Be flexible to beat the late-winter blues

Julie Painter skis a trail from West Yellowstone, Mont., into Yellowstone National Park last winter. Because it's still full-on winter in the West Yellowstone area, trails are in decent shape. (Jerry Painter photo)

It seems to hit about this time every year. Late-winter blues. Blame it on the rain, icy slopes, hard-packed trails, limited sun, cabin fever or a grouchy spouse (oh, was it my turn to do the dishes?).

Finding critters near 7N Ranch

Racers cue up at the starting line of the first Moose on the Loose Winter Triathlon held at Harriman State Park on Saturday. The event consisted of a snowshoe leg, fat bike leg and ski leg. (Photo courtesy of Trever Turpin)

The first thing I noticed during Saturday’s cross-country ski at 7N Ranch were deer tracks. The tracks and trails went everywhere.

Outdoorsy folks are easy to please

A nearby blackberry bush adds flavor to breakfast during a Pacific Coast bicycle tour from Eugene, Ore., to San Francisco in 2012. It's easy to please most outdoor folks with a few simple items such as canisters for a stove, a critical map or eating utensils. (Jerry Painter photo)

I’m the most difficult person in the family to buy gifts for, says my middle daughter.

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