Foodie Heaven

Autumn is synonymous with bounty and the time of harvest, so what better time to celebrate the best in locally sourced, absolutely fresh and positively delicious food. The Sun Valley Harvest Festival returns for the fifth year from September 18 to 21 and you won’t want to miss a course!

The Sun Valley Festival is a collage of taste experiences you won't want to miss (photo visitsunvalley.com)

The Sun Valley Festival is a collage of taste experiences you won’t want to miss (photo visitsunvalley.com)

Billed by organizers as “a culinary celebration … the epitome of epicurean indulgence, an oenophile’s dream, and an outdoor enthusiast’s Mecca,” the festival appeals to all palates. With a focus on seasonal, regional sustainable foods, it promises to be a fun-filled weekend featuring new events this year. These include highly anticipated Foodie Adventures, two new wine tastings at beautiful local venues, a Speakeasy-themed after-party in downtown Ketchum, as well as the first Hailey event, Swine, Wine & Dine.

Kick off the festival with friends in a casual atmosphere at the Taste of Ketchum on September 18

Kick off the festival with friends in a casual atmosphere at the Taste of Ketchum on September 18 (photo Sun Valley Harvest Festival)

Other highlights include the very popular Taste of Ketchum. On Thursday evening, September 18, the festival kicks off with copious amounts of delicious food, served in a relaxed, sociable setting. The fun begins at Ketchum Town Square at 5 p.m. when you are invited to take a leisurely stroll through the heart of Ketchum stopping to sample regional fare and paired libations from participating eateries. The evening winds down at 7 p.m. at Memory Park with dessert and sparkling wine. Cheers!

Sun Valley Executive Chef and Culinary Director John Murcko will weave his magic at both the Martini and Caviar Party at Roundhouse at at the grand finale party at Trail Creek Cabin

Sun Valley Executive Chef and Culinary Director John Murcko will weave his magic at both the Martini and Caviar Party at Roundhouse at at the grand finale party at Trail Creek Cabin

Also on the agenda is the new and highly anticipated Taste of Sun Valley. Travel back in time to the rustic and historic Trail Creek Cabin where Sun Valley Resort’s own Culinary Director and Executive Chef John Murcko will create an evening you will never forget. On Sunday afternoon the 21st, soak in the beautiful fall day as the aspen trees surrounding Trail Creek Cabin begin to glow gold while sampling locally sourced foods and wines from Buried Cane, Cadaretta and Clayhouse Vineyards. Murcko, a James Beard Finalist, will work with other fine chefs from the Resort to ensure the grand finale to the Sun Valley Harvest Festival is simply amazing.

For more information about Chef Murcko please click here.

There is no place more beautiful in autumn than the historic Trail Creek Cabin. The Sun Valley Harvest Festival caps off an amazing weekend with a party here on September 21

There is no place more beautiful in autumn than the historic Trail Creek Cabin. The Sun Valley Harvest Festival caps off an amazing weekend with a party here on September 21

Feeling adventurous? Then be sure to check out the new Foodie Adventures offerings at the festival. On Saturday, September 20, tickets to two eating adventures are still available: one to Galena Lodge for bike adventure and one to Nighthawk Farm in Bellevue. At Galena, you will work up an appetite by enjoying a bike ride with some of the area’s top athletes and at Nighthawk Farm, all food served will come from the farm. Both events feature food prepared by top chefs paired with sublime wines.

Martinis and Caviar with a killer view has the makings of a truly memorable night (photo visitsunvalley.com)

Martinis and Caviar with a killer view has the makings of a truly memorable night (photo visitsunvalley.com)

Another very special way to savor and sip in Sun Valley is by signing up for the Martini and Caviar party at the Roundhouse Restaurant that is perched two-thirds of the way up Bald Mountain. On Saturday evening September 20, starting at 6 p.m., get whisked up the River Run side of the mountain on the gondola and start the memorable evening off with a scenic ride. You will be greeted at the base of the Roundhouse with a glass of Michelle Sparkling Wine. Again, Sun Valley Executive Chef John Murcko is in charge of the night and is sure to impress with his artfully crafted fare featuring sturgeon caviar and Idaho caviar. Popular mixologist Ryan Sullivan will craft cocktails featuring Idaho’s Square One organic vodkas to complement the food. This is one fun party that continues until 9 p.m. and magical and iconic setting at 7,700 feet above sea level simply can’t be beat!

