Fire and Ice combine in Sun Valley for a rollicking good Fourth.
As I mentioned a few posts back, the one thing I hate about summer in Sun Valley is that there is simply not enough time to enjoy everything there is to do. The next eight days in the valley will prove me right as the Sun family embarks on a marathon of fun that will barely scratch the surface of what’s on offer. Having experienced it all a few times over, I thought I’d share my plan for getting the family through a week of exhaustive Fourth of July fun.
Saturday, June 30
We’ll kick the week off with a gentle morning in the Wood River YMCA pool, then head out for a family hike, the combination of which will ensure Little Sun and Baby Sun are happily tuckered out for the babysitter. This will allow Mr. Sun and I to enjoy a patriotic evening of pops and arias at the Sun Valley Summer Spectacular, featuring International Diva Alyson Cambridge (I wish I could be an International Diva – how does one get that job title?).
Monday, July 2
Born in the Wild West, Mr. Sun will insist on attending Family Night at the Days of the Old West Rodeo in Hailey. Not that I don’t enjoy rodeos, but having grown up in a city curiously bereft of the need to wrangle cattle I do find it all a little baffling (especially when they lasso those cute little calves). But as long as I can keep telling Little Sun he’s too young for mutton bustin’ all will be well (although I’m sure the fearless Baby Sun will sneak off on the first passing sheep). I’ll just have to console myself with gawping at the gorgeous Rodeo Queens.
Tuesday, July 3
The place to see and be seen (at least until the Symphony rolls in to town) on Tuesday nights is Ketch’em Alive. This low-key, free, weekly concert at Ketchum’s Forest Service Park is perfect for the whole family. Just one of the many reasons I simply love summer.
Wednesday, July 4
The big day itself. Being American-born and British-raised, Independence Day has always sat a little uncomfortably with my dual nationalities, but who doesn’t love a parade? And that’s where I’ll be come noon, jealously guarding a prime slice of Hailey Main Street real estate, ready to wave vigorously as Mr. Sun rolls by in a big red fire truck with Baby Sun and Little Sun dangling out the windows. Then, after strapping the kids down for a nap to get them ready for the long night ahead, we’ll mosey on up to Sun Valley to watch 2011 US Gold Medalist Ryan Bradley spin in the first Sun Valley On Ice of the season, followed by the obligatory spectacular fireworks exploding over the Lodge.
Thursday, July 5
I will tolerate Mr. Sun’s efforts to turn my son into something other than a great British/American Wimbledon Champion by exposing him to the skills of the Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championship riders. The culmination of the week-long biking bonanza Ride Sun Valley, the championship races begin today on Baldy. We’ll watch as the best American cross-country, short track cross-country and Super D riders race for the chance to represent their country at the London Olympics (race start times).
Friday, July 6
Today, it will be Little Sun’s turn to show off his prowess on two wheels as he gets a chance to cover the same trails the pros do in the Ride Sun Valley Kid’s Mountain Bike Race. As you’ve no doubt gleaned by now I’m a bit of a nervous mother, and if it all gets too much for me I will head in to town for some wine and art at the superlative Sun Valley Gallery Association Gallery Walk.
Saturday, July 7
Time to ditch the highbrow (and the kids) for some good old fashioned partying at The Sun Valley Shakedown. There’s quite the line-up, but I’m particularly looking forward to the signature New Orleans-stylings of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Sunday, July 8
Based on the fact that we have four times as many bikes in our house as people, the chances are high that the whole family will be back at Baldy today to see the culmination of the Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championships. From the safety of the River Run Lodge we’ll be cheering on the insanely brave boys and girls careering down Baldy. As thrilling as that sight will be, it’s the one later this evening that I am most excited for. The week from will end in paradise as I watch angels dance on earth when the San Francisco Ballet‘s dancers, including the exceptional Maria Kochetkova, grace the stage of the Sun Valley Pavilion for one night only.
Then, if we actually manage to pull off a miracle and cram all this into one week, we’ll likely hibernate until winter rolls in (in about 2 weeks). But please do share, what will be missing out on? Where will you be this week?
