About jwookieone

Gunnison Valley resident with a almost rabid need to be outside. Love to walk, bike, ski, backpack, camp. Addicted to easy and short or long hard adventures out in the woods, sage and snow. Feel compelled to push myself to see what I am capable of

2019 Gunny Loopy Loop Biggie Cues

Ok here’s the first draft of the Biggie Loopy Loop Cues. All Milages Are Approximate. I would suggest using a GPX track as well as the cues for reference. GPX tracks will be forthcoming,

***Group Start: Downtown Gunnison, IOOF Park. August 31, 4:AM.

Ride South on MainStreet for 4 Blocks, Turn Right onto San Juan, go 1 block, Turn Left onto Wisconsin, go 2.5 blocks. Follow Rio Grande West for ~7 blocks, Turn Left onto 9th, go 1 block, Turn Right onto West Railroad, look for wide gravel road on the right before airport. Take Gravel road, pass RV septic dump, take bike path that follows airport fence. Pass Mergilman Pond, Turn Left onto CR38, follow CR38 as it curves around airport and goes South.

As road begins to climb look for large dirt parking lot on right @~4 miles. Welcome to Hartman’s Rocks. (Best to preview the trails the route takes so as to make the many turns smoother)

Climb Jacks Trail, starts just past bathroom. Hartmans section is basically going Jacks, Becks, Rocky Ridge, Broken Shovel, BLM3565 to 3550, to Back In, BLM 3575 to Outback, BLM3550 down to Skull By Pass. Cross Beaver Creek on bridge, Aberdeen Access Trail to East Aberdeen, to BLM3054 to Pole Creek Rd, To Willow Creak Rd3043, to HWY149, to Hwy 50 going East.

@~mile28.5 turn Left Onto N Beaver Creek RD/726, steep gravel road above trailer home, climb, drop into drainage, turn right on FS726 and climb for a while, like 16 miles!

Stay on main road, climb forever. Top out in one of my favorite spots, Holy Smokes!!! Roll along for bit, road dead ends@~mile45, look for vague FS Trail Little Mill Crk dropping off to the right into the dark timber. Descend Steeply, super rugged and fun descent. T with Canal Trail, turn left pass beaver pond/erosion. After less than a half a mile look for a trail dropping off to the right. Descends steeply for about a mile to Mill Creek RD3118, take right, all the way to paved Ohio Creek Rd/CR730 @mile 52, turn left and head north on good paved road. Pavement Ends, Continue straight/North on towards Ohio Pass on RD 730.

Begin the climb up Ohio Pass, @ mile 67.8, just before steep switchback look for dirt road going off to the right/east, Carbon Creek Road. Take Road to Carbon Creek Trail. Take Carbon Creek to Baxter’s Gulch, Climb/Descend to HWY 135, Turn Left, Descend into Crested Butte @~mile 75. Take any route thru CB. You will exit Crested Butte on Butte Ave, to the Lower Loop. Take the Road, to the Lower Loop Singletrack. Don’t stress, any Route out to Gunsight Bridge is fine. Cross Bridge, Climb Up to Slate River RD734, turn Left/North and climb. Climb switchbacks, continue on 734 to Paradise Divide and then onto 317. Climb up to top of Scholfield Pass, @~mile 89 take Trl 401, climb and descend back to Rustlers Gulch317.3c and out to Gothic RD317. Take Main Rd/Gothic RD/317 all the way to Mt. Crested Butte. @~mile 102.5 Take Treasury Rd to Emmons RD to MT CB base area. Climb single track, Lower West Side, just past ski lifts. To Hunter Hill Access Trl, To Hunter Hill RD to Upper Upper Trl. Take Upper Upper all the way to Brush Creek RD 738.

@~mile 107.5 Take Brush Creek Rd 738 for about 9 miles, turn Right onto Block n Tackle Trail 545, take BNT trail up and over to Cement Crk Trail 612, go Right/South. @~123miles hit Cement Creek Road at switchback, turn Left and Climb. After less than .5 mile, turn off Road onto wide single track “short cut” to Reno Road. Hit Reno Road, turn Right & Climb to top. @mile~127, hit top, look for Flag Creek Trl422, straight ahead dropping off other side. Descend! Hit intersection in trees, turn Right, drop and cross creek. Now on Bear Creek TRl 415. Climb trail to dead end road, take road back onto Bear Creek Trail 415, descend! @136 miles hit 3 way intersection. Turn Left/South onto lower Deadmans, descend crossing the creek many times. Hit intersection with Rosebud Trl, turn left and cross gate and creek get onto rough rocky road744.2c, for about a mile.

