Leaving the interstate in Idaho is like a trip back in time. Small towns that look as if they have been frozen since the 1950's interrupt the monotonous drive. We eventually pass through Ketchum and Sun Valley, the final resting place of Ernest Hemingway and the last town before we catch our first glimpse of the Sawtooths. This rugged range sits smack dab in the middle of Idaho surrounded by an outdoorsman's dreamscape.
We parked next to Red Fish Lake, a tourist attraction surrounded by people from all walks of life, and pulled on our heavy packs. We caught a ferry across the lake and started the trek toward Elephants Perch. It's a monolithic piece of granite that juts abruptly out of the ground causing your head to roll back until it feels as if it will fall off. This will be the biggest climb in my life thus far.
After grunting our packs up the steeper part of the approach we finally hit Saddleback lake. The area is pristine. It is everything a climber could want. Perfect granite that goes for a thousand feet, cliff jumping, comfortable camping, and fishing. It is like living in Bob Ross's brain. There were happy trees everywhere.