Saturday, April 25

Canyoneering

Went out early this morning to try and avoid the worst of the traffic. Might have avoided the worst...but a lot of people were out.

Today was the kind of day I miss, drizzly, foggy goodness, climbing into the clouds, cool droplets of water beading up on my glasses (found a tear in my left contact this morning!)

I started at the Mount Glennon trailhead just outside of downtown Morrison and I headed south on the C-470 bikeway. I turned west into Ken Caryl and then down to Deer Creek Canyon. I stopped at South Valley OS to pee and snack up a bit before beginning my climb. I'd been at it for 45 minutes and I was beginning to sweat so I peeled the sleeves off my cycling jacket, tucked my full fingered gloves in my pack and started pedaling up the dry pavement into Deer Creek Canyon.

It wasn't long before the pavement turned damp and I started having trouble seeing through my mist spattered lenses. The climb up the canyon was slow, steady but beautiful and meditative. I love Deer Creek Canyon, it's beautiful and serene, less busy than Bear Creek or Golden gate Canyons and it reminds me of the south east.

I turned left at Phillipsburg, avoiding the Turkey Creek option to the loop and continued climbing into Upper Deer Creek Canyon. After Maxwell Hill Road the real climbing began, and the precip intensified. The upper, upper part of Deer Creek Canyon is a winding ribbon of pavement, partway up a steep canyonside. Today the canyon was filled with thick fog.







I reached Kuester Road. Last time I rode Deer Creek Canyon I turned around at Kuester Road, but this time I continued on toward Pleasant Park and ultimately Conifer. I had imagined that beyond Kuester Road that the bottom would drop out and that I'd cruise into Conifer like a rocket car across Bonneville Salt Flats. Wrong-O! I got a topography lesson today. When Deer Creek Canyon Road turns to Pleasant Park Road at the junction with Kuester Road it continues to climb, almost all the way to Conifer. 10 miles it climbs...from South Valley OS to just outside Conifer...climb, climb, climb.

I stopped at the junction of Pleasant Park Rd and 285 and texted Mandy and then began my long descent back to Morrison. I took 73 from Conifer to Evergreen and then dropped into Bear Creek Canyon. Oddly, the ride into Evergreen went faster (and was drier) than the Bear Creek Canyon descent. I was whacked from my 10 mile climb up Deer Creek, so I couldn't put the spurs to it down Bear Creek, so I was at the mercy of gravity and friction, not even able to maintain the speed limit down the canyon.

But it was a fantastic ride, went better than I had expected despite the cold, wet conditions. I rolled into Morrison three and a half hours after leaving, a full half hour sooner than I had expected. I stowed my bike in my car and drove over to Red Rocks Cyclery and got a mocha and then turned the Suburbaru east.



Great ride...the Triple is going to go down without a hitch!

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