@T with Spring Crk Road 744, turn Left and climb slightly on wide gravel road. @mile141, turn Right onto Rocky Brook RD 748, climb a bit more steeply. @~144miles, almost to the top of climb, look for Dustin Gulch RD746, then Matchless Trl413, .5 mile later. Climb Matchless Trl to DR’s Park Trail @Mile146.5, turn Left onto Dr’s Trl424. Climb and descend N/E towards Dinner Station/Taylor Park. Cross Taylor River on Bridge. Take Trl 600 along a few campground areas, paralleling the main road on your Left. T into Taylor Rd 742, turn Right/South for about a mile, turn Left onto FS RD 671, can be gated. Climb 671, good road for quite a while, gets steeper, rockier towards the top.

Road 671 ends, steep trail continues towards Timberline trail, Climb, Hike a Bike!!! take Right/South onto Timberline Trl 414, roll along. Look for easy to miss intersection with Texas Ridge Trl 571. Take Texas Ridge Trl, faint at times, but so much fun! Eventually T into Road, go Left onto 755.1C, curves around and drops to Texas Creek Rd 755, turn Right onto 755, take out to Taylor Rd 742, turn Left/South. Take 742 to Taylor Park Trading Post, just off 742 on 55/765. Resupply!

Very Briefly head towards Tin Cup on 55/765, look for RD 752/Union Park RD, right across from Trading Post. Climb, descend into Union Park. Stay on 752 till intersection with RD764/Slaughterhouse Gulch RD, Turn Left. Roll along, @~mile185.6 Intersect Cumberland Pass RD 765. Turn Left and descend briefly.(Tin Cup straight ahead, food might be available.) Look for RD 953/Napoleon Pass Rd, turn Right and Climb Pass. Steep!!! At top of pass look for really steep, stupid steep OHV trail going straight to the east. Climb to first bench, look for vague trail on the left. Napoleon Intercept. Follow faint trail/cairns around hillside, thru pass and over to Tin Cup Pass. This trail is skinny and barely there, and so freaking cool! T into Tin Cup Pass Rd/267, descend to @~mile193, look for trail headed off to the Right/West, Tunnel Lakes/CDT/TRL1439. Take Trail to Alpine TunnelTRL/839, Descend past Tunnel on old railroad grade, Road washed out in spots.

@~Mile201, the Alpine Tunnel RD switchbacks, Turn Left and Climb to Tomichi Pass. Pass is washed out, use caution crossing scree fields. Climb! Descend other side of Tomichi Pass for just a bit, look for Canyon Crk Trl on the Right. Take Trail, Hike a bike up to 12,578′!!!! Top Out @~Mile204.3. Descend Canyon Creek Trail. @~Mile 214 Canyon Creek Trl Turns and climbs out of drainage. Instead stay in drainage and follow old trail along creek for another mile or so, turn left and hike out along fence line. Both routes out of Canyon Crk are fine, but the old trail is nicer!

@~Mile215 Hit RD888, Turn Right onto wide gravel road. @~Mile217, turn hard left and begin climbing Old Monarch Pass. Good, but long climb up to the Divide! @~Mile227 Top Out on Old Monarch. Descend a tiny bit of the other side, look for trail on Right/South. Take Trl 531/MonarchRidge Trl from Old Monarch to Monarch Pass. Drop onto HWY50, Cross HWY carefully and climb to Gondola. (possible food in Crest building!) Take Crest Trail/CDT from just above the Gondola. Stay on Crest Trail all the way to Agate Creek Trail484. Descend!!!, Cross a million creeks, get wet, be happy! Take Agate all the way, Climb out to HWY 50. Descend HWY50, be careful!!!

@~Mile248, leave HWY50, Climb RD819, Look for Trail 537/Qaukey Mtn Trl on Right, Take Trail to Black Sage Pass/RD 887. Descend Pass west Towards Waunita Park. Look For Road 763/Waunita Pass Rd. Climb Up and Over Pass to Pitkin. Any path thru pitman in ok. But leave on CR76 towards Ohio City. @~Mile277 hit Ohio City, Turn Right and Climb Gold Creek RD/771 all the way to Gold Creek Campground. Rejoin Shortie Loop.

