Friday, July 17, 2009

Sea Ranch

Here are some pictures from a recent trip to Sea Ranch with family in July. Sea Ranch is a coastal home development just south of Gualala off Highway 1 along the picturesque shoreline of northern California. Fifty miles north of there is the quaint town of Mendocino, a day trip during our stay. For most visitors, the remoteness of Sea Ranch makes it a good place to settle back with family and friends, or just a good book. It’s a quiet place great for walks along beaches and the buff overlooks. With patience and a careful eye, you can easily spot wildlife moving quietly about the natural flora of the region. Use the link below to see all the pictures.
Link to Photo Album: Sea Ranch

Monday, July 6, 2009

Colorado 2009

During the latter half of June 2009, a group of us traveled to Colorado for the purpose of riding the “2009 Bicycle Tour of Colorado”, BTC, which immediately follows the well known “Ride the Rockies”. Of these two supported bicycle tours, this was considered the more difficult endeavor with a total of 512 miles over 6 riding days and 31,000 feet of elevation gain. Per my recent memory, which is getting shorter as I get older, this was probably the most challenging event I’ve done in sometime. The tour simply packed a lot of riding and climbing into a week with one rest day. Needless to say, I rode at a touring pace intent on completing the day with sufficient energy to survive the week. With such an approach, I found the tour challenging, but fun and enjoyable. The people who supported the tour as well as the riders were great and the scenic route through the Rockies of Colorado was stunning. Two of the mountain passes, Cottonwood and Independence, were above 12,000 feet. Breathtaking is the best way to describe the landscape surrounding the Rockies. I can understand why Colorado draws so many visitors and new residents.

In summary, seven of us, Geno, Peter, Bob A, Dennis, Frank, Bob T, and I, made the trip to Colorado leaving on June 16th. We departed for the BTC early so we could get better acclimated to the high altitudes in Colorado and to spend time visiting the Colorado National Monument outside Fruita. After a great BTC tour, three of us, Geno, Frank and I, took a rest day in Glenwood Springs to recover. We basically slept, eat, and used the opportunity to soak our tired bodies in the famous Glenwood Hot Springs. With a little rest under our belts, we then drove to Idaho Springs to bike the highest paved road in the U.S. on top of Mt. Evans ending at 14,100 feet. As Dick F. would say, “there’s no better time then now”. We’re in great physical condition and we’re in the area. Again, the landscape and views throughout the ride were outstanding, a must see if you’re in the area. Note that most people drive to the top. Biking is optional. During our drive home, we also attempted to hike the 13,100 feet Wheeler Peak within the Great Basin National Park in Nevada. But, after two miles of hiking, we decided to abort due to rain and thunder. A wise move! No need to push our luck as Geno would say.

Many thanks to Geno for organizing the group and for leading us through the necessary training to prepared for this arduous trip. It was great fun and a challenge. So what can we do next to top this? Until then, I’m simply glad to take a break from all the hard training rides.

My trip pictures are divided into four groups: Colorado National Monument, BTC, Mt. Evans, and Wheeler Peak. I hope the pictures give you a sense of our experiences during the trip. Use the link below each picture to link to the photo set.

Colorado National Monument
Link to Photo Album: Colorado National Monument
2009 Bicycle Tour of Colorado
Link to Photo Album: Colorado 2009 BTC
Riding Mt. Evans
Link to Photo Album: Colorado Mt. Evans
Wheeler Peak
Link to Photo Album: Wheeler Peak