Monday, August 25, 2014

Grand Teton Climb (Thank you Yara, Charlie, Kyle, Nathan)

I pull myself up the last pitch to the top of the Grand Teton. Eleven hours after our start this morning, exhaustion engulfs me and I rest. My eyes take in the powerful view around me, but it is overwhelming. So I focus on the things I can control in this moment. I remove my tight purple climbing shoes and allow my cramped toes a brief release. Then I move on to my granola bar. I slowly unwrap the packaging and take a few bites, noticing that Charlie has already finished his peanut butter and jelly sandwich and is antsy to get moving down the mountain. Finally, I am able to lift my eyes, fully breathing in the world below me: the lush Jackson valley, the Idaho crop circles that are usually only visible from a plane, the endless chain of peaks, glaciers, and hidden alpine lakes. It is a masterpiece. I note my discomfort as the fine details of the landscape disappear. There are no fungi, bacteria, or soil organisms down there. There are no wildflowers. There are no snakes, birds, or rodents. But the human influence is strong. I can see the roads, the airplane trails in the sky. I hear the fifty or so other people struggling to reach the top of the Grand as well.  I wonder how many people have breathed in this same worldview and how many have ignored it.

I am often confronted with the difficulty of explaining my major, Earth Systems Science. But it seems so natural when I think of standing on top of the Grand. Above the LCL (lifting condensation level) of the clouds, I could see the connectivity of the world; that each element (atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere) blends with the next (that the divisions and categories are man-made). If one wants to know the earth as it is, one must be aware of the entirety. I could not imagine myself choosing to value one part over the others. How could I pick a specialized study as was asked of me, when that choice would skew my perception to something I could never trust? From atop the Grand, with a view that both expands one’s vision of the world and shrinks it, I felt renewed passion for my chosen major. Especially with the human piece more pronounced in my mind than ever before.

It was time to move down the mountain when we noticed large storm clouds in the distance. With care, we managed two repels and a lot of scrambling down boulder fields, placing feet precisely so as to not disrupt the loose rock that can kill a hiker down slope.  We made it back to the lower saddle as the rain started. We filled our water bottles with glacial melt and looked down the large canyon that promised another 4 hours of hiking ahead. The wet rock presented further challenge to my tired feet and dizzy mind. But it was a relief to be able to see parts of the trail that were not visible during the morning hike. 16.5 hours after the start of the day, we made it back to the cars. And reentered the human world of comfort and categories.

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View from the top of Grand Teton

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saving Landscapes: Experiencing the Icefields Parkway by bike and foot

The fluorescent lights of the campground bathroom seem assaulting at six o’clock in the morning but the brightness brings out the colors in the wings of the moth that sits trapped in a puddle of water on the counter. Beautiful modeling of greys, blues, greens, yellows and oranges form a mosaic that captures my attention and, perhaps because I am tired, I see, in micro version the landscape of the Canadian Rockies. For six days we have peddled and hiked our way from Banff, through Lake Louise and across the Icefields parkway, to Jasper.

Graced with beautiful weather, my hands look tan against the white sink as I wash my face and brush my teeth. Six days away from Internet and text, I feel a stillness in my core that is rare and welcome. A pulse from the corner of my eye draws my attention and I realize that the moth is still alive. Again, I am taken, as if in a vortex, into the landscape of its tiny wings. I see, in the grey greens, the tall, majestic peeks of the Parkway. Unlike our own Colorado and Wyoming Rocky Mountains, the craggy peaks of Northern counterpart seem untouchable, almost frightening in their grandeur.

Only three days ago we arrived at the Columbia Icefield and while preparing to walk to Athabasca glacier, we spoke with a native Albertan whom was ironically clad in a short-sleeved Hawaiian T-shirt. He boasted about the Canadian Rockies and said he liked them much better than the Colorado Rockies. While it seems impossible to compare such desperate beauties, his commentary caused me some introspective, contrasting thought. Perhaps, I conclude, the Colorado Rockies are neither as grand nor as impressive as those of the Parkway, but the biodiversity of Colorado and Wyoming seems to easily surpass these scarce, silent lands.

