Summer’s Race for Stillness

three daisies

Summer fun includes a wide range of activities. Some can be enjoyed at breakneck speeds while others require taking a moment to be still and take in the surrounding beauty.

It’s wildflower season in the high country. Summer is so fleeting at high altitudes, it’s hard to find them at their peak. I went on a quest.

While hiking Baker’s Tank in Breckenridge, Colorado, I shared the trail with others on a different sort of quest. It was part of a race course for mountain bikers. I was surprised they took the time to say hello, smiling and chatting as they passed. Later, I found out the race was 100 miles long! I don’t know if you’ve ever biked in the mountains, but sometimes you can walk faster than you can bike when trails become treacherous.

On the way back home, I found this amazing field of flowers. They were backlit by afternoon sun. Time stood still while I stopped to take in this magnificent sight.

In stillness we find beauty.

 

daisy macro

As I headed to the car, a bike racer road up behind me on the trail. He was a couple miles away from the finish line, all downhill. You can see the relief in the smile on his face.

“How many hours have you been biking?” I asked.

mountain bike racer

“Nine hours. Almost done,” he said while whizzing by.

Amazing. We both succeeded in our quests only mine required complete stillness.

Do you have plans to go hiking this summer? Is it winter where you live? Have you ever mountain biked or found a huge field of wild flowers?

This is a response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Details.

Click for more adventures on my Wild Ride. You are welcome to share my photos on Pinterest!

59 thoughts on “Summer’s Race for Stillness

  1. Your photos are pretty. I’ve found many a field of wildflowers, but never mountain biked… although I have walked myself and my bike up many a hill. Does that count?

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  2. Yet another wild ride, this one more stilly, though. 🙂

    I’ve never mountain-biked, but would very much like to do it one day. Meanwhile, I’ll keep borrowing mother’s bicycle and pedalling the neighbourhood, nimbly avoiding hungry mongrels.

    See you next post, Susie!

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    • Friday’s post will be wilder!
      I love biking and plan to ride again soon. We live on a killer hill, so I don’t ride to town, but I should. Those mongrels can be dangerous anywhere! I’m always afraid when they’re off-leash.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful quest, to find wild flowers, on a beautiful ride. Backlit flowers are so special. I’m not a mountain bike fan, but prefer more sedate bike paths. We have one path here that I love because it follows the coast for a short while, and has beautiful views. There is one mountain hike I’ve been wanting to tackle with the hopes of being rewarded by a spectacular view, and wild flowers. You can be sure I’ll post pictures if and when I make that one.

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  4. Wild flower season where I lived in California was always very short as well. The poppies only bloomed in exact temperatures; too hot, or too cool, no flowers. I sometimes miss driving to work because that’s usually when I could enjoy some quiet time and enjoy nature’s beauty around me.

    Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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    • Thanks so much, Patricia!
      I didn’t know that about poppies. I’ve never been able to grow them here in Niwot, but I’ve given them another chance. They are starting to grow!

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  5. I have to say it is a tossup between tiny Alpine mountain meadow wild flowers whose colors are many and set against vivid blue skies of higher altitudes; or the vast many prairies of wildflowers of vast fields of Yellows and pastel blues rising up to the foot of the many horizontal bands of color of the hill’s deemed the ‘Painted Desert’. But still within my heart are the dear wee white bells of the ‘Lily – of –the valley’ which become sweetly pungent after a spring rain shower. And yet the vast fields of towering Sunflowers win my heart as well. But the wee tiniest little blue flowers are bliss to discover and gaze upon. As always the weather here is perfect’ this weekend it will 86’ degrees Fahrenheit’ while in Los Vegas it will be 110’ and in Death Valley temperature will reach to 121.

    The hottest I have ever endured however was in Southern Cali’, the summer of 85’ the throes of love during what my first wife deemed ‘Hot Cat sex’’ where an ice cube held between lips and teeth melts and trails down the backs of lovers. Now that is heat’. When I bought my Mountain Bike’ I would ride from my home upon the lake, across town to another yet far smaller lake at the base of the Mountains every evening’ I had to walk my Mountain bike to the top’ it was a very steep two lane asphalt mountain road with many tight turns. At top I would take off and free ride the down grade at over the top speeds and I had to fight the centrifugal forces to remain alive’ no helmet or leather attire. At the Base I would ride little vast open valley pasture, where huge beautiful horses ate lush green grasses, riding to the smaller lake, setting up my fishing pole, at the same time every late afternoon’ same point’ and start reeling in the trout of which I would bring home and grill over hot coals wrapped in foil steaming them to perfection. Back to Wild flowers’ my favorite bee honeys are purple Vetch’ blackberry blossom honey’ clover honey’ and Orange blossom’.

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    • Wow, Brock! I never pictured you as a wee little white lily of the valley, guy. I absolutely love them. Did you know they represent good luck? And they’re poisonous.
      You are a mad man. No helmet? Good thing you survived! Your memories sound absolutely gorgeous!

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  6. Pingback: Details (Lavender) | What's (in) the picture?

    • You’re right, Audrey! Balance can be hard to attain without structure. I’m either writing or going in high speed. I love how photography slows me down.
      Great to “see” you! How have you been?

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  7. So lovely!!! Total eye candy, isn’t it? I recently visited our local bridge of flowers and enjoyed the beauty and stillness so much! The older I get, the more I appreciate nature, beauty and stillness. As to mountain biking, my husband used to do a lot of it and came home filthy, bruised, cut-up and exhausted. Kudos to those bikers! Glad you are enjoying your summer. xo ps. The Bachelorette!! What will happen?

