Culmination

A year is a long time to be working towards a goal - espcially when there’s so many individual milestones to be met along the way. In 2018, ...

Oct 31, 2013

Drive Time

Now I remember why Nick insisted we couldn't do 25 Hours of Frog Hollow  before. Winter weather can be so finicky in Colorado and the Turtle wouldn't manage. We left COS after work, knowing the I70 corridor was already getting hit hard with snow. But we headed south to avoid the Denver mess. Only to find our own snow. Monarch Pass was slick and icy in spots - the kind of traction the Turtle wouldn't handle well. Fresh snow dusted the trees, a white layer of icing the dark tree. There was a thin layer of fog hugging the ground as we approached the top of the pass. Slow and delicate driving. The van handled it well and we had no issues. After Gunnison we hit more snow. The narrow, winding road between Blue Mesa and Cerro Summit narrowed into the fog and snow. The trees, covered in frosting of snow, gleamed in the headlights of the van. Black ice covered the road, blending with the pavement. The fog was thicker here, nearly obscuring the rain. Slow driving but just fine in the van. Not fine if we'd been in the Turtle.


But once we got out of Colorado, it was time for the boring part. Utah. The clouds meant for a cool morning and a soft sunrise. Very light pinks and golds tinged the clouds as the sun climbed above the thick layer. No brilliant purples or oranges, just grays and light blues. Clean whites brushed the edges of the clouds. Far in the distance, where the sun already illuminated the stark rocks, the terrain glowed red and yellow. But the best of the color was gone. We would be left with the flatness of the fall harshness of the November for the rest of the drive.

Nick taking a break from the driving with La Salles in the background

Oct 29, 2013

Time for an adventure

Last year it was 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest for our adventure race. This year? A race I've wanted to do since it started - 25 Hours of Frog Hollow. I'm not sure why, but even before I really got into mountain biking it just sounded like fun. And silly - timing a race over Daylight Saving so we have to ride the 2:00 am lap over again. I didn't know how they did it, but it just sounded cool. Never worked out for us to get there. At first it was because of Silverman - not too smart to do a 25 hour race before an iron distance triathlon! Then it was the travel that was the limiter. The Turtle wouldn't make it over the mountains on a good day, let alone in winter. So the race stayed on the radar and the wish list. Finally - this year we decided it was time. With the van being a little faster and more mobile then the Turtle, we could actually make it. So off to Hurricane, UT!

This should be a super fun trip and an awesome race. New trails I've heard so much about, a great atmosphere at the race and getting the hang out with the 24 hour crowd. That's the best part - seeing the Back of the Pack gang, swapping stories with fellow crazies before and after the race. This trip we have everything organized and figured out with the van. Enchanted Forest and Sage were still learning curve races after the untimely death of the Turtle, but I think we are good now. There's still a few things to learn to make van tripping easy and fast, but we're doing good. Nick and I are going to take this event as seriously as the others, but also with one eye on the potential fun after the race. After all, it's not just about the finish line and the winners circle - it's about the fun of getting to the finish line and returning home. If we end up on the podium, even better. But how can we waste a trip thru Fruita and Moab? Not gonna happen. So adventures are the plan and we're gonna make the most of the chance. Who knows what's gonna happen along the way? Not me! But I'm looking forward to it...

