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A two-lane state highway heads north from Boise into the mountains. For several miles the road follows the Payette River through a narrow, twisty-turny canyon. During the summer months, this road is a motorcyclist’s delight. During winter the road ices up in those sun-shaded curves beside the river, turning it into a white-knuckle affair. It’s hard to focus on the road ahead with the river dancing through pillows of snow and ice, beckoning eyeballs to stray sideways. There are pullouts for slow cars, but invariably, the snowplows have stacked the snow so high that it is nearly impossible to even see the river, much less to photograph it.

The canyon opens into lovely, pastoral Round Valley, which is just as breathtaking as the canyon. I’m often a passenger or have a passenger when traveling this road; much as I yearn to stop to admire the scenery, I don’t do so.

One recent morning I left home before the sun rose to drive solo for a skier meetup at Tamarack Resort which perches in the mountains west of Round Valley. I had to stop!

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The sun crests the hill casting a magical spell

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Looking south from the bridge over the Payette River

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Looking north from the bridge. I was struck by the frost encrusted twine that dangled from a power line above.

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Between skier rescues, patrollers frolic like puppies.

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Apparently Laphroaig Scotch is not all the popular among skiers. We left it where we found it.