“A President Slept Here”

Check out this great read from a recent guest in Tamarack Resort who stayed at one of our client’s homes in which he closed escrow 12 months ago on his beautiful custom home.  The blog can be found at mandmhittheroad.com.  The link to this story is:  www.mandmhittheroad.com/2018/02/16/a-president-slept-here/.  Enjoy!

We just returned from a fun ski trip to Idaho.  Specifically ski resort named Tamarack.  Officially it’s located in Donnelly, about 95 miles north of Boise.

We’ve been to Tamarack a few times before, all in the summer.  It’s a fun place to hike, ride your mountain bike and zip-line.  We’ve skied in nearby McCall but this was our first winter trip to Tamarack and boy did we do it in style.  We stayed at the very same house as former President George W Bush.

It’s a beautiful place at the end of a cul-de-sac.  Looking at the driveway, our Phaeton would fit just fine.  There are five bedrooms and an apartment over the garage.  The master bedroom has a nice covered patio with very inviting Adirondack chairs.  The kitchen and family room are big and inviting.  The back deck has a fireplace and a large spa.  I can’t wait to go back during a summer and a completely different view.  How do I know I’ll be back?  Well, Mark’s brother recently bought the place.  The previous owners framed items from the president’s visit and left them for Matt.  If you’re interested, you too can stay in a presidential retreat by checking out Tamarack Lodging at:  http://tamarackidaho.com/lodging/estate-homes-2.  Scroll down to see all of your options and you’ll find Matt’s place.

Tamarack is a beautifully planned mountain for both winter and summer activities.  The resort was laid out many years ago and operated the first year by snow-cat only.  The first day of chairlift operations was on December 15, 2004.  Sadly, the great recession led the owners to file bankruptcy in 2008 and the resort was temporarily closed.  Construction on luxury condos and the resort village were stopped along with a ski lift repossession.  The homeowners banded together and have kept the dream alive.  The resort is on the verge of becoming what the planners dreamed of so many years ago.

It’s a unique experience to ski here.  Because it’s a destination on the verge, we just about had the place to ourselves on Friday and Monday.  We joked that this was our own private resort.  Saturday was busier and gives a glimpse of the future success.  There are places to eat and shop.  The food at Seven Devils Pub is amazing.  The runs top to bottom are nice and long.  The mid mountain lift services several different runs from the top.  For three days we skied and skied and skied, over 65 miles according to my Ski Tracks app.

The views as you ski are astounding.  I’ve never skied at Lake Tahoe so skiing with a lake view was new for me.  Let me tell you,  looking at Cascade Lake while I ski is a view I will never tire of.  The lake is frozen and we could see ice fishing huts and vehicles.  Vehicles!  I’m talking trucks, quads and snowmobiles.  It seems strange to this Southern California girl to put a building on a piece of ice, cut a hole and fish through it.  But, it is something I’d like to try.

We’ve snowmobiled in the area before and Matt booked us an afternoon ride out of McCall.  If you’re going to rent a toy in McCall, I highly recommend Cheap Thrills Rentals in town.  This was our second snowmobile rental from them.  Your rental comes with all the gear; helmet, gloves, warm riding suit and shoes.  To make it even better, the owners could be the nicest people in town and that’s saying something because everyone in McCall is so pleasant.  It must be a town requirement.  After getting our gear we drove up to the staging area, got our safety lesson and hit the trail.  In the summer the trail is Warren Wagon Road which we’ve driving up many times.  It’s so different and fun in the snow.  There we were, 10 of us on five sleds, cruising up the trail taking in the beautiful scenery.

Our first stop was Secesh Stage Stop, a cute little restaurant/bar that is only accessible by snowmobile in the winter.  Mark and I had been there before on our very first trip to McCall to ski in February, 2004. You can sign a dollar and pin it to the ceiling and walls, which of course we did.  We went back to it during our summer, 2006 trip but it was closed.  I was happy to see it open again then quickly thought maybe they were only open in the winter, which would be strange.  It was exactly as I remembered it and I asked the bartender if it was only open in the winter.  She explained that it closed for nine years and reopened in 2016.  Then I asked if the money pinned everywhere was new or from before it closed.  She said it’s both new and old and that some of the money got real dry and brittle and basically disintegrated.  I told her we’d been there before and put money up and wouldn’t it be fun if we could find it.  Mark and I started looking but I couldn’t remember what I’d written on the money.  All ten of us were looking for a few minutes but then the drinks arrived so it was pretty much just me wandering around the room looking intently at all the bills.  I was a woman on a mission.  The bartender even let me behind the bar to look on that part of the ceiling.  Mark pulled out a new dollar bill and we decided to just put up another one thinking our 2004 bill was gone.  We picked a spot over the window and I stepped on the chair to pin it up.  As I got down and turned around there it was!  I recognized my writing on a dollar pinned to a beam.  I let out a little scream of excitement and the whole bar cheered. Well, maybe not the whole bar but almost everyone, all 15 of us.  The bartender came over to see it and took a picture.  A couple sitting near us cheered and bought us a drink.  I was as excited as a five-year old on Christmas morning. Made my day.

Our next stop was Burgdorf Hot Springs.  The place dates back to the 1860’s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It’s a neat compound with many of the buildings dating back to the beginning.  It’s $10 to soak in the springs but watching is free.  One is a giant pool and the other is about the size of a Jacuzzi.  That one is super hot.  It’s an interesting thing to go swimming with snow on the ground.  We changed out of our gear into our suits and hopped in.  It’s just as popular in the winter as it is in the summer.  There were locals from McCall as well as people from Seattle.  The guys were brave and got into the super hot water; they were all a bright pink when they got out.  No thanks, I’m good in the big pool with the perfect temperature.  There are also little cabins for an overnight stay, even in the winter.  We talked to a couple that was staying the night.  I wonder how cold they were.  I got out of the water a little early and walked around taking pictures.  I tried to take some of the same shots I’ve taken during our summer visits for the contrast.  The collapsed building and old truck look very different with snow piled high than they do with abundant wildflowers.

On Tuesday it was time to leave.  Our flight was later than everyone else’s so we headed back to McCall for an early lunch and walk around.  I can’t tell you just how much I love that place.  It was a balmy 14 degrees but the walk along the path next to the beach was still pretty.  We found another ice fisherman sitting in a chair.  He was too far out to ask him questions, someday I’ll try it.  We got ice cream at the candy store because Ice Cream Alley was closed and headed back to Boise for the flight home.

Another fun trip was in the books and I’m ready to go back.  I bet George W. is ready, too.




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