Monday, July 20, 2015

8,825 feet and beta-blockers mix well, sorta

The world around Rico
Yes, 8,825 feet: That's the official elevation of Rico, Colorado, where I spent the late part of June after working the Pro GRT Downhill race in Angel Fire, New Mexico. For my kilometer-enabled friends around the world, that's 2,690 meters. And from there, the road went up!
The house in Rico
One of those fabulous meals I had every night
The comfy living room. I miss Judy.
The beta-blocker part stems from the fact that my heart rhythm problems have reappeared, which will necessitate a heart ablation on July 23. But we'll get to that later. The beta-blockers slow the heart rate, and the thin air makes you gasp for a day or two, but both of them together turn even a moderately fit guy on a bike into a slug.
That Ritchey is a damn fine-looking bike
I spent my time in our little house in Rico, up the Dolores valley. It used to be the Austin family's summer retreat when Judy and Mike were little kids, and it continues to be the same nowadays, 50 years later. Mike and Candi have made some significant improvements to the place, and since I continue to pay my share of taxes and insurance I can use the place when it is empty—as it was in June.
Rico's hot tub—more predictable than the internet connection!
And so I spent a week in the mountains. The new BMW can actually hold my Ritchey in its trunk, and so I rode on a daily basis, either up the valley to Lizardhead Pass, or down, toward Stoner and the turn-off to Dunton Springs. I read a lot, made fine meals for myself, and generally enjoyed the peace and quiet. The meds made me do things a bit slower than usual, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It was a nice break from being retired at 3,000 feet.
Lizzardhead (and at the bottom of course the eponymous pass)
OK, a little closer
One day I drove over to Telluride where I hiked up to the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls, and beyond. The snow melt was still going in full force, and the rivulets and brooks were cascading toward the valley. I had a wonderful time, one step at a time and nice and easy. No reason to end up with a heart attack, especially out there. Here are a few pics from my hike.

The last night I had a great time with Mike and Candi, who had arrived to start their 2-month stay in the mountains. We hadn't seen each other in more than a year, and there was a lot of catching up to do. And then I headed back, via Albuquerque, where I had a nice dinner with Liz, whom I hadn't seen since sometime in 2013, either. Time flies.
Coming down the pass you suddenly realize .... I'm fucking hosed!!!
Judy's all-time favorite: The Telluride Free Box. "Just don't leave children ..."
This post was long overdue, but I just didn't find the time, either in Lubbock or during my subsequent trip to California. Stay tuned for that account, which I hope will arrive very soon.


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