June 21, 2012

High Elevation Engagement

Last week was amazing...

...for my FIANCE and I......yup that's right we got engaged!  Ill save all the emotional sappy stuff for those who wish to call/meet for a beer and get the details.  Ill try and keep it short and concise then let the pics do the talking.

The Ring :
  • self designed Celtic braid, custom made by Mr. Gene Bauer an artist and goldsmith of 30 years.  Gene's studio is in Golden, CO as may soon contain framed photographs of Kristin's rings.  
The Process:
  • Kristin mentioned and found some artwork of a Celtic braid/weave.  We sat down with Mr. Bauer to inquire about taking on the design.  Soon after I choose to cut Kristin off from any further involvement in  the ring designs....for surprise sake.  
  • After several meetings Gene and I came up with the final designs.
  • 3 months later Gene finished what he called one of his most challenging pieces.  
  • At this point I mislead Kristin in believing the rings were in wax and still a ways from being done due to continues design problems.  There were a few other misleading bits of info...like planning to have a lakeside conversation with Mr. Casey during an upcoming family get together in Minnesota.  
The Proposal Plan: 
  • Travel to Ouray/Silverton shortly after getting off work.  Camp at Ice Lakes Basin trailhead.  Then in the AM mountain bike the 3,080 vertical feet and 3.5 miles to Ice Lakes Basin, an area regarded by many as one of Colorado's most stunning alpine basins!  Ice lakes basin contains 4 lakes (one blue, one green and one with a rock island in the middle), countless waterfalls and an abundance of wildflowers.  I knew if i didn't propose mountain biking there was a chance K wouldn't go for it:)
How It Went Down:
  • We were able to bike to the lower Ice Lakes Basin before things got to steep and to rocky to travel via bike.  From here we stashed the bikes and hiked the final 0.5 miles.  Once coming upon Ice Lake, I looked around for the right spot....I wasn't feeling it and we didn't have the area to our selves.  So I suggested we hiked a bit higher to the next lake, one of CO's hidden gems.  Most people are so overwhelmed by Ice Lake they don't bother checking out Island Lake.  She was down with the plan so we hiked a bit further to the most majestic lakes I have seen!  It was perfect....well minus trying to convince Kristin to come down the final 5 feet to the waters edge.  As she was very happy with her view from up above, luckily she fell for the ol "please babe, I want to take some pics from down here"........The rest is history:)     

Night cap - prior to the big day

To One Knee - GPS tracks

Lower Ice Lakes Basin - we changed our wheels for hiking near the huge black headwall near photos center

Skunk Cabbage - the waterfall  is the drainage from Ice Lake

Caribbean Blue - Ice Lake


Question soon to be popped - Island Lake

She has no Idea

She Said YES

Gorgeous - the rings not to shabby either

Among the Wild Flowers

My Fiance

June 20, 2012

Great Rides & Great Peeps - CB Mountain Biking

Post Trail #401 Filth
Generally known as the birthplace of mountain biking......

Crested Butte, Colorado, does not disappoint!  Well until its time to load up the bikes and pull out of town.  CB has it all: techy, cruisers, steep, amazing high alpine scenery,......I could go on forever or just go get a taste of it yourself.  If the biking isn't enough of an allure, maybe downtown CB will be.  What a rad place to end your ride.  A few of our favorites include: The Brick Oven Pizzeria (great tap selection), Pitas in Paradise, and Dogwood Cocktail Cabin (an absolute must).

Day 1Upper Upper to Strand Hill to The Brick Oven Pizzeria

Click to enlarge
Date: June 22, 2012
Riders: Anne, Tom, Kristin, and Me
Mileage: 17 miles
Elevation Gain: 2200' (click for elevation profile)  
Average Pace: 14 min/mile
Total time includes breaks: 4 hours
Trail description: Upper is a mix of rocky and flowy, providing good views of the town of CB as it traverses underneath Mt Crested Butte.  A short spin on CO road 738 gets you to Strand Hill then an enjoyable fast flowy downhill among endless aspens. 