At Campground turn Right/North and begin Fossil Ridge Trl478. Climb and climb, then roll and descend and climb, over and over. Rough, rugged and beautiful. After long rolling descent into McIntyre Gulch, stay Right, then look for Beaver/McIntyre Trl 472, a rolling 4wheeler Trl. T into One Mile RD 586, turn Left and climb. Top out on nice saddle. Descend Lost Canyon Rd743 for just .5 of a mile!!! At unmarked/gated road intersection look for faint trail paralleling road on other side of creek, just past green gate. Old Gunnison Spur of the CT. Descend fun/faint old cow trail. Hit Road, go straight across and follow along on fence line trail. Top out and hop wire gate. @~mile300, Look for Road604.1a just to the right. Descend. At T, turn Right, then immediately left and climb up to ridge. Stay on ridge/Signal Mesa on good BLM road 3108.

@mile~305, look for North Woods Trail to drop off to the right. Take Unmarked but well used trail. Cross road a couple times, stay on trail. @mile~308.5 merge with double track onto ridge, follow track for about 1.4 miles, after steep descent look for trail dropping off ridge to the Left/South, Rasta Gulch. Descend, T into Contour Trail 3213, go Right, follow, then drop down old road, look for bit of trail dropping to another road, cross fence onto WSCU’s campus. Take any path thru town back to IOOF park. Congrats, you have Loopy Looped!

***Note: If not doing the group start any path thru Gunny is fine. For all riders, any path can be taken thru the towns we pass thru, so long as you exit on the prescribed route, its all good.

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2019 Gunny Loopy Loop Shortie Cues

Ok here’s the first draft of the Shortie Loopy Loop Cues. All Milages Are Approximate. I would suggest using a GPX track as well as the cues for reference. GPX tracks will be forthcoming,

***Group Start: Downtown Gunnison, IOOF Park. August 31, 4:AM.

Ride South on MainStreet for 4 Blocks, Turn Right onto San Juan, go 1 block, Turn Left onto Wisconsin, go 2.5 blocks. Follow Rio Grande West for ~7 blocks, Turn Left onto 9th, go 1 block, Turn Right onto West Railroad, look for wide gravel road on the right before airport. Take Gravel road, pass RV septic dump, take bike path that follows airport fence. Pass Mergilman Pond, Turn Left onto CR38, follow CR38 as it curves around airport and goes South.

As road begins to climb look for large dirt parking lot on right @~4 miles. Welcome to Hartman’s Rocks. (Best to preview the trails the route takes so as to make the many turns smoother)

Climb Jacks Trail, starts just past bathroom. Hartmans section is basically going Jacks, Becks, Rocky Ridge, Broken Shovel, BLM3565 to 3550, to Back In, BLM 3575 to Outback, BLM3550 down to Skull By Pass. Cross Beaver Creek on bridge, Aberdeen Access Trail to East Aberdeen, to BLM3054 to Pole Creek Rd, To Willow Creak Rd3043, to HWY149, to Hwy 50 going east.

@~mile28.5 turn Left Onto N Beaver Creek RD/726, steep gravel road above trailer home, climb, drop into drainage, turn right on FS726 and climb for a while, like 16 miles!

Stay on main road, climb forever. Top out in one of my favorite spots, Holy Smokes!!! Roll along for bit, road dead ends@~mile45, look for vague FS Trail Little Mill Crk dropping off to the right into the dark timber. Descend Steeply, super rugged and fun descent. T with Canal Trail, turn left pass beaver pond/erosion. After less than a half a mile look for a trail dropping off to the right. Descends steeply for about a mile to Mill Creek RD3118, take right, all the way to paved Ohio Creek Rd/CR730 @mile 52, turn left and head north on good paved road. Pavement Ends, Continue straight/North on towards Ohio Pass on RD 730.

Begin the climb up Ohio Pass, @ mile 67.8, just before steep switchback look for dirt road going off to the right/east, Carbon Creek Road. Take Road to Carbon Creek Trail. Take Carbon Creek to Baxter’s Gulch, Climb/Descend to HWY 135, Turn Left, Descend into Crested Butte @~mile 75. Take any route thru CB. You will exit Crested Butte on East Elk Ave, to Town Ranch(wide gravel) and climb Tony’s Trail, then Right/South on Upper Upper to Brush Creek Rd.

