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Simplicity in the Sawtooths

by Jennifer Tuohy
photos by Dev Khalsa

As its founders envisioned 40 years ago, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area has many uses for many people. For John Kearney and Nicole Howe of Hailey, the spectacular beauty and breathtaking simplicity of the Sawtooth Mountains provided an unrivaled setting for their dream wedding.

An intimate affair (the guest list ran to five people and two dogs), the marriage was celebrated in a meadow behind the Fisher Creek Bench. The couple chose the SNRA for its special connection to the groom. "This place has been a part of John's life forever," said Nicole. "This was his playground growing up in the Wood River Valley."

And the playground did not disappoint. July 30, 2011, dawned bright and blue, ideal for the wedding party's hike to Cabin Creek, but as the afternoon drew in, dark skies followed. Just as vows were being exchanged, the serrated tips of Williams and Thompson peaks combined with the tumultuous cumulous and offered up a unique wedding gift—a double rainbow. Miraculously staying dry, the bride and groom departed in a festively decorated dune buggy to spend their wedding night in a sheep wagon and celebrate the perfect wedding in the perfect setting.