Last night and today did not turn out as I expected, with an illness in the family that turned for the worse and the Boulder fires that threatened the assisted living facility where a relative of mine lives.
One great thing about having dogs is that they always need to get outside for at least a little time each day. So, despite my out-of-control schedule and general anxiety, I took a couple of short hikes and a short ride with my dogs. My two younger dogs were amped with energy and chased each other in circles around me as I hiked. I can't stop myself from smiling when they play with wild abandon and epitomize seizing the moment.
The mountain bike ride was primarily to work out my back spasms, and it didn't work. That's very rare. I think that I let the spasms and pain get too bad before I tried do anything about them. My experience is that the key to pain control is heading it off before it gets too bad. In my case, that often means riding my bike before the spasms are too agonizing.
Because it was a warm day and I was riding late in the day when the trails might be muddy, I stuck with ATV and 4wd trails. I wanted to avoid damaging the singletrack hiking/biking trails. Normally, I ride first thing in the morning when the trails are still frozen solid so I don't need to worry about damaging the trails. In fact, unless there's loose snow, I don't even leave tracks. And, there's certainly no long-term trail damage if I leave tracks in a layer of snow! The trail to the right is a fave of mine. It holds a thick layer of show well into the spring so I can ride it all winter with no worries of trail damage. There is a melting period in the spring when I avoid it - a muddy trail is a trail that my tires will erode.
Here I wound around a local reservoir on a 4wd road.
Then, I headed up a spooky gulch on another 4wd road. I think of this as 'Lion Gulch' (earlier post about this gulch). It felt especially dangerous today as the sun had already fallen close the horizon and much of the gulch was in shade.
Finally, after a long climb up the gulch and *not* being eaten by a mountain lion, a beautiful view awaited me. I'll never cease to be astounded by the beauty of the Continental Divide.