Oct 24, 2013

Sunrise Shadows

It was actually a treat to do my workout this morning. I was originally planning on doing the intervals then meeting the crew for a fun night ride. But my work schedule is crazy this week and I had family conference late. I wasn't sure I'd have enough time for it all before the night ride started. So I got every thing ready last night for a predawn pedal. Lights for my helmet and bars - Exposure Diablo on my helmet and the Toro on my bars. Light wouldn't be the limiting factor as to how early I could leave! It would be the temperature. I've been running in the morning and it's been chilly. So I laid out my warm clothes - wool base layer, long sleeved jersey and Gore jacket   My "winter" gloves, wool Swiftwick socks, leg warmers and booties. Enough to tackle the 25° chill. I was ready to go - my own private sunrise lap before work! It was still night dark when I left the house, the stars glinting in the navy sky. The moon was bright, but only half a circle shone down. There was no hint of the sun yet on the eastern horizon. Crisp and chilly air filled my lungs as I pedaled up the back way into Stratton. I was alone on the road and the trail - my lights filling the empty track, glittering against the frost on the bushes. And it was empty - at least until I got to Stratton. On the climb up from the high school, I startled a herd of deer. They weren't expecting company that early! I meandered across Stratton towards the reservoir road, watching the faint glow from the east. There weren't any clouds to provide for a spectacular sunrise, but the colors were still refreshing. The inky darkness of night faded away to pale blue streaked with pinks and oranges. My shadow was tinged with gold and mauve against the scrub oak along the road. A sunrise shadow - surprisingly different from the sunset shadows we are used to. On the road, doing my workout and the early morning dog walkers didn't know what to do about me. I don't think they have seen someone out riding at that time before! Didn't help that I had my lights on for the first hour of the ride - blindingly bright. I tried not to look at anyone, but it's hard when all the dog walkers want to say good morning and such! I'd taken off my Gore jacket for the workout, but the chill quickly seeped through my jersey once I'd stopped. I'd dressed perfectly for hard work, but needed the jacket for easy pedaling. The sun provided welcome light, but had not yet cut through the cold. That would come later. I finished my ride, returning home as the world started waking up. Tired but awake. I'd been dreading the early ride - not sure why since I love my early runs - but now I'm happy I braved the cold. It was a different world in Stratton for the sunrise - quiet and peaceful. It was also a good mental wake up. I'm a 24 hour racer. I have everything I need to ride whenever I want, regardless of time. And I proved that this morning, chasing my shadow with the rising sun. 

Oct 22, 2013

Goals

Motivational quotes extort us that "a goal without action is only a wish - take action!" It sounds so simple - once you have a goal in mind, all you have to do to reach it is work hard. In reality, it is anything but simple. How hard you willing to work to achieve a goal? Are you going to head out in all conditions - cold, rain, snow and darkness to put forth the effort needed? What intermediate steps will need to be planned out to reach that ultimate goal? The planning alone can make long term seem unreachable. How long will you wait and work towards your goals? What sacrifices need to be made and which ones will you actually make? Going to bed early, getting up early, declining some social events. Are the long term goals worth all that? All good questions and ones the must be pondered when setting goals. It's no good to reach for lofty goals without the willingness and desire to work for them. That's just setting up for failure. The experts also have all kinda of grids and formulas for setting goals. Make them measurable, they say. Include objective data that can be directly assessed. A specific place in a race isn't really measurable because of the differences in competitors showing up. Some days the fast people come out to play - other days its just like a local group ride. So if that's out as a measurable goal, maybe time? Something lime I want to ride this event in such and such a time. Getting closer but still hard to quantify. Time can be effected by all kinds of variables outside our control. Wind, heat, rain - all can make reaching goal times difficult. I've learned that the hard way and had what I thought were easily reached goals flit away because of circumstances out if my control. I should know how to write good goals - I do it everyday for a living. But those are for others. It becomes a little more personal when it's my dreams on the line...

As the year draws closer to an end and the season wraps up - one more race! Hard to believe it's almost over! I think about what I want to accomplish in the next season. But its more then just setting race goals and all that. Its also looking at all those questions and trying to be realistic about what I am willing to do. And what I am willing to ask Nick to do for me and with me. After all, in a partnership one person's goals can't overwhelm the joint goals. I also have to honestly consider all the sacrifices my goals will require and if I am willing to commit. If I'm not willing to commit, then the goals will need to be revised. It's a lot of work - setting and committing to goals that will take months - and possibility years to achive. It's part of the journey and also the challenge.

Oct 18, 2013

Playing with numbers

Time for some geeking out about numbers. Thanks to Nick, I've had a power meter on my Fate for 10 months. I've been riding that bike consistantly for workouts, gathering data and numbers. I haven't been the best about learning what it all means - still trying and working on that part. It's also harder to monitor power on the mountain bike since a lot of that is terrain dictated. If I don't spike the effort, I'm not getting through the rock garden, no matter how easy the ride is supposed to be. But that's besides the point. The real fun - and benefit of the power meter is the ability to compare workouts, analyze the numbers and see quantifiable proof of improvement. I can take my fate to the same trail, or the same stretch road and do the same workout as a few months ago. Instead of going "well, that was hard. I must be getting stronger." I can download the workout files and compare side to side. Did I really work harder or was it something else? I'm also able to take into account all the differnt variables - weather, other workouts, general fatigue thru comments. But it's the numbers that matter - all the numbers. And right now, I like what I see. It sometimes needs a little interpretation for me, but looking at the big picture I'm happy. Same workouts as before and I'm willing to dig deeper and push to the edge. Longer sets with additional work and I'm handling it well while putting up some good numbers. Add in the improved bike handling and technical skill and I'm very excited. More rides on the big bike, more consistent workouts with power, and more fun. It's all coming together and I'm looking forward to really testing my limits next year. 

