For the last few weeks it’s been the shoulder season here, which means that the trails are too muddy to ride and there hasn’t been enough snow to get up into the mountains (although it just dumped, and now the resorts are all opening up). So most of my miles have been commuting to work in Carbondale, 12 miles away.
Dry Park is a sweet dirt road that starts a couple miles above our house. It winds through open ranch land, climbs about 1500 feet, then ends at some pavement that drops straight down to Carbondale.
Since I’m an East Coast boy, the open range thing is still pretty novel. Thousands of pounds of beef roams freely up and down the road, and is only contained by a little spiky wire and some cattle guards (open metal slats that the big dumb beefs are apparently afraid to step on).
But I am a little intimidated when the cows with sharp things on their heads stand in the middle of road and stare at me, chewing slowly. My friend that grew up driving cattle out here told me to wave my arms and yell “yahh!” when they do that, but I haven’t had the courage to try it. I’d rather just slide past and try not to make eye contact.
I don’t want to be tenderized by a beef.
And I still, still can’t figure out how the dirt and snow works up here. We got a bunch of snow a couple days ago, and since Dry Park is up high I expected it to be totally covered. Or if it wasn’t covered, I figured it would be a frozen muddy disaster.
Which made the fat bike an unnecessarily slow way into work.
The red cliff down below is Mushroom Rock, Carbondale’s main mountain biking area.