10 March 2016

Stardate 2016.189

It's Right Around The Corner

The Black Pearl and I ventured up Waterton Canyon to the fork of Trail 800 and the Colorado Trail. This was a reconnaissance trip to see how much snow was hanging around. There are a few patches of snow here and there, and this segment of trail was quite ride-able. Many of the numerous trails following the narrow foothill drainages may still be snowbound; I'll test some of them on an upcoming ride.

The following snowbound pic was taken this past 27th of January just beyond the farthest left turn in the road in the above pic. A lot of snow has melted during February and early March. On the other hand, we can receive a lot of snow March into April.

The Colorado Trail technically begins at the mouth of Waterton Canyon. Actual trail riding begins 6.2 miles upstream. Denver Water (they maintain the Waterton access) restrictions also end at this point.

After a short, stiff little climb, the intersection of Trail 800 and the Colorado Trail is reached. This intersection is upper Lenny's Bench. The bench is in memory of a boy scout who lost his life to an accident in the area. I know nothing about the accident. About 520 miles southwest of this photo, the Colorado Trail reaches Durango, Colorado. The bike route takes several detours to avoid a handful of wilderness areas.

Some cycling notes on the Colorado Trail from bikepacking.net:
Distance...530 miles
Climbing...60,000 feet
Singletrack...60% (trail riding)
Record Male...3:20:44 (day, hour, minute)
Record Female...5:05:27

You may be wondering why my bike is in many of my pics. Well, yes, I'm a bit attached to it. But more importantly, it provides visual scale. It affords a reference to trail width, trail roughness, snow depth, or anything else desiring some sort of scale.

The forest understory is starting to green up a bit.

The trail switchbacks up (and down) through a Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) ecosystem.

Below are typical switchbacks encountered along this particular trail.

The above turn in context. The turn looks a bit distant because the photo was shot in wide-angle to capture the whole turn.

Stay tuned for more!


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