Monday, November 14, 2016

Indian Creek to Chatfield

I have a story to share before I share our latest ride. Last Sunday, J and I got up and left the house early. I met K and we did a ride, while J met up with A and they did a singletrack bike ride near A's house. The plan was to be back to the house before 11 am, when Mom would be up to watch TV. K and I rode out around the edges of the fields behind Morelli's, which I had ridden a year ago. It ended up being about five miles and was a decent ride. There was a point where we were riding through short grass and came to what appeared to be a ditch. I approached slowly, looking for a ditch or hidden holes, but still didn't see the wire hiding in the tall weeds until Ashke had stepped across  it with one foot and gotten it tangled in his front feet. It has always been one of my fears that we would get tangled in wire and he would freak out. I told him to whoa! firmly but not fearful, then asked him to stand. He did. I dismounted and untangled the left front which had not crossed the wire, but had trapped the wire in his royal tendon boot. Then I untangled his right front, reached down and lifted the hoof out of the wire and then asked him to back up. He did everything I asked calmly and without even twitching a muscle until I asked. It was an amazing moment. He seemed completely unphased by the incident, although I stood and shook for a good fifteen minutes afterwards. Thankfully, it was not barbed.

Okay, now for the ride we did on Saturday.

We did this ride in June, when the weather had finally turned toward the beginnings of spring rather than the end of winter. This weekend was the opposite end of that, with what could possibly be the last of fall and the beginning of winter. The temps were in the mid 60's and although K, J and A were a little cold, I rode the entire day in short sleeves and was incredibly comfortable. It was beautiful, with bright, deep blue skies and incredible views.

I took a bunch of videos with the GoPro. I think they turned out pretty well. We started at Indian Creek, rode up to the Colorado Trail, turned north to Waterton Canyon, then rode the river trail to our normal parking spot at Chatfield. K and I rode 16 miles, while J and A rode 19 or so. I didn't take any videos of Waterton, since it is a road through the canyon and not real exciting. Although, A did share some pics she took which I will post.

The trail starts downhill for about a mile. Not too steep but a consistent downhill. Then we head up.

There is a combination of dirt and rocks. The rocks can get very gnarly.

The main part of the uphill was pretty steep. Ashke was breathing very heavily at the top.
We stopped and waited for their breathing to normalize before going on.

Eddy led a lot, especially in the mountains. The trail was pretty eroded by the traffic and lack of moisture this year. Some of the rocks were pretty intense to traverse. I did get off on one, where the slick rock was convexed and wider than a single step. Ashke handled it well but I was glad I was off his back.

The Colorado Trail has a very intimidating drop off on one side.

At the top of Waterton, K and I ate lunch while waiting for J and A to arrive. I was kind of surprised that they weren't there when we arrived. Both of the boys got a couple pounds of feed dumped out onto the ground for them to eat, plus Ashke got a handful of baby carrots to gobble up. After we finished up lunch, we headed down the canyon to try and find our wayward company. We met them ten minutes down the canyon. J had issues with the bike pump and it took her a while to get air back in the tire (after flattening it), plus they had been waylaid by bighorn sheep.

This is the River Trail along the South Platte. Love this trail.

Wait for it . . . .
So much fun.

Eddy did get kicked by Ashke, who hates that Eddy runs up on him. It might have been better to have Eddy in front of Ashke, but I don't trust Eddy to stop and not run over J and A on their bikes, so he has to be behind me.

Doing a log across trail. There were a lot of trees down due to beaver activity.

Ashke drank well at the river both times he was offered water and again at the trailer. Eddy didn't drink at all, which does not bode well for his possible endurance future. Even at sixteen miles and he sweated heavily. K may need to think about salt or electrolytes to help trigger him drinking. Ashke sweated early on the mile uphill we did, but was cool and dry the rest of the day. Eddy had sweat dripping off his shoulders and chest. He is such a mountain goat, I swear.

We loaded the horses as the sun dropped behind the mountains. Six more weeks until Solstice and possibly snow on Thursday. Really happy we got this ride in.


  1. I really am trying very hard to get Eddy to stay back away from Ashke and it went pretty well at the beginning of the ride, but I think he was ready to get back to the trailer and wasn't listening so well at that point. I also think he was loving being in front at the beginning and didn't want to be in back at the end. He does change gaits and stop for me very well most of the time, so it's hard to practice those times when he gets stubborn. I'm hoping that getting kicked maybe put the idea in his head, but not holding my breath. Thank you ever so much for taking me on these wonderful adventures despite my bratty boy. I will try to remember to add the electrolytes on rides again.

  2. What a GOOD boy to know when to stand still so you could help him!