Sunday, March 1, 2009

Friday (Catching up, now!)

On Friday, we slept in a bit and then went to spring Nick out of work around noon.

Picking Nick up from work.


We picked him up in Mark's car, which he loaned us for the trip- have I mentioned this before? It warrants saying again, though, that this car was a lifesaver. It was big enough to fit all of us in, and it had enough trays on the roof rack for four bikes. If we had rented a car, we would have been pressed to get four people and four bikes anywhere in two cars, even. It was also super fun to drive :) With our trips to L.A. and running around, we wound up putting nearly a thousand miles on it over our vacation. I feel pretty bad about that. If I ever have a first-born, Mark's got first dibs.

I can't remember what mountain we biked up, but I'll tell you it felt like a substantial one. I think the total elevation was a little over 6,000 feet. We spent almost two hours climbing and 45 min descending. Here the guys are at the bottom of the climb:

Beginning of the Climb

I didn't really know what to expect and was cranky from the pace to the base. It wasn't anything terribly fast, but Nick was fresh and pushing the pace a little. When I don't know what to expect but anticipate a big effort, I get really stingy and miserly with my energy (good for long rides, bad for races, right?). I was glad when we parted ways at the bottom. The guys took off and I was free to settle in at my own pace. Thus began about two hours of this:

Bottom of the hour+ climb.

After a while, snow started showing up on the side of the road. I tell you what, I can take pictures and share the view, but I was so wishing that I could share the smell of the air with people. All that "Mountain Breeze" laundry detergent is actually imitating a real thing, and that real thing smells delicious. I never knew. It smelled... fragrant? Not quite floral, but almost. There were pine trees, but it didn't quite smell like that, either. It was more than a 'fresh air' scent, too. Mmm. So good. At a town near the top, the guys waited up for me and we all got a little break in. Turns out they had only waited about 5 minutes for me, which I think is not bad. If you'd like to inform me that it's not actually that impressive, keep it to yourself.

This isn't the top, but it's one of the better view points near the top.

Me and Cale

We biked through a forest (of sorts) which had been burned a few years prior. The white, twisted trees were pretty bizarre. It felt like it was a kind of park for the gods on top of the mountain. It was very quiet, and I almost felt like I had stumbled into a private area, or just somewhere that people rarely set foot. (Although there's a road right through it...)

Dead Forest

On the beginning of the way down, we biked past a very pretty lake with a little town nearby.

Lake in the Mountains

The descent was pretty fun. It wasn't like you'd see on a highway/mountain pass, a long straight drop. It was a long, winding road and we had to keep the speed in check for corners. There were wet spots (from melting snow) that could potentially be icy, as well as sand and cars to watch out for. In some shady areas, it did get a little cold, but for the most part, it was pretty comfortable the whole way down. I think we managed a little over 44 mph, though. And we all made it! You'll have to take my word that Cale's taking the picture.

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