so, let's see...
friday night i was blessed with the company of my best pal, jen, and her lovely partner (now fiance), aaron gulley. visiting from santa fe (they are actually native CO folk), we hit DOMO for some chill sake and they delightfully inhaled some of the best tasting eats around.
jen and i have a friendship that has meandered the boundaries of colorado, new mexico, utah, savvvvannah. friends mostly after the high school experience, we've had some truly deep and wonderful adventures together ... our friendship being the best adventure of them all.
more to come on jen and aaron in the future.
for now: friday nights conversation and visit left me with perspective on partners, familial vs. romantic vs. friendship relationships, self-worth, sushi, mountain biking (duhh), weddings (they have just gotten engaged), and last but not least: a thousand cranes. (more on that in the future, too).
saturday morning: packed up the pony and headed out to indian creek. solo, just for a chance to revisit an old haunt. i've always found my version of the indian creek loop to be an enchanting 28 miles and 3k vert of purely enthralling whim. even though it is not a big ride, and it's right-close-by ... i still find it to be a near and dear space for get-away experience. i don't know why this is the case. i like the shadows on this trail. and there are parts of this loop that tickle my fancy like no other. oddly, i think i've only ridden this loop with other people once. it's been a long, long time since i've had the chance and right state of being to visit this old friend of a trail.
saturday's experience did not disappoint. the head-wind up the road was there, just as i had left it last time ;-). the climb up to the bench was a complete delight: having chosen to keep things mellow and keep the HR low for another weekend, there wasn't even a slightly sticky moment getting up the first hill. i didn't bother stopping at the bench, and instead sought to just get to the real climbing. stopped for 1 minute after the first steep ascent to eat something. let one guy pass, and heard a gaggle of other riders approaching. so i saddled back up, passed the guy, and continued the climb and the dance along the ridge line. i love that ridge line. one side peers endlessly west to godknowswhere, and the other drops into a deep dark forest. it's rocky in tricky places. the climbs are all super short power sprints (gives me a good chance to get out of the saddle and sprint), and the down hills always seem to keep me riveted. (i've eaten it here more than once).
dropping to the river (saw two more men stopped for a break), then climbing the meandering undulation up to the campground is always a study in lush, dense foliage. i had endless thoughts that all the lush brush i was plowing through was poison something. so far, so good (no itching). i was surprised that the climb to the campground appeared before me so quickly. passed two very quiet guys on the last climb to the cg.
decided not to stop as i turned onto the trail again. this part has always found me a bit lacking in power. it's sandy (decomposed granit, right?) today was no exception, though it went faster than usual, and it seemed to me that there had been some trail work since i was last here. cresting that one switchback, which signals to me it's time to stand and rip the remaining part of the climb, was just as wide-sweeping and loose and dirty as i had always remembered ... thus launching me into one of my favorite forests, which was blanketed in deep dimensions of piercing light, and soft, cool shadow. the trail was tender and wet and as silent as the night. i felt very lucky in the fresh of mid-morning cool.
topped that, hit the dirt road, passed a few people, and hit the first of the remaining climbs. remarkably, i didn't see a soul for the entire remainder of the trail. which surprises me. the other thing i found interesting is that i know this trail is relatively frequented... and yet parts of it are downright ... rough (as in, doesn't seem to see many riders). no matter to me. i was happy.
i finally got to the treasured descent ... one of my favorite around. it's so twisted and rooted. the ground is soft, black dirt. and the trees are tight. this part of the trail is not too particularly long, though it's not insignificant in length. i found myself thinking that it is very possible that i enjoy this loop for this very section alone. so be it. i've worked harder for less.
the other thing i found myself thinking ... is that i always find myself thinking (on this very loop) about how much i love choosing to ride this set of trails, how much better i feel towards myself for taking myself way out there ... racin' with myself..... for some seemingly absurd reason, i feel a sense of being 'proud of myself' for having gotten to certain points in this forest, on this trail, in these shadows. this is all completely silly in so many ways, and highly self-centered. but something about this ride ... (and i think i may know what--more on that later)... always finds me saying to myself: good job, jeny. you did it. and a clear sense of satisfaction and groundedness envelop me.
i always return from this ride, Well.
too many thoughts for here. and perhaps this is all a little bit too personal for a 'blog' entry. but hey ..... i have a busy mind. but i must admit that i have always laughed out loud riding this trail, playing with these shadows, smiling in that way.
anyway, the rest of the weekend: ed and i had a marvelous sushi date on saturday night, topped off with noir movies til 2 am. rare. and sweet.
sunday was a rest day. i read the first part of INTO THE WILD, and am enjoying the story and the writing. many thoughts here ... to be explored once i'm further into the book. i have conflicting thoughts on this one. ed and i then took ourselves for a little walk. we walked through my home town and i found new sources of inspiration and exploration. we watched a family of ducklings work their way up the river .... we walked around the lake and through the soft late-afternoon light. and for some reason, we were tired. well, ed'd saturday ride wore him out, but i really had no excuse.
sunday night culminated in a bout of laughter i've rarely known and hope to experience more often ... with my new found friendship, my renewed friendship, and in life in general.