The transition from winter to spring in these parts is a lengthy process of multiple starts and stops. Case in point, last week was nearing 70 degrees as a high pressure system entrenched itself over the divide. Not too much though, evidently, as today has been full-on blue wax conditions and snowing. Returning home today from errands on the flats, we passed a large herd of elk in the middle of the highway, hidden by swirling snow. It's a tough world for elk here, even as we approach mid-May.
After the Elk Mountain Traverse Elaine and I took some down time in April. Some of that was forced, as I tweaked my knee a bit (muscles were still tired following the race) and had to lay low for awhile. It seems to be fairly copacetic now though, and as the seasons change we find our energy increasing. A mini-ski blitz to start this month, seven of eight days, despite also working seven of eight.
In between there has been a trip to my parent's place and the ocean, a ski of a 14er and a possible closing day on our local run. My Sklar bike is getting built, so we're looking forward to those adventures as well. We're at the beginning of two of my favorite months in Colorado, especially in big snow years like this one was, where the skiing will be good through Independence Day. It's not unheard of this time of year to climb a peak on the divide and ski it in the morning, and then ride mountain bikes on tacky singletrack in the afternoon.
It's the season of the first thunderstorms, perfect corn snow, hikes along raging creeks, summits, smiles and sunburns. It's a chilly night in a tent, a brilliant morning in the mountains and storms all afternoon. It's a beautiful time here in Colorado.
The road heading due west of Eldora village offers a host of long skis. On this day we broke out the nordic touring gear and made our way to the campground.
Elaine and Stella enjoying a bluebird day on the top of 14,265 foot high Quandary Peak. Quandary is one of the mellowist 14ers, and a perfect ski while waiting for things to consolidate.
Summit of Quandary.
Elaine enjoying a nice cruise down the east ridge of Quandary.
A nice few days visiting my parents and enjoying the Carmel coastline was just what the doctor ordered!
Elaine enjoying the sun, sand and ocean.
Someday I want to do this.
When I went through a bit of a life shit-storm a half decade ago, this place helped get me back on my feet. It's a night and day difference between now and then – sometimes that feels like another life ago – but the ocean demands no less contemplation now than then.
Back home to perfect corn. The local run is about done for the year. It's time to move higher.