A walk through the Wood River Farmers’ Market, that made its seasonal debut in Ketchum last Tuesday, invites appreciation for the here and now and anticipation for what’s to come. The offerings at the popular Market, located at East Avenue and Fourth Street, unfold with the warming weeks. The first early summer stands offer hearty lettuces, radishes and my favorite, local morels harvested from secret verdant places. As days grow longer and hotter, tomatoes, zucchini, peas, beans, broccoli, peppers, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, huckleberries – all the pleasures of summer – begin to appear. The Market is constantly evolving, constantly surprising.
Amid all the fresh offerings from local Idaho fields, you will also find pork ribs and steaks and street tacos, oh my! The Market is a terrific place to grab lunch (all the locals do) or to take home prepared food for the family for dinner. Many Tuesday nights at my house feature a half rack of pork ribs (I dare you to walk away from the scent from the cooking meat at the Market), coupled with a fresh salad and vegetable and loaves of crusty bread – all purchased booth to booth.
Step right up -- dinner is served
For those with a sweet tooth, hop into the long, but worth it, queue for homemade pies with the flakiest crusts in creation. Sample elegant little cakes in miniature mason jars and abundant French pastries and treats. If you are gluten free, there are also plenty of rich, delicious choices.
And that doesn’t even begin to cover the local cheeses, glorious flowers, handcrafted pottery and jewelry, jams and jellies, tomato sauce, fresh eggs, herbs, handmade sausage. It’s a good thing we have 18 full weeks to enjoy the area’s bounty. And if even that isn’t enough, the Market moves to Hailey on Thursdays.
Everyone enjoys the first days of summer break with a sweet treat
Under Sun Valley Executive Chef John Murcko’s direction, look for a strong farm to table influence in the Resort’s restaurants this summer. Sun Valley’s complement of eateries – from the sophisticated grab-and-go Short Line Deli to fine dining at Trail Creek Cabin and the Ram will all feature local ingredients and indigenous flavors. The restaurant’s chefs incorporate what is at the height of freshness into their menus, constantly changing their epicurean alchemy during these warm months and into the fall. Please check back to this blog during the course of the summer for regular postings about our chefs and recipes from the Resort’s kitchens.
The pleasures and benefits of being a locavore are well documented and commonsensical. During Idaho’s long frozen winters, eating this way takes some work. But in the summer, just stroll or bike downtown. Enjoying the freshest, tastiest food harvested from just down the street or down the Valley couldn’t be easier or more edifying.
Enjoy the food, the putt-putt golf and the views this Father's Day at the Sun Valley Club
Scenario No. 1
On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, your father, who works so hard and does so much for your family, opens his well-intentioned gift. Imagine his delight at receiving (a) a new set of drill bits (b) a tie (very useful for Idaho) (c) a new electronic gadget that his children will proceed to take away from him, ‘just to help set it up!’ Proceed to the backyard and put him to work over the grill, preparing a festive meal for the gang. Watch the joy on mom’s face as she realizes she gets to clean up!
Scenario No. 2
Hear the sound of laughter ricochet off the manicured greens as dad and the family enjoy a rousing round of putt-putt at the Sun Valley Club. Everyone’s short game skills are put to the test. Victory is celebrated, defeat quickly forgotten. The 18-hole Sawtooth Putting Course offers 52,000 square feet of fun for every age and skill level. And the best part? On June 16, putt-putt is complimentary!
Try your skill, or just have fun, on the Sawtooths Putting Course
Next, your group, comprised perhaps of dads, grandfathers, friends, children and spouses then walks a few short feet to the Clubhouse for a fabulous feast that dad doesn’t have to cook and mom doesn’t need to clean up.
Tuck into a special menu. Choices include a rack of baby back ribs or chicken with baked beans, corn on the cob, potato, corn bread and honey butter or an old fashioned western bacon cheeseburger and, of course, beer. If dad prefers to celebrate his big day with a gin and tonic, there is also a full bar. The restaurant’s regular lunch menu, including fresh and healthy salads, sandwiches and other favorites will also be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A special late afternoon menu will be available until 5 p.m.