Athabasca Glacier
When we finally deensconsed from the Albertan’s musings, we walked, first in silence, from the parking lot to the Glacier. Becca breaks the silence when she laughs and says, “Maybe six and a half hours of uphill peddling made my legs just a little tired.” The day before we had done what may have been the hardest ride of my life. After completing forty miles of gradual uphill, we had climbed steeply for two and half hours.
Half way up the CLIMB!
Sunwapta Pass
My metabolism continually licked at the anaerobic threshold for the full climb just as the roaring tour buses licked against our left shoulders threatening to force us from the road. Christi and I giggle and tired legs and our laughs combine with the wind on the glacier to reminding us of our connectedness with this barren landscape.
With each step we pass rings of glacial recession. Shortly after the dirt road had excited from the highway we had biked past years labeled 1925, 1952, 1962…. Now, as we walk, we pass a 1972 sign, then 1982; we see, perhaps, the rawest, most visible evidence of climate change. Christi reminseces that this was the year that she first visited the park. A sign attests to the impacts of global warming on the Athabasca glacier that is, quite literally, slipping away. Sad, my glance, sinks to the rocks below where glaciation has left scars on the land. The scratches, such visible evidence of the constant dynamic breathing and shifting of the glacier. I am reminded of graffiti as the markings seem as violent in nature and as representative of a marginalized structure, defeated, but clinging to life.
Glacial Scouring
My eyes, beginning to adjust to the fluorescent lights of the campground bathroom, have now appropriately been transfixed by the blue-greens on the moth’s modeled wings. Freed by the violent etchings of the glacier’s recession, is the silt that runs downstream forming, what to me is the most beautiful feature of the Parkway, the glacial lakes.

Tangled Falls
Our first day of biking was interrupted by trickling streams and, when we crested a particularly steep climb, we were met by the view of Bow lake. Nearly glowing aquamarine, the blues mixed with the greens more pleasingly than any gemstone. Awestruck, we had pulled our bikes into the overview parking lot where at least fifty motorists, cars idling had their heads sticking out of their RVs. Quickly we were accosted by two Chinese men traveling in a Hummer Jeep; they wore leather and bandanas and with an SLR, they chased us through the parking lot exclaiming, “One, Two, Three” as they shot one picture after another. Though for a moment we felt like three famous female warriors being chased by the paparozi, the feeling quickly faded when we saw the idling Hummer engine.
Bow Lake
Each night, once tucked safely in our tents, Christi’s was reading to us from Al Gore’s book, Our Choice. “Carbon dioxide produced in the burning of these fossil fuels accounts for the single largest amount of the air pollution responsible for climate change.” (Chapter 1). Between the parking lot of idling RVs, Hummers and rental cars, I suddenly felt trapped in the juxtapose between the rising water levels of the glacial lake and the very emission of the greenhouse gases causing the melt.
The moth’s body heaves slowly once again and my attention is brought, only briefly, back to present. The creamy whites in the micro-landscape quickly take me back to the wide glacial U-shaped Valley where the Sunwapta River follows a braided path.
Braided Sunwapta River
After cresting the second of two mountain passes - Bow Pass is followed by Suwapta pass – we had ridden, knuckles white towards the north, Athabasca Glacier growing smaller behind us with each roll of our wheel. The steep grade had finally moderated and a wide shoulder had opened. The sun sparkled across the white glacial silt and it seemed that we were lifted on its rays as we spun along with the rippling water. Becca would later dup this Zen Riding.

With the warmth of this memory, I realize that the deep yellows on the moths wings contrast with the assaulting fluorescence of the lights but they are reminiscent of the sun during our last night at camp. After five and a half hours of more Zen Riding than the day before, we had camped at Honeymoon Lake. Elated by the fact that this campground name literally meant that there was (as the Canadians would say), “a proper swimming lake”, Christi literally bounded off of her bike directly into to the lake. We had swum for nearly a mile, finding the view from the middle of the lake to be most pleasing. In honor of the ski team slogan “Stoked 365”, we dubbed this view, “Stoked 360 (degrees, that is)”. For, to the East were the Flatirons called “The Endless Chain”.

Honeymoon Lake and the Endless Chain
To the South, we could still make out the Columbia Icefield and to the West and North, craggy peaks jutted above the trees. Our swim was topped off by an incredible spaghetti dinner (Christi’s homemade sauce). As we sat at the picnic table, the sun began to set and I felt warm and peaceful. But I also felt something else, something I had never felt so strongly before. It was as though I was connected to the sun, and as it shone through the trees, I was connected to them too. It was- at the risk of insinuating that I had simply spent too much time with our Dr. Bronner’s soap - as though we were all one.  On the nights that our moods shifted away from the analytical writing of Al Gore, we had read The Four Agreements but Don Miguel Ruiz. Perhaps his words explain best what I was feeling, “What you will see is love coming out of the trees, love coming out of the sky, love coming out of the light. You will perceive love from everything around you. This is the state of bliss. You perceive love directly from everything, including yourself and other humans. Even when humans are sad or angry, behind these feelings you can see that they are also sending love.” (p. 124).

