Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Mountain Dweller Contemplates 300 Miles of Cholla

My first hike in Colorado, now 5 years ago, left me a bit surprised to see cactus on the forest floor. I was fresh out of the Willamette Valley, Oregon, where non-vascular plants (ferns mainly) graced the sides of the trails. This is a testament to the vast amount of rain that I was happy to escape upon moving to Colorado.

But, I can deal with cactus. I leave it alone and admire it from afar, like most. I have only had one episode of "cact-ass" after a pretty good wreck on the Blue Sky trail last spring. Yes, it had me pulling spines out of my backside with tweezers for days. As a result, I must admit that I don't admire cactus quite so much anymore....

But my upcoming trip(s) to AZ are forcing me to think about this looming monster:

Cholla.   Huh?

Cholla is a type of cactus this mountain girl had to learn about on Wikipedia. I first heard the word from my friend in the midst of a marathon session of questions. This sparked some curiosity, and here is what I found:

Prickly desert stuff that hurts to remove

Sweet. Can't wait ;-)

I think I will grab my snowshoes and go seek out some snow for my workout tomorrow.The Indian Peaks Wilderness, more specifically, Devil's Thumb Lake, sounds like a good place to go for lunch. Wheels is getting ancy from being inside a lot this week and needs to get some miles in anyway.

Looking forward to it. Weather looks cold but clear, probably some wind, but I need some tough girl elements thrown into the mix, right? My iPod is loaded with some new beats and I will have adequate time to go over my bikepacking setup and gear and make a mental list of possible weaknesses/holes in my game.

Ok, enough for now because I am currently engrossed in Mark Twight's book, "Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber" my Rainier partner sent me the other day. Good call, Steve. :)

And this blog

I do love work from those with an insightful and strong voice. Mad respect to these two :-)

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