Idaho. It really is beautiful!

We had planned to arrive in the Ketchum area early, in order for us to do some camping in the Sawtooth Mountains, north of Ketchum. 

 On our way through Ketchum we stopped at an outdoor store to buy a trail map and a warmer jacket for me. The weather for the week was forecast unseasonably cold with lows below freezing and highs around 15-20C.

Southern Idaho hadn’t exact been visually memorable, but the area around Ketchum/Sun Valley was beautiful. Since we were coming back for the weekend and our “race”, Rebecca’s Private Idaho, we headed north to the mountains. The drive north of Ketchum was beautiful. The road climbed up to the Galena Summit and descended back down through the mountains and I wanted to keep stopping for more pictures. 

 We had decided to stay at a National Forest campsite in order to have the convenience of vault toilets and garbage bins for our planned four night stay. We found a quiet, beautiful campsite at the far end on Redfish Lake and set up camp.

The campsite was adjacent to the lake and swimming was only a short walk away. Bruno was super excited to have a chance for lots of swimming in cool mountain lake water. 

On our second day, we hiked around the lake. Robin, being in charge of planning these types of activities, led the way and Bruno and I followed. The trailhead was within a minute or two walk from our campsite and from there we started a long and winding climb up to a mountain ridge. Approximately halfway through the hike, the trail descended off the ridge to the lake, only to climb again to a ridge on the other side of the lake. And to descend again. Yeah, awesome hike, but long! Like something in the range of 22-24km of varying terrain, climbing and descending. The exact distance is unknown as my Garmin battery ran out at the 20km mark. 

The next couple of days were spent relaxing, throwing frisbees, playing in the water and fiddling with the bikes in preparation of the upcoming race. Robin, being the keener of the two of us, did go and ride her mountain bike for two hours one day. I chose to rest my legs. Or to just eat more cookies. 

The weather was mostly fantastic – sunny days with comfortable temperatures and cool crisp nights. Our last day of four was a little cloudy and at times rainy, but it did not dampen our love for Redfish lake.

On Friday morning, we packed up Clifford and headed to our house rental for the next three nights. It was a somewhat typical ski area condo, with ample space and, most importantly, a king size bed and running hot water. We also drove down to Bellevue to meet with Bruno’s daycare people for race day Sunday. Sara and Ned, who we found through DogVacay were super (as was their little pug, Roscoe) and we knew our little guy was going to be in good hands.

Saturday was a busy day. We had a nice civilized breakfast, prepped a few things for the race and Robin started unraveling the laundry. Afterwards we headed out to watch the Wagon Days Parade. This is the largest non-motorized in the U.S. The only non-walking participants were Rebecca Rusch and one of her charities, World Bicycle Relief, who help people in Africa achieve mobility through bicycles . The parade was fun, but after a couple of hours in the cold, sunny weather and a couple of good margaritas (did I mention Patron Tequila is a Rebecca’s Private Idaho sponsor?) we headed home for a little rest. 

Late Saturday afternoon, we headed downtown one more time to pick up our race packets and to wander the expo area for a bit. It also gave Bruno a chance to play a bit more outdoors and meet some celebrities like Rebecca’s dog Diesel, 205 DK200 champion Yuri Hauswald and photographer Linda Guerrette and her dog Levi.

After this event, we went home and had a big meal, watched a bit of television and relaxed with a bottle of wine until it was time to get to sleep. No pre-race jitters this time, we were going to ride together and enjoy the day as a “ride” with no pressure of results.

Next time – race day? Is this a race?