Day 15 Thur 20/12. Idaho Falls – Targhee – Salt Lake. 5350 m (44070 total)

Was up fairly late organising the last part of the trip and did NOT feel like getting up when the alarm went off but had another long day ahead. Headed off on Hwy 20 in the dark with the body pretty much on autopilot. Had a vague sense of uneasiness which crystalized after about 10 minutes when I realized that I WAS GOING THE WRONG WAY! Had stayed here 2 nights earlier in the trip, and both departures involved heading out on Hwy 20 – but in different directions, and I’d just repeated the last departure. Doh!

So 20 minutes on and I was back in town and heading off in the right direction. Was treated to the sight of the silhouette of the Tetons in first light, and was clear and sunny for the drive to Driggs, but of course as I approached Targhee the cloud started dropping in again. But as it turned out that was the worst of the weather for the day. By the time I’d scoffed a second breakfast visibility was great and even had great views of the Tetons from the top of the mountain. After a warm up on the groomers tried venturing off piste near Lost Groomers but it was pretty variable – wind and skier packed and bumpy – but sensational soft groomed on Painted Pony. Did a couple of runs in the ever reliable Medicine Bowl – much better – and from then on kept to the groomers which were just about perfect. After an early lunch did several runs down Sitting Bull and Wandering Moose / South Street with a run down Crazy Horse thrown in – great stuff.

Despite being sunny was 10 to 15C below all day, 5 layers on the top half and thick long johns were definitely necessary. Called it quits a bit before 2 and headed off on the second long driving leg in 2 days – another 500 km. Didn’t bode well when I was having trouble staying awake after the first 20 minutes, but thankfully came good after that and another fast drive on I15 saw me back in Salt Lake before 8. The next time I pack up will be when I head home.

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