The Clubhouse is casual, but elegant, with spacious tables conducive to conversation. Dine on the deck or inside. Both spots offer stunning views of Baldy, Dollar and the rolling, expansive greens of the Trail Creek Golf Course. In fact, if dad was inspired by the putt-putt, he may end up playing the front nine.
The Sun Valley Club provides the perfect backdrop for Father's Day
Sun Valley was recently recognized by Golf Digest as one of the top 75 resort courses in North America. The signature Trail Creek course challenges golfers of any ability. The legendary Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed this traditional alpine course in 1980 with a full compliment of stream carries and ominous bunkers well positioned to catch the errant shot. Just across the street, dad may also choose to tackle the White Clouds course. Encircled by some of the most sublime scenery in the Lower 48, dad will enjoy these nine holes, situated on cloud nine. This course complements the Trail Creek Course by presenting contrasting play with more sand trap shots, side-hill lies, risk-reward and blind shots.
The Clubhouse is consistently my father’s favorite spot to have lunch, so our family will certainly be stopping in on the 16th for a memorable meal and to swing at some golf balls. Treat your dad, and the entire gang, to a wonderful, relaxing and delicious Father’s Day in Sun Valley. Just come on in. No reservations are needed. The memories will last forever and he will certainly appreciate it more than another necktie.
Happy Father's Day to my dad who always has my back and who is my favorite fishing buddy
Father’s Day has the highest percentage of collect calls of any day during the year.
Father’s Day has been celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday of June since 1972.
The welcome mat is out at a la mode. Come on in for a sweet treat!
Picture this: It’s a late summer afternoon in Sun Valley. The strong sun is high in the sky. You are hot. Most likely, you have spent the morning hiking, biking, golfing, playing tennis, riding horses, swimming or enjoying any of the other countless activities that make the warm weather months here so spectacular.
But now you need a refreshing break.What better way to recharge your summer batteries than with cold, creamy, delicious (and house made!) ice cream. Step into a la mode in the Sun Valley Village and step back to simpler times. This old fashion ice cream parlor, that opened June 1 for the season, is charming and whimsical, featuring jars filled with brightly colored candy, oversize glass containers frosted with chilled iced tea and lemonade. And, of yes, ice cream.
Color and whimsy abound at a la mode
a la mode debuted its new summer menu this weekend, featuring house made and local ice cream treats for the entire family. Traditional ice cream, gelato, yogurt and sorbet are all featured on the menu in flavors from vanilla bean to tin roof to butterscotch pecan. Yum! Homemade ice cream bars come in varieties including almond joy, rocky road and orange dreamsicle. The list of toppings is 17 items long and features the usual suspects like marshmallow sauce, but also adds a twist with chocolate covered pretzels, peppermint patties and toasted coconut.
Feeling cooler yet?
And we haven’t even gotten to the creative sundae menu and the parlor’s most popular item: milkshakes. In fact, on Saturday, I met Carlos sitting at the cool marble bar at ala mode, savoring his milkshake. This true aficionado marked his calendar so as not to forget to come in on opening day because he loves the shakes that much.
Curious, and hungry, my family took Carlos’ advice and ordered milkshakes – two chocolate and one Oreo. When the freezing, thick shakes, capped with a festive swirl of real whipped cream were brought to our table outside, the children’s eyes were as big as their appetites. And the milkshakes delivered. Between gulps, everyone agreed, it is definitely the best frozen drink around.
Sundaes layered with flavor...
Thick chocolate milkshakes...
