Saturday, July 30, 2016

Frenchman's Bend Hot Springs

 Skis are only good for so long before a person needs a new pair. People along Warm Springs Road leading into Ketchum from the west, seemed to have recycling down to an art.

Functional for sitting and waiting.

Fly fishermen around about every corner along the bike path as we finished our warm 30 mile bike ride with temps in the high 80s.

Just plain silly art

Base of Bald Mountain Ski  Resort, where we had skied a few years ago, looks much different in the summer.

Newberry, VT ski team training on the trails (the guy in yellow way down the path). They were pretty speedy on their cross country skates.

You can see the theme of this blog has been a lot about skiing. Half way through our bike ride, Mike stopped at a ski shop sale and found his birthday present, Kastle MX 105 with Rossi Axial 120 bindings. Just the sound of the names make him quiver.
He was looking at them with that special sparkle in his eyes and a gentle caress. He asked if I wanted to go with him to get them and I passed. He likes to visit with the sales guy and look things over. I am just ready to get in and get out and told him I had things to do. He should go alone. He seemed pretty happy about that.

Our last day in Ketchum and Sun Valley we headed 10 miles down Warm Springs Road into the national forest. The only way to find the hot springs is a turnout and a sign on the hill. We walked a short distance along the dirt road and saw the steam coming from the bubbles in the pools, thermally heated to a piping 110°—and better than any resort hot tub.
After an hour alone, people started to show up, a few at a time. We enjoyed visiting with a lady whose father was the Green Hornet in the 1960s. She has done stunt work for models that didn't want to dive into the water and boy was she fit.

When I would start to get too warm, I would dip over into the cold river so I could return to the warm. Idaho has too many hot springs to count. Some are commercial and many are in the national forest and BLM land to use for free and beautiful. We may have to come back and try more of them out.

 Our question after being here a couple of days was "why didn't we plan to stay longer?"
We fixed that by canceling some reservations and rerouted our plans to stay 10 days in the area instead of the original four.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Redfish Lake

We had planned to leave Idaho after 5 days before we arrived. During a bike ride, we both decided about the same time that was too short of a time and decided to cancel some of our plans. Driving to Stanley and Redfish Lake for the day seemed too little time to do the place justice.
Steam off the lake during an early morning walk
We took a chance and drove up into the mountains hoping to find a walkup
site. The status board as we drove in said all of the campgrounds were full in the Redfish Lake area.
We drove to the first campground on Little Redfish Lake anyway and found a vacancy sign. There were a couple of sites without reservation tags on them. I walked up to speak with the host while Mike waited for me. A man was already talking to her and said he wanted #4 which was beautiful along the river with plenty of shade. The camp host told him to get parked in a spot before someone took it and she would check him in once he was set up. I turned around and Mike had parked in #4 and had staked his claim before I got back. I don't think we made any friends but the host commented that was a good move on Mike's part. It was the prettiest spot on the river with shade. I was just glad to not have to find a place to boondock and the other people got a site across the road.

Our great campsite
After lunch we rode our bikes to Redfish (named after the sockeye salmon which migrated clear up here to spawn before the dams were built) Lake which has a great beach that was packed.
We were so glad to be in a quiet place on the smaller lake with 13 campsites. The host mentioned that
they needed more hosts for the season and how we could check it out. We were tempted but had things we needed to get done in Colorado and we had already changed our plans to include this instead of Utah.

Loved this little song. Maybe my mantra.
I saw this guy on an early morning walk and one evening across the river from our camp.

Sandhill Cranes are among the oldest living bird species on earth.

We would watch the osprey fishing on Little Redfish Lake and saw him flying up the river past our camp carrying a fish one evening. 

On our first morning at Little Redfish Lake I woke in time to watch the sun come up and ran into two bucks having  morning snack. Later, we headed over to Stanley 8 miles up the road to The Bakery after a couple of people said we had to try it out. I had the tasty breakfast burrito with black beans, spinach and sweet potatoes(which gave it a great sweet flavor). The toast and jam that Mike had with his eggs were so tasty. Maybe it is the mountain air.
This little guy slipped by as we were watching the sun set.

