Misurina - An Autumn by the Sea - CycleBlaze

September 26, 2018

Misurina

Just a note for now.   The WiFi is very weak at our hotel in Misurina, so I’ll just hold off with the blog until we get to Dobbiaco tomorrow.   In the meantime, here’s a token entry - one photo, and the map of our short ride to Misurina.  Note the profile of the ride - it’s a parabolic arc that steepens the closer we get to our destination.

The view looking east from our apartment this morning. Not an unpleasant way to start the day.
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Well, the WiFi in our hotel in Dobbiaco is a bit sketchy too.  I’ll keep this entry brief to try to keep on track.

It is quite cold again this morning, not much above freezing.  Another beautiful day though, and nearly cloudless again.  We’re certainly getting to see the Dolomites at their best.  We have a short ride today to Misurina, so we’re in no rush to hop on our bikes.  We wait until it’s time to check out before leaving the hotel, and then step out for a walking tour of Auronzo.  We enjoy about an hour and a half leisurely circuit of the lake, enjoying surprisingly spectacular views.  I’m surprised that in researching this tour I don’t recall any description of what a dramatically lovely setting this is, with the town spread along one bank of the lake and  a forest of limestone peaks looming upriver.

Passing back through town, we stop in a sporting equipment store.  Rachael has been thinking about her wardrobe and the surprisingly cold weather and thinks she needs more protection.  She walks out with a pair of warmer socks and a head band.  Then we stop in at a cafe for sandwiches, since it’s time for lunch already.  Finally, about one o’clock we finally return to our hotel to collect our bikes and hit the road.

Looking upstream from Auronzo. The peaks on the far left are Tre Cime, and the large one on the right is Cime d’Auronzo.
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What a spectacular setting! I’m surprised that this place isn’t better known.
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In Auronzo
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I’m not sure why she’s smiling leaving this pasticceria, because she didn’t find anything appealing inside. Maybe she’s just glad to see me.
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Auronzo and its mountains
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It’s a short ride to Misurina, but it’s all uphill.  We climb steadily for about ten miles, on a frustratingly relaxed grade of perhaps 2%; frustrating, because we aren’t gaining much elevation.  With over three thousand feet of elevation to be gained, we’d rather it were spaced out rather than packed into the last few miles.  We ride most of this distance alone: about a mile into it I stop for a photograph, and Rachael continues on, looking for a quiet spot in the bushes to commune with nature.  I don’t see her again for eight miles, causing me to fear that I must have passed her without realizing it.  I’m not sure if I should be speeding up to catch her, or slow down to let her catch me.  Finally, I’m concerned enough to stop and give her a call.  She’s about a quarter mile ahead, so everything’s jake.

Reunited, we tackle the meat of the day’s ride - a challenging six mile stretch that gains two thousand feet.  No fun, but we survive.  Surprisingly, I pull away from her on this climb and find myself waiting at the top.  This happened the day before yesterday also, in our hilly loop from Vittorio Veneto.  This is pretty unheard of - for at least the last two years, I’ve struggled to keep with her; and not just because I stop for photos.  I’ve really been having more trouble on the hills in the last two years than I let on.

So what’s going on here?  I may talk about this in more depth some day, but briefly I’ve gone off my meds.  For years I’ve been taking a calcium blocker to control an SVT (supraventrical tachiocardia) condition.  Gradually though I’ve begun to suspect its side effects are significantly affecting me more as I age.  About three weeks back, I decided to stop taking this medication as an experiment, and have been steadily feeling better in a number of ways - more stamina, stronger.  It’s the strongest I’ve felt in quite a while, and it’s very encouraging.  I informed my doctor that I was doing this, got an OK on it, and will check in this winter to see if I should be doing anything different.

In the meantime, Rachael would like to know if she can start carrying a lighter load again now.

Stopping to admire the peaks. We didn’t see much of them for most of today’s ride because we’re biking between walls of trees.
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We finally reach the top, arrive in Misurina, and check into our hotel.  We’ve been here before, and it’s as beautiful as we remember it but not as we remember it.  We were here in January eight years ago, on a cross country skiing vacation.  We were staying in Dobbiaco and caught the bus up here before skiing back down.  Then, Lake Misurina was frozen over and the mountains were of source completely covered in snow.  We skied out onto the middle of the lake before starting the long track back to Dobbiaco.

We stayed in the room until about six and then walked to the other end of the lake and back, enjoying the views and checking out candidate menus. We finally ended up about where we started, at the pizzeria next to our hotel.  A good thing - it was only about two hundred  yards back to our hotel, but it was long enough.  Once the sun goes down, the temperature drops fast.  I think our days of dining outdoors are done for the year.

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Finally the climb levels out and Lake Misurina comes into view.
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A mighty predator on the loose
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Lake Misurina. The peaks at the far end are Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Our hotel is just around the corner beyond that white building at the far end, our pizzeria for the evening.
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Offhand, I don’t recall seeing a belled horse before.
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Our hotel, Hotel Mirelago (= lake view). Nice place at the quietest part of the lake, rustic, a bit old fashioned.
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The view at sundown, south across Lake Misurina.
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Ride stats today: 17 miles, 3,400’

Today's ride: 16 miles (26 km)
Total: 892 miles (1,436 km)

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Keith ClassenHope you guys made it to Toblach in one piece. I should have warned you about the crazy bus driver making runs from Toblach to Tres Cime. A great driver but thought he was Parnelli Jones complete with racing gloves. Passing everything he could on the way up the mountain including another bus. He really drove the bus as though it were a race car. The hairs pin turns were crazy crazy. One the plus side he had a great personality.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Keith ClassenNot to worry, we were forewarned from reading about your unnerving ride. It wasn’t too bad, really (the traffic, not the killer climb). We biked up early enough in the day that it was still pretty quiet.

We thought about you two all day long. We had brilliant weather, and we felt bad for you that you didn’t get a better look yourselves. I TOLD you that you should have waited up for us!
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2 months ago