Monday, January 19, 2009

January Bliss

The past few days around Driggs have been so isanely beautiful, it's almost beyond words. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking, and simply narrate.

This first photo is from Monday afternoon, on the Alta ski trails, with the Tetons as background. Eight minutes from my office...does it get any better? It was difficult to take in all the scenery and continue skiing, but I managed to make my way around the trails. I love the rolling terrain, sprinkler wheel lines, mountains-meet-Idaho farmland feel of this setting. The blue sky and unseasonably warm 38-degree temperatures didn't hurt, either.

Saturday was my first real snowbike ride of the season (pathetically late, I know, but there are reasons). I feel like I had been experiencing winter as a window-shopper, until I jumped in and broke out my Surly Pugsley with 4" wide Endomorph tires. Destination was Darby Canyon, accessed just a couple of miles from my house, and the day was perfect.

I like this canyon for many reasons (scenery, proximity, access to additional trails, etc.), but especially because multiple-use seems to function unusually well in the area. Snowmobiles pack down the trail, which is then used by skiers, walkers and even freak winter cyclists like me. It was great to be out there.

Sunday was a pre-Cardinals/Eagles snowshoe hike up Fox Creek Canyon, with Joanne & Bridger. We managed to find some nice relatively untracked snow, and got quite a bit of vertical. It was about as extreme as we wanted, given the current high-risk avalanche conditions. On several occasions , we had big slabs "settle" under our snowshoes, which is always a sober reminder.

I've been snowshoeing for fifteen years now, and love it. I still need the speed of snowmobiling & skiing, but snowshoeing has its place. It offers a great uphill workout, descending is easy on the knees, scenery is always good, and it's just plain fun to walk on top of the snow. Plus, Bridger likes it, too :-)

The serenity of cattle grazing on a sunny winter afternoon...I had to stop and capture the scene. Rural Idaho is alive & well.

My legs need a day or two to recover now.

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