Monday, September 15, 2014

Rolling Into Fall, Driggs Style

If August in Teton Valley (along with most of Idaho) could be expressed in one word this year, it would be "rain." Lots of it, and most days. Monsoon moisture made its way farther north than usual, and we got soaked, often. The downside, of course, was curtailed recreation - it's difficult to bike, hike, golf, boat, and fish during downpours. But the upside was incredibly lush, green landscapes...and lots of rainbows.

That being said: there were still windows of sun, and we made the most of them. This day was well-timed for the Big Hole Challenge Duathlon out in Horseshoe Canyon, where I mountain biked, Melissa trail ran, and Romeo cheered us on to a nice 1st Place finish.

There was also a stellar hike up Pole Canyon & beyond, on the valley's south end.  The trail is steep, but the payoff views are worth it.

All the Idaho rain also posed a challenge with my work, as conditions must be dry for asphalt sealing. But with flexibility & creativity, we managed to get most projects completed.

Mid-August was the Pierre's Hole 50/100 mountain bike race up at Grand Targhee. This event is now in its 7th year, and has become a regionally & nationally renowned event. It's awesome having it right in my backyard, and the course gets better each year as Targhee expands its network of singletrack trails. I did the 50K distance (which had 4,000 feet of climbing!), and managed to grab 3rd Place in the Men's 40-49 division. 

Late August was time for my buddies annual "Tour de Star Valley" bike ride, down in Afton, WY. Despite a little rain & hail, it was great hanging out with Mike, cousin Brent, Dan, and my brother Curt for a long day in the saddle. Salt River Pass remains one of my favorite spots on the planet.

What would early September be, without racing in the 204-mile Logan-to-Jackson ("LOTOJA") bike race? It's a huge event these days, with a couple thousand cyclists competing. This year I did it as a 2-Person Relay with my brother Curt, and it was a memorable day shared with family and lots of good friends - perfect weather, no mishaps, and our 9-hour 37-minute finishing time was the fastest I've ever been a part of...good for 3rd Place in our division. 

As summer rolls into fall, the light softens and so does the pace.  It's time for my favorite season of all. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sublime Teton Summer

When summer finally arrives in Driggs, it's beyond brilliant. The valley is suddenly green, water rushes, flowers bloom, birds sing, and sky is impossibly blue - with snowcapped peaks framing it all.

Time has been made for some Idaho high country fishin'.

Mountain bike racing with buddy Garth - we grabbed 4th overall as a duo at the Boise 9-to-5 race, back in early June.

Golfing, family reunion style.

Finishing the Leadville Silver Rush 50-mile mountain bike race, in mid-July. It was the toughest race I've done, including a 4-mile wrong turn...but I still qualified for next year's full Leadville 100, which is a bucket list item.

Continuing with the mountain bike theme: I had a great time racing with my buddy James last week, at the Galena Grinder event near Sun Valley. Beautiful day, rugged & challenging course, awesome people.

Some nice weekend getaways with Melissa - biking, running, dining, taking in music, relaxing.

Bridger loves summer in the Tetons, too.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

From Driggs to Desert: Spring Adventures

It's been a busy couple of months, with adventures and work from Driggs to Tucson, Salt Lake to Chicago...and countless private Idaho moments. I'll let photos tell the story.

Spectacular spring biking, with buddy Garth in Grand Teton Park.

Wild Mustangs on a work trip in Challis, ID.

Steelhead fishing on the iconic Salmon River.

The pristine Lemhi mountain range, central Idaho.

Jostling with bison, Yellowstone Park. 

The snowblower - ready for summer hibernation. 

A favorite section of Arizona Trail. Epic. 

My buddy John hugs everyone; it must be the Tucson sunshine. 

Colorful riding. 

A resident Cooper's Hawk visits the backyard fountain, Tucson.

Helping guide a few guests with Southwest Trekking. Kinda like herding cats, but fun. 

Taking in nephew Corbin's soccer game; my brother Mark is a proud dad.

Work meetings in Chicago, including dinner at Ditka's on NFL Draft night. I love my job and co-workers. 

Back in Idaho: South Fork of the Snake River "Bench Trail," Swan Valley.

Summer arriving in my Driggs backyard.

A drive over Togwotee Pass, and a grizzly...of course.

Memorial Day smiles & horseshoes, with beautiful Melissa and handsome Romeo.

Mamma teaches Romeo to be a river dog on a getaway to Lander, WY.

Vintage Teton Valley, Idaho...and summer has just begun!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Teton Valley Marching

In typical Driggs fashion, March held a little bit of everything...and a lot of snow.  What started out as a light snow year in Eastern Idaho ended up being above normal, thanks to February & March.

A couple of trips outside the valley helped mix things up, too.  This photo is from an amazing weekend on Antelope Island in northern Utah; the scenery & terrain were Baja-like. 

Enjoyed some nice family time while in SLC, too. Mark, Annie, and their 3-year old bundle of energy Corbin are all doing great. 

As the month rolled by, adventures piled up like the snow banks around town. And Romeo loved it all. 

There were some nice snowbike rides, too.  Morning "crust cruising," whether on skis or fatbike, was exceptional during most of March. 

A mid-month work-related week around Fruita, CO brought sunshine, singletrack...and smiles. Big time.

Back home in the snow, we attended the Jackson Hole World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb on a sunny weekend.  It's an event that my former winter clothing business used to display at...and it was awesome seeing lots of old industry friends, from all over the country.  The snow conditions & racing were exceptional this year, too.

Adieu, March.  Only two more months of snow around here!

Monday, March 3, 2014

February: Winter Variety in the Tetons

In late January, we were all wondering where the snow had gone this year around Driggs...and in most of Idaho, for that matter.  High pressure & bluebird days dominated most of the month.  It all changed by the end of February, but more on that later.

Teton Valley Trails & Pathways is a local non-profit organization that grooms over 30K of trails for both classic and skate nordic skiing each winter. My favorite area is the Alta track, where Teton Views meet local farm & ranch land. I especially love this section with the horses grazing nearby. 

Melissa & I took advantage of yet another clear winter weekend to take the dogs snowshoeing. I've always loved the simplicity of just getting out there and meandering around in the woods while floating on snow; or you can get after it and hike aggressively, with low-impact downhills. There are so many nice canyons around Teton Valley, in every direction, and odds are you won't bump into another soul out there.

The local snowbiking (a.k.a. "fatbiking") was absolutely stellar during December & January. I took this photo on my longest ride of the year, on the Pinochle-Jackpine loop north of Tetonia.  It was 26+ miles of riding on groomed snowmobile trail, in the shadow of the Tetons, in silence and with no one around.  Two days later I blew out my calf playing basketball in Jackson, and was glad I had busted out this big ride while healthy.

As February progressed, storms begain rolling in more regularly. And the elk moved down into the valley...including a few days right around my house.  I've always loved these animals, and how majestic & elusive they are. The native name of Wapiti ("ghosts of the forest") suits them perfectly. 

A nice, snowy Valentine's dinner with my gal.

I had a great, rare week with Bridger at the end of the month.  I forget how big he is, and how much he likes sticks.  He'll be 7 years old on March 8...and he's a damn good dog. 

The last 3 weeks of February were almost constant gray, wind, and cold...with the exception of one day.  My buddy Eric & I pounced on it impromptu style, and did a sweet snowbike ride with plenty of climbs and Teton views.  Not a bad way to close out the month - and my calf is finally feeling better.  

And then there was this stunning, simultaneous sunrise & moon set , looking at the Big Hole Mountains west of Victor.

Bring on March!