Monday, July 7, 2008

Aspen Adventures

Sorry for the blog-drought lately but we have been quite busy having the time of our lives. We had to get out there so I'd have something to write about.

We went to Aspen for a few days to visit some good friends last week. It is so gorgeous there you wouldn't believe it. Maybe the price of real estate there will convince you--it costs around 8 million dollars for 0.6 acres of property. No house, just land. And maybe a couple of trees.

Playing tourists in our own backyard. Can you tell its summertime?

Since I am wearing sandals and shorts, it is quite obviously summertime... As I was walking around enjoying the awe-inspiring views, I kept getting snow in my sandals.

Here's a little perspective on the depth of the snow up here. Notice even the graffiti in Colorado is environmentally friendly.

So while in Aspen we had to do some riding. And ride we did. Chuck and I did 3 "epic" rides in 2 days including about 18,000 feet of climbing.

So the term "epic" is an oft abused adjective when referring to mountain bike rides. I, however, am very careful to use this word wisely.

You are probably asking--what in the world made our rides step it up into the "epic" category?

Well, let me tell you.
First of all we were riding with our friends from Michigan, Laura and Craig Webb. They are the first familiar faces we have seen since we've moved to Colorado. Then there was the whitewater rivers we passed, the constant view of the snowy capped mountains, riding at an oxygen deprived altitude of 11,500 feet, and most importantly, the icy mountain streams.
The icy mountain streams were sometimes knee deep and we had to ride right through them because they were flowing over our trail. One of the giant water holes we rode through had a big pile of snow melting right into it. As we rode through and kept knocking snow into the water, it created a nice icy mountain Slurpee. Fun.

Halfway up our trail we found this old miner's cabin from the mid-1800's. Apparently miner's were not especially tall.

I would have to say this is the first time I have encountered an avalanche during a mountain bike ride. It is also the first time I have ridden on snow in June. This would definately qualify our ride as "epic." While I was hiking across I kept getting snow in my mountain bike shoes. Definately not the best day to wear shortie socks, but that's what I get for being vain and trying to avoid the dreaded biker tan lines.

Here's our friend, Laura, hiking her bike accross the wreckage.

So how many flat tires are required to add to the matrix of the "epic" ride? I'm thinking three would be about right. Well, my downhill bombing, self preservation disregarding, adrenaline junkie husband got 5 flats. FIVE. All by himself. Luckily we were riding with enough people and he totally cleaned them out of their spare tube stash.

Together the other six riders on our journey got one flat. I am left to wonder if now there will be a karmic shift and Chuck will win a lifetime supply of free tubes or perhaps have 5 good years with no flats.......

We were lucky enough to end our time in Aspen with a Disco Party. I was very fortunate to obtain a sparkly green disco outfit so I could get completely funky. Or maybe I was just buzzed enough that my fun loving co-party friends convinced me to squeeze into a stretchy green superhero suit from the 70's that just happen to be laying around.

So there you have it. It may have been a long time between blogs, but we were busy being tourists, sucking wind, fixing flats, trying not to bonk, cleaning snow out of our shoes, thawing frozen feet, getting our freak on, drinking beer, and practicing our best disco moves.

I love it here................

Friday, July 4, 2008

Out numbered

Bullwinkel effect

Independence day,
I wake up this morning and look out the window and see 4 deer in the open space across the street. Chewing on some fine Colorado tree bark. A coyote is playing with his breakfast near. The lead buck apparently doesn’t like the company of coyotes and chases the Wiley coyote away.