Oct 14, 2013

First Bruises!

Well, got that out of the way! It's a fact of life when riding a new bike - there will be plenty of firsts. The one I always want to get over with is the first major crash - the first bruise inducing wipe out. It's bound to happen sooner or later, but until it does, there's that fear. Of falling, of dinging or scratching the new bike. My bruises heal, but a scratch in the pristine black frame? Yikes! I know it's inevitable, I've already whacked the crank arms and the bash guard - yay bash guards! But until Sunday, I'd managed to keep the rubber side down. The good news is, now that I've gotten my first bruises out of the way, I can relax and have fun on my bike!  

And I can't think of a better place then Monument. Every time we go there, I get to ride something new. When Jon joins us, it's even better. He's the local trail guru and master planner, so he knows all the secrets. Sunday was no exception. We did something completely different and had a great time. After a short meander from the Work Center to Palmer  Lake, we started climbing. And kept climbing for the next hour. It was only about four miles of double track, but steep, steep and steeper. Lots of practice with crisscrossing ruts and body posture on the bike. Every time I thought we reached the top, the road turned and headed higher into the mountains. Between the blue skies, green pines and gold aspens, it was plenty to distract from the elevations we were climbing towards. Finally, we reached the top and it was time for some fun. First up, a rock feature worthy of playing on - everyone took a turn and Nick did the big line. Wasn't pretty since a aspen wanted a hug, but he made. I had camera duty, so only took one try on the rocks. Then the real descent started - an narrowly benched, tightly switch-backed line of fun. Lots of rocks and big lines. I was using all of my suspension and throwing the big wheels around. It was prefect. The bike was made for that kind of fun! I was making more then I thought I would and pretty confident on my Stumpy.
Nick on the big line - better watch out for that aspen tree!


"Did you see that?" I nearly took that aspen out!


One more steep climb, dodging the ricochets from the idiots shooting off Mt Herman rd. Yes, not only were we subjected to the noise and mess, but the distinctive bazing-swish of a flying bullet way to close. There was no stopping until we reached the road. Only then could we stop and regroup. Stupid trail. More fun than it sounds and I was doing good. Maybe I could prolong the first bruises for a little longer - that's what I was thinking. Then it happened. I came into a rock garden a little too slowly, grabbed too much front brake and toppled right over. Onto a big, hard rock! Shoulder and hip definitely took that hit hard! Oh well - had to happen some time. Then we finished out the rest of Stupid - I actually rode more of it then I thought I would. Some of those rocks are pretty scary (for me!) We finished the ride out on HotShots and returned to the van all grins. 

Oct 11, 2013

Transitions

It's kinda funny. Back in 2006, I was doing lots of road tris and wanted a real Tri bike. Finally got one - the Cervelo P3C. And I loved that bike. It was my little rocket ship - quick, responsive and oh so fast. It was also one of the only bikes I got to test ride, which was one of the reasons I fell in love with it. I was focused on road tris at that time and did most of my riding on that bike. Then things started shifting. I began transitioning away from the road tris and more into mountain biking and Xterras. I started riding my Cervelo less and less, turning towards the other bikes in my fleet. I was also doing fewer road tris and more other events. 2008 was the last big year of road tris, with three 70.3 races and three 104.6 races. In 2009 I did only two road tris, spending most of my racing time on fat tires. In 2010, it was only one race. And 2011, the Cervelo wasn't even taken off the rack for racing. All of my events were on the mountain bike. After another year of seeing no use, I decided it was time to sell the Cervelo - let someone else get the pleasure of feeling it's speed and responsiveness to each pedal stroke. I wasn't very pushy about selling it - was still on the fence about maybe doing another road race. But I have a good road bike and if I really wanted to race a road Tri, clip on aerobars aren't that expensive. Still, no takers on the little rocket ship. It took some help, but finally, we ended up selling the Cervelo. Hopefully the new owner will love that bike as much as I did.

