Memorial Day in the Snow

Ye gourds but I needed that.

Ryan and I, plus my parents, my sister, and her boyfriend, ran away over the weekend to Redfish Lake, a picturesque little spot somewhat past Stanley and a bit shy of Sun Valley.

Those of you who watch a lot of Idaho Weather Channel might recognize Stanley as being one of those places where the temperature is always ridiculously cold in the winter. We’ll come back to that.

Redfish Lake is tucked up against the Sawtooth Mountains which, while no Colorado Rockies, are fabulously beautiful. Breathtaking, you might even say. Our campsite was about fifty yards from the shore. Really, words aren’t going to cut it… so let’s try some photos.

These will probably be worth your while, so unless you’ve got a r-e-a-l-l-y slow dialup, I hope you’ll take a look. I mean, really… we felt pretty damn lucky to experience this, and we live and have always lived in the West. If you don’t, you should take a few minutes for a little mental vacation.

Here we have the scene from the lakeshore, only a hop-skip-and-a-jump from our campsite.

This shot was taken from Stanley, just a few minutes from our campground.


On Saturday, Ryan and I were taking a nap when the sound of raindrops falling on the metal roof of the camper woke us. We started to go outside to fold up the chairs when we realized that it wasn’t rain that we were having, but snow!

My dad next to the camper, with snow, because hey – why stop with making a grainy video of the snow when you can take flash photography of snow, too?

Cold dark dinners under the May skies. Ain’t nuthin’ else like it.

And what would life be without unflattering photos of comfy people inside warm campers?

I think Meredith or Aaron took the following two pictures.


But if you think it’s bad that it snowed on a May camping trip, you ain’t seen nothing yet. As we slept Saturday night, the mountain weather shifted again. Once or twice I woke, hearing something on the roof of the camper, but in my half-asleep state I imagined it was cats chasing squirrels on the roof of our house (a fairly regular occurrence). Little did I know that it was clumps of snow falling from the tree next to the camper.

Six inches. Overnight.

The weight of the snow was so heavy that it collapsed tents and knocked over trees. My parents’ table-shelter-thingy, which was brand new, was destroyed.

You can see where the metal buckled. This happened in multiple places.

Every time I watch this, I crack up laughing. Had to share.

We can only guess how much of the wet snow actually fell during the night, because even as inches of it accumulated it was melting away.

Lest anyone doubt that these pictures were really taken this weekend (Hoffman is my family’s name):

Portrait of the author in pajama pants and glasses.

And thank goodness, a picture of me that doesn’t look like crap. Make prints!

So beautiful….

So crazy…

Ryan even made a snowman. By this point, you can see how the snow has been melting all day. By evening, the majority of the snow in our campground was gone.

These pictures were taken late in the day Sunday and early in the day Monday.

First, we have the horseshoe tournament. Aaron made a strong lead…

But Mom gave him a run for his money…

However, in the end, Cody prevailed.

Either this chipmunk

or this squirrel (who was building a nest)

stole a couple of brownies and an apple. We found the apple about ten feet from our table with little rodent teethmarks all over. Still not sure how something so small got the apple that far.

We didn’t get pictures of the herd of antelope (which were actually in Boise as we left), the deer, or the fox, but these Googled pictures are pretty darn close if you’re curious.

My sister is a treehugger. (Picture by le boyfriend, Aaron.)

Hooray for cameras with timers. Isn’t that a great picture? And no one thought I could get it. 🙂 (If you’re interested, I’ll show you the two where I screwed up the timer and got pictures of people making faces without me in the frame. They’re pretty funny, too.)

A sign on the gas station restroom in Stanley. Funny or scary?

One last beautiful lake picture…