Thursday, July 28, 2011

Idaho Summer Perfection

For years, I've said it's a shame that any of us here in Driggs have to work at all in July.  It is simply perfect.  Warm days, cool nights, deep blue skies, smiles everywhere, beautiful scenery every direction, and recreation screaming to be had while it lasts. 

Rivers are finally calming and clearing now too, so fishing will kick in these next couple of weeks.  Add that to everything else going on - golfing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, bbq's - and folks around here are busy.

The high country is springing to life, with waterfalls like I haven't seen in years.  Trails are finally melting off up near the 10,000 foot level, so big Teton hiking loops are now possible.  Get up there and explore while you can.

The Teton Valley Mountain Bike Festival was a resounding success last weekend, and it was fun to be part of it. Festivities, group rides, new bikes to test, and mingling with great people under perfect weather conditions. This photo is from a group ride I helped lead around Rick's Basin, up at Grand Targhee.  It feels like you're in the Alps up there.

Have I mentioned that it's dog heaven around here, pretty much year-round?  Bridger enjoys July almost as much as we do, with plenty of creeks to cool of in during backcountry adventures. 

Be adventurous and cool out there, yourselves. And enjoy July!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July Happenings: Tin Cup Challenge, Music on Main, Mountain Bike Festival

Mid-summer in the Tetons is heaven on earth. The towns of Driggs, Victor, and Jackson come to life like they're late for a party. Snow caps the high peaks, water rushes, flowers bloom, and wow is it green in the valleys this year. 

The big challenge is finding time for everything...but we do our best, happily.

Last weekend was the annual Tin Cup Challenge fundraising race in Driggs. All proceeds go to area non-profits.  Attendance was higher than ever, with over 1,000 participants; weather was perfect, and the vibe was great. 

The Tin Cup race has distance options for everyone: marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K, and a fun walk. I raced the 5K, and kinda liked that nice short distance for a change.

On Thursday evenings from June 30 to August 11, the town of Victor hosts a free "Music on Main" event.  It's an amazing social scene, with food, beverages, and some great music acts.  As we sat with good friends last week, watching the sun set and the full moon rise, it felt like one big happy family. 

Back for its second year is the Teton Valley Mountain Bike Festival. It starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday, with group rides, clinics, x-c race, live bands, bike shenanigans, and tons of free schwag.  It really is amazing how many sponsors this event already has, and pre-registrations are way up over last year. 

I'll be leading a Friday afternoon group ride myself, and Joanne is overseeing registration. Come join the fun!

Meanwhile, the rivers continue to rage with high country snowmelt.  It's incredible to see water like this in late July; this photo is the Hoback River near Jackson, taken yesterday afternoon.  It would normally look like this in late May or early June.

Here's to summer sunshine, fun with friends, and a great weekend wherever you are.

Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 Boise Ironman Triathlon: Video

Summer is working its magic, and time is flying by here in Driggs.  It's interesting how the more daylight hours we have, the faster each day seems to go.  Must be a function of Idaho's short summer season, and the resulting sense of urgency. Whatever the impetus, I hope you're all out there golfing, hiking, boating, mountain biking, and loving it.

It's already been a month since I did the Boise Ironman 70.3 Triathlon.  Boise is about a 5 hour 30 minute drive from Driggs, and simply an awesome city.  Great recreation, plenty to do, and a nice Idaho feel.

The 1.2 mile swim is at Lucky Peak Reservoir; the 56 mile bike leg goes west, south, and then downtown Boise for transition #2; the run is two 6.55 mile loops on the sweet Boise river greenbelt, finishing right smack downtown. It is an amazing scene, with terrific volunteers & fans...and the closest to a rockstar I have ever felt.

Without a doubt, the highlight was sharing such a great experience with two cousins of mine, Brent and Wade.  Thanks guys, and keep rolling. 

I finally carved out some time this week, and put together the following slideshow with music. Sincere thanks to Joanne, Beth, Steph, and Chris for the photos; they are priceless.

Back to regular blogging later in the week.  For now, turn up your speakers and see why Ironman events are without equal.  Cheers.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ringing in July

July means summer, even in Idaho. Snow is melting, rivers are running, sun is shining...and wow, is it ever green in these parts.  A verdant payoff for the eight-months of winter we endured this year.

As anticipated, runoff is just now peaking; creeks are running over the highway between Driggs and Victor, and mountain trails are taking their time drying out.

So, the hiking and mountain biking season has only just begun. We're starting to get back into some favorite places like South Horseshoe Canyon, but will be treading lightly for another week or two. 

This creek is about the midway point on our popular Aspen Trail.  It's normally a benign two-foot deep crossing, with a big log to help.  The log is now completely under water, and the creek is 3-4 feet deep.

Do not attempt to cross creeks like this, my friends; they are crazy-powerful, even when only thigh deep.  We turned around and enjoyed another day, along with our bikes and dog.

The long 4th of July weekend around Driggs was terrific. Perfect weather, pleasant crowds, and amazing events from Thursday through Monday. 

This was the scene at Huntsman Springs on Saturday afternoon, before the big Glenn Beck and fireworks show.  An estimated 15,000 people descended on Teton Valley for the weekend, more than doubling our population.  Businesses were happy.

Bridger says, "here's to July."