There are lots of hummingbirds in the mountains. I’ve had a fascination with hummingbirds a long time. Not really since I was a kid, but it started was about 18. I can remember the day.
It was the first day I came to Colorado to watch the Red Zinger Classic. I was staying at the KOA campground in Boulder and was going to ride the complete Boulder Mountain Road Race course the first day. That course leaves Boulder, heads up Coal Creek Canyon, up to Nederland, then Ward, down to Lyons and back to Boulder. It is 93 miles I believe. It was a big ride for me.
Anyway, I obviously wasn’t acclimated, but I had a enormous amount of enthusiasm. Climbing up Coal Creek Canyon is pretty hard for a boy from Kansas. At least it was then, I’d probably be better now. Anyway, I was riding alone and was loving it. The towns of Wonderview, Nederland and Ward were really super small, nearly primitive. By the time I got through Nederland, up to Ward, I was hurting and decided to stop and get some water.
I’m not sure if I stopped at a small store or restaurant, and I can’t imagine what I would have bought to drink, it might have been Gatorade. While I was sitting there, I started cramping in one of my legs. I keep drinking water and then it really started. I was cramping everywhere. Arms, neck, back legs, everything. I must of been a sight sitting there.
As I was trying to keep the cramps in control, somewhat, I noticed that there were some hummingbirds flying around, the store had feeders hung. I must of been pretty out of it because when I looked around there were hummingbirds everywhere. They were unreal, super aggressive towards each other and very agile in flight.
It was like aerial combat. Beautiful. The speed and control they have is amazing. Their ability to stand still in air, just hover, was mesmerizing. I sat there close to an hour, letting the cramps leave my body, but also falling in love with these amazing creatures. I’ve had this love affair ever since.