For the sake of journalistic balance, I strayed from the milkshake plan and ordered a banana cream pie sundae. My large dish, layered with crushed graham crackers, vanilla ice cream, pastry cream and of course, loads of bananas and whipped cream was packed with flavor and texture – delicious! All the sundae offerings (grasshopper, strawberry shortcake, chocolate chip cookie, peanut butter cookie, fudge brownie, cheesecake) incorporate fresh ingredients from both a la mode and the Konditorei next door to create one-of-a-kind taste sensations.
Sated, and sleepy, our first venture to a la mode this summer was a huge success. This sweet storefront is sure to be a hub of yesteryear festivity all summer long. Truly, what better way is there to enjoy a leisurely hot afternoon than with ice cream, especially when it is this good?
Carlos, a huge fan of a la mode, gives his milkshake a thumbs up!
Take a guided hike up Proctor Mountain -- the view is worth the effort
Sun Valley lies pretty much at the geographical and spiritual heart of Idaho — the wildest state outside Alaska, with four million acres of designated Wilderness. While this is wonderfully inspiring – think of all the possibilities — it can also be a little intimidating. Visitors might be uncertain which hiking, mountain bike and road bike trails are appropriate to their fitness and interest level. Are the trailheads easy to find? Are the trails well marked and easy to follow? What is the best, safest and most enjoyable way to get out into all that Wilderness?
The Adventure Center at Pete Lane's in Sun Valley Village is your starting point for big fun in the outdoors
One ideal way to begin to enjoy our vast outdoor playground is through the new Adventure Center located at the Sun Valley Village location of Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports. With the introduction of this new resource, novice and experienced outdoors people, adults and families alike, will have easy access to expert advice. Even more importantly, enthusiasts will also be able to step up to the desk, located just inside the shop’s front door, and sign up for guided Sun Valley hikes and bike rides.
Choose a free “Welcome to Sun Valley” hike — a wonderful introduction to the area — scheduled daily during the summer months. Not only will you enjoy a pleasant hike, you will learn the basics of hydrating and exercising at altitude – two very important components of enjoying all the area has to offer.
For more acclimatized or ambitious adventurers, new this summer, are guided White Clouds bike rides and hikes up historic Proctor Mountain (home to the world’s first chairlift, still visible from the trail). Hiking Proctor takes approximately three hours and leads explorers through aspen groves, across wide fields filled with wildflowers and offers a pretty spectacular view of Bald Mountain and the Valley at the summit. Biking the White Clouds takes approximately two hours and wends on single track out toward Trail Creek, providing challenging uphill and exhilarating downhill.
If all of this sounds a bit too strenuous, stop by the Adventure Center to book a spot on a Wheels and Wine Tour. Focusing on Sun Valley’s rich history and traditions, your guide will lead you on a gentle one hour ride with numerous stops covering historical points of interest and highlights of the resort. The capper? The tour concludes at the Inn Lobby Lounge with a hosted wine tasting. Cheers!
Need anything for your adventure? No worries, Pete Lane's carries a wide range of gear
These experiences provide an enjoyable way to enjoy Sun Valley by foot or by bike while offering peace of mind. On these adventures, we will pretty much guarantee you won’t get lost and that you will have the proper gear and guidance necessary for an optimal experience. In fact, if you need a new hydration system, sturdy hiking shoes, a bike helmet or appropriate layers for the active Sun Valley summer lifestyle, that too, is all available at Pete Lane’s, steps away from the Adventure Center desk.
Your only question following your bike ride or hike will be, what’s next? Don’t worry. There are 3,990,000 more wild acres to explore.
Saddle up! The White Clouds are calling
The fine print: the Adventure Center is scheduled to open on June 15 and will offer guided hikes and bike rides every day through September 15. A guided hike up Proctor costs $29 while the White Clouds bike ride is $39. If you are drawn to Wheels and Wine, the cost, including the wine tasting, is $39. If you wish to rent a bike, it will be an additional $10.
For my family, summer is all about being outside. When, in late June, the sun rises at 6 a.m. and sets at 10 p.m., there is time to indulge in everything that makes the season so memorable.
