Friday, June 14, 2019

June 14 – Galena Summit

Today we started by driving north and climbing 3000 vertical feet to the 8700 foot Galena Summit Overlook.

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The long valley takes you up about 2000 and then the last switchbacks finish the job. We are taking the RV this way on Sunday. Hopefully there is not much traffic because we will be REALLY slow.

Every summer in July, Sun Valley holds what they call the Tour de Force.  It is an exotic car show but as part of the event they close a straight stretch of the highway north of Ketchum and this year for $1900 you can see how fast your car can go with the police radar to record your top speed. In the early years it was mainly Porsches and Corvettes but now the really expensive supercars have been showing up. In 2014 a $2.8 million Bugatti Veyron with 1200 hp hit 246.4 mph or almost 400 kph on a mountain highway.

I am pretty sure that this is the straight stretch that they use. It is a bit of a cheat because it is slightly downhill. It is pretty smooth but still had enough bumps that I would be scared doing even 100 mph.


Some nice red mountains along the valley.


From the overlook you can see down a long valley with a wall of the Sawtooth Mountains off to the west.



The photosphere.

Tiny cars down on the highway.



My turn to pose.


On the way we had stopped at the national forest visitor’s center. I asked about a trail to a Titus Lake near the outlook. A local trails website said it was closed but the ranger said that it should be open. We did a quick stop to check it out but I figured at over 8000 feet in elevation there was no way it was actually open.

Not looking good right from the start.


That snow looked deep.



Back to the car.


Heading back the way we came, we stopped at a few of the viewpoints on the switchbacks.



A photosphere.

And one farther down.


The photosphere.

At the bottom of the switchback section, the Galena Lodge has a selection of trails. It seemed that they are mostly used by mountain bikers but we saw a few other hikers.

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We did a short 1 mile trail around that small hill in the foreground.

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Just before we got to the loop section some bikers headed off to a different trail.


Going in the clockwise direction, the section along the highway was mostly like this.


Jennie says this is a false strawberry.


Lots of tiny orchids. This one was about 1/2 inch across.


Rounding the corner we came to this bare spot that had a lot more of them.


You can just barley see the little spots of white and purple.




Then we got a better look at the mountains to the east.


A photosphere.

The large meadow made for a nice foreground.


Outstanding in my field.


The photosphere.

Completing the loop.



I  walked out the road alongside the north edge of the meadow to get this shot with the stream in the foreground.


Back at the car we decided that that was enough for today.

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