Finding the Time for Adventure

Jan 10, 2013 View Comments by

Finding the Time for Adventure 2Driving to school, work, dance lessons, music classes, grocery shopping, etc—and those are just my activities—and then there are all the kids’ activities. With so much to do it can seem impossible to find a good time to just ride.

One way I’ve discovered to fit in some amazing rides is to do what I call the “Home by Lunch Run.” I discovered several years ago that if I could drag myself out of bed early enough I could easily get in a five to seven hour day of riding and still be home in time for lunch.

Living in Aurora, CO, I can be in the mountains in less than an hour. Knowing that the commute time there and back will be about two hours round trip, I can plan an adventure with the remaining three to five hours. If I do some farm road exploration closer to home, I can get “lost” in about 30 minutes, which leaves me what mathematicians call, “Oodles of time” to ride. Ok, enough math.

I try to overthink these routes. I try to pick a destination based on something interesting that caught my eye on a previous outing. Sometimes I will go to Google Maps and type in towns or destinations within an hour or two of my home. When I arrive in the general area I set my GPS to “HOME” and let it happily recalculate the rest of the morning (it is best to turn the sound off if you use a Bluetooth helmet). This way I always know the arrival time and when I need to head back.

Recently, I began my adventures in Nederland. Home of the famous Caribou Ranch built by recording engineer, and manager of the band CHICAGO, James William Guercio. This historic studio was home to legendary recordings by Elton John, Stevie Wonder, John Lennon, Billy Joel, and so many more. At one time I was a professional musician and had the pleasure of recording an album in Evergreen. Our producer was Danny Seraphine. He was the drummer and a founding member of CHICAGO and recorded many iconic albums at the ranch. Hearing all of Danny’s great stories during recording sessions made me always want to find the ranch.

I was able to make it to Forest Road 505 at Caribou Creek but the gate to the studio was locked. Though disappointed at first, I quickly turned this let down into a great adventure. Nearby, I discovered the Caribou Ranch 4×4 road. Campers and ATV riders frequent it, so you need to stay aware. This route has everything from easy fire-roads to mud crossings, sand trails, rocks, and water crossings! It was a great test for the used Dakar I had just picked up.

From there I headed to the Ghost Town of Sunset. On my way I passed through historic Gold Hill via the old railroad bed of the Switzerland Trail Railway. Narrow passes on fairly well maintained roads provided access to colorful views and insight into the massive fire damage that the people of Gold Hill recently suffered. It was like stepping through time in only a few hours.

Nederland is only one of hundreds of areas in Colorado that offer challenging and beautiful terrain that can easily be accessed just a few hours from Denver. When I get home, I am always amazed as I look through my photos. In only a few hours time I have captured what looks like a weeklong adventure! I feel so blessed to live here.

As I roll into my garage my gratitude continues. My family is waiting on the back deck to share peanut butter and banana sandwiches with me. While it was Elvis Costello who recorded at the Caribou Ranch and not Elvis Aaron Presley . . . today we can still eat like the King!

What is your favorite short ride where you live? I would love to hear about it. Please share it below! And remember the next time you head out for adventure, “Don’t go Anywhere . . . Go Somewhere!”


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About the author

I am an introvert posing as an extrovert. I love travel in all forms, but prefer 2-wheels. I created AdventureHermit as a way to share my adventures and inspire others to find joy through discovery; writing for RoadRUNNER is a dream come true!