It can be harsh living at elevation 8300 feet. Especially harsh are the winter winds, blowing with sustained speeds of 40-60 miles per hour, for 5 or 6 days straight. Then an early spring day, like today, comes along and reminds me why I live here.
I hopped on my bike, rode up the peak-to-peak, to an area most people refer to as West Mag (as in magnolia). My original destination was the Champion Mill, but like last time, never made it. Last time I was distracted by an aqueduct, which I should re-post here for completeness. This time I was simply not feeling the energy. I’ve been dealing with a relapse of west nile the past few weeks, which flares-up a couple times a year. This time, after following forest road 355 and taking a unnamed trail, I stopped at a tributary to Beaver Creek.
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I sat in the sun, next the to babbling brook, breathing the scent of pine and decomposing aspen leaves. Aside from the Ruby Crowned Kinglet and the Junco, there was not another sound. It was warm and peaceful.
It’s not very green yet, just little sprouts all over. It’s coming. Still plenty of snow covering back-roads and trails.
I sat there reconciling the winter, remembering the cold and the wind, feeling the warmth of spring.