Sunday, February 21, 2010

Prairie Circuit

The first three definitions of the word circuit on are as follows:

1.  an act or instance of going or moving around.
2.  a circular journey or one beginning and ending at the same place; a round.
3.  a roundabout journey or course.

Such was my riding this Sunday afternoon after a surprisingly expensive hour of bowling with the family.  Let's just say both Martha and I were surprised at the total quoted to us for one hour of play and the rental of shoes for the four of us!
I started off with the temperatures in the low 20s, riding north on Gun Club Rd, turning east onto Jewell road intending to go through to 26th Avenue and then east towards Monaghan for a picture of the farm house and silos I'd pictured before in this posting back in June of 2009.

However, I spotted a snow-covered Smith Road just before the train tracks on Powhaton Road and so I turned west instead to see what I could see.  I went past some "road closed" signs that were there for no apparent reason as there was no apparent road work or construction.  Very curious.  I went as far west on Smith Rd as its junction with Picadilly Rd.  There was a good four inches of snow accumulation on Picadilly Rd so you know I had to try it out!

Natasha's street tires did fine on the dry snow covered dirt road, a little bit of fishtailing but nothing untoward.  The road dead ends on the side of the the westbound lanes of the I-70 Superslab so I turned around and made my way back to Smith Rd.  I stopped about halfway between I-70 and Smith Rd to capture this scene:

On the small stub of Picadilly Road, located north of the I-70 Slab

I turned eastward once back on Smith Rd and at the first opportunity moved closer to the rail road tracks that Smith Rd parallels.  It's owned by the Union Pacific Rail Road company I believe but I've rarely seen train traffic on it during my travels in this area.

Looking West on the Union Pacific Rail Lines, paralleling Smith Road
the snow here was closer to 4-5 inches in depth

Once I got back to Powhaton Rd, I turned north towards East 26th Avenue and turned right onto it until I reached Monaghan Rd.  I headed north again on Monaghan and posed Natasha with the farmhouse and silos that had been today's objective:

 It's a different scene than last June's photo, isn't it?

My eye was drawn to the patterns created by the lines of corn stalk remnants in this field

Heading back south on Monaghan Rd, I turned left or east on East 26th Avenue to see where I'd end up.  At the junction with North Watkins Rd I saw a snow covered dirt road in front, clear smooth and dry pavement on Watkins Rd.  Yep, I went for the snow covered road, again just to see what I could see.

Again, it was a good 2-3 inches of snow accumulations in spots, still nothing to Natasha's "go anywhere" capabilities:

Heading east towards Watkins, CO

I soon arrived at the outskirts of Watkins and followed the dirt road south until it got me within the town's boundaries, next to the Watkins Grain Elevator building:

The Watkins Grain Elevator

I left the small town of Watkins and took Watkins Road south until I crossed over the overpass spanning the I-70 Slab.  I took the first right onto a frontage road which lead to this large Catholic Church that you can see from the highway.  I've never seen cars there, with folks gathered for services, but today I saw evidence of several cars having been there before the latest snow falls.

The church just stands there, alone, with just a nearby famer's house for company and a shed or two.

Our Lady of the Helping Christians.
a little exercise in symmetry on my part
By now it had been over two hours of me wandering around in temperatures in the low 20s with occasional snow falls to provide diversity.  It was time to head for the barn as they say.  I went south on Watkins Rd till it reached Quincy Rd which I took westward back to my home neighborhoods.  I actually had to turn on the grips 2-3 times as my hands were getting quite cold.  Everything else on me stayed warm enough though, thanks to the large fairing on Natasha in large part.

Another good day of Winter Riding.  I hope you got a chance to ride this weekend!


Chris said...

Looks like you had a fun ride in the snow. Our snow is melting fast, so I took the scooter this weekend instead of the Ural. Too much salt for the real bikes.

irondad said...

Nice post. I always learn something new. Now, when I chase my tail in circles, I will say I'm doing "circuits".

Now I need to go look up "symmetry". That may be useful someday, too.

Take care!