peach valley road colorado

Triple Threat

“I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden.
I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”― Marjorie Pay Hinckley

My graduation ceremony from BYU was… interesting. I was just ready to graduate. I’d already been offered my job, I’d jumped through the hoops, I was monstrously in debt, had an 8-month-old baby and an eye infection. So I don’t remember a whole lot, really.

But what I do remember was the musical number performed by the MDT majors. (It was the School of Music graduation, so there were LOTS of musical numbers, FYI). We called the MDT majors the “Triple Threat”- Music, Dance AND Theatre were their specialty. The song was something so very cliche, like “We Will Change the World” or “The World is Awesome” or “We Are Awesome and Are Going To Change The World!”. It was so tacky we made fun of it for ages.

Well today I’m the Triple Threat! I hit it on the Jeep, the Bike, and the Run.

I left home nice and early- watched the sunrise hit the Monument cliffs in my rear-view as I headed over to Delta. Upon arrival there, I took a left and drove 6 miles out of town, and navigated myself to the Peach Valley road.

Really, the whole experience today was about discovery. This area along the rim of the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness Area is just ripe for exploration. There are Jeep trails, motorized single-track (read: mountain bike), and hike-only down into the gorge. I can’t wait to take the kids back there. I’ve already picked a couple of Jeep routes and the hike I want to explore with them.

Today I picked a route I thought would let me test out a bit of all the trails and hopefully survive. I took the Peach Valley then cut up the Ute trail to the rim. I then took the bike up the rim trail for quite a way, until I was cut up and exhausted and time constrained, so I dropped down and headed back on the Sidewinder trail, back to Ute, then a strenuous climb back up to the ridge where my Jeep was parked. Here’s a map of the area: MAP 

I’ll be honest, part of today’s idea was to find the joy of riding my mountain bike again. Can’t say that I did. In fact, when I put my bike onto the rack I thought, “Okay. We’ll try again in a couple of weeks. Until then, I don’t even want to look at you.” Poor Mr. The Stig. I’m afraid my running shoes are going to get more action than my bike shoes for a while. I’m just so burned out.

But the Jeeping was so much fun! Nothing super technical, but excellent views and fun. I’m really excited to go back. Soon. I also thought it might be fun to learn to ride a motor bike. Those guys seemed to be having a great time!

After this excursion, I drove to Ridgeway and met my client, Kelly. We did a brief windy run on the Ridgeway river trail- another fun discovery. I’m afraid I wasn’t a very energetic runner today, but the highlight, as always, was talking with Kelly.

Post-run we hit up this fantastic little taco shop and did some work. It was great. I topped of the day with a soak in the hot springs and a little (read: a lot) of Indian food in Montrose. I was so happy and comfortable I’m not sure how I made it home through my happy comatose haze. But I did. And I let Dennis put my bike away for me because, you know, I’m not going there.

There was signage, if you knew where to look for it...
There was signage, if you knew where to look for it…
The morning sun was blinding! This was a cute little homestead with a windmill.
The morning sun was blinding! This was a cute little homestead with a windmill.

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Looking north at the Grand Mesa. Yup, all of that snow tops the 10k ft tall flat mountain.
Looking north at the Grand Mesa. Yup, all of that snow tops the 10k ft tall flat mountain.
Jeep road recon.
Jeep road recon.
from this one trailhead I could turn left and Jeep along the rim, or take the singletrack on the bike along the rim, or hike down into the gorge. The views were awesome.
from this one trailhead I could turn left and Jeep along the rim, or take the singletrack on the bike along the rim, or hike down into the gorge. The views were awesome.
Looking toward Crested Butte.
Looking toward Crested Butte.
Looking down into the Gunnison
Looking down into the Gunnison

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Trees weren't my friends today.
Trees weren’t my friends today.
Sidewinder was mostly dry- aerated and puffy. Not that pleasant, really.
Sidewinder was mostly dry- aerated and puffy. Not that pleasant, really.
Such a girlish figure, no?
Such a girlish figure, no?

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One of the 1,000 short climbs on Sidewinder, up a rocky wash through the trees. Would have been fun if I hadn't been so tired.
One of the 1,000 short climbs on Sidewinder, up a rocky wash through the trees. Would have been fun if I hadn’t been so tired.

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Peach Valley road: was fast and fun. I ♥ my Jeep!
Peach Valley road: was fast and fun. I ♥ my Jeep!
Caught the moto guys blazing down the trail.
Caught the moto guys blazing down the trail.

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