Monday, April 13, 2009

Desert Escape

April is known as "mud season" in mountain towns like Driggs and Jackson. Plenty of snow remains up in the hills, but it gradually melts off in the valleys...leaving lots of, well, mud. Locals grow weary of endless winter, and are known to flee to the desert for a break this time of year. I joined the movement last week, and it was sweet.

Saturday found me snowbiking in Driggs with Bridger, and 24 hours later I was mountain biking in the desert of Southern Utah. This photo is from a favorite viewpoint outside St. George. It's a beautiful thing, and a perfect antidote to all the mud around Driggs at the moment. It felt great to be warm and rolling on dirt again.

It got even better around Tucson, AZ, which is a surprising outdoor mecca. I hope the warmth makes its way up to Driggs before June...but I know better :-) Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Jackson Hillclimb

It is absolutely, positively still winter around Driggs. Storms are coming through every couple of days, and temperatures are cold...looks and feels more like February than April.

All the snow last week was good for the Jackson Hillclimb. We started setting up our R.U. Outside booth on Wednesday, and I battled the drive back home over Teton Pass that evening in the biggest single storm we've had all year. The cold temperatures came in Thursday and Friday, then another storm Saturday afternoon. I guess it's spring somewhere, but not here.

R.U. Outside displayed for the umpteenth consecutive year, and it was a good weekend. Thanks to my brother Mark & Annie who came up to spend some time, and also the usual boyz Joe, Justin, Matt, MD & co. It would have been a little more pleasant if morning temperatures had been above zero, but it was good for boot & glove sales. We're used to it around here, and we warmed up watching March Madness at night.

This was the scene out on Snow King Drive. People turned out in droves and cheered racers up the hill. Our friend Dennis Durmas had the most dramatic crash of the weekend, doing a header into the snow after his sled flipped above the third catwalk. His shoulder is aching, but otherwise he's doing o.k. It's a tough mountain, and that top third of it is almost beyond vertical.

View of the Tetons from our Snow King condo Thursday evening. Not bad.