Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bikers on Skiis...and Snowshoes

When in California, I'll race as a Velo Bella -- how could I not?
But, here in Colorado, I'll be racing with Velo-One, a co-ed team based out of Ft. Collins, just over an hour from Boulder.
I absolutely love racing in Bella colors, so why would I do this?
1) I've not been able to find any Colorado Bellas who race road.
2) It's lonely in races without teammates.
3) I have a few friends who invited me to join Velo-One.
4) They're a great group of folks who get together for lotsa socializing, even off the bike.
LIKE SNOWSHOEING! Well, cross country skiing, really.

Two weeks ago, two team members, Stacy and Ruth, organized a cross country ski trip, but since I don't have cross country skiis....I snowshoed.
I met the group at a great little coffee shop, Starry Night, in Ft. Collins in the morning, and we carpooled west through Poudre Canyon on Route 14.
When we left Ft. Collins, it was only slightly overcast, with no sign of snow on the ground or elsewhere. As the cars climbed further into the canyon, though, eventually it was snowing and completely socked in. When we arrived at the Zimmerman Lake Trailhead just over an hour after we left town, the snow was really coming down, and it was W-I-N-D-Y. Of course,
But, everyone assured me that most of the trail we'd be on would be in the trees, so it'd be pleasant. And they weren't kidding. Well, only slightly.
Here I am at the trailhead.
Don't you like my cute little wool hat and my new jacket? Thanks, Mom and Dad!
Er, I mean, thanks, Santa...
And a nice Ski Patrol-dude took this photo of all of us before we headed out...
Heading up the trail....
Ruth, an incredibly strong rider (you should see her climb), is also great on skiis.
Here we momentarily lost the trail due to the rapidly falling snow and the wind -- and we'd inadvertantly followed the tracks of a group of Ski Patrol who were headed out to camp for the night -- but Ruth and Catherine led us back to the right trail.
Ruth has dark hair and is not wearing a hat here.

Stacy and Catherine are clearly hating this adventure...
...as are me and Ruth.
The way up to Zimmerman Lake (and it was almost all UP) was in the trees most of the way, but once to the lake, we were in the open, and it quickly became very cold
with wild snow flurries.
Jeremiah Johnson and Jedediah Smith ain't got nothin' on us!
I hope you don't have to be from the Eastern Sierras to get that...
We'd intended to go all the way around the lake, but when the wind got to be too much, we simply headed back to the shelter of the trees, and made our way back down to the cars.
On the way back, we decided we hadn't had enough, so we all agreed that we'd warm up in the cars, and then drive a mile or two down the road to the Sawmill Trailhead, and do that trail as well. Here, at the beginning of the Sawmill trail, a few folks stopped to wax their skiis, as the fresh snow was sticking to them.
This trail was also beautiful, and much more protected than the Zimmerman Trail.
The way out was completely up -- a great workout again -- and therefore, the way back was all down. I had no trouble keeping up with everyone on the climbing, but on the descent, they quickly left me in the dust/powder.
Hmmm, kind of like when I race...
It was so calm and beautiful, and we all regrouped at the bottom.
Can't wait 'til the next trip!


Denise said...

Great pics. But, NO! I will not be visiting anytime soon.

Snow + Cold + lotsa clothes + ice=
Very Unhappy Denise

Kathie Reid said...

As much as I'd like you to visit, Denise, you're right...Colorado this time of year is not the place for people who enjoy running around naked.

Yesterday, went snowshoeing again, this time up at Brainard Lake in the Indian Peaks area, and spent too much time trying to stay warm in the 17 below temps (before wind chill, and it was WINDY!) to snap any photos...instead, tried to keep my nose from snapping off my face! As soon as it warms up, though....you best book a ticket!

patsywbp said...

Ohmygosh, the pic's are awesome. That looks like a lot of hard work. But so beautiful!