We have been back from our 2-1/2 week road trip for over a week, so I apologize for not posting sooner. We have been busy! But more about that later.
Here are a few highlights from our trip, which took us through Montana and Wyoming, down to Colorado to visit my sister and brother-in-law, back up to Sun Valley, Idaho for the Trailing of the Sheep festival, and then out to Medford & Ashland, Oregon to visit more family. It was a lot of driving, but we enjoyed all our stops along the way and saw some beautiful country in full fall color.
Out first night was in Butte, MT and it was snowing when we left there the next morning. A large snowstorm was moving across the region, which made us actually glad we were shut out of Yellowstone National Park (government shutdown) and heading for Cody, WY instead. In Cody we spent most of a day at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. This is a complex of 5 museums and definitely worth a visit. A couple of years ago we saw the Plains Indian and Western Art exhibits. This time we saw the Buffalo Bill exhibit (just re-done last year, they said), also the Firearms and Greater Yellowstone Natural History exhibits.
It also snowed the first night in Cody, but started to clear the next day. By the time we headed south it was quite gorgeous – clear blue skies with snow on the ground – but cold and windy until we got to Colorado.
antelope south of Cody, WY
Wind River Canyon south of Thermopolis
We made it to Boulder, CO by late afternoon, in time for my planned visit to Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins, where I browsed the mill-ends and came away with some nice cones of cotton weaving yarns.
The next day we drove down to my sister and brother-in-law’s house south of Pueblo, CO where we had a nice long 2-day visit before heading back north. We stuck to the back highways and saw some oddities
Bishop’s Castle along Hwy 165 out of Colorado City, CO
and mile after mile of beautiful fall color mixed with evergreens:
In fact we saw so much beautiful fall color throughout this trip, we kind of gave up on trying to photograph it!
Favorite stops that day were Salida, CO (lots of great shops and galleries) and Leadville, CO (at 10,000 ft with 14,00 peaks off to the west). The whole drive up along the east side of the Rockies was splendid and we will need to go back and spend more time.
Eventually we made it up to Hailey/Ketchum (Sun Valley) Idaho for the Trailing of the Sheep festival on Oct 10-13. I first read about this a year ago in Wild Fibers magazine – in fact the running of the sheep through Ketchum on the final day was their cover photo for the Winter 2012 issue. We stayed in Hailey, which I would recommend – fun town, lots of options for places to stay and eat.
On Saturday there was the Folklife Fair in Hailey, featuring many booths with wool-related fiber crafts
sheep camps both on display and for sale
interior of a restored sheep camp
and a second one
Music and dancing by groups representing the many cultures that have worked as sheepherders in the region:
The Polish Highlanders
“The Polish Highlanders of North America present the folk music and dance of their families, shepherds from the Tatra Mountains of southern Poland. Their dance is found only in this region of Europe. Their singing was once used to communicate from mountaintop pastures to valleys below. Now living in Chicago, the group keeps its distinct identity and traditions to pass on to its children.”
The Oinkari Basque Dancers
“The nationally acclaimed Oinkari Basque Dancers were started by a group of Boise Basque Americans after a trip to the Spanish Basque country in 1960…They play Basque music of varying styles and rhythms using traditional instruments including the txistu, button accordions, accompanied by pandareta and other Basque instruments. The music they play could have been heard coming from a Basque hotel or boarding house in Hailey, Shoshone, or Boise over 100 years ago.”
Sheep shearing demonstrations (hard to get close enough to get a picture)
please don’t shear me!
Lots of food booths featuring – you guessed it – lamb, lamb and more lamb!
lamb vindaloo – I think….
And what do you know, there was Linda Cortwright, editor and publisher of Wild Fibers Magazine!
Wild Fibers booth at the Folklife Fair
My new BFF, Linda
Later that afternoon we went a little ways out of Hailey to watch the sheepdog trials, which went on throughout the festival.
a hard working sheepdog
Trying to “pen” the sheep – only managed once in 4 years, they said
The next day (Sunday) was the big parade up in Ketchum. All the dance troupes and wagons, etc from the day before were in the parade.
Oinkari Basque Dancers
Peruvian Dancers and Musicians
The Boise HIghlanders
more sheep camps
The “grand finale” is when they bring about 1500 head of sheep through town on their way to winter pasture:
was so much fun!
After leaving Sun Valley, we headed across southern Oregon on our way out to visit more family in Ashland and Medford. Beautiful warm weather and good times. Thence north to Portland (to pick up more rug weaving materials at the Pendleton outlet – Woolen Mill Store) and Seattle (to do a few errands) before finally wending our way back to the Methow Valley.