16 September 2015


Cool things have happened but while I had a half-written blog post for each floating around in my head, time passed and my thoughts dissipated into the ether. So instead, the past month, fast and dirty:
Beer paired dinner
Pic courtesy of Katie
After our incandescent experience last year, and with everyone's cellar close to overflowing with sexy beers, some of the brewery staff and various significant others decided to have our own beer paired dinner. We each brought a course and several exciting beers to consume in the best possible company. The fact that I can recall each course a month later speaks to the fineness of the meal.

Appetizers were bruschetta with chevre, sage, and balsamic-reduced onions with a rich "triple Tripel", and rare elk backstrap in a summer roll presentation with an herbaceous pale ale. Next was grilled peach, almond, and peppery arugula salad with a piquant selection of wild sours. Then over-the-top potatoes au gratin, the smoky bacon enhanced by a smooth porter on nitro. The main course was short rib sliders on a parsnip puree with extra horseradish, paired with a couple big brassy barleywines. We retired to the garage for a while to play ping-pong, let dinner rest, and drink lighter fare: week-old IPAs from one of the best breweries in the country, some delicate Berliner weisse, some easy-drinking pilsners. Dessert was salted caramel brownies with ice cream and the big guns came out to play: the bourbon barrel-aged quads, barleywines, and porters with their individual boxes and heady backstories. Dinner lasted a languid six hours, and we lined up thirty dead soldiers to photograph; hundreds of dollars worth of beer and a priceless experience.
The folks, doing the only touristy thing I permitted
Pic courtesy of Debs
I had been looking forward to my parents' visit for a very long time and it did not disappoint. As I'd hoped, they drove through Jackson from the airport, and having seen the kitsch shops and faux old-timey wooden sidewalks, did not require me to waddle around all the crowded hotspots with them. Instead of being tourists, they just fell easily into my routine: lots of reading, mountain biking, taking my spoiled little dog on runs, cooking great dinners, hanging out at the pub. We had some uncharacteristically late boozy nights talking about beer and life and real estate. Debbie was every bit the financial advisor/fount of wisdom I needed her to be, and Bill provided running commentary on, you know, everything. They met most of the really important people in my life and came away (I assume) with a much better understanding of why I can't pry myself away from the middle of nowhere Idaho.
Attempting to charge
Pic courtesy of Grand Targhee
Instead of racing Pierre's Hole again, I turned my sights on another Targhee race I knew would be less well-attended and that offered an obscene pay-out. It was a 25 mile XC and a long DH and the combined best placing on the same bike won the overall. I felt pretty good about that. Bill decided to race the XC too, to my delight, and finished strong, an impressive feat on a tough, high-altitude course, on an unfamiliar bike, after an extremely stressful summer. My fields were small and a little short on competition but I did spend the first half of the XC duking it out with a couple ladies. During the DH I had little confidence in a win after my humbling enduro experience but had a clean, fastish run and got to stand on top of the box for both races and the overall.

Teton Region High School MTB team (some of it, anyway)
Pic courtesy of Todd
Last weekend saw the first ever Idaho high school mountain bike race (hosted in Wyoming, ironically). The kids on our team are not only great riders, they're also some of the coolest, friendliest, most positive kids I've ever had the pleasure of hanging out with. We scored a good number of podiums, all from the middle-schoolers and underclassmen, which means the team is only going to get stronger. Almost two hundred kids participated and the atmosphere was full of infectious stoke. I was really happy to be a part of it. 

Now it's forty degrees and raining, with all reports indicating snow on the peaks. I am more than happy to put a great summer to rest and sally forth into winter.