With this weekend being a 4-day long weekend, we took the opportunity to visit Sun Valley in Idaho, about an hour north of Twin Falls. Usually a mecca for skiers in the winter, Sun Valley has several quaint little towns nestled in the valley floor which is part of the Sawtooth Mountains. We stayed at a Airbnb in Bellevue which is the first town at the valley mouth. With a population of just several hundred, Bellevue is the furtherest of the towns from the ski fields at Sun Valley. Many of the farms in the area grow corn and hay, mainly for the numerous horses they all have. Just a few miles north of Bellevue is Hailey, a slightly larger town with a population of 2500 and it’s own airport. During our time in the area, the airport was a buzz with corporate jets and the odd commercial flight. Where the people all live and how they get their money, who knows, but there was very little room on the apron because of all the Gulfstreams. They say the billionaires kicked the millionaires out of Jackson, Wyoming, and Sun Valley became a haven for the displaced millionaires. Seems about right…
At the head of the valley is Ketchum, and with a population of 3500, it’s the largest of the three, though it still has a quaint feel to it. many of the buildings are over 100 years old, though there’s modern hotels on the fringe to house all the skiers that flock to the area in late November through to late February. Ketchum is also where Ernest Hemingway lived for the last 3 years of his life, with his modest grave located in the cemetery just to the north of town. His house is still there, now owned by the local historical society, however, getting to it is through private property and we didn’t think it was worth the risk, especially with the “Police patrol these grounds” signs around the place. I’m quite sure the locals get sick of the Hemingway groupies wanting to see the house.
We spent a pleasant few days in the valley visiting each of the towns and having lunch at a local brewery, Sawtooth Brewery. They have a brewery at Hailey and a public house in Ketchum, both of which are dog friendly which suited us (and Leo) just fine. We strolled the streets of Ketchum on the Saturday as they prepared for the Wagon Days festival and the town started to fill up before lunch, with most people visiting to see the grand parade of the large ore wagons pulled by donkeys. We decided the crowds weren’t for us, and as they were closing the main street, decided to leave for Hailey to have lunch. It turned out to be a great idea as Hailey was deserted and we had the brewery nearly to ourselves.
Sunday we visited Ketchum again to see the other part of town, and with the crowds just about all gone, we enjoyed a stroll through the streets and visited the brewery (yet again!) for lunch. We enjoyed our stay at the Airbnb which was actually the basement of a modern-ish log cabin just south of Bellevue. The host was very nice and joined us each afternoon outside for a drink in the shade around the picnic table, whilst in between drinks she tended to the horses. She also had two border collies which were very well behaved and taught Leo a few farm dog tricks. By Sunday afternoon they were all getting on very well and the best of friends. The whole weekend saw great weather with sunny skies and a temperature of 24 each day. The mornings were a little cool which is a sign the season is changing and we’re heading for winter (thankfully!)
We left early this morning to come home so we had time to get ready for work tomorrow, and stopped along the way at Twin Falls for breakfast before arriving home just before lunch.