Today Tango and I turned the van eastward and began our journey home. The magnificent Western mountain ranges that have filled my windshield for nearly four weeks — the Rockies, Sierra Nevadas, Cascades, Pioneers — are sadly becoming relegated to my rearview mirror, growing smaller with each mile.
Our weekend was spent in Hailey, a charming town located in the Sun Valley of Idaho. My nephew and his family–four decidedly South Californians (Michael, his wife Stacy and children Evan and Brenann)–moved to Hailey last summer. Unusual? Not at all. Californians appear to be moving to Idaho in droves. Michael explained it is a topic that often came up when they would get together with friends in Fallbrook but it was always a “some day” conversation. For the Fallbrook O’Learys that “some day” was last July.
Idaho is beautiful. Not being a winter person I can’t say that I would want to live there year-round. This past winter gave my nephew’s family a baptism by snow. All records were shattered. In Ketchum, just a few miles up the road from Hailey, they recorded 112″ of snow. For the math-challenged readers, that’s just 8 inches shy of 10 feet. TEN FEET OF SNOW! But at the present time it is gorgeous with mild temperatures and long days.
I had not seen my nephew in fifteen years. A shocking admission in today’s age I suppose but there has been a continent between us for all those years. As I drove today I reflected on communicating with far-flung family. I passed Goodale’s Cutoff, a place where emigrants drove their wagons across the high desert, trying to get around the massive lava flows that now make up the Craters of the Moon N.P. For those hearty souls there was little hope that they would ever hear from the loved ones left behind, much less have a visit. As I cruise along in my well-appointed van my mind often drifts to those extraordinary people who risked it all to find a better life. Much has changed in the intervening 150 years but the quest for a better life remains and leads some to Hailey. I think they have the right idea and I wish them well. ❧