Take Brush Creek Rd 738 for about 9 miles, turn Right onto Block n Tackle Trail 545, take BNT trail up and over to Cement Crk Trail 612, go Right/South. @mile 94 hit Cement Creek Road at switchback, turn Left and Climb. After less than .5 mile, turn off Road onto wide single track “short cut” to Reno Road. Hit Reno Road, turn Right & Climb to top. @mile~98, hit top, look for Flag Creek Trl422, straight ahead dropping off other side. Descend! Hit intersection in trees, turn Right, drop and cross creek. Now on Bear Creek TRl 415. Climb trail to dead end road, take road back onto Bear Creek Trail 415, descend! @mile 107 hit 3 way intersection. Turn Left/South onto lower Deadmans, descend crossing the creek many times. Hit intersection with Rosebud Trl, turn left and cross gate and creek get onto rough rocky road744.2c, for about a mile.

@T with Spring Crk Road 744, turn Left and climb slightly on wide gravel road. @mile 112, turn Right onto Rocky Brook RD 748, climb a bit more steeply. @~mile115, almost to the top of climb, look for Dustin Gulch RD746, then Matchless Trl413, .5 mile later. Climb Matchless Trl to DR’s Park Trail @Mile 117.5, turn Left onto Dr’s Trl424. Climb and descend N/E towards Dinner Station/Taylor Park. Cross Taylor River on Bridge. Take Trl 600 along a few campground areas, paralleling the main road on your Left. T into Taylor Rd 742, turn Right/South for about a mile, turn Left onto FS RD 671, can be gated. Climb 671, good road for quite a while, gets steeper, rockier towards the top.

Road 671 ends, steep trail continues towards Timberline trail, Climb, Hike a Bike!!! take Right/South onto Timberline Trl 414, roll along. Look for easy to miss intersection with Texas Ridge Trl 571. Take Texas Ridge Trl, faint at times, but so much fun! Eventually T into Road, go Left onto 755.1C, curves around and drops to Texas Creek Rd 755, turn Right onto 755, take out to Taylor Rd 742, turn Left/South. Take 742 to Taylor Park Trading Post, just off 742 on 55/765. Resupply!

Very Briefly head towards Tin Cup on 55/765, look for RD 752/Union Park RD, right across from Trading Post. Climb, descend into Union Park. Stay on 752 thru Union Park, head towards Gold Creek/752.3b. Climb Gold Creek Trl 427, steep, hike a bike! Top out and descend into Gold Creek. At Campground turn Right/North and begin Fossil Ridge Trl478. Climb and climb, then roll and descend and climb, over and over. Rough, rugged and beautiful. After long rolling descent into McIntyre Gulch, stay Right, then look for Beaver/McIntyre Trl 472, a rolling 4wheeler Trl. T into One Mile RD 586, turn Left and climb. Top out on nice saddle. Descend Lost Canyon Rd743 for just .5 of a mile!!! At unmarked/gated road intersection look for faint trail paralleling road on other side of creek, just past green gate. Old Gunnison Spur of the CT. Descend fun/faint old cow trail. Hit Road, go straight across and follow along on fence line trail. Top out and hop wire gate. @~mile179, Look for Road604.1a just to the right. Descend. At T, turn Right, then immediately left and climb up to ridge. Stay on ridge/Signal Mesa on good BLM road 3108.

@mile~185, look for North Woods Trail to drop off to the right. Take Unmarked but well used trail. Cross road a couple times, stay on trail. @mile~188 merge with double track onto ridge, follow track for about 1.4 miles, after steep descent look for trail dropping off ridge to the Left/South, Rasta Gulch. Descend, T into Contour Trail 3213, go Right, follow, then drop down old road, look for bit of trail dropping to another road, cross fence onto WSCU’s campus. Take any path thru town back to IOOF park. Congrats, you have Loopy Looped!

***Note: If not doing the group start any path thru Gunny is fine. For all riders, any path can be taken thru the towns we pass thru, so long as you exit on the prescribed route, its all good.

Shortie Loopy Loop Map

Howdy Y’all.

