idaho adventure

summer love it – so many celebrations, spreadsheets & cuddles

This summer was absolutely a whirl-wind. I returned to Idaho just in time for prime hiking season and a summer full of celebrating everyone and everything I adore. While this summer was absolutely delightful and full of so much “love it,” I am now welcoming fall with open arms. I definitely filled my plate with far too many activities, travels, work and obligations, but I just couldn’t say no. It was a summer that just filled my heart with so much of what I feel to be home.

When I left Idaho last fall I knew that I was leaving a truly special place with so many people that I just love. At first I felt like I was abandoning all that I love and care for. Abandoning what I define to be myself and where I feel most at home. However as the year past, I realized that going back to Grad School was truly one of the only decisions I have made for myself. Obviously others were in mind but it is something that I am doing for me, for my passions and for my dreams.

I recently came across a quote that just resonated on every level. It defined the mixed feelings of leaving that I have felt the last year. The quote is that “your growth is not an abandonment of others.” I think that all this time I have felt that by growing and changing that I was abandoning what and where was home for me. So going into this last year of school (ever!), I am going to truly appreciate growth and change for what it is. It isn’t an abandonment of others or those that you love or where you call home, it is just trending in a different yet positive direction.

So without further ado or more sappy thoughts, here is what I just LOVED this summer!

so many snuggles. While I love the boy, love my mother and all my family, and love all of our friends in Idaho, I was probably most excited to have (almost) full access to unlimited Maude Pod snuggles. She is just the apple of my eye, the sweetest little girl ever and kinda a sneaky, spoiled gypsy. There is nothing I love more than her snuggles, sloppy, wet mouth kisses and how much love she truly gives us. But to prove I’m not a crazy dog mom, I also documented people and goat (obvi) snuggles too. So much love this summer!

morning coffee snuggles

morning coffee snuggles

getting out of bed is pretty tough...

getting out of bed is pretty tough…

helping mom with laundry!

helping mom with laundry!

i just cant even!

i just cant even!

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my little lupine lady

my little lupine lady

these two <3

these two ❤

post-wedding naps with the boy

post-wedding naps with the boy

goat snuggles!

goat snuggles!

more goat snuggles!

more goat snuggles + the modern day pioneer woman ❤

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my favorite adventure buddy since day one

my favorite adventure buddy since day one

this guy + idaho <3

this guy + idaho + our friendly photo bomber

being a lady boss. This summer I had two incredible opportunities for internships within the healthcare administration world. I loved both opportunities and couldn’t have asked for a better summer. However doing two internships per week in two different geographic locations probably was a bit much. At times I felt spread way too thin but wouldn’t have changed the opportunities for more sanity. That being said, it wasn’t all work and no play, as displayed by just a few of my lady boss mirror selfies…

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celebrating mrs millemann. To make sure we sent off the, at the time, future Mrs. Millemann off in style, we had her bachelorette party in Austin, Texas. As most of us had never been there and they love country, it was the perfect place to celebrate. While at times it appeared it was a frat party and spray tans were sweating off everywhere as it was SO hot and humid, it was truly so much fun. It was a never ending pool party and the perfect girl’s weekend.

To make sure she was truly going off in style, we surprised Krista with a somewhat last minute weekend before the wedding at the Meadow Creek Inn and Spa in Stanley. We hiked to Heart Lake with a golden pegasus, ate way too much cheese, hot-springed, dinned until we were seriously full and tipsy, danced the night away and stayed up talking until 4:00 am. It was ridiculously fun and exhausting and the perfect final celebration!

Cheers, to the now, Mrs. Millemann! (more on that to come…!)

invitations for austin!

invitations for austin!

the frat crew

the frat crew

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you can never have enough flamingos…

no words

no words

again, no words

again, no words

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love this lady!

love this lady!

floaties are obviously a necessary hike belonging

floaties are obviously a necessary hike belonging

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pretty much my favorite place ever <3

pretty much my favorite place ever ❤

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so pretty!

so pretty!

hindsight is always 20/20

hindsight is always 20/20

idaho galore. Obviously no Idaho summer of mine would be complete without some serious Idaho adventures. While I didn’t get out on as many hikes or adventures as I would have liked, it’s the quality that counts. And since pictures say a thousand words…

hiking selfies!

hiking selfies!

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the lupine <3

the lupine ❤

#whitegirlsjumping

#whitegirlsjumping

point proven...

and again!

baldy hikes + champs for a favorite lady!

baldy hikes + champs for a favorite lady!

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the brass blossom does the squash blossom farm

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love this crew!

love this crew!

more stanley adventures!

more stanley adventures!

sawtooth lake

sawtooth lake

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good morning chase & krista!

good morning chase & krista!

some fish, some take photos

some fish, some take photos

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patriotic pie!

patriotic pie!

symphony picnic nights

symphony picnic nights

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moose lake = beyond gorgeous (& straight up a mountain)

moose lake = beyond gorgeous (& straight up a mountain)

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<3

obvi, no adventure is complete without a jumping photo

obvi, no adventure is complete without a jumping photo

idaho rocky mountain ranch

idaho rocky mountain ranch

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gold + jewels. At the beginning of summer Rocksbox invited me to be a Rocksbox It Girl. I tend to be pretty minimal when it comes to jewelry, mostly because I tend to be allergic to quite a lot of it, so I was a bit skeptical of renting jewelry. However, I have been amazed by my experience with Rocksbox. Essentially you create an account and for $19.00/month you get three pieces to wear and exchange at any time. You can also buy your rentals for a lesser price than retail! Every piece I have received as been in perfect condition and they really pay amazing attention to your style profile.

