We discovered moose are rare here.
Our welcoming committee.
The Harriman Trail.
Soaring mountain views.
We never tired of the view, and it changed constantly.
A storm covered the mountains in a blanket with a
The sun shone a spotlight on us for a moment as the
storm gathered steam.
The worst of the storm passed us by in the end.
We awoke to clouds embracing the mountains. When they
cleared the peaks were white.
Sheriff's speedtrap at the Sun Valley Road Rally.
Family Porsche - mom-181, daughter-183, son-188, and dear old dad-186 mph.
Ford GT - Ties for the day's honors at 188 mph.
Young hot racer drove the
crowd wild at 183 mph.
The movie theater shows "Sun Valley Serenade"
every afternoon for free.
The young Norwegian refugee arrives.
Sonya Henie, a charming, flirtatious pixie.
Milton Berle and Sonya Henie.
Glenn Miller leads his band in "In the Mood."
Trapped in a ski lodge, and falling in love...
Sun Valley guests were escorted by horse-drawn sleigh from
the train station to the resort.
Sonya Henie's elegance is mirrored on the ice.
This was a special skating show and movie that doesn't
have a parallel today.
Ketchum / Sun Valley, Idaho (2)
July / August, 2009 - Still camped in the national forest outside Ketchum,
Idaho, we left our dream campsite along the creek and moved to another
one with a spectacular mountain view. The welcoming committee here
was a moose. He came two nights in a row and quietly munched the
grasses down by the river.
A fisherman and his
son came by one
morning and said they
had been fishing this
river for 25 years and
had never seen a
moose. We suggested
they come by at dusk,
as the moose seemed to like visiting at twilight. Our new friends came by at the
appointed hour, but the moose was on a different schedule that night. He must
have had something else going on earlier, because he didn't make his
appearance until an hour after our friends had left.
We were in a stunning setting with the Harriman Trail running behind
us on one side and the most amazing mountain view soaring into the
sky on the other side.
We rode the trail up to Easley Hot Springs where a swimming pool
and hot tub have been built to take advantage of the springs.
Further on, the trail winds through the forest and meadow. I wanted
to ride it the remaining 10 miles up to Galena Lodge, but the weather
had other ideas.
A magnificent storm swept in during the afternoon and
blanketed the whole valley with black clouds. I was way up the
trail somewhere on my bike, hoping to outpace the downpour coming
back. I made it back just in time, but Mark had gotten nervous that I'd
be caught out somewhere, so he had climbed onto the roof of the buggy
to see where I had disappeared to.
When I got back the sky darkened even more. The sun peeked
through the clouds for a moment and gave us the most unusual
lighting all around the trailer.
We were both enchanted. What a magical moment. As the
lightning started in the distance and the rain began to fall on
the horizon, we were overcome with a delicious, eerie
feeling. We could see Ketchum getting pelted by rain in the
distance, but our little oasis had a tiny spotlight of sun.
The worst of the storm
passed to the north of us,
but it affected the weather
for the next week.
We woke up the next
morning to find the
mountains embraced by clouds and covered
in ice and snow. The warm daytime
temperatures had vanished. We would get a
few hours of cloudless skies and bright
sunshine each morning, but by noon an echo
of that storm would begin to well up in the
mountain peaks. By mid-afternoon each day
we would be engulfed in overcast skies.
Ketchum / Sun Valley is a town for the Rich
and Famous, and we stopped noticing
Porsche Carerra 4's after the umpteenth
sighting on our first day in town. Fortunately, for the wealthy car enthusiasts in
town, the Sheriff has a great affection for raw power. One morning we found
ourselves in the midst of the unusual Sun Valley Road Rally. The Sheriff had
agreed to shut down a few miles of Route 75, the Sawtooth Scenic Highway
heading north out of town, so the townsfolk could race their cars.
This was a
charity event, and
entrants paid $1,500
a run to drive their
cars as fast as they
could past the
Sheriff's speed trap.
He then wrote up a
fake ticket showing
the speed they were
going when they
passed the radar
gun. For three
hours the cars went
off at five minute intervals.
