Monday, August 3, 2009

A Sunday Ride...

It's Sunday. The morning is already warm, bright, sunny and delectably beautiful! What a magnificent change from the cold, damp, mood dampening weather we have been having. It was a day for "me time". A ride that was my ride. To go as fast as I wanted; or, as slow as I wanted. To ponder, reflect and view life from a deeper perspective. It has been a long while since I have even wanted to commune with nature on this level -- life had handed me a bowl of gruel that had left me empty and directionless...lost, as it were.

So, I headed off to Centennial Cone. It was the "even day" -- bike day. Not surprisingly, the upper parking lot was full and overflowing. Many folk had the idea to get out of the heat, head up to a higher elevation and hopefully enjoy a cooler ride. A ride that promised not to disappoint!

I decided to ride the trail clockwise. To take the "jeep trail" as I like to call it, to the 1st gate. A gentle climb -- serene... Once I get to the gate, I take a look back from whence I came

and, a look forward to the path ahead...

For some reason, this ride seems much easier than the last time I rode this. I'm sure it had to do with mind-set -- the emotional and mental place that I occupied before was radically different than what I now occupy. Refreshing....

So, I continued upon my way, reflecting on the beauty around me. Ultimately, surprised and relieved that so far, trail traffic was minimal. The flowers continue to bloom in profusion, litering the landscape with their golden heads or white crowns atop a prickly stem with a bonnie blue-bell showing up for contrast.

Up and up I go, around switchbacks, through shaded (and substantially cooler) areas of trail and back down, then up, around and back down. Ironically, the trail description shows no elevation gain. I remember trying to explain to a dude who had emailed me for trail information, that "no elevation gain" did not mean "no climbing". He was looking for an "easy" trail for his "first-timer" girlfriend and I was encouraging him to take her to a "beginner" type trail -- like Bear Creek. He would have no part of that. I think about him now and wonder how that particular ride went.

At the faux top of the trail, I stop for a breath-taking view, amazed once again at the beauty that greets my eyes and the verdent green of the hillsides. The heat tells me that this is August. However, the countryside tells me that what I am experiencing is a rarity -- that this beauty happens maybe only a few times in the Colorado lifetime. We are a high-plains desert. Green in August isn't quite the norm; but I'll take it -- exquisite!

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