Saturday, March 29, 2014


Haven't ridden for a week- been helping a neighbor with daily visits to see family in hospital.  So I thought I'd try a quick ride up Piancavallo this morning before driving to the hospital.  I was surprised how out of shape I got in one week- it was harder than I expected.  Luckily I survived.  A little dog like our "chihuahua" Honey welcomed me to the top.  Snow quite deep still- I was expecting it to be melting away.  Fun descent and I regained my strength for the 200 meter dislivello to Giais. 

The mountain from Castaldia (1100m)

Close up from Piancavallo

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dardago, Mezzomonte, Santa Lucia in Colle MTB

First mountain bike ride of 2014: rode up through Dardago to the left turn for Al Ciastelat.  Steeply up the paved road, past the restaurant driveway, then continue to end of pavement, where you take the gravel road to your left.  The dirt road (marked Tagliafuoco on the map) continuously varies from climbing steeply  to descending a bit and even levels off at times.  Some of the steeper bits have been concreted.  Eventually you end up climbing up to Mezzomonte at almost 500 meters and reach pavement again.   I sped downhill to Coltura, then crossed though Polcenigo and Santa Lucia.  Here I got a sudden urge to try and find the way to the church on the wooded hill, Santa Lucia in Colle.  This was a steep concrete road but I made it.  Then I decided to go over the top of the hill, which was even steeper concrete.  The rest of the woodland trails were dirt and moderately inclined.  Looks like a great place for Sunday walks/hikes.

Budoia from almost 400 meters

Dardago from around 400 meters

Santa Lucia in Colle

This church is in a secluded wooded area; you may be startled when the bells start pealing 

The front end of the church

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Colle San Giorgio Hike

I've driven past this place 10,000 times but never hiked up it.  Today the dogs needed a walk close-by so I thought I'd try.  I parked at the gravel road 100 meters north of Via San Giorgio- Via Pedemontana intersection and started hiking upward.  I wasn't on the correct trail so ascended very steeply, but soon arrived at terraced olives and fruit trees on the hillside below the church.  Took some photos and enjoyed the panorama, then headed down the proper trail, which  was bordered by primula and violets on this first day of Spring.  The pups had a great time; I'll try to return with them and Marilyn soon. 

Chiesa San Giorgio atop olive tree terraces

A carved tree still attached to its stump

Close up of church

View of Aviano

Like the arches and tiny bell tower

The entrance

Pala Fontana high above Madonna delle Monte

Giais's church (left background) and Marsure's church (right background)

Sign marking the actual trail

As you can see, the trail was precisely constructed
so two pups could walk side by side

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lunga Via delle Dolomiti: Longarone - Caralte

I've been wanting to explore the bike path from Alpago to Austria and  today I finally rode a segment.  After riding up Valcellina to Passo Sant'Osvaldo, I descended through Erto to Codissago, across the Piave River from Longarone.  After a brief stretch on the busy main road, the bike route turns off and follows the old roadbed of SS51.  It's a wide, well-paved road, much more scenic than the bustling new route with its long narrow tunnels.   I continued up through Ospitale and Perarolo di Cadore .  Just after crossing Torrente Boîte I made a wrong turn, heading up to Caralte and the junction with the crowded new road.  So I turned back to Perarolo and located the correct road.  It's called Cavallera and has just recently been repaved for the bike route.  I'll come back and continue this route to Pieve di Cadore next time.  May start at Lago di Santa Croce so I can also try another segment which bypasses the narrow bridges between Ponte nelle Alpi and Longarone.  

Snowy Passo di Sant'Osvaldo (830 meters)

View to the east with mountains above Cimolais

Waterfall on the road from Sant'Osvaldo to Erto

Close up

The bike route signs

Tall steel arch bridge spanning the Piave River near Pieve di Cadore

Go straight here; do not turn right

Follow the blue and purple dashed road, not the road to Caralte

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pala Barzana - Panuch

Decided to check Pala Barzana to see if the pass is open yet.  After the long tunnel I turned right and headed up through Bosplans.   At 690 meters the road was barricaded due to a landslip (frane) so I hopped off and hoofed it for 50 meters carrying the bike along the edge.  The rest of the road and pass is open.  I descended even slower than usual after hearing Joe William's harrowing experience with a rear blow-out above Poffabro last year.  He used his excellent bike handling skills to save his gorgeous new ti Passoni as well as himself, so a happy ending.  I would have probably flipped over a guardrail and down a ravine.

