Friday, August 14, 2009

the old snow basin road

this morning I had my first encounter with another magical route . . . which makes me just believe there will always be another road, somewhere, that will stun me with its beauty and quiet sense of untouched permanence.
I was in huntsville again, and started my ride from the base of the Old Snow Basin Road. this great road stretches up the hillside, winding and twisting and keeping itself just on the edge of tiring steepness, never once slipping over into the kinds of grades that exhaust.
it climbs and bends back upon itself just enough that you have no idea where you are, and finally reaches an apex where another road branches off and up to the right . . . which, of course, I had to explore. this road was Basinview Drive, and it pulled me up up up past its solitary home to the top where it rounded itself in a graceful, empty cul de sac where I took in great gulps of breath and expelled them loudly and thoroughly, before turning and changing through all of my gears to begin my descent.
I flew down the drive and back onto the main road, turning right and descending down into a fairyland hollow of a valley, winding down and in and finally leveling off amid a sea of trees clad with fluttering leaves. the road then started a gradual climb back up, and did so for a handful of miles, but as before, kept itself just on my favorite side of the border between a good challenge and a painful climb.
few cars passed me, and I was glorifyingly alone in this lush, green land of hillside and meadow and the sound of rushing water somewhere far below. far above and ahead I could see the mountain ridge that stands guard behind Snow Basin ski resort, and I inched closer and closer to its resolute height, the meters of asphalt slowing passing beneath my pedals.
before long the multi-national flags heralding the entrance to the resort appeared, and I began the brief climb up the road toward Trapper's Loop Road. headwinds decided to challenge me, pushing back at me with each turn of my pedal, and I laughed at its audacity. nothing could faze me: this ride was much too perfect.
soon the ascent ends and the descent begins, then there is just a small section of false flat before the big descent down trapper's loop begins in earnest. after a good hour of climbing through a magical fairyland, it's easy to feel one owns the road during a wide, sweeping, swooping downward rush.
I think I did.

were I to call huntsville home, I could easily become quite devoted to that route, possibly even (in a healthy way) addicted to it.
but seeing as I live far, far away, I will just have to add it to my memory bank of amazingly beautiful, enchanting, magical, perfect routes for me and ruby to ride.

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