So this is the route for the Shortie Loop. Fairly Big changes from 2018. This is most likely the route in its entirety, although there may be a few tweaks after I get on the ground and vet a few of the changes. Most of this will be in the final route so it is a good representation of what we will be riding. Get planning!

According to Plotaroute its 192 miles, 28,000′ of climbing and descending! Low point of 7500′, high point of 11,942′.

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/874802?units=miles

Biggie Loopy Loop Map

Here’s the route for the Biggie Loop. Its drawn in, rough in spots, still need to do some vetting of couple sections, so this isn’t 100% the course. Damn close though to what we will be riding. Get planning!!!

According to Plotaroute, 313 miles, 45,900′ of climbing and descending! Low point of 7500′, high point of 12,578′!!!

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/874748?units=miles

2019 Loopy Loop

Its still on.

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Start is gonna be August 31st, 4:AM in the morning, right here in Gunnison, Colorado, USA.

There are a few changes this year for both the Biggie and the Shortie.

Both Loops got bigger and better. All listed mileage’s are Approximate!!! Shortie is about 192-ish miles, lots of climbing. The biggie is 313-ish, lots and lots of climbing. Both start and end in Gunny. Both will be rugged and remote with just enough easier dirt road to keep it moving, very much like last year. Biggie has 5 (or more!) resupply options, roughly at miles; 75, 175, 245, 270. Some big, some small. The Shortie has 2 resupply options at miles: 75, and 147. One big, one small. Lots of single track, lots and lots. Be ready to ride trails, not buff in places, but so damn good.

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Racing these loops will be hard. I would guess that the Shortie could be done without sleep in 30+ hours?! But could take 3 days for sure. The biggie is gonna take 2.5 days even at a fast race pace, 3-5 if you are sleeping a good bit or not charging it.

This will be a Self Supported, DIY sort of ride. No outside support, if you know the person or they know you, please do not take support of any kind. Feel free to ride the routes any time you wish, but if you plan on posting a “time”, stay on the route and within the rules. GPX track will be available, but route completion is up to the rider. There is some obscure stuff, but most trails are well documented.

I got all the ideas set, I just need to get out on the ground and make sure it all works and get it GPS’ed. Please forgive my late start with info. In case you don’t know I have a new house, I am getting married at the end of July and I have a 3+ month old! I will get the info out there, but most of it won’t be available till August, again sorry! If there’s any questions feel free to contact me.

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Full details are coming, exact start time and location, full GPX tracks, full cues, maybe even track leader sign ups.

The Love of Hard

Life is hard, its a lesson that I’ve been forced to learn over and over again. I can remember as a kid, hoping that I had done the work and now it was time to coast, and enjoy the benefits. Only to get kicked to the floor and have to start working at it again. Feel like that series of thoughts and feelings has repeated itself countless times in my life.

Lately I’ve been thinking and feeling a lot about the difficulty that everyday of life can be. This morning our daughter just turned 6 weeks and my perspective on life has been thrown all around the room. It has been a constant roller coaster of sky high joy, to complete what the fuck have I done to my life, and back to joy. Its a lot like the rest of life, but taken to a whole other level of peak and trough. It makes me realize how simple and selfish my life was before, and how I worked hard, but mostly to benefit myself and my own pursuits.

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getting up the hills is never easy, but reward is priceless

Now at 2:AM when my gorgeous little girl is screaming in my arms and nothing I can do will sooth her, I have learned so much more about tolerance, patience and the depths that one can go through for love. It has been a rough learning process to say the least, at times I really do wonder why the hell anyone would choose this life? Yet on one morning not long ago I was up pacing the house, Lillian screaming her tiny lungs out in my arms, the clock was ticking closer and closer to alarm/wake up/go to work time, and I found myself at peace. Amongst all the unconsolable cries, I found myself not wanting to be anywhere else, I found joy in this ass kicking!

It is truly amazing what we humans can accomplish, but nothing we look upon with respect came easy to those who built it, dreamed it, grew it or raised it. That was nothing short of hard work and we admire that yet everyday I see us humans taking the easy road, avoiding the pain of hard work and change. I know, I get it, we all want good without the toil, but more and more I feel like there is no other path to whatever it is we crave, the route to get there is work, perseverance, and patience.

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smile thru the tough times and balance hard with some fun!

