today's ride. michelle, aj, ed, myself ... a few rocks, a few hills, a bunch of trees and a never-ending sky.
in our 'measly' 22 mile ride, we saw a mountain lion, a buffalo, a snowshoe hare, a mule deer, an elk, a raccoon, and another mountain lion.
it was only 22 miles, but it was a solid and steady 4900'-up worth of effort. the rest was just a rocky kick in the pants that allowed us major whooping 'n hollerin' rights.
aj says his mind breaks this ride into 4 parts. i think that sounds pretty organized, and fairly accurate.
go see the pix. go read the story --- go see ED's PIX!! THEY'RE AWESOME!!!
EDIT: some of ed's marvelous pix are here: http://www.f88me.com/showthread.php?t=3327
damn. what a lovely way to jump-start your body and your heart into Presence. the first climb up was not only lovely, but nice and steep and brought with it exponentially expanding views. the trail was smooth and really just went UP. not much to think about but keeping the wheels spinning instead of slipping .... a few flatter and down-dips allowed for a bit of recovery, and we popped out into a beautiful meadow with a gorgeous cabin. we skirted around the cabin and headed into the woods on what was basically an old 4x, complete with rocks, littered with smooth parts, lined with a thick forest, and capped with a richly blue sky. not a bad start. not at all.
section II found Michelle and i just pleased as bunnies to be on some nice, focus-intensive single track ... finally! rocks were larger, some sunk in for miles ;-) others loose and tricky. we called this section south-saint-vrainey-like. ;-) super luscious, super fun, super BIG smiles. this part didn't suck at all.
section II then did some fun stuff up and down and up and some super succulent down -- complete with switch backs perfect for the mastering. the woods were flying by, as were the meadows and flowers and rocks OHMY! we dropped down into some meadow, and had a long, slow, heat-sedated climb up and up and up.... we rode through a meadow littered with flowers ----- and i think they all cast their sleepy spells on me ;-) section II ended at 'the top' ... of this climb. the top had a big wooden structure ......... the pavilion, i believe it's called...complete with tourists, rangers, and puppies....... we rode around this and continued our exploration up the road a bit ;-)
section III found us all trick-masters and rock mavericks! the trail was up, the trail was down, the trail was flat, the trail was side-to-side, the trail had rocks and rollers hot and yummy! the shade was divine! our grins were HUGE. michelle mastered a line she hadn't yet ------ wonderfully successful and satisfying section, if i do say so ;-) section III also had a WATER pump --- ohyeahhhhhhh with nice COLD water. which was good because i was OUT!
we then had to climb this dirt road. which, as many times as i asked to do it again, no one would entertain the thought..... ;-)
i believe that section III then continued in some wickedly fun and hootin'-scootin' downhill madness! we weren't having ANY fun at all. ;-) this part was so much fun and so flipping fun-fast i think i have misplaced all the picture-type memories already. i'm sure we ended up somewhere, still out there ... a ways ;-)
i'm not exactly sure where aj thinks that section IV starts -- but for me it pretty much started when we re-skirted the cabin and started our final big climb. while i know that all of us were relatively worked from hammering the initial 95% of the climbing for the day ... we all rolled up this lovely straight-shot to heaven rather impressively, if i do say so myself. while tires were spinning, skifting, rolling, popping and otherwise moving round and round -- up and over ... grunts and yipps were exploding into the universe, and i think we all cleared more than we thought. we were mightily proud for ascending to the top in such style and good form ;-) well, i was proud of everyone, anyway.
at the top, the ponies had to rest. and we let them ... though we were all giddy with excitement for the pleasure of the treasure waiting to unfold down the other side of the ridge. and what a grand-slam through the trees and over the rocks and way-over the roots it was ;-) i heard many sounds of pleasure and excitement along the way!! and the ponies were hootin' it up just as much! ed got some absolutely STELLAR shots of michelle mastering the chaos unfolding beneath her wheels..............
section IV also brought with it a super-yummy tricky UP bit near the 'bottom'.... something worth doing over and over again ;-)
and, we climbed the 'sucky mile' (as michelle and aj have named it) to the last top, and we descended madHOT all the way back to the trail head.
and smiles were had by all ... deep ones.
THANK YOU AJ and Michelle --- for playing tour-guides and generally blessing us with your SUPER energy and presence all day long. it was a pleasure on all levels.