|the monarch crest experience|
You may remember Friday over Labor Day weekend had me making tracks down the CT/CDT/Silver Creek/Rainbow Trail.
Saturday had us exploring the Arkansas Mountain Trail System across the river from Absolute Bikes, fun for the whole fam damily. Capped our ride in the mid day heat with a cooldown swim in the Ark right in town, followed by a sampling of some of the local creamy gelato, yum.
Sunday was our Monarch Crest day, a planned out an back as I had not yet vetted the trail for Team Roughrider, and you don't want to play stoopid at 12,000 feet above sea level.
Resolve hardened up, we pushed off up the initial ascent, stopping strategically to wisecrack, catch our breath in the thin air offered at 11K. Seemed to take a good while before the terrain leveled off and we were able to really enjoy a breather. Skirting Mt Peck the trail alternated dense forest and ridgetop, finally clearing as we topped the divide at Peck's southern shoulder.
|topping out on the CDT|
|need a breather|
The views from the CDT proved just as advertised, prompting a lengthy refueling stop to properly soak in the vistas.
The winds continued to strengthen, prompting us off on our final push- that quintessential peak everyone captures on film. And for good reason!
|destination in sight!|
|one last slog|
We reached our turnaround at the saddle, 3.7miles in. We did not linger long, as it was getting kinda freaky standing around the narrow ridge, two lightweights in the party, as the winds continued to build.
Pointing our steeds back downhill, we generated our own winds for a change. The boy and girl took turns leading the charge, wobbling around on the exposed sections as they fought to counterbalance the wind. The boy was unceremoniously dumped at one point, a gust pushing his steering right up the grassy bank- man! Did I mention the wind?
Dust settled, safely at the parking lot once more, we shed our gear, but not the silly grins on our faces.
Those lasted quite a while.