Monday, February 27, 2012

Winter in Driggs, After All

It took a while to get rolling this year, but Old Man Winter has once again set up camp here in Teton Valley, Idaho. Snow, sleet, wind, below zero temperatures, and we are in business. Either that, or it's our own version of The Shining.

Seriously, the powder is finally deep, and recreation is top notch now.  Snowmobiling, skiing, snowshoeing, and shoveling are all in full swing. Come visit, and don't forget your boots.

After a morning of snowmobiling up at Togwotee Pass a couple of weeks ago, I dusted off the snowshoes and scampered (o.k., "labored" is more accurate) up Angle Mountain behind the lodge. This mountain was actually the region's first ski area back in the 40's, before Jackson Hole. Elevation at the top is over 10,000 feet; it was deep, but the views were worth it.  The finger I had just broken on the sled didn't bother me too much with ski poles, but that's another story for another time.

Earlier in the month, I joined a fun group snowbike ride in the Big Holes, from Horseshoe Canyon to Packsaddle. Thanks to the snowmobile groomers, conditions were perfect. We had a little fun out there.

Last week, work took me to Memphis.  I connected with my brotha LeRoy there, and ate a lot of ribs.  It's been suggested that a rib joint would be popular in Driggs.  Hmmm....

In closing, here's to Brent, our guide up at Togwotee.  You kicked our hineys, bro...and it was awesome.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Doin' It All, Teton Winter Style

This is my 18th winter here in Driggs, Idaho, and it's the mildest I've experienced.  We're taking advantage of the unusual number of sunny days, and enjoying the Teton scenery in a variety of ways.  Bridger is digging it during this Nordic ski outing on the groomed Alta, Wyoming track last week. 

Last weekend was perfect timing for snowmobiling.  A series of storms had moved through over the previous ten days, leaving several feet of fresh powder.  Mike, Chad and I waited for the avalanche risk to subside, then headed out into the Teton backcountry just east of Driggs.  Several hours of exploring, playing, climbing, and carving turns brought 360-degree views, tired bodies, and perma-grins. Ahhh...

I love the perspective snowmobiling brings. In just a few hours, you cover miles of terrain and can see forever. I understand the topography in the high country better after every ride, and it makes me psyched to live here.

It has been the winter of the snowbike: below average snowfall, cold nights to make the trails firm, and sunny days for scenery & smiles. The ranks of local participants is growing, and a bunch of us tackled the Horseshoe-to-Packsaddle ride this weekend. Conditions were ridiculously perfect.  The ladies all posed for a postcard photo here, while the guys stayed out of the way.

It's also basketball season, and we have good pickup games two nights a week in Driggs, plus I play in a league over in Jackson.  My brother Mark spent a couple of years working with me here ten years ago, and returned last week to join our old team in Jackson.  It was a highlight, and we got the win in overtime. 

Here's to more sunny days, snow, and Teton scenery.