Monday, May 16, 2011

Watching a Dream come True

I have been involved with what is now Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park since 1982.  My caving buddy from the Colorado School of Mines, Steve had the idea to reopen a historical comercial cave called Fairy Cave.  We actually got ran off for trespassing the first time we visited the cave.

It took Steve about 17 years to get a deal done with the previous owner, and Steve and his wife Jeanne were gracious enough to allow me to be a partner even though I could not financially contribute much.

Steve has always been the visionary of building the business.  It has been an amazing journey watching his dream evolve into what it is today. 

There have been many ups and downs over the last twelve years since we opened, but Steve continues to chase his passion and make his dream come true.

I put a lot of effort in the first couple years, but since then I just come to visit, see what he has got done, and
to say WOW!

So, this weekend I made the journey over two snowy passes to Glenwood Springs once again to enjoy a stay with Steve and Jeanne.  
It is fun to come over in the Spring, because I get to see what Steve ( left ) and Kelly ( right ) have dreamed up and made happen over the winter.

Steve is the dreamer and Kelly is the "make it happen" guy!  The stuff these two create over a winter is simply amazing!
One of this spring's new additions is a bungie jump tower, with a zip line coming off the side!
It's awesome!
That's a lady jumping off, after taking about 10 minutes to get up the nerve to go!   It is huge amount's of entertainment for the guests watching below!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Front Range 60 - 2nd MTB Race of the Season and Jeffrey's First - ever

After a week of mostly rest after our Moab vacation, it was time for Jeffrey and me to take on the Front Range 60 miler mountain bike race at Bear Creek Park just South of Golden.

The weather was the nicest this year, with it getting up into the low 80's.   A shock after what we have been riding in all year and in Moab.

I somehow got the number 13, which reminded me to be careful.

My plan was to go out easy, but I managed to blow that off and get my heart rate really high the first couple miles.  I paid for that dearly on the last half of the race.

Jeffrey passed me in the first mile, and I thought to myself " kick ass - his extra training is really paying off!"

Then, at the top of the first climb I looked down hill and say a dust cloud caused by a wreck.  I soon say it was Jeffrey with the rubber side up and the lycra side down.

He said he was fine and I took off for a pretty long day, finishing up at 5 hours 40 minutes, and hamstring cramps on the last hill.  I finished in the last 10% of racers, but I finished and that was my goal.

Jeffrey finished 4 laps out of 6 and he had only planned to do 3.  It was his first mtn bike race and he finished with big bruises on his legs and a big smile.

The glass is totally half full with that guy!   He is VERY inspirational for me! 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 6 - Cold ride to the van and a Serenede

Our last day was a 34 mile bike ride to Lake Powell to catch the van.  It was a sunny day, dry, but a little bit on the cold side.
The skys were surpising clear after all the wind we had the night before.  Jeffrey mentioned that he thought that the views this day were the best of the trip.  I even got him to smile for the camera without too much prodding!  :)
The end of the trip ended with another great meal, and

a serenede by Dave, our van driver!  He is quite a talented singer!
Then it was time for the haul back to Moab.  Andrew took the opportunity to catch up on some z's.

We all went back to our motel's, got showers, and hooked up for a fabulous dinner to cap off the trip.

Vacation was quickly coming to an end, and every one was thinking about the week ahead.  Well, not for Andrew, the lucky Brit had another week of vacation riding another tour with Western Spirit out of Fruita, Co.

Not that I am jealous, or anthing.

The vacation was a good adventure, and although the weather was not optimum it could have been much more unkind.

I am sure there will be more catered mountain bike trips in our future......

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 5 - Ride out to the Wall

Since we were not moving camp on Friday, Lowry, Colleen, and Joanne stayed close to camp and went for hikes.

Andy, Jeffrey, and myself went with Tim and Mary on a 24 mile ride on more technical terrain out to look at the Maze from a different angle.

Mary gave Jeffrey and me a lesson on how to get our bikes up a step or ledge.  My first practice on my own resulted in an endo / face plant / sumersault on a bike and twisting my wrist on impact. 