After much consideration and heated debate around the dining room table, here is a list of the top five activities that define our Sun Valley summers. It would have been easy to name 50, but the winners are:
When you reach Pioneer Cabin, this is your reward
My favorite way to enjoy the wilderness and scenic beauty of the Wood River Valley, the Sawtooth Mountains and beyond (and beyond and beyond) is on foot. Whether I have a two-hour window in my schedule or the luxury of a full day to get out into the woods, the possibilities for eye- (and lung!) popping hikes are as limitless as the amazingly well maintained, beautiful trail system that originates in our backyard. In-town hikes like Adams Gulch, Proctor Mountain and Chocolate Gulch offer diverse topography and challenge. A short drive from town gets you into the White Clouds, the Smoky Mountains, the Pioneers and the Boulders. Tucked among these mountain peaks are some of the most spectacular high altitude lakes you will ever see, and even during “high season,” many of these trails are surprisingly lightly traveled. My all-time favorite in the Smoky Mountains is the Norton Lake/Big Lost loop — spectacular and easily manageable in a half-day. Given a full day, the Sawtooths are my destination of choice, with trailheads in the Stanley area about an hour’s drive north of Ketchum. One of the destinations in that region isn’t called Shangri-La for nothing! Oh! And hiking up Baldy to Roundhouse for lunch and a gondola ride down is pretty terrific, too! And cresting the final ridge up to Pioneer Cabin is probably one of the most beautiful payoffs, beauty-wise, in the world. This list goes on and on!
People travel from all over the world to fly fish Sun Valley. Try it and you'll see why
As the band the Talking Heads sang in the 80s, “Take me to the river, drop me in the water,” and for our family, this is gospel, as long as we get to bring our fly rods. Sun Valley is surrounded on every side by some of the most pristine, productive trout water in North America. Steps from town, the Big Wood River fishes fantastically throughout the summer, tempting novices to get hooked and offering more sophisticated fishing to experienced anglers. For children, Penny Lake is fishing heaven and a great introduction to the lifetime sport. Over Trail Creek pass, Copper Basin and the Big Lost River beckon with some of the most spectacular scenery in the state and south of Bellevue, Silver Creek draws fly fishing aficionados from around the world with its notoriously selective natives that challenge and delight.
Skating on the outdoor rink isn't just child's play, but it certainly is fun
With two figure skaters in the family, much of our summer is spent at the Sun Valley ice rinks. But skating isn’t only for those working on their Double Salchow! Taking a few turns around the iconic outdoor rink that hugs the Lodge’s terrace is a fabulous way to spend an afternoon. In fact, it is the coolest place to be on hot summer days. Skate rentals, attire to make you look like a gold medalist and admission to general sessions are all available at the historic skate house, as is the opportunity to sign up for a few lessons with one of the rink’s highly accomplished pros. Then on Saturday nights, beginning in July, the stars of the skating world shine under Idaho’s canopy of stars in Sun Valley’s world famous ice shows. We love to enjoy the bountiful dinner buffet before the show or wrap up in a blanket on the bleachers to see, up close and personal, the finest athletes in the world. This year’s lineup includes luminaries like Evan Lysacek, Ryan Bradley and Ashley Wagner. This may be your last chance to glimpse future Olympic champions as they finalize preparations for Games in Sochi.
Dining al fresco
Dining outside is one of the great pleasures of life, especially when you live in a climate where it is only possible for a short window of time. Whenever eating out is on the calendar, we chose to go al fresco. At the Resort, dinner on the Ram terrace is our absolute favorite, both for the food and the terrific view of activity in the Village. The swan pond, surrounded by soft green grass, couldn’t be more picturesque if an artist painted it. Other terrific outdoor dining at the Resort includes the terrace at Gretchen’s restaurant overlooking the ice rink, light fare and drinks on the Duchin Room terrace and of course, my other favorite, outdoor dining at the historic Trail Creek Cabin. A short drive from Sun Valley takes you a world away to enjoy outstanding food as Trail Creek burbles nearby and the surrounding mountains look, at sunset, as if they are draped in velvet. Other al fresco dining opportunities also abound in Ketchum and Hailey when decks and patios are the place to see and be seen all summer long, whether you’re enjoying a burger or a gourmet four-course dinner.