And while I am not one for sales, if you would like to try a FREE month of Rocksbox you can with the code “taylorsbff8”! It’s a super great deal and you can cancel after your first month at no charge. So if you’re feeling like you need to spice up your fall wardrobe a bit, I would highly recommend it!

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(please excuse my gnarly crossfit callus!)

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#lahmanlovebirds. I liked to joke that I was on the “wedding tour” this summer, which is something I wouldn’t have changed for the world. I was so honored when I was asked by my dear (dino) friend Bri to be in her wedding in Vail. After the most incredible bachelorette party in Phoenix with some amazing girls I knew that it was bound to be a ridiculously precious and fun wedding to follow. So I made sure I was done being a lady boss just in time to trek it to Vail to send Mrs. Lahman off in style!

It was the most perfect weekend surrounded by so many friends, love and laughter, almost all of which was captured! It was one of those weekends where you actually felt the love. Not only do Bri and Luke radiate love off of each other (literally, so cute!), but all of their wedding guests and every detail of the wedding showed the many years of love and devotion these two have shared. There could not have been a more perfect celebration for those two so cheers to Mr and Mrs Lahman and love in Vail! (wedding photography by the amazing Teresa Woodhull Photography)

vail hikes/death marches

vail hikes/death marches

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uber trunk selfies!

uber trunk selfies!

love these ladies!

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View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

i mean it doesn't get better than these two <3

i mean it doesn’t get better than these two ❤

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

so much love!

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

my little dino lady ❤

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

how every good night should end (please disregard my horrific dance moves...)

how every good night should end (please disregard my horrific dance moves…)

#millemannsIDo. I topped off my wedding tour with my ever so loved, brass blossom boyfriend tying the knot. At one point, someone, somewhere during one of the celebrations asked me if I was going to be sad to be losing my dear friend. This thought had never crossed my mind because even though she may be a “Mrs,” she is still my brass blossom boyfriend and I happen to know that I can find the Mr Millemann all day, every day sitting next to the boy at work. So while everything changed September 17th, nothing really changed at all.

The wedding day was perfect. It was surrounded by days of the most rain Idaho has seen in years, like tsunami style. But the actual day was truly perfect. From the welcome party to the wedding, no detail was left untouched and it was absolutely magnificent. While there is no doubt that all of the details were spectacular, my favorite part of the wedding was how much love and support came from so near and so far to celebrate Mr and Mrs Millemann. There was so much laughter and quite a few tears but it was a day that was truly meant to be. So incredibly grateful and honored to call Mr and Mrs Millemann my friends that are family. (more photos to come!)

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wedding week hikes

no hike is complete without champagne

no hike is complete without champagne

squad goals

squad goals

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morning yoga

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typical

typical

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already smack dab in the middle of their marriage!

already smack dab in the middle of their marriage!

cheers to the amazing couple!

cheers to the amazing couple!

birthday celebrations. After a summer full of so many celebrations and just going full steam, my birthday happened to fall after all of it. All I wanted to do was have a mellow day. And while the actual day wasn’t the best, the night before we crashed the last night of Mr and Mrs Millemann’s “mini-moon” in Stanley for a little bit of celebration. You seriously cannot beat Stanley, Idaho in the fall. We had a casual hot-spring soak for 8, then a delicious soup dinner followed by a roaring game of “Salad Bowl.” Somehow the boys won and it was the perfect way to continue the celebrations of the summer.

cheers to mr and mrs millemann!

cheers to mr and mrs millemann!

the most perfect of birthday celebrations

the most perfect of birthday celebrations

casual din for one!

casual din for one!

So now after the most amazing summer, I am back in Seattle, ready to power through, grow and change, without abandoning all that is wholesome and so full of love in Idaho!

 taylor brass

brass blossom

idaho adventure — a christmas (tree) story

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Christmas is hands-down my favorite holiday. It makes my heart swell in an at-once triumphant, joyous, melancholy, and full-of-life kind of way. Christmas is an equalizer. It puts everything in perspective and reminds us to love, breathe, give, and be thankful.

I learned my enthusiasm for the holiday from my dad. When we first moved to Idaho, his first move was to deck out our new home with a 6 ft. (no exaggeration) wreath, poinsettias on the stairway, and probably 100 ft. of garland. He reveled in Christmas traditions and truly took on a (slightly inappropriate and hysterical version of) santa-like persona, especially when all of his sisters, and (mostly) nieces joined our family at our new home in Idaho for an epic Detwiler Christmas in 2000.

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Our gathering point was our “Idaho” Christmas tree, which was the antithesis of a the super full squat trees from the lot in California. It was 15-feet tall, spindly, and skinny…and it was perfect, especially with the giant and intricate glass balls that helped fill the copious gaps in the branches. It’s just not Christmas without that larger-than-life tree.

the prettiest present I've ever seen under the tree

the prettiest present I’ve ever seen under the tree

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mom, granddaddy, and aun margot

mom, granddaddy, and aunt margot

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When Chase, Cody, Tommy and I lived in our first “house” after college, I insisted we have a Christmas tree. Chase complained that it was too much work, which confused me as all we needed to do was go see Jake at the local tree lot and pay for one. Chase was horrified and said “the only Christmas tree we will have in this house is one we cut down ourselves.”

the hunt in 2012

the hunt in 2012

parley's first christmas under our first christmas tree

parley’s first christmas under our first christmas tree

And so, our own Christmas tradition was born. The past four years, we have tromped into the Idaho forest, often on or around my dad’s birthday or anniversary of his death, and I can’t think of a more appropriate way to honor my father’s zest for life — and Christmas.