Becca in Bliss
With this I take the flat end of my Tom’s Whitening toothpaste and gingerly set it down next to the trapped moth. As though it was waiting for this very escape it moves its antennae and then steps on leg quickly after another onto the dry safety of the toothpaste tube. As it leaves behind its watery grave, I wonder if it is through love, love of the earth, love of each other, love of everything that we will escape what seems to be the inevitable watery grave of climate change. 
Athabasca Glacier

Link to all our photos: 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014


I spent yesterday writing a letter that can be sent to alumni, family and friends but I also had simply wanted to tell a story about the evolution of our superhero team! I was only able to include stories of some of our superhero athletes but please know that you are all superheroes to me!

It was a crisp day in October of 1998; the leaves on the cottonwoods were just beginning to turn a golden yellow color and against the brown backdrop of the northern prairie, it was a day on which everyone knew why the University of Wyoming’s school colors were brown and gold. My sister Becca was attending a UW Club Day and in her long sleeve Nordic ski T-shirt, she was recognized by fellow Freshman, Dennis. He could not help but recognize her shirt and enthusiastically told her that they were trying to start a Nordic Ski Club. Becca returned his interest and said, “…and I have volunteer coaches for you.” Thus, for Christi and I, an adventure that is entering its seventeenth year began.
The 1998-1999 season came with all the logistics of establishing a new program. We were able to field a team of four women and two men. Christi and I, first year graduate students, would often rise at 4 am. I would drive to the lab, start cultures, set up that days experiment so that I could be done by 3:30 pm to change into my coaching paraphernalia. Scholar by day, coach by night; slowly, it became who we were.
Two seasons passed, the team began to grow and Christi finished her Masters degree in Instructional Design. It was at USCSA Nationals in 2001 that I found myself standing in a puddle of melting snow on the Bogus Basin ski trails. It was over 50ºF and the women had just headed out on their second of two laps to complete their 15 kilometer freestyle race. Two of our women were in the top pack and likely to earn top ten finishes but much can happen in a second lap. My heart had the familiar flutter of nerves and I shook out my legs in feeble attempt to counter the epinephrine surges. But as the women rounded the turn before the last uphill, my heart leapt into my throat as I saw that our top woman, Erica (#1), was easily in the lead. In a screech that I am fairly sure shook Northern Flying Squirrels from their perches, I said, “You Rock My World!!”. Cold, clammy and still screaming, I hardly registered that Holly Brooks had passed by me in second place. This lack of vision was due to the fact our second woman had rounded the bend and was headed up the last uphill hot on Holly’s heels. I needn’t say much more than the fact that, “When Angels Deserve to Die” was Brooke’s theme song to relate the intensity in her stride and in her eyes.
That day, in 2001, was the first day that our women, having finished 1, 2 and 9 stepped to the top rung of the podium. It was also the spring before the summer that I defended my Masters degree in Biochemistry. Christi and I bought our first house, our first new car and Xena (our cat), fresh from the Alleys of Leadville, decided I was her person. Like the multiple nodes of a polyphasic dichotomous key, all of the facets our life were intertwining to form the root from which we could build, in our every volunteer hour, the most unique ski program in the Nation. And what of the day job? As a summer instructor for the Upward Bound Program, I had fallen in love with classroom and like water, forceful and certain of its path I tried to fill every possible hour of my day with teaching. From the General Chemistry lecture hall to the Medical Microbiology Lab and eventually to the virtual spaces of fully online biochemistry, I focused on facilitating student learning. Christi became the technology guru for the College of Education and spent her everyday cultivating expertise in usable educational technologies. These were, of course, always tried first on the ski team officers and athletes.
Each year, we welcomed more athletes who had joined teams in the East or Midwest and had difficult experiences that brought them to UW. Injured and sad, the love of skiing lost, healing became a way on our team. Christi and I were pushed everyday to further our own education, to be better able to answer our athletes’ questions, to more effectively facilitate their learning, healing and growth.
