In the Shadow of the Sawtooths

By Phillips, Jeff | Sunset, July 2002 | Go to article overview

In the Shadow of the Sawtooths


Phillips, Jeff, Sunset


* The sun is getting low, yet it's still warm on the porch of Redfish Lake Lodge-a lazy kind of warmth tempered by lengthening shadows, a soft breeze, and a cold drink. Kicking off my boots and settling into the creaky row of rope-slung chairs leaning against old log walls, I am, after another day of high-mountain hiking and fishing, happy.

Down by the water, kids are playing tag on a long, sandy beach and splashing in the brisk, gin-clear shallows of Redfish Lake. The water's still surface perfectly mirrors the ragged spires of the aptly named Sawtooth Range stacked against the western horizon. Standing in the shade of a couple of pines, local country singer Muzzle Braun-a frequent visitor to the lodge-strums his guitar and sings of the year-round glories to be found in the shadow of the Sawtooths in Idahooo-ooo-ooh.

My wife, Jill, joins me, and as we listen, the wind shifts a degree and a whiff of smoke from the king-size lodge barbecue, stacked with a smoldering heap of slow-cooked ribs, drifts over the porch like a benediction. "This," I say as I head toward the feast, "is the kind of evening summer was made for."

Grand scenery without the glitz

Come to think of it, central Idaho's Sawtooth National Recreation Area is the kind of country that summer was made for. Located due north of (and about an hour's drive from) Ketchum and Sun Valley, the 756,000-acre Sawtooth NRA has something for just about everyone. It's split by the fishable-and raftable-Salmon River, dotted by lakes (many big enough for boating), and ringed by as inviting a jumble of rugged mountains as you'll find anywhere in the West. The area has the scenic grandeur of Wyoming's Grand Tetons, but without Jackson Hole's glitzy development-or crowds.

Tucked on the edge of the mountains, you'll find a couple of historic and old-fashioned lodges: rustic Redfish and country-chic Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch. For motels you'll have to head to Stanley, which is also the region's main stop (actually, the only dependable one) for gas and groceries. Stanley offers the tourist essentials: You can book a rafting trip on the Salmon River here, buy a fishing license ($10.50) at McCoy's Tackle & Gift Shop, or stop for espresso and home-baked pastries at the Stanley Baking Company. Still, compared to the celebrity-filled galleries and shops of Ketchum and Sun Valley, Stanley seems, blessedly, like the middle of nowhere.

Even in late summer, the fanged peaks of the Sawtooths are dappled with glistening white pockets of ice. and snow, some the remnants of iceage glaciers. The mountains, seldom out of sight, are constant reminders that summer here-like the shrinking mound of ribs on the barbecuevanishes all too quickly.

Gold and ghosts

Like many Western mountain regions, the Sawtooth and surroundings weren't settled, exactly; they were overrun. The 1863 discovery of flecks of gold set off a stampede that brought thousands of pick swingers and pan swishers. By 1875 towns on the Yankee Fork like Bonanza and Custer were booming.

Today the area is surprisingly well preserved. Drive up the river canyon from State 75 east of Stanley, and the mountain scenery quickly gives way to naked heaps of raw gravel, the legacy of the Yankee Fork Gold Dredge. Stranded on a gravel pond of its own making, the 112-foot-long dredge-a Rube Goldberg contraption with a gangly, riverbed-eating, 71bucket boom-processed 51/2 miles of canyon bottom in its search for gold until it shut down in 1953. The dredge, one of the few left outside of Alaska, has been restored.

Another museum of sorts is the ghost town of Custer, just up the road. The ramshackle town in the narrowing canyon, now softened with conifers and aspen, is deceptively picturesque. The old school has pictures and artifacts from the region's mining days. A walking tour takes you past a number of old buildings, homes, and businesses, most of which bear stark witness to hardscrabble lives, failed dreams, and violent deaths. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

In the Shadow of the Sawtooths
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.