Kenosha Adventures - Day 2

Okay, so this was technically day three, but... Nick went exploring and I did a long run on Thursday, so it really didn't count.

Friday was long ride day. The plan was to head north on the CT and top out at Georgia Pass. Again, this was a new trail for me and Nick warned me it would be a long day with lots of climbing. Because we were riding long and heading up into the higher altitudes, we were both wearing our back packs. I had rain coat, arm warmers, knee warmers, spare shirt and wind vest, as well as hat and warmer gloves. Nick had the same, but also some first aid stuff, spare parts and more water. We were hoping not to need any of it, so we left early under a cloudless azure sky. (Nick had left late for his ride on Thursday and was rained, hailed and sleeted on most of the day.)

Right out of camp, the climbing began. The trail was wide and filled with roots and Nick told me about the mini waterfalls he'd seen on that section of trail during his CT trip last year. It had been a while since I'd used the 70 oz bladder in my backpack and I was feeling pretty sluggish when we started out. That and it was steady, non stop climbing for the first 30 minutes. But it was a fun trail - ranging from narrow single track amid aspens and columbines to wide stretches littered with rocks and roots from the pine trees. We saw a few hikers on that initial climb, then the trail turned downhill for a while. It was a fun downhill, tempered by the fact we would have to climb back up it at the end of the day!

Then it was time for the real climb to start. I settled in behind Nick's wheel, watching the lines he took between the roots and rocks. The pace was steady and we climbed through the trees, catching glimpses of the snow covered mountains to our west. The trees around us started thinning, then snow banks began appearing all around and even in the trail. Run-off from the melting snow turned the trail into a small river in a few places. Despite the growing size of the drifts, we kept going. And then, with Georgia Pass in view the trail vanished beneath the snow. We tried detouring around the giant drift to no avail. The road was blocked unless we wanted to get snowy. So much for reaching Georgia Pass! Time for a snack and some photos.

The snow back that halted further up hill progress!

Georgia Pass in the distance - with more snow!

Starting the descent from Georgia, surrounded by mountains and snow
The climb that had taken over an hour only lasted 30 minutes on the descent. Still, a long time to be going down and my hands and wrists were sore from all the braking. It was a fun but bumpy ride down to Jefferson Creek. From there, Nick decided it was time to explore a little more. So we rode up to Jefferson Lake, a beast of a climb on both black top and dirt roads. It was a great view at the lake and there were plenty of people out enjoying Colorado - fishing and boating. Then back down to the CT we went. There was a little more rolling trail before the climb back up to Kenosha. Nick warned me that the climb was longer then it looked and he was right. What had been a welcome break before was now an unending slog uphill. I did get to show off for one hiker - he saw us coming (slowly) and stepped off the trail. As we passed, he exhorted "Wheelie - Wheelie!" Nick was up the trail, so I did my best to oblige. It was small but passable as a wheelie - I was starting to get tired- but the hiker was happy.
Jefferson Lake, north of 285 - only an hour of riding left!

Looking down on the Colorado Trail as we neared the top of the last climb
Finally at the top of the last climb of the day, with one last fun down hill between us and the Turtle. All the roots I'd dealt with on the climb up became launch pads for some fun on the way down. I was actually keeping up with Nick on the descents! We rolled into camp about five hours after we'd left, a little muddy and rather tired. One of these days, I will make it to the top of Georgia - just not though the eight foot snow banks!

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