Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hyalite Canyon Climb - Bozeman, Montana

Dark and Cold Forest
I spent a week in Bozeman as part of a conference for Tribal Librarians.  I'm not much of a conference goer, Gentle Readers of This Blog - especially with people like librarians.  Librarians can be weirdos and deranged mean-spirited old ladies.  I am happy to report that at this conference, I met a very diverse group of professionals - and I had a good time.

Ride just a few mile and you're in Big Sky Country!
Okay, so we have dorms that we're staying in at Montana State University.  Real quick after we arrive I spin downtown and around the beautiful campus.  It is cold and windy, and it rains on and off - I make it to the local bike shop on Tuesday evening and get some info on the ride up to Hyalite Canyon.

Hyalite Canyon will be my Wednesday Big Ride at 40 miles round-trip, as I have a half-day off.  While in Arizona, I went to the Local Bike Shop's website, and got good info on the favorite rides the local roadies do.  Bozeman is a mtn bike town, but the roadies seem well represented too!

Okay I'm off!  I head up to the mtns, chased by a storm cloud!  As you can see, within a few minutes it seems, Bozeman is off in the distance...

Heading out South, and the clouds don't quite know what to do.  But I get some tailwind and as it's a week day, there is no traffic!

Every car I do see has a bike rack, and people are friendly and wave! 

  Big Sky is favoring a roadie like me - the air is fresh and everything is clean!

Mostly it's been flat-slightly up-hill, but after a quick seven miles, I'm ready to start my climb
Living at 7200 feet back in AZ will certainly aid me in my climb!  It will be a serious operation!

The road is narrow, but again, I've seen no cars.   A roaring river runs down besides the road - the canyon route is cold and dark, even for June!  I think I'm at about 6,000 feet.

Making good time, and seeing great landscapes!  The air is crisp and clean - a bit cool, and I'm sweating pretty good.  The sunshine is back and forth - sometimes there's a drop of rain - but I think that cold grey cloud that followed me out of town decided not to climb much more.

The road is smooth and narrow now, and often hugs the side of the mountain - and I feel like I'm slowly gliding over the forest.  It is a tranquil state of being.  Everything is new and fresh - my mind needs this, mes amis...

Hyalite Canyon and The Lake will be at the base of those mountains up ahead.

As always, some of the hardest (for me anyway) climbing is towards the end.  It's steep and there's still some deep patches of snow.   I've ridden about 17 miles and should arrive -

And suddenly I do!  Magnificent reward for my effort!  A beautiful and clear lake!

The Sun comes out, but just for a moment - those clouds up there are bearing down on me - and I can feel the cold wind.  Time to leave here!

I must say - no traffic!  I mean not a soul up here!  I turned around and was really surprised how steep my ride had been.  With a comfortable speed, and a few long straights - I sailed down most of the Hyalite Canyon Rd.  The tricky parts were the dark and cold, deep and curvy last few miles.

Suddenly I am down, and coasting past some lovely meadows - I did not see these coming up the road - this is also a great reward, and a reminder that everything is sacred.  When have I beheld such green and purple?  And known such a fragrant place?  Not is some time, Gentle Reader of This Blog...

Coasting and speeding back to Bozeman with a slight tailwind and gradual descent -  I'm effortlessly riding back at a nice 20 mph.

Downtown Bozeman at the base of the Mountain.  All the work-related, stress and monotony of the conference has left me - I feel alive and refreshed.

Later, I make it to dinner with my boss - we went to a great place downtown - and I drank a few of the local Bozeman beers on tap.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Allure Libre!


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