Day 2Bear Creek to Doctor's Park to hot tub and pizza to go

Click to enlarge
Date: June 23, 2012
Riders: Penny, Aaron, Anne, Tom, Kristin and Me
Mileage: 21 miles
Elevation Gain: 3200' (click for elevation profile)
Average Pace: 14 min/mile
Total time includes breaks: 5 hours
Trail description: A vast network of trails defines the Taylor Park arena, expect slightly lower elevation, and dryer conditions then the CB area proper.  We shuttled from North Bank Campground to Spring Creek Reservoir - allowing for two great descents down Bear Creek and then Doctor's Park. Due to the extremely dry winter, the Taylor Park area was uncharacteristically dry...moon-dust like conditions.  Aside from the dry conditions the two down hills were awesome, I cant wait to return under better more packed conditions.    

Day 3Trail #401 to Dogwood Cocktail Cabin to Pitas in Paradise

Click to enlarge
Date: June 24, 2012
Riders: Anne, Tom, Kristin, and Me
Mileage: 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 1900'(click for elevation profile)
Average Pace: 15 min/mile
Total time includes breaks: 2.5 hours
Trail description: The CB mega classic, cant say enough about this trail.  High alpine meadows with unbeatable views! We choose to leave a vehicle at Copper Creek trailhead near Gothic and shuttle up to the "Plug" just before Emerald Lake.  

The Pics:

Alpine Splendor - Trail #401 - day 3

Creek Skimming - Aaron - day 2

Famed Downhill - Doctor's Park - day 2

Anyone seen my Snorkel? - Anne - day 2
The Hand-off - Kristin, Anne - day 3

Girls Peaked Out - Penny, Anne, Kristin - day 2

AT&T full signal - start of Trail #401 - day 3

Skunk Cabbage Cruiser - Tom -day 3

High Alpine Meadow Beauty - Trail #401 - day 3

Skunk Cabbage Speedster - Anne - day3

Splashdown - Kristin - day 2
The Beetnik's  - Aaron, Tom, Anne

The Poco Loco's - Anne, Kristin, Chuck, Penny

Trail Map:  CB riders don't leave home without this one.  Once in CB stop by Big Al's Bicycle Heaven to pick up a copy, 13.00.  

June 9, 2012

Tour de Colorado - Part of Segment #8

Part 1 of Segment #8Copper Mountain Trail-head to Searle Pass 12044'
Riders: Chuck, Kristin

The CoT
Date: June 16, 2012
Ride Type: out and back
Chosen Direction: Copper Mountain Trail-head to Searle Pass 12044'
Mileage: 19.3 miles (9.65 each way)
Elevation Gain: 2360'
Average Pace: 19 min/mile 
Total time includes breaks: 6 hours
Trail description: Great rolling singletrack including several bridges as the trail cuts across Copper Mountain Ski Resort.  Once alongside Guller creek several creek crossings and a continuous moderate climb through treeline upto the alpine basin formed by Elk Mountain and Sugarloaf peaks. Here you can expect snow fields and muddy conditions starting around 11700' during early summer months. 

Interactive GPS track recording:

View Part of Segment #8 — Copper Mountain Trail-head to Searle Pass 12044' in a larger map

A great place to park and start segment #8 is from the large dirt overflow parking lot for the Copper mountain ski area, which is just east of highway 91 and just south of the main entrance to Copper Mountain Resort.  Once can park here or a 1/4 mile further north of the lot is a Conoco station and additional dirt parking lots.  In the SE corner of the overflow parking lot is a perfect junction for Segment #7 and Segment #8.  Look for a bridge crossing the Tenmile Creek, rather then crossing the creek Segment #8 heads directly south keeping the creek on your left hand side.  In a short distance it crosses over 91 and skirts across the ski resort, follow well marked CT signs and glorious single track!    

Our GPS tracks overlaid onto Google Earth

Elevation with corresponding speed profile

Ski Crossing
Copper Mountain Resort


Lookin to Far Away
Guller Creek,  Sugarloaf peak and Searle pass

We Break Treeline

In Our Sights - Searle Pass

Short Socks Suck

Snow Pending - Some Rad Skiing: Pacific, Atlantic, Fletcher Peaks
Segment 8 continues for another 15 miles over the ridge-line to the right, over Kokomo pass, eventually ending at Tennessee pass.  We plan on riding from Tennessee Pass to Searle pass to finish off segment 8.

12044' - view north from Searle Pass

Now for the Fun