I skipped Poffabro and descended through Valdifrini then continued down Val Muie to Navarons.   At Lago di Tramonti I turned left and skirted the lakeshore to Chievolis.  Here starts the climb up Val Silisia to Lago Ca' Selva.  Crossed the dam and after a brief dirt stretch climbed the steep paved road to Panuch (639m).  Fun ride home.  

Frane at 690 meters above Bosplans

View north from Pala Barzana

Monte Rodolino from 530 meters above Lago Ca' Selva

Panuch trail head- I'll try to hike to Monte Raut this summer

Mountains to west above Lago Ca' Selva

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Parco San Floriano Hike

Nice little hike for the pups this morning.  I drove to Polcenigo and we hiked around Parco San Floriano, a beautiful foothills park.  Lots of protected meadows and forested habitat for birds, animals and wild flowers.   They had a great time in the warm spring weather.

Mezzomonte across the Livenza

Snowy Piancavallo area to northeast 

Dardago's chiesa to the east

Entrance to 13th century Chiesa di San Floriano 

Trail on the left has been prepared for barefoot hiking

Blaze along the barefoot trail

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Giais Tempietto Longobardo Hike

The pups and I took a stroll down to Cortina and visited the Longobardo church, which has been beautifully restored.  As you can see in this video, previously it was a ruin.  Our village has been here for a millennium or two.

The tower
Arched entrance

The sanctuary with apse 

Side view of entrance

Around the corner, Santa Maria Maggiore 

Beautiful oval stained glass window in large house (canonica?)
near the Tempietto.   Note the very thick walls.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tarzo - Cozzuolo

Pleasant surprise today- our World Traveler, Paul Kim, is back to visit and invited us for a reunion  bike ride.  So I rode down to Budoia, met up with Paul, Joe, Naz and Mark and off we went.  Good pace today- just quick enough to keep you on the edge of collapse, but not enough to finish you off.

We rode up through Sarmede to Fratta, then through Vittorio Veneto to Revine Lago and Tarzo.  At Corbonese we turned up into the prosecco vineyards above Conegliano-  beautiful panoramas here.  Back through Cordignano to Budoia, then Naz was kind enough to accompany me to Giais on his way to Maniago.  Hopefully we'll have another group ride like this soon- enjoyed having some company for a change

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sfadigà, Borgo Ciser, Sonego

The hills east of Vittorio Veneto have some settlements here and there, visible from the city below.   A group of houses above Sant'Andrea church caught my eye so I needed to investigate.  Just past the back of the church take a right on Via Borghel.  In no time the road turns to concrete and tilts upward at about 20%.   A man gingerly walking downslope wished me "Forza!" and I was wishing for it too.  I stopped for a breather then went a bit further up, when  I noticed a tiny car having trouble descending a hairpin curve.  That did it:  I put on my cleat covers and pushed the bike up to a less steep spot.

I kept up this pattern of briefly climbing, then walking with cleat covers for a kilometer or so.  Around 500 meters it seemed to level out and I stayed in the pedals from then on.  I descended to Borgo Ciser, then continued down to Sonego.  It would be much better to do this climb from Fregona and Sonego than from Vittorio Veneto.  

After Fregona I climbed back up to the panoramic road through Osigo and Montaner to Rugolo.  I descended to Sarmede, on to Caneva and Via Pedemontane Occidentale to Giais.  Great ride, but I'll try it in the opposite direction next time.

Turn right here if you must climb it from Vittorio Veneto

Pretty pastures around Borgo Pesaro

Vittorio Veneto neighborhood on mountainside

Santuario di Santa Augusta: stairs reach it from Vittorio Veneto

Asino farm, possibly di Marzio Bruseghin 

Monte Pizzoc above meadows of Sfadigà

Astronomical observatory

Tiny church at Borgo Ciser

Coming from Fregona turn left here at Sonego

Sonego stone church

Bikes decorated for Carnevale at a house near Caneva