BETWEEN MEADOWS AND WOODS,
THE GREEN PATH OF CURIEDI
Spring is undoubtedly my favorite season. In our mountains winter, with the first warm days of summer, explodes like a fireworks display. Because it is a real explosion, made of colors, scents and noises of nature.
I always thought that one of the best locations to watch this spring show is that circle of mountains that closes the lower valley of the But river to the west. A plateau of rounded peaks that the inhabitants of those small villages have laboriously kept clear of vegetation.
An altitude crossing that I allow myself every year at the beginning of the season, riding my bicycle, the ideal solution to witness, in a long traverse, this fireworks display of meadows, flowers and woods. Mountain bike, companion of a thousand adventures from my young age, used to reach those spaces that have become "favorite places" over the years.
After parking the car near the Curiedi 's sports field, I start pedaling uphill, immediately feeling a sense of freedom, amplified by the solitude of these green spaces. The path, which crosses the last rural houses on the slopes of this mountain, climbs gently and, although my seasonal training is virtually zero, along this road I hardly struggle, and I allow myself the luxury of being able to look around without concentrating too much on the effort. The asphalt strip of the road runs fast under the wheels, winding through these woods, where the bright green of the first leaves of the beech trees guides my constant rise.
The villages that can be seen on the other side of the valley look like color photographs of a time that elsewhere is only a distant memory while here it is still present and real today. They are the last outposts of a peasant life that no longer exists, small villages and groups of houses perched on the slopes of this corner of Carnia. Flashes of a humanity deeply linked to these lands that respond to the names of Vas, Fornas, Duron and Uerpa.
Along the ascent I often stop to admire unexpected glimpses that open between the branches, or the airy panorama that opens on the Tolmezzo basin with the small variant for Sella Duron, where also a rusty bicycle, with a bottle of wine in place of the water bottles, silently recommend this digression to the main road.
I go back to the main path, after having watched in delight the flight lessons of a family of hawks in the sky. The upward currents of Mount Duron are probably their "driving school".
The forest gives way to the meadows that are becoming more and more present, a sign that the altitude is increasing. The road becomes unpaved, but the bottom is always well beaten and going up is a pleasure, up to the top of this ring, in correspondence with the peak of Malga Corce where I stop for a moment to admire a panorama that extends down to the Adriatic sea, which today glitters in the background.
Completely alone, in the middle of the nature.
The descent begins a little further, after a short, worse ramp. It is a dirt path that alternates stretches beaten to more irregular sectors, but always well practicable despite the descent is sudden and effortless. The rapid descent takes me to the small village of Vas, where water flows from the town's centenary fountain and quenches thirst for men and beasts. Time, no doubt here, must have a different clock. After the short climb to the hamlet of Uerpa, I fall further beyond Buttea to the bridge over the abyss. I lean over to look for a bottom you don't even guess, a gut of rock dug by the water over the millennia, a void that frightens and surprises.
The paved road gently climbs towards Curiedi. I don't meet anyone, even this is a condition that seems a privilege. It is from the departure of this ring that the feeling of being incredibly lucky to have "my own road" grows in me.
I head downhill towards the biotope of the "Curiedi peat bog", a protected natural area rich in rare plants, native orchids and carnivorous plants. The nature of Carnia finds its maximum expression in this enormous basin.
Pedaling in this stretch is a pleasure, the well-beaten track goes through pastures and flowery meadows surrounded by the chirping of crickets. I still want to reach the goal of Cuel Maior, the icing on the cake of this incredible ride. A few pushes to the bicycle in the final part of the ascent does not detract from the spectacle of the summit. The Tagliamento valley under the wheels extends to the west to mark the bases of the Dolomite peaks, while to the east the limestone pyramid of Mount Amariana dominates my hometown.
I stop a lot on this top, a bench allows me to let my thoughts wander, which up here are certainly amplified by an incomparable context.
On the saddle again, to go back to the starting point. On the tight bends, mastering the brakes on this single track equals the most intimate fun that every biker feels. The wood runs fast beside me, just as the path runs under my wheels.
The last meadows bring me back to the starting point, tired but happy with this exciting experience!
Percorso indicativo - Google Earth