Biking in Colorado

Today’s Post by Ken MacAdams

With the dog days of summer coming to a rapid, Mary and I decided to spend a few days in the great outdoors. I hitched up the pop-up trailer to the Jeep, gathered some grub, threw on my mountain bike, and headed north for camping in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Our destination was the McPhee recreation area located near the town of Dolores, CO. Snowmelt from the mountain peaks runs into the Dolores River, which feeds the reservoir. Fishermen seek out the quiet coves to wet their lures, while boaters ply the main channel. Water released from the dam provides irrigation for farmers and ranchers in the region. We camped on a high mesa overlooking the lake.

Within the region, summer outdoor activities include boating and fishing on the reservoir, Off Road Vehicle trails, mountain biking, and hiking. Seasonal hunts bring sportsmen in search of the trophy wildlife, including the great North American Elk, Mule Deer, bear, and mountain lion.

I was itching to tackle a trail with my mountain bike, so we drove over to the Boggy Draw trailhead. My wife set up her easel and began painting: moments later I mounted up, and was off, snaking through the forest on a single track trail. Alone on the trial, I passed quiet little water holes, carved through small wild-flower rich meadows, sweated up granny-gear hills, careened down rock descents, and squeezed between towering Ponderosa pines. My cyclometer registered 15 miles before the narrow, undulating, single track deposited me back at the trailhead parking area. Mary was just finishing up her painting.

My initial plan was not to take my camera with me, but as an afterthought, I emptied everything out of my backpack, and took only my Panasonic Lumix G85, with the G Vario 12-60 O.I.S lens attached. For those who are active people, leaving a heavy DLSR behind means all the difference between taking a camera and recording images, or doing the activity, and only returning with mental pictures!