Don't hate me, but this was our second vacation in October. Second this month!! I'm not taking it for granted, in fact I am wincing at the thought of how hard we worked to earn a vacation, and I'm so glad we made it work. If we hadn't taken a second vacation I would be stirring in Seattle, yearning for mountain wilderness.
Our trip was short, but very sweet. We spent four days nestled at the southern end of the Sawtooth National Forest in good company. When my friend Lili moved to Idaho it was only a matter of time until I would meet her there. Back in college we studied abroad together in Italy and we were both training for our college cross country season. Late nights at the Piazza Pubs would have never resulted in 6am runs if we didn't have each other to drag our butts out of bed and through the busy streets of Florence. Ever since then our friendship has been tied together through running and I have dubbed her as one of my running sisters.
We were so happy to get out of the car after a 10 hour drive, stretch our legs and see Lili and Eric with two of the most lovable pups. We dropped our stuff off and then headed into town for Thai food at Rickshaw. The bonfire out front was ablaze and kept me mesmerized while we ate from inside the cozy restaurant, which was about the size of a cubby. Since we had arrived in the dark our surroundings were shaded. Little did we know how enchanted we would be when we woke up and looked out the window the next morning.
Our daily routine usually started by marveling over trail maps until we would finally choose a route and be trailbound the rest of the morning. We would all convene in the early afternoon at the house to eat and nap. The first afternoon we grabbed some towels and ventured out to Frenchman Bend's Hot Springs. This was by far my favorite spot in the valley. Orange and red leaves that were half-fallen off trees hung over us while we soaked in small pools next to the river. I felt like I was in magic fairy land with snow falling gently on my eyelashes and the breeze sending shivers down my neck, only to be warmed by the bubbling geyser below me.
The next afternoon I jumped into Lili's Barre class that she was leading at Gather Yoga Studio. I figured it would be a good core workout, until I realized how pathetic my core muscles are. I got my butt kicked by everyone in the class! I was clearly the weakest link at 6,000ft. My trembling muscles barely stood a chance for an hour of strength work.
I was lucky to still be walking after the class so we could wander around town through the ski shops and boutique stores. I could drool over outdoor recreation gear for hours, but my favorite store was Huck and Paddle. Justin and I fantasize about our future home on a daily basis (small cabin in the mountains that we build ourselves) and this store hit it on the nail with a modern rustic theme. You know you're dating a woodworker when you envision your husband making wooden ores by hand for your future living room.
A trip to Sun Valley isn't complete without a stop at Lefty's to feast on 2-for-1 burgers during Monday night football. One of Justin's high school XC teammates coincidentally lives in Sun Valley and joined us for a round of beer and burgers. I can only imagine the satisfaction of Lefty's pub food after a long day in the mountains when your legs are tired and chest is cold and the only thing that will suffice is a greasy burger with a yard of IPA. I guess we'll have to come back in the winter to experience the magic.
We took one last run the next morning before leaving and the sun couldn't have been more golden. My teeth were chattering from the icy air as I gazed in awe at the dripping yellow sunrise. I was by myself weaving through the quiet neighborhood to the trail head but I wanted to shout out Wake up everyone!!! You have to see this!!! But I'm sure this particular moment was one of a million that Sun Valley experiences each year. The picture below has 10 filters on it - but believe me - it was a 14 karat sunrise!
Justin had one last snuggle with Belle (Lili's dog below) and then we were up and out of paradise. You've probably gathered we fell in love with this small town. You know if Scott McCoubrey lives there then it's nothing short of trail running heaven. Hopefully our next trip to Sun Valley is in the winter for some Nordic skiing!
I am an outdoor and travel junkie who is currently completing my doctorate in occupational therapy overseas in rural Fiji. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of my life with my husband, the communities we serve, and the many adventures we take.