From Stanley, Idaho it took us two hitches to return up north to where we left off along our route. In town, Stacey made a new friend who was running a photography gallery.
It turns out that this avid outdoor enthusiast was caretaking a historic ranch directly on Route up ahead. She kindly offered to let us stay in a renovated cabin for two nights and took us on some day hikes into the High Country of the Sawtooth mountains.
The Sawtooth National Recreation Area was a paradise. For those of you hiking southbound, I would suggest a high alternate route through the region which can take advantage of seeing even more of the mountainous lakes. If you are a northbounder, the official western route may have a lot of snow to walk through as well as some fairly high stream and creek crossings.
From our historic ranch stay, we walked into Elk Meadows and enjoyed an up close conversation with a Gray Owl.
The views near Stanley Lake were Iconic.
The flowers in the high Country were still a buzzing with pollinators.
Afternoon thunderstorms were the norm.
The mountain lakes were gems lodged amongst rocks that amplified beauty in all directions. Must be the quartz crystals in the granite.
It was certainly a big year for us in Idaho for avalanches or downed trees. It was wonderful to have some snow on the ground this late into the summer season.
This was our last segment of The Idaho Centennial Trail that would take us approximately 160 miles from Highway 21 to Interstate 84.
The incredible views swallowed us up with their saw-like teeth.
To this day, these mountains whisper to us to return.
There is magic when one's breath is stilled allowing one to simply let go and float upon and be moved both physically and non---physically by the breath or spirit of Nature herself.
Interestingly, the highest point along the official Idaho Centennial Trail of 9197 feet near Ross Peak came near the end of the Sawtooth Range. A massive down pouring of rain from stationary thunderstorms raged all around us, but not on top of us. Flash floods and mudslides bid us an exciting farewell to life high in the mountains.