Friday, November 24, 2006

All About Us

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County is a land of many faces.

In the south, sagebrush-covered hillsides encircle sprawling farms and ranches. To the north, mountains and forests range far and wide. In the middle is the Wood River Valley, a once-vibrant mining center that evolved—decade after decade—into a world-class retreat for outdoor enthusiasts and urban refugees.

In the course of that evolution, lives were started anew and businesses sprang up. Dreams were chased—and often realized.

Looking from the outside in, it might appear that Blaine County is following in the footsteps of other Rocky Mountain Edens that have traded mining for tourism, and in the process engaged in a battle to preserve pieces of the past. After all, we share similar geography, similar demography and similar challenges.

Yet, when newcomers and visitors reach Blaine County, they inevitably comment on how different it is, how a solid sense of community prevails, and how the people who make up that community strive for greater heights.

Clearly, the true face of Blaine County is its people. Some are ranchers, some are entrepreneurs and some are athletes. Others are public servants and artists. All are members of a unique community.

In the pages of this special edition of the Mountain Express, you will encounter many of these people. You will meet retired miner Rupert House, whose history in the Wood River Valley dates back to the 1930s. You will meet Eric Leidecker, a Wood River Valley native who never fails to heed the call of the mountains. In "snapshots" of numerous valley residents, you will catch a glimpse of your neighbors, some you might know, others you might not.

Certainly, these stories only scratch the surface of those to be told. Nonetheless, each one is an integral part of who we are. We invite you to learn "All About Us."

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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.