Sunday, August 9, 2015

From Early Spring to Late Summer in Driggs: It's All a Blur

One day it was spring (aka, mud season) - sleeting and raining and blowing every other day through the end of May - and then suddenly...bliss. There's not much that beats an Idaho summer.

Back to spring: my Robin friend shows up every April, builds a nest above the deck, re-builds it after storms blow it down, and stays through mid-June chirping and feeding her young. Just when it starts to get annoying, she's gone...and I actually miss that bird :)

Work travel continues to take me to incredible "Wild Idaho" places. These views of the Lemhi mountain rainge with a secret creek in foreground are typical of what I see. The dogs made this particular trip with me too, and loved it even more than I did.

And of course, there has been mountain bike racing. This photo is from the Pocatello Pedalfest, a great race and my first time participating. I had ridden the City Creek trail system for years (make that decades)...but racing always gives a new perspective. It was a fun June day.

Over a year ago, I was approached to help start & coach a local Driggs/Jackson high school mountain biking team - to be part of the burgeoning nationwide NICA (national interscholastic cycling association) program. I couldn't be the primary point person because of all my work travel, but our Mountain Bike The Tetons (MBT) organization and some other great people have stepped up...and we now have a team! I'm one of the assistant coaches, and loving the experience & kids already. The season's first race will be at Grand Targhee, with teams & families from all over Southern Idaho coming to our backyard; exciting stuff!

There have been plenty of thunderstorms too, keeping everything incredibly green...and the horses happy. 

As summer has progressed, I've also enjoyed some really nice rides with good friends. On the day below, Garth, Jansen & I explored nearly all of the Grand Targhee trails, including the top of Peaked - with stunning views of the Tetons. Not bad.

When you start seeing balloons in the early morning Teton Valley sky, you know it's summer. This local pastime has become tradition, and participation typically peaks around the 4th of July.

My good buddy PNut from Tucson came to visit in late June, and was awesome company. He's a professional mountain biking guide by trade, and loves exploring the backcountry almost as much as I do. This is Mesquite Divide, at the top of Coal Creek - a stellar hike, and one of my favorite spots on the planet...looking straight north up the spine of the Teton mountain range.

I even broke out the Fatbike for a little summer riding in Rick's Basin (at Grand Targhee), and wow it was fun! Those 4" wide tires make for a super-smooth ride.

In late July, Peaked Sports hosted the 20th Annual Targhee Hillclimb bike race - a time trial from downtown Driggs up to Grand Targhee Ski area, which totals 12 miles & 2,000 feet of climbing. I race for the Peaked Team, and it was great hanging out with teammates like Garth plus Peaked owner and local legend Dick Weinbrandt afterwards.

As always, nearby canyons beckon...and with all the spring & summer rain we've had, wildflowers have been spectacular this year. Here's to getting out and savoring it all, before we turn around and realize it's Fall.