It was a hot day during a fall overdistance run in 2003. We were happily bounding along the dirt roads of pilot hill when I found myself surrounded by the women’s team and Erika (#2) overflowed with questions. She wanted to better understand the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates and I found that my knowledge was insufficient. I knew the chemistry but less of the application. This, coupled with having unexpectedly being awarded a very late NCAA post-graduate scholarship sent me back to school for what I now think of as the Renaissance in my own education. Classes in Exercise Physiology and Anatomy morphed into Sociology and finally Adult Education. I unearthed, watered and was fortunate to have the compost of so many educators with sexy minds to nurture new interests. Perhaps the epitome of those minds was Christi, whom in 2006 completed her PhD in Instructional Technology and Adult Education. Together, we discovered and intellectually nurtured a passion for social and environmental justice in education and coaching. Into our coaching we brought philosophies of humanism, feminism and Paulo Freire’s Social-Emancipatory philosophy. We began integrating Friday coaching lectures on topics ranging from the metabolism and biochemistry of alcohol consumption to the impacts of low intensity training on immune function. Our coaching became integrated and holistic.
Professors by day and coaches by night? Perhaps. But each day the lines began to blur more and with this integration came simultaneous success on the ski trails. On the wall of the College of Agriculture hangs a picture of me. Below the picture, teaching awards are listed but no-one’s eye is likely to linger on these for I am sporting a super trendy 1985 femme mullet. Forever held in time, this picture, taken in 2006 was a tribute to the first overall USCSA UW Men’s team Victory. The women having taken this honor two times prior, the men had a goal and a bet. Riley and Joe, now seniors had won that bet and after the relay, I had sat in our Maine Vacation Rental, Riley on one side, Joe on the other as they cut my then long hair. Perhaps this hair loss was a catalyst, for since 2006, both the men and women have repeated their victories three more times.
It would be a lie for either Christi or me to say that we did not feel the thrill of each one of those victories. In fact, each day as I walk down our stairs I am surrounded by picture after picture telling the story of sixteen years of coaching. Each day I stop to stare at a different year and I relive the emotions of that time. However, our greatest pride stems from the fact that our athletes are more than just athletes. In order fund our race seasons, the athletes do year-round volunteer work. Working concession stands and selling T-shirts in the late nineties morphed into football parking and art auctions by 2005. However, as our coaching became more holistic, our athletes’ fundraising became more meaningful. We began volunteering to rake lawns at no charge; donations were welcome. We started painting houses and doing manual labor. The athletes would rake one lawn for a donation and the lawn of the elderly neighbor for which they would receive no monetary compensation. But, the payoff could not be measured, for our team became a pivotal part of the Laramie community. Faculty began calling us when they had been injured. Our athletes would go to their house, chop wood and mow the lawn. Simultaneously, some of the athletes began to join Christi on the Shepard Symposium Committee. As a team, we began presenting at the Symposium on Social Justice. By late spring of 2009, our team was becoming green as quickly as was the prairie. This growth fed not only the quality of the undergraduate experience but also the postgraduate opportunities. After finishing her degree in Chemical Engineering, a four-year academic All-American and team President, Melissa interviewed for jobs and found that they were forthcoming whenever she mentioned the ski team activities that had formed her leadership. Both Ava and Fitz found that navigating the intricacies of Law School was easier having lived through the sometimes-stressful dynamics of team leadership. Becca, now head of the High Plains USSA Region began her ski leadership as team president. Adam’s (#1) interviewers had trouble wrapping their minds around an undergraduate club that could raise more than $50,000 in a single season. And yet, the socially situated, community-based and environmentally advocating nature of our fundraising had only just begun.
