Friday, January 28, 2011

Doing the Twist(er)

One of the great things about riding in the foothills outside if Denver is that, once you gain some altitude, you get some awesome views of the city and the area surrounding it.  One of the best places for this, view-wise, if the east face of Mt. Falcon.

One day, in the middle of the summer, I drove over to the lower parking lot, and rode my bike up the trail to the top of the mountain.  When I got to the picnic table, where the trail dead-ends into the Castle Trail, I stopped for a short rest.  As I sat on the picnic table, sheltered from the bright sun by the shelter roof, I looked out over the valley and noticed that the city was under some nasty-looking clouds.

Within ten minutes, the clouds over the city had gotten a bit active.  I started seeing lightning... lots of lightning.  A tornado snaked its way down to the ground, as I watched.  Then, another twister formed.  And another..and another.

Eventually, I was sitting on the mountain top, in bright sunshine, watching five different tornadoes snaking across the valley below me.  It was fascinating, thrilling, and somewhat horrifying all at the same time.

I noticed that the edge of the clouds was moving toward me.  I figured that the exposed side of the slope was probably not going to be the most pleasant place to be, once the leading edge of the storm hit the mountain, so I headed back down to the parking lot.

The wind began gusting, as I descended, and lightning started popping pretty close to  the trail.  But, the rain held off until just after I got the bike loaded into the truck, and got inside.  Then, it started raining so hard that it was as if I was sitting under a waterfall.

At least I didn't end up in Oz.

x

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As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.