Twice each hour for 15 minutes the road was temporarily opened to regular traffic.
Mark had a field day watching the Ford GT's, Vipers and Porsches parade past the spectators to
the starting point beyond the top of the hill. We would hear each car in the distance first, and he
would try to guess what it was by its whine. Then the car would crest the hill and start its descent
towards the radar gun. An announcer would tell us the type of car and the speed it was going,
and we had fun guessing the speeds before they were announced. The Toyota Prius was a big
surprise at 107 mph, and the vintage (1956) Ferrari with its equally vintage driver was cute at
117 mph. A Bentley and souped up truck joined the fun.
However, the big surprise came when a middle-aged mom with
long dark hair stepped out of a Porsche after it was clocked
going 181 mph. She got a round of applause, but left us all even
more shocked when she handed the keys over to a young
blonde, gave her a hug and sent her off to the starting line.
When the Porsche showed up again, the radar read 183 mph.
The crowd went wild, and the young girl emerged. We
discovered that she was the mom's 22-year-old daughter, and that the boy she was handing the
keys to was her 23-year-old brother. When he came roaring by at 188 the crowd went ballistic.
Finally, dad got a turn at the wheel. We were hoping he would show us all how it is done, but he
didn't quite match his son, coming in at just 186 mph. The young boy in that Porsche shared the
crown for the day with a Ford GT that also reached 188 mph.
All that fast-paced excitement had
to be countered with something a little lower key. We went in to
Sun Valley to watch the 1941 movie, "Sun Valley Serenade,"
starring Sonya Henie. There is a free showing every afternoon.
The movie theater is the Sun Valley Opera House, a cute building
in the middle of the Sun Valley Resort complex.
This movie was originally made, in part, to promote Sun Valley
as a winter destination. Who better to be the star than the
utterly charming 3-time Olympic figure skating champion of the
day, Sonya Henie.
The producers put together a first-
rate show, with Milton Berle and
Glenn Miller's band taking
supporting roles. The story tells of a
young Norwegian refugee who
beguiles her unsuspecting sponsor
into falling in love with her.
As you listen to "In the Mood" and
"Chattanooga Choo Choo"
performed by the master himself,
the movie unfolds with scenes of
Sun Valley, appearing as it did when
it first opened.
Trains brought visitors into town from far away places, and horse-drawn sleighs took them to the
resort from the train station. Sun Valley was a bright light of pure fun and fantasy at the end of
the Great Depression, and its promotional movie is bewitching.
Besides Henie's dazzling
performance as a piquant
and mischievous flirt, some of
the most intriguing scenes
are on the ice where she
performs with a partner and
supporting cast on a sheet of
ice covered in a thin layer of
water. The scenes were shot
at night, and as the skaters
glide across the ice, their
reflections make them seem
to be dancing on water.
We left that movie with smiles on
our faces, caught up in the charm of
Sun Valley as it once was. We had
gotten the idea to see the movie
from the Visitor Center's list of "50
Fun Free Things To Do in
Ketchum / SunValley," and when we
checked the list that night there
were still quite a few to go. No
need to leave Ketchum/Sun Valley
Related Post about Figure Skating:
A Unique Encounter with Figure Skating Legend Toller Cranston 01/28/15
Related posts from our RV travels to the Sun Valley area:
- Sun Valley, Idaho – A Joyful Return to a Favorite RV Spot! 08/13/22
- Sun Valley Idaho – An RV Traveler’s Delight in Ketchum, ID! 09/16/16
- Sun Valley Idaho – in Trailer Life Magazine! 08/07/15
- Craters of the Moon + Cataclysms from Sun Valley ID to Alpine WY 09/02/14
- The Artsy Side of Sun Valley, ID 08/26/14
- Ice Queens of Sun Valley, ID 08/21/14
- Sun Valley Road Rally – Go Granny Go! 08/16/14
- Sun Valley Idaho – Music, History & Celebrities 08/15/09
- Sun Valley & Ketchum ID – Beauty & Fun in the Mountains! 07/25/09