Climbing away

We joined up with the inimitable Mr. Mike, midways between Grand Junction and Durango. We commenced the climbing of bicycles.

That led to rapid gain of elevation, as that is the only way to go in the San Juans. The faster to treeline the better.

Selling it, or actual struggling? You decide.

But know that Mike’s 36t super granny was deemed inoperable at the beginning of the ride. With bikepacking gear and a small photo studio on board, why on earth would you need a super granny gear?!

As we climbed, brief discussions of life and more serious matters occasionally popped up, between gasps of air and “OK, I’m going to stop and pass out now.”

And then there was nowhere higher to go (other than the clearly hike-a-bike’d “road” that I couldn’t convince either Ez or Mike to attempt with me).

At the top of the seeming world, we had all left the ‘serious’ and the real/fake (you decide which) things behind, or maybe risen above them.

The hugeness of the world and the insignificance of one’s problems is so obvious from up here.

Maybe that’s one reason why we’re drawn to the mountains, like a greedy bumble bee.

Or maybe it’s just the ridiculous beauty we find there? I cannot explain it, and don’t need to try.

photo by Mike Curiak

Calling upon the light!

Cutest picture ever?

As we dove into never ending seas of flowers, it became even more clear that this is where we were supposed to be. Here. Now.

“Somebody had to be *that* guy… I mean, Pete couldn’t make it.”

photo by Mike Curiak

The sun ray calling, gratuitous snacking, flower laziness and flats proved all to be good timing, as we got a few precious minutes of golden light, between cloud and peak.

And we made the most of it.

Somebody is happy with his exposures.

We were all in a camera happy mode, just one way to celebrate the moment and attempt to capture it in time.

photo by Mike Curiak

Some shots captured the moment in time so well. Big transitions leading to brighter and happy times, together.

photo by Mike Curiak – please see more images and thoughts here

I think we’ve all learned that time spent in these places and in these moments is short and is to be savored. Throwing out the sleeping gear and drifting off to the sound of a rushing creek is one way to attempt to make it all last longer.

In this case, it worked.

In the morning, we assessed the damage to the bikes. So many flowers that I had a passenger.

And Eszter caught a few different colors of flowers.

Mike had a flower or two, on his bike, as well.

It was a most glorious and all-too-fast drop back to the fake world below us. A much needed breath of big and beautiful fresh air.

On the way back, Eszter and I couldn’t resist the chance to sit in the flowers again, and continue the trend of the day (descending!) a little longer. Never miss an opportunity for a hot date with your new love. Goes for the both of us, and also the mountain of our obsession.

A short hitchhike from the bottom and Eszter retrieved the car from the pass we were driving over anyway. Just another of Eszter’s great ideas — she’s full of them.

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