Monday, January 21, 2013

Teton Valley Snowfest Weekend, and More

This past weekend was the 2nd Annual Teton Valley Great Snowfest, and it was impressive. The above photo was from the Skijoring event, where a horse pulls a skier or snowboarder with a rope (like winter water skiing). The course involves jumps and weaving between cones, with the fastest time winning. It was one of the most unique and fun events I've ever watched.

There was also lots of snowbiking, including a race up at Grand Targhee, where fatbikes are allowed on the groomed Nordic trails.  This is Melissa making a lap with her good friend Britt.  Skies were bluebird, and snow conditions were perfect.

A snow sculpture contest took place in front of the Driggs Community Center, and the creations were amazing. It gave a festive feel to downtown, especially after dark when the scene was illuminated. This cowboy sculpture took top honors.

Snowshoeing around here can't be beat.  We braved sub-zero temps last week, and got out for a nice mid-day hike.  The bears are hibernating, of course, and missing out on all this winter fun.

It's basketball season now, too.  I play on a team in Jackson, and my brother Mark made the drive up from Salt Lake to play with us last week (o.k., he also had work in the area), like old times.  We got a nice win, and it was awesome catching up with him.

Sunshine & smiles, even in the middle of winter.  Melissa did a big trip to South America over New Year's, and it's good having her say the least.

I'll never tire of watching the sun set against the Tetons.  An icy stalactite recently formed off my deck, and now joins me for the view.  Happy Winter!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy December, and New Year

December flew past like a flock of white Trumpeter Swans. Brilliant, yet stealth.  Did all of that really just happen, in only 31 days, with barely any daylight hours?  It did, indeed; parties, parades, shoveling, snowmobiling, annual meetings, skiing, and of course shopping. All right here in the winter wonderland of Driggs, Idaho.

There was snowbiking (a.k.a., "fatbiking") too, and it was good. I took Bridger out on a nice ride up Darby Canyon early in the month, before the snow got too deep. This winter hybrid sport is really starting to catch on, and Teton Valley is a natural mecca with its hundreds of miles of dirt roads, groomed snowmobile trails, and canyons to explore.

Thanks to my friend Andy, I also made it out snowmobiling the first week of December.  Snow cover was minimal in the valley at that time, but as we climbed it quickly got deep...chest deep.  We had an amazing time riding the West slope of the Tetons along with Jon and Mo, playing in the powder and taking in the high country scenery.

It was also great to connect with several good friends during the month, including my longtime website guru Brian.  We caught up while in Salt Lake City for meetings, and it was just like old times. This is one smart, good man.

And speaking of highlights, Melissa's company Christmas party was up there.  It was a cozy mid-December evening with talented people, amazing food, and cheerful conversation. Not to mention the festive decorations, and long game of bingo...but that's another story entirely.

Back into the outdoors: sunny, bluebird days have been rare so far this winter, but oh-so-beautiful.  With views like this, simple walks with the  dogs are sublime.

2012 was a volatile year for us.  Fittingly, we sent it out with a Christmas trip to Yellowstone on snowmobiles.  Hot pots bubbled, belched, and steamed; Old Faithful erupted; bison grazed; we smiled. And yes, Melissa piloted her own sled like a rockstar. 

The last Sunday of the year, I shocked a few people and attended church for the first time in recent memory.  It's something I want to make more a part of my life again, in moderation, along with more service and volunteer work in the community. There's been a void, and I've been far too selfish with my time over the years.

Anyhow, I wanted the inaugural church experience to be with my younger brother Mark, his wife Annie, and their 2-year old boy Corbin.  Mark and I have been teammates through every kind of battle imaginable over the years, and he's one of the few who have been there for me unconditionally this year.  I'm thankful and proud of the man my "little" bro has become.

Whatever your path is, here's to a year of peace, adventure, fulfillment, and love.  Happy 2013!