Day 4 - Wilson, WY, to Ketchum, ID
Run - Random Horse Trail, Teton Village, WY
From the eyes of Charlie
Today we pushed off from Wilson at around 9 am, which felt relatively leisurely compared to the departure time for the last two days. Good thing it was a short drive to the Jackson Hole mountain resort though, only a seven minute drive away! Sadie dropped us off, and the rest of us donned our free tram passes, and hopped on what looked like a brand new cable car that would take us 4,500’ to the top of some now-forgettable mountain peak. After all, how memorable is the name of a mountain that you didn’t have to climb with your own two legs?
Good thing it was forgettable too, because as soon as we got to the top (wearing only long sleeve shirts, running shorts, and Salomon trail shoes) we realized that a) there was a whiteout in progress, b) the temperature was 36 degrees Fahrenheit, and c) that there was over a foot and a half of snow still on the summit, meaning it would be impossible for us to start our run on the Granite Canyon Loop trail like we had initially planned.
I’m actually glad that we didn’t do this run and had to improvise instead, because the original path involved 13.5 miles of pure downhill (RIP knees). Instead, we got off the gondola for a total of five seconds, froze our collective butts off, then hopped right back on and rode it right back through the clouds all the way to the base. When we exited the tram, we asked the nearest liftee if he knew of any easy to access dirt trails and he pointed us towards what we soon figured out was a “horses only” path. Of course Bailee, Nicho, and I didn’t realize this until we were ankle deep (almost) in mud and horse dung and happened upon a crowd of six horses plus their respective riders. At this point, the sagehen inside of me awoke and I let out a super super friendly “SKEEEEEEWWWW!!” which promptly spooked every single one of those horses. The terrified beasts took their riders trampling up and down the hill, off the trail, and into the brush. At this point, the lead rider (probably the Jackson Hole employee) gets off his horse and reprimands me, “This ain’t a hiking trail bro!” to which I responded “Oh sorry dude, we didn’t know! My bad.” This all would have been a fine and respectable altercation had his own horse not then up and departed the trail as well, crashing through fledgling trees and bushy undergrowth. At this point, naturally, the cowpoke rips off his Stetson and slams it against his thigh in frustration, muttering some obscenities under his breath. Aaaaaand at this point we turned tail, said a final half-hearted “sorry”, and got the hell out of there. Good news is, the rest of the run was great! I got in about 7.5 miles at not too slow of a pace. I did keep replaying the incident over and over in my head for the rest of the run though...it was totally unintentional. I hope none of those people were injured or thrown from their mounts on my account!
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, and the drive offered very casually breathtaking views. Nothing special you know, just some faraway snowy mountains plus beautiful green prairie stretched out as far as the horizon would allow. Main point from today, Idaho is quite pretty to look at, and not just for potatoes.
By far the best part of today though was when Nico and I walked a meager ten minutes from our Airbnb to the annual Sun Valley Brewfest, which offered us unlimited pints of regional brews for only $15. There we met the PPX-legend Ryan Rosmarin (aka RyRoss) who introduced us to five other Ketchumans (Ketchumians?) who were super stoked on Ketchum, as well as the beer they were drinking. It was a rad time! When we got home from Beer Fest, Nico, Bailee, and I collaborated on a batch of sweet potato + bean tacos (woohoo no animal products involved) and that about rounds out the night. Gotta get some sleep before waking up super early tomorrow to run up the mountain located conveniently in our Idaho backyard...plus don’t forget the nine hour drive to Portland!
Facts/Stats of the Day:
Miles driven: 249
Miles ran: 24.1
Elevation gained (feet): 2,252
Number of horses spooked: 6
Number of Americans living with Alzheimer's: > 5 million