When summer in Sun Valley, you mountain bike. Mountain biking is to summer what skiing is to winter. It is athletic, thrilling, and beautiful. Sun Valley offers some of the premier mountain biking trails in the country. The Sun Valley area boasts more than 400 miles of single-track. I can’t wait to contribute so much more to the mountain biking experience of this region in this blog. But, I’m surrounded by mountain biking novices, including my wife and two daughters, so I’ve got to break them in, show them the magic, show them that when you conquer a single-track trail that all you can think of is ‘what’s next?’.
A good friend suggested I take the girls to Galena Lodge. The Blaine County Recreation District is in the process of adding 47 miles of new trails that offer something for everyone, including my beginner riders. We all rented mountain bikes at the Galena bike shop and set out on a trail called Lodge Loop. Even this beginner trail caused white-knuckle riding from my youngest, but she persevered and we conquered several laps on the Loop, her taking pride in not having to stop for long stretches. After dropping the kids at the Lodge for grilled-cheese sandwiches on the deck, I took Barb out to Galena View Loop to Senate Meadows Loop to Pioneer Cemetery Loop. She loved it. Mild, meandering single-track biking through open meadows and dense woods, allows you to take it easy or let it rip. I can’t wait to get back to try out the rest of the Galena trail system. And, to my great surprise, neither can the girls.
Summer in Sun Valley means spending time on a river. Today we ventured north on Highway 75, beyond Stanley, to a small enclave called Sunbeam, home to White Otter Outdoor Adventures. The drive is about 75 miles, and done at the right time (we traversed early a.m. for our 9:30 a.m. start) offers some of the most incredible views of American wilderness.
The Sawtooth Range stands majestically above the town of Stanley and offers an amazing backdrop as the highway winds the Salmon River. There are beautiful mountains lakes along the way (Redfish, Alturas, Pettit) which I hope to cover in future posts.
We parked at the White Otter cabin and proceed to the Sunbeam Cafe for some freshly baked cinnamon roles and coffee. We met our guide, Amanda, who epitomizes the young female adventurist serving as a great role model for my girls. Amanda is a rock-climbing, back-country skiing, kayaking, outdoors enthusiast who spends the summer in a tent along the Yankee Fork that feeds the Salmon.
The half-day excursion covers a ten-mile stretch of the Salmon River, floating thru several Class II rapids and two Class III rapids (Piece of Cake and The Narrows). The pictures attached capture our jaunt thru Piece of Cake. Overall, the trip is fun, beautiful and relatively mild for a whitewater trip; the perfect intro for rafting novices. Needless to say, my oldest daughter is pining for more Class IIIs and the move up to Class IVs. Everyone had a ball, and hopefully we’ll be venturing back soon to find more excitement on Idaho’s whitewater.
Piece of Cake 1
Piece of Cake 2
Piece of Cake 3
Piece of Cake 4
Piece of Cake 5
Piece of Cake 6
We’re getting there. These are pictures from over the last month, as we move ever closer to putting down some furniture and spending the night. We’ve had some fun with wallpaper, wood stain and paint colors. The new windows look amazing. The counters look terrific, and we’re loving the tile back-splash for the kitchen stove and hood. Check out some of the progress:
Kitchen progress including new cabinets.
New windows and slider.
Counter is in.
Looking out from the kitchen.
Master bedroom shaping into form
New stain on the stair panels
Wallpaper in loft
Lights, wallpaper, mirror for guest vanity
Doors in and looking good
Uniform paint on the beams and loft (Dragon’s Breath)
Kitchen view with tile getting installed
New washer and dryer in the utility room and new hallway light fixture added
Utility room with tankless water heater
Kitchen progress, with new fridge and stove
The original phase of the Bridgepoint Condos were built in 1978. Other than a couple of adjustments over the years (a new water heater, a new dishwasher, some new paint), the condo looks like its worn and dated 1970’s style and construction. It has served its tenants well, but after 38 years, it’s time to give this place a makeover.
Loft & Kitchen
We’re getting started with chronicling our condo remodel and dialoguing our love for Sun Valley. 401 Second Ave. So. Bridgepoint Condo #4 has been in the family now for 23 years. I searched long and hard back in 1990 for the perfect spot to buy my first home. Location, location, location. I lived in Warm Springs and Hulen Meadows, but it was downtown where I wanted to be. With the emergence of River Run in the early 90’s, the Bridgepoint’s offered the ideal spot from which to easily get to everything; dining, skiing, hiking, biking, and of course, Whiskey Jacques.
I met Tor Jensen back in the early 90’s. His older sister, Kristy, was my roommate and a great friend. After buying Bridgepoint #4, Tor actually lived in the condo for a period of time, and began his career in construction and project management. So, when it came time to redo #4, I hunted down Tor, who still lives in Hailey with his wife Liv, and two daughters. Tor is now a Project Manager for Lee Gilman Builders, one of the valley’s most respected and successful contractors.
Tor brought in Lily Corrock, a native of the Wood River Valley, to help us with administration of the project. Lily has been instrumental in both planning and design. The entire project has been managed and constructed without our presence, and Lily has contributed greatly to our decision-making.