When I found out I’d be rolling with Katie and Eric for the day at Hall Ranch, and riding in their pimped out van, I was so stoked. These two love birds are living the dream! They work hard and play even harder. They made the decision to sell one of their vehicles and invest in creating a camper van!!! They have outfitted their van to accommodate their love for adventure and brought me along to photo journal how awesome they are. Yeah me!
They picked me up early in the morning, with and camera gear in stow, and off we went from Loveland to Lyons. This van has so much comfortable space! A kink, a fridge, a couch, a bed, and all their gear plus me and mine. We made it to Lyons after enjoying the front range mountain views along the way and landed at The Stone Cup. If you’ve never been to The Stone Cup you should probably check it out. It’s worth it. They have tasty food and all your espresso needs! A tasty treat for post ride nourishment.
From The Stone Cup we headed up West Main St. (HWY 36) TO Apple Valley Rd. To Antelope Dr. To our single-track starting point at Antelope Trailhead. It’s a gradual climb up the single-track to Bitterbrush Trail. As we climbed I’d sprint ahead and get set-up to catch them as they came past in the brilliant morning light. When they’d pass I’d mount up quickly with camera in hand and catch shots of them from behind climbing the switchbacks, trusting in my balance and bike skills.
All along Bitterbrush up to the Nelson Loop we leapfrogged each other capturing amazing moments along the way. And while I love to capture the natural moments as they happen, there were plenty of magical moments I’d have them recreate in various situations as they appeared. Eric too had a brilliant idea and we created my favorite image of the day, as he saw an image of them from behind as he and Katie sat on a bench, atop of Nelson Loop, overlooking the grander of Longs Peak as their bikes perfectly framed the moment.
Back down the mountain we went, this time staying on Bitterbrush all the way down to the Hall Ranch trailhead and through the technical and challenging rock garden. Katie and Eric had no problems rolling these technical lines and creating some really cool duo shots. And just as we were nearing the end of the ride there are some technical jagged rocks and a hiker in the tall brush that slowed my momentum and as I lost my balance and tried to un-click my pedal I went into super slow motion mode and tumbled over the rocks, onto my back, and into the scratching brush. I should probably think about getting camera insurance, and really thankful the Mountain Smith pack kept everything protected.
From the Hall Ranch trailhead we rode HWY 7 back into town to the lovely Stone Cup where we ordered some delicious burritos and espresso goodies to nourish ourselves after our intense ride.
It was a great ride and I feel grateful to have captured a day of their story! Thank you both for letting me into your adventure world and lets do it again soon (hint, hint, Crested Butte).