Trail Creek Baby Back Ribs with twice-baked potatoes and apple cider vinegar coleslaw
Welcome to The Valley Sun’s new Recipes from the Resort series. Over the coming weeks I’ll be scouring Sun Valley’s restaurants for some of the best dishes to pinch for your personal cooking pleasure.
This week I pried the secrets to Trail Creek Cabin’s mouthwatering rib sauce from Wendy Little, head chef at the rustic retreat. So, if your Fourth of July BBQ is not the hit of the neighborhood, I cannot be blamed!
Baby Back Pork Ribs
with Trail Creek BBQ Rub
& Smoky Bourbon BBQ Sauce
Trail Creek Smoky Bourbon BBQ Sauce Ingredients
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup mild (light) molasses
1/3 cup Bourbon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 chopped chipolte Chile
1 tablespoon Adobo sauce Directions
Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Chill and cover. Can be made one week in advance.
Trail Creek BBQ Rub Ingredients
3 slabs Baby Back Pork Ribs
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Chile powder Directions
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Combine all ingredients expect the meat in a small bowl. Rub both sides of ribs with the mixture. Let stand one hour before cooking. Put the ribs in the oven with a water bath underneath. Slow cook the ribs for 3 hours (this can be done a day in advance). Remove ribs from oven and slather with the Smoky Bourbon BBQ sauce. Place on an indirect grill and cook using the Weber Method or something similar. Add wood chips to the grill for extra flavor. Barbecue for about 45 minutes, brushing occasionally with the sauce. Serve with twice-baked potatoes and coleslaw.
Don’t want to cook? Head down to Trail Creek Cabin and let Wendy and her crew cook these up for you: All the taste with none of the effort. They serve these scrumptious ribs and an array of authentic Western fare Tuesday through Saturday nights, call 208.622.2019 for reservations.
Baby Sun, enjoying frolicking in front of the Roundhouse, is definitely in the Waiting For Winter To End camp. Which one are you?
Sun Valley: Come for the winter, stay for the summer. This well-known valley phrase neatly sums up the schizophrenic nature of existence in a resort town. Life in Sun Valley has always been separated into two distinct seasons: winter and not-winter, and the people who live here fall into one of two camps: “Waiting for Winter” or “Waiting for Winter to End.”
Baby Sun marvels at the approaching mountain
I’m in the latter camp. I love summer in Sun Valley, and the fact that it comes after 7 to 8 months of a frigid, snowy landscape makes it all the better in my book. The only downside is there just isn’t enough time to do everything a Sun Valley summer has to offer before that cold white stuff rolls back in.
Despite the vast differences between our two seasons, there is one thing they have in common. Neither is officially here until the Gondola starts to climb Bald Mountain.
Last Friday marked the official start of the Sun Valley summer, and Mr. Sun and I took the little tykes for their first ride on the Gondola. (I must admit shamefacedly that this was my first ride on the Gondola too – if you want to know why I’ve been so bad, ask me in the comments section below!).
Little Sun was thrilled to get in “the big elevator to the sky” but was disappointed to learn that skiing was not to be a part of this excursion. On the ride up he kept pointing out all the areas where he loves to ski (he’s 4 and so far has only showed off his skiing prowess on Dollar, but clearly he’s already a Waiting for Winter-valleyite). Baby Sun was transfixed, as was I, by the views of the surrounding landscape as we rode in comfortable luxury to an altitude of 7,700 ft, arriving in a few short minutes at the doors of the country’s oldest ski lodge, The Roundhouse.
Once at our destination, we headed for the most family-friendly spot in the 73 year old lodge, settling into Averell’s Bar for some light libations in front of a breathtaking view.
Little Sun welcomes Baby Sun to the mountaintop lifestyle
While it is clearly in its element as a curious capsule transporting skiers to their ultimate destination, riding the state-of-the-art Doppelmayr CTEC Detachable-Grip Gondola in the summertime is a new Sun Valley tradition. Whether you’re seeking a thrilling mountain bike ride, a challenging day of hiking or a moonlit dining spot, a ride to the top should definitely be part of your summer Sun Valley Bucket list.
Although conceived as a winter resort in 1935, Sun Valley is so perfect in the summertime I think it gives winter a run for its money as the season to come here for. What do you think? Which camp are you in? Waiting for Winter or Waiting for Winter to End? Tweet us @SunValleyResort or post a comment below.
