Home on the Front Range
Once again, the Black Pearl and I hit the trail (we do this a lot). The Roxborough Loop Trail was on the day's docket. I had a feeling the majority of snow lingering on the trail probably was gone. March, usually our snowiest month of the year, turned out to be a bust. We'll probably pay for it in April, which is okay, because I still have two ski passes to use up this year.
Gasping up a small, root-bound incline, to the start of the loop, I was overcome by a "follow me" whisper. Spellbinding, eh? Maybe I should become a trail whisperer.
Better yet, Dieter and Wolfgang are quickly getting their early season legs under them. Not only can they ride singletrack, they can style while riding roots.
This loop has a lot of flowy singletrack. It's even a bit mystical in places. As for the forest itself, it was warm; the vegetative under-story was about to shift into high-gear with spring growth. Moreover, I just finished watching the third installment of the Hobbit, and I was letting my mind go wherever it so desired.
The majority of the snow was gone, just a small patch here and there. In the above pic, I was just beginning a 50-foot portage down a steep section of snow, ice and mud. I ran into one other small portage of snow and ice. However, it was actually rideable.
This loop has one very small creek crossing (more of a brook). It was already flowing at its summer level. I've seen this creek crossing at bank full discharge; it can make for an exciting crossing. It's kind of hard to see, but bank full in the above picture would cover about half of my rear wheel, where it sits now; the front wheel would be in the water too.
D and W made it look easy. I think they like to play in the water as much as the snow. This is good for them, as we're expecting two to four inches of snow over the next several days.
It's easy to get turned around a bit in the forest. But, directional hints abound. The Strontia Springs Reservoir dam is at the base of the peak in the background. Most of the trail intersections are marked. Then again, some intersections deeper into the forest aren't.
At the end of the loop, I showed Dieter and Wolfgang a little tidbit I learned in grad school - way back when. If you stick your nose in between the bark of a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) tree, it smells like vanilla. They both were quite impressed. "Something cool to show the girls," they happily declared.