Monday, February 22, 2010

A storm monumental.

I don't ride the road very often--a few times a year at most. Saturday was one of those days: I chose to ride a loop that included the Colorado National Monument. Wet, heavy precip falling constantly meant that it was not, in any way, a pleasant day to ride. But cabin fever got the best of me and out the door I went.

Already you're getting the idea: Sandstone walls, massive evidence of differential erosion, heaps of juniper, pinon, sage and chamisa.

The day was fraught with intense squalls that cycled through snow, rain, snain, and fog about every 90 seconds or so. Moody.

The moments of snowfall drew my attention to how often walls tower above and around.

After an hour or so of steady ascent, you end up more or less at a static elevation and start poking along the rim.

The scent of sage was intense, even from a distance.

Boo times two.

Throughout the day, opportunities for history lessons were abundant.

Right about here it started nuking.

And then a minute or so later it let up. But didn't clear up.

Some of my favorite viewpoints were socked in when I arrived, which meant I spent more time gawking at the lesser-knowns.

Dry rock = overhung.

Aaaaand some not-so-dry rock.


Tis a super ride to have in the backyard. The views make it feel less like a true 'road ride' and that works for me. I do my best to ride it as few times as possible throughout the year, making each trip over the top a special occasion.

Thanks for checkin' in.



  1. Absolutely beautiful! Wet weather or not:) Thanks again for sharing.

  2. I'd definitely have to agree: pretty entertaining for a road ride!

  3. awesome photos and a gorgeous ride...pretty sure whoever was in the car that passed you thought you were nuts for being out there.

  4. JJ and I LOVE that area when it's foggy and misty, very moody and different. Great eye, you captured the sense of place very well.


  5. Beautiful Images! I read a half dozen of so cycling blogs regularly (and a dozen or more less so), three of the regulars have outstanding photography - yours, Jill Homer's Up in Alaska, and Gnat Likes Bikes.

  6. My favorite road ride.And I never saw look that beautiful!

  7. Most of us are too focused on riding "over the Monument" to appreciate what we have there, Mike. Thanks for reminding us!