The terrace at the Ram is a wonderful place to enjoy a meal under the sun or stars
Leisurely bike rides
Nearly every night of the warm weather months, my children and I hop on our bikes, hop onto the Rails-to-Trails bike path that runs right by our home and pedal the evening away. This paved path is appropriate for everyone as it gently leads past Hailey to the south and well past Ketchum to the north. The route often runs next to the Big Wood River and offers more than 32-miles of pedaling possibility. My advice? Don’t rush. This is a great opportunity to simply enjoy the surroundings and the company.
Family bike rides are a terrific end to a busy day (and no worries, my daughter only took off her helmet for the photo!)
Summer possibilities are so varied, whether you are visiting for two weeks or have lived here for 20 years, there will always be new hikes to try, new mountain bike trails to explore, another stretch of river to fish or to whitewater raft, campsites you haven’t visited, a new stretch of beach at a mountain lake at which to picnic, a swimming hole to jump into, another opportunity to work on your handicap. Phew!
No matter what you like to do, though, the critical thing is to just get outside, be with friends and family and remember what summer is supposed to be about. Unplug, enjoy, unwind, explore. It’s summer in Sun Valley.
Everything that makes summer wonderful is at the end of this rainbow in Sun Valley
Bike paths are your road to adventure up and down the Wood River Valley
While Sun Valley is rightfully famous worldwide for its winter recreation, the Wood River Valley is also biking Nirvana. From the 32 miles of converted Rails-to-Trails that stretch from the south valley way past Ketchum, to the hundreds of miles of continuous singletrack, to endless scenic road bike rides and downhill on Baldy, everyone here, from fat tire to skinny tire enthusiasts, loves to bike.
This passion for peddling was in evidence last weekend when temperatures soared into the 80s, trees flashed fresh greenery and everyone was out enjoying spring. Up and down the bike path that hugs the tranquil Big Wood River, bicycle riders were out in force. Seen on one small stretch of rolling, paved path between the mid-Valley and Sun Valley: tandem bikes, toddler trailers, training wheels, skinny wheels, matching Lycra and Cruisers.
Your bike awaits at Pete Lane's in Sun Valley
In-town mountain bike trails are quickly drying out, offering great early season riding. And mountain biking is almost an obsession around here. The area has been dubbed ‘Mountain Bike Heaven’ for good reason. To celebrate everything our mountain town has to offer, the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival rolls in for the third year from June 29 to July 7. This comprehensive event features everything from Enduro downhill courses to bike demos; from Pump Park parties to the Ketchum Criterium and, of course, the USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships. There is an event for every ability and age group.
Local legend, mountain bike endurance athlete Rebecca Rusch, is also hosting an event this summer. The sixth stop of the 2013 Gold Rusch Tour will feature Rebecca’s Private Idaho, a gravel Gran Fondo style event to be held August 31 to September 1. This promises to be a lung-busting, Wild West ride covering 100 miles.
One young enthusiast shows how it's done in Ketchum's Pump Park
For a different perspective from behind the handlebars, both Hailey and Ketchum have free Pump Tracks open to the public. These popular amenities let riders work on biking skills (from absolute beginner to advanced) and have a great time utilizing features on the dirt track like rollers and berms to ride with or without pedaling by pumping for momentum on track contours.
Storied Bald Mountain converts from ski Mecca to biking (and hiking) Mecca in the summer months. Shaded and wooded trails wend up the mountain, often through fields of wildflowers. Needless to say, the views are spectacular. Downhill is also wildly popular. Many choose to let the lifts carry them, and their bikes, to the summit before enjoying an adrenalin-saturated ride to the base. No matter if you’re going up, or coming down, be sure to take some time at 9,150 feet to soak up the 360-degree vista. It will make your heart race, too.
