a glorious week as "one of the family", a Bald Eagle sighting, but amazingly NO POTATOES! / by geoffrey nichols

So my time in Idaho with childhood friend and his 5 girls (well, one wife and 4 girls) was magnificent in that they live at the end of a dirt road nestled into the crux of some small hills surrounded by nothing more than sage brush and horses. The stars were so insanely luminescent at night and void of any light pollution that i truly wished to sleep under them (but fear of hungry animals and sub-freezing temps thwarted that)

so my first full day in Hailey was interesting in that i couldn't believe just how DARK the valley was when i awoke. eventually my hosts and their kids stirred (though nobody had to rush off for school because for some reason Halloween is a apparently a holiday)

Jesse took me "up north" about 10 miles into the town of Ketchum where the famed Sun Valley ski resort is located for an amazing coffee & breakfast burrito which we enjoyed on a sofa in the sitting room of small house turned cafe.

the early evening brought trick or treating (which in a mountain with no street lights proved to be QUITE dark)
tuesday consisted of another trip to Ketchum where i experienced one of the cooler Starbucks i've seen and then i introduced Jesse to Arsenal with a "come from behind" win capped off by a truly brilliant play by Mesut Ozil 

on wednesday morning I INSISTED on driving the girls to school (which my ear drums soon regretted) - by midday it was a guys outing to the town of Stanley some 60 miles north which turned out to be one of the most visually amazing drives i've ever been on... and THAT'S when i spotted the Bald Eagle!!!

and by "town" i really should preface Stanley as being a settlement (which is also basically closed for the winter, but there was one saloon open where i had a much needed Coca-Cola)

thursday involved mostly relaxation at the homestead and some more exploration of town and then capped off with a brilliant asian meal at a bistro surprisingly open at 9:30

on friday morning i took off just after dawn to capture early light though the mission proved mildly uneventful i DID get a couple of strong images which you'll see. MOST importantly, friday evening was highlighted by a stage performance of "How Succeed in Business without Really Trying" which the eldest girl was a part of.

apparently saturday was quiet as i scant images aside from some portraits i took of the 4 daughters for the obligatory Christmas Card.

Sunday found me waking at 5am to watch North London Derby (Arsenal vs neighbor Tottenham) and once all the girls woke up Pixie & I ventured off for Montana. Numerous stops for vintage Jeeps, unique modern architecture, Craters of the Moon National Park and the quaint Lost River area had me navigating north into Big Sky country in the dark which isn't my favorite, but was simply how the day turned out.

one day into Bozeman and I'm already understanding why my friends adore it so much. anyway, i'll catch up with you all probably in Seattle.

peace & love