January 30, 2006
Grass Creek Yurt
Turns out there's a large backcountry yurt system in the mountains west of Fort Collins. The yurts come equipped with enough luxuries (propane stove, lantern, bed mattresses, firewood, etc.) that one must reserve and pay for the use of such a place. It also turns out that one of our friends reserved one of these yurts, the Grass Creek Yurt, for last Friday and Saturday nights. There was no grass, and any creek that existed was frozen and covered with snow at the not-so-aptly named yurt. Ashley and I spent Friday night in Boulder because she had bought tickets to an Aimee Mann concert for the two of us. It was worth staying in town for. I've heard some of her songs on NPR, and the concert was almost entirely acoustic. Anyway, we left Saturday morning on the 3 hour drive to the yurt. We actually had to park 0.7 miles away and hike in - kind of like car camping where you park your car and then walk away from it before finding a good spot for your sleeping bag. The terrain in the vicinity of the yurt was pretty flat, so ski touring was the adventure of choice on Saturday. During the tour we located a gradual slope by the name of Lary's Run. After lunch we found the quickest was to the top of it, and made a couple laps. The snow was ridiculously light and deep, which made the gradual slope even mellower. I found a way back to the yurt through a clearing that was later dubbed "Josh's Run". This run culminated at the kicker I constructed during out lunch break, right next to the yurt. Follow this link to see my slow motion turns down Josh's Run. It snowed a bit more on Saturday night, so the snow was even deeper when we made a couple more laps on Sunday before heading home. The drive home was not without adventure. The roads leading out of the state park were covered with several inches of that really cold, sticky dry snow. I felt the need to test just how sticky it was. Mission successful - I found the snow's breaking point just before burying the front end of my 4-Runner in a snowbank. I almost had it dug out when a Wes-like figure appeared in an obnoxiously large diesel truck. He wanted to pull me out so bad I couldn't turn him down. 15 seconds later I was back on the road.