Trails on Baldy often wend through fields of wildflowers
When you’re ready to get going, be sure to stop by both locations of the retailer Pete Lane’s to gear up for a great ride. The Village outpost is already fully stocked with bikes of every size and purpose, available to rent. With more than 300 bikes from which to choose, as well as helmets, clothing and hydration systems, you will be equipped and on your way to a local trail in no time. At the end of June, Pete Lane’s at the base of River Run will open, offering full suspension and downhill bikes, eradicating all excuses not to give biking Baldy a try.
The Wood River Valley is a two-wheeling kind of town. It’s not a Sun Valley summer (or spring or fall for that matter) without seeing our spectacular scenery from a bike saddle.
Idyllic doesn't begin to describe peddling around, Sun Valley style
Mother’s Day is a holiday for which most children and spouses truly want to create a relaxing, special day for the mom in their lives. But good intentions don’t always lead to great results. It can be a day of high expectations and occasionally high stress for those left in charge of plans. Let’s face it — sometimes it is hard to know exactly what to do for the person who does so much.
Crisp linens and peace & quiet await
Sun Valley to the rescue! The Resort is offering a special package especially tailored to what moms want. If relaxation, pampering and a memorable experience are what you’re after, your search is over. There isn’t a mom out there (this mom of three included — hint) who wouldn’t love a getaway to, or even a staycation, in Sun Valley.
First, Mom will check in to a luxury room in the Inn or Lodge (where someone else will make the beds) for a special rate of $225 on Saturday night, May 11. But that pays for much more than a fantastically comfortable bed and the finest linens; it also includes Sunday Brunch for two at the elegant Lodge Dining Room. This famous brunch offers dozens of dishes to tantalize a mother’s taste buds.She can indulge at as many stations as she desires and treat herself to dessert without having to think even for a moment about dishes. Settled in beneath crystal chandeliers with white linens, silver and sparkling stemware, she will feel as important as she is.
Relax and get pampered at the Sun Valley Salon & Spaaah....
But wait, there’s more! For the ultimate in mom downtime, she will also receive a one-hour massage at the Sun Valley Salon & Spa. Her cares will float away beneath strong hands, a pampering and attentive atmosphere, far removed from her regular responsibilities. If you really want to wow mom, add a luxurious manicure and pedicure or facial to her stay. And be sure to make time to soak in one of the hot outdoor pools. Order her a cocktail to sip on the deck and she will really feel like she is off-duty!
Keep the love going by adding Friday or Sunday night to the package for just $100 a night (prices do not include taxes or resort fees).
If an overnight is not in the cards, be sure to at least enjoy brunch on Sunday. Service begins for this highly popular meal at 9 a.m. and runs through 2 p.m. No reservations are necessary and the feast runs $36 for adults and $21 for children 12 and under.
Brunch is a family affair in the elegant Lodge Dining Room
For room reservations, call 888-978-3475.
Mother’s Day is a holiday with history that stretches back to ancient Greek and Roman times. It is a wonderful way to honor and show your appreciation for the woman in your life who makes a difference daily in the life of a family.
Book today! She deserves it! And it will certainly go over better than that gadget from the hardware store or that small appliance you think she just might like, but she probably won’t …
One of the exquisite, healthy trout in our local rivers (photo courtesy Bryan Huskey, Silver Creek Outfitters)
Unlike many people who relocate to Sun Valley or become frequent visitors because of our amazing skiing and snowboarding, my family was first drawn to Sun Valley by the area’s world-class fly fishing. Raised by a father who is a consummate fisherman and a mother who also caught the bug, my brother and I were put into waders, handed a fly rod and placed in western trout streams when we no more than eight years old. Fishing was just what we did.
