Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Monte Prat

Nice weather today, but just above 0℃.  My neighbor Nerina saw me getting ready to ride and cautioned me to cover myself well against the freezing air.  This is one thing I love about Italy.  Even if you've lost your grandmother or mother, someone in the neighborhood will speak up and make sure you're taking care of yourself.

I bundled up and rode out through Pinzano to Forgaria.  Here you start the climb up to Monte Prat, the easternmost of the prealpi pordenonesi.  It rises directly above the Tagliamento River, which separates Pordenone and Udine provinces.  The sun was out and glistening on the scenery along the climb.  Above San Rocco beautiful chocolate brown sheep were grazing, and across the road 2 lovely alpine horses with reddish-brown coat and splendid blonde manes were prancing around their pasture.   As I climbed higher a huge flock of griffon vultures circled above the cliffs.  I was surprised, as I thought the thermals the griffons glide on wouldn't rise on such a cold day.  But they were out in even greater numbers than usual.

Past the meadows of Monte Prat I continued on the narrow road to Val Tochel.  It had patches of snow, which grew more frequent until the road was covered with snow around 896 meters.  I put back on my winter gear and headed down.  Great ride- the sun stayed out and the wind was still all the way home.

Val Tochel (896m) dusted with snow

Monte Chiampon (1709m) to north

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