The clock ticks over to 8 am and Ben comes bounding into my office. A Chemical Engineering major and currently one of the students taking my online Biochemistry class, Ben begins to bubble about his research attempting to encase living cells in polyethylene glycol beads. His beads, currently surrounded by surfactant are being difficult to purify and we immerse ourselves in a long conversation about the biochemical principles that might enable him to achieve a purer prep. Stoked with our conclusion, Ben literally bounds out of his chair. Every time I see this bound I am elated for Ben came to us very broken, overtrained and mentally and physically drained. I almost chuckle with this thought for it would be very difficult to convince anyone that Ben had been broken. He leaps out of the office and leaps right back; he seems the very icon of our current team slogan: 365 Stoked!
He says, “By the way, is Kyle here?”.
Kyle, now my advisee for three years and our athlete for more than four - the 2013 Overall USCSA Champion - works in our lab down the hall. His current project focuses on phytoremediation of uranium mine tailings on the reservation near Riverton. Also, currently my Biochemistry teaching assistant, Kyle works forty hours a week, trains 12-20 hours a week and – as outgoing team President - does volunteer work in the surrounding spare moments. I relate that I think he was there and we walk down together to chat. Kyle immediately apologizes for not getting as much biochem grading done as he should have because he was writing a summary of impacts on immune function due to high sugar diets for the ski team blog. Ben bubbles to Kyle about his polymers and asks him if he wants to look at them on the dark field microscope. Ben has already removed the scope and is preparing before Kyle can even say yes. I leave the two who are now engaged in conversation so that I can get back to work. However, as I steal just one more proud glance, for just a moment I believe I see a flash of the colors of Captain America and as Kyle bumbles out from behind his homemade uranium barrier, dropping his awkward paper planner, I am reminded of Clark Kent.
Upon returning to my office, I hear my computer bing. An email from our incoming team President and defending USCSA National Overall Champion, Sierra, announces yet another Trash-2-Treasures pickup. Now our largest fundraiser, this environmental justice project is unique to a Western University and was Sierra’s Brain Child. Like nearly a dozen of our athletes with Environment and Natural Resources Concurrent degrees, Sierra loves the Earth with the strongest type of Agape that I have ever observed. On this day in late July, the team has packed full more than five storage units with furniture and other household items that would have been sent to the landfill. They will clean and re-sell these items locally at prices that even the most resource-limited incoming graduate student can afford.
“Bing”, a second email pops into my inbox. Another email from Sierra asks if I might possibly have any suggestions for characterizing the mychorizzal fungi on which the Yellowstone black squirrels feed. She must be in between her Physics II class and her GCMS runs in the Chem lab. I wonder how she even had time to find a phone booth.
I settle down to answer he email but my eyes are distracted. They settle on the pictures on my door that tell the story of these many years of teaching and coaching. I see Pat, in one picture he is in his brown and gold lycra skiing to a top three finish at Nationals, in another, he is in suite and tie as last year’s Outstanding Graduating Senior for the University of Wyoming! Next to him is Elise; her face is on a Laramie Boomerang article where she is writing about food justice. One might glimpse a view of this superhero through the trees that surround ACRES Student Farm. In her ‘close to the earth’ gardening clothes one might have no idea that last year on the trails of the Enchanted Forest, New Mexico, she skied to the best NCAA Division I finish that one of our athletes has ever had. In fact, she earned USSA points that would nearly enable her to start a World Cup.
Perhaps Christi and I are the luckiest coaches in the World. For last year we were honored to travel with these ‘superhero athletes’ to Trentino, Italy where we raced in the World University Games. With generous support from the University and the Laramie community, our fundraising efforts topped $100,000. This year we have been invited to represent the United States again at the Games in Slovakia. While all of us look forward to this opportunity, I believe that the thing to which we look most forward is the process that will enable us to get there and to be ready to compete. We will run, ski and bike over many mountains together and while we are doing so our ‘sexy minds’ will take us to conversations ranging from the role of mast cells in allergic response, the cofactors of PEP Carboxykinase to the many ways in which we might liberate people and the environment through sport. It is only with your help that Christi and I can continue to nurture this fully holistic, integrated program. Alumni, we miss and love you! Friends and previous supporters, we thank you for your unending assistance.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Epic mountain run in the Tetons!