Come, gather, eat and drink. The Sun Valley Harvest Festival is almost here. Get your tickets today! (photo Sun Valley Harvest Festival)

Come, gather, eat and drink. The Sun Valley Harvest Festival is almost here. Get your tickets today! (photo Sun Valley Harvest Festival)

There’s so much more to this weekend. For a full listing of events and to buy tickets, please click HERE.

The Sun Valley Harvest Festival was voted one of the top food festivals in America by Fodor’s. Come see why for yourself. Whether you prefer jeans and boots at a picnic or a cocktail dress on the deck at Roundhouse, you will find the perfect way to enjoy a glorious fall day or evening in Sun Valley.

–RES

Bring on The Beach Boys

For more than 50 years, The Beach Boys have been turning out number one hits, touring to sold out crowds and creating the soundtrack to the lives of more than one generation. Now, they are coming to the Sun Valley Pavilion on Tuesday, September 9, and there is no better way to put an end cap on an amazing summer season.

Starting at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.), the audience at the Pavilion will be treated to the sweet sounds of the original boys of summer. Everyone has a favorite Beach Boys’ song or two (or three) and chances are, they will be performed live at this don’t-miss event.

From Surfin’ Safari, to Why Do Fools Fall in Love, I Get Around, Little Deuce Coupe and back to Little Surfer Girl, we know you know every word to every hit. The Good Vibrations will bounce off the mountains and land right back with the audience.

Concerts at the Sun Valley Pavilion are an experience unto themselves. Seats beneath the magical sail, with views of the mountains and the smell of the fresh early fall air help create a night no one will forget. Add to that music that is known and loved by all, and it will be quite the night.

Whether it's a night at the Sun Valley Symphony or an amazing concert like the Beach Boys, there is no better place to enjoy live music than the Pavilion

Whether it’s a night at the Sun Valley Symphony or an amazing concert like the Beach Boys, there is no better place to enjoy live music than the Pavilion

The Beach Boys play an average of 150 shows a year, ranging from sun-drenched summer festivals to black tie New Year’s celebrations and special events. The band members are at the top of their game and will put on a hugely professional show. The Beach Boys are led by Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, who along with Jeff Foskett, Randell Kirsch, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill and Scott Totten continue the legacy of the iconic American band. This tour will not feature Brian Wilson, Al Jardine or David Marks.

Be sure to grab dinner before the show at one of the wonderful Sun Valley Village restaurants (the deck at the Ram or Bald Mountain Pizza sound especially nice on these gorgeous September days) or enjoy a cocktail at the Ram Bar at the Sun Valley Inn. Be sure to make a night of it as these warm days and evenings won’t last forever!

Enjoy dinner or a drink before the concert at The Ram or any of the Village restaurants. The view is pretty nice!

Enjoy dinner or a drink before the concert at The Ram or any of the Village restaurants. The view is pretty nice!

The Beach Boys truly are the sound of summer and summer isn’t quite over yet. Be sure not to miss this final outdoor concert of the season. You won’t be sorry!

–RES

Tennis, anyone?

Though Sun Valley is deservedly famous for the adrenaline pumping adventures available in our own backyard (think mountain biking, white water rafting, hiking), we also excel at more mainstream sports like tennis.

Early fall is a perfect time to work on your game at the Sun Valley Tennis Center

Early fall is a perfect time to work on your game at the Sun Valley Tennis Center

In fact, the Sun Valley Resort boasts 17 courts, a fully-stocked Pro Shop, ball machine and the best coaches around. Private lessons and group clinics are available as well as the annual Nike Tennis Camps for adults and children that offer popular sessions every summer.

Last week, I booked a one-hour private lesson for my teenage daughter who was about to head ‘back east’ to school and had signed up to play recreational tennis. Having not picked up a racket in quite a while, it seemed an hour with a pro was the way to go.

Jeremy will help you book your lesson and equip you for optimal performance

Jeremy will help you book your lesson and equip you for optimal performance

We were welcomed at the quaint tennis center by Jeremy who you might recognize from his normal post in the Sun Valley Bowling and Game Room. During the Lodge’s amazing renovation, Jeremy has temporarily moved to the tennis pavilion, bringing his excellent customer service and charm with him.

Nate "the Great" reminded his student that tennis is a game and that games are fun!

Nate “the Great” reminded his student that tennis is a game and that games are fun!

Next up was an introduction to our pro, Nate, otherwise known as “Nate the Great.” With a hopper full of balls, Nate and my daughter claimed a court under the warm late summer sun. Starting with the basics, during the hour Nate fine-tuned her forehand, bettered her backhand, gave value to her volley and sliced up her serve. Though I wasn’t invited to be too close to the lesson, their laughter and smiles were visible all the way to the deck where I sat at a comfortable table beneath an umbrella and enjoyed the view.