My wrist was sore but not broken and we proceeded on with no more practice for me.  :)
We got back and cleaned up in time for a cold wind at supper time.   Resulting in us bundling up, and heading straight back to the tents right after supper was over.

It was a really hard cold wind that night, and it took me over two hours to get warmed up in my sleeping bag.  There was fine dust over all our gear in the tent, even though Joanne had spent a couple hours cleaning it out earlier that day.

Reminded us of our Grand Canyon Trip.

Tomorrow - Day 6 will be riding South to Lake Powell, and the van that will take us to Moab, hot showers, and beds not covered in sand.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 4 - Ride South to a Different Camp

Day Four was a 24 mile ride to another campsite.
Non-technical, relaxing, and not as windy as the days before.

To top it off, we got to wash up with a solar heated shower/sponge bath!
Along with another great meal, beers, and playing the "name game" several times!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Maze - Day 3 - Hiking an Ancient Trail down into the Maze

On our third day, the brave one's of our group wore shorts and we went on a sporty hike on an ancient trail down into the Maze.
Parts of the trail were ancient hand and foot holds chipped into the cliff faces, that we backed down on with someone guiding your feet into holds that you could not see.

Tim and Andrew were especially helpful in making sure everyone was spotted and being coached on hand and foot holds.
The cliff scrambeling on the hike really made our vacation feel like an adventure!
I was especially proud of Jeffrey who has no vision in one eye.  We had to make sure when we were explaining the scrambling parts that he could see what we pointing to.
For a guy who is not into hiking - he did GREAT!
It even warmed up enough that we got some actual lounging in the sun - "I'm on vacation" time in.
But, by supper time it was time to start layering up and getting the jackets on.
It is so luxurious to be camping and having some cooking fantastic meals for you.  Rain or Shine.  Tim and Mary worked their butts off cooking for us, and always had a smile on.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Maze - Day 2 - Waking up to Snow

The 1st night in tents we experienced a huge wind storm and then we woke to snow.  

It was going to be a cold day on the bike!
So we bundled up in a lot of layers, soaked up sun rays peaking through the breaking clouds, ate a great breakfast, and took off for our first day on the bikes.

We rode down the Flint Trail, which was very steep!  Part way down we helped the skiniest park ranger in america clear the road of bolders that came down due to the snow melt from the night before.
It was a very windy day, and setting up tents was brutal!

Fortunately the Maze Overlook campsite was one of the most beautiful campsite vista's I have ever experienced, and worth the pain of setting up camp!
To top it off, we got to spend two nights here! 

Our campsite was on the rim looking across the maze, which is a very complicated set of oxbow canyons about 800' deep, stretching for miles. 

I was totally jazzed that we would be hiking down into the edge of the maze the next day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Maze - Day 1

Our trip with Western Spirit bike tours started from Moab, UT with a 3 hour drive - mostly on dirt roads to the western side of Canyonlands NP called the Maze district.  One of the remotest places in the lower 48.  

The area is historicaly known for one of the areas where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid out from the law.  It is too remote and rugged for the law back then to venture out into.
There were 8 people on the trip.  Two guides - Tim from North Carolina - now living in Moab and Mary from Durango.
Andrew, a banker and pretty aggressive rider from the UK.  ( a seasoned veteran to Western Spirit bike tours )

Lowry, Colleen, Jeffrey, Joanne, and myself made up the rest of the group.
We finally stopped at Horshoe Canyon, to do a hike down into the canyon to look at some of the largest and oldest pictoglyphs in the US.     Before starting the hike our guides Tim and Mary whiped up a quick spread for us to make sack lunches.  

Although we would be hiking and biking every day, it is impossible to not put on weight on one of these trips - the food is fantastic.
Our hike took us down to see some of the best ancient pictoglyphs in the US.  I think about 5,000 years old.  It is in the same canyon system that Erin Ralston got stuck and had to cut his arm off to get free.
After our hike, we got back on the road and drove another hour deeper into the canyon lands and set up camp.
The first evening was cold and windy, with everyone bundled up and huddling behind the shelter to stay warm.   A good reminder to always bring a lot of layers on a camping trip.

Supper was excellent as always and we quickly hit the tents to call it an early night.