Details: The Gondola travels from River Run Plaza. From there the top of Baldy is accessible by a quad lift. First ride up is 9 am and the last ride down is 4:30 pm. Ticket prices are here. Mountain biking opens June 30. The Roundhouse serves lunch from 11:30 – 3 pm, with lighter fare available from 3 – 4 pm. Lunch is first-come, first-served, reservations are required for dinner (served Friday and Saturday beginning this Friday, 208.622.2012). Each adult gondola pass receives a $10 coupon for lunch at the Roundhouse.
There’s a new girl in town, and she’s pretty hot stuff.
To help get the Wood River Valley excited for the San Francisco Ballet performance here next month, the talented Maria Kochetkova, Principal Dancer with the ballet, has been making guest appearances all around town. Baby Sun and I went up to the Sun Valley Club last week to get up close and personal with the prima ballerina.
Baby Sun was enamored by the beautiful Maria Kochetkova
Okay, okay, so she’s not the real thing, but it was still a lot of fun to hang out with her, not to mention a great photo op (which would have been better if I could have convinced Baby Sun to stand still…).
This is the first time the ballet will be performing in Sun Valley. America’s oldest professional ballet company is squeezing in a stop in the Rockies between their Moscow and London engagements as part of its 2012 tour. It’s also the first time carbon copies of its beautiful creatures will be gracing the streets of a city.
Dan Drackett, Chair of the Sponsors’ Committee for San Francisco Ballet in Sun Valley, and his long-time friend Robert Smelick, vice chair of the San Francisco Ballet Association, came up with the idea for the cardboard ballerina when they were perusing the giant posters they had made to promote the event.
“We thought, wouldn’t it be fun to have life-size cutouts made and put them all around town?” he said. The Ballet agreed and since last week Maria has popped up at The Christy, Zenergy and The Sun Valley Club. This weekend she’ll be hanging out at River Run. If anyone would like to invite her to come to their pad, post a comment below and we’ll see what we can do.
Maria herself was quite surprised to hear she was already in Sun Valley. I tweeted her my picture of Baby Sun cozying up to her and she responded with a “That’s amazing!” – promptly posting the picture to her instagram account saying “Apparently there is fake Masha living in Sun Valley.”
However, the future of her clone is uncertain. Dan Drackett said they are thinking about having the company sign the replica and then gifting it to a local non-profit. “But if people have ideas, we’re open to them,” he said. (Post any below and we’ll pass them on).
But more importantly, the Russian dancer will surely be a spectacular sight in the flesh. Maria has graced the stage in the title role of Gisele, as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote and Juliet in Romeo & Juliet to name just a few.
Catch a sneak peek of her in action in this San Francisco Ballet video (where she also talks about returning home to Moscow as part of this tour), before she and her company hit the special springy stage at the Sun Valley Pavilion for one night only on July 8.
Details: San Francisco Ballet performs at the Sun Valley Pavilion Sunday evening, July 8. Available tickets range from $25 to $250. Special packages including one night’s lodging and two tickets for $184.50 per person are also available. Call 800.786.8259 or click here to buy tickets
Since arriving in Sun Valley almost nine years ago, I’ve discovered one of my favorite sights is that of deep dark clouds rolling into the valley on a quest to obscure our normally brilliant blue skies. The drama they bring as they cuddle up to the mountain tops is breathtaking, as are the storms that generally follow. And really, one does get somewhat bored of 330 days of pure, unadulterated sun.
While 45 holes is a dream to many, the 18 of the putting course was far more our style for a first family golfing day. On the advice of Dominick Conti at the Golf Shop we kitted the children out in collared shirts (“so they will feel part of the golfing experience”) and hit the greens.
As the clouds gathered, threatening but not yet ready to give up their cargo, the scenery was stunning, more than making up for my complete lack of interest in golf. The tykes however, were in heaven. And as most parents discover sooner rather than later, anything that makes your offspring happy makes you happy. (Apart from SpongeBob SquarePants—if I could get my hands on that darn pineapple under the sea…).