Net net? Nate took my daughter from being lukewarm about the sport of tennis to becoming an enthused participant, eager to continue playing into the fall.

Whether you are a serious competitor or novice, it's advantage Sun Valley when it comes to tennis

Whether you are a serious competitor or novice, it’s advantage Sun Valley when it comes to tennis

The other athletes on the courts that afternoon seemed to be equally enjoying traversing the tramlines, chipping and charging or simply refining skills while enjoying a glorious afternoon. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned player, time spent on the Sun Valley courts is time well spent.

Come get outfitted at the Pro Shop steps from the Sun Valley Inn so you look the part of a tennis great

Come get outfitted at the Pro Shop steps from the Sun Valley Inn so you look the part of a tennis great

The courts, located just steps from the Sun Valley Inn and next to the Olympic pool, are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in season. For more information or to book a lesson call 208-622-2156 or email recreation@sunvalley.com. The beautiful early days of fall are tennis time so book your court or lesson today.

Advantage, Sun Valley!

–RES

 

 

 

The Battle is Back

Even though Sun Valley On Ice concluded its star-studded season with a performance from the one-and-only Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek on August 30, things remain hot at the rink in September.

This year's contestants are in it to win it for the non-profit of their choice. Pictured L to R are Bob Polk, Zach Crist, Emilie duPont, Scott Slonim, Christine Davis-Jeffers. Chris Koch reclines. Not pictured are Maggie Acker, Megan Thomas and George Rizzo. (Photo James Bourret)

This year’s contestants are in it to win it for the non-profit of their choice. Pictured L to R are Bob Polk, Zach Crist, Emilie duPont, Scott Slonim, Christine Davis-Jeffers. Chris Koch reclines. Not pictured are Maggie Acker, Megan Thomas and George Rizzo. (Photo James Bourret)

Battle of the Blades … Bigger, Badder and Better than Ever” returns to center ice on Friday, September 5. This community fundraiser put on by the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club promises to again raise the proverbial roof. If you missed the sold-out events in 2011 and 2012, Battle of the Blades pairs nine local celebrity amateurs with highly accomplished figure skating professionals. Each competes in a professionally choreographed, fully costumed two-minute routine. A panel of celebrity judges provides 50 percent of the final score while the other half is determined by an audience applause meter. To further inspire community involvement, each contestant chooses a non-profit organization to represent. The top three finishers all win cold hard cash for the worthy organization of their choice.

Contestant Megan Thomas and partner pro Ty Cockrum make it looks easy during a rehearsal (photo Becky Smith)

Contestant Megan Thomas and partner pro Ty Cockrum make it looks easy during a rehearsal (photo Becky Smith)

This year’s contestants and their designated non-profits are (in alphabetical order): Maggie Acker for the Animal Shelter, Zach Crist for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, Emilie duPont for the Flourish Foundation, Christine Davis-Jeffers for The Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Chris Koch for Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Bob Polk for Community School, George Rizzo for Camp Rainbow Gold, Scott Slonim for The Hunger Coalition and Megan Thomas for the St. Luke’s Foundation. The contestants are taking their preparation seriously. Many have limited skating backgrounds but have spent hours with their partners fine-turning programs that will be wildly entertaining.

Contestant Chris Koch hams it up with partner Stephanee Grosscup

Contestant Chris Koch hams it up with partner Stephanee Grosscup

The pros generously giving their time to the fundraiser are familiar faces from the rink. This years’ pros are (in alphabetical order): Darlin Baker, Brent Bommentre, Ashley Clark, Ty Cockrum, Joel Dear, Stephanee Grosscup, Jonathon Hunt, Kim Navarro and Natalia Zaitseva.

Sun Valley's golden girl, snowboard champ Kaitlyn Farrington returns to the event to inspire all the valley's children. Here, she is shown competing in Battle of the Blades 2012 with partner Eddie Gornik (photo James Bourret)

Sun Valley’s golden girl, snowboard champ Kaitlyn Farrington returns to the event to inspire all the valley’s children. Here, she is shown competing in Battle of the Blades 2012 with partner Eddie Gornik (photo James Bourret)

Sun Valley’s own golden girl, Kaitlyn Farrington who took the gold medal at snowboard halfpipe in Sochi will also be in on the fun. Kaitlyn skated in the 2012 installment of the event in between training sessions in New Zealand. Just back from more intensive training in Argentina, Kaitlyn will graciously return to the rink as a role model to all the children and an honored member of the community.

