Sawtooth Mountain Range, Idaho, May 25, 2014

 

Sawtooth Mt. Ride Map
Sawtooth Mt. Ride Map

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.

Galena Pass
Galena Pass

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.

At the overlook of Galena Pass
At the overlook of Galena Pass
Sawtooth Valley
Sawtooth Valley
Frank at the Snowy Galena Pass Overlook
Frank at the Snowy Galena Pass Overlook

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.

Papa Brunee's in Stanley, ID
Papa Brunee’s in Stanley, ID
View from Stanley, ID of the Sawtooth Range
View from Stanley, ID of the Sawtooth Range

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 meĀ  it indicated that “Papa” was being remembered after all these years by visitors seeking out his final resting place.

Grave Site of Ernest Hemingway
Grave Site of Ernest Hemingway

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.

8 thoughts on “Sawtooth Mountain Range, Idaho, May 25, 2014”

  1. Wow, that’s an impressive climb and scene. You should find out if Papa Brunee’s sells Badger Balm, advertised as “Navigator class man care.” What more could a couple of old Badgers want?

    Happy to see your blog and read about your adventures. Keep ’em comin’!

  2. Love the descriptions and pictures! Keep them posted. But, um… “A Harley biker and his girl”? Really? Is this the influence of the heartland? Got news for you, Badgers: we haven’t used the term “girl” since the 60s unless it’s someone under the age of 12 :-)
    OK, off my soap box now. Besides, I know those honey badgers don’t g… a sh…
    Safe travels!

  3. Wow, you guys are really putting in some serious miles skipping from the 4 corners up to Idaho. Looks like a great trip. I’m envious. Ride safe. -BroGo

  4. Loving your descriptions and insights into the scenery, both the geological features and the human ones. I have no problem with “girl”, as it’s much better than the oft-used term which starts with “b” and rhymes with “witch”. Looking forward to the next post.

  5. Great story. I hope you two opened up a 40 and poured some of the malt liquor on the ground at Hemingway’s grave in honor of departed gangstas.

    You could write in the style of Hemingway from now on…

    “I turned my motorcycle off as the border guard approached us. The bike had run good and clean and true this day. The guard said, “I had my testicles shot off during the campaign in the Italian Alps. “We all carry burdens which either break us or make us stronger, ” I responded, “I’ve had poor internet access for days.” “Um, I’ll trade problems with you in a second,” the guard answered.

    The scouring wind rattled the bullet-pocked tin border-crossing sign. No snow leopards were to be seen at this altitude.

  6. I like “dames,” “skirts,” and “haunting succubi.”

    This might explain a few things…

    1. Rooster Cogburn, you are too funny! And I now know who you are. Your rich vocabulary betrayed you. Your rendition of Hemingway made me laugh out loud.
      And, I will confess, I actually had to look up succubus.
      John’s girl

  7. Who is this cock-a doodle-doo? Your cracking me up. This blog is an awesome idea John. I’m living vicariously. I will always remember you surprising me at the pool at Bon Aire Park and giving me a ride home on your motorcycle .The helmet being to large for my head you stuffed it with the little jacket I had. Then my head was like a bobble head. I felt both safe and scared at the same time.Unfortunately for me motorcycles scare me as do horses.

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