In 1983, the trout streams we waded into were Sun Valley’s. That year, our family’s summer vacation included throwing flies from drift boats in Montana, exploring desolate waters in western Canada and, finally, landing in the Wood River Valley. Before our two-week stay in a Wildflower condo on the Resort property ended, my parents had hired a real estate agent. The fishing, and everything else that comprises a Sun Valley summer, was that good.
Fish on! Just another glorious day fishing in Sun Valley
So, when the winter runoff begins in earnest, when ski runs begin to transition to hiking and biking trails and when facets of bright sunlight bounce off of the currents of the Big Wood River beneath the bridges on my daily errands, my mind turns to fishing.
With May just around the corner, so is fly fishing season. The Big Wood, the river that wends through Hailey and Ketchum, opens on May 25, as does fabled Silver Creek south of Bellevue. According to Silver Creek Outfitters, the area’s leading fly fishing authority with outposts both in the Sun Valley Village and downtown Ketchum, indicators are pointing to good early fishing. According to the shop’s report, “Our snow pack is currently at about 80 percent of average and the Climate Prediction Center at NOAA is calling for below average precipitation for the next several months in Central and Southern Idaho. For the angler, this means the fishing should be good earlier this year on our freestone rivers due to the lower flows and often when the flows are lower, the hatches, like the Green Drake, will also come off a bit earlier.”
Unlike the past two years, when the Big Wood ran high (making for tenuous wading) until well in the early summer, this year’s conditions may let us get our feet wet much earlier. All signs point to productive fishing on this very accessible and very beautiful river in the not-too-distant future, with wade-ability most likely by the end of June.
Bugs! Hatches! Dinner is served! (photo courtesy Bryan Huskey, Silver Creek Outfitters)
For novice anglers or those looking to enhance or refresh their skills as the season begins, Silver Creek Outfitters Fly Fishing 101 Clinics begin on May 4 and continue throughout the summer. These popular two-day classes cover the basics of a sport that may seem intimidating, but really isn’t – from casting to knot tying, bugs to wading. Beginning at the end of June, the shop’s top guides also offer free casting clinics on the lawn in front of the Sun Valley Lodge.
And if May 25 seems like an awfully long time to wait to cast some line into a ripple, you can fish now on the Big Lost River. This tailwater gem (surrounded by some of the most inspiring, stunning views in the state) is about a two-hour drive from Ketchum near the town of Mackay. Again, Silver Creek Outfitter’s fishing guru reports, “Hatches on the Lost this time of year are a combination of Midge and Baetis and on the right day they can be spectacular. Some fish are spawning in the shallow riffles, so please wade with caution and leave them alone.”
Be sure to stop by the Ketchum location of Silver Creek Outfitters for the best advice on early season fishing (the Sun Valley store will open for the season when the season opens).
If you’re dreaming of clear trout streams, spectacular scenery and lazy lunches riverside, your wait is nearly over. Be sure to get your Idaho fishing license (for a day or a season), check your fly line, air out your waders and boots. And if you haven’t done so already, maybe it’s time to check in with a local realtor. You may get hooked, too.
Catching (& releasing) is only a part of fly fishing, but it sure is fun
Now that the snow on the Valley floor has melted into ever greening patches of grass, spring is officially in the air! Small buds are appearing on branches, stalks of flowers are beginning to take an experimental sniff in the warming air and children are itching to be outside.
Nothing goes together like children and springtime in Sun Valley (photos courtesy of Lisa Dirksmeier)
The two-year-old class from Sun Valley’s Community SchoolEarly Childhood Center scratched that itch this week with a special field trip to the nearby Sun Valley Lodge and the iconic and always fascinating swan pond. A perpetually interesting, constantly evolving neighbor to the school, the Sun Valley Resort is often a destination for these preschoolers. For them, there is nothing better than communing with the ducks and swans and fish.
