Meghann and I started the minimalist game. It goes like this: on the first day you give up one item you don’t need. On the second, two items. On the third, 3 items. And so on it goes for 30 days. The items can be as big or large as you want. A old pair of socks, an unused jacket, etc. Just no garbage or trash. That is too easy. The last person still getting rid of stuff wins.
I think I’m going to win 😉
The Saturday before Christmas my dad and I took the boys hunting. While both have deer hunted with Granddad, I don’t think either has truly hunting for something that they could actually kill. My dad took Wyatt and I took Rory. Rory and I walked down behind the cabin along the bike trail and before long we started seeing some squirrels move in the trees. I tried to get Rory to shoot, but he wanted me to try first. After a couple missed shots, Rory found the squirrel hiding on a tree branch. Luckily we were using a .410, otherwise at this distance there would haven’t been much left with a 12 gauge. As I learned, you eat what you shoot. Granddad showed the boys how to skin the squirrel, which was pretty humerus. As expected Wyatt wasn’t too keen. But Rory was pretty fascinated and I think eventually may be the hunter partner my dad is looking for. I bagged the squirrel in some Dale’s seasoning and dad finished it on the smoker the following day. Rory and I concluded it was the best squirrel we have ever had.
Geritt and I tackled Greens Creek. Riding with Geritt is humbling, infuriating, but so awesome. His skill on a bike is greater than I could ever achieve and his style is way different than mine. However everytime I ride with him, it makes me better. I wish we rode more together.
On this day we got dropped off at Monarch Crest by Meghann and the boys. As usual we started up above the tree line. The views and experience are so amazing, I don’t think it will ever get old. Our drop down Green’s was our best effort, but even so it was an amazing day. We finished the ride by coasting back down the HWY back into Salida with a stop at Elevation Brewery for a cold beer.
Sandwiched between Crested Butte and Salida was a few days of Buena Vista. Such a cool little CO town. They had a pump track, skate park, and trails right in town.
It seems that after a long summer last year working on the cabin, I swapped and spent a long summer racing this year. With all my races behind me I really wanted to spend a full four day Thanksgiving holiday at the cabin. Wyatt and I spent Thursday reworking the short mtb trail by shaping a berm and widening a turn. It turned out really well. The little stepdown after the berm is far enough out that it will give Wyatt something to work towards achieving. On Friday Meghann returned to home to spend some time with her mom and get a few things around the house done. I worked some more on the trail adding two rollers while Jeanne too the boys to the BSF for a small hike. During the afternoon I rode Grand Gap and John Muir. I can really tell that my legs are toast.
Saturday we worked on extending the mtb trail higher up the hill and reworked the old road bed with a new section in the woods. It ties right into the existing trail and even added a new jump. It needs a little work but we had enough.
On Sunday we rode the motos on the track and woods loop. I am sad to say, but at this point those bikes are so much stress. They require so much maintenance and are really costly to ride and maintain. Compared to the ease of bicycles, I’ve just had enough of them. I need to finally end it and sell the boy’s motos.
Rory and I finished the weekend with a little fishing in the pond. We managed to catch a nice largemouth bass and its great to see him figure out how to cast. I really enjoyed the down time.
And now its Monday and I can’t imagine how I am going to get through another week…
Before heading out west, I casually mentioned to Neko Mulally that we would be going to Crested Butte to ride the Evolution Bike Park. As it turns out he knew a family would lived in Mt. Crested Butte that had 3 sons and would probably be a good source of local knowledge. Finding trails that would be good for kids aged 6 and 9 is risky. The last thing I want to do is get them in over their heads and sour their experience with a poor choice. Leading up to the our trip I contacted Doug Hudson and we agreed to get back in touch before we heading into CB. During the week before our CB visit, Doug had suggested that we could stay with them. I was apprehensive. I am always cautious to inflict my kids on anyone and especially in a confined spaced where we really couldn’t get away if things got weird. After talking with Meghann, we decided to accept their offer for an overnight stay. As it turned out they live in Mt. Crested Butte, which is a couple miles north of Crested Butte proper. Mt. CB is more or less the village around the ski hill with some extended housing. A nice little village with pretty much everything within bike riding distance. Their house was incredible. It was simple, not lavish, but more than enough and the view and proximity to riding was incredible.
Fortunately our kids got along well and Doug and his wife Alexandra where extremely pleasant and gracious hosts. The way they opened their home to us was inspiring and our trip to CB was the highlight of the trip. We ended up staying 3 days and 2 nights with the Hudson’s. Letting Wyatt and Rory ride with their kids was an incredible experience. Brooks (the oldest, MrBrooksShreds) has some mtb sponsorship and was an incredible rider. I think it showed Wyatt a path to sponsorship and racing is possible. Well, to be honest each of their kids was great at riding.
On the last day, Rory was pretty pooped from the previous 2 days of riding and fortunately the village had plenty of other kid friendly activities. That allowed Wyatt and I some time to ride solo and ride a few of the harder trails. I think Wyatt’s riding ability exploded over the 3 days we were there. Being able to focus his energy and strength on a few trails repeatedly was good for him. I really struggle, internally, with getting him a FS bike but I know deep down all the riding and learning he is doing on a hardtail and flats will really pay off later in life.
Agate is a classic. Its a strong day of riding and over way to quickly. That section of high speed trail blasting water bars into off camber turns is fantastic!
Saturday was the AMBC Fall Festival down at Baker Creek. I hadn’t been to one in a couple of years and even then it was held at Brian Hann’s house. To make the day even better Geritt came over! Its great when I get to ride with him, we don’t do it enough.
The trails in Baker’s were relatively dry after a night’s rain. However when we rode out in Hastie it was like riding on a sheet of glass covered with axle grease. We had a freaking blast! Later in the day, Meghann and the boys showed up and we got to ride together on Barn Burner and Cruise Valley. Wyatt demoed a full suspension Specialized and now I am sure I’ll never hear the end of it.
Around 6 we were starving and went to the boy’s favorite, Central Flats and Taps. Not sure why they love it so, but it is good. Around 6:45 we managed to get 4 tickets to the 7:30 TN vs. Southern Miss homecoming game. Yee Haw brewing was struggling to give these away and as a result we even got a free parking pass. It was the easiest game we have ever been to.
So much wrong with this, but…
JP and I tackled a ride that would start out on Rainbow trail and finish with a sweet illegal trail down into Salida. The trail climbed steadily for quiet a while and finished with a brutal hike-a-bike. But the next DH was loose and blown out. Well worth it. JP took the lead and I was smiling all the way down. After a short transfer we started down the illegal trail that was really well made and finished on a trail called Lost that would finish just outside the town if Salida. We rode back into town and had some beers while we formulated a plan to pick up JPs vehicle. At worst we could have just pedaled the distance but luckily JPs mother-in-law Diane came to the rescue.