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Saturday, July 28, 2007
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
We stopped for gas at the little “town” of Jeffrey City, WY, population 50; population within 20 miles is 150. It is an old Uranium mining town and most of the services there were closed. It was practically a ghost town that was not old enough to be a ghost town worthy of tourist attention. And it was about 60 miles from any other town.
I have to admit that Laramie and Cheyenne, WY were probably much like Northern Colorado, but we were already a day behind in our collecting trip, so when we made it Fort Collins, CO on Thursday evening, I felt a bit of relief. A friend of mine recommended a restaurant, with microbrews of course, in the downtown area. We had our dinner on the veranda and enjoyed a pleasant evening, good beer and people watching in the central walkway of downtown Fort Collins. In less than one day there, I knew that Fort Collins is the kind of place that I could enjoy in the long run. In retrospect, it is a bit like Moscow, ID, but on a much grander scale.
The next morning, we met with my friend Amy for a coffee at the CSU Student Center. It was our first espresso drinks in probably 2000 miles. My girlie peppermint mocha, AKA grasshopper, sure was tasty! Our first field site in Colorado was along Poudre Canyon. We found a pull off with enough Dalmatian toadflax for us to sample and a ranging river right behind us. One of the best things about my research project is that it can take us to some truly beautiful locations that we probably would not see otherwise. Early that evening, we went up to White Ranch Park near Golden, CO to break out the mountain bikes again. The trail was given good reviews online and was better than our earlier rides in Idaho Falls and Pocatello, but still not ideal. I think one caveat that we both look for now in a trail is that it can be ridden in either direction, whether up or down. The trail had water bars that were a little washed out on the downhill side and a couple of poorly designed rock sections. Chris was a little frustrated, but it was a new trail for the both of and I had to remind him that if we rode there the next day, we would probably clean nearly all of it. We ended up cutting our ride a little short, because we were expected somewhere and the drive up had taken us a little longer than we had anticipated. The end of the day found us in Denver, with our friend Chad from our undergrad days. We had dinner at the Handle Bar, a bar and grill that is decorated with bikes and bike parts. The stickers on the doors could have put many bike shops to shame. On Saturday, we went to Winter Park, CO, about one hour west of Denver to go mountain biking. The intention was to ride the next week’s race course and then take the gravel roads back to the car, about a 2-hour, approximately 20 mile ride (14 miles of trail). Somehow when all was said and done, it was a 33-mile, 4-hour ride and it was fun!
I was riding well and did not want to hold the guys up, so when we got to an intersection and they were waiting for me, I often waved them on. At one point, we had just started into the trail when I realized that I should have stopped for a gel. The trail was a smooth, wide double track and I figured I could get my gel while on the trail. I was reaching back to the mesh pocket of my Camelback with my left hand and then saw some dried up water puddles up ahead in the trail. With one hand in my Camelback and only one hand on the bars, I grabbed my brake to slow down and grabbed it far too hard. I was thrown from my bike and lay in the dirt for a few minutes berating myself for such a stupid crash. I started to get up and found that my knee had a nice wide V-shaped gash with the skin folded up a little in the middle and blood oozing out. I sucked on my knee a little bit to try to staunch the bleeding and thought, “this looks like a few more stitches.” At this point, I figured that the guys were far enough up the trail that they would not hear me even if I yelled, “down!” So I remounted and rolled slowly, ringing my handlebar bell as I rode down the trail. Chris, Chad and Aukie had already figured that something must have happened and rolled back to meet my partway. No one had a bandage with them, so I removed my sock, which was already bloody, folded it in half over my wound and Ocky tied Chris’s flatted tube around my knee to hold the sock in place and we continued to ride. Perhaps it is time for me to add a small first aid kit to my Camelback since I no longer have the opportunity to ride with my former-Boy-Scout-brothers.
We probably rode for another two hours after I bonged my knee and it was probably the best thing I could have done because my knee never got stiff and tight, even on the ride “home” to Chad’s place.
After the ride was over, I had a little help cleaning out and bandaging my wound and, all of us being low on calories and a little bonked, we stopped for dinner on the way home. By the time we made it back to the Denver area, we figured that my knee wound was too old to be stitched and just added ointment and a new bandage. It is healing well. In fact, I had planned to take a photo of my gash, but somewhat sadly, it just isn’t that impressive anymore. If I do end up with a small scar, and I probably will, that would mean that I will have to stop making fun of the divots in Chris’s knees!~Lorena
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
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