A few weeks back, when the dregs of the leaves yet lingered in the high country, Doc, Greg, and I went to suss a new-to-us route.
In the sun the temps were glorious. In the shade they were decidedly less so.
Most of the ride was silly steep: Grunt in your granny for a few brief moments, awkwardly grab a limb, then gasp for an equal duration. Then repeat.
The bulk of the ride was deep within mature forest, meaning our views were more often like the shot below than the one above.
Most of the route was unknown to us, and as such there was a hint of anxiety carried silently within as the day progressed: Would we make it out before dark?
The truth is that, one way or another, we had to: None of us had enough layers or calories to survive a night out at this elevation with what little we carried.
We saw few people on our traverse, all with a very different agenda than the one we pursued.
Just beyond the high point we skirted a fresh elk carcass, wondering if it was placed so to bait in bears, but unwilling to stick around to discover the real answer. Daylight was burning.
We reached familiar ground as the last direct sun vanished, then finished the descent in luminous, indirect, and decidedly chilly twilight.
The loop was not one that we felt bore repeating, but some yet-to-be-explored permutation of it will likely make it into the annual repertoire.
Thanks for checkin' in.