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Sunday, December 20, 2009

A girls-only ride plus exploring a ridge

K and I had a 'girls only' ride this morning, mellowly pedaling on snowy trails. One aspect of the low sun in the winter is the soft sunlight that makes K's fur glow.
Early in the ride, K clambered on a boulder pile, staring toward the mountains and sniffing the stiff breeze out of the west.
One of the boulders blazed with rust and yellow lichen. While I easily overlook lichen in the summer when a riot of wildflowers captures my attention, their color seems blazingly bright in snowy winter world.
While I examined the lichens, K sat as my hind-guard, scanning our world. This photo showed me how well K has recovered from her very serious bout of pancreatitis in September when she lost close to 10 lbs, including muscle. Her shoulders look muscle-bound in this photo.
It is surprising, every time, how mellow a ride with K alone feels after having R join us every day for almost a week. I love having R with us but he certainly infuses our bike ride with high voltage energy! By contrast, K loves running easily along side my bike when she's my only partner, rarely running wildly through the forest like she does when R exerts his influence.

After I dropped K at home, I headed for a ridge that I haven't visited in a couple of weeks due to snow and drifting. Alas, it wasn't quite ready for the snowbike, with some deep drifts and soft snow. But, despite suboptimal riding conditions, I enjoyed the views!
I also followed some tracks that seemed promising as mountain lion tracks, based on their size, pattern, and the crazy route over and among boulders that they followed. However, I never found a single track where I could discern the paw shape with sufficient clarity to be sure. I propped my bike in the snow and followed the tracks into the forest. The tracks crossed the trail next to my bike.
I was on high alert for lion tracks because the elk herd had traipsed across the ridge overnight, and I seem to find lion tracks close to the herd more often than anyplace else. Moreover, I found the dual tracks of a mother and kitten cougar very nearby on two occasions in November.

I enjoyed my sojourn in nature but I felt detached and emotionally muted today - lacking my usual verve but still in a happy mood. I must be tired from all the ruminating and decision-making. Thanks to all of you for your words of support. They make a big difference!


  1. you and K are quite the are more one, than two...such a wonderful companion and yes, she is looking very strong and healthy!
    hope your week is filled with strength and clear thoughts...

  2. K does look very healthy in the pictures. What prompted leaving R at home? The Herd is always convinced we are headed to the vet if only selected parties get to go somewhere.

  3. K looks beautiful in those photos! Glad to see you finding your path through decisions!

  4. What a wonderful ride just the two of you! Love that mellow ride, with K by your side. Wonderful shots of the mountains.

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose and mom

  5. It looked like a beautiful day for you girls in the forest. I'm hoping I can head to our patch of woods sometime this week, before the snow melts. But, because I don't have the same expertise as you, I think I'll hand around the parts I know well - I could totally see myself getting disorganized and discombobulated with all of the snow around me!

    I'm glad you found some good in your ride, despite your mellow mood. We all have our days!

  6. Words of support are the least we can offer!

    Thanks for more great pics and more great commentary!

  7. K looks gorgeous, with the sun hitting her. Beautiful pics too, I'm glad you got a good ride today.


  8. Sometimes detached is good. Perhaps it's a break, and it sounds like you could use it...

  9. K looks to be in great shape! I'm glad you told me about her fast metabolism - makes me feel a little better about B, who apparently still needs three meals a day, too!

  10. What great pics! (Got here from Maery Rose's blog btw) When I saw your mtb avatar I had to check out your blog. Always fun to find another girl rider. Good luck with your neck. Sounds like a pain.

  11. Decisions, big and small, are exhausting. You're doing a great job, though.

  12. K does look wonderful! I'm hoping Java eventually fills out more like that but then she doesn't get out and run as much as K. It sounds like it was nice to have a more calm ride with just the two of you.


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