Winter is a month old, but it feels like I am just getting started.
Im a four-season fun hog, and I look forward to all seasons because each brings me something cool to do.
But Ive been a little off kilter lately. Here it is mid-January, and Ive made a grand total of one run down Bogus Basin, and that was to shoot photos on opening day.
Winter is all about skiing and snowboarding, right?
Some snowmobilers may differ, but at least for me, thats usually my main winter sport.
But its been an odd winter, and fall was a little strange, too.
After my big game hunting ends in October, I usually turn my attention to steelhead fishing and duck hunting before snowboarding season starts.
I hunted ducks, but not a single steelhead trip during the fall. I cant explain it. Its not like I swore off steelhead fishing, it just didnt happened.
My mountain biking usually tapers down to an occasional ride in November and December, but I logged about 150 miles mountain biking in the Foothills during those months.
Part of the reason for that is the fitness goals that I wrote about a couple months ago. I wont bore you with the details, but I will say if your New Years resolution was to get in shape, stick with it. You will feel better. I know I do.
But here it is mid-January and Ive barely used my snowboard. Im having a weird winter of postponing my usual winter sports, which is why I was still mountain biking in December.
Conditions had something to do with my lack of boarding. Doing yo-yo runs on icy groomers bores me, and I know my bad habits. I will head off groomed and crunch a rock, and I dont want to be a bitter boarder. But now conditions have improved.
Ive also done a couple work road trips to the tubing hill in Garden Valley and to Horsethief Reservoir to shoot photos for ice fishing. I try to get on the ice at least once a winter, whether shooting photos or fishing. Its just a lot of fun, and if you havent tried it, I encourage you to give it a go.
I guess its not unusual to get pulled in different directions during winter, which is part of the beauty of living in Idaho. You actually have those options, but they lead to some strange choices.
Duck hunting on the Snake River or snowshoeing in the mountains?
Steelhead fishing in Riggins or ice fishing in Cascade?
Mountain biking in the Owyhees or snowboarding at Bogus or another ski area?
I could go on, and I will. Its just of matter of deciding which direction to go.
Speaking of strange, or not so strange, really quite cool, Grand Targhee is hosting a snow bike race Jan. 19. Riders will ride fat bikes on the groomed Nordic trails and race distances from 15 to 45 kilometers.
If you havent seen a fat bike, theyre mountain bikes with balloon tires run at low tire pressures that are designed to ride on snow and sand.
Targhee says it is the first resort to embrace and endorse fat bikes on its Nordic trail system. They have six of them to rent.
Very cool, and very forward looking. I would love to see something similar at one of our area ski resorts.
Roger Phillips: 377-6215, Twitter: @rogeroutdoors
Statesman outdoor writers Pete Zimowsky and Roger Phillips alternate columns each week.