Wednesday, December 07, 2016

5 degrees in paradise

One of the reasons we moved from California to Colorado was to live among winter again — to sit by a wood stove and sip hot chocolate, watch snow fall outside the window, and justify having a sauna in our back yard. In eight months, Colorado has given us little tastes — May snowfall and October cold. But today was probably the first day of "real" winter — several inches of new snow fell as overnight temperatures dipped below zero. In the spirit of the "nearly wordless Wednesday" blogging tradition, this is a photo post. 

 Early morning light filters through fog over the backyard.

 Weather station shows 0.9 degrees.

 Beat begins his morning commute to work. It proved tougher than he anticipated.

 A few hours later, I set out for an afternoon ride. Temperatures had warmed to a balmy 5.4 degrees.

 Walker Ranch.

 Relentless climbing, rewarding views.

 First tracks.

 South Boulder Creek. It felt very cold here.

 Climbing away from South Boulder Creek was hard.

 Fading to cloud.

 Hints of sunlight.

 After an embarrassingly short distance, I realized three hours had passed, so I stopped for a snack.

Steam rises from Gross Reservoir. 

18 comments:

  1. Nice Jill...a post like the good ol' days! I'm up in Colo Springs right now for work (have my backup mtb with me)...we got hit bit the same storm, but I'm more of a fair-weather-rider...not so much down below 30 I have to tell you (maybe if I had the gear AND a fatbike I could get into it...but living in CA that won't be happening). Lovely pictures!

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  2. How you know you're hard core: when you have the first snow tracks on a trail in Boulder! (Although I guess walker ranch is a little out there).

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    1. I went running on the West Ridge of Bear Peak today and still had to break trail. It's been 36 hours since the storm. Where is everybody?

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  3. Wow, commuting down Flagstaff Mountain Rd. in the snow a 0º F - I can only imagine the wind chill. Did he feel like a popsicle at the bottom?

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    1. I think conditions were slow enough that he had to work even on the downhills. But that is a frigid descent.

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  4. I got first tracks over here today! I had a similar experience - it's amazing how slow first tracks on a fat bike are! It never got over 2° here today. Frozen toes after 3 hrs. I'm so glad that the weather is to your liking! I prefer it a little warmer than this.

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    1. I need to come explore some of your trails. I've had a lot of success with my hiking boot/overboot system and don't even worry about my feet anymore. However, I'm more convinced that a warm core is the secret to warm hands and feet. I usually go gloveless, but when my core gets chilled my hands are the first thing to freeze.

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  5. The pictures look beautiful - looking at them from here in Cali (wet and cold, brr...morning 40ies). You guys are the living proof that the cold adaptation gene exists. I am getting my fat bike ready, Tahoe is getting slammed by storm after storm.

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    1. Wet and 30s-40s is definitely colder than dry weather in the single digits. However it's been fairly humid for Colorado and there's nearly always a windchill. Come visit! :)

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  6. We have wind gusts of 35 mph right now so even at a balmy 15 degrees, it is nasty. Love weather in the single digits when there is no wind. But the wind and me, we have serious issues and I wimp out. Some of my favorite runs have been bundled up when the wind is calm and the snow is sparkling.

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    1. Wind is my nemesis. I wrote a whole book about it.

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  7. Nice pics Jill. Dropped from above average -5's to -28C, -35 with windchill yesterday and today on the frontside of K-country but snow is still thin at our elevation; rather more at the trailheads.

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  8. Did you really do the Walker Ranch Loop on a bike with new snow?! That's crazy! That's awesome!

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    1. Only a section of Walker Ranch. Conditions were tricky with all the hidden rocks, and I was happy to get off that trail and ride Gross Dam road back. I can basically promise that I will never "ride" the whole Walker Ranch loop ... it's much better as a run, without the anchor. ;)

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  9. I'm jealous of the snow! We received several inches here in Flagstaff about a week ago, but it's been dry since then, and we're not expecting anything in the immediate future.

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  10. Dodging in from the rain-swept street, I exchanged a smile and a glance with Miss Blank in the bar of the Three Crows. This exchange was effected with extreme propriety. It is a shock to think that, if still alive, Miss Blank must be something over sixty now. How time passes!

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  11. What weather station are you guys using? I've had a pro station from Davis weather, but the display that you have seems more logical.

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    1. Ambient Weather WS-1001-WiFi. The console is ok, pretty informative, does the business. Update rate is 15 seconds or so (there are some others that apparently are faster). It's cheaper than the Davis but still got reasonably good reviews - we'll see how it holds up. It seems to loose Wifi connection occasionally - not sure why. I just unplug it and it sorts itself out.

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