After scratching twice from the AZT and briefly considering a third attempt, my business in Arizona was done. May is still a good month in Tucson, but, it’s on the warm/dry/dusty/pollen side, and the northlands begin to call me. This year more than ever before!
I can’t imagine why…
So I packed up my few belongings, and my lack of furniture paid off big time. Just a couple chill (by moving standards) days and I was out of the lovely house I rented, back into the Sports Van, and out on the road.
A computer, 4 bikes, a few duffles of clothes and camp gear. What else do I really need… for a summer of adventure and love?
I stopped to bivy in the deserts outside Socorro, falling asleep instantly on my air mattress next to the van. Unfortunately someone in a dune buggy of some kind decided to shine bright lights at me for a while, then drove awkwardly off down the road at 4am, putting a dampener on what should have been a good rest.
The front range was soaked/snowed in, and Salida saved me a few hours of driving, so I found my lovely girl waiting by the Arkansas river.
“Let’s ride bikes!”
We rode Cottonwood, my now traditional start to a Colorado summer of riding. Eszter first showed me this trail in 2011, some hours after I arrived in the state. All thanks to the Facebrag, and me not containing my excitement at arriving in Colorado for the summer.
It’s such a good ride. Then and now.
It threatened rain, just like in 2011. We broke out jackets and things, and talked about all that has happened in between two Cottonwood rides. I always knew spending time in Colorado would lead to happiness, but did not understand exactly how. I knew that in the short term riding bikes and being in a new and cooler place for the summer leads to good things. Breaking out of the comfort of a single residence, a single city and a single routine is such a refreshing and rejuvenating way to live. But I also had a sense that Colorado would lead to something even bigger, longer term. I just had no idea what, and could not have predicted the awesomeness a summer in Salida, awesome in and of itself, could start.
Sunday was my B-day, and Eszter put together an intangible present of the best kind. A new ride, a new trail, a guide on a loop I’ve been wanting to see for the last two years.
One full of rocks and tricky moves!
Kep showed us all the lines, and made them look easy on his rigid SS. Many of the moves reminded me of the Granite Dells. Nothing big, all on the ground, but requiring lots of slow speed control and, well, skill!
Everyone was riding well, pushing limits to what seemed to be the perfect amount. Just a little out of the comfort zone, but not too much. Find the flow.
It was so good to see Jeny pushing some limits, riding some very hard lines, and cracking out of her skull. Welcome back, Jj!
Not everything’s going to go, for all of us. We’ve got to go back! Get the lines we missed on the first run.
I love how this shot of Eszter’s looks and feels like I’m going to head plant into the rock in front and below me. It was an extra tricky one to pull out of, and captures the overall feeling of the trail so well.
And then, a very tangible and very tasty present! Not that I needed any presents at all. The distance between us is finally closed for good, and I have a Colorado summer of love and life ahead of me. I am very blessed at the start of this year of my life.