24hrs in Sun Valley

24hrs in Sun Valley – May – Chris Leman

In this monthly series, we check in with one of our adventurous locals to find out how they would spend a perfect 24hrs in Sun Valley during the month of May.

Happy May, friends! 

This spring season is not what many of us expected, but luckily, everything we love about Sun Valley is still here. It may look a little different right now, but it’s still here. 

Our strong and resilient community, our world-class outdoor recreation and our uncrowded spaces (perfect for social distancing!) are just three of the things that are reminding us how grateful we are for our home in the mountains.

Chris Leman, the Wood River Valley Trail Coordinator for the Blaine County Recreation District (BCRD), knows a thing or two about how to enjoy a spring day in Sun Valley. In addition to maintaining a site that every local trail-lover visits daily—the BCRD Summer TraiLink—Chris does trail maintenance and public outreach, works closely with the BLM on trail design, and writes the BCRD Summer Trails blog. If there is something to know about the dirt trails in and around Sun Valley, Chris knows it.

So, what does that ideal May day look like for Chris, through the lens of social distancing? It’s full of great food, epic trails, and maintaining that sense of community that we all love about Sun Valley.

What’s first on your perfect May day?

I’d let the cat in, make coffee, and water the vegetable garden.

I love hanging out in our backyard, so an ideal breakfast would find me there, eating homemade pancakes made with fresh, stone-ground Hillside Grain flour.

How would you spend your morning?

Since it’s May, and too early in the season to use the Sun Valley Mountain Guides/Sturtevants trail shuttle for a lift to an epic backcountry mountain bike ride, we’d stick closer to home.

My wife Laurie and I would grab our mountain bikes and ride one of the near-to-town trails. Riding from home, we’d swing by Wrap City to grab a wrap-to-go for a trailside treat. You need fuel out on the trails!

Which trail(s) would you ride?

It’s early in the season, so we’ll want to stick to what’s dry. I keep the BCRD Summer TraiLink site updated, which reports on the trail conditions for hiking and biking. It’s a great resource for local trail info.

Close to town, we love riding the Corral Creek Trail east of Ketchum, in the Trail Creek drainage. Or maybe we’d head to Adams Gulch to ride some of the trails that are open there.

What’s on the agenda for the afternoon?

In the afternoon, ideally, it would be fun to return from a ride with several friends and hang out together on the sunny deck at the Sawtooth Public House. With the current situation, we can’t gather for a ride, let alone to drink a beer, eat delicious food, or tell lies about what great mountain bikers we are.

Instead, on a social distancing day, we’d phone in an order for a six-pack of Idahome IPA and pick it up curbside.

Yum. What’s next?

Back home, since it’s an ideal day, it will be nice and warm in the backyard, and I can do my BS-ing with neighbors over the fence.

What’s for dinner?

I seem to have gathered quite a few nicknames over the years; one of them is “Grill King.” I love to cook on the grill. Maybe some locally sourced Salmon for dinner from Pride of Bristol Bay. Laurie makes a mean marinade.

How would you finish out your day?

These days we finish each of our perfect 24 hours in Sun Valley by howling with the neighbors at 8 PM. It is, of course, in appreciation of all the people out there working to keep us safe and working to keep us going in these different times. But it’s also a chance to say goodnight to our neighbors and relish the great community we live in.

Share this Post