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The ride to hell and back

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Whoever said the road to hell is paved with good intentions was clearly a participant in Durango’s Quarter Horse bicycle race.

Every Memorial Day weekend, Durango hosts its annual series of cycling events, most notably the Iron Horse challenge, a 50 mile road race over two monstrous mountain passes pitting cyclists against a steam engine locomotive. The Quarter Horse is an “easier” challenge, taking riders halfway along the route for 25 miles to Durango Mountain Resort (also known as “Purgatory,” and for good reason).

The man-friend (who is a psycho cyclist) has been wanting to do the Iron Horse. I only recently got into cycling, having purchased a road bike for my birthday in November and maybe taking in a short ride every few weekends. But I like to challenge torment myself, so I signed up for the ride thinking it would be no big deal.

In hindsight, it wasn’t all that bad. Especially considering it was my first cycling event ever. But if you had asked me how I was feeling during the event, I would’ve probably given you a wicked side eye and maybe thrown my helmet at you.

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Wandering the desert

“Is this how the Israelites felt?”

I’d only been hiking for about an hour and a half on the red, rocky trails of Dominguez Canyon. It was a gorgeous Colorado day: a high of 70 with clear skies, just the break one could use after the cold winds of winter. But the midday sun gets hot enough to bake those canyon walls, making you feel like a loaf of bread swelling in the oven.

Dominguez Canyon is a cool little area which I only had a few hours to explore. A few weeks back, Berkely and I joined a group of new friends to explore the Big Dominguez Creek Trail. Unfortunately, I had limited time to explore (I just needed a quick hiking fix for the weekend) but what little I saw was incredible.

Two years in and I’m still so fascinated by the various environments that thrive in Colorado. The rock faces are fascinating and tell a tale of life thousands of years ago. I even saw my first Colorado lizard out here.

The trail has plenty of small rocks and sand, so be warned if you’re thinking of wearing knit-like sneakers to hike out here. The trail is mostly flat so it makes for a nice walking/wandering pace. Just be sure to bring plenty of water, especially in the warmer seasons. I’m told the desert canyons get brutal during the summer.

Ice, ice baby

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Forearms. Antebracium. The region of the upper limbs extending from the elbow to the wrist. They are important pieces of our complex bodies, creating movements and motions in our hands. Without forearms, I would struggle to pursue my favorite childhood pastime: eating. Despite all this knowledge, I never really paid attention to that part of my body. That is, until I went ice climbing this weekend.

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