2012 winner Miles Fink-Debray takes a victory lap with partner Natalia Zaitseva in front of the sell out crowd

2012 winner Miles Fink-Debray takes a victory lap with partner Natalia Zaitseva in front of the sell out crowd (photo James Bourret)

The time-proven team of Lisa-Marie Allen and Gia Guddat are the show’s artistic directors and Nick Maricich acts as Prodution Manager. All three brings collective decades of experience to the endeavor. Additional coaching hours were volunteered by Lisa-Marie Allen, Judy Blumberg, Anita Hartshorn and Stefanie O’Neill and Dawn Peterson.

Battle of the Blades is definitely a community event, meant to generate money to get more children into the lifelong sport of figure skating.

Langely McNeal won gold during Battle of the Blades 2011 with partner Kelly Smith and some killer 80s music. She returns to the event, but this time in the judges chair

Langely McNeal won gold during Battle of the Blades 2011 with partner Kelly Smith and some killer 80s music. She returns to the event, but this time in the judges chair (photo James Bourret)

“After the first two Battle of the Blades, we were able to offer numerous group lessons for skaters of many abilities, all at an extremely discounted rate,” said SVFSC board member Peter Hendricks. “We were also able to bring children to the rink from the area’s elementary schools to take skating lessons during the traditional ski days. Figure skating pros and hockey players worked with students during these very successful afternoons. Our goal with Battle of the Blades 2014 is to continue and expand on these programs and to get kids on the ice who might not otherwise have the opportunity to skate.”

The amazing cast and crew of the 2012 event celebrate doing good and having fun

The amazing cast and crew of the 2012 event celebrate doing good and having fun (photo James Bourret)

This summer, the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club celebrated its 75th year, making it one of the most venerable and long-running clubs in the country and what better way to celebrate.

Surprises await at every turn and some of them are star-studded. Don’t miss the feel good fundraiser of the year. Tickets are only available online at sunvalleyfsc.com. Get yours today and don’t miss out on what everyone will be talking about Monday morning!

Let the battle begin!

–RES

Davis and White: grace on and off the ice

The excitement in and around the Sun Valley ice rinks was palpable this weekend because reigning Olympic Gold Medals ice dance pair, Meryl Davis and Charlie White were, as they say, in the house. But before performing two graceful, moving and perfect programs at Saturday night’s Sun Valley On Ice, the champions showed grace of another sort.

Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White showed their gold medal style during a practice session at Sun Valley last weekend

Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White showed their gold medal style during a practice session at Sun Valley last weekend

Sophie Hansen, 12, from Salt Lake City was treated first-hand to this grace. Currently on a wait list for a liver transplant, she and her family planned an end-of-summer special vacation to Sun Valley so Sophie could see the superstars perform. When representatives from The Primary Children’s Hospital of Salt Lake City reached out to let Sun Valley know Sophie was coming, Jennifer Uhrig, director of the Sun Valley Recreation Department, quickly set the wheels in motion. Hansen is a huge fan of skating and especially of White and Davis.

Utah skater Sophie Hansen, who faces some medical challenges, had the chance to meet her idols rinkside

Utah skater Sophie Hansen, who faces some medical challenges, had the chance to meet her idols rinkside

“We received a message from Primary Children’s Hospital that Sophie and her family had tickets to attend the ice show Saturday night and asked if there was any way for her to meet her idols,” said Uhrig. “Immediately, we wanted to make sure this would happen. Rink manager Scott Irvine suggested she attend the rehearsal Saturday and we planned on her being backstage during that time. We knew she would be able to get photos and autographs but we had no idea that it would turn out the way it did. Meryl and Charlie were so gracious and wonderful.”

It's not every day an Olympic gold medalist gives you a lift

It’s not every day an Olympic gold medalist gives you a lift

The meet and greet turned into much more when Sophie was asked to lace up her skates and take to the ice with the gold medalists and Dancing With the Stars celebs. Sophie, who is a figure skater (and trains at the same rink as Sun Valley On Ice’s “Jumpin’ Joe” Sabovcik) was lifted overhead by Charlie and skated like a champion with all the pros. Charlie also presented her with a Sun Valley goody bag filled with swag. That night at the show, Sophie proudly wore her new Sun Valley sweatshirt and settled onto a new blanket laid on the bleachers. And Sophie and her family, as well as the rest of the huge crowd, were treated to a flawless, breathtaking performance that no one will forget.

It was Sophie's dream to just meet Meryl and Charlie but it turned into so much more

It was Sophie’s dream to just meet Meryl and Charlie but it turned into so much more

 

“Sophie’s family said that she had an amazing time in Sun Valley,” said Primary Children’s Hospital spokesperson Sandra Orton. “Her mother said she couldn’t stop smiling and that the experience made her entire year.”

One more golden performance featuring Evan Lysacek is scheduled next weekend for the final Sun Valley On Ice of the season on Saturday night, August 30. The 2010 Olympic gold medalist, Evan holds ten major titles in the sport and is one of the most magnetic, athletic and graceful skaters ever to take to the ice. Evan has strong ties to Sun Valley and his shows beneath the stars are a hot ticket. You can still get yours today by clicking HERE.

Special thanks to Meryl Davis and Charlie White for sharing their special magic with the audience Saturday night and a very special audience of one on Saturday afternoon.

–RES

This was a day to remember for a  young aspiring skater

This was a day to remember for a young aspiring skater

Keep Those Wagons Rolling

Though the calendar says that summer is beginning to wind down, you wouldn’t know it in Sun Valley. With the Labor Day weekend only a week away, there is still so much to look forward to under the bright Idaho sun.

Labor Day weekend is almost upon us. Make your plans now so you don't miss highlights like the Big Hitch Wagon Days Parade on Saturday

Labor Day weekend is almost upon us. Make your plans now so you don’t miss highlights like the Big Hitch Wagon Days Parade on Saturday

The holiday weekend is always one of the best times of the year in Sun Valley because there is so much to do and it is so different from Labor Day anywhere else. Events begin midweek and don’t stop until the sun sets on Monday, September 1. And actually, summer fun extends well into September, too.

The festivities begin on August 25 when the Wagon Days Headquarters open at the Ore Wagon Museum located at 200 10th Street in Ketchum. Pop over between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. for information, hats, t-shirts, posters, buttons and information. On Friday the 29th, a Grand Marshal’s Reception will be held at Memory Park in Ketchum between 4th and 5th Streets from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Live music, food and drink will create a lively atmosphere as the city of Ketchum and the Wagon Days committee honor this year’s Grand Marshal, Jane Eittreim, a long-time Wagon Days volunteer.

Wagon Days brings a taste of the old west and the area's history with the eye popping big hitch

Wagon Days brings a taste of the old west and the area’s history with the big hitch

All this is a prelude to the ‘big show’ of Labor Day weekend: the annual Wagon Days Big Hitch Parade. Historic, authentic and eye popping, this is one of the largest non-motorized parades in America. It features real ore wagons pulled by dozens of mules. You do not want to miss the spectacle of the big hitch and the other wonderful wagons as they wend down Sun Valley Road and onto Main Street in Ketchum. The parade begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 30.

Arts are also part of the weekend. On Friday, August 29, from 5 – 8 p.m., the Sun Valley Gallery Association will host one of its’ popular Art Gallery Walks. A guided tour will begin at the Kneeland Gallery on 1st Avenue just south of Sun Valley Road. The walking tour takes two hours and hits many gorgeous galleries. Feel free to also explore on your own, as well.

Sun Valley is seeing gold the next two weeks as Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White take center ice on August 23 and Evan Lysacek lights up the night on August 30 at Sun Valley On Ice

Sun Valley is seeing gold the next two weeks as Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White take center ice on August 23 and Evan Lysacek lights up the night on August 30 at Sun Valley On Ice

Also on Friday, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts presents a fabulous concert at River Run: The Head & The Heart. This indie folk rock band from Seattle has opened for Vampire Weekend, The Decembrists and are a stand-alone act on the ascent. A concert outdoors at River Run is the perfect way to enjoy a late summer’s night. Tickets and more information are available HERE.

On Friday and Saturday, don’t be surprised if you’re in Ketchum and come across music and poetry on the street. The Wagon Days Poets and Pickers Strolling Event will bring the power of prose and the magic of music to many local eateries and onto local sidewalks.

At Sun Valley Resort, Evan Lysacek, Olympic Gold Medal winner and Valley favorite, will light up the night at the Sun Valley On Ice show August 30. His energy, charm and magnanimity should not be missed. Tickets are available HERE.

If you like exotic cars, a stop in Sun Valley at the Silver Car Auction is a must

If you like exotic cars, a stop in Sun Valley at the Silver Collector Car Auction is a must

And on Saturday and Sunday, stop by the Sun Valley lawn for the Silver Auction Sun Valley Collector Car Auction. More than 250 cars are on display and for sale and it’s eye candy for any car lover.

More don’t-miss events include a children’s carnival at Ketchum Town Square on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., “queen of pain” mountain biker Rebecca Rusch’s Private Idaho bike bonanza on the 29th, arts, crafts and antiques fairs, live music at the Casino in Ketchum following the parade and a huge community pancake breakfast on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon at Ketchum Town Square.

The Great Wagon Days Duck Race is fun for all ages and supports the community in many ways

The Great Wagon Days Duck Race is fun for all ages and supports the community in many ways

The Great Wagon Days Duck Race takes to the Big Wood River on the 31st and the weekend continues on the 1st with a huge celebration on Main Street in Bellevue.

This weekend, things are also heating up in Sun Valley. On Saturday, August 23, Olympic Gold Medal ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White will cast their spell at the Sun Valley On Ice Show. Limited tickets are still available to enjoy this dazzling duo in an incredibly beautiful and intimate venue. Buy yours today so you don’t miss out!

Don’t forget that even when the weekend is over, the fun isn’t. The one-and-only Beach Boys arrive at the Sun Valley Pavilion on September 9 for a show you won’t forget. Call (208) 622-2135 or visit sunvalley.ticketfly.com for tickets.

Seems like a pre-Labor Day nap, or a few, might be in order. There is so much going on and you won’t want to miss a minute! Make your plans now!

–RES

No matter how many times you've seen it, the Wagon Days parade delivers excitement and fun

No matter how many times you’ve seen it, the Wagon Days parade delivers excitement and fun

Roundhouse Reunion

Step right up! It's a quick few minutes from buying a lift ticket to hopping on the Roundhouse Gondola

Step right up! It’s a quick few minutes from buying a lift ticket to hopping on the Roundhouse Gondola

This week, we had a small family reunion of sorts with my two aunts visiting to Sun Valley for some summertime fun. One is a frequent visitor, but the other had not been to the area for nearly 20 years. Wanting to offer something new and fresh to my Aunt Nancy who is here quite a bit and something quintessentially Sun Valley for my Aunt Marilyn, plus something fun for us locals – my mother and children – one activity seemed just perfect: a ride on the Roundhouse Gondola and lunch at historic Roundhouse Restaurant.

When considering lunch at Roundhouse, getting there is half the fun

When considering lunch at Roundhouse, getting there is half the fun

Perfect for every age, fitness level and first-time or repeat visitor, the ride on the gondola is breathtaking and easily navigable. Our group of seven convened at the River Run Lodge and quickly purchased lift tickets from the friendly attendant. There are special prices available for seniors and children, so be sure to remember to inquire if anyone in your party is young or just young at heart. As we settled onto the gondola and the ground began to fall away beneath the car, I knew this was a great call. The out-of-town aunts looked back and forth, taking in the full view over Ketchum and across the Pioneer Mountains. We chatted about biking and hiking trails as well as ski runs as the entire panorama looking east came into focus.

The attendants at the gondola are very friendly and here to help

The attendants at the gondola are very friendly and there to help

Roundhouse did not disappoint, either. Open for lunch during the busy summer months, the historic one-of-a-kind restaurant perched at 7000 feet above sea level serves either on the expansive deck, or with white cloth decked tables indoors. We chose to eat indoors and ordered from a simple menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers. Though tastes varied, everyone found something to please the palate and our choices included the salmon salad with fingerling potatoes, tomatoes, hardboiled egg, cucumber, Roquefort and rice wine vinaigrette; the 7000’ burger with olive remoulade, a brioche bun and jarlsberg; the salmon burger with red onion and sun dried tomato vinaigrette and the Austrian chicken salad sandwich served on an herb croissant with celery, onion, apples and tarragon aioli. Kids can choose from either a Roundhouse burger or Mac and Cheese. All meals come with a choice of homemade potato salad, homemade coleslaw, green salad or some pretty great chips. Soft drinks, wine and a full bar were available.

My chicken salad croissant and homemade coleslaw were full of flavor

My chicken salad croissant and homemade coleslaw were full of flavor

The salmon burger, made with fresh king salmon, was a favorite in our group

The salmon burger, made with fresh king salmon, was a favorite in our group

Our meal was leisurely and filled with laughter and stories and really good food. The view wasn’t too bad, either! The ride down the gondola was another eye popper and when we reached River Run Plaza it was certain we had enjoyed a true Sun Valley experience. Whether you have enjoyed a stay in Sun Valley countless times or have just arrived, a ride on the gondola shouldn’t be missed. Also remember, that there is no better reward for a hike or bike ride up to Roundhouse or the top of Baldy than lunch at Roundhouse and a ride back down.

Lunch is rustic, yet elegant, at Roundhouse. Deck seating is also available

Lunch is rustic, yet elegant, at Roundhouse. Deck seating is also available

Roundhouse will be open through for the rest of the summer season from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Seating is first come, first served. Don’t miss the view and the experience. It is something to remember. After all, Roundhouse has been doing it right since 1939! –RES

Roundhouse was the perfect lunch spot for a family reunion

Roundhouse was the perfect lunch spot for a family reunion

Have (Paddle) Boat Will Travel

Paddle boarding on the Sun Valley Lake is great fun. These smiles say it all!

Paddle boarding on the Sun Valley Lake is great fun. These smiles say it all!

Let’s face it. Kids have endless energy and sometimes even the most inventive parents crave an activity where the children are happy and entertained that allows them to sit in the grass under a tree and enjoy some shade. One such perfect activity on a hot summer’s day is paddle boating at the cool and welcoming Sun Valley Lake adjacent to the Sun Valley Pavilion lawn.

The manageably-sized, picturesque body of water is accessed by a fleet of family-friendly paddle boats, rented by a friendly and helpful staff.

Last week, local children Chloe and Peter drove by the Lake with their mother Katherine. “Suddenly they asked, what’s that? We’ve never tried that before!” she laughed. “So we turned around and in a short time, they were on the lake laughing and splashing. It was so easy and really relaxing. No backpacks, no packed lunches, no equipment.”

“It was awesome,” enthused Peter, 6.

“We had a lot of fun,” said big sister Chloe, 9. “We are definitely going to come back.”

Life jackets and sunscreen are the only equipment needed to enjoy this activity

Life jackets and sunscreen are the only equipment needed to enjoy this activity. It’s summer the way it’s meant to be

In fact, they returned the next morning for more fun and spent a few hours exploring the shore, insects and fauna.

Assisted by a helpful attendant Jerry, they quickly got their life jackets and boat and away they went. Explorations included finding a Garden Tiger Moth, rescued and given a ride to shore, getting close to ducks and ducklings and sighting a snake on the grass.

Paddle boating is leisurely, allowing time to explore your surroundings

Paddle boating is leisurely, allowing time to explore your surroundings

This backyard adventure is not only fun, it is extremely affordable. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a mellow few hours in Sun Valley.

Go out and take a paddle today. Remember, summer days are meant to be hazy, lazy and occasionally simple and relaxing!

–RES

The scenery from the Sun Valley Lake makes even just sitting on the sidelines worthwhile

The scenery from the Sun Valley Lake makes even just sitting on the sidelines worthwhile

Moveable Art

Anticipation was high Tuesday at the unveiling of a unique art piece -- a real gondola wrapped in original art

Anticipation was high Tuesday at the unveiling of a unique art piece — a real gondola wrapped in original art

For the next three months or so, a one-of-a-kind piece of art is on display at the Ketchum Town Center. It’s big, it’s beautiful and it was unveiled on Tuesday.

The unique artwork is actually a real gondola car from River Run, albeit a highly jazzed up version of the basic model. The car is wrapped in original art from local artist Ralph Harris and shows a picturesque scene of the Boulder Mountains. It will be the first art-covered gondola to go over Forest Service land in the country.

Kurt Nelson of the BLM, Jack Sibbach of Sun Valley Resort, Ketchum mayor Nina Jonas and artist Ralph Harris all celebrated the  arrival of the gondola at Ketchum Town Square

Kurt Nelson of the BLM, Jack Sibbach of Sun Valley Resort, Ketchum mayor Nina Jonas and artist Ralph Harris all celebrated the arrival of the gondola at Ketchum Town Square

“I created the art digitally and it was transferred onto a nylon wrap that covers the entire gondola car,” Harris explained. “It’s the same type of material that you see in town adoring KART buses. You can see through it from the inside.”

The goal was to create something to blend in with our gorgeous, natural mountain environment, not to stand out. This is even more important as in October, the car will rejoin the gondola fleet and will become a spectacular way to ride from River Run to Roundhouse.

Since Sun Valley Ski Resort is run on public land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management, this outdoor art was a collaboration between Sun Valley Company, the BLM, the City of Ketchum Arts Commission and the U.S. Forest Service.

