|Buffalo Creek burn out|
|Buff Creek rocks become strange bedfellows|
|Morning drive to Monarch Crest tour.|
|High, cold and endless: Monarch Crest|
|A-Rog feeling the warmth of the Colorado sun down in Salida.|
So like I had mentioned we hit a lot of trails on our recent trip out west. I had also mentioned that shooting was unfortunately not a priority.
Our rides were long, at altitude and had (at least for me) high exertion levels, especially with a full camera pack. So many times I just chucked the 5D Mk2 and went with the point and shoot, and of course not being super inspired by shooting the point and shoot I just rode my brains out!
Our trip started out with one hell of a lot of driving. We left on Friday night from Duluth at about 6pm and arrived at Buffalo Creek just outside of Denver at about 5pm the next day. Fried does not describe it and after what happened to us at Buff Creek I have to also use it as an excuse. First off let me say that as a photographer Buffalo Creek is by far one of the most interesting visual places I have ridden in a long time. I could have spent a season shooting all that I witnessed there. Unfortunately for us, we only had a few hours. We used all the daylight we could, and the bummer was that even that was not enough! We got caught out on trail, at the highest point no less in total darkeness. What was going to be a fun fast and well earned descent turned into a hike a bike and "strider" crawl in the inky black darkness to our car. Our bloodthirsty need to ride had overcome our need to be prepared and we paid for it, luckily however we did not end up spending the night out, as that was a very real possibility.
Once fed and back on our game, we once again hit the car and drove as far as Fairplay so we could hit Salida early in the morning and ride the Monarch Crest Trail with my buddy Nate Porter. The morning dawned cold and frosty and the Crest started out that way as well. Special thanks to Nate for the tour, we were not the speediest of riders, but we got the job done and ended the tour with beers and chile at Nates.
Both the Monarch Crest and Buffalo Creek were eye openers for our crew. We have grown so spoiled by purpose built bike trails that we had to pull ourselves back into the head space of riding backcountry and multi use trails. We loved em going down, we hated them going up and we saw nothing but lost opportunity in both directions. Ultimately we realized the luck we have here in the Midwest in the fact that we are able to work more independently of horse and motorized use on our projects and thus create extremely high quality MTB trail experiences.
No doubt though, the views were worth the work and we will never have those back home....