Monday, March 31, 2008

Late Winter Cross-Training, Driggs style

It's the end of March, and winter continues unabated here in Eastern Idaho. Last year at this time, Teton Valley was snow-free up into the foothills. This year, it's still being measured in feet on the valley floor. The snow hasn't even begun to melt. So, last week I decided to just go with it and cram in a bunch more "winter" outings even though my inner clock is ready for spring.

My buddy Jimmy spent the week with us, and had his Polaris 700cc Dragon mountain sled along. He encouraged me to take it for an after-work ride one evening, which I happily did. Next thing I knew, I was literally on top of the 10,000 foot mountain up behind my house, watching the sunset. It would have taken all day to hike or ski up there, but it was only 25 minutes of aggressive riding on the snowmobile. Conditions were insanely good: a couple feet of fresh powder on top of a great base with hills, trees, meadows and expansive views. All I could think was, "wow."

I wanted to pay Jimmy back for the sweet snowmobile ride, so the next day I took him on our signature cross-country ski trail up Teton Canyon. To fully appreciate this, you have to understand Jimmy: he owns a small business outside Minneapolis called "All-Power Sports." He's basically the only black dude in the snowmobile market, and he's been a friend of mine for 15 years (we've got some stories). He always threatens to join me on one of my self-propelled outings, so it was awesome to finally make it happen. The kicker was, he rocked it and had a great time.

How do you follow-up snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in Driggs? By snowshoeing, of course. Jimmy was up for it, so we headed out to Horseshoe Canyon on a cold but bluebird day and trekked around for a couple of hours. The views were huge, and snowshoeing allows you to really look around and take it all in. I could see the scenery seeping into my buddy, he was digging it.

Jimmy left the next morning and Joanne was on a house-cleaning binge, so I capped off the weekend with a solo snow bike ride in the Big Holes. Another storm was beginning to roll in, but the Tetons were still visible in the distance. Bridger accompanied me, showing no sign of fatigue. He's hoping winter lasts 'til June, and the way it's looking he may just get his wish.


Anonymous said...

Hi Rick L. - my name is Kate and in 2000 my husband and I bought some property in Victor after spending just 2 hours there. Last year we decided to get going on the project and had a house designed. We're planning on retiring June 1, 2008, and our plans are to move to the area (assuming we sell our house) and rent to see if we like it before we build, or maybe just buy a house since that seems like a more viable option considering the state of the economy. So I was so happy to read your blog because I've been reading the weather report lately and, as you said in your blog, it's storm after storm for the forseeable future. But reading your descriptions and seeing your beautiful pictures made me think, once again, that this is the place we want to retire. Our property is in Shooting Star and has a great view of the Big Holes, but assuming that we decide to buy instead of build, what area in the Valley would you consider the most desirable to live? I thoroughly enjoyed your blog, and particularly your description of Bridger (our lab is 14 and probably won't make it to the new home). So I've bookmarked it and will be checking it out from time to time. Maybe we'll run into you when we leave Seattle and venture over to Idaho for the next chapter in our lives. Kate

Rick L. said...

Hello Kate,
Thanks for the comment! Wow, you own property in Shooting Star...that's very close to our house and in my opinion is one of the best areas of the valley. You've got views, elbow room and access to forest (and trails) nearby, yet are relatively close to both Driggs and Victor conveniences. It's a good time to build or buy, as things have slowed down from the frenzy of the past few years. Having Jackson Hole nearby helps stabilize this market compared to other areas, too. My wife is in real estate and could be very helpful on that end, professionally or just as a soon-to-be-neighbor and friend ;-) If you'd like more info. just email me: rulabelle(at) aol. Yes, it's still snowing...cheers,
- Rick