Sunday, September 6, 2009

"Go-to- the-Sun- Highway" and on to Idaho

Friday morning, we headed south to Whitefish and Kalispell, Montana. Topography became dramatic as we continued through Glacier National Park into Montana. Peaks soared above the Salmon River - evidence of the changing glacial action years ago.

An early morning breakfast at a mountain cafe 'stoked' us for the day and off we went over narrow mountain roads. Highway crews at this altitude win huge respect! Fishing streams tempted Eric and it was easy to linger along the edges of Lake McDonald as we continued south. Down from the mountains, we popped into the Whitefish, Montana library for an internet catch up before an explore of this striking ski region.

In the morning, we headed to Sun Valley. The Sawtooth Scenic Byway is an eye-popping drive that requires frequent stops along the way. However, too many stops create a late arrival on Labor Day weekend...and a 'where to stay?' moment. Happily, Eric found a late 'condo' cancellation that was a treat.

In the morning, we attended St. Thomas's Church in Ketchum before a full explore of the Sun Valley Inn and Lodge where Helen's sister Florence waitressed as a college student 'a bit ago'.

Leaving Sun Valley we drove east. The arc of the Snake River revealed the Craters of the Moon. Who knew that the largest area of balsamic rocks in the continental United States extends far across Idaho - after volcanoes erupted thousands of years ago. Traveling on we passed through 70 miles of desert flatlands that also served as nuclear development sites.

Tonight in Idaho Falls and tomorrow off to the Grand Tetons.

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