Monday, September 16, 2019

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Miscellaneous Adventures around Stanley

My summer has included learning new skills, having fun with fellow employees, hot spring soaking, eating out, music, dancing in the street, horseback riding, white water rafting, exploring, learning about the area. 

Here are photos of some of the activities:  People, of course, were part of the summer.  Here are three wonderful women, Becca, Christina, and Brittany.  We were celebrating Brittany's new job.  She leaves Stanley for Hawaii where she will be a chef at an upscale hotel chain.

Stanley Baking Company is THE spot to eat in town for breakfast and lunch.  Usually the ordering line
stretches out the front door.  But once ordered, service is amazingly quick and you always feel welcome to sit and converse with friends.  After a summer here, I don't think I've gone in more than once without seeing someone I recognize.

Jenna was our wrangler.  I don't have any good photos of me on the horse, but the horse, Bonnie, is captured below before we started out.

Scene from the 4th of July parade, which is mostly about squirting the crowd with water.  Note that this is the corner of Wall Street (unpaved, a few blocks blocks long) and Ace of Diamonds, also unpaved and a couple blocks.  A one block section of Ace of Diamonds closes Thursday evenings for free street dance with live band.

Brittany, Nick, Greg and Tyema hamming it up before the dancing

This area, like the area along hwy 395 in California, is one of the hot spring hot spots.  Like the Eastern Sierra  Region on Hwy 395 there are dozens of springs.    This is the area that feeds a great soak at Sunbeam.   This water is too hot, but it flows through a pipe under the road to flow into the Salmon River.  You adjust the heat of your soak by moving around to various blends of hot spring water and cold river water.
Cinquefoil is found in many places around here, including the slope below the Lodge at the Ranch.  First
learned this one in Yellowstone

Elephant Head.  Each tiny purple blossom resembles the big ears and long trunk of an elephant.  They grow in wet areas. These were in an overflow area of a small stream.

There were lots of  Sego Lilies, on the ranch and also as I went exploring.

They were thick in this aspen grove of the 4th of July Creek Road

Indian Paintbrush


What was once the small community of Sunbeam is now the White Otter Rafting Company.   Inside this old building is a cafe, which only operates Thursday thru Sunday during the season.  But it was well worth the 22 mile trip.  The menu is limited but exceedingly good.  There are two kinds of egg pie, a crustless quiche type dish.   The tomato basil one is my favorite.   The coffee cakes, pies, tarts, and other temptations.  Food is locally sourced.  I did a river rafting trip with this company which did trips for our guests.   But I stopped by after that because I had heard the cafe, run by wife of owner with family help was good.   I got to chat with Sharon and loved the place.   It is also close to Sunbeam Hot Spring, a natural spot where hot water feeds from the hillside into the Salmon River.

Along the route to Challis.  The terrain here is drier and warmer than in the Sawtooth Valley but both share
the Salmon River as it flows toward the confluences with the Snake and Columbia Rivers and eventually the Pacific.

Galena Pass separates Stanley and the Sawtooth Valley from the more settled Sun Valley, Ketchum Area.  It is also the
headwaters for the Salmon river.  Snow melt and springs in the mountains in this photo flow into the valley to become the Salmon River.  

The Salmon River was aptly named.  This is the longest Pacific Sockeye salmon migration in North America.   It was also a habitat for the Chinook Salmon.   Sadly, dams along the Columbia River have cut the numbers dramatically.  I always thought the issue was swimming upstream to spawn.  And while that was one issue, fish ladders have helped.  The other issue is the long stretch of still, and warmer waters behind the dams.  Instead of floating quickly thru these on their way to the ocean, their progress is slowed dramatically and they have to work hard.  When they come back upstream it is also a large body to cross.  I visited the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery during the salmon run.  They capture the salmon, check to see which are natural (ie, were spawned by wild salmon who started their lives just downstream and were returning to their birthplace to begin the next generation), which are from spawning done in the hatchery.

Sylvia holds a salmon which has just been taken from the traps at the Fishery.  

Male salmon is squeezed to get the semen to fertilize the roe.

Here a female is gutted (she was going to die as soon as she spawned) to get the roe.  The
roe are fertilized and raised at the hatchery until big enough to have a better chance at reaching the ocean.

Fish are marked before they leave the hatchery.   Clips on fins, metal tags give them information as to whether the fish came from the hatchery.  If it was spawned from other hatchery raised fish or from the fertilization process of the hatchery from natural salmon.  The natural salmon will have no clipping or tags.  Sadly, this year only 1 natural Sockeye and 104 natural Chinooks had been found.  A few more may have showed up after my visit, but clearly the numbers are low. The numbers forhatchery fish are also low.  This year 2314 Chinook had come thru the traps at the Fishery.  At one time Redfish Lake was named that because the lake was so filled with salmon that it looked red.

Mama merganser with offspring

Ranch near Stanley

Friday, September 6, 2019

Changing Moods of the Sawtooths

One of my favorite views, from a pullout just beyond Lower Stanley
You may need to click on this enlarged photo to see the full thing plus caption

Each day, each hour of the day, and sometimes as clouds create shadows, each minute, the feeling of the Sawtooth Range changes.   It also changes due to vantage point.

4th of July.   Hand held on a fence post

Views from the ranch:

:Other Views of the Sawtooths:

If photos are cut off or don't show in full size, click on first one and you will have a slide show.  There is almost no narrative this post, anyway