The funniest part of this story is the timing. At the same time the Cervelo was finally getting sold, I was test riding my new love. My Stumpjumper. The two bikes are as far apart as possible. The Cervelo was made for riding fast on smooth, straight roads. And it did just that. But I'm not looking for those smooth, straight roads anymore. Now, I'm looking for the terrain the Stumpjumper favors. Nothing smooth here - single track climbs, fast descents. Trails meandering around and through rock gardens. Tight switchbacks both up and down. Rock drops, tricky lines and all around fun. The second bike I've gotten to test ride, just as I was selling my first. I've found where my heart is - and while the road might be good for training, the trails are calling. And I've got the right bike for whatever is thrown at me. A bike that climbs any trail I can physically handle, then fly down the other side. 

Oct 8, 2013

Lost

I used to roll my eyes at Nick when I worked down in Pueblo, thinking he was being silly. Why? Well, I would ride my bike at Lake Pueblo after work all the time. I was riding alone, on trails I knew and on the easier trails. My rides were usually pretty short - between 60 - 90 minutes. Sometimes I'd run as well, or just run depending on what my workout plans were. But it didn't matter what I was doing. Nick always wanted to know when I left the car, where I was going and how long I was planning on riding or running. And when he wanted to know where, he literally meant all the trails I was thinking about running. Such as - out duke, up rodeo, down rattlesnake, up skull canyon, roller coaster to Stonehenge, up rock canyon... Etc, etc. He wanted a text when I left the car and a text when I got back. Wow. Super detailed for such a short ride. And nothing ever happened. I stuck to my routes (mostly) and behaved. I hardly ever saw another person out on the trails, which made the rides even nicer. Even when I stopped working in Pueblo and was riding in Colorado Springs, he still wanted all the details. And if I was riding with someone, same story - who, where and when. I thought he was just being over protective - I'd never carried a phone with me running or told anyone where or when I was going. And now, well he got annoyed if I didn't check in during my rides. In Nick's defense, he would give me the same kinda information. Maybe not as detailed, but he also carried a spot tracker with him on the long solo adventures. I worried about him, but knew he had everything he would need. But now, I realize why Nick was so over protective and wanted such detail. Especially when I ride alone. 

As my own rides got longer and further afield (or just multiple loops up and down the same trails) I started carrying more stuff with me. Hardly ever a map - but I usually didn't venture to far off the beaten path. But I had a jacket, hat, warm gloves and knee warmers. If it was a really big day I'd also throw a long sleeved jersey in my pack as well. Usually over kill, but carrying all the extra weight was fine. Good training! I also always seemed to have twice as much food as I needed and an extra water bottle. It also seems that Nick and I have some what of a reputation about our over stuffed packs - and Nick is far worse then me. He's got spare parts, a first aid kit, plus water treatment stuff and a whole lot of clothes. With water, his pack weighs well over 25 pounds. And I still can't keep up! But generally, we both have a lot of shit in our packs when we head off for adventures. I've debated what I really need many times before, but now will leave all the extra layers, food and water bottles stashed. 

Why has my feeling about checking in and carrying so much stuff changed? The feeling of knowing a friend is lost - out of reach and out of touch is scary. There's nothing I could do, but hope for the best. When I woke up Monday Sept 30, I wanted to get a blog post about my new bike posted. It had been my first ride owning the bike and Alicia and I had ridden Palmer/section 16 together on Thursday and had a blast. What do I see on Facebook as I'm posting my story? A cry for help from Alicia's husband Jesse. She had gone riding Sunday and hasn't yet returned. Over night, alone in the mountains. What had happened that had prevented her from getting home? Injured, lost, or worse? As the day dragged on without news, it became harder and harder to see a happy ending. Finally, the SAR team allowed the mountain bike posse to help and I dropped Nick off at the bottom of Old Stage. He and about 20 other riders would help by clearing trails where she could have ridden. SAR didn't let them near the main search area in Emerald Valley, but they were able to rule out other areas. Nick and I are both realists - it was over 24 hours since she'd gone missing and still no sign. A positive outcome was looking less and less likely as the sunset approached. Then finally - the long awaited tweet from EPCSAR - found and preparing med evac. Amazing - over 30 hours lost and no "major" injuries. A testament to her physical and mental toughness. Alicia's full story can be read here and here - it's a good introspective look at a happy ending from a very bad scenario.