Here’s a look at our latest Christmas tree hunt on what would have been my dad’s 65th birthday.

After a very spirited evening the night prior, Chase and I loaded up the dogs and set out for Eagle Creek, which I found especially appropriate. The first winter after my dad passed — it was a magical white Christmas — my dad’s sisters, nieces and my family were gathered around our iconic Christmas Tree. My aunt remarked on how much she wished my dad was there, and at that moment, a bald eagle flew up the river and perched in a tree across from our house, as though he was looking over us. There wasn’t a dry eye in that living room, and we’ve found solace in a glimpse of a bald eagle ever since.

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Chase came prepared with a permit (a whopping $10 for a tree up to 20 feet), borrowed a saw from close friends…we should really just buy our own after four years… and drove as far out Eagle Creek as we could and then set off on foot. The weather the night prior had crystallized the brush poking out of the snow, and Eagle Creek was lazily bubbling. The pups frolicked — Parley went crazy and Zoe battled snow balls in between her toes.

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The struggle was real when we finally accepted the fact that we’d have to walk uphill to find our tree. The other contenders were either too short, too sparse, or too close to Eagle Creek to haul out to our home.

We tromped up a narrow canyon — thank goodness we didn’t wait another week, or the snow would have been above our knees — and weaved through stumps, branches, and snowy boughs in search of the perfect tree. Zoe and I scouted the situation up the (very) steep wall on the right. The winner came into view about one hour into our hunt. It stood alone, and at about 15 feet (!), and actually split into two about 2/3 of the way up, but that only added to its charm. It was a tree with character, and it was love at first sight.

We “timbered” our tree, and Chase and I carefully (or clumsily) finagled all 15 feet of our new friend down the hill, a treacherous task. When we got back to Chase’s truck, we realized just how tall our tree was when we had to strap it to the roof of the truck rather than put it in the bed of truck, as about 8 ft. would be hanging out the back.

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The worst part of this process? Waiting until the tree has dried out so the decorating can begin. I even sacrificed my car’s spot in the garage for a night to speed up this process.

The next night, exactly fourteen years after my dad passed away, the trimming of the tree began with wrapping some warm white lights around each branch (a very important step) to the sweet sounds of The Santa Clause on ABC Family…and some red wine consumption. As our tree was a little taller than past years, the completion was postponed until the following night after a trip to the drug store for a strand of 100 more lights.

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On Monday, December 7, our tree was complete after some questionable “ladder” tactics and balancing acts. While we’ve only shared our own tree for four years, it’s amazing how nostalgic and meaningful even our thrift store ornaments are. We have some red glass balls from The GoldMine, a par par and a zozo, some c’s and k’s, an american flag, hearts, antlers, and my favorite, a mini pink pair of ballet slippers from when we saw the Nutcracker together in Seattle, a Christmas surprise from Chase in our first “official” year.

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While many finish off their tree with a star on top (or in our case, a bow) we tied up our tree with a new gift this year, a tree skirt that says “Millemanns” on it, from my soon-to-be sister-in-law. S**t got real in that moment, but in the best way possible.

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Christmas trees aren’t just silly symbols, they’re stories…Everyone’s is different and speaks to tradition, family, inside jokes, memories, and exciting futures. Ours is no exception, and all I know is that my heart feels fuller than usual every time I plug it in at the end of the day. That twelve feet of twinkling lights, glitter, glass, and mementos is a reminder to pause, breathe, honor loved ones, and count our blessings.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a holiday season full of love.

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

 

 

best of september

Yep, it’s most of the way through October. However, September was an exceptionally great month, especially the very end! Here’s a look at a bunch of exciting experiences and travels from September.

1. stanley family retreat. When brother drew came into town, the Detwiler family, plus Lisa, decided to head north and spend some time unplugged, and most importantly, together. We had a lovely night in Stanley, and this may need to be a new tradition!

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some lovely friends greeting us outside of our cabin at Redfish Lake

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family portrait on the Redfish Lake beach

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delicious, indulgent dinner at Redfish Lake Lodge

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enjoying some Macrostie wine from the cellar

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yummy mocha at The Stanley Bakery

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one of our favorites, The Stanley Bakery…with a great photo bomb

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vampire weather at the lake

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peek-a-boo

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morning stroll on the sand

2. meet the blackadars. The last stop on our wedding tour of the West found us back in beautiful, but chilly, McCall for the Blackadar nuptials. Lesson: never discount the unpredictability of weather in the mountains! Despite the snowfall the night prior and a very wet start to the day, the Blackadar wedding was a great time, and we were thrilled to celebrate Erin and Bill!

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last minute craft project 🙂

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you can’t have a wedding without a keg!

