Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Breath of Cool Air in God's Country

God's country...that would be Idaho. Four days of breezes and altitude and cool nights and no air conditioning necessary in Sun Valley visiting my friend Marge, the secret knitter. It was wonderful. Here is the view from Marge's terrace!

And for a bit of kitty content, here is 18 year old Spike being walked on his leash on that terrace.
The BF and I went for the opening of the spectacular new amphitheatre in Sun Valley, complete with an amazing performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and mezzo Denyce Graves. But we managed to catch the Sun Valley Arts Festival in Ketchum, too. 100 booths of carefully chosen artists from around the country.

How's that for scenic surroundings? It rained for the first time in quite a while that first morning, but the sun broke out just in time.

Booth after booth after booth of sculptures and glass and wooden carvings and pottery and paintings and jewelry. Strolling and perusing made for an interesting afternoon.

These overalls were actually a sculpture made from buttons and glitz. Oddly enough, there was little fiber related goodies, just one weaver. The BF snagged a bronze sculpture of two crows sitting on a pedestal. I fell hard for two of the jewelers there from California but didn't make the big purchase, although I'm still debating. Teri Pelio worked with Hill Tribe silver in stunning designs and Sally Bass with a lot of vintage bakelite. Here is one of Sally's necklaces done with shell, peridots set in silver and green pearls.The flowers in Ketchum are stunning everywhere. You really feel you are in a Swiss village. The food is wonderful. Jeff at Vintage is so creative, blueberry pancakes and celebrity spotting at Christina's bakery, dinner on the terrace at the Lodge.

Hemingway is buried in his beloved Ketchum next to Mary. I'm not sure what the tradition is for leaving coins on his grave, but there are plenty of them.

The gravestones are under this little bouquet of trees in a cemetery with headstones dating to the earliest settlers, or possibly passersby who didn't make it further.

One morning we headed out in the crisp of dawn, over the Galena Pass to Stanley just to have sourdough pancakes at the Baking Company. Definitely worth the early wake-up and the drive. For many years, Stanley had a national weather station which regularly posted the coldest temperatures in the country. The weather station has moved elsewhere and there is not much left in Stanley but a few hardy souls, including the two sisters who run the bakery and are renovating an old, old log built hotel there.

We continued up the road, following the Salmon River from it's modest headwaters into full blown raging rapids. Impressive. We stopped at the salmon hatchery project, which I thought would be boring but was anything but. They've been working at it for years, trying to reintroduce sockeye back into the streams and had almost given up. Last year only 4 or 5 made it upriver, the year before 2. This year to date...111 and it's only mid season!!! No one knows why they are suddenly showing up but it is causing a lot of excitement. It was fascinated to watch these big fish, some spotted and some very red, leaping up the series of ladders. We also visited Redfish Lake, high in the mountains, which got its name from the fact that there were so many salmon in it that it looked solid red. No more. Knitters, Nancy Bush is teaching at a retreat there in September at the Lodge. I would soooo love to be there.
You may note in both the above photos that the clouds are hanging almost below us in the valleys. Mysterious. A bedraggled group of hikers arrived while we were there. Said they had been pelted during the night by hail for a couple of hours, ripping all their tents to shreds. There is a lot of hiking done in Idaho. As lush as all these photos look, there is a lot of parched, desolate and empty land between Salt Lake City and Sun Valley.
You ask, was there any knitting involved on this trip? Well yes, some. I took two projects, one was Rivolo, a Little Nothing Scarf from Anne Hanson of Knitspot, supposed to be an easy travel project. Well, I think my knitting was negative on that one. Although certainly not a difficult pattern, I couldn't keep track of it when with people. Think I knitted it back to break even, or perhaps a couple of repeats more on the plane ride home. But the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Seduction in Rooster Rock is beyond beautiful. Love working with it.
And then there was a bit of progress on Argosy. I had hoped to find a skein or two of different colors of Noro Silk Garden to add in, but Isabel's in Ketchum has stopped carrying Noro. Darn. Here is the Argosy Wrap with five different colored skeins knitted in, definitely the shawl that will go with everything in the closet.

Marge hadn't been into the knit shop all summer, waiting for my visit. We went together and I did allow myself one purchase at Isabel's. A glorious skein of Blue Heron Mercerized Cotton Lace. There is 1000 yards in the skein, enough for Hanami or possibly Muir. We shall see what it wants to be when it has time to mature in the stash awhile. Marge bought several colors of Koigu to use in a pair of stranded mittens.

On the personal front, Steven is hanging in there, although there is some concern that the leukemia is trying to come back. They are taking him off all the anti rejection drugs to let his donor's system fight it full out. We shall see. There is finally some hair starting to grow on the back of his head. We are so accustomed to "bald is beautiful" that we will have to readjust. And 89 year old Dear Dad is being basically thrown out by Stepmother so I've put down a deposit on an assisted living apartment for him and am scrambling to set everything up and buy an apartment's worth of smaller scale furniture to move in when the current tenant decamps. Fun, fun, fun. I am so not a shopper.

Sadly, CairoKate's brother Robbie lost his battle with leukemia today. My heart goes out to her and her family. I noticed at the Baylor Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic today that they are having a bone marrow donor drive this Sunday at the Highland Park Methodist Church on the SMU campus from 10 to 2:30. It is free and only involves a cheek swab, no blood donation necessary. If any of you have been meaning to sign up, this is an excellent opportunity. We bless Steven's donor every day.

Did I mention it rained yesterday? Totally wonderful glorious rain. I went out in the garden and stood in the rain in the middle of the night. The temps have been down for a few days, although it hit 100F on Thursday. This morning is a frigid 71F with a high of only 88F expected. Just a hint that the heat will be over before too long.


Micki said...

Beautiful photos! We vacationed in Sun Valley a couple of time when I was a kid, and I would love to go back.

Thinking positive thoughts for Steven...

Jodi said...

What a gorgeous part of the country! I'll have to make it to Idaho someday. And Spike on his leash? Too cute.

The Argosy Wrap is looking just beautiful.

Edie said...

I loved all the photos from your trip. How wonderful. I hope you were able to relax and have a wonderful time with your friend. It certainly seems so. Argosy turned out beautiful. I can't wait to see it in person.

Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

So very happy you got some cool air and even some rain. (I'd gladly send you some of ours, though, if you would like to check the quality of Irish mist against Idahoan).

Love the Argosy Shawl and no, I hadn't forgotten I was supposed to be KAL'ing with you! I have a couple of Silk Garden Lites in different colourways if they'd be any help?

txknitter said...

Looks like a fabulous trip. I'm so glad you had a chance to get away and relax.