Thank you for all of the nice comments on my last post. It's been a low-key couple of weeks since. I don't have a lot to report, but I did want to post a few mountain photos for the archive.
"Oh," I giggled. "Oh, sorry, no salt there." She still persisted as I hopped up on the saddle and pedaled away, hoping to pass her two friends without incident. Honestly, I was quite frightened for a few seconds there. But in hindsight, a kiss from a bighorn sheep is an interesting experience, and the charging photo is super cute.
Anyway, I feel justified in warming up for my shopping trip with a six-hour solo mountain bike ride.
A trail sign said it was 3.7 miles to Chasm Lake. I decided that sounded like a good destination for the day. I was feeling blasé about this outing — still frustrated about the full parking lot at Twin Sisters, and perhaps a little fatigued from my Rollins ride. But the miles passed quickly, and when I crested a small ridge to catch my first views of The Diamond and Mount Meeker, my jaw just dropped. A sheer face of granite perfection, as though chiseled by Greek gods. I mean, I've seen photos of Longs before. But photos don't capture the enormity or quiet splendor of this place, even remotely.
I had a similar reaction when I scaled a series of car-sized boulders to crest the cirque that holds Chasm Lake. I could hear the roar of cascading water echoing off the walls, but the lake itself was calm, as still as glass. Wispy clouds had moved overhead, and the rock face reflected a dance of light and shadow. A shiver moved up my spine. The physical reaction startled me. I tried to remember the last time I'd been moved to chills by scenery. I've seen so many beautiful places that I've almost become jaded. The sublimity of this place was an extra-strength dose of awe.
The view west from Keyhole was another jaw-dropper. This is Glacier Gorge, another basin of granite perfection.
Keyhole itself is an impressive place. I've not yet visited another pass that reminded me so much of the European Alps, which are filled with tiny notches in sawtooth ridges that divide one insanely steep scree slope from the next. In my mind, this pass will always be "Col Keyhole" or perhaps a more proper "Col d' Trou de Serrure." If you can't tell, I miss the Alps.
This shelter commemorates
A Colorado mountaineer
Conquered by winter
After scaling the precipice.
Conquered by winter after scaling the precipice ... so beautiful. If such an epithet is written about me someday, I wouldn't mind.