Cottonwood trees in fall colors really make Wheeler Crest look its best, I think. This granite ridge is impressive when you can see the whole thing, but I find it even more amazing when I can only see part of it.

Wheeler Crest is so big, its scale is hard to understand. The section in this image is less than half the vertical span of the front range, and yet the base is almost three miles from where I took the photo. You can just see a bit of the next ridge back at the upper left. All told, the crest rises about a mile and a half from the valley floor.

I once knew a fellow who cycled 300 miles in three days. His wife travelled in parallel by car with their kids, so all he carried was a spare tire and a credit card. For lunch on the second day, he stopped at a rural diner and ordered two of everything, and the two young waitresses on duty were very intrigued. He told them where he was riding from and to, places they’d heard of but never been, and they were impressed. Then he said he’d started that morning from a town to the south, a place the waitresses had been many times because it had the nearest mall, and they were blown away. The longer distance was abstract and easily dismissed; the shorter distance was far more impressive to them because they had travelled it themselves, and it was nearly an hour by car.

Looking at this photo and thinking of that story, I’m more understanding of their amazement than I used to be.