We left Ketchum around 10:30 a.m.–late for us to start a ride but it was in the 40s when we got up. Once the sun was a bit higher, the temps rose and we went north to the Sawtooth Range.
Leaving the expensive houses and ski condos of Ketchum behind, the route run straight north on Rte. 75 to the mountains. Within 20 miles, the Sawtooth Range rises up, jagged and powerful, still draped in snow.
The road then wriggles its way higher and higher with a series of twisties until the summit is reached at Galena Pass, over 8,700 ft. high. Snow banks were still hugging the road in three foot drifts and piled up near the overlook parking lot.
We stopped there for photos and to appreciate the majesty of the range before us and the peaceful valley below.
Then it was down the down the mountain into the valley and on to Stanley for lunch. The route to Stanley is flat and devoid of trucks, or much traffic of any kind. We pushed the bikes to 65 mph without a hiccup, sometimes getting up to 70 mph, as the Salmon River flowed along side us. We passed verdant horse pastures and ranches in the brilliant late morning sun.
The food at Papa Brunee’s (just about the only place open) was tasty and the people friendly. As we were about to leave, a Harley rider and his girlfriend arrived and he was astonished that our bikes sported Florida and Virginia plates. As much as we’d like to burnish our macho image of Iron Butt Bikers, we quickly explained our system of hauling the bikes to fun places to ride.
Reversing our route, we climbed the mountain, appreciating the change in views going north to south this time.
On the edge of Ketchem we swung into the small and well-cared for town cemetery to pay our respects to Ernest Hemingway who is buried there. He and his wife, Mary, rest side by side. Hemingway moved there to enjoy the outdoors he loved so much but sadly took his life in 1961. Near the grave was an empty whiskey bottle, two empty packs of cigarettes, and scores of pennies and small change. I don’t know the symbolism of any of these tokens but it seemed to me it indicated that “Papa” was being remembered after all these years by visitors seeking out his final resting place.
We left the cemetery and returned to the Meadows RV Park and the “Badger Den.” It was a short ride by our standards, only 140 miles, but a wonderfully satisfying and memorable one.