It's begun. A phone call 4 months ago and I'm headed to Bristol Bay.
It's time to rock n roll.
preface this with - if i couldn't run trails i'd probably bike. road running pretty much sucks. but the mtn dance? ah...that's another story.
a friend of mine emailed me yesterday and asked me what i thought about running 100's. this is what came out -
106 miles, 33,000' of elevation gain (and descent) in 26 hours 8 minutes at the expense of around 17,000 calories and 2 missing toenails. ha, good stuff!
It was a noon start which typically isn't my favorite although did allow time for a late wake up and relaxing :) Weather was supposed to be in the high 70's w/a bunch of humidity although as the race was almost entirely ran under the tree canopy it was quite a bit cooler and humidity wasn't an issue.
The N Georgia trails are beautiful. Heavily forested, the course winds along single track and over the usual assortment of roots, rocks and winter blow down. Numerous, short, climbs typify the course and once you get over the fact that you're either going up or down, it's quite pleasant and at times, due to the regularity of the flora, slightly monotonous even. Because of the thickness of the forest, scenic vistas were limited although random bites of distant, similarly lush mountaintops popped out occasionally to remind me how lucky I was to be where I was, doing what I was.
If in N Georgia I highly recommend visiting Helen as it's a cute Bavarian town with good food, good music and a laid back vibe situated along the Chattahoochee River.
All in all a well run race on great trails supported by wonderful volunteers in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Thank you!
Before my brother and I were born my folks had ridden their motorcycle up to the trail head at Anderson & Watson Lks although they had never been on the E Bank Trail. Note - as their memories are a bit...soft, we're not 100% sure the A&W Lks th is where they went on their motorcycle trip although we're sure they crossed the dam. I've wanted to take my folks out and walk the trail for quite some time and they were really excited to go.
Massive old cedar and fir trees, dozens of creek crossings and about the most beautiful trails you can imagine. It was a great day. And no one fell in crossing the creek :)
Forest Service roads leading to deserted camping spots, every star winking & sharing the secret, cinnamon twisps & french roast coffee, spongy trails with surreal green lusciousness, icy creeks swollen with snow melt, Puget Sound salt water cool and soft, stillness of the islands, peace of the family.
welcome back indeed.
'want to see if we can go for a dog sled ride?' the last day of my folks visit my dad enthusiastically said yes, my mom gave me the sideways glance that said, 'uh, what?' a quick phone call and we were set!
best of all, HuskyPower is one of the few places in the country where one can actually drive their own sled! follow the leader, keep a heavy foot on the brake and hold on. totally cool
Indian Ridge loop. Around 25 miles w/7k' of gain. Slow going w/the snow, wind gusts around 30 on the ridge made it pretty exciting. Face was burned from the blowing snow. Would hunch down occasionally during the biggest gusts and hold Mia and keep her face out of the wind/blown snow. Once over the ridge the snow was much deeper and the trail was gone. Slow, snowy day in the backcountry.
it was perfect. you can't be lost if you know you have to go up. so, that's what we did. went straight up the ridge and saw Sacajawea waiting for us in the distance. on top of the peak the wind was howling. snacked on top and saw the trail far below in the drainage to the E of the ridge we'd come up. the run down was mainly smooth and we danced the mtn dance all the way down.
this is a good place.
might be time for a haircut. jeez.
Chose this based on looking at the map, seeing a long, high area covered in lakes and figured it was worth the energy. Very impressed! Beautiful views and while there were plenty of hikers, lots of miles of solitude.
It's a big equestrian area and as usual, they were not used to someone w/a tiny backpack, one water bottle and no plans on sleeping on the trail that night :) But as usual, they all were happy, good folks and joked as I went by.
It's initