04 February 2017

Stardate 2017.096

The 2017 Mountain Bike Year Begins

Ol' man winter has allowed a handful of early rides lately. Despite some brutal cold (see earlier posts), we've had a handful of nice, almost spring-like days. While north aspects remain frozen, south aspects are opening up. Snow is minimal, but the trails all have a shallow icy surface, despite their tame look. The following pic is a view north showing the snow-free southerly aspects of Waterton Canyon, Colorado.

A joint trail here, trail 800 and the Colorado Trail look tame enough. Yet, the trail was deceivably icy.

Ridge tops and their southerly neighbors looked like this.

This corner, and a bit below, was the most slippery segment of the ride.

Certain terrain pockets are small, natural snow catchment-basins, year after year after year.

This is a common preseason turnaround point. This also is the upper Lenny's Bench you've heard me write about. Lenny was a scout who was killed while working on a service project. I think he died in this area, but I'm not entirely sure about that.

That's it for now. We're inch-worming closer and closer to spring and more fun outdoors.


23 January 2017

Stardate 2017.060

Sandstone Dreaming

What can I say? I grew up amongst the stuff. I miss it.

I can feel the rough grit of sandstone on my bare skin. I can feel the gritty, suspended sediment load in the runoff. I can smell the heady scent of wet sand, silt and clay. I can smell the earthy scent of rain and snow wetting the stone. The ultra-fragrant wet sage teases my senses. I can smell the hard-to-penetrate river-lining tamarisk. Fragrant cacti blooms catch my nose. I can feel the cool, wet wind retaining a hint of winter. The high desert spring taunts my soul...

Catching a bit of weather, four major towers from the Fisher Towers group are shown in the following pic. Left to right rise Kingfisher, Echo Tower, Cottontail and the Titan. In short, big leagues climbing on dangerous and difficult mudstones with a colorful climbing history. Look them up.

I've previously posted the following pics along the way in one form or another. Since the Moab mountain bike and hiking season begins a little over a month from now, I thought it all right to have a little tease post of one of my favorite regions. Let's start with the Onion Creek area of Professor Valley. I hope you enjoy the pics.

Amasa Back, Moab, Utah

Behind the Rocks, Moab, Utah

Princess Plume

Horsethief Bench, Loma, Colorado

Big drop onto Horsethief Bench from Mary's Loop, Loma, Colorado

Horsethief Bench, Colorado

Moab, Utah

Behind the Rocks, Utah

Dead Horse Point, Utah area and a sand-trap

Climbers on Ancient Art, Fisher Towers, Utah.

Sunrise on Castleton Tower (far left tower), Utah

Success on Ancient Art's summit

Arches National Park

I hope you enjoyed the show.


17 January 2017

Stardate 2017.047

It is winter, after all.

This is one of Snowcatcher's numerous methods of photographing flakes of ice.

And Now Some More Waterton

Currently, it's snowing cats and dogs. So, I'll share some pics from about a week ago, before the snow returned. Let's start with a patio paw-print from the illusive and domesticated Felis Catus.

The cold and icy narrows portion of the ride is just that, cold and icy.

This is the segment of the narrows that is always shaded.

The CT was too icy and rutted to try riding up.

The day was warming up nicely.

The South Platte River

All I saw today was ice, snow and water — no wildlife.

The ever elusive and now mud-splattered Snowcatcher came along for the day too.

Now I need to wash the bikes. Here are some words to live by; a clean bike is a happy bike.

More to come, I'm just not quite sure when more will be.

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