Sunday, October 17, 2010

Jim's week out West

My friend Jim from Wisconsin came out to visit this past week.  We did not have any definitive plans since Colorado is usually in a period of transition this time of the year.  Lot of biking and camping was what we were hoping for.  I picked Jim up at DIA and went straight to Chris and Marni's.  We ended up going "hiking" for a while up in Boulder.

 Sunday we drove out to Buffalo Creek to meet Ben who did a ridiculous ride from Denver.  He got in something like 80 miles and 11,000 ft of climbing including what we rode together.  Temps were a bit cool but pretty nice.  We rode the typical Thursday night loop, details below.  The ride elevation is between 6,600 ft and 8,000 ft, which is difficult for flat landers, but not really bad.  Most people who have not seen the landscape of Buffalo Creek are impressed by the rock and burnt areas.  Its probably a really good transition early on in Colorado.  Garmin stats.

 Jim and Ben
 Me riding through high mountain Birch trees
I did not have my V8 I guess

The weather looked like it was going to be bad in the Front Range.  We packed up the E and headed to the desert to enjoy 80 degree weather.  Our first stop was the Kokopelli trailhead just west of Fruita.  Lunch was at Paradox Pizza in Moab.  Monday night we camped under the stars down Willow Springs "road."
E packed with toys

Monday nights campsite

Tuesday we rode Sovereign.
Jim climbing
Tuesday night we did the tourist thing in Canyonlands national park.  We even saw the sunset over the Green river.

The best place to watch the sunset in Canyonlands, on the side of the E
 Overlooking the Green river and the White Rim trail, its been a while since I've seen it from this vantage  point.  I hope they fix the Mineral Bottom switchback before long.

The sun nearly set over the Green River

Wednesday we rode Porcupine Rim from town.  It was about 10 miles and 1,800 ft of elevation gain before we even got to the trailhead.  A little video for those of you who don't know.  Garmin stats.
 The Lev at the trailhead

Wednesday evening we did the tourist thing in Arches National Park.  We watched the sunset by Delicate arch.  

Delicate Arch
 The Lev had a great day, I only hoped beer with the same name would be a great way to end the day
Wednesday night's camp spot

After days of mountain biking, we decided it would be fun to try to do Lefthand Canyon on the road bikes, which is a classic Front Range climb.  And what good would a long climb be without a great descent.  I surpassed 50 mph on the downhill, and this is not the first time I've done this on the way down to Lyons.   Garmin info.
Mike and Eric joined in for the fun.  Jim is third in the picture (not counting my shoulder, which can be seen).

It was a great weekend, we were able to get quite a bit of adventure in.  On this trip Jim logged a few good firsts-first time in Utah and first time sleeping under the stars.  Dining out at Fugo De Chao, which is a Brazilian steakhouse in downtown Denver, was the only way to finish the trip.  First rate service and first rate food is all I can say.  It was a great way to spend my vacation.  I can't even imagine how much fun it was for Jim since everywhere we visited was new to him.

1 comment: