Monday, December 01, 2008

More ghosts

Date: Dec. 1
Mileage: 36.4
December mileage: 36.4

In the winter, I know I've finished a good workout if my throat is burning.

I managed to suck a lot of cold wind today by cramming much more into four hours than I usually try to fit into my morning exercise. I sensed nice weather, dry roads, crunchy trails and beautiful new snow, and kept pushing, pushing, pushing toward everything.

I rode the big wheels to Eaglecrest and puttered around on the Cat track before I commenced the push. I really don't think there's a better full-body workout than pushing a big bike up a steep, churned-up Cat track. And there are few workouts that are more cheek-puckering than the ride down.

But the real gems of the day were these tree/ice formations hovering over the ridgeline. In the gray light, they looked like ghosts marching toward purgatory.

After I dropped off my bike, I hiked for a while with this skier. I never learned his name. But I like this picture, because his body is hunched over at the same angle as the trees.

There was a good hard base beneath the mostly wind-scoured powder. Possibly even bikeable out in the open. I definitely didn't need snowshoes.

Walking among the trees really gave the impression of strolling through a spacious gallery full of Gothic sculptures. Nature makes the best art.

I saw about a dozen people - quite a few for this still-closed ski area on a Monday morning. There's not much snow at the base, but probably a good five feet at the top. I still don't think it's going to open on Saturday.

Just before the terrifying ride down. The great thing about riding on snow is that you never really know what you're going to get.

I had to stop and put on mittens on the way down the road. I smiled when I saw streaks of sunlight on the mountains. I hope to see more of them tomorrow.