Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey, Fences, Snow Biking

Thanksgiving weekend seemed to arrive suddenly this year. Maybe it was the long Indian Summer we've enjoyed in Teton Valley, or the lack of early snow (not good...we need white stuff, now!). At least it finally got cold: Wednesday night's low was near zero, which kicked in the appetites just in time for turkey.

Joanne's family spent the weekend with us, and it was nice having a houseful of relatives for the holiday. While her mom began preparing the feast, the rest of us took advantage of a bluebird day and built fence down at the pasture.

If you know my in-laws, you know they never let an opportunity for a good work project pass them by. They'll labor dawn to dusk; 'til the cows go home, and the horses lie down, and the dogs fall asleep, and the water trough freezes over. Why just sit on the couch and watch football? The upside is, they get a lot done, they can build anything, and time with them is never boring. I recognize those upsides more the older I get.

If you know me, you know I've gotta have my play time. Give me an hour or three to get the blood flowing, and I'm a totally new (much more agreeable) person. Sunday was the perfect opportunity for my inaugural snow bike ride, up nearby Darby Canyon.

In this context, "snow biking" is essentially winter mountain biking, done mainly on packed snow with a completely unique bike. The ideal surfaces are groomed snowmobile trails, which brings together a couple of my favorite sports. My buddy Dave B. hooked us on it last winter; next thing I knew Joanne and I were buying our own Surly Pugsleys.

Riding this bike is like pedaling a monster truck. Truly. You find yourself constantly emitting sounds like "arrrrg" and "vrooom," and it makes you feel like a little kid out exploring. The tires are nearly 4" wide (about twice the size of a normal mountain bike tire), and run at very low air pressure to enhance traction. The performance is phenomenal, and it beats the heck out of indoor exercise. Everyone I passed on Sunday's ride wanted to stop me and talk about the bike.

Meanwhile, back at the pasture, Elaine the Mule gives her best "Happy Thanksgiving" pose.


Anonymous said...

Just to let you know that someone is reading your efforts -- and enjoying the pictures. Judy and I are here for a month in a rented cabin SW of Driggs. Everyday we explore -- trails, businesses, and opportunities.

Dave said...

After this last storm, I think our snow biking season is officially here! Wooohooo!