Riding in the park on a wet day

A mug of soda pop proudly proclaims that the Frostop Drive-In has been in Ashton since 1965. The root beer hit the spot after a long, wet day of riding. Jerry Painter

On the bike ride back from Old Faithful to West Yellowstone, Mont., we had two choices of positions to ride in, the front or the back. Both had problems.

Setting sights on Idaho’s nine 12ers

A group of scramblers relax on the summit of Diamond Peak, one of Idaho’s 12,000-foot mountains in the Lemhi Range northwest of Idaho Falls. The goal of climbing to the summit of all nine of Idaho’s 12,000 peaks has become a sought after prize for many outdoor enthusiasts. Jerry Painter

It’s been several years since I spent a summer climbing Idaho’s nine 12ers.

Spring has sprung on area activities

Cozeth Sykes, of Idaho Falls, climbs one of the South Park routes Saturday at Wolf Flats near Heise. Sykes said in the summer time she usually climbs in this area at least once every other week. Pat Sutphin / psutphin@postregister.com

Facebook friends are chattering about trips to cycle the nearby national parks, or mountain biking outings in the foothills east of town. It’s a sure sign of spring when friends are lining up hikes and climbing trips for the coming weekends.

Make plans to ride one of the park roads

A pair of dogs take their master on a bike ride along Teton Park Road in Grand Teton National Park during April when the road is closed to vehicles. Jerry Painter

The general theory about eastern Idaho spring weather is that the farther along we go, the fewer bad weather days we’ll have each week until late spring and early summer arrives and we might have one bad day in seven.

Strategies for outside playing in spring

Two climbers compete at the Eastern Idaho Powerhaus Climbing Competition on the “Friends” route which required two climbers to hold hands and finish a route at the top of an overhanging wall. The Saturday competition was held at Regional Rock Gym and sponsored by The Edge Climbing and Fitness gym being built in Idaho Falls.

We’re entering that awkward time of the year with the transitions of seasons. What to do outdoors?

Climbing with the owls at Massacre Rocks

Close up portrait of Great horned owl, Bubo virginianus, looking at camera, isolated on white

My first goal as I walked along the base of the tall basalt cliffs in the area called Massacre Rocks on Saturday was to find a fun rock-climbing route. But my eye was drawn to the owl pellets that littered the grown at the base of one vertical rock wall. There were at least a half-dozen of the sausage-sized pellets scattered on the ground. I pointed them out to my companions.

Finding the good snow

Jerry Painter kicks back during lunch at Ski Lake on the east side of the Teton Range with his dog Sunny. During winter, Ski Lake is basically a flat white area at the base of the mountains. (Photo by Jerry Painter)

When snow gets grungy at lower elevations, go high. The higher you get, the better the snow gets — at least that’s the rule of thumb.

Stricken with a case of wanderlust

Winslow, Ariz., is on the new Route 66 bike route created by the Adventure Cycling Association. The route generally follows the historic decommissioned highway from the Chicago area to Santa Monica, Calif. (Getty Images photo)

So a few days ago I had this itch to get out my alcohol burner pack stove and boil some water.


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