It was October in the mountains. Beautiful weather, fresh trails right out the door, both me and my love healthy and riding everywhere.
The light shone on us, showed us that this is the good life.
We’d carved out our own little, beautiful, version of the good life.
Even if we weren’t quite as aware of it, at the time, as we may be now.
Wake up together, move through the day, salads on the back porch. Motivate for a ride. It doesn’t take much to get us out.
Ez, looking like a fish out of water. “Let’s go to Tucson!” Neither of us will be disappointed if this is the last white stuff we encounter this year.
Though on this day, it was kinda fun.
We motivated for the drive to Cottonwood Pass, bound for a trail that has been on my radar a long while. Chad and I did a lot of riding in this area last summer, but failed to reach the holy grail.
It was for various weak reasons that we didn’t make it, but I like that we didn’t make it. I like that geography and geology have kept it hard to reach.
We earned it today, slogging up semi-frozen and semi-slushy Timberline, all the while wondering if we were going to be slip sliding down the holy grail, too.
I’m not quite sure how the grail stayed dry, given its elevation, but it was.
Texas Ridge is unlike any other trail in the Sawatch Range. It uses its elevation wisely, is not open to motos, and does not require death grip braking. If every descent in Vapor Trail were like Texas Ridge, there wouldn’t really be any challenge to it. But I wouldn’t complain either.
I remember a lot of smiling and coasting, all on a carpet of pine needles, gently sidehilling and diving around between the trees.
In a word, it was magic.
Especially to get to ride it with Ez — it’s because of her and Jeny’s ride that I even know about the trail.
We aren’t afraid to drive to rides, even if it isn’t our favorite thing to do. Especially when time is limited in a new place — you gotta get out. But there is nothing like riding from ‘home.’
Mr. Blackwell came by to close out things in Colorado, and of course we were happy to get out and ride some. He’s consolidating and simplifying, no longer owning property in CO. I asked him what he was going to do next summer, without a (much) cooler place to retreat to. His reply, “I don’t need to own a house in Colorado in order to be in Colorado. You’ve taught me that.”
We rolled up Fooses Creek in search of color and a pleasant climb.
Goal 1 – met.
Goal 2 – met!
We turned around when things got soupy, though Lee was rearing for more and a bigger loop. Save it for this winter, Lee! I’m sure we’ll get into some trouble one way or another.
Cottonwood is the goto ride for a solid chunk of climbing and big fun descending.
Though we were forced to turn around by blasting on the dirt road climb, we still found a way to make it happen, even with blankets of rain and hike-a-bikes standing in our way.
It’s more fun when you can feel your hands, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t *fun*.
The next day there wasn’t much discussion about where to ride. Cottonwood again! This time with the upper section.
Upper section was surprisingly full of color, and this time we could (mostly) feel our hands.