Thursday, October 19, 2006

Good for the Soul

The past few days have been wonderful. This last weekend, my guy and I went to the Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Kethum, Idaho. Our day was full of culture, fun and perfect fall weather. What a time we had.

It was Sunday morning and Ketchum is a good three hour drive from home. The parade started at noon. Our alarm went off at 6 a.m. but we were so tired from our work week, my guy didn't even get home from his California run until late the night before. Did I really want to get up? Did I really want to go? Thirty minutes went by. Yes! We were going to the festival.

We were up and on the road by sunrise. We drove through for breakfast and coffee, having an early morning car picnic, just the two of us. No dogs, no kids, no family or friends.

We made a couple of stops before arriving at Ketchum. Our first was at a grove of Aspens, just east of Mountain Home. The sun had peek up over the tight canyon walls and lit up the tops of these trees.

Our second stop was along the Wood River in Hailey. It was gorgeous back there. Mother nature was showing her colors brilliantly.

In Ketchum, people were already lining the Main Street. The parade was to start in about an hour. Seems we waited and waited. The announcer tried to keep the crowd entertained while a single bagpiper made his way up and down the street.

And then the parade started, the local Boy Scout Troop led the way.

Different groups of sheep herders wore their authenic national dress in celebration of the end of a season of sheep in the mountains. Did you ever watch the movie "Heidi"? As a kid, I loved that movie! The sheep coming in after a season in the mountains reminded me of the movie.

Anyway, I took so many photos I couldn't decide which to share with you here, so I've made several slide shows for you to partake in our day. The mood was festive and everyone was enjoying the sounds of the event.

Did you notice the bagpipers' bags? Yes! They're sheep! Too cute!

There was quite a wait between the bagpipers and the sheep, and as fate would have it, I ran out of batteries for my camera. My guy, being the great guy that he is, took off for the nearest store in search of new batteries. No sheep were in sight and they were to be next up, the grand finale of the parade. We waited for a good 10 minutes, and then... there they were... SHEEP! But, my guy wasn't back yet! I had just enough juice left with my batteries to take these shots of the sheep coming in.

By the time my guy returned, all that was left of the sheep was the trail of droppings left on the street. He missed the main event, and I felt so bad. He was a good sport about it, and on we went with our day.

We had lunch, another car picnic with freshly made deli sandwiches from the local market. We watched the people of Ketchum, some seemed to be very well off. I was hoping to see Demi Moore and her girls. No such luck. I didn't recognize anyone famous.

My guy grew up just about 90 miles from this part of Idaho, so he had lots of things to show me. There was an area on the west side of Ketchum called Warm Springs. Oh my gosh, the houses were incredible, as was the scenery. There was this one cabin along the Wood River for sale. I pulled out one of the flyers in front of this place and was shocked... 3.5 million!!! Wow! Here's a slide show of Warm Springs.

We did see many common, modest homes amongst the expensive ones. One that caught my eye had this yard that was fenced with skis. How appropriate. This home sat right in front of the Warm Spring ski runs off of Warm Springs road.

Next stop was Elkhorn Village in Sun Valley. Boy! And I thought the homes were expensive in Ketchum! Castles were built here. We drove up and around alot of the homes. Some were totally solar powered, others were built of nothing but steel. The taste in home style was as vast as anyone's imagination.

As we were leaving Sun Valley, from on open parking lot, there was a perfect view of Bald Mountain, famous for Sun Valley skiing.

It was getting late, I was hoping to be home in time to see some of the BSU football game. They haven't lost a game this season.

We decided to take the ride up over Galena Pass in the Sawtooth Mountain Range rather than returning home on the Interstate.

My guy has talked many times of the great summer camp experience he had when he was a child. He knew it was along this road, but wasn't exactly sure where. And then, there it was. We pulled in and drove into all the different areas within the camp, all the time, my guy was reminiscing those days of his youth.

And, if that wasn't enough for one day... Further up the road, just before the Galena Pass, we ran right into a herd of sheep coming down the mountain. My guy didn't miss the main event afterall. It was so peaceful there; no crowds, no parades. Just beautiful.

The weather had gotten dark and the temperatures were dropping when we left Sun Valley. Light rain had been falling since we left the sheep in the mountains. When we got to the top of Galena Pass, it was snowing! Sideways! We stopped at the vista view pointe which, on a clear day, you could see the grand Sawtooth Mountains. This day we saw lots of clouds. We continued down the road on the other side of the pass, towards home. We were still about three hours out. We would pass by Red Fish Lake, one of my favorite spots on earth.

We continued on as the rain stopped, it was getting late and dark. Bewteen Stanley and Lowman, there are several public hot springs, some of which are State Parks, maintained by the Forest Service. I think this was the Kirkham Hot Springs. Funny, at the top of the mountain it was snowing, and at the bottom we've got people in bathing suits enjoying a hot soak.

We drove through Lowman, to Banks, to home. After Lowman, we were able to pick up the BSU football game, live on AM radio. We were home to watch the 2nd half of the game and BSU win again.

What a perfect day, totally good for my soul. I had requested the next day off work and was looking forward to spending a day at home before returning to work. TO BE CONTINUED... The Icing on the Cake.


Bedazzzled1 said...

There is something about bagpipe music that always sounds so hauntingly sad. So lonely.

You sure had a wonderful time. Bet you're thrilled you decided to get up early and go on the trip.


ELLIE said...

Thanks for stopping sounds like this festival was AWESOME....loved your description of everything...take care dear friend..

Dona said...

Bagpipe music is the best. It always stirs my soul. And the sheep shaped bagpipes are very clever. First time I've ever seen anything like that!

Redfish Lake...ahhhh...took our first trip to that area this past June. Simply stunning. Except for all the dead trees. Oh well.

Happy Halloween Cheryl, and thanks for taking us on your journey with you. Can't wait to read the rest.


bookncoffee said...

Wow. I have been missing your updates. I am so sorry. I have been using google reader and then switched to would show an update but when I would click on it, it would show an old entry, so I thought you were just making changes to your layout or something. Well, I went back to bloglines RSS feed b/c the others are so slow. (I like experiementing, obviously). And now that I am on bloglines, these new entries just popped right up. So I'm sorry...I'd have been commenting otherwise.
I love your pictures and reading about your adventures.
Take care.

gina said...

you have a wonderful journal! i love the whole setup. and such beautiful pics! thanks for stopping by my journal and leaving your link.

MariesImages said...

wow! amazing shots & great entry. love the display of slideshows!