Despite the wicked cold temps in Lyons today (around 15 is what my thermometer read when I left the house), I had to get out to ride today and thought the recent few inches of snow would make for a good time. Not having a lot of time, I wanted to keep this ride relatively close to home so I headed to Hall Ranch. I'd heard the front side was in good shape before yesterdays snow so I went there first. I took the long way up Old South St Vrain Drive. Here's a shot of the mighty South St Vrain Creek looking cold and quiet.
When I got to Hall, I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of cars. Only 1 car in the upper lot. Coincidentally, there was only one set of foot tracks from today, too. I could make out bike tracks from yesterday, but they were dusted heavily with the snow throughout last night. Conditions were superb. The snow was a very light early season snow; light and dry. About 2-5 inches covered the ground, which had been hardpacked and dry before the last dusting. The snow kept the riding interesting, but not too dificult to enjoy the days climb. I climbed up to the rock garden without dabbing. Given the slick snowy conditions, I was surprised to have made thru a few sections clean. Once I made it to the rock garden, I was forced to dismount a few times. Despite the snow, sections that I thought I'd have trouble with were dab free. The smooth sections were buttery and quiet.
After a little more labor than normal, I made it to the top. The veiw to the North was great today. The look back to the South was pretty good, too. I love the low clouds from today. About the time I reached the top, I realized that I needed to get going. I opted out and rode back down the Antelope Trail to a warm shower and hot coffee. Antelope had deep enought snow that it probably would not have been as enjoyable as a climb. As a descent today, though, it was akin to carving a board down thru some fresh snow. There were no other tracks except for bobcat, deer and bunny.
Looking back on my tracks revealed nothing but cold temps, snow, and a few bike tracks. What a great site, eh? It still beats concrete!