Long Shanks began planning this one months in advance, and the lad must be livin' right because it couldn't have arranged itself more perfectly. From the friendly temps to the lack o' precip and hero dirt, the stars (er, moon) seemed perfectly aligned.
The light was freakin' stunning all day--able even to give a random stump near the parking lot a certain je ne sais quoi.
Life seems to be buzzing along frantically in the mountains, with every critter of every size keenly aware that we're sliding again toward darkness.
On a different day with different circumstances this derelict shack would have taken on a whole different meaning. On this day, between the 8 of us we never spied so much as a hint of a cloud, and as such had no cause to even peek inside.
Long petals in the fore, Long Shanks out back.
Commonly known as daisies or asters, I much prefer the old-school denomination of fleabane.
B. unwinding some singlewide.
Skippy loved the views but his lungs weren't diggin' the 'tude.
The Cap'n negotiating a rare (on this ride) scree field.
Lichen the view.
What's not to like?
Fast Frank gave that climb a one-gun salute.
Cloudless, windless, but not odorless or tasteless.
Skippy on the approach to Blackhawk Pass.
Jorge stops for a pic before the climb turns serious. Good idea.
FF rounds the final switch.
Jorge earns it.
Skippy and B. slaving their way upward.
The pic isn't blurry, that's just the way Skippy saw the world all day.
All present and accounted for, sir.
Something none of us ever do enough of: Hang out up high.
Jorge had new-bike fever, and couldn't help but to blitz the descent.
Long Shanks' new bike wasn't slowing him down any, either.
B. surfing the yellow wave.
Frenetic flowers on a frenetic descent.
Skippy shows how he earned his nickname. Beats being called 'Slappy' or 'Impaled by tree-y'.
The most commonly noted alpine flora (like lupine, paintbrush, and skyrockets) had already started to fade, allowing the lesser knowns to shine.
Heading back up.
Not that I'm ever the most social bean in the bin, but on this day I frequently hung off the back and tried to sense a bit of the rhythm of the place. Sometimes stopping and savoring is required.
...and a pretty OK spot for it.
On tap after lunch: 6 miles of descending.
Fine by us.
Jorge heeds Hermosa.
Downright refreshing after a hard day's work.
Long Shanks scoping out the next one.
Awesome day lads--thanks for having me along.