The Sun Also Rises

So yes, the sun did indeed rise again.  So why don’t I feel better?  I will not allow hate, racism, xenophobia or bigotry into my life. Whomever resides in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is not First Cause to my experience. (Insert safety pin here.) Enough.

I have written often about the beauty of Idaho’s Scenic Byways, and the Sawtooth Scenic Byway has to be the most beautiful of all!   As we head out of the Sockeye Campground and turn south through the Sawtooth Valley, we are surrounded on all sides by snow-capped mountains.  As we make our way up to the top of Galena Summit overlooking the Boulder Mountains, we traverse a good bit of snow on the pass, but the roads are clear.

Leaving the Sawtooth Recreational Wilderness Area, more beauty lies ahead.

Leaving the Sawtooth Recreational Wilderness Area, more beauty lies ahead.


More snowball action from Galina Summit.

More snowball action from Galena Summit.

I’m in the lead, and I pull off to the side of the road frequently to take it all in.  I don’t want the beauty of this road to ever end!   Considering the Boulder Mountains are officially a part of the Rocky Mountain range, I feel justified in playing John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” as loud as my speakers will allow, only to be eclipsed by my bad sing-along.

Galena Summit, elev 8,701 ft, along Highway 75, the highest paved road in Idaho, is the sight of the headwaters of the Salmon River.    Views from this gorgeous summit look out over the Frank Church River of no Return Wilderness.  Established in 1980, this two million acre wilderness area honors Senator Frank Church (D) senate floor sponsor of the Wilderness Act of 1964, which protected 9 million acres of land as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. In 1968, he introduced the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which included the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, so that rivers “shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.”  (Paraphrased from Wikipedia.)  There is a beautiful rest stop atop Galena Pass named for the Senator.img_9274 img_9268 img_9263

The Sawtooth Scenic Byway leads through Sun Valley, Idaho, adjacent to the town of Ketchum.  As a long time downhill ski enthusiast, I always wanted to visit Sun Valley.  My former husband and I often discussed it as an alternative to the increasing crowds in the Colorado Summit Area and the Cottonwood Canyons of Utah.   But flights into the remote region always proved to be cost prohibitive.  Since we were passing through, we parked the rigs, unhitched the Tracker, and went for lunch and a look around the ski area.

I see snow on the runs ahead, but not quite enough just yet.

I see snow on the runs ahead, but not quite enough just yet.

One lift is running for tourists...too early for skiers.

One lift is running for tourists…too early for skiers.

When in Ketchum, Idaho, I highly recommend "Grumpy's." A hole-in-the-wall burger joint with a sign outside that says "Sorry, We're Open." Not so grumpy inside...

When in Ketchum, Idaho, I highly recommend “Grumpy’s.” A hole-in-the-wall burger joint with a sign outside that says “Sorry, We’re Open.” Not so grumpy inside…

We see signs for a Jazz Fest, but no one in Ketchum seems to know anything about it.  Then as we are looking around the Sun Valley ski area, we wander into a back door of the lodge and find ourselves right beside the stage of the jazz performers.  Gate crashers that we are, we stay and listen for a while.img_9305

The back door is open, so we walk through to find the jazz concert in full "swing."

The back door is open, so we walk through to find the jazz concert in full “swing.”

Beautiful lodge and events center in Sun Valley, Idaho

Sun Valley being a “resort to the stars” has the only full service gas station I have seen since leaving Oregon.  We pull into the Sinclair to top off the Tracker, when a young, freshly scrubbed blonde haired man comes out wearing a uniform shirt with the top button synched.  He looks like he just stepped out of a Post WWI Doughboy movie.  I tell him we only have an afternoon to look around town, and ask for his recommendations of things to see in the area.  “Well, Ma’am, I would personally recommend the Hemingway Memorial.”   Hemingway??  In Idaho?   Having always associated the great American novelist with Key West and Cuba, I didn’t realize he had such firm roots in Idaho.   But in doing some research, I learn not only did he have a summer home just outside of Ketchum, it is also the location where he chose to end his life. With his favorite shotgun.  Just one month shy of his 62nd birthday.

Ernest Hemingway Memorial

Ernest Hemingway Memorial


We make two attempts to find the memorial.  We pass it on the way out of town, then ask some other tourists, who point us down the wrong road.  But we eventually find it.  Just off the bike path there on Trail Creek Road, overlooking Wood River Valley alongside a small stream is the peaceful memorial site.  Smaller than one might imagine, a lone kiosk with a bronze bust on top.  The view overlooking the valley is serene, with the sound of a small stream diversion through the memorial.  How poignant that the plaque containing the epitaph is covered in golden leaves…

Best of all he loved the fall
the leaves yellow on cottonwoods
leaves floating on trout streams
and above the hills
the high blue windless skies
…Now he will be a part of them forever.img_9285

Beautiful view overlooking the valley from the Hemingway Memorial.

Beautiful view overlooking the valley from the Hemingway Memorial.

As we continue on down through southern Idaho, two scenic byways converge.  We leave behind the Sawtooth Scenic Byway and continue on to the Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway, where snow covered sky peaks give way to the remnants of the exposed bowels of the earth, ripped open by volcanic eruptions along the Great Rift.   Next stop, Craters of the Moon…img_9317

“You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

30 thoughts on “The Sun Also Rises

  1. I have followed your blog for quite a while. Your blog is one of my absolute favorites. I enjoy your travels, your excellent photography and reading your thoughts and impressions. Although I am not usually one to post comments, I felt compelled to post a comment today as I thought this post was especially brilliant in the way you connected Idaho, Hemingway, “The Sun Also Rises,” and current events. Consider safety pin inserted and know that I stand with you. Thank you so much for gifting me and others with the enjoyment of reading your blog , for being a light in the dark, and for all that you so freely share with us. Take care and wishing you happiness and the best of travels…………

    • Wow, Nancy, what a wonderful comment! Thank you! Just yesterday, I was poking fun at myself to some friends, saying I was finding amusement in a blog post title that probably no one else would “get” but me. It is gratifying to know someone else got it too! Thanks for your support of the blog!

        • Hi, Terri — In the wake of some of the acts of intimidation to minorities that have occurred over the past couple of days, it is a movement to say “You are safe with me.” Thanks for the question.

          • Oh I see! It amazes me how you find time to explore, hike, drive, find wonderful places to sleep and eat, compose your thoughts and write a great blog about it all, compose all the great photos and incorporate them into your themes, AND read up on current world affairs! You’re a WONDER woman in my eyes! 🙂 Thank you for being an inspiration.

  2. That last Hemingway quote is so appropriate for the full time RV’er…maybe for everyone. The alternate version is “wherever you go, there you are”. Thanks for another lovely post.

  3. The Sawtooths look quite different with all the snow. You would enjoy going back in warmer weather to do some hiking and biking on the wonderful trails in the area. Surprisingly during August it just wasn’t all that crowded. And try the burgers at Lefty’s next time!

  4. Thanks for another post that communicates so well the area and your adventures. We’ve selected a spot in Idaho for next years eclipse and if the weather in August cooperates the Valley of the Moon. Looking forward to your adventures there.

  5. Dtto – really, I am running out of superlatives for your photos and posts Suzanne. Hows the old man in the sea doing? Check out the Super moon tonight and tomorrow morning. The moon rises too!
    Cheers! Nancy W.

    • Hi, Alex — Thanks for the questions. I do use a little bit of Photoshop on some of the photos, but only to try to restore them to the level that I remember with my naked eye.

      I supplement my furnace with a Little Buddy Heater. But I don’t like it too hot in the rig. i turn it down to 55 at night, and so far the furnace has always been able to maintain that temperature.

  6. We traveled that exact road earlier this fall just as the leaves were turning in the low lands and snow was in the pass. Absolutely beautiful. We did not stop in Ketchum but would have enjoyed Grumpy’s!

  7. I, too, was surprised that Hemingway had such deep ties to Idaho. We visited his gravesite with many pennies to acknowledge that many others had been there before us, and I spent quite a bit of time at his memorial. It was in the summers so we sat for a while on the curved stone area overlooking what looked to be three streams. Hard to believe that such a gifted man was depressed to the point of taking his own life–especially in such a beautiful area. I always associated him with Key West.

    We better not shout our love of Idaho too loud–it’s liable to become like northern Colorado! As always, enjoyed your photos. Now, I hope I can arrange to come back through there in the fall.

    • I meant to say that Hemingway’s favorite time of year was the fall, too. I have many non-digital pictures that I’m working through to digitalize; among them are many pictures of the memorial. You are right. It was a bit difficult to find.

  8. I am finally getting caught up…now that I have caught my breath. I felt a bit like a wounded bear that needed to hide in a cave and lick its wounds. And yes, the sun does rise and thank you for the reminder. The way you thread light into your posts is uplifting and soothing.

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