Shortly after, we got our first glimpse of the Sawtooth Mountains...so beautiful, if a little shrouded in smoke on this day.
We checked into the Elk Mountain RV Resort (which was far from resort-like) just outside of Stanley. Smitty got out for a walk right away.
Doesn't he look dashing in his new harness?
After lunch and a nap, we drove over to Redfish Lake. The smoke wasn't bad, but it was obscuring the mountains a little bit. There were lots of people on the lake. We walked out to the end of the pier and just took in the view. So beautiful...and we were so happy to be here after trying so many times in the past 13 years since our previous visit. At this point, I think we forgot all about the diversion into Boise for mechanical problems.
Standing on the pier looking back, you can see Redfish Lodge.
It was fairly late in the day, and our plan had always been to wait until the next day to rent a boat. Instead, we walked over to the little souvenier store to see what they had. If I had a grandchild, this would definitely have come home with me.
Instead, I settled for my first refrigerator magnet of this trip.
After that, we drove around looking at some of the campgrounds. We had a hard time remembering where we'd stayed in 2003, but we found it again. Also, we stopped in at the ranger station. (This is a national recreation area.) Behind the ranger station and down a little path, we were able to get to a beach that was deserted. There, we took the requisite selfie.
When we got up Friday morning, the sky was crystal clear. The mountains were incredibly beautiful. We've traveled all over the country, and it's hard to beat this view.
From there we rented a boat and headed off into the wild blue yonder. (Can you say that if you're not talking about the sky?)
Captain Mike at the helm.
Ahhhhhhhhhh...peace, quiet, and serenity.
We had the boat for two hours and we just tootled across the lake where we found a primitive campground and this creek draining into the lake.
Then we just toured around the perimeter.
The water was so clear and beautiful, you could see all the way to the bottom.
Here's a panorama of the area. Remember that you can click on any image to make it larger.
And eventually, we headed back to civilization.
On the way back to the RV, we pulled off to take a picture of the landscape on the opposite side of the road from the mountains. There was a cattle ranch there. We were traveling alongside the Salmon River.
Here's a panorama of the area. If you look closely, you can see a house on the left side of the image, presumably the rancher's home. If I were a cow, I could definitely see living here.
The temperatures got below freezing both nights. We have a heated water hose, but the pipe to which we were hooked up froze. We had to wait a couple of hours for water to flow. Smitty knows how to take advantage of a warm lap.
This morning, we had breakfast at the little cafe that was a part of the "resort". Nice folks, even if the place is nothing fancy. I liked these signs posted outside. As you might notice, the plantings had taken the "or else" option.
This sign was inside the restaurant. Hey...I'd take a free kitten any day!
The smoke blew in from a fire burning at Stanley Lake to the west of us, and the view was significantly different when we left this morning. Here's a little collage with this morning's image on top and the one from yesterday below.
And now we're at a nice little park in Ketchum, Idaho. We'll stay here tonight and tomorrow night and then head on to Craters of the Moon National Monument. There is a quilt shop just to our south about five miles. Mike is napping, but when he gets up, we'll head over there. They're open today, but closed tomorrow.
I realize I still have two quilt shops to tell you about, and I'll get to them while we're here. In the meantime, I'll add one more to the list. Also, many of you have left comments that I've been unable to answer. Thanks for all your well wishes and support. I'll be answering each of you as I have time over the next day or two.