The artist, lifetime local Ralph Harris, is pictured in front of his creation with Mayor Nina Jonas. Care was taken so that the art would fit in with the area's beautiful natural environment

The artist, lifetime local Ralph Harris, is pictured in front of his creation with Mayor Nina Jonas. Care was taken so that the art would fit in with the area’s beautiful natural environment

At a ceremony unveiling the gondola, Kurt Nelson, district ranger of the Sawtooth National Forest joked, “I just told them no pink, no orange, no colors of the rainbow. We really wanted this to blend in with the environment.”

Harris, who can claim 44 years as a ski instructor with the Sun Valley SnowSports School and ancestors in the region dating back to 1881, was an obvious choice to create the special art. In fact, his Uncle Zeb worked on the first ski lift at the Resort.

The project was generously sponsored by David and Trish Wilson of Wilson Construction, longtime benefactors of the arts and supporters of the community.

And community is really what this project is all about. Jack Sibbach, Marketing Director for the Sun Valley Resort emphasized, “The company is very excited to be a part of this project. What we have accomplished shows what the community can do when we set our minds to it and come together for a common cause.”

A crowd gathered to inspect and enjoy the outdoor art installation

A crowd gathered to inspect and enjoy the outdoor art installation

The wrap looks like a painting, filled with beautiful detail depicting the Boulder Mountain range with the peaks covered in snow, as well as local flora and fauna.

“Sun Valley has always been a leader in innovative programming in the arts,” said Marybeth Flower who spoke on behalf of the Ketchum Arts Commission. “This forward-thinking vision has helped create this unique display of artwork by one of our leading local artists.”

Be sure to stop by the Ketchum Town Square to see the gondola for yourself, then be ready to see it whisking skiers and snowboarders up the mountain when the 2014-15 season commences in November. It is a head turner, indeed!

–RES

Sun Valley's own Julian Tyo brought inspiration for this project home from his recent European honeymoon with wife Katie

Sun Valley’s own Julian Tyo brought inspiration for this project home from his recent European honeymoon with wife Katie

Let the Kids Adventure Games Begin!

Zip lining will be one of the challenges at the Kids Adventure Games coming to Sun Valley on August 30 and 31

Zip lining will be one of the challenges at the Kids Adventure Games coming to Sun Valley on August 30 and 31

What happens when you combine nearly every adventure activity kids love into one fun-filled, jam-packed day? You get the Kids Adventure Games … coming to Sun Valley on August 30 and 31. Described as an event for teams of two ages 6 to 14, children navigate their way through varied terrain and challenges to find predetermined checkpoints to complete their journey. The checkpoints are reached via activities that can range from mountain biking to zip-lining, rafting or climbing. Think a reality show like “The Amazing Race” tuned down for kiddos.

Teams of two have to work together to get through the adventure course

Teams of two have to work together to get through the adventure course

Organizers say “the Kids Adventure Games are an to opportunity for children to experience the thrill of adventure racing, learn teamwork skills, have fun and build confidence in a one-of-a-kind outdoor experience created just for them. They will need to work together to complete a variety of sports and problem-solving challenges.” Sounds pretty fun, doesn’t it?

Splash through the checkpoints in a race to the finish

Splash through the checkpoints in a race to the finish

“The idea behind the race is to create an event that has all the fun things we dreamed about as kids. With zip-lines, slip and slides, rope bridges, tubing, mud crawls and anything else we can dream up, the kids will have a true adventure and an incredible time,” explained Billy Mattison, Race Director. “We want the kids to cross the finish line pumped up with smiles on their faces and a feeling of accomplishment. The event features mountain biking, hiking, zip lines, a Tarzan rope swing, giant Slope-n-Slide, river tubing, cargo nets, mud pits and more. All activities will take place on the River Run side of Bald Mountain.

The kids are in it to win it and also to have a great time

The kids are in it to win it and also to have a great time

Participants will check in on Saturday, August 30. That day also offers an optional skills clinic for racers to practice their biking, climbing, teamwork and adventure racing skills. Sunday, August 31, is go-day. Races begin at 9 a.m. and conclude with a party and awards ceremony at 2 p.m. Registration is required and can be accomplished by clicking HERE. Kids will fuel up with delicious food provided by Horizon Organic and a special Mom and Dad’s VIP Tent will be set up with cheer cards, complimentary snacks and coffee and special viewing tips.

Completing the course gives a feeling of accomplishment to each team

Completing the course gives a feeling of accomplishment to each team

The Games promise to challenge participants physically and mentally while offering a memorable, super fun adventure. Sign your superhero up now! –RES

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