04 July 2017

Stardate 2017.507


HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!
A Snowcatcher Photo



PLAY'N HOOKY

Ride the Rockies is Snowcatcher's gig! She got me into it — I've done 6 now — and it's something you need to check out if you're a cyclist. I think you'll find yourself wanting more. Sadly, orthopedic conditions sidelined Snowcatcher from this year's ride. However, she did SaG (Support and Gear) and escort me around host communities and lodging, which was nice.

Day 4 of the Tour had been a huge day. It tossed me 84 miles of mountain riding over three passes. Much of the route was above 9,000 feet in elevation. Consequently, Coal Bank Pass (10,640 ft), Molas Pass (10,910 ft), and Red Mountain Pass (11,018 ft) took their toll on my aging legs. I just wanted to enjoy the awesome B&B Snowcatcher secured for us in advance. The following pic is looking south from our B&B toward the Sneffels Range, San Juan Mountains, Colorado. As a side note, I grew up about 1.5 hours to the north of here, and the locale made me a tad homesick.



Day 5 was a short "rest ride" along a scary, high-use roadway (State Highway 550). So we played hooky instead and journeyed to one of our favorite areas — the East, Middle, and West Forks of the Cimarron River. Twelve years ago I proposed to Snowcatcher high in the Middle Fork Basin, and as they say, "the rest is history."

Following are more pics from the area. All three basins were still snowed in. They should open up for access in early July. The Cimarron Forks begin high in the Uncompahgre Wilderness Area. This area initially was called the Big Blue Wilderness, which I liked much better. Uncompahgre, loosely translated, means dirty water. Oh well... Enjoy!

The next pic is from Owl Creek Pass (11,120 ft) and the access road to lower West Fork Cimarron.




Precipice Peak (13,144 ft, rank 529) is framed in the background. My marriage proposal occurred on its backside, high up the Middle Fork of the Cimarron.




Snow temporarily marked the end of the West Fork road. There's still jeep road before reaching a trailhead.




The airy summit of Chimney Rock rises to 11,781 feet.




Numerous volcanic rock formations line the West Fork. The volcanism in this area is often beyond spectacular.




A member of the Lily family — Veratrum tenuipetalum
Also known as False Hellebore, Skunk Cabbage, and Corn Lily; it will average 4 feet in height.




The East Fork Cimarron is on the left, and the Middle Fork is on the right.




I love how dandelions enhance high Montane meadows. Do you?




That's it for a while. Thanks for reading.

Adios
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