After an incredibly rainy and snowy spring — including several late-May storms — we’ve finally made it to summer, and even had a few of those TOO hot days. (I consider anything above 80-degrees too hot). The entire state is anywhere from 200-700% saturated, and some of the passes have just barely opened to car traffic. One of my favorite things to do is bike up high and see the huge walls of snow. I went a few miles past Rainbow Curve on Trail Ridge Road at the end of May, and it was other-worldly.
We also recently made the trek down to Watershed Ranch, and I biked Independence Pass on the first full day that it was open to Aspen. It’s one of the most beautiful and most fun passes to ride. Mostly a gradual climb for 17 miles, with a slightly steeper final push. The views are just nonstop amazing. This year, because of the tremendous amount of snow, there were several sections of avalanche damage. It makes the power of the snow really clear. Entire sections of forest turned to matchsticks.
One thing I’ve continued to notice about myself — especially when friends and people I follow on Strava and elsewhere post about zones and numbers — is that I don’t care about working out at all. I’ve always thought trainers and treadmills were ridiculous. I’ll bike in 17-degrees and run below zero. I’ll get up at 4am to beat the heat. Because I care a lot about adventure. I want to climb the highest peak. I want to go a little farther and maybe even sometimes a little faster. But damn. I do not care about monitoring my heart rate.
Yesterday I took the new Moots (such an insanely amazing bike) up Old Fall River Road, and down Trail Ridge. I didn’t see a single other person on the road, and thought most of the time about what I would do if I came upon a bear. I sang to myself a lot.
I’ve got some events coming up that I’ve been “training” for, but I think I’m finally ready to admit that I’m more a wake-up-early, grab-a-Clif-bar-and-go kind of person. I’d much rather be the first one at a trailhead, and discover some stunning view, than tow the start line at any race. I like to push myself, but generally, I’d rather do something impressive alone than with a number pinned on my chest. A mountain sunrise always beats a t-shirt and a participant medal.
Get up high, is what I’m saying. Find the snow and the views and the adventure. Maybe think more about sticking your feet in the cold creek at the end of a tough hike, than about those zones on your device.