Tastes – first Fruita ride & many fruit wines

There weren’t quite enough clouds to dissuade me from dragging us fifteen miles down the freeway to Fruita to check out the Kokopelli trails this morning.  However, there were enough to get us significantly wet after an hour.  The plan was for me to take Valerie around the beginner Rustler Loop & then go off & attack some of the more well-known trails.  The loop started off with a nice long (for a beginner trail) climb & then proceeded to go around the outside the top of a small mesa above the Colorado.  Near the trailhead was a bit of private land – these people have their house in the side of a big rock!

The trail was mostly nice, but there were some interesting switchback & short sharp rises that induced a bit of walking on Valerie’s part. There some quite tricky little features in the rocks that had me thinking too, but at least I managed to clear the whole trail – that would have been a dent to my confidence, not making it around a beginners’ trail. Posted around the trail were lots of little signs with riding tips – I stopped to read these while waiting, I also looked at the river a lot & pondered just how close & dark the clouds were getting. Half way around it started drizzling & slowly the rain set in – we made it back to the car quite wet. I deliberated for sometime & then decided to come back another day soon when it wasn’t so wet & the trails wouldn’t be that awful red mud.

I’m not sure Valerie appreciates that she is mountain-biking in Fruita, Colorado & the significance of that!

The original idea with the Palisade wineries was to bike between them in the sun one afternoon, lack of sunshine meant we went for the driving option. The area, as well as having many vineyards, is also a very strong fruit growing area. Consequently, many of the wines we tasted were fruit flavoured – they were great. Being mid-week before the summer break it was pretty quiet & we spent a good few hours chatting aimlessly with friendly Coloradans over many small glasses of wine & mead. It was the most time we’ve tracked out the “she’s my aunt from Australia, I’m from New Zealand & have just finished living in Canada near Banff for a year & we’re doing a three-month roadtrip” story in a row. It was a delightful afternoon – somehow Valerie couldn’t resist six bottles of wine, I’m not too sure how they are going to survive the back of the car with two bikes (“,the greyhounds…”). I resisted the wine, but not getting Kristy another fridge magnet – wine-touring in France is starting to sound like a good idea.

I may have mentioned before that quite a few of the towns we’ve been through have many statues & sculptures lining their main streets – Grand Junction has plenty. The much smaller Palisade has this beauty, from a distance it just looked like a lot of fire plugs (incidentally many of the plugs around GJ are not red but blue & yellow or green & yellow) on a stand.

Appropriately named Rusty was made entirely of bolts

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