One lucky duck gets lunch courtesy of a little student at Sun Valley's swan pond
Teacher Lisa Dirksmeier said, “Sun Valley’s cornucopia of magical, extraordinary offerings are a vital part of our life.” One grandfather, along for the trip, likened the Resort to the “land of make believe” as the children took their time navigating the long pathways that meander around the Village. Frequent stops included discussion of the construction equipment being used to beautify the property, appreciation of figure skaters taking advantage of a warm day on Sun Valley’s outdoor ice and pausing to listen to chiming bells and music.
While getting there was more than half the fun, the children were thrilled to arrive at the pond which graces the entry to the Lodge. A hefty supply of bread, crackers and cereal supplied a feast for the ducks and fish, with a few handfuls reaching the children’s mouths, as well. The little ones chatted with the animals, encouraging them to come back, come back, come back!
A trip to the playground and a picnic lunch rounded out the adventure and left, for Lisa, indelible memories. “I hope the children, while they may not remember this exact trip, will recollect a time of pure, uncomplicated joy,” she said, “a time when traveling was light and easy, and friends, two red wagons, some breadcrumbs and a lunchbox was all that was needed to create a magical afternoon.”
What's good for the goose is good for the gander ...
Half a Sun Valley Club "Club Sandwich" and a cup of soup for $8? It's what makes slack worthwhile!
Slack: characterized by slowness, sluggishness, or lack of energy <a slack pace>
As a longtime local, I have to admit that spring slack is my absolute favorite season. It’s not that I can’t embrace the electric vibe of excitement winter brings with it, or that I don’t adore the infectious energy of summer, it’s just that slack is when the locals get their town back.
In the months of April and May, you will see those fabled “gone fishin’ till summer” signs in Wood River Valley shop windows, and dogs do actually lie undisturbed on Main Street. But one of the best aspects of this monumental slowdown are the locals’ specials. Restaurants all over town (well, at least the ones that stay open) offer amazing deals as a way of saying thank you to their most loyal clientele – and to get some bums on those seats before they get too dusty.
Of course the resort gets in on the action too, ramping up some of its regular year-round specials, as well as bringing out some choice ones just for the “shoulder season.” Here’s a quick roundup of some of my favorite spring specials in Sun Valley.
While the high-powered-career woman is not a type often found in Ketchum, hard-working small-business woman is. If you‘re one of those, why not treat yourself to that lunch out with girlfriends you’ve been promising yourself all winter but just couldn’t find the time for? The time is now, round up the ladies, head to Gretchens and enjoy half-price entrees and, most importantly, half-price wine, any Tuesday or Thursday in May.
Pacific Ahi Tuna grilled medium rare, served with pineapple chutney, lime aioli and organic greens on a brioche bun is the perfect accompaniment to lunch with the ladies.
For the families who need something to do with the little ones now that Dollar Mountain has said farewell for the season, pop in on Bald Mountain Pizza for some cheap, nutritious entertainment. Let the tykes build their own unlimited-topping pizza for just $5 (daily 5-9 p.m., now through June 6). Plus, get free tickets to a movie at Sun Valley Opera House following the carb overload.
Pile your pie high with Bald Mountain Pizza's unlimited toppings for $5 deal.
Whether you’re a golf enthusiast, golf widow/er, or just enjoy a spectacular view, make sure to stop by Sun Valley Club, arguably the resort’s hottest lunch spot, and chow down on the spring dining special of a cup of soup and 1/2 a sandwich for a just eight bucks. (runs from Monday through June 9, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.).
Skiers, when the mountain closes this Sunday, channel the resort’s famed Austrian ski instructors and drown your sorrows at the newly remodeled Konditeroi. This Austrian gathering place has gone back to its Eastern European roots and is offering German beer and a house-made brat for $12.99 through June 7, a bargain for such a scrumptious taste of Sun Valley history.
Catch up on more delectable offerings from the resort’s 17 restaurants here, and follow Sun Valley Resort Dining on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss out this season.