Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Smoky Mountains - Colorado Style

This is the second of a several posts I will use to present my recent trip to Colorado. It is well known that the extremely dry conditions in most of the mountain state this year have led to more than a dozen forest fires. For the record, those fires were either burning before I arrived or I was located hundreds of miles from them when they originated.

It did, however, seem that the flames were keeping track of me.  The planned directions of my movements were changed several times due to the massive blankets of smoke carried in the wind. On a few occasions I would drive over a high pass and drop from one sun filled valley into a smoke choked valley. My heart was heavy knowing that man and nature were suffering so much. Still, the overwhelming beauty of the Rockies welcomed me, nourished my soul, and lured me to places where I encountered old friends and made new ones. A special thanks goes out to Chris and Misti for allowing me to sleep at their work in progress between play periods in the Front Range.

I will, for now, post some photos taken along the way. Later I will come back with detailed stories of special events.  Click and enjoy!

"Hiking" near Bear Lake, RMNP 
This (really) is the trail, need a hand up?
But, that is where the road goes . . .
"Are you looking at me?"
Trying to take flight in 50+ mph winds.
Something tells me this place is not
always so hospitable.
That was hot! And it went the wrong way!
Hmmmm, I'll take "Provin' Grounds."
Six miles of 10-13% ascending . . .
with flatlander's gears took away my smile.
Saw lots of these in Boulder.
For the patient caffeine addict. 
Learning to use the iPhone panorama shot.
Hmmmm. Why do I need a snack?
Sun drenched in Durango while smoke
clouded nearby valleys.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP
A bucket list stop for sure.
Finally open after three tries. Score!
Bike work station outside the Left Hand
Brewing Co.  Cool!
Quads and lungs are feeling another long
steep climb.
Does that really belong here?
Taken during "flight" back to Boulder.
Quandary is a "gentle" 14er, right?
"No food, no smiles."
Encountering RAAM riders climbing
Wolf Creek Pass reminded me of . . . 
. . . crewing Kenny Souza back in 2006.
Exceptionally good distiller in Silverton,
but I won't be converted.
One of a variety of healthy meals
produced along the way.
Oh, look! Another brewery.
Later . . . ST

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