Sun Valley, Idaho

We had a lovely and relaxing day in the Sun Valley area yesterday. Mainly, we just drove around getting a feel for the area. Sun Valley and Ketchum are resort communities with a good deal of wealth and resultant hefty tax base. We were told that this benefits all the communities in the area with contributions to the rich cultural events and economic development. I didn't take a lot of pictures of the area, but I did catch this one of Dollar Mountain. It's devoid of snow right now, but you can see the ski runs.

We were on our way to Ketchum Cemetery to see if we could find the grave of Ernest Hemingway. I'm a fan, having read a few of his books in an American Fiction class while an undergraduate. Certainly, he was a larger than life character. I've linked to some information about him and his burial plot there. The cemetery isn't large, but it might have been hard to find the grave without some pictures to guide us.

As we strolled through the cemetery, we came upon a number of very old graves. Many were touchingly sad. For example, here lie husband and wife ("mother" and "father") Hughes. I'm not sure why his headstone is so much larger than hers, but they are identical except for the names and dates.

Just to the right was this headstone...their only child, apparently. There were no other headstones present for this family.

Also, this one for Wilbur Barnes. It's a cruel world for some.

We kept on walking and eventually saw Hemingway's grave. It was hard to photograph because of shadows from trees growing nearby. You can see that a number of offerings of pens and coins have been left behind.

Someone left behind an empty bottle of vodka.

Okay, so that was sort of interesting. We continued walking and made a circle around back to the car. See if you can figure out why I took this picture.

Apparently Andrea Irene was a catlover. She was a little less than a year older than me, but she's been gone for many years. Cemeteries have a way of making me grateful for the privilege of growing older.

This one caught our attention because of the Olympic rings.

As it turns out, both were alpine skiers and members of the 1940 Olympic ski team. The Olympics were canceled that year because of World War II. Gretchen Fraser, was an alpine skier and the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in skiing. Impressive, no? I've given you a link to her Wikipedia page, but here is the section about their marriage and their lives.
In 1938, she traveled to Sun Valley to compete in the second Harriman Cup, a new international event featuring the best racers in the world. She met 1936 Olympian and Northwest ski champion Donald Fraser (1913-1994) of the University of Washington on the train trip to central Idaho. They were married in November, 1939. Sun Valley became their home.
Both Frasers were members of the 1940 Olympic team, games that were cancelled due to World War II. She spent the war years skiing in Otto Lang's military training films and helping to rehabilitate wounded and disabled veterans through skiing, setting the stage for a lifelong commitment to working with disabled skiers.
After the war, Fraser got her chance to compete in Alpine skiing at the Winter Olympics. A week before her 29th birthday, she won the gold medal in the women's slalom and a silver medal in the women's combined event at the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Following the Olympics, Fraser became a mother and an ambassador for Sun Valley and skiing in general. Later in life she was a mentor to aspiring female ski racers at Sun Valley, including Susie Corrock, Christin Cooper, Picabo Street, and disabled skier Muffy Davis.
Gretchen Fraser died at age 75 in February 1994. Her husband of 54 years, Don Fraser, had died a month earlier.

Have I said lately how much I heart the internet?

So after that, we headed back to the RV for lunch and a nap. Along the way we saw the fanciest electrical box we've ever seen. There were others decorated in different ways, but this was the only one I photographed.

When we were rested up, we headed over to the Sawtooth Botanical Gardens, just half a mile down the road from where we are staying. 

As we walked in, we saw this. It reminds me of one of the stitcheries from the Bee Loving quilt.

There was an event going on there, and while it was still open to the public, we felt a little as if we were intruding into a private party. We didn't spend a lot of time, but we were there long enough to feel as if we'd seen it.

The gardens were divided up into different sections. Here are some of the things we saw there:

There was an educational garden.

Here's an example of this:

They were also growing vegetables

and fruits.

And wascally wabbits.

My favorite part of the garden was the Garden of Infinite Compassion. I'm hoping you can read the sign. Remember that you can always make the image larger by clicking on it.

It was there that we saw the Tibetan Prayer Wheel.

If you can't read that sign above, here is the most significant part.

Here's how it looks when you turn it.

If you can't see the video, click right here.

So that was pretty much our day. We decided to eat dinner out last night. Mike was in a mood for prime rib, and so we went to the Pioneer Saloon where the food was excellent and the service was friendly and accommodating.

We've really enjoyed our time here in Sun Valley. We were killing a few days' time on our way to see my friend Marei in Swan Valley, and this was a good place to drop anchor and relax for a bit.

Aside from the other goings on, I wanted to tell you about this little wildflower I saw blooming near our campsite.

It's about the diameter of a quarter. I was able to identify it with the Like that Garden app.

Also, Miss Sadie has no problem inhabiting the areas formerly the sole private property of Mr. Smitty. This causes him no end of consternation, but he defers to her wishes.

We're moving onto Craters of the Moon National Monument this morning. We're hoping to camp inside the national monument, and that will no doubt mean that I'll be out of cell phone range and without internet. One never knows, however. If you don't hear from me for a couple of days, you'll know why.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

NancyA said...

I m pretty sure you mean Craters of the Moon. Crater Lake is a little out of your way. Ha! The Craters of the Moon is unique. Will be fun to read your take on it.

Barbara said...

Yep, Craters of the Moon. Fixed that.

DeeDee said...

This trip has been so much fun to follow along with. Your blog is a real treat. (I think I've said that before, but it definitely bears repeating.) I grew up in Spokane, so seeing all of these pictures is making me a little homesick. Thanks for sharing. Hope the kitties are enjoying the trip.

Angie in SoCal said...

Thank you so much for these (for me) armchair travels posts. They would make a great book.

quiltzyx said...

Very lovely travels yesterday! The Prayer Wheel is amazing - thanks for the video of it spinning.
Keep having fun!!

Lee said...

I always enjoy vicariously traveling with you on vacation. I'm wondering the significance, if any of the coins - even paper bill(s) under a rock & a sand dollar, on Hemingway's gravestone? I can understand the pens, maybe even the vodka, but the coins? Maybe I need to read more Hemingway?

Safe travels :)

Gretchen Weaver said...

I've always wanted to travel but my husband is a stay at home guy. I'm traveling through your posts. Thanks for the armchair trip. Blessings, Gretchen

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I agree with everyone - love traveling with you thru your shared posts. Your wonderful photos make it all so alive - you can see, hear, touch, smell, and absorb all!

Barb H said...

Sun Valley looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photography with us. As for the next few days, are you saying you're going to be on the dark side of the moon? :)

Brown Family said...

Old Cemetery can be fascinating! And morbid. Lovely flowers and an interesting article about the prayer wheel!

Quilter Kathy said...

I just judged a photo competition, and your amazing photos on this blogpost alone are better than most of what I saw today! You are such a great photographer!

Lyndsey said...

Sun Valley looks beautiful. I do find old cemeteries interesting and often a great home for wildlife as they know they wont be disturbed.

Barb N said...

So glad you enjoyed your Sun Valley visit! It's kind of funny though - that purple flower you liked so much is truly beautiful, but it's deemed a noxious weed because it is so intrusive and clogs out native growth. There is a huge push to try to eradicate it, but it has taken over many areas and is intruding into the back country mountains around here. I enjoyed seeing Ketchum and Sun Valley through a visitor's eyes!