We had an epic plan on Saturday morning, after a week of fun workouts and working all day we figured we could spend most of one day playing!

There was a loop that we thought we might be able to make up Teton Canyon, it looked to be about 16 miles, and it was calling us!

There were a two known potential problems with said loop. First, we had to bike 7 miles up a dirt road to get to the trailhead, not something that's uber appealing before and after a 16 mile run. Second, although we had three maps that showed a trail connecting the loop one map at the bike shop didn't show the connector.

We figured we would give it a try and if we weren't what we figured was half way time-wise at 2:30 then we would just turn around and come back.

It turned out to be a brilliantly executed plan with really only one hiccup, I forgot the bike locks... A little sketchy to leave two bikes for several hours not locked to anything BUT I broke out a couple binding devices: inner tube, rubber band and zip tie, and connected the bikes in as many random and annoying ways as possible so that if someone wanted to steal them I hoped they would just decide it was just too much trouble. We simply were NOT going to give up on this adventure!

The first 3ish miles were fast and fairly flat, we'd already run them on Wednesday so we knew what was coming. The we started up the Devil's Stairs to the shelf on which we would run a large chunk of of the loop. My knee has been doing amazing but it didn't feel good going up Devils Stairs and we were a little worried we wouldn't make it around the loop. However, at the top, when I wasn't going steep up anymore, it was fine and we started to move again.

Rachel and I agree that this was one of the top three runs we have ever done and it was stunning! We ran for about 3 miles along the shelf, beside snow fields and the whole time with the peaks of the Tetons, including the Grand, so close we could almost touch them!

We made the top of the long shelf right at 2:30 and although we were only 7 miles into the run, with an anticipated 9 to go, we figured it was about half way time-wise, since it was basically downhill all the way back. We were stoked!!!

Rachel stoked at half way!
Snow Algae

Across the top! Can you see Sierra, Nathan, Kyle and Yara on the top of the Grand?

Here I am!
The run down started amazing and fun and then we found a whole new set of uphill, not a ton but another mile, which was kinda annoying until it opened out on a beautiful alpine meadow. So magical to run through it!

Stoked to be headed down!
Then the downhill started in earnest and the next 5 miles were tough. We were both a little tired with legs that were no longer as responsive as we would like and the flies and horseflies were tough! There was no real complaining though because the scenery still couldn't be beat and whenever I got a little tired I would just look up!

Finally we hit where we started the loop and only had 3 miles to go! Yay! This section was the nicest running of the trip and we would have flown down it earlier but now we were kinda at the hobble stage. Still beautiful!

We stopped about a 1/2 mile from the trailhead to sit in the cold river and then fervently hoped our bikes would still be there since we were exhausted, thirsty and hungry and just wanted to go home! Luckily the bikes were there and we road the 7 miles to the house where we had a lovely lunch, shower and nap (Christi)/work (Rachel)

Here is the Sport Tracker of our trip minus the bike back to the house:

It was a magical adventure in a truly mystical place!

Friday, August 01, 2014

More from Alta!

It's be an awesome few days since the last post full of quality work, biking and running adventures, amazing places and fantastic food!

We've done four adventures since the last post and have already racked up almost 15 hours of OD training for the week!

On Tuesday we did a fantastic 40 mile road bike around the Teton Valley. Through Driggs and Victor and back. It was amazingly beautiful with the backdrop of the Tetons the entire trip!
Hot Air Balloons over Driggs
We then came back to the house for an amazing breakfast of eggs and Latkes and then walked the 100 yards to the Alta Library to work for several hours. We did miss our Senior Center crew but the convenience just couldn't be beat!

Wednesday we once again got up early to have an adventure before our work. We road 6.5miles up a dirt road to the trailhead for Teton Canyon where we swapped our helmets for hats and our shoes and started trail running.

WOW! Rachel and I have run on some amazingly beautiful trails but we've never seen one more beautiful! It was like the flowers were trying their best to impress us! It was especially poinent for us because it is my very first trail run since I injured myself in Jackson on the 4th of July. I haven't been able to run at all but I could on this run and I almost cried from the amazingness of being able to run AND the beauty all around us!

Wildflowers and canyon walls!

Rachel overlooking the valley we just ran up.

Gratuitous Selfie

After another amazing brunch featuring Rachel's signature omelettes we were back to work - IN THE HOUSE! The internet was fixed!!!!

Thursday we thought we'd head north to another trailhead, it looked to be just a few miles further of a ride so we didn't worry too much but we soon ran onto one private road after another until we basically had to go all the way to the highway and back up to get to the trailhead. We had also forgotten to pack food so when we finally got to the trailhead, after 1:45 of riding on dirt roads, we decided we'd better just head back or we would bonk hardcore! Although not as epic as the day before it was still an amazingly lovely 30 mile dirt ride and our newly repurposed cross bikes are rocking!!!!

So beautiful!

This morning (Friday) we were starting to get a little tired and we have a truly EPIC day planned for tomorrow so we just road up to Teton Canyon again and ran for about 45 minutes up a different trail and then came home for brunch and work. 
Only 15 minutes up the Trail!

We are planning a trip into Driggs this afternoon to have lunch with Nathan and to get food to make Sarah a birthday dinner!

Come back for tomorrows EPIC Adventure!