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my hot date

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nice view of jog handle once the clouds opened up

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boulder lake fishing

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much needed warm up with some beer and beer cheese soup at salmon river brewery

3. bittersweet goodbyes. As you all know, my brassblossom boyfriend departed for the city by the sea a few weeks ago to chase her dreams and kick some ass. Thankfully, I was distracted and out of town when she actually departed, cutting down on potential teary moments. To send her off in style and celebrate her bday, we tore up the small town of Stanley (and were on the struggle bus for all of sunday, worth it), and went on lots of lovely hikes. So proud of Taylor!

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post spa treatment bliss at meadowcreek spa

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best place to read a great book

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mountain village hot springs pool

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incredible mac and cheese at the redd

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we had quite the rowdy time at Mountain Village!

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some great live entertainment

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“almost alice lake”

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well-deserved milkshakes at smiley creek

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a lovely setting by taylor at one of our final dinners together

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the ice cream sandwich cake heard round the world

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incredible dinner of cristina’s corn chowder, salad, cheesy focaccia, and sausage!

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one last early morning proctor hike

4. the big apple. I traveled to New York City for work and had the pleasure of staying with dear friends who showed me some of the city’s best — and a whole lot of incredible food. I think we’re all still recovering! It was an amazing weekend, and one that made me excited to return to explore more of this beast of a beautiful city.

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cucumber lemonade at Westville

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my pretty lunch date

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amazing wisdom at the corner park coffee stand

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mac and cheese at westville…

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incredible view of the empire state building, dressed in white for the pope

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everything bagel at Tompkins Square Bagel — insanely delicious

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creative and delicious display of cream cheese flavors

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after some food, some culture at The Whitney

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even the stairwell was striking and artistic

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the highline — a former rail road track that is now a narrow urban park

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had to join my fellow tourists for this shot

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had to hit Broadway, especially as former peer Rumer Willis was starring as Roxie! Amazing show.

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ducks in the big city

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buttery flaky indian style tacos. yum.

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the entrance to my very first spin class at Flywheel — not intimidating at all! Amazing class that I wish we could have in Ketchum.

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on sundays, we brunch…two plates of food = always a good idea.

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surprise tropical cocktail goblet at the new bar around the corner.

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cozy dinner at an authentic Italian restaurant, Bianca

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delicious ice cream for dessert — can’t forget that name! Or the unicorn pictured below.

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had to take advantage of the amazing international cuisine and ease of a city (yeah for Seamless) with some fried rice before my flight.

5. best tuesday ever.  On Tuesday, September 29, after I’d been stuck in the JFK airport for 6 hours, spent the night in Salt Lake City, and had a crazy half day at work, Chase and I went down to Silver Creek Preserve because he “wanted to take some photos,” as he frequently does. After an incredible sunset, some Dang’s Thai Cuisine, and what turns out some faux photo snapping on Chase’s part, he pulled me up onto my feet, he got on on knee, I blacked out, I tried to sit down into a sagebrush, he stood up, I said yes, we hugged for a long time, he put a ring on my finger, and we both cried a little bit (sorry, cha-se). It was an absolutely unforgettable Tuesday fall evening, and we are both so lucky. On September 17, 2016, I will be Mrs. Millemann! Woah! That is crazy, and I just cried a little again. Ironically, we have pretty horrible photos of the event, although there is about a pretty epically awkward and emotional 7- minute video from his camera, which was on a tripod. That video will not be included here 🙂

the girls came of course

the girls came of course

beautiful drive down

beautiful drive down

sunset on silver creek

sunset on silver creek

the "ox bow," the view from the proposal spot

the “ox bow,” the view from the proposal spot

taylor was in on the secret (my beautiful ring was a team design effort, thank you taylor!) and wrapped a thoughtful present for chase to give to me after he proposed.

taylor was in on the secret (my beautiful ring was a team design effort, thank you taylor!) and wrapped a thoughtful present for chase to give to me after he proposed.

Cody couldn't help himself and snapped this shot the next day.

Cody couldn’t help himself and snapped this shot the next day.

our family

our family

mom is beyond excited...

mom is beyond excited…

October has been crazy busy, but soon enough, I will return to weekend love its!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

 

best of august

1. too hot to handle

Our second-to-last wedding weekend found us in balmy southern california. All I can say is thank god for wedding programs fashioned as fans and the pacific ocean. Chase’s cousin was married in a beautiful orange orchard close to Dana Point, and we ate great BBQ food, drank some margs and tecate, enjoyed a mariachi band (everybody was talkin’ bout their tight pants…and wigs) and shut down the dance floor. So much fun! Congrats to the (hot) bride, Kenzie, and her incredibly nice husband, Brent!

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impromptu updo…

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thank god for program fans…and I love this quote

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a little prosecco pregame in the car — they were selling these in the Hilton DoubleTree lobby!

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beach lyfe

2. gettin’ country

The boy was finally able to join me for one of my favorite weekends of the year — Braun Brothers Reunion in Challis, Idaho. Really, who needs Stagecoach when you have this delightfully redneck affair ft. incredible music, 6 packs of Keystone Light tall boys, velveeta grilled cheeses, campsites manned by families riding around in ATVs donning mardi gras beads, Oregon flags left and right, and more great music? It’s the stuff of legend, and, well, country songs, and it’s been my favorite Idaho event since I was about 15. Needless to say, we’re going back next year for at least two nights!

Two weekends later, we spent the night camping in Stanley, and I discovered one of my new favorite bars in the Kasino Club and one of my new favorite bands, the Necked Rednecks. YES, you read that right, and YES, they are awesome — even as four of their six band members wear eye glasses.

