Thursday, December 19, 2013

Continuity

Sitting here in Driggs the week before Christmas - watching lazy snow flurries and a gray winter sky, on the heels of several bluebird days - I can't help but marvel at the co-existence of change & continuity in life. Work, weather, relationships, residences, and even friends can all change by the day...but certain things remain constant. Like Christmas, and the steadfast Tetons standing watch.



One thing that hasn't changed much over the years is my old college buddy Tom, who stopped by for a quick visit last month.  He's always been there...and so has his amazing 16-year old dog, TJ.





My dad is another constant.  I was fortunate to spend several days with him at a work conference in Boise last month, and loved catching up in person.  The man is solid as a rock.





November is definitely a "shoulder season" month around Teton Valley, and hiking is a fun recreation option during this time.  Melissa & I took her dogs high up Henderson Canyon on a sunny Saturday, and everyone smiled.




Keeping the dog motif going: I even got to walk Bridger once last month.  It would be nice to see him more often, but I enjoy the times I do.  And man, it's easy to forget how big he is!





And then suddenly, it was snowbiking (a.k.a., "fatbiking") season.  I got out for an especially nice ride on the groomed trails at Grand Targhee the week before Thanksgiving; talk about bluebird conditions! I feel like a completely different person after getting out like that for an hour or two, and the glow remains for a nice long while.




For Thanksgiving, we escaped to warm sun-sand-surf San Jose del Cabo.  There was sailing, stand-up-paddling, kayaking, mountain biking, and of course relaxing...all in shorts.  It was also Melissa's birthday week, so we jumped for joy.




Another highlight of the trip was touring the "Cactimundo" cactus gardens, which we did via cruiser bike.  Rows & rows of every cactus type imaginable, along with flowers, fountains, and gazebos.  Simultaneously mesmerizing and inspiring.




Back home in Driggs, it was temperature shock and a colorful, wintery sunset. They say the only constant is change, but I have to argue that.  Through all the ups & downs, reliable rhythms remain; love, beautiful sunsets, solid friends & family, amazing mountains...and now, Christmas.  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fantastic Fall

It's been another spectacular Fall here in Driggs, Idaho. Autum has always been my favorite - warm days, cool nights, football, harvests, Halloween rituals...and colors.




I don't know which was better on this mid-October day, the mountain biking or the scenery. Horseshoe Canyon singletrack shines this time of year.



Hiking has been exceptional, too. Here's Melissa on Drake Creek trail, a nearby favorite.



Autumn snowfalls only add to the season. We had a couple of storms that quickly moved through Teton Valley, and subsequent blue skies were beautiful. These ducks and Melissa's dog Romeo were soaking it in.

 
 
The annual "Fall Classic" golf day with my Jackson basketball team was simply awesome, at Teton Reserve course in Victor.  I love these guys like brothers.
 
 
 
Nearing the end of October, we journeyed down the road to Pocatello for a golden day of hiking on Scout Mountain. It brings a smile, for sure.
 
 
 
Amazing Teton sunsets have been the most colorful of all. Life & seasons change; here's to the brilliance of Fall!
 
 





Thursday, October 3, 2013

Moving at the Speed of Summer in Driggs, Idaho

Where did August and September go?  The end of summer came & went like an adventure movie with no intermission.  Thankfully, photos remain.



 
A unique, smoky week in Sun Valley for work & play.
 
 
 
 
 
Good fishing, in longtime favorite spots.
 
 
 
 
 
 
A fun weekend at the Wydaho Mountain Bike Festival, based at Grand Targhee over Labor Day weekend this year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
An awesome 50K Pierre's Hole mtn bike race.
 
 
 
 
 
 
A great hike to the top of Pole Canyon, with Bridger.  It had been too long.
 
 
 
 
 
A memorable and successful LOTOJA race, done as a 3-person relay this year with siblings Curt & Lisa.
 
 
 
 


 
Breathtaking views, right here in my Driggs backyard.  It never gets old. 

 

Monday, August 12, 2013

July in Driggs: Simply Paradise

July is "pinch me, I must be in heaven" month here in Teton Valley, Idaho.  And it goes by much too fast.



An early July ride up to Grand Targhee, with Teton views that never grow old.




A sweet morning hike in the Big Holes - west of Victor - with good friend Gary and his dog Marley.




A good work day down in Star Valley, Wyoming with my dad and brother Mark. It always feels good to connect with them.





Relaxing beach and fishing time at nearby Palisades Reservoir...ahh.





Exploring new singletrack with buddy Garth, high above Grand Targhee and Teton Canyon.




Enjoying Melissa's annual company party, at Linn Ranch in Victor.  Good people, good setting, good times.



 
Great time with rockstar buddy James from Boise, at the Grand Targhee x-c mtn bike race.


May it all continue in August!




Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June Living, Racing, and Smiling



This blog entry begins with a photo of something other than a bike for a change, and slightly outside of Idaho.  It had been years since I'd ridden an ATV - around Driggs or anywhere else - and was a blast getting back in the saddle at my parents' cabin a couple of weeks ago.  Melissa & I were like kids at Christmas, covering ground and laughing til we cried...but I'm getting ahead of myself.  First, a few other June adventures.




My buddy Gary is an avid hiker, and knows the Teton backcountry like few others.  We connected back in early June for a scramble up the backside of Mary's mountain.  It was a brilliant afternoon, and his dog Marley made it even better.




About once each year, I decide to bike to the top of Teton Pass.  It's ridiculously steep, and sometimes feels like it's tearing me down more than building me up in terms of training.  But Melissa & I did it in preparation for the High Uintas Classic race, and it probably made us stronger.




June 9-15 was Idaho's "Bike Week," and several local events were organized accordingly.  One evening was a Kids Bike Clinic in Victor, and we volunteered.  It was awesome teaching a few things to the next generation, watching them gain confidence, and remembering what riding a bike is all about.




In nearly two decades of living here, I'd never biked to the top of Signal Mountain in Teton Park (I usually ride that area during spring, when Signal Mountain road is still under deep snow).  We made the trek over to Jackson this month, and got 'er done.  Simply beautiful.




Back to the weekend at my parents' cabin.  The primary purpose (at least theoretically) was the High Uintas Classic bike race, a 77-mile journey from Kamas, UT to Evanston, WY.  It follows the Mirror Lake highway up & over 10,700 foot Bald Mountain Pass, and had been on my bucket list for twenty years.  Melissa & I signed up a few months ago, trained the best we could, and talked friends Kevin & Deb into driving down with us.  Deb handled support duties for everyone, and Kevin joined us racing.  
 
 
 
 
Quickly, I was chasing dozens of young, lean, fast dudes like this.  Climbing over 5,000 feet in the first 30-miles, it was all I could do to hang on and squeeze out a mid-pack finish.  At least the weather was perfect. And wow, the altitude & high country scenery were equally breathtaking.
 
 
 
 
There were no official race photographers, but fortunately I took a couple of pictures myself.  Here are Kevin & Melissa, bringing it home to Evanston.
 
 
 
 
My folks built their cabin back in the late '80's, just a few miles from Bear River Service in the Uintas.  Our race route went close by, so we spent the night after with mom & dad. It had been almost 18 years since I'd visited, and was wonderful to be back; lots of memories, and such good energy there.  Dad got busy setting the table, and Melissa had some fun ringing the dinner bell. It was an old school weekend all the way around.
 
 
 
 
"Do it All" Deb & "Man of Steel" Kevin, taking in the cabin views.
 
 
 
 

Mom & dad, on their routine morning walk in the woods.  They're kinda happy.
 
 
 

As summer unfolds, weekly traditions develop.  Last week we did our first group Teton Valley weeknight mountain bike ride, from Spooky trail to Corral Creek and beyond.  Friendships blossomed, and crashes were minimal.
 
 
 
 
Another June highlight was several days of work right here in my hometown, sealcoating the roads in Driggs.  It's an environmentally friendly and economical product, with no messy chips involved.  The roads are rejuvenated, and cyclists love it, too.   
 
 
 
 
 
 
Melissa loves summer...can you tell?  Her dress even matches the lilacs; pretty, and blooming. 
 
Here's to June, and summer smiles!
 
 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Springing Along, in Driggs & Beyond


In typical spring fashion, life here in Driggs, Idaho has been a whiplash between snow, sun, mud, and whatever recreation a particular day allows.  To ride, golf, or ski?  Or to simply head south until it all sorts itself out?




April was cold, so Melissa & I escaped to Pocatello a couple of times for its fun/flowing singletrack...and sushi.  Go figure.  






Training for upcoming bike races meant bundling up and riding in 30-40 degree temperatures, frequently.  It was like dressing for snowmobiling, but on a bike.




The Moab Gran Fondo was our first race of the season, the first Saturday of May.  It was only a 60-mile loop but involved 5,500 feet of climbing, which was brutal this early in the year.  The route took us (and 300 other racers) up through Castle Valley and into the stunningly beautiful La Sal mountains.  Scenery went from red rocks to high alpine, and everything in between; it might have been the most picturesque ride I've ever done.  Plus it was warm!




The highlight of the day was Melissa winning the raffle's grand prize afterwards: a coveted pair of 60mm Zipp wheels.  She predicted she'd win them about 2 seconds before they called her name, and all I could do was chuckle.  We're still celebrating.




The next day we hit some of Moab's sweet new singletrack, and smiled.




Melissa made friends with the resident ducks, but didn't share her wine. 




Outside of Santa Clara, the views (and trails) go on forever. 




Snow Canyon hiking.  Is there anyplace more beautiful?




Relaxing moments at sunset, along the Colorado River...ahh.





Meanwhile, back home, the snow has finally melted out of Teton Valley.  We're ready for a summer of music, shorts, sunshine, b-b-q's, races, rivers, and more.  Bring it on!