Isolation After Snowmaggedon 2019 – Hey At Least It Is Pretty

Idaho is often confused with Iowa. I could say something, but will not go there.  For those not confused, most know that Idaho is a rugged, fairly isolated place with a relatively small population. It is in the top ten states in terms of size and the bottom ten in terms of population. As most of you know we live in Hailey and Stanley and work in Ketchum.

Sun Valley and the small towns of the Wood River Valley (Bellevue, Hailey, and Ketchum) combine for a total population of around 15,000.  Blaine County has just above 20,000 residents in 2,661 square miles or 8 people per square mile.  Stanley is in Custer County.  Stanley has a population of 63 and the county has 4,300 residents in 4,668 square miles of .8 people per square mile.  For comparison Los Angeles has 6,999 people per square mile, while San Francisco comes in at 6,299, Chicago, Portland (OR) and Salt Lake sit at around 3,600.  Seattle has 3,024 resident per square mile.  So know we have a picture of Not Crowded and Crowded.

February of 2019 brought record levels of precipitation (i.e., snow) to the region.  Sun Valley recorded 131 inches of snowfall.  During the last week of February the Weather Service predicted a snow storm lasting three days with bring 20-40 inches of snow.  The storm lasted six days and brought 48-72 inches of snow. I measured 53 inches of snow were dropped in the storm at the cabin in Stanley.  What was intended to be a 7-8 day stay has resulted a stay that will last three weeks.

Shae Dog, Sage of the Wood River Valley Dog, Willow of the Wood River Valley Dog, Linda and yours truly headed to the cabin for the weekend.  Linda headed back to the Wood River for work with the intention of returning the next weekend.  The dogs and I have yet to see Linda since she left.  Why?  Snowmaggedon 2019 ensued.  The dogs and I have been trapped in Stanley as the route to Ketchum (ID75) is closed and blocked at Galena Summit. The route to Boise (ID21) is closed and blocked at Banner Summit.  The backdoor (and three times as long) route to Ketchum via Challis (ID75\US93\US20\ID75) is closed and blocked at Craters of the Moon National Monument on the Oregon Trail.

In 2017 another Snowmaggedon occurred and I was trapped at the cabin.  I [sic. rightly] claimed [by rule] to be the first victim of the U.S. Government’s Travel Ban order.

Luckily, I have dog food, dog chews and dog toys.  I also have internet, phone service and satellite. Stanley Construction keeps our private road and the US Forest Service Road we need to use to get to the outside world clear.  We have a permit with the U.S. Forest Service to plow\snow-blow 1.25 miles of Iron Creek Trailhead Road during the winter.  It should be noted this crew is awesome.  The roads a cleared with a giant snowblower that leave them in better condition than most major-league baseball infields (except covered in snow).  Linda took the car, so I do not have one.  so the dogs and I use it for walking and cross-country skiing.

My Neighbor Doug and I headed out of the trees this AM, and I caught this image at sunrise.

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