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miski and me reliving the glory days in challis

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feelin good at Kasino Club

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3. back to school shopping

Working at a school, it’s difficult to not get in the back-to-school spirit. Right on cue, fall is in the air with chilly nights and upcoming forecasts of inclement weather. I may be in my second half of my twenties, but I don’t have a big kid budget…so, in comes Forever21. Here were a few of my favorite purchases:

 

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eyelash lace-trimmed sweater

jersey trapeze dress, which I also have in gray

jersey trapeze dress, which I also have in gray

spiked faux stone earring

spiked faux stone earring

side-cutout shift dress

side-cutout shift dress

4. sweet symphony

the beginning of August brings one of my very favorite things about Sun Valley summers — the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. We’ve blogged about these before, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m a fanatic. They’re almost meditative for me, and they relax me in a way that’s difficult for me to find outside of a beach with a good book. I enjoyed great food and drinks with friends and family each time I went and enjoyed the stunning views of Baldy. I already can’t wait for next year!

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i was up for the symphony, rain or shine!

i was up for the symphony, rain or shine!

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5. good luck and true love

The California wedding weekend brought a couple other treasures — an incredible bracelet, a gift from Jenna and Brad, and a chance to meet baby Makena. The rose gold bracelet is simple, delicate, and features the Greek evil eye or matiasma, and is said to ward off evil spirits and bad fortune. I legitimately think it’s been working, and I wear it to a superstitious point.

I was so grateful to be able to meet miss baby Makena, the newborn daughter of my cousin, Erica, and her fiancée, Carter. She is so sweet and I can’t wait to see her little personality!

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6. reads and views

Here are my favorite reads of the month:

Oliver Sacks: My Periodic Table from The New York Times, which includes this beautiful quote about stars and mortality:

“A few weeks ago, in the country, far from the lights of the city, I saw the entire sky “powdered with stars” (in Milton’s words); such a sky, I imagined, could be seen only on high, dry plateaus like that of Atacama in Chile (where some of the world’s most powerful telescopes are). It was this celestial splendor that suddenly made me realize how little time, how little life, I had left. My sense of the heavens’ beauty, of eternity, was inseparably mixed for me with a sense of transience — and death.”

Op-Ed: How secular family values stack up from The LA Times, which includes this conclusion:

“Many psychological studies show that secular grownups tend to be less vengeful, less nationalistic, less militaristic, less authoritarian and more tolerant, on average, than religious adults. Recent research also has shown that children raised without religion tend to remain irreligious as they grow older — and are perhaps more accepting. Secular adults are more likely to understand and accept the science concerning global warming, and to support women’s equality and gay rights. One telling fact from the criminology field: Atheists were almost absent from our prison population as of the late 1990s, comprising less than half of 1% of those behind bars, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons statistics.”

The Woman’s Guide to the 22 (Yes, 22!) Candidates for President from Glamour Magazine — this one speaks for itself.

How Jeannette Walls Spins Good Stories Out of Bad Memories from The New York Times. This is not a recent article, but one I recently discovered. Walls is the author of maybe my all-time favorite book, The Glass Castle. Rumor has it Jennifer Lawrence will star in an upcoming film version. I can’t wait. Here’s one of Walls’ quotes from this article:

“We all have our baggage, and I think the trick is not resisting it but accepting it, understanding that the worst experience has a valuable gift wrapped inside if you’re willing to receive it.”

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

best of july — wedding weekends, girl power, good causes & great views

BEST WEEKENDS: Chase and I have been on a wedding tour of the West with three weddings out of the five weekends in July. It’s been a wonderful whirlwind full of love, laughter, dancing, happy tears, and just so much fun.

First, we celebrated the marriage of Vanessa Bianco and Tyler Chandler, great friend’s of Chase’s sister’s, and ours, in Lake Oswego, Oregon. It was a quick trip, but we made the best of it. Congrats, Nessa and Tyler!

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adorable favors

adorable favors

my handsome date

my handsome date

Next up was the main event of our summer. Here are just a few of the incredible photos that Ray J Gadd captured of the weekend. Check out the blog post here for more.

Ray J Gadd Photography

there are no words for this one...incredible traditional Japanese dance/chant from the groom, Brad, and his Japanese friends

there are no words for this one…incredible traditional Japanese dance/chant from the groom, Brad, and his Japanese friends

Ray J Gadd Photography

Ray J Gadd Photography

incredible photo from the end of the night

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incredible photo from the end of the night

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our beautiful flowers

our beautiful flowers

Finally (at least for July) we went to an intimate and super fun (more casual) affair back in Sun Valley to celebrate the marriage of two close friends (and former bosses for bother of us), Stephanie and Josh.

lovely reception at velocio ft. beer, wine, and bbq

lovely reception at velocio ft. beer, wine, and bbq

stephanie literally danced down the aisle

stephanie literally danced down the aisle

BEST READS:

My favorite reads this month have been all about girl power, from every angle. I’m using my new friend behappy.me/generator to bring some quotes to life.

Our dear friend Rachel brought this BRILLIANT essay about girls’ confidence to our attention. Read it, please. They are words to live by, with a side of humor, and if they don’t inspire you, then you are uninspirable. That’s not a word.

