Sawtooth Mountains

After the very busy 4th of July rafting and biking, we were ready for a relaxing road trip. The drive to Stanley is beautiful most of the way. There were some areas that had been affected by recent fires, so the trees were destroyed, which takes some away from the pristine beauty.

We stopped in a historic gold mine town for ice cream that is on the way, and got to Stanley fairly early in the afternoon. The picture at the top of the post shows the view of the Sawtooth mountains from our hotel rooms. Stanley is a small town, in a beautiful valley. After a brief nap in the hotel, we headed to the small downtown for dinner and some fun.

We played some pool… much better than we had a couple of nights before in Boise. The band was playing country music, so we decided to try out the other bar in town, about a block away.

Playing much better pool in Stanley Idaho

That bar also had a country band, so we decided to just give in to it and enjoy ourselves. By the end of the night I was trying to dance the two-step with Jenny, but I’m sure even as simple as the two-step is that what we were doing was not even close! We played dismally bad darts at the second bar. Thankfully no one else was interested in the darts because we were still on the first game about 90 minutes and several drinks later. I did manage to close out, this was right after closing out my last bulls-eye, but I was behind on points and we eventually gave up on the game.

Playing Really Bad Darts in Stanley Idaho

In the morning we enjoyed the spectacular view from the hotel again.

Enjoying the view of the Sawtooth Mountains from in front of our hotel

We slept in a little and all swore to never drink again… or play darts!

Eric and Dave Stanley Idaho

We got a recommendation for breakfast from the hotel owner, and headed over to eat at the Stanley Baking Company and Cafe. Stanley is a small town, but the cafe had a big line, so we headed to another place on the main road. It wasn’t the “recommended place” for breakfast, but it worked. After breakfast we headed over to the store to get some bait to do some fishing. We got the bait, some directions to a good fishing spot, and a few beers (just in case we changed our minds about drinking).

As we drove north to the recommended fishing spot we drove along the Salmon River. The view of the river, the valley, and the mountains was spectacular.

View of the Salmon River along the road just north of Stanley Idaho

We stopped at a view-point just above the Historic Sunbeam Dam. The dam was built by miner in 1910, but had a short life… being partially demolished in 1934. The remaining portion of the dam narrows the river and there is a fairly steep drop off. This would definitely be a challenging spot to raft through. The raft you see in this picture…

Historic Sunbeam Dam

…here’s a closer shot of it…

A raft on the Salmon River just north of the Historic Sunbeam Dam

did not go through the section with the dam. There is a raft launch right below the dam.

The recommended fishing spot, looked like a fish hatchery. There were several small pools on one side of the gravel road, and a stream on the other side. We could have stayed there all day catching fish, but they were too small, and it was not a pretty spot to fish. We decided to head over to Stanley Lake to try our luck. It is a gorgeous spot to fish or just hang out.

Dave enjoying the water in Stanley Lake

We may as well have just hung out because we didn’t get even a bite. But the views were worth the lack of fish.

More of the Sawtooth Mountains across Stanley Lake

Sawtooth Mountains across Stanley Lake

I spotted a butterfly on the sand by my feet and put the camera into macro mode to see how well my camera would take closeups. I was only able to get one shot of the butterfly with its wings spread before it took off. I wasn’t completely happy with the focus and there was a shadow on the tip of one wing, but it turned out OK.

Butterfly on the shore of Stanley Lake

The macro setting came in handy about an hour later on our drive back to Boise. We hooked a beauty – my wife!

I hooked a beauty

She was a good sport, claimed it didn’t hurt and insisted that we enjoy the rest of the drive. We stopped to take some pictures along the South Fork of the Payette River.

South Fork of the Payette River

Then headed back to Boise to visit an urgent car. The see this kind of thing all the time in Idaho and had the process of removing a hook down pat. They had the hook removed and the tetanus shot delivered in about 10 minutes and we were back into vacation mode. We had a visit to a local winery, with an evening Jazz concert on the schedule, but we had finally reach our “OK… we can take a break now point”. So we went out for a quiet dinner near our friends home and relaxed the rest of the evening.

We were leaving the next day but got in one more bike ride along the Boise Greenbelt for lunch.

Pausing for a picture on the Boise Greenbelt

Then it was time to pack and head to the airport. We had a terrific time in Idaho with great friends. The next get together will be in San Diego, so the challenge is on to show them a good time.


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