Sunday, December 23, 2012

The times and spaces between.

A few days ago a winter wind blew in and brought with it snow and much colder temps. Until that day, indeed right up til the last moments, we were out enjoying the golden light of late fall while rolling across dry dirt and rock.

 












I dare say Skippy even held his breath to savor the crunch of warm tires on dry dirt.

 




















Already that seems like a very long time ago. Our thermometers haven't topped freezing since the snow fell. Which, in an odd way, is a blessing--frozen snow is not muddy slop, which means we can still get out to play off road.

   



That said, it's an odd time of year to live and recreate in the desert: Not enough snow to be able to ski or 'shoe, no need for fat tires to float, yet too much snow for a normal mountain bike to be much fun. 

Perhaps a good time to slow down and share time, stories, libations with friends?


Yep.



 OK, so time spent talking is not my favorite thing--unless we're talking while moving.

Which brings us back to our current state of outside affairs: Cold and snowy.

Standing in line at the grocery you'll hear griping about the weather, nevermind that it's no colder nor snowier now than normal.  People just forget, or need something to complain about. 

Stand at a trailhead or any gathering of riders or runners, and complaints are not what you hear the most. The bulk of my riding group would prefer dry dirt or rock, but are happy for the diversion from that which we get most of the year.  Me too.  

But not Fang--he is *finally* in his element. 



 He loves to swim and splash and chase frogs, but given a choice I *know* that he prefers snow--the more the better.



Fortunately, a short drive brings us to butt-deep in the alpine.






























My Dad has always been full of good advice.  I'll spare you most of it.  The one piece that stands out today is simple: Embrace whatever life presents to you.

Ok so those weren't his words at all, but I think that was what he meant...








Thanks for checking in.  Enjoy the season, whatever that means, wherever you are.

MC

Monday, December 17, 2012

Let it be.

Yesterday afternoon when the work was done and I guessed most of the crowds would be on their way home from the hills, I loaded up a bike and drove up onto the Mesa.



Seems like the snow in our little corner of Colorado is already deeper than it ever got to be last winter.


The thick clouds that spit intermittent snowflakes kept the temps mild, I sensed not a breath of wind, and the occupants of the last two cars remaining at the trailhead never showed themselves, meaning I had the place to myself.



The only hitch in my giddyup came courtesy of a persistent fast leak from my rear (tubeless, harumph) tire, ultimately halving the time I'd hoped to be out.

Still nice to get up there and set the stage for what I sincerely hope is about to become a *real* full-blown winter.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gosh, really--thanks.

About a month ago the intense busyness of summer began her slow, glorious fade into autumn.  Like a slow exhale from a held breath, today that fade continues, allowing precious time and perspective to notice and appreciate the life that surrounds us.

Among other things, this morning I find myself thankful:

To live in and among a place where the natural world can still be seen, used, and appreciated as it is and as it was, not merely as we'd like it to be.










To be a part of a unique, loving, supportive, and interesting family.











To be privy to the wisdom of the ages, especially as dispensed from within canyon walls...



...or by flickering firelight.



To have experienced firsthand *precisely* where the Black Canyon becomes the Gunny Gorge.



To be immersed within a diverse and fascinating circle of friends whom understand that personal limits are at once indefinable and constantly changing.









To be alive in a time and place where we are 'wealthy' enough to ask "Why me?", serene enough to understand that it could all end tonight, and possessing of just enough wisdom to keep the latter from spoiling the former.














I am thankful to be me, here, now.  And to you for as much or as little as you've been a part of it.





Let's keep it rolling, as long as we can, shall we?