Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Ski the Rails Proves a Yummy Sojourn
The Vamps line up on the starting line.
Sunday, January 29, 2017


Brenda Spackman was the first to cozy up to the Ski the Rails starting line Saturday morning.

“This is my kind of ski race—where you stop for goodies along the way!” she exclaimed.

Indeed, there was an array of goodies to enjoy from along the 11-mile route from Ketchum to Hailey, including Galena Lodge Don Bars, Perry’s steaming hot cocoa and Clif Bars baked at Clif Bars’ new bakery in Twin Falls.

Jim Keating gets out his megaphone to cheer on the skiers.

And the sun-kissed scenery was outrageous, thanks to a snowpack that’s 129 percent above normal.

Skiers made their way past a huge wall of snow stacked up by snowplows along Serenade Lane.

"We should do some sort of contest to see who can guess when the last bit of snow will melt," said Muffy Ritz.

Then they got to bid adieu to 160 head of elk that have been holed up near Buttercup Road, even as Idaho Fish and Game officers waited to herd them by snowmobile to the Valley Club where emergency winter feeding is commencing.

The historic Pegram truss bridge, constructed in 1884 at the Snake River Crossing in Ontario, Ore., sports a snow curl as skiers pass through.

“This is my favorite event of the year,” said Jim Keating, whose Blaine County Recreation District organizes the annual event. “It’s got a good vibe. And, while people may feel tired after skiing from Ketchum to Hailey, it’s a happy tired.”

Charlotta Harris skimmed along the groomed Wood River bike path on her classic skis, her Westie named Mackay in tow. She grew up in Sweden where, she says, skiing is a way of life.

“Everybody makes a big deal of it here, but you really don’t need all the special equipment,” she said.

Sync Vans, a relatively new company manufacturing small RVs in Hailey, offered one of its vans for skiers to warm up in at the finish line at Myrtle Street.

Charlotta Harris is a willing subject, but her Westie not so much.

“Ski the Rails is just plain fun,” said Carol Rank. “And it’s for everyone.”

The husky seemed right at home in the snow with temperatures in the teens.

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