Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Driggs Wydaho Mountain Bike Festival

The first annual Driggs "Wydaho Mountain Bike Festival" is in the books, and was a huge success. Joanne is on the planning committee, much-deserving of a shout-out for her considerable & effective work. About 200 folks took part in three days of live music, group rides, raffle giveaways, contests, movies, food, drinks, and perfect high-country summer weather.

Mark your calendars now for next year's festival dates: July 22-24, 2011.  I expect to see a bunch of you!

In the midst of it all, Joanne and I enjoyed a couple of laps around Rick's Basin at Grand Targhee. How 'bout those wildflowers?!!

I also managed a quick evening hike on a little-known trail in the Tetons. There's something extra-cool about reaching snowbanks in late July.

After sixteen summers, I still don't tire of this view: descending Ski Hill road from Grand Targhee, looking straight up at the Tetons.  Gotta be one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the world.

Ride on!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Perfect 4th of July Week, Driggs style

I've been a lot of places, but in July, there is nowhere on the planet I'd rather be than Driggs, Idaho. 2010 marks our 16th summer here, and I still feel like a kid in a candy store.

There have been numerous great outings during the past week, but this photo of a group mountain bike ride might be my favorite. As much of a loner as I can often be, there's something to be said for sharing experiences like this. The mayor of Driggs is in this pic, as is our good friend John from Tucson, Scott from Pennsylvania, etc. Quite a mixture of folks, and lots of fun on a beautiful evening in the Tetons.

First thing's first: the best thing about the week was catching up with many good friends. Jere & Deb, Dave & Michelle, Carol & Russ, Gary & Cindy, Jon & Audrey...absolutely love y'all. "Real" people are what truly make Teton Valley, and the unmatched recreation is icing on the cake

Speaking of recreation: Bridger found a perfect swimming hole early in the week, after a great hike in the Big Holes. We always love watching his big paws get churning in the water, a total water dog!

On the topic of hiking...here we are at the top of Drake Creek, at the south end of the Big Hole Crest trail, with snow-splashed Palisades Peak in the distance. It was one of those stellar evenings: not a cloud in the sky, no wind, perfect temperature. In typical Teton Valley style, we encountered absolutely no one else on the trail. Priceless.

Of course, there's always plenty of mountain biking in our lives this time of year. Here's Joanne on a classic ride last Sunday, from Spooky Trail to Piney Pass. Joanne and her good friend Celia actually named the trail back in 1996, and the Forest Service adopted it; how rare is that?! 360-degree views of the Big Holes, challenging but fun, with lots of water and wildlife. This might just be my favorite ride in the world.

Mixing in a little yin with the yang, we made our way to the local golf course. This was another perfect evening, relaxing with Grand Targhee ski area in the background (a bit of snow remaining). Yes, I'm a lefty; no, I'm not good.

Remarkably, I persuaded Joanne to switch out her mountain bike for a 50-mile road ride one afternoon. In authentic Driggs style, we had to make our way through a cattle drive at one point; kinda messy, but fun! The highlight of the ride had to be these views near the end of Horseshoe Canyon.

The big 4th of July celebration in Driggs this year actually came on the evening of the 3rd. The beautiful new Huntsman Springs golf course development officially opened, and we were honored to attend a private ribbon-cutting bar-b-que with Jon Huntsman Sr. himself (an Idaho native), golf legend Billy Casper, renowned course designer David McLay Kidd, guest Glenn Beck, and more. It was a big deal. All proceeds from Huntsman Springs - as in, 100% - will go to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Joanne and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, which wrapped up with symphony music, speeches by Mr. Huntsman & Beck, and the best fireworks show we've ever had in Driggs...open to the public, and complete with music. This will be a tough week to top.

Happy Summer!