Its also beyond frustrating to see technology gaining so much ground and yet we use that, not to make the world better for everyone, but to make our own lives easier. Humans are losing so many hard won skills and abilities to machines and automation, because we are lazy and something can do that for us. Makes me wonder, what will we be willing to give up next, our very souls? Work is a four letter word, or it can be and working for “the man” can be awful. I also love free time and recreating. I am not advocating for a life of nothing but work, but to avoid things that are difficult and a lot of work, decimate our individual potential and the combined possibilities as a species. It really is time to stop thinking of everything through our own eyes, but to see our choices with the lense of what is does for the whole planet and each and every soul upon it. Everytime I look at my tiny daughter I am reminded of how important it is that we make this world we live on a priority over our own personal convenience.

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they are worth every hard hour

 

 

 

 

Simple Redemption

img_0866I tend to get obsessed with things. I also get overwhelmed with the enormity of the very things I am obsessed with. Once that was the Tour Divide. I dreamed of those endless roads for 7 years before I gathered enough courage to actually take on the challenge of riding it. I dallied for all that time with the reasons/excuses that; I didn’t have any money, I was hesitant to take that much time off in the spring/summer, and I didn’t want to leave my sweet dog for that long. So I waited, and while I was stuck in stasis over the TD, I raced everything else I could that was easier to pull off. 24’s, 12’s, 100 milers, the Grand Loop, the CTR, AZT300, etc. I wanted the biggie, but I honed my skills doing what I could.

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Now I am obsessed with the the ITI, the Iditarod Trail Invitational. The big bad frozen monster way up north. Racing the TD seemed huge and scary, but the ITI seems almost impossible. I know damn well it can be done and by mere mortals, but the costs and preparation make the TD seem like a local fun race in comparison. I’ve done one qualifier, the JP’s 200K, a few years ago. I loved it, hard, beautiful, and full of challenges to learn from. Yet if you think bike racing is expensive, take a look at winter ultra costs! The entry fees are high, the gear is amazingly pricey, and the required travel is kind of huge.

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I make my living as a bike mechanic and a cook in a small mountain town. In case you don’t know, that doesn’t bring home much money. In fact the entry fee alone for the ITI is a considerable portion of my yearly income. Every once in a while I say “fuck it, lets do it!”, then I look at the website, see that crazy entry fee and I try like hell to put it out of my mind. I want it, but its just crazy for me to fork out that much of my hard earned wages!

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Now life has gotten even crazier, with Rachel and I bringing a child into this world. For this I am so freaking excited that I have not enough bright and happy words to begin to describe! Yet money is a huge stressor for us going forward and the idea of an ITI attempt is simply unreasonable. Yet the dream in still there and over the past few weeks I’ve had a bit too much down time that has allowed me to obsess, unhealthily, about winter racing and the ITI. With all winter races happening and all the social media blasts of friends headed out there with number plates on their loaded up fatties, I almost lost my cool.

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Well last night after work, I loaded up my fattie and headed out to Hartman’s Rocks. I rode around, pushed a bit, found a sweet little nook and set up camp. I watched the sky, listened to the light breeze, stared into the fire, and enjoyed my thoughts. I made dinner with melted snow, wrote notes in a journal, and let my mind wander. The peace that came to me was profound and beautiful. Instead of feeling left out and ignored, I felt loved and so privileged to be alive and able to ride from my door to such a quiet and wonderful spot. I let go of all that tension that envy can build up inside of us.

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I awoke early in the morning to the tiny ticking of micro snowflakes landing on my sleeping bag. The world around me was a wash of white sky, white snow and dark grey rocks and sage. Then the sunrise miraculously poked through a gap in the clouds on the horizon and set the eastern sky a glow. I melted snow into tea and breakfast, as the colors intensified and set my heart a glow as well. The opaque white of the sky then swallowed the sun as the snowfall increased in volume and intensity. Soon big fat flakes swirled gently through the air as I packed up my gear and cleaned my tiny little camp.

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I rode, pushed, struggled, and crashed my way along the trails and roads back towards the frontside. Amazing how different a familiar place can be within the set of winter. I saw no humans for hours, only the tracks of many animals and a few prancing deer. The air was so quiet except for the swirl of snowflakes falling. I bumped into a few friends as I got closer to the parking lot, all of us seemed happy to be free and moving in the winter landscape, even if just for a few hours. I descended to the road and pedaled home on soft tires still reveling in the simple joy of being alive in such a great place.

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