“Santa is very jolly because he knows where all the bad girls live.” — Dennis Miller

Sometimes I get these crazy ideas in my head. But instead of doing what most sane people would do and think, “Wow. That is crazy. I probably should just forget about it.” My brain thinks, “Wow. That is crazy. I totally need to do that. I think I will. See ya!”

That’s what got me out the door this morning. The crazy, insane idea that riding my road by with slick tires up and over the Colorado National Monument. I mean, it was Christmas! Shouldn’t I do something totally messed up?!

And here’s the irony: I wasn’t out the door 5 minutes when I knew it was a mistake. It was too cold, I’m too out of practice (read: out of shape), and I was on the wrong bike. But, heck, it would be sort of EPIC, right? So I kept pedaling.

Well, this being my trail blog, I shant bore you with the details of my road ride since it wasn’t my trail thing for the day- just the preview to it. It was unbearably cold once I made it up the climb. My left hand ached and it was too painful to squeeze the breaks. The road was crowded with cars who were unprepared to watch for a cyclist on the road (after all what kind of mental incapacitation must you have suffered to be riding the Monument on Christmas day on a road bike you crazy woman!?!?) The plan had been for Dennis to pick me up and then we would take the kids for a hike. I had to stand around in the cold waiting 20 minutes for him. But hey! I can now say I sort of rode the Monument on Christmas Day.

So Dennis did show up with the kids. We met at the Visitor’s Center and I sat in the Jeep with the heater on full-blast for 10 minutes before I could change my clothes and take the kids for a hike.

We opted for the 1/2 mile hike on the Canyon Rim trail. It’s so funny how my kids work. Sitting in the Jeep, or at home, and you say, “Hey! Let’s go for a hike!” And you’ll get all kinds of complaints. Tim might actually shed tears. But you get them out of the car and their feet on the trail and they become these energetically joyful children. The transformation is totally worth it.

The Canyon Rim trail starts by the VC and follows along the rim, with killer views of all the popular rock formations: Independence Monument, Kissing Couple, Praying Hands, Pipe organ. The trail was snowy and squishy in parts, but the kids didn’t care. Connor kept his hands in his pockets and hummed “Jingle Bells”. Tim climbed on every rock he possibly could. Trinity found a stick and kept making imaginary ‘soup’ in snow drifts. Dennis alternately brought up the rear and took the lead. I couldn’t stop shivering.

Eventually we got to the view of Window Rock and climbed up to the overlook. Tim and Dennis played “only rock”- a self-evident game where you can only step on rocks. It was pretty fun to watch and had I not still be uncontrollably cold and overseeing Connor’s progress on the trails I would have participated in.

Editorial: I’m pretty dang sick of winter. Or at least of being cold. Maybe I wouldn’t feel this way if I could get on my bike. Or in the pool. Or if I owned a sauna. Or if I had a gym membership where they have a sauna.

Oh well. I can’t make the seasons change any faster than they already do. I guess I’ll just keep having as much fun as I can. And just continue to be grateful I live where I do! The Grand Valley!

Miles from anywhere.

Miles from anywhere.

Overlooking Independence Monument.

Overlooking Independence Monument.

My crew.

My crew.

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Tim's favorite pose.

Tim’s favorite pose.

There were 12 cairns on this one rock. It kinda creeped me out.

There were 12 cairns on this one rock. It kinda creeped me out.

Trinity making 'soup'

Trinity making ‘soup’

Dennis showing Tim Window Rocl

Dennis showing Tim Window Rock

 

We walked back to the VC on the campground road. He started singing "The 12 Days of Christmas". I joined him. It was maybe my favorite moment of the day.

We walked back to the VC on the campground road. He started singing “The 12 Days of Christmas”. I joined him. It was maybe my favorite moment of the day.

Tim has no fear.

Tim has no fear.

Photo Dec 25, 13 45 47 Photo Dec 25, 13 28 46

Me taking a picture of the cairn rock.

Me taking a picture of the cairn rock.