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A Grand Ol’ Time

By Ann Driggers

This past weekend we headed to the Grand Mesa for a friends wedding party held at their family's idylic mountain cabin, in a grove of aspen trees near Powderhorn. The autumn colors were off the hook - brilliant oranges, glowing yellows and vibrant reds. Perhaps its because we were shortchanged last year, but they do seem to be some of the best we've ever seen.

A wonderful afternoon and evening were spent in this gorgeous location with many friends old and new, celebrating marriage, family and friendship. Wine and beer flowed, bar-b-que was consumed. The band, local favorites Straygrass played, as we danced under the rising moon amidst the luminous aspens.

The next day, despite the excesses of the night before, we rallied for a mountain bike ride on the classic Grand Mesa trail, West Bench.

Running from Jumbo Lakes across the top of Powderhorn ski area it is fairly mellow singletrack with a few rock gardens thrown in. Although only 11 miles out and back it took an inordinate amount of time due to the fact we kept stopping to take pictures. Here's why:

 

All photos of Krissy Steele by me ^. Chad ...

Lift Two group photo. We gave ourselves trail names based upon the sign. I was Snowcloud (of course), Krissy was Hooker (haha), Mike was Hooligan and Chad was Warning! No one wanted to be Tenderfoot.

After finishing up West Bench we headed back down to Powderhorn on some secret singletrack Chad knew. I quickly saw why it was so secret.

Beavers had blocked the trail with their dams, water flowed down, there was lots of deadfall. It became a little adventuresome for a short while and I was thinking secret might not be good so after all. More than a handfull of riders a year would certainly help clear the trail a little.

After thrashing through the undergrowth and lugging our bikes through the jungle gym, finally it opened up and super sweet singletrack unfurled through the glowing forest.

^ Me, photo by K.

K, photo by me....

And then it was wheeeeeee all the way home. Or back to Powderhorn for more beer and bar-b-que. Grand!

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