Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Crested Butte

Hannah and I have wanted to explore more of central Colorado for a while now, and we had to opportunity to do that over the 4th of July weekend. The plan was to do some camping, hiking, and mountain biking in Crested Butte It is about a 4 hour drive from hour house and goes through high mountain valleys and steep peaks.

We met Hannah’s folks, Melanie and Stoney, at a camp site just outside of Gunnison right next to the Gunnison River. Melanie and Stoney camped in style in their camper, and Hannah and I slept outside. It’s great to go with someone that has a camper because you can hang out around the table playing games in the evening and when it’s raining, which it did almost every day. Plus it has a full kitchen so you can eat in style. Stoney did all the cooking, so Hannah and I just lounged around. It was great.

The bummer of the trip was that Hannah was sick the whole time, and I think everyone but me caught a bit of what she had. In spite of this, we still had fun and got out for a pretty group ride up by the resort.

Our last afternoon there I got out for an “epic” ride on the Doctors Park trail. I chose this ride because I could start and end at our camp site. The guide book said it started with 7 miles of dirt road, followed by 7 miles of trail and ended with 7 miles of uninterrupted spectacular single track - 14 miles up and 7 miles down.

The climb went up

And up

And up

And up

As I neared the top I was exhausted. My legs were jelly and my lungs were burning, but the views were great and I was having a great time. The trail hits the peak of the mountain and immediately starts descending. 100 yards into the decent the trail makes a sharp right over a log bridge crossing a small creek. The logs were wet and slippery and I hit them going pretty fast. I turned my wheel, but kept going straight. When I hit the other side of the bridge I went over the handle bars and rolled a few times. Luckily the ground was soft so I didn’t get hurt, but my front tire came off my rim. Normally this wouldn’t be that big of a deal but as soon as I got up I was accosted by mosquitoes – the worst mosquitoes I’ve ever encountered, and I’m from Alaska! They were so bad that I couldn’t sit in one place for more than 30 seconds. I had to try and repair my wheel while walking back and forth. To make matters worse I had a few other mechanical challenges, but I was able to sort them out. At one point I thought I was going to have to walk down which would have stunk because the best part of the ride was going down!! Anyway, I got everything fixed and had a great ride down.

All in all, the entire trip was great. We exercised in beautiful country and got away from the daily grid for a bit. We plan to go back this fall to do some more exploring.

And know your moment of ZEN………

I LOVE cows!!

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