Her story got me thinking a little. All the eye rolls and shrugs when Nick wanted all the info of where, when and how long. It would have been really easy for me to crash hard in one of the canyons down in Pueblo. And without giving Nick all the info he wanted, he would have had no clue as to where I might have been. Our overstuffed backpacks have become the joke of the cycling community, but I've needed all those warm clothes when sudden storms blew in and sent snow, rain and temperatures plummeting. Things can happen any day when up in the mountains. It doesn't matter who you are - male or female, hiker, runner or biker. Accidents can be around the corner waiting. Instead of avoiding the risks, we should embrace the knowledge that will help minimize them. To say that a solo woman shouldn't be up enjoying our Colorado playground isn't learning from this story. It's waxing over the risks and focusing on a tiny factor that is really meaningless. Saying we need to remember to let someone know where we are going is taking the lessons and applying them. Focusing on how easy it is to get disoriented in a strange place ignores the fact map reading is harder then it looks, and is becoming a lost skill. Taking the steps to become good at reading maps, topography, etc is learning from this story. Another lesson we can all learn is familar to the Boy Scouts - be prepared. I race, but not every ride is a race. If it's not a race, I'm carrying that overstuffed pack if it's a long day - or if I think it's going to be a long ride. Spare parts, extra food, some clothes. It might not be me that needs it one day. We all need to respect our mountains and take the steps to enjoy them responsibly. Happy endings are awesome - but they don't always happen. 

Oct 7, 2013

Brown's Creek Waterfalls

After a sluggish ride Saturday, it was time to rethink our plans for Sunday. We both wanted to ride, but I knew I wasn't up for a long day on the bike. So we did some driving, checking some things out and then settled on a short loop in the same area we'd ridden on Saturday. On the map it was the Wagon Loop Trail, Colorado Trail and Brown's Creek Trails. A very short loop, but with some steady climbing. It also happened to be a very heavily horsed trail - the sand and divots were very difficult to ride in. The climb wouldn't have been too bad if it hadn't been as loose and sandy as it was. But it was good practice for me to keep my weight low and for the even power needed to get up the rocky and sandy steep climbs. Once on the CT, it was a little easier - I was more comfortable with the trail and knew where to look for the tricky parts. We reached one of the trail junctions, where the Brown's Creek trail joined the CT for a while. The sign said Brown's Creek Falls - 1.5 miles. Nick asked if I wanted to check them out. Of course! Always up for a side trip to see waterfalls!
Another perfect day for a ride!
That was one of the best parts of the ride - a really fun trail, three water crossing and a much larger waterfall then I was expecting. The water crossings were a little sketchy - the first one was just four logs nailed together. I waited for Nick to cross, then carefully wheeled my bike across the deep creek. The second creek crossing was deceiving. The trail seemed to go straight through, with no bridge. Nick evaluated the creek and plowed right through - soaking his feet in the process. I hesitated. My bike is so much smaller, I knew I wouldn't have a chance to get through with dry feet. And then I saw the bridge. Hidden around the bend, with a faint path leading to it. Ah Ha! Nick took the horse path, I opted for the hiker route. And my feet stayed dry. The third creek crossing was the worst - the bridge had fallen in and it took us a few minutes to carefully pick our route over the remaining logs. Then finally, we were at the waterfalls. And like I said, much bigger then I had anticipated. Usually the falls are tiny little trickles - not this time. It was definitely worth the ride up to see.
Nick on the third creek crossing - picking his way across the logs

Brown's Creek falls - well worth the ride to!
Nick playing photographer as I take his picture

Then time to retrace our steps and tire tracks back across the creek and to the Colorado Trail. It was a fun little descent - some rocky sections, some fast sweeping trail through the aspens, and of course the sand box from the horses. Back on the CT for a short little bit, then the left turn to finish the loop. The map said "Very Rocky!!" and it was. Very Rocky - like riding through a creek bottom without the creek! I was bouncing around all over the place and so happy to be on my Stumpjumper instead of the Era. I was using all of my suspension and the rocks weren't all that big either! It was the best ride for the day - a nice short little loop that we both wanted to do - but would never want to just ride that at any other time.
Ending with a nice fall photo...

Oct 6, 2013

Quiet Colorado Trail

Waking up to a pretty sunrise
With Kenosha ruled out, we opted to head to BV and do some more vapor scouting with the ride. There was fresh snow, biting wind and cold temperatures that morning, so whatever we did, it would have to stay low. No high alpine trails today. That left the Colorado Trail. The second segment of the VT125 is on the CT from Blanks Cabin to the Narrow Gauge trail. We'd ridden part of that the last time we were out there, so now was the chance to ride the rest of it. We parked at Raspberry Gulch and quickly got organized to ride. The wind has just died down and it was surprisingly comfortable in the trees.

