Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Idaho Summer: A Magic Carpet Ride

One day it's the Summer Solstice, and you've just done an Ironman even though you can't really swim or run...and then the magnificence of summer in Idaho envelops you like a fairy tale, and you ride the magic carpet of warm sunny days, rushing trout-filled creeks, solitary singletrack on high mountain passes, music in parks, cool nights with the Milky Way so vivid you can feel its timelessness, floating on crystal clear alpine lakes, shorts & sandals & sunscreen, family & friends & love...and smoke from fires, which simply reminds you that it's not all a dream.You're living in Driggs.

Where to begin? On a high alpine lake in the Sawtooths - for real.

I helped coach our local Teton Composite middle & high school mountain bike team again this year. What a great experience, and the circle is growing! 

Melissa & Romeo doing the dual SUP thing, on Palisades reservoir. Idyllic. 

A late-June lunch hour, Teton Valley style. I'm pretty sure Julie Andrews was singing in the background. 

Sun Valley golf, with brothers & nephews. The scenery surpassed my skills, for sure. 

Did I mention mountain biking yet? Simply stellar. 

Family ice skating at the iconic Sun Valley lodge. No one got hurt, which is always a bonus. 

On the work side, I oversaw a lot of this - all over Idaho. 

There has been good time spent in Boise, too. Loving the water, warmth, trails & trees. 

Now that I'm in the Old Guy division, I've grabbed a couple of 1st Place mountain bike race finishes. I'm most proud of this one: the Pierre's Hole 50K back in August, right here at Grand Targhee. 

Finally crossed off the bucket list item of a Boise State football game! They won their home opener, and haven't lost since. 

My garage project has lasted all summer & fall...go figure. But it will definitely be nice.

The annual Star Valley bike ride with my brother Curt & friends was as beautiful as ever. I finally lost my Salt River Pass KOM to M-Russ, but he is a worthy heir. 

There was more - much more - but now it's time to slow things down a bit, take in the fall colors, and enjoy some Oktoberfesting in Idaho. Cheers!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Onset of Summer, and Driggs Adventures

Like mountain thunderstorms, Idaho tumbleweeds and windblown desert sand, the weeks & months pass on by - some faster, better and more memorable than others. But they roll on, inexorably.

It's been too long between posts, again. In the meantime: snow melted, gray became green, creeks filled, and days grew longer. Ahh, summer in the mountains.

Things like golf also start happening in the high country. My nephews Blake & Tyler showed me how it's done.

Singletrack emerges.

Triathlons transpire.

Hiking season begins.

And it's so sweet coming home to Teton Valley this time of year.

Can you say summer sunsets?

Great rides with good friends.

Rad Romeo dog.

Helping awesome kids learn to ride & race.

Work occurs in beautiful places.

And then: the iconic Coeur d'Alene Ironman 70.3, which I was fortunate to do with several good friends plus my cousin Tyson. I wouldn't recommend having an infected tooth pulled 36 hours before the start...but all's well that ends well :)

Race day was beautiful, tough...and I finished under my time goal. Ironman truly does an event like no one else.

Now it's time to recover for a while, and simply enjoy mid-summer perfection in the Tetons.


Monday, April 25, 2016

From Winter To Mud: Spring in Driggs

It's been longer than usual since my last blog entry, for a variety of reasons - but I'm back at it. And I'll continue with this thing.

Going back to February: in the mountains of Idaho, many winter days are like this...

...and then slowly, the snow becomes rain & sleet & wind, with intermittent sunshine, and here we are in mud season. It's still not brilliant summer, but we have weathered another big winter in these parts, and that always counts for something.

After 21 years in Teton Valley, I can say with confidence that no two winters are the same - or any other season, for that matter. What made this winter different from many others is that we didn't have a big meltdown in mid-December or mid-January; the storms just kept coming every week, and the snow steadily piled up. Backcountry skiing was terrific, and so was nearly every other form of recreation.

Pedaling the snowbike (or, fatbike to all you newbies) around on county roads was awesome, as always. A quick lunch ride from home takes me to this spot & back, and clears my head better than a sandwich ever can. I just eat at my desk the rest of the afternoon.

For a late winter dose of the evasive Vitamin D, there's nothing like a journey to the desert. After months of snow, it feels like a whole different world - and is so good for the soul.

Thanks to my buddy PNut in Tucson, I even managed to get back on a horse after nearly 5 years. It felt great.

There was also some stellar mountain biking on the Arizona Trail. Ahh, singletrack.

Plus hikes like this one in the radiant Pima Canyon.

And then, after a lot of driving...back home to late winter in Teton Valley. It could be worse. 

Trees have now blossomed in lower elevation Idaho cities like Boise, Twin Falls & Pocatello. I'm fortunate to travel around Idaho for work sales this time of year, and it's so nice to experience real spring conditions in those neighboring places.

Meanwhile, here in the Driggs high country, deer & elk are following the receding snowline higher up into the hills each day.

The grass is getting greener...

...and soon we'll be back on Idaho singletrack, like this. 

There have been some singular snowy memories these past few months, and it's great to relive them in photos. But now I'm ready to be warm again.  

Until then, happy Mud Season - er, Spring! 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Real Teton Valley, Idaho Winter

It's been a while since we've had a good old fashioned winter here in Driggs. Sure, there have been a few solid snowstorms in recent years...but too often they're followed by bizarre warm spells, weeks of high pressure, and even (gasp) rain. This winter, however, is turning into the real deal.

We've eased into it one storm at a time - with no thaws or rain or extended high pressure - and suddenly, voila: it's deep out there. A fatbike ride out in Horseshoe Canyon earlier this week revealed some downright deep snowbanks.

Appropriately, the 5th Annual Teton Valley Snowfest is wrapping up this weekend in downtown Driggs. It's been fun to watch the event grow each year, with activities like skijoring (below),

nordic races, backcountry ski films, snowplane rallies, kids crafts, sled dog stage racing, and my favorite - "snowscapes" ice sculptures.

This is my 21st winter in Teton Valley.  I learned long ago that a key to thriving during the long, cold, and dark months is to get out & play in the white stuff. Whatever your thing is - skiing, snowmobiling, fatbiking, snowshoeing, ice fishing, hockey, winter running - you simply need to get out there and do it. Just an hour or two of adventure in these mountains warms the soul and makes subsequent couch time that much sweeter.

Early winter soon became Christmastime, and the holidays were classic. Snow, friends (thanks for the snowshoe hike Kevin & Deb!), family, adventure...

...and reflecting on what it all really means.

I made it down to SLC for a couple of days to connect with family & friends there, too. A snowbike ride in Park City with longtime buddy BK was a definite highlight.

As Christmas turned to New Year's, I was back in Driggs...and it got really cold. The afternoons were beautiful though, and I was able to enjoy some Teton magic with good friends Hank & Karen on a New Year's Day snowshoe outing - a happy start to 2016.

Then, there was an escape to Hawaii and tropical weather. I won't say too much because we've got a lot of winter left...but wow, it was warm.

OK, one more.

Back in Teton Valley, Romeo doesn't care what season it is. He just gets after it.

And so does Bridger.

In the end: whatever your hobbies and wherever your travels, here's to enjoying the season - and the sunsets.