Idaho has so many natural hot springs. We decided to check out Boat Box Hot Springs 3 miles north of Stanley since we were nearby. We brought our swimsuits along and drove 3 miles north on Highway 75. We watched for the steam coming up from the river and pulled over to a small turnout, climbed down the rocks on the side of the hill and prepared to jump in.

I preferred the small rock formed tubs beside the river. It was easier to regulate the temperature by swishing the hot or cold water when needed.

There is a plug in the bottom of the tub so you can empty it before getting in and refill it with the spring runoff. A bucket was on the side to use the cool river water to make the temperature more tolerable temp since the spring is 135 degrees out of the ground.

There was no place to change so we improvised. I tried to be a little more discrete than Mike by using a towel and changing under it. We managed to get the job done. As I was taking this picture a pickup with Law Enforcement drove by. He just looked forward to ignore us. I guess he didn't want to deal with this situation.

Watching the sun go down over the Sawtooth Mountains

Monday, July 25, 2016

Trails of Ketchum, ID

Ketchum is right in the center of Idaho, not really on the way to anywhere. But the payoff for
driving off the beaten path is well worth it no matter what time of year. If you love the outdoors,
there won't be a problem finding something to do. It is more a problem of which one to do.

Upon arriving in Ketchum, we wanted to check out the area a little once it cooled down. We got on our bikes to find the trailhead for the Wood River Trail which runs in the valley between Bellevue and north of Ketchum and around to Sun Valley.

Nice use of the Rails to Trails

After checking in with the ranger's station, we headed out to ride the Harriman Trail the next day in Ketchum. 

Fishermen love this area even if it is catch and release.

This trail  runs from the ranger's station north of Ketchum 18 miles to Galena along the river and by some nice campgrounds We made it a little over 7 before the heat made us turn around. I find I can go much further on a road bike than mountain bike on dirt.

Treat the earth well;
It was not given to you by your parents,
It was loaned to you by your children,
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
We borrow it from our children.
Only when the last tree has been chopped down,
The last fish has been taken,
 The last buffalo killed,
Will man realize money cannot be eaten.
Native American Origin

the Harriman Trail was interesting at times but mostly just followed the cross country ski path out in the open. We prefer singletrack with the ups and downs and back and forth but it was a good work out and chance to see more of the area.


Hiking Adam's Gulch we started out on the Sunny Lane which climbed 1300 feet over the 2 miles before starting the decent in the sunshine. We thought that would be better since the heat was supposed to be in the 90s. We took the Adams Gulch Trail for a while and returned on the Shady Lane along the creek in the shade as the sun grew warmer.
The trail is only a couple of miles out of town. As we climbed, we had views of Sun Valley.

We had been following the "Wheeling it" blog for a while now. Nina and Paul happen to be staying in the same RV park. She stopped by for a visit and as we spoke, I soon realized how smart and independent she is. Meeting people along the way just enhances our experiences including learning a thing or two.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Heading to Idaho

We left Sunriver in the much needed heavy rain and could have spent much more time in this fabulous state but Idaho is calling. It was nice driving down Highway 20 through the farm country and stopped after 260 miles in a small town near the Idaho border. Having great WIFI and several channels of TV made us feel like we had hit the big time after a over a month of little or none. We watched for a little bit and realized nothing was on. The lady at the front desk was so pleasant and $30 a night was not bad.

 After a day of driving through farm country, we took a walk through town to look at the murals . We probably should have waited until the sun went down since the temps were in the upper 90s.

     Vale was the first stop in Oregon for travelers on the Oregon Trail just 12 miles from the border. The Mural Trail along the streets of Vale depict the early days of the Oregon Trail.

Love these little libraries full of children's books.

Just south of Vale is Keeney Pass, an interpretive site where the Oregon Trail wagon ruts are still visible.

The temp cooled down quite a bit after the sun went down and moon came up as the people came out of their air conditioned RVs to enjoy the evenng.

We find the farm country has its own beauty with the wheat and onions growing. Our country is so diverse and amazing.

On to Idaho and the Sawtooth Range.

Cuenca, Ecuador

An Expat Destination The morning after returning to Quito we boarded an hour-long flight to Cuenca. Driving up the winding roads would have ...