Zak and I started our 20th(!) anniversary with a ride at Boggy Draw. The network of trails is immense and I don’t think we’ll be repeating sections for a long time.
The ride was crazy! It started with gentle ups and downs through beautiful terrain. The tall pines would turn to sagebrush and then back again and again. At one point I realized I’m getting much better at mountain biking. I’m learning some of the technical skills and am definitely getting stronger and able to go up some steeper sections for longer periods of time. Most importantly, I just love it. There are times I seriously feel like I’m flying. The concentration it takes to be successful is consuming. Every move has to be done with utmost confidence and it’s super hard to navigate the rocks on the trails. It’s as much a mental sport as it is physical.
When we were about half way though the loop we heard another pair of riders approaching us. We slowed down, as they did. They stopped a bit before approaching us and I heard them say, “rattlesnake.” We stopped too and there was a very rattly rattlesnake a few feet of the trail. Together, we watched it rattle away for a few minutes. We were about 10 feet from it and on our bikes. I had never seen anything like it. The rattle was so loud and distinctive. We parted ways with the other bikers and the snake. We had to get about four feet from it to ride past. I have never ridden so fast in my life. It was terrifying.
The second half of the ride was challenging. It was definitely more uphill, but most difficult was most of the trail was right on the canyon bluffs. The only thing between a hundreds of feet fall and me was strong balance and control. Hense, we ended up walking the terrifying parts. Nonetheless, it was a wonderful ride and definitely not something we would have imagined us doing 20 years ago.
The rest of the day was spent running errands, packing for our backpacking trip, and a scrumptious nice dinner out at Farm Bistro in Cortez.
Today we had a long drive to Grand Lake, just outside of Rocky Mountain NP. We start a pretty epic two night backpacking trip in the morning, we’ll likely be without service for a good amount of time.