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!  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mid-Winter: Teton Valley Idaho & Beyond

December & January have been action-packed and beautiful here in Driggs & beyond. Holidays, snow outings, work, travel, family, friends...adventure.

High pressure bluebird days have been plentiful this winter.  I've taken advantage with several choice snowbike rides up picturesque Teton Canyon, practically right out the front door.  So sweet.

Christmas, with siblings Mark-Lisa-Curt in Salt Lake City. It was great seeing the family.

My old Bountiful High School basketball team.  We played another old high school team down in SLC, and had flashes of "not too bad."  Awesome catching up with these guys.

Cousin Brent x-c skiing in Park City.  He's a beast on the bike and fast on skis, too.

I connected with Brandon & Sarah for a beautiful fatbike ride on Antelope Island on Christmas day. They're former Teton Valley-ites who now call Ogden home, and they're rockstars.

Mom & dad. 53 years together and still going strong.  They hosted a houseful over the holidays, and kept on smiling. me a new fatbike.  It's carbon, and I'm happy.

Photogenic Melissa & Romeo on a sunny New Year's hike, kicking it off right.

Loaded up & heading south for some work and a Walkabout. I need that sometimes.

A day later it was spring in January. Ahh, Utah's Dixie

Bootleg Canyon mountain biking, just beyond Vegas in Boulder City, NV.  It had been on my list for a decade, and I finally did it.  Absolutely epic!

Farther south, it just kept getting warmer. There was no spa time, but I liked the sign.

My longtime buddy Tom and his ageless dog, TJ.  He's visited me in every place I've ever lived, and I finally returned the favor.  We're different, but brothers.

A final desert ride en route back north. I mean - wow.

And then there was ice.  The City of Driggs was in the middle of its 3rd Annual "Snowfest" week when I returned, and the snow sculpture contest is always impressive.

Sublime x-c skiing on the Alta track, east of Driggs.  Even the dogs stopped for these Teton views.  Happy 2014!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Sitting here in Driggs the week before Christmas - watching lazy snow flurries and a gray winter sky, on the heels of several bluebird days - I can't help but marvel at the co-existence of change & continuity in life. Work, weather, relationships, residences, and even friends can all change by the day...but certain things remain constant. Like Christmas, and the steadfast Tetons standing watch.

One thing that hasn't changed much over the years is my old college buddy Tom, who stopped by for a quick visit last month.  He's always been there...and so has his amazing 16-year old dog, TJ.

My dad is another constant.  I was fortunate to spend several days with him at a work conference in Boise last month, and loved catching up in person.  The man is solid as a rock.

November is definitely a "shoulder season" month around Teton Valley, and hiking is a fun recreation option during this time.  Melissa & I took her dogs high up Henderson Canyon on a sunny Saturday, and everyone smiled.

Keeping the dog motif going: I even got to walk Bridger once last month.  It would be nice to see him more often, but I enjoy the times I do.  And man, it's easy to forget how big he is!

And then suddenly, it was snowbiking (a.k.a., "fatbiking") season.  I got out for an especially nice ride on the groomed trails at Grand Targhee the week before Thanksgiving; talk about bluebird conditions! I feel like a completely different person after getting out like that for an hour or two, and the glow remains for a nice long while.

For Thanksgiving, we escaped to warm sun-sand-surf San Jose del Cabo.  There was sailing, stand-up-paddling, kayaking, mountain biking, and of course relaxing...all in shorts.  It was also Melissa's birthday week, so we jumped for joy.

Another highlight of the trip was touring the "Cactimundo" cactus gardens, which we did via cruiser bike.  Rows & rows of every cactus type imaginable, along with flowers, fountains, and gazebos.  Simultaneously mesmerizing and inspiring.

Back home in Driggs, it was temperature shock and a colorful, wintery sunset. They say the only constant is change, but I have to argue that.  Through all the ups & downs, reliable rhythms remain; love, beautiful sunsets, solid friends & family, amazing mountains...and now, Christmas.  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fantastic Fall

It's been another spectacular Fall here in Driggs, Idaho. Autum has always been my favorite - warm days, cool nights, football, harvests, Halloween rituals...and colors.

I don't know which was better on this mid-October day, the mountain biking or the scenery. Horseshoe Canyon singletrack shines this time of year.

Hiking has been exceptional, too. Here's Melissa on Drake Creek trail, a nearby favorite.

Autumn snowfalls only add to the season. We had a couple of storms that quickly moved through Teton Valley, and subsequent blue skies were beautiful. These ducks and Melissa's dog Romeo were soaking it in.

The annual "Fall Classic" golf day with my Jackson basketball team was simply awesome, at Teton Reserve course in Victor.  I love these guys like brothers.
Nearing the end of October, we journeyed down the road to Pocatello for a golden day of hiking on Scout Mountain. It brings a smile, for sure.
Amazing Teton sunsets have been the most colorful of all. Life & seasons change; here's to the brilliance of Fall!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Moving at the Speed of Summer in Driggs, Idaho

Where did August and September go?  The end of summer came & went like an adventure movie with no intermission.  Thankfully, photos remain.

A unique, smoky week in Sun Valley for work & play.
Good fishing, in longtime favorite spots.
A fun weekend at the Wydaho Mountain Bike Festival, based at Grand Targhee over Labor Day weekend this year.
An awesome 50K Pierre's Hole mtn bike race.
A great hike to the top of Pole Canyon, with Bridger.  It had been too long.
A memorable and successful LOTOJA race, done as a 3-person relay this year with siblings Curt & Lisa.

Breathtaking views, right here in my Driggs backyard.  It never gets old.