On the CT - Fall is in the air and the Aspens!

Another shot of the CT and the aspens
Ugh - this hill is steep and you're making me ride it!
We headed south on the CT and it was quickly evident that I was tired. Very tired. I was sluggish on the gradual climbs and struggling on the steep and rocky sections. And it seemed like we did nothing but climbing for the first hour. Everything from gradual false flats to straight up and filled with rocks. I had to dig deep and focus on my pedaling to make it through some of it. It didn't help that the trail had been chewed up by horses - normally tight and smooth single track was more like a sandbox, with hoof sized divots further messing things up. It's hard to ride or hike with trail conditions like that. Once we got past the main horse trails, the conditions improved. My spunk did not, however. I was still struggling and not able to accelerate after cresting the hills. It wasn't until we turned around at Blanks Cabin that I started feeling better. I think it helped that we were mostly going downhill back to the van! I rode more of the steep rocky sections then I thought I would and used all of the suspension on my Stumpjumper. 

And I thought the other hill was steep! Ouch!

What goes up....
Must come down! Made it!
But the scenery was enough to take my mind off the fatigue. It was a perfect day for a ride, albeit a slow one by our standards. Nick had plenty of time to stop and take pictures for me - even if he threatened to make a few of them of me walking. We didn't get the full time I was supposed to ride, but when we got back to the van I was done. I didn't feel like riding anymore. Besides, we'd accomplished what we needed to - some more info for the VT125 and had a good hard ride. And it was quiet. No one else on the trails except for us - such a pleasant change from the limited and very busy trails at home. After the ride, we did some more exploring, then settled on a campsite near the Arkansas River. We took a short hike down the river to one of the rapids and generally relaxed. Something we don't get to do that frequently!


Can't beat that for a view anywhere - Looking south off the CT

Sidel's Sinkhole - looks more impressive at river level


Oct 4, 2013

Snow Dust Trail

Clouds over the mountains behind Como

At the Gold Dust trailhead - looks like a great day for a ride!
After Nick finished rocking the backyard, it was time to escape the city for the weekend. We loaded up the stumpjumpers and headed west. No plans, no agenda. Just time to search for some fresh trails to ride. We were hoping to hit Kenosha and Georgia passes and do some leaf peeping on the ride. But the first stop was Como to ride the lower section of Gold Dust. As we drove up 285, we could see the blowing snow and clouds descending down the mountains. Guess we were gonna keep the ride really low and try to stay out of the wind! But despite the cold temperatures and occasional flakes, we were still gonna ride. It just meant we would bundle up a little more. There's no bad weather, just bad clothes!
End of Gold Dust - before the snow hit.
Start of our section of Gold Dust - yep, it's a little like winter out here!
As we headed north on Boreas Pass Road, the snow level plunged and the wind picked up. I tucked in behind Nick and we rode nice and easy, trying to stay  dry and warm. It was hard with the winds howling past, stealing every bit of heat and chilling exposed skin. I was very happy I had my hooded jacket and pulled the hood over my helmet. Nice and cozy. Snow covered the road, lending a wintery air to the crisp fall colors. The road took us longer then we had anticipated, but it wasn't worth fighting the wind to ride hard. It was supposed to be an easy day after all! 

Between winter and fall - snow on the aspen leaves
Finally, we reached where Gold Dust Trail crossed the road. We were both looking forward to ripping down the single track, protected from the wind by the changing aspens and tall pines. There was a dusting to an inch of fresh snow covering the trail. No one else was out and we had fresh tracks on the snow and fallen aspen leaves. And it was fun - at least until we hit the first downed tree. Seemed there had been a wind storm recently and trees littered the trail. Everything from tiny aspens to huge pines blocked the way. Some we were able to go around, but others we had to crawl over, dragging bikes with us. Oh well. What we were able to ride was fun. It did get tiring, having to stop every few minutes because of the trees. 
This is more like winter then fall!
We managed to beat the major part of the storm and got back to the van just as it was getting really nasty. Our plan of riding Kenosha and Georgia looked doubtful, but Nick decided to drive up anyway. We cruised up the road to Jefferson Campground, debated setting up shop, then headed to the lake. And it was nasty. I had no desire to try to ride in the kind if weather they next day. So on to plan B.

Jefferson Lake - I'm not camping here!