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A ride, recently: Escape.

1040 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  radair
July has been hot enough for long enough that getting out of the heat has come to dominate our thoughts. Like it has for a lot of people in the west, no doubt. I most often achieve this by simple immersion into a river -- for minutes or hours as needed. But sometimes going up instead of down is de rigueur.

We pointed our fingers at Jeny's ever-lengthening list of to-do's and chose another hard but not too hard loop. I simply don't care to suffer on the bike anymore, and so my hope with this one -- given the dire warnings of its difficulty -- were that I could persist with a mellow pace and a lot of patience.

We started so early that the initial creekside stretch was chilly enough to produce goosebumps. Later we crossed arid slopes that led to verdant meadows and rolling hillsides of sage. It all felt very familiar -- as evidenced by our constantly calling out the Colorado and Utah trails it reminded us of.

The gradient increased at an increasing rate, requiring massive anaerobic capacity, or frequent rest breaks, or good old fashioned walking. I wilted in the last quarter mile to the high point while watching Jeny clean most of it.

Positively nothing made me happier than to leave a small pile of mortally wounded biting flies on the ground at each rest break, spinning tight rights in their death throes. Savages.

Hours of effort led to an enlightening view, then shortly to a crystal clear headwaters stream from which to fill bottles and immerse heads. And then, attitudes adjusted, to savor where we were -- and were not.

Then: An hour of descending on variable and varying surfaces. Chunky, rocky, rooty, off-camber, bench cut, bomb craters from moto's, pockmarks from horses, all of it ground into baby powder from the collective lot of us. I was most grateful that Jeny had plotted the gradient and discerned a definitive direction for the loop. Had we reversed it we'd have pushed our bikes for the better part of the climb.

Among other positive attributes, the loop finished at moving water, where we rinsed the dust from skin and teeth, not stepping out of the river until the chill pervaded enough that we were ready to step back into some heat.

Thanks for checkin' in.​
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Just checking in

Seeing if this sticks
Great pics, love that loop!
How did you kill the flies? I have to know. Biting flies are my nemesis. No amount of Deet will deter them.
How did you kill the flies? I have to know. Biting flies are my nemesis. No amount of Deet will deter them.
Space lasers.
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Stunning, as always. Looks damn dry & dusty too.

Thanks, Mike. I hope you're in a good place relative to all the burning out there.
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