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    • Thanks so much, Maria! A bridge of flowers sounds spectacular! I agree. As I get older, I have time for stillness. When the kids lived at home, we never stopped except to eat and sleep. Ha! You are finding out all about that, now! Mountain biking can be fierce.
      It is so great to “see” you! I’ve been holding in my political views. Wow. What a crazy election year.
      The Bachelorette isn’t as exciting when they are all pretty nice. In a way it would have been insane if Chad hung in there until the end. 🙂 That guy was nuts! Courtney keeps reminding me that he will be on Bachelor in Paradise!!!!
      I’m going to be out of town on Monday night. *sigh*

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  8. Nice post and shots, Susie!

    Am I go hiking this summer? Not looking good. Just short-short ones. Is it winter where you live? You know the answer to that one! :-] Have you ever mountain biked or found a huge field of wild flowers? I have!

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    • Hey, Frank! Great to “see” you!
      My summer has flown too. I’ve planned a few more hikes though. Danny wants to backpack. We’ll see!!
      Wildflowers can be such an amazing sight! It’s been a while since they’ve bloomed like this. I hope you get out there again soon!
      Thanks so much!

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  9. On one of our many summer trips to Denver over the years, we devoted the trip entirely to a wildflower tour. Absolutely beautiful time. We do most of our hiking here at First Landing State Park, where the settlers first landed and stayed a while before moving on to Jamestown farther down the Elizabeth River.

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    • That sounds like a fantastic adventure! You must have hit it just right. Some years have been too dry. This year the wildflowers are profuse. If I ever come to your neck of the woods, I’ll be sure to hit that trail. 🙂
      Thanks, Al!

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  10. Susie – what beautiful flowers. Two thoughts come to mind when I think of sunflowers – my father-in-law and France. Years ago, I was on a trip through France and we traveled through fields of sunflowers from Paris to the Loire River Valley. It was beautiful. A mountain meadow with sunflowers. Amazing and still. Enjoy your weekend. Peace.

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    • Thanks, Clay! I remember something about how you traveled to France after your father died. Was it on that trip? I remember some of the crazy things that happened while trying to distribute his ashes. Fields of sunflowers must have been amazing. We used to have them down the street, but the fields have been fallow the last few years.
      Have a great week! Peace to you!

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  11. Do you have plans to go hiking this summer? Every day, I’m walking someplace in the concrete jungle that is Manhattan, Susie, more often than not during the work-week, it’s to and from the subway to Queens. Is it winter where you live? No. right now, it’s humid and a scorching 93 degrees, with higher temperatures and more humidity forecast for tomorrow. Have you ever mountain biked or found a huge field of wild flowers? I suppose if I were inclined to schlep my spin bike to a mountain, and ride it there, I could call that mountain biking. Because I’m not aware of any subway train that heads to the mountains, that’s not happening anytime soon. A few months ago, I visited a community garden on the Upper West Side for a tulip festival. There was nothing wild about those flowers, but they were beautiful.

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    • I was just thinking about you. I just looked at an old post, My Gelatinous Friends and there are only a couple still actively blogging here. Many either quit or switched to the abyss that is .org.
      I bet you’re keeping your water bottle filled while struggling through the concrete that is Manhattan. I’ve been feeling guilty about using my spin bike instead of trail riding, but it’s been hot here too. I bet the tulips were amazing! One of these days, I’ll get back to NYC for a visit. Sometime when it’s cooler…

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      • I blogged actively for the better part of 5 1/2 years, but between The Grind moving and my own move, it was too hard to even continue a weekly schedule. I’m on the fence about really returning. It involves discipline, dedication and time, or at least that’s how I see it. I realize that it’s a lot easier to be a sloth.

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  12. When I was younger and healthier I rode my bike on the trails surrounding Whistler mountain. It was the co-home of the 2010 Olympics here in Canada (with Vancouver). I loved those times and a highlight was stopping along the lakeside where two young men had a very profitable business. They set up “shop” on a dock selling ice cold pop and water. They weren’t kidding. Their Refridgerator was the lake! They would pull up marked crates with the different choices and wipe off can or bottle before handing it to you. That was part of our itinerary on each trip! As for wildflowers, I have to admire from afar as I am highly allergic. But I love pictures of them.

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    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Lydia! We are in that part of the country right now, if you can believe it! Wow! Just got in yesterday. I’ll be blogging about my adventure.
      What a fantastic memory! It’s a glorious country. I’ll look for those two men while on our adventure!

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  13. Great post, and I LOVE how you composed your shots. I just came back from a hike during which I photographed the Sierra wildflowers. I can’t wait to take a look at them. But I didn’t put any together like that, with the two bowing in the foreground and the field behind.

    It’s important to be still, or you miss the whole point of summer, which would be sad for me, since I look forward to it all winter.

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    • Thanks so much, Nicci!
      The sun did all the work. It was backlit at the perfect time and the sun hung low which set up the dramatic color.
      I agree about fleeting summer. I have a big list to check off and time is running out!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Such an admirable jaunt, dear Susie… I love the sunflowers you have found as you were riding… the quote the chose alongside them is perfect… Sending love and best wishes for your week ahead. Aquileana 🌟

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  15. What a beautiful find for you. Such a lovely field of flowers. It is funny how nature can totally calm us and nurture us just by being still. My quest this summer has been to walk 5 miles every morning. With the temperatures soaring and the humidity keeping pace I have had to set out earlier and earlier every day. My route takes me by a bay and beside a great lake. There is quite a bit of wildlife around in the early hours. It all replenishes me every day.

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    • Your walk sounds divine. What a way to start the day, surrounded by nature’s beauty! I agree about being outdoors and how it grounds and recharges us. Wow. It takes such little effort too.
      Thanks so much!

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  16. I use to mountain bike, but a little rough on the body and value my brain. I still bike but keep to biking trails. I love to walk and hike to explore the natural beauties, clear my head and re-connect with my whole being. Loving the beautiful flower photos 🙂

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