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Day 1: Idaho!

semi-overcast 87 °F

And it's back to day 1 on a new trip, after returning from my last trip only 4 days ago! This time, my family is off to Sun Valley, Idaho for a 3-week-long vacation while my mom and dad play in the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in which they participate every August.

Warning: this is not a birding post, it is simply a travel post because you will notice that this is a birding/travel blog!!! I promise my post to be more bird-oriented tomorrow. This is my family's 6th year going to Idaho and we always love it; my favorite pastimes here are hiking, nature viewing, photography, listening to the symphony, and of course (starting the summer of 2012), BIRDING! The birding in this part of Idaho is surprisingly rich, even in August, due to the many varied habitats that can be found in a relatively small, central part of the state. Within Blaine County, the county in which we stay, habitats range from marshes and sagebrush plains in the 4,000 - 5,000 feet above sea level range to tall alpine mountain peaks towering 11,000 or even 12,000 feet above sea level in some cases. It truly is a spectacular place.

As usual, our family's complicated schedule has created a unique way we are getting to Sun Valley. My mom and I flew a direct flight to Boise today and are staying in a Hampton Inn & Suites Tonight near downtown Boise. We will make the 3-hour drive to Sun Valley tomorrow and stay there for 3 weeks. My dad and my little sister, Pearl, will fly into the Hailey/Sun Valley airport and join us starting Thursday.

My mom and I caught a 4:20pm flight out of Midway Airpot with direct service to Boise. The flight was, for the most part, enjoyable and I took some photos from my window seat.

Takeoff roll:
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Rotation:
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Up, up, up and away!
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Interesting cloud formation:
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Alpine lake with glaciers and snowfields. I believe this was in the Wind River Range of Wyoming:
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Our descent over Idaho took us pretty close to Sun Valley and I actually spotted a few locations where I have birded before and hope to bird on this trip!

Silver Creek Preserve, a place where I go birding every year, as seen from the sky. This is about an hour's drive from where we stay in Sun Valley.
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The Magic Reservoir, another location I plan to bird on this trip.
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Beautiful descent into Boise:
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Almost there - cue for everybody aboard to nervously cling to their seats for touchdown:
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Landed safely in Idaho!
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After a very expedient baggage reclamation and rental car check-out, we checked into our hotel, refreshed, and then walked to dinner at a nearby outback steakhouse. It was unseasonably "chilly" here in Boise because a storm had just passed through; when we stepped out of the airport, it was a pleasant 70 degrees outside instead of the usually-sizzling 95.

I ordered the largest steak on the menu, a Porterhouse cut:
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And yes, I finished it! It was delicious!
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Stay tuned - tomorrow my mom and I will drive to Sun Valley. I promise for an at least somewhat more "birdy" post!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 855 Species (no life birds today)

Posted by skwclar 21:47 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes mountains sky snow planes

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