“Stanley” (our travel trailer) received his name, and gender for that matter, in 2017 just after he came into our lives. The name was not a reference to anything other than what struck us as his personality. We did know yet know he had a geographic soulmate.
It wasn't until two years later while skiing in Sun Valley, that I first heard tell of Stanley, Idaho, just over the Galena Pass from Ketchum. Despite the rather humble name – eliciting images of a 1940’s comedian, or a small town plumber, or at least a place that would have a terrific hardware store – it was described as a nearly mythical valley nestled between the Sawtooth and the White Cloud mountain ranges with the fabled Salmon river running through it.
It became immediately apparent to me that Stanley the trailer must be united with Stanley the place.
Our Grand Tour now had a destination, a mission, a quixotic quest. We would meander all over the lower 48 on our way there, but we would always steer our rudder back toward Stanley, until we got there. Having never laid eyes on the place, we didn’t know if we would then stay 10 minutes for a photo opp and move on, or if we would simply stop and stay on forever. That would be up to Stanley. Both of them.
As promised, the beauty of the valley was jaw dropping. This is national park level stuff my friends.
It's a small town. 63 souls according to the sign you pass on the way into town. Main Street is still unpaved. Wanting an afternoon jolt to better appreciate it all, we pulled into the "Peaks & Perks" coffee shop (also a trailer). I asked the nice young lady to fill my mug up while I breathed in the towering mountains. When I held out my money to pay, she simply said “no charge.” It was then that I knew; this was more than a charming coincidence. This was manifest destiny.
Please ship our effects, we’ll be staying on.