Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Hark! Summer Is In The Air!"

Summer: That time of year in which not a single flake of snow will come out of the sky. Summer is a very long season for a lot of us who live in the lower areas of Colorado. Summer never actually comes when it's supposed to. It usually comes a few months before the actual calendar date of summer and lasts a few month past. This is not my most favorite season...for obvious reasons, but there is a lot I like about summer. I especially like early summer, when I get a huge craving to play in the dirt and desert canyons. That quickly fades because well, summer is HOT! And this summer is especially hot, hot that drags on and on, hot that has yet to be subdued by a drop of rain or even a cloud. This summer is never ending and relentless and it's only technically just begun. As a snow lover, I have to constantly remind myself throughout the day, every day, only a few more months. There will only be a few more month of this. So let's make the most of it!

Summer for me starts with the annual kick-off trip to Moab, usually in late April to early May. After which it is far far too hot for my just outta winter body to stand the blazing heat that emanates off the red rock canyon walls. Though the trip is technically in mid-spring, it feels plenty like summer to those of us who go. We crave the sun, rocks and sand, hot days and cool nights. We are starving to get into the canyons to explore!
Photo by: Joe Holmes
Next up is most American's kick-off to summer, Memorial Day Weekend. Lots of trips are planned to all sorts of varying terrain. For most of us Coloradoans, the heat is already in and we flock to the mountains. I'm not so keen on taking part in that tradition as I don't like to be in places that have been flooded by the masses. The highways always being first to be flooded. I typically take off to Farmington, NM to visit my Mom, Stepdad and Sister. I like to travel down there at this time because it usually has been about five months since I've seen them last and the traveling is not too terribly hot, making it easier to deal with traffic. This year, I took some friends with me to give them the grand tour of some of the 4 Corners area!
My kitty loves to travel and especially loves the Mountain Home. This is his "I'm not coming down, you can't make me leave" face!
We took a pre-dinner walk around the rent's house in NM.
Took a visit to the Aztec Ruins in Aztec, NM
And every year I have to take a trip to taste wine, play on the swings and see the critters at Wines of the San Juan!

Once Memorial Day weekend is done and over with, summer is officially here. And I get down and dirty with all sorts of activities to pass the time as I wait for winter to return.
Because my company was a sponsor, a couple of us coworkers took part in The Gauntlet race.
On slightly cooler days, I like to hike around Palisade, CO
On June 2nd, I volunteered to help to build additional trails on the Palisade Rim with COPMOBA and REI
The day after that I went up in elevation to the Turkey Flats trail on the Uncompahgre Plateau to take the pup on a bike ride and do a little fishing.
She enjoyed herself very much!
This trip left the bike VERY muddy!
There has been A LOT of riding with the Singletrack Sisters! Here's a shot from Kessel's Run at 18 Road, Fruita, CO
I went out on the once-a-month Singletrack Sisters Downhill/ Freeride session. Jessica Kirkpatrick, a rider for Grassroots Cycles shows us how to conquer obstacles on the Free Lunch trail at the Lunch Loop trail system in Grand Junction, CO
Photo by: Sarah Mah... I like to take my skills and show others how to drop on the Palisade Rim trail!
Big smiles riding down the Palisade Rim overlooking the Grand Valley trail during the Singletrack Sisters Annual BBQ!
The cactus have put on quite a display along the trails this year!
For the first time since I was 14, I decided to go on a backpacking trip! The Kannah Creek trail is appoximately 9 miles of up and 9 miles of down. It extends all the way from the bottom of the Grand Mesa at about 6,000 ft. in juniper/pinyon forest, to nearly the top of the Grand Mesa at nearly 10,000 ft. in high alpine forest. Backpacking this trail might as well have been like climbing a 14er!
We camped in two different locations
The view of our final destination is above the dip in the valley to the right side of this pic.
This is our "base camp." We left our camp here while exploring the rest of the Kannah Creek trail.
The flowers were in abundance!
Looking back down where we came from through the aspen/oak brush forest

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