20 August 2012

Snowflake Monday

August 18, 2012
Who will be the 2,000,000th visitor to my blog? It's getting so close, and I have a sneaking hunch it will happen while I don't have internet access.

So please keep an eye on that PEEPS number at the top of the column to the right, and if you can, please capture a screen shot for me if you see the 1,999,999 roll to two million. (On a PC, pushing Control and Print Screen together will copy what you see on your screen. Paste it into a document, preferably a photo editing program, but a word processing program will work, too, and then email it to me. A special thank you is planned.) The turning of the 9s will be a moment of magic when it happens, and I'd sure like to see it and know who surfed to my page at precisely the right second.

My 1,000,000th visitor happened last October while we were in Durango for the Fall Blaze, when I got to ride for about 16 seconds with up-and-coming pro Tommy D (Tom Danielson, Team Garmin). I was trying to watch for the turning of the 9s on my phone as we picked up our event packets, but the count jumped from 999,998 to 1,000,008 in just one refresh, so I missed that milestone. (But I did use my real camera to snap pictures of my phone with both the under and the over!)

I wanted to tie today's snowflake in with the coming milestone, but everything numerical I thought of sounded pretty corny, so I'm calling this my Durango Dreams Snowflake. Because that's where I wanted to be yesterday and today.

Lizard Head in Autumn
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge began this morning in Durango, traveling over Lizard Head Pass, which has tremendous sentimental value to me both because of the name and because it was my first mountain pass in my very first Ride the Rockies nine years ago. It's one devil of a climb, and I can testify those guys will be working hard today. Sixty-two miles of sustained climb, every bit as difficult as anything they do in the Tour de France.

Yesterday was a citizen's ride of portions of today's route. George Hincapie, who has always been one of my favorite riders and who has more Tour de France completions beneath his belt than any other rider, accompanied regular everyday riders just like me in a fun ride in a spectacular area. This week's race is his final pro race. He's retiring next Monday. I just may have to work up a snowflake in his honor. 17 TdFs, 17 snowflake points… hmmmmmm…

Dallas Divide

Snowdon Bear at Little Molas Lake
Snowdon Bear at Little Molas Lake, Million Dollar Highway, between Ridgway and Durango

Now comes the fun part... the ride back down!
The Lizard atop Engineer Pass, between Ridgway and Durango

Spring hasn't arrived in the high country.  Yet.
May 2008 on the way to Durango

Durango, My Hometown, Britt Toppenberg
Durango, My Hometown, Quilt by Britt Toppenberg

I wanted to ride with George yesterday. I wanted to see the race in person today. The Lizard and I had planned to ride to a prime viewing spot each day of this year's race, our own little self-supported cycling challenge.

I'm still hoping against hope I might be able to make it to the top of Cottonwood Pass later this week to watch the Queen's Stage. If I can't make it, I'll watch the peloton zoom by on their descent at whatever spot I'm able to reach on my bike. There will be magic in the air, and perhaps a bit of lightning, too, so just being there will be a miracle, regardless of how high I can climb. Every adventure we get from this point out is a bonus, and I intend to take advantage of every opportunity I get.

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Durango Dreams Snowflake
Finished Size: 5.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, school glue (make sure it is water soluble), water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line


Ch 6, sl st into 1st ch OR make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2, [yo and draw up loop through ring, yo and pull through 2 loops on hook] 2 times, yo and pull through all 3 loops on hook (starting dc cluster made), *ch 6, [yo and draw up loop through ring, yo and pull through 2 loops on hook] 3 times, yo and pull through all 4 loops on hook (dc cluster made); repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, 1 tr in starting dc cluster (counts as final ch 6 sp). Don't pull magic ring too tight.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.
Round 2: Ch 1, 1 sc in same sp, *ch 20, 1 dc in 11th ch from hook and in each of next 4 ch, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 6 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc.
Round 3: *8 sc in next sp, sk 2 dc, 5 dc in next dc, 2 sc in next sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 2 dc in same sp, ch 3, sl st in top of dc just made, [3 dc in same sp, ch 3, sl st in top of dc just made] 2 times, 2 dc in same sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 2 sc in same sp, sk 2 sc, 5 dc in next dc, 8 sc in next sp; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

Mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

Durango Rocks

One Last Clematis of Summer


  1. Wow, the peeps are building fast! Congratulations in advance. :)

    I love the clear deep blue sky in your photos - I can just smell that mountain air. I think the bear shot is my favourite.

    That Durango quilt - wow! And 62 miles of sustained climb - double wow. At elevation. (Triple wow.)

    I do hope you'll be able to reach the top of the pass. How amazing to watch a world-class cycling race practically on your doorstep. I know you'll enjoy your views from whatever vantage point you can reach.

    P.S. I'm a George Hincapie fan too. Mr. A always got the attention while guys like George (and Levi and others) faithfully pedalled away year after year, doing amazing things in the background. I wish him a happy retirement. (17 completed TdFs! Not to mention all the less-publicized Tours and Giros. He's earned that retirement. I wonder how many millions of feet of elevation he's climbed in his career? [And if there's a tidier way to express that last sentence?])

  2. 2 millions? wow! but I am not surprise you have such a beautiful photos...
    amazing landscape.

  3. 2 millions is a huge amount...

    Have a nice day :)

  4. Not quite there... But you are closing in on 2 million. That is staggering to think about.


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