Baby Sun gets ready for a run at the balls
After a spring in Florida with his grandpa, Little Sun has ample golfing experience. Tucking his scoring pencil behind his ear (a trick the trusty Dominick had showed him), he strode up to the first of the 18 holes and knocked it out in 3 strokes. Well, as he pointed out grumpily, that would have been the case if Baby Sun’s incurable delight at seeing a little white ball shoot across the grass hadn’t been followed by the irresistible urge to chase it. We eventually curbed this desire by putting a ball in each of her pudgy hands.
Modeled on the famous Himalayas Putting Course at the historic home of golf, St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, the Sawtooths is a lot of fun for serious golfers but it is absolutely perfect for a family day out. Offering downhill, sidehill and uphill putts as you weave around the 52,000 square foot course, we all felt like “proper” golfers—without actually getting in the way of the proper golfers.
It's time to get into the club!
After an hour of decent physical exertion, lots of laughs and just one tantrum, we headed for the luxury of the patio seating outside the splendid Sun Valley Club. Here Big Sun and I enjoyed a much-needed frosty beverage while the tykes wolfed down some toasty grilled cheese sandwiches. Pure perfection.
Here are some quick clips of the Sun family in action
We will be pouring 5 different Sawtooth beers paired with some delicious food. Paul and Kevin from Sawtooth Brewery will be on hand to talk about the beers and some history of the brewery. Sunday, July 1, 2012
Jennifer Pattison Tuohy aka Mrs. Sun. Photo by Paulette Phlipot.
Welcome to The Valley Sun, the new blog from Sun Valley Resort. Named after the original Sun Valley Lodge newspaper, which bore the tagline “Covering the Valley Like the Snow,” this blog will be packed full of newsy tidbits and anecdotes about life at Sun Valley Resort. TheValley Sun debuted in 1937 during the resort’s second season and was the place to get the skinny on America’s premiere destination ski resort and I’m honored to be a part of its electronic rebirth.
This seems a good place to introduce myself, I’m Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, or Mrs. Sun as I have christened myself for the pages of this blog. Born in Manhattan, raised in London, England, and married to an Idahoan transplant, I have a strong affinity with Sun Valley. We both have our roots in Europe, we both have a healthy dose of big city glamour tempered by deep adoration for the rugged outdoor lifestyle, and we both love this great state of Idaho.
A Wood River Valley resident for close to a decade, I came to this area by happy accident, much the same as the man who “discovered” Sun Valley over seven decades ago, Count Felix Schaffgotsch. He stumbled upon this place at the bitter end of a long, arduous journey, when he had almost given up hope of finding what he was looking for.
The history of Sun Valley is rich and varied – conceived as a playground for the wealthy and the famous, transformed into a laboratory for spectacular innovations in winter sports, and reigning now as the original destination vacation resort in America, Sun Valley is treasure trove of stories. In my other life, I’m a journalist and editor of the Sun Valley Guide magazine, where I’ve written numerous articles on that history, and I hope to share many more with you on this blog.
But Sun Valley is about so much more than its singular heritage, it’s also a multi-faceted place, where many have lived, loved and had buckets of fun. Catering to a wide variety of tastes as well as pandering to those with single-track minds, the resort is a living, breathing character that I hope to capture on these digital pages. I’ll be keeping you informed on the events and activities coming up, as well as reporting back on them for those who couldn’t join us. I’ll also be taking my family out and about to sample the delights of the seasons. They’ve agreed to let me share their experiences here to provide a glimpse of the bounty of family fun to be had in Sun Valley. My husband, Brian (Mr. Sun) brought me to Idaho in 2003, since then we’ve added to our family Owen (Little Sun, 4) and Rose (Baby Sun, 18 months), who will occasionally have cameos in my posts.
Above all, this blog aims to capture the vitality of Sun Valley Resort by reflecting and reporting on what matters to those who love it and who hope to come to love it. So please, help me out and tell me what you love about Sun Valley in the comment section below.
p.s. Be sure to subscribe to the blog (enter your email address in the box on the left) so you can get each post delivered directly to your inbox, and also follow Sun Valley Resort on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for up-to-the-minute info.
Come check out the latest in the bike industry. Ride the bike you have been curious about, learn about the latest in bike technology, get your photo with a pro at the Consumer Expo located at the River Run venue, the hub of RSV action.