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More Photos from the Trailing of the Sheep

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We spent a total of four days in Idaho’s Sun Valley, during the annual Trailing of the Sheep festival, and had a blast. Whether we were eating lamb, meeting ranchers, touring galleries and museums, or just enjoying the lovely weather, we kept busy and took a ton of photos. Sun Valley is certainly a photogenic little place.

Villa-Sun-Valley
Hailey-Idaho
Idaho Truck
Hipster Biker
Coffee-Sun-Valley
Breakfast-Omelette
Classifieds-Sun-Valley
Diner-In-Sun-Valley
Big-Camper
Classic-Idaho-Cowboy
Idaho-Cowboy
Hailey-Fire-Department
First-Telephone-Idaho
Oregon-Boot-Ball
Post-Office-Sun-Valley
Slots-Sun-Valley
Old-School-Sun-Valley
Henry-A-Wallace-For-President
JFK-Idaho
Nixon-Lodge
Obamas-In-Sun-Valley
Disc-Shooter
Idaho-Flowers
Idaho Lama
loading Hay
Oldtimer-Sun-Valley
Starbucks Ketchum
Library-Ketchum
Gold-Wagon
Tire-Wagon
Lamb-Cooking-Class
Lamb-Idaho
Great-Restaurants-Idaho
Steak-House-Sun-Valley
Fancy-Cowboy
Animation-Gets-Me-Off
Art-Galleries-Sun-Valley
Sneakers-Idaho

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November 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm Comments (0)

The Folklife Fair & Sheepdog Trials

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Learn About The Basque

The day before the parade of sheep occupies downtown Ketchum, the nearby town of Hailey enjoys the focus of the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. The Folklife Fair brings the traditional music of faraway lands into the Sun Valley, along with activities and food. And in a nearby field, the Championship Sheepdog Trials are held.

Trailing-Dogs

I had never before considered that sheepdogs might have their own competition, but why not? These animals are as highly trained in their profession as Michael Phelps is in swimming (though they don’t look as good in a Speedo). A competition to crown the very best sheepdog makes sense. We grabbed our binoculars and joined the surprisingly large crowd who had shown up on the sidelines.

At the end of a huge field, a group of five wild sheep is released. The competing dog is dispatched to retrieve them, in a very specific way. First he has to circle and approach the sheep slowly, “introducing” himself. Then, he has to wrangle the sheep through a couple fences and bring them to the other end of the field. His next task is to separate two sheep from the other three, and then get the whole flock into a cage. The dogs are amazing, especially considering that their trainers have to remain in one spot on the field, issuing commands only with a whistle.

The nearby Folklife Fair was just as entertaining. After gorging ourselves on lamb-burgers and lamb-gyros, we grabbed a seat for a series of performances from around the world. Polish Highlanders were followed by amazing Basque Dancers. There was a bagpipe-toting group of Scottish Highlanders and a Peruvian band rocking out to traditional songs. Stands in the fair were selling clothes made of wool, shearing sheep, and providing information about the shepherding life.

We also attended a “foodie fest” in Ketchum called For the Love of Lamb. Walking from restaurant to restaurant, we joined long lines and sampled dishes of lamb that ranged from the exotic to the familiar. The amount of lamb I consumed during our stay in Sun Valley was probably more than I’d eaten in my entire life combined. And it was all delicious. Lamb, veal, duckling… when you consider it, it’s startling how tasteful and tender baby meat is.

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Basque-Folklore
Basque-Dancing-Shoes
Basques-In-Idaho
Basque-High-Kick
Basque-Stick-Dance
Basque-Sword-Dance
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Basque-Boy
Basque-Lift-Dance
Basque-Dude
Basque-Bells-And-Whistles
Basque-Soldiers
Polish Dance
Polish-Kid
Cute-Polish-Girl
Good Times Basque
Basque Buddies
Basque Woman
Idaho Blog
Happy Basque
The-Face-Of-Basque
Scotish Marching Band
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Sheep Shearing
Shearing Sheep
Sheeo-Skin
Wool Idaho
Wool Spinner
Fluffy Bunny
Idaho-Sheep-Camp
High-Class-Traveler
Waiting For The Dogs
Dog Timer
Open For Business
Dusty Sheep
Sharp Sheep
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Sheep Clouds
Sheep-Festival
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Good Doggy
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November 21, 2012 at 10:37 pm Comments (5)

The Western Idaho Fair

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With a history stretching back to 1897, the Western Idaho Fair is one of the state’s biggest annual celebrations. Concerts, competitions, rides, games, crazy food and an overabundance of stinking, dusty farm animals occupy the large fairground for a week on the northern end of Boise. We couldn’t resist checking it out, and showed up on the fair’s final day.

Bending Over

We started at a horse show, which we hoped might involve trick riding or barrel racing. But it was more like the Westminster Dog Show for horses. Riders simply walked their steeds around in a circle while a panel of experts them on… something. Their gait? Musculature? I have no idea and apparently wouldn’t make a good horse judge, seeing as how my favorites finished dependably in last place.

The entertainment factor picked up considerably at the next event: the Mountain Boarding Big Air Show. Three extreme dudes put on a death-defying performance, hurtling down a steep ramp and leaping over a truck. We had missed the fair’s concerts earlier in the week, including Styx and Weird Al Yankovich, but this was a decent consolation prize. And I needed it! Because after realizing that we’d lost the opportunity to see Weird Al live, I was practically inconsolable.

We headed deeper into the fair, past stands selling Idaho Tater-Dogs (hot dogs shoved into potatoes) and wound up at a petting zoo. A wide variety of creatures were on-hand, from baby pigs to the giant Brazilian Zebu. I’m not much of an animal-toucher, but enjoy petting zoos because there’s nothing better than watching a toddler with a cup full of food pellets get too close to the goat cage. Curiosity, bravery, glee, terror, anger and disappointment, all in the span of about five seconds.

A giant exhibition hall in the middle of the fairgrounds held the arts and crafts competitions, with photographs, pumpkins and quilts joining ceramics and floral arrangements. And we made sure to tour the various animal halls, where I saw what must be the world’s largest rabbit, and tried to figure out the qualities that make for a blue-ribbon chicken.

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Golden Horse
/Idaho-Saddle
Idaho Belt Buckle
Cowboy Idaho
Texas Longhorn
Talking Cow
Water Buffolo
Zebu
Happy Petting
Fuzzy Cow
Nose Ring Bull
Not Trusting Cowboy
Psycho-Goat
Peep
Egg Hatching
Eggstravaganza
Feeding Goat
Cartoony
Staring Contest

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Extreme Idaho
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Western Idaho Fair
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Rides In Idaho
Dumbo Ride
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Idaho Rodeo
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Food Stands Idaho
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August 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm Comments (0)