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This may seem counterintuitive, but my truest guilty pleasure on TV is “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” To all you women-shaming bullies out there — many of whom are apparently our fellow females — shame on you. I am a huge Kaitlyn fan because she is unabashedly herself, and she represents a very real woman who makes real decisions, real mistakes, and who (God forbid) likes to have sex. This Bustle article says it better than I can with quotes from Kaitlyn herself. I also thought this older NYTimes article titled “The Marriage Plot” provided an interested take on the ridiculous allure of the show. Finally, this crazy (but is it?!) Bachelorette conspiracy theory from Taylor threw me for a loop…

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I am not on track to be a mother anytime soon, but I thought this article on raising strong girls who are leaders and discouraging gender role stereotypes is an inspiring read for all of us.

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I just finished Paper Towns, which Taylor also recommended, and LOVED it. It brought me back to my melodramatic teen years (although maybe those are never over) but also spoke to me on a very adult level in terms of learning the limits of understanding and idolizing another person without compromising yourself. I can’t wait to see this movie, and this read further solidified the fact that John Green is one of my favorite contemporary authors.

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BEST CAUSE:

I accompanied my lovely mother to “Tuscany on Tenth,” a benefit for Boulder Mountain Clayworks, which is an amazing local nonprofit. We enjoyed a silent auction (I’m the proud new owner of a mirrored tray with six little cups), a raffle, a live “throwing” demonstration, and some delicious pizza from the Ketchum Grill/Enoteca pizza truck. It was an accessible, refreshing, and low-key event that goes to a great group of people who work to bring arts to a wider community. I will definitely go again next year!

every guest got to choose a "wine cup" favor. I chose I beautiful turquoise one that I use all the time!

every guest got to choose a “wine cup” favor. I chose I beautiful turquoise one that I use all the time!

beautiful tray and cups from local artist Jake Addicoff

beautiful tray and cups from local artist Jake Addicoff

You’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Cecil the Lion. While I echo the feelings of many in that Walter is most likely a horrible person, I’ve been trying to force myself to open my mind, especially as I live in a “hunting household.” I really grapple with the ethics of appropriate hunting (Cecil was of course unjustly killed), and the only firm conclusion I can draw is that I have a distinct issue with hunting when it’s about ego (and probably a small pecker) rather than feeding your family, respect for outdoors and all animals, and basic empathy. There’s a reason serial killers historically are cruel to animals in their youth, just saying. Walter clearly crossed that line, and I worry for the men — and women (ahem, you disgusting “Idaho Huntress”) — who slide down that slippery slope. That being said, Steve Rinella, who I first gained respect for from this article titled “How I Fell For My Complete Opposite,” had some great thoughts on the issue, which as the boy constantly reminds me, deters me from pigeonholing my opinions as I often do. Don’t get me wrong, I signed several petitions online to bring justice to the Cecil situation, but it’s always a good idea to see all sides.

BEST BUYS:

To totally switch gears, I made some great summery purchases this month. Here they are!

pink stitck posey maxi from Sway

pink stitch posey maxi from Sway

seriously on sale (70% off!) at Dillard's, I love this strapless BCBG dress that I wore to Jenna's rehearsal dinner

seriously on sale (70% off!) at Dillard’s, I love this strapless BCBG dress that I wore to Jenna’s rehearsal dinner

the joie opal sandal I lusted over for months until caving in

the joie opal sandal I lusted over for months until caving in

BEST VIEWS:

Taylor and I have continued our hiking tour of our Idaho backyard with a couple recent ventures. Add Summit Creek to my favorite hikes list, and add our attempt up Borah to the “super awesome but super intense and might not need to ever do it again” list.

summit creek summit

summit creek summit

#brassblossom

#brassblossom does borah

the view on the way down chicken out ridge

the view on the way down chicken out ridge

Even on days when I don’t really have time to get my heart rate up, I try to even go on a 15-minute dog walk around the block, especially after I read this article titled “How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain.” Basically, walking in nature vs. along city streets decreases time spent “brooding.” Brooding be gone, I say! Walk in the outdoors!

BEST LAUGHS:

It’s no secret that I am dying to get a French bulldog sometime (soon) in my lifetime. Taylor sent me this short video when I needed a laugh, and it delivered. I will have a French bulldog.

We’re already half-way through August! Yikes! Hope yours is  a great one.

cheers krista

brass blossom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

idaho adventures — the “top” of idaho, mount borah

Fun fact. Idaho only has one area code: 208. So there is always a big bonding moment with anyone you meet from Idaho about the 208. But Mount Borah is another story. Mount Borah should have its own area code. Because it is way, way up there and although absolutely magnificent like the rest of Idaho (for the most part), it feels like another world entirely. After a point there is no life: no trees, no water, no signs of animals (minus chipmunks who prosper off snacks from hikers), no shade, no nothing but rocks, maybe some (or a thousand) other hikers and a long ways down. Standing at 12,668 feet high, Mount Borah is no joke.

Conquering Mount Borah has been on Krista’s and my summer bucket list for a while now. So without further delay, here is the story of that one time #thebrassblossom (almost) summitted Mount Borah:

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#thebrassblossom toyed with the idea of climbing Mount Borah for several weeks. But it seemed like every time #thebrassblossom attempted to rally troops (begged, pleaded, attempted to convince them it would be a fun time with strong, independent, Idaho women…) to go with them there was just too much fun and summer activity going on to spare an entire day. So finally #thebrassblossom bucked up and decided they were going, regardless of if anyone else was going to join them. But as fate would have it, #thebrassblossom’s pleading convinced their fine, fair skinned, Washington born, lovely friend with an infectious laugh, Tori to join. #success.

