Unbeknownst to us, we scheduled our summer vacation for the last week of summer. After a large number of years not caring a whit when the school year starts, school is again impacting our lives. Clara started kindergarten this past week. But that's getting ahead of the main story, which is that we took a summer vacation in Colorado with Chad's side of the family.
Again, I kick myself for not taking enough photos, but Grandma did her part. When she sends her set to us, I'll have a full suite of photos to choose from. But for now, we're stuck with ours. I promise, the rest of the family was there.
Going into the trip, I had a few small goals to achieve:
a. Bike ride adventures
b. Some hiking
c. Dip my feet in a mountain stream
(c) was quite easy to do, as our condo was a short walk from the Keystone ski resort, which has a very nice stream that flows along the mountain. We built dams and found some treasured rocks to take home.
(b) was actually pretty limited. The whole family (except Grandpa, whose knees aren't so hot anymore) rode the chairlift to the top of Keystone and hiked along the ridge. And it turns out that was the only real hiking we did.
We rode most of the way up to Echo Lake together, but I soon realized that to climb that far I really needed to ride my own pace. So up I went, alone. About 4 miles above Echo Lake, the rain started. It poured, and I got soaked. About 10 minutes later, it hailed. I was wearing shorts and had no gloves. Hail on bare legs and hands hurts! So I contorted myself to have most of the hail hit my arms and head. Then it rained again. But at about mile 5 1/2, I was above the storm. I thought, hey, this isn't so bad. I'll dry off the rest of the way up, and enjoy a cozy route down. Alas, it sprinkled more, I never dried completely. Gloves and a rain jacket instead of my wind-breaker would have been nice to have.
I saw Ryan and the rest of the crew not far from the summit and planned to wait for them at Summit Lake. Alas, it was too cold, and I wanted to get away from the lightning storm. So I headed down... and down... and down.
I didn't realize until this trip that I struggle with a bit of vertigo. Riding and driving (we drove Loveland Pass on the way there) on roads without guard rails and with huge dropoffs really freaks me out. I know that a guard rail really doesn't do much, but still, they are so comforting. Plus, the edge of the Mt. Evans road is crumbling away, and periodically there are 1 foot diameter holes in the road. I think the holes go to the center of the earth. Perhaps my bike would bounce over them, but thankfully I managed to avoid them all.
Well, finally I made it to the Echo Lake lodge and drank hot tea while waiting for the crew. We were all freezing upon arrival. We had very nearly warmed up when we left, but then it poured rain. And I had a flat tire. And my spare had a slow leak. I gingerly rode the corners down to my car.
I put on dry clothes (except that I didn't have extra socks, so I drove barefoot), and Ryan gave me his nephew's breakfast burrito (thanks!).
During most of the ride, I thought that it was stupid. Looking back, it was yet another super memorable, excellent ride with Ryan. May there be many more!
I also rode the service trail to the top of Keystone and took the "green" mtb trail down. Then I (gently) crashed, and decided that riding a road bike on mtb trails is not fun.
Finally, TCBC is again the A league softball champion. We won the semi-final game 9-8, and then for the second year in a row I took vacation for our last playoff game. Without me, the team won 16-1. I guess I'm not needed.