Monday, October 7, 2013

Aspen Colors

I see that it has been almost a month since I have posted anything. A remarkable month of events and circumstances. For some people chaos is the new reality, for others, some minor inconveniences in their perfect routine lives. Like many communities we have an element of people that have a lot of money and get really upset when small things upset their lives, and the other side of the fence there are some young business owners that work really hard to have and build their businesses and homes, and have dealt with tough times to recover from flood waters.
For me? The flood was more of a mental exercise to keep a positive, move forward attitude. When natural disasters hit other communities, I watch on the news and feel so bad for the people affected and make the call to Red Cross and get a donation in, but, I have always had this arrogance in the back of my mind that "I live in the perfect place and nothing like that will happen here". That arrogance took a bit of a battering this last month. It does make me take myself down a peg and that is a sobering emotion to deal with. I have taken so much satisfaction with my crew here at Estes Park Lumber. They have worked hard to make things happen for people that need our supplies to get things rebuilt in their homes and businesses. We usually just motor along running our business for our customers but this last month there has been a feeling around here that we are really providing a service for our community. We work very hard at making sure our pricing is in line and competitive with national pricing and items are kept in stock through the complicated supply route into town. We sure have found out who our loyal venders are and really are interested in our business vs the venders that only did business with us because it was convenient for them. Noted for the future.

Enough about that sort of mundane stuff and onto the purpose of this post. Because of extra work and getting Debbie going back to work and her long stays in Greeley during the week, my bike time has been cut back. But, on Sunday I had a chance to head out to hunt down some Aspen Gold color watching, so off I go!
This is the scene on Friday. No commute that day! Pretty typical for Estes in the fall, a day of cold and snow and then the warm sun comes back!
I headed out on Ogre with the plan to climb up through Little Valley and see if I can get back into Pierson Park. I also had some curiosity of what had happened to Fish Creek Road. I had seen pictures but have not been down there to see it myself mainly because I had no business being down there. I rolled out my driveway and made it to the south end of Fish Creek. It was not to far down before I had to make a detour up and around a couple of roads in Carriage Hills to get around the road missing. There was a path walked out through private property around the cut but I did not feel it was proper mountain bike etiquette for me to ride across somebody's property.
The beaver damns and lodges that I have posted in the past going up Fish Creek are washed away. I hope the beavers made it through and are busy making new homes. I rolled on down to Little valley road. Aspen along the new Fish Creek are turning and pretty!
Working my way up Little valley their were groups of Aspen that were still green just starting to turn,
and some that were in full Gold status!

Of course the obligatory selfie of a guy out having fun on his mountain bike!

It turned into a beautiful fall day! I was a little overdressed at this point in that I wished I had shorts on, but so nice to be hot!
The views just keep getting better as you work yourself up to the top of Little Valley Road and it turns into National Forest service land. In fact, this is misnamed a bit I think. More like a climb up a mountain than a valley and there is nothing "Little" about it. Pretty steep road!
Nice view looking back
I chugged up to the top and here we are with a closed Forest Service gate. Normally they keep this road open until December 1st. I'm not sure if they have road damage above or if they just closed it so they don't have to think about for the rest of this year but I decided to just honor the gate and call it a ride. Plus the time was getting away from me a bit and I had a Bronco party to get to at Dave's house!!

Final view of Ypsilon Mountain from the top of Little Valley.

By the time I was back down and the few hills in Carriage Hills, I was gassed!! So really it was just the right amount of riding. It is always surprising how quickly you can fall out of peak riding shape. A month ago this ride would be hard but not leave me wasted back at home like I was today!!
I had a mechanical on the crank of my Schwinn that I am waiting on parts for so I have been riding Ogre as my commuter and what a pleasure it has been to ride. I guess that is the fun of having a few bikes in the stable so when you switch, it is like riding a new bike again!!
Hey!, everybody have a great week and Thanks for riding along with me!!!


  1. Love the pics and the colors! That one of the missing road shows what a force flood waters can be.

    Thanks for posting and letting us ride along.


    1. Dan,
      Thanks for stopping by and reading

  2. Really nice ride report, Jim! I sure like the picture of you and Ogre with the golden aspens in the back. Lots of road damage! Even so, the scenery is still beautiful, and it looks like the weather was mild. It IS fun to have more than one bike.

  3. Jim the juxtaposition of the lovely day and gorgeous fall colors with a wiped out road is both beautiful and sobering. Its one thing to hear about all the damage and hardship and another to see it an realize the impacts on peoples lives. We don't thing much about roads and electricity and running water until they are snatched away. I visited the red cross site too and sent my meager contribution Colorado's way. Hope things get back on track for folks soon. Glad you got out for a ride on such a great day.


    1. Thanks Ryan! And thanks for the Red Cross donation. Those people really responded here for the people that were displaced. Basic services are almost back here in town except for the no flush zone (of which I am in). A major sewer line ran under Fish Creek Road and has been destroyed. About 2000 residences will be with out sewer for awhile until they can rebuild the road and lines under it. What gets me is the rich guy whose house was not affected but was in the lumberyard complaining that his cable was out and he missed the weekend of football.