True to form, #thebrassblossom didn’t just go out without doing some research. #thebrassblossom did extensive internet research and asked many “locals” what was really up with climbing Mount Borah. #thebrassblossom got several responses along the lines of: “heal yeah!” or “oh yeah, I did that in college and drank a fifth of whiskey along the way!” or “five hours at a leisurely pace!” or “the downhill is the worst pain you will ever encounter!” With those thoughts/encouragements/atrocities in mind #thebrassblossom made a plan: leave Ketchum at 6:00 am after getting coffee (no sooner – because let’s be honest, Krista’s finest hours are nowhere near the morning…), drive the hour to the base of Mount Borah and embark! #thebrassblossom gathered snacks (brie of course), some pink champagne (obvi!) and made a bandanna prayer flag for the top. Taylor’s boy even outfitted her with his backpack, a whistle, a first aid kit, a pee-pee kit and trekking poles the evening before. #thebrassblossom and Tori were set for adventure.

The drive was comparable to herding cattle but #thebrassblossom and Tori made it to the base in no time and set off at around 8:00 am. Things were going pretty peachy at a nice and easy (slow and steady wins the race people) pace until Krista forgot her sunglasses on a stump and had to turnaround. Lesson #1: always check your surroundings when you leave! The trail continued literally straight up and there were quite a few curse words said about whoever the eff made the trail. At some point, Tori took her pants off (quickly replaced by shorts of course! but by far the best view the side of Borah has seen in a long time…) as the heat of the day was starting to set in. Finally the timber disappeared and the trail continued through rocky-shale and reached LITERALLY the only flat spot on all of Mount Borah. From that point, it was like another world. There were no trees and #thebrassblossom and Tori were surrounded for miles by rock and level with most surrounding peaks. It honestly felt more like the moon than Idaho. It was truly a time and a place in life that cannot be recreated.

At that flat point with Mount Borah looming in the background and “Chickenout Ridge” appearing to go straight up to the sky, #thebrassblossom and Tori decided jumping photos were necessary. Lesson #2: white girls cant jump. From there, #thebrassblossom and Tori forged on steadily until the bottom of “Chickenout Ridge.” Now let us tell you something about that ridge – it is not for the faint at heart, the sensible, the weak or most of the people who were actually on it. It was also at that point that #thebrassblossom and Tori encountered the super-highway of people on the mountain (mostly men in fact who were packing guns and always greeted us with “Hey ladies!” not joking, kinda creepy?). We kid you not, literally there were 100+ other people from Chickenout Ridge on.

#thebrassblossom and Tori got a bit psyched out prior to crossing the ridge by the other “hikers” that were coming down. The remarks ranged from “it’s only worse from here” to “this is God’s mountain and people aren’t meant to be up here!” (again not joking…). #thebrassblossom and Tori were further psyched out by two young (unattended, like with no parents) tween boys who were tornado-ing off the ridge in SKATE SHOES as we were beginning the ridge. Lesson #3: Do not wear skate shoes to climb Mount Borah. Lesson #4: Do not climb Borah if you are under 16 without supervision. Lesson #6: Do not attempt Borah on a weekend as it is a super-highway of hell.

But #thebrassblossom and Tori decided the safest place for us was as far away from the superhighway as possible and that meant up. So #thebrassblossom and Tori scurried (for the most part) up and across approximately 3/4 of Chickenout Ridge, at which point we called it our Summit. We were done. It had been a little over 4 hours, we were a bit scarred by the passings on Chickenout Ridge and needed some Brie and Champagne to calm our nerves. Plus isn’t creating your own summit even cooler! #thebrassblossomsummit

Before heading down, we enjoyed a fine picnic lunch, took so many pictures and “popped” one bottle of champagne. Lesson #6: Make sure if you hike up thousands of feet and risk your life that the bottles of champagne you intend to “pop” actually pop and don’t twist off. Lesson #7: The altitude kinda makes you drunk so you don’t EACH need a mini-bottle. After a bit of refueling and getting our wits together, #thebrassblossom and Tori headed on down from “our” summit (literally). And it was HELL. Literally worst thing ever on your toes, calves, thighs, soul and sense of self. #thebrassblossom and Tori all agreed we would rather hike up twice than ever do that downhill. But it was a probably a character builder in the end. Lesson #8: Don’t get a nice pedicure before you summit Borah because you will ruin it.

Once down, #thebrassblossom and Tori enjoyed sponge baths to rid the caked layers of dirt on our legs, snacked on pounds of chips, hummus and snap peas and enjoyed a pleasant drive back to the Valley. And since those snacks didn’t even come close enough to filling our bellies that just conquered Mount Borah (pretty much, close enough), we drove immediately to Grumpy’s to nom. #thebrassblossom and Tori may have been made fun of for our slight limps and stiff gaits (somewhat similar to that of the Tin Man) and incredibly sun burned legs. Lesson #9: Public humiliation is worth it for Grumpy’s and even if you already applied it, reapply sunscreen when you are way up there in the sky because you will turn into a little tomato with sock tan lines that peel right before a wedding…awk.

