Roadtrip with Dad Part 1: Scottsdale, AZ to Ketchum, ID
Odometer (Legend): 533,695
Odometer (ILX): 129,937
Leg Distance: 1,053 Miles
How many states did I drive in this past weekend?
Only five. But I covered some serious ground (roughly 2,600 miles) and I had an avid road tripper, my dad, along for most of the ride. Each year, he and I pick a scenic Rocky Mountain destination and set aside a long summer weekend to hit the open road. This time, we decided to check out a few neat little towns along the Sawtooth Mountain Range in Idaho & Montana that came highly recommended (and for good reason, we learned).
I’ve had a fascination with Montana since my elementary school years. Check out this 3-ring-bound, multi-section report I did on Montana when I was in 5th grade in 1993. Notice my teacher’s comments on the blue grading form: “You can be very proud of your effort! I can tell you have become an expert on your state.” Ha! I guess I have had a thing for geography for awhile now.
And can we just have a moment to appreciate my perfect cursive handwriting? Thanks.
This year’s father-son trip started out last Thursday after work when I hit the highway and headed to southern Utah, putting in about 400 miles that night by the time I arrived in St. George. The combination of a late arrival, early wake-up, AND an hour “loss” due to time zone differences (did you know that Arizona doesn’t change clocks to observe Daylight Saving Time?) meant I was red-eyed on Friday morning when I hit Interstate 15 northbound by about 5:30 in the morning, Utah time.
Most of I-15 is pretty mindless and thus the state has seen fit to post speed limits at 80 miles per hour. My only stop was in Cedar City to top off my tank and pick up a banana and some chocolate milk for the road. I did share one special occasion with my friend Chris who follows this blog, when my 2013 ILX surpassed his 2006 Toyota Sequoia in mileage at 127,784 miles. He put together this image to commemorate my/our achievement.
By about 11 a.m., I had traveled the nearly 400-mile south-to-north distance of the state of Utah and arrived in Logan, where my dad and other family members live. We dined for lunch at the historic Bluebird Cafe on Main Street to celebrate my grandpa Russell’s birthday. Then, it was time to head out.
Our drive took us back to I-15 where it meets with I-84 near Tremonton, Utah. I-84 from there to the Idaho state line is pretty barren. You’re lucky to eek out 1 bar of cell phone signal in the 40 or so miles until you get into the Gem State. From there, we made our way westward to the Twin Falls area. I’ve blogged before about that area – specifically when Josh from TSXTravels.com and I met up at Shoshone Falls a little over a year ago. Once we got off the interstate, we headed directly north on Highway 75 and through some rinky-dink little towns like Shoshone and Hailey. It looked like the entire town of Hailey was attending a carnival.
Finally, we rolled into Ketchum (as seen above with a sign that’s tough to read). Along with its neighboring town, Sun Valley, Ketchum is a base camp for skiers, fishermen, bicyclists, and anyone who enjoys the outdoors. It’s apparent that tourist money has helped the community bloom. I picked up a postcard inside the lobby of our motel for the night, the Tamarack Lodge, that listed several dozen annual events that take place in the Ketchum area. Basically every weekend from May through October is booked with some festival or another.
The Pioneer Saloon was absolutely packed on a Friday evening. Luckily, it was only about a 20-minute wait for a teeny table for two in a back room that was quieter than the bar area out front. Our waittress assured us that they were known for their steaks, so I went with a sirloin and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. It was lights-out pretty early because dad and I knew we had a busy day to come.
Come back next time to see where we went the following day!
Photo-op in grandma’s backyard – Logan, Utah
Bluebird Restaurant in Logan, established 1914
Turnoff for the Shoshone Ice Caves north of Twin Falls, Idaho
Check out those boots, pardner!
Much, much more to come. See you soon.