Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
...still kickin around here at DFFT central, just been busy with yard projects, work projects, school starting back up, general dog day mayhem. Next planned trip is weekend of 8/21, stay tuned, most likely light duty blogging till then.
In the meantime, hope this finds you out wringing all you can of these last remaining days of summer~
Monday, August 2, 2010
With school starting up just around the corner, I figured we should head up and camp somewhere special while we still had the chance. To wit, we decided to pitch our tent up around Pagosa Springs, CO for the weekend.
In our way of thinking, Pagosa has to be one of the prettiest areas of CO. That is if you go for stunning vistas, craggy peaks, lush meadows, dense forests, crystal headwaters, things of that sort. ;-]
The weather forecast did not bode well for mountain biking, indeed we arrived Friday afternoon at basecamp to witness the surrounding peaks getting absolutely pounded by massive thunderstorms of the kind only the high country can deliver.
So we lollygagged a bit waking up Sat morn, but lo and behold the morning continued to clear enuf to raise hopes of summitting Treasure Mountain before the rains picked up again later in the day.
You see, Treasure Mountain on the shoulder of Wolf Creek Pass heads up a little-used (and little-known!) namesake trail that can be shuttled easily enough. The drop zone lies within 2 miles and 500 feet of the summit (11,250'), while the trail down the south side plunges 3,000 brake-searing feet in 6-7 miles. Noice!
Shuttled that is, if the party of the first part can convince the party of the second part to transport party of the first part up to a veritable precipice threatening the destruction of life, limb, or eyesight to the uninitiated. Solo.
In the mountain monsoon season no less.
|Weminuche Wilderness northwards|
Which was exactly the unenviable case I advocated Saturday morning. In my favor, Mrs Wulff has gotten used to ill-conceived plans over the course of this 15-year marriage, asking perhaps less questions over time, to instead cite the terms and conditions of our life insurance policy. By rote.
Camelback, spare tube, patch kit, zipties, duct tape, pump, bandages: check
Rain jacket, pants, waterproof matches (ha!): check
map, gps, phone (ha!): check
helmet, gloves, leg armor: check
deep breath: check
Soon enough, I find myself saddled up and riding up-trail into darkening skies as the family heads back down to the comforts of camp and campfire. In my anxiety to beat the approaching storms I peak-out in no time at all, taking a long moment to soak in the 360d views of the San Juans in the midst of monsoon season.
|South San Juan Wilderness and CDT to the SE|
Makes a fellow feel pretty small, lemmetellyou.
Ahead, the drop-in southwards looks exhilarating and a bit intimidating at the same time, yeesh. Nothing to do but go for it! Taking one last survey of the surrounding peaks, I put my head down, grit my teeth, and take the plunge.
Doesn't take but fifty yards to realize elevation and approaching storm aside, this trail aint anything I haven't experienced before, technically. Exposed slopes, off-camber tread, baby-heads, ruts, roots- oh it's a hoot allright! Not anything the Yeti and I couldn't handle, schweet.
The recent storms had introduced some serious rutting in places, but the tread remained surprisingly hardpacked and tacky despite the previous day's pounding- bonus!
There were areas at the highest elevation where the trail collected a ton of hail in its bench, making for some tricky riding where the slopes were exposed- yikes!
Wasn't long however before the tread plunged into the arboreal rainforest, twisting in and out of spruce and aspen groves alike. At times the trail can be seen but for 10 yards ahead, the grass and ferns seeking to choke it off and reclaim the tread back into the forest.
Midway down, I'm ejected from the forest into an expansive meadow, chockablock full of tall grasses, skunk cabbage and wildflowers of all kinds.
Windy Pass trail intersects Treasure Mountain trail in its middle reaches, the junction marked by a prominent post and sign. Below the meadow, the tread moderates a bit, schweet, time to get some speed on!
Before I know it I'm leaving the aspens behind as I traverse the final coupla miles down to East Fork Road. Aspens make way to ponderosas and scrub oak, my first views of the San Juan's East Fork beckon through the pines. The last mile screams over buff tread, hardly a rock to interrupt my flow. One last jump and I'm braking onto East Fork road: Treasure Mountain Trail, shred. Booya!
Down at the road, completely spent, I eyeball the drop-in slopes high above and breathe a sigh of satisfaction that comes with a monumental ride well-planned, executed.
Wonder what we have going tomorrow?
Wonder what we have going tomorrow?