And that’s our story. We had an amazing time filled with so much sun, so little shade, lots of laughs, some highs from lack of oxygen, a few sips of champagne, a pound or two of Brie (each) and a glorifying experience at our summit of 11,601 (to be exact) feet. And while we didn’t make the actual summit of Borah, we made it exactly as far as we all needed. We pushed our limits (both mental and physical), enjoyed a full day of each other’s company and had an experience that led to no regrets. Cheers to Mount Borah!

there is nothing to rival a morning in the copper basin

there is nothing to rival a morning in the copper basin

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the beginning...

the beginning…

obvious necessities...thank you mr hawkes!

obvious necessities…thank you mr hawkes! #hydrateordie

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mout borah looming in the background

not quite sure about this…

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this is not on you jump

this is not how you jump…

success

success

chickenout ridge leading straight up to the sky

chickenout ridge leading straight up to the sky

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the only picture i managed to capture going up chickenout ridge (the beginning)

the view from our summit!

the view from our summit!

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cheers!

cheers!

"popping" bottles

“popping” bottles

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we forgot a knife...thank god casey packed us a firstaid kit with scissors!

we forgot a knife…thank god casey packed us a firstaid kit with scissors!

krista in her element

krista in her element

#thebrassblossom

#thebrassblossom

and tori!

and tori!

some "play hard give back" to compliment the brie

some “play hard give back” to compliment the brie

firstlite + pink champagne

firstlite + pink champagne + brie

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tourist photo #1

tourist photo #2

tourist photo #2

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our homemade prayer flag

our homemade prayer flag

#teamcasey

#teamcasey

❤ PBD

grandma gigi

aunt gina / grandma gigi ❤

TR <3

TD ❤

peace out mount borah

peace out mount borah

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going down the final part of chickenout ridge

going down the final part of chickenout ridge

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heart rocks

heart rocks

grumpy's = life complete

the end…

so bad but so good

so bad but so good

until next time mount borah! (or not and that would be okay too...)

until next time mount borah! (or not and that would be okay too…)

krista and taylor

 brass blossom

idaho adventure — majestic summit creek, a dog’s and hiker’s dream

summiting summit creek

summiting summit creek

Taylor and I often wish we could be paid to do the things we love like our fly-fishing guide friends and significant others. While our skills would likely include “drinking wine, reading and yoga,” hiking would undoubtedly be at the top of that list.

While we don’t have any “customers,” the only motivation we need is each other and the great outdoors of Idaho. We never struggle to find another area to explore, and the summit never disappoints.

One challenging combination to find in Idaho is a hike that lasts longer than your post-work grind hike, offers a unique view, won’t result in an ATV rescue, and features water for the smash sisters throughout the trail. Enter Summit Creek (the excellent recommendation of Charlotta Harris, mother of dear friends and die-hard brass blossom supporter).

To access Summit Creek, you drive about 30 miles east of Ketchum to the summit of Trail Creek Pass (a curvy dirt road not meant for the faint of heart or thin-tired vehicles). Park in the first grassy lot on the right side, and head down the only trail in sight.

What follows is a moderate 7-mile hike (there and back) that meanders through meadows, over a creek countless times, across a couple bogs, through an “elephant graveyard” (an avalanche drainage from years ago that makes for an impressive view), and eventually up a grueling .75 mile saddle — trust us, it’s worth it.

The finale is nothing short of majestic. Devil’s Bedstead and the Northern peaks of the Pioneers are all of a sudden directly in front of you, making you feel at once accomplished, intimidated, inspired, and insignificant. Bring a sweater and lots of water for the top. It gets chilly, and you probably haven’t hydrated enough!

We highly recommend this hike. It would make for a great backpacking trail, mountain bike ride (although TBD if mountain bikes are allowed access), and hike with middle school aged kids, as evidenced by Stacey’s notes in Taylor’s hiking book.

The entire trip took us about 4 hours including driving, but Taylor and I feel confident that we could bust this sucker out in about 2 hours (at least the hiking part)…We’ll have to prove that to ourselves at some point.

The adventure ended with two entirely wiped out black dogs (they probably made the hike into a 15-mile hike with their shadowing shenanigans and river otter antics) and the best burger, possibly ever, at Grumpy’s — complete with a gluten free bun and a schooner full of hard cider.

It was a quintessential Ketchum Saturday… Thanks to our dear friend, Cody, and our new friend, Lisa, for accompanying us!

beaver ponds

beaver ponds

dog's dream

dog’s dream

first meadow

first meadow

tay's favorite flower in a pretty purple

tay’s favorite flower in a pretty purple

perfect black dog swimming hole

perfect black dog swimming hole

summit creek

"elephant graveyard"

“elephant graveyard”

the bigger the stick...

the bigger the stick…

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maude pod excited about the summit

maude pod excited about the summit

northern aspect of the pioneers — first glimpse of the fantastic view to come

northern aspect of the pioneers — first glimpse of the fantastic view to come

cody and lisa

cody and lisa

summit creek

summit creek

summit creek

both girls on point

both girls on point

one of many wooden bridges

one of many wooden bridges

bog and a dog

bog and a dog

thank goodness for the creek!

thank goodness for the creek!

the full view

the full view on the way down

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headed back down

the drive back down — beautiful but seemingly treacherous

the drive back down — beautiful but seemingly treacherous

maudey trying to keep her eyes open

maudey trying to keep her eyes open

best burger ever at grumpy's

best burger ever at grumpy’s

schooners full of cider and a radler

schooners full of cider and a radler

krista and taylor

 

brass blossom