And thus begins part one of the multi-part tale of our adventures in Sun Valley, Idaho and the surrounding area. Do I have you hooked? Eager to read each and every entry? Well, buckle up, buttercup, it’s time to go on vacation!
The first and most obvious question is, “Why Sun Valley? In the off season?” Well, high season would require me to ski, an activity that I, the coastal kid, have never tried. I don’t like cold and the thought of flinging myself off a hill of any size with skis attached to my feet scares me. Why Sun Valley? Well, the husband is originally from Jerome, ID, which sits about an hour and a half south of Sun Valley. And though we’ve been married for 7+ years and together for 9+ I’ve never visited his home town. He has no relatives there anymore, and you kind of have to have a reason to go to Jerome, so it hasn’t happened.
And, when he was in college he did work for the Forest Service in the Sun Valley area. He felt that Sun Valley had more, overall, to offer than Jerome (thank you, husband) and, thus..Sun Valley.
When we contemplated our fall vacation we knew we wanted something relatively cheap as we’re planning a big (read: expensive) trip to St. Thomas this spring. When he brought up Sun Valley as a potential destination I had my reservations. I mean, one doesn’t necessarily think of Idaho as a vacation destination, right? Don’t fling mud, Idahodians…I know you have some cool stuff there.
My primary concern was that we would not have enough to do. Because I’m a doer on vacation. I like to go and do and see. The husband? He’s more mellow on vacations. He could sit on a beach and stare at waves for hours. I get…twitchy.
He pointed out that we could take a day trip to Jerome and take in Shoshone Falls and Perrine Bridge, another day in the Sawtooth Valley, multiple days hiking. Okay. I started planning.
You see, for me, half the fun of vacation is the planning. I love to plan vacations. Finding places to go, things to see, restaurants that sound tasty. I save things in Pinterest. I save things in Trip Advisor. I take notes. Pure unadulterated joy = planning vacations. I am the queen of finding great places to stay at great prices (love Vacation Rental By Owner). It’s an art. Vacation planning is an art. And I am an artist.
So, anyways, we had all of these great plans for Sun Valley, many of them active. The condo that we rented came with mountain bikes and there is an extensive trail system in the SV area. Then, the husband got sick. Hospitalized sick. Remember that? Just a week and a few days ago. For DVT and pulmonary emboli.
We didn’t purchase vacation insurance. We never do. Our vacation appeared at risk. On the day he was released we spoke to the internist who had cared for him. We explained where we were set to go and when. He said there was no reason we couldn’t go and that he would go if it were him. Biggest hurdle…hurdled.
We agreed we would go. Then we had to be realistic about his endurance. Be put on a blood thinner doesn’t mean the clots immediately dissolve. It takes time for the body to reabsorb them. So, we also knew that some our physical activity would have to be scaled back. We were okay with that. We were more than ready for a break and just wanted to get the heck out of town.
We arrived in Sun Valley last Saturday afternoon to sunny skies. On Sunday morning we headed to Jerome. Sun Valley sits in…well….a valley (imagine that!) and as you wind south you drop out of the valley and enter the desert. There is beauty in that desert. And, actually, desert isn’t the best of words. There’s so much agriculture in the area that sections are incredibly lush. Other sections…well…yeah…desert. And cow. The overwhelming odor in Jerome? Cow. Lots of dairy farms.
We drove past the house the husband grew up in it and he lamented at how trashy it looked. We drove to the high school he attended and walked to the track. Fliers from the previous night’s homecoming game littered the ground. He told me stories of antics he and friends pulled in high school which I will not relate here so as to avoid tarnishing his shiny halo should his mother happen to read this post. We drove past the church he and his family attended. He told more stories. I asked questions. He marveled over the fact that the town of Jerome has doubled in size since he left.
After he had his fill we headed on down the road to Twin Falls. We stopped at Perrine Bridge and walked the path along the Snake River canyon. The husband had seen the bridge many times before, but we agreed that seeing the Rio Grande Gorge bridge in the spring has ruined us for all other bridges. While the Perrine Bridge is longer than the Rio Grande (by 220 feet) the Rio Grande stands a staggering 565 feet over the Rio Grande while the Perrine is 486 feet above the Snake. That’s a 79 foot difference. That’s a lot of feet.
It was still a pretty canyon and wide enough at the Perrine Bridge to allow for BASE jumping. We watched three people fling themselves off that bridge. I’m lucky I was able to take pictures without the camera slipping from my grasp because watching them made my hands sweaty.
Another notable in that area is that, in 1974, Evel Knievel attempted to jump the canyon on a steam powered “skycycle”. The ramp is still there. He failed, by-the-by, but (lucky for him) had a parachute strapped to his back and sustained only a broken nose.
From there we went to Shoshone Falls. The husband related that, in the spring, the falls are a magnificent thing and that he and his family would sometimes go there on Easter to take in the view. Unfortunately, they were but a trickle this time of year. We spent a scant five minutes staring at the dry falls before heading back to the car to grab our picnic lunch and commandeer a table in the shade.
After lunch the husband recommended driving to Dierkes Lake, also in the Shoshone Falls park. We did so and were greeted by a very pretty lake surrounded by rocky cliffs. Though it was September it was a warm Saturday and we were surprised there weren’t more people there. Their loss.
We started to walk the path that encircles the lake but the husband quickly ran out of steam and turned back. I continued, taking one wrong turn and ending up on the edge of some rather alarming cliffs before recognizing the error of my ways. Other than that it was a beautiful short hike. Gorgeous views of the lake broke way to fantastic views of the Snake River canyon. I did miss my faithful hiking companion (the husband), but am glad he encouraged me to finish the hike.
He was parched by the time I returned, necessitating a stop at a local truck stop as we headed out of town for a bucket of soda:
A fine day in southern Idaho!