After an afternoon rain shower passed on Tuesday, the Bennett’s and I took some spirited horses on a ride up Copper Canyon. I am always stunned at how lush everything is this time of the year; there is still a bit of snow left on Blizzard Mountain, but for the most part everything is bright green. The beavers are still enjoying life in the creek, and ducks of all types fly from pond to pond.

Tim Bennet leading the ride

Beaver Pasture at Lava Lake Main Ranch

Barn Canyon Pond at Lava Lake Main Ranch



In the summer of 2008, Guy Robins and Katie Raffeto cooked a dinner featuring entirely local and organic food for a crew from Plum TV, as well as Dick Dorworth and Kirk Bachman from Sawtooth Mountain Guides, and Jeannie Wall, from Idaho’s Bounty. What’s so unique these days about a dinner party focused around locally produced food? Well, this meal was entirely prepared and consumed atop Lost Arrow Spire, in the City of Rocks.

Guy and Katie prepared a gourmet meal of Lava Lake rack of lamb, creamy Polenta with Gorgonzola and spinach, grilled Portobello mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes with grilled sweet onions, Wasabi-marinated fried tofu with mango salsa,  and an apple upside down cake. We know this story is a bit old, but couldn’t help sharing these videos from Plum TV with you on the blog.

photo from plum tv

Check out the video of the trek up the spire and kitchen set up here,

the video of making the meal here,

and the video of enjoying the meal here.

Saturday was 350 day of climate action.  5,245 events shared the biggest stage for  political action the world has ever seen, sending a very clear demand to world leaders that we need decisive action on climate change. Right now the 350 team is delivering the first batches of the 19,000 photos and hours of video taken during events to the UN Secretary General.

350 at Quigley Saddle

350 at Quigley Saddle

As I posted a couple of weeks ago, Lava Lake joined the fray with a scenic and occasionally challenging mountain bike through Idaho’s Pioneer Mountains.

With a green light after days of debate over road conditions, we met right around sunrise on Saturday at the Park & Ride in Hailey, ID.  With map in chilled hands and cardboard 350’s on our backs we took off on the first leg of our trip, thankful to be moving in the cold early hours of an Idaho October.

map photo

The Route

After climbing well over 1,000 feet in elevation we made the divide between Quigley Creek and Town Creek, entering country that only a couple members of the group had ever ridden through.  For the rest of the ride the most often uttered statement was “I had no idea this was back here.”  These are the areas seen by sheep and shepherds and almost no one else.  Beautiful and remote.


Everyone Else's Way

Our Fearless Leader's Way

Our Fearless Leader's Way

After 30 miles we were met by Randy Flood and his pink Mountain Fairy van at the historic Flat Top Ranch for lunch and regrouping.  Another 18 miles later and we were picked up in the van for the final leg to the ranch.

Mountain Fairy

Mountain Fairy With Pioneers

What better way to end a long day in the saddle then with a Lamb BBQ?  Our group retired from the dirt roads of the Pioneers to the comfort of beer and lamb at Lava Lake Ranch.  Everyone agreed that experiencing the landscape and the lamb of Lava Lake made for a great day.

Who knew demanding action on climate change could be so much fun?

group at LL

The Whole Group


Photos By Chris Corwin, Justin Stevenson, and Liz Mitchell

DSC00351As a camping purist, I used to be anti-car camping. But then, you actually go, and realize the plethora of benefits that car camping allows.  This becomes especially obvious when you want to bring along a two month old baby who requires many accessories. I do love being able to bring along a cooler, so that I can feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere and still enjoy Lava Lake sausages. We decided to go with German links, in honor of Oktoberfest.  What a view!


Grinnell GlacierPhoto from

Grinnell GlacierPhoto from

Climate change is having a big impact. Perhaps most evident in the time lapse photographs and videos captured by Extreme Ice Survey. Glaciers are receeding up mountainsides and dropping into the oceans at alarming rates.

It is time that we all have a big (positive) impact too.   The question is, how to start.  We are given good direction by Bill McKibben and his team who created Step It Up in 2007 and have gone on to organize international days of climate action each year.  This year’s 350 event is coming up on October 24th.

What is 350?  From 350’s website: “Scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity. is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis–the solutions that science and justice demand.”

Lava Lake is joining the action with a bicycle tour of the Pioneer the-science-of-350Mountains.  We will be embarking on a 50+ mile epic adventure through some remote Idaho backcountry, and seeing, up close, Lava Lake’s landscape scale conservation efforts.

The ride will join our valley and our ranch to another 2252 actions in 152 countries for 350 in a call for a safe climate future.  Visit to discover more about this international effort and to find a climate action near you.

You know it’s time for the Trailing of the Sheep Festival when you pass a herd on your bike ride to work.

Today, CK is hosting a cooking with lamb class at 1. Tonight in Ketchum, check out an unusual version of a Friday night Gallery Walk. Several galleries will be featuring local artists, and local chefs will be serving “lamb tastings”.  We’ll be stationed at Gilman Contemporary Art Gallery. Also in Ketchum at the nexStage Theater, you can see music performances and storytelling related to this year’s theme: The Wonders of Wool.

On Saturday, learn the art of felting at the College of Southern Idaho at 10 am. From 10-4 at Mckercher Park, learn how to spin wool, shear sheep, try a traditional lamb Basque dinner and watch impressive dances from around the world.

All day Saturday and Sunday, you can see herding competitions at the Sheep Dog Trials behind Wood River High School. On Sunday at noon, you can also check out the Trailing of the Sheep Parade on Main Street in Ketchum, followed by a lamb BBQ on Irving Hill.

Chef’s all over town will be serving lamb at the Lamb Dine Around, Friday and Saturday night. Try Apples’ Bar and Grill, The Cellar Pub, CK’s, Ketchum Grill, Papa Hemi’s Hideaway, Riccabona’s or Sushi on Second for  Lava Lake Lamb.

We hope to see you at what is shaping up to be a great weekend.




Next weekend, October 9-11, the World Famous (probably) Trailing of the Sheep festival comes to town. There will be tons of cool events – chef demonstrations, sheep dog trials (think Babe), a fiber arts workshop, a folklife fair and of course, lamb for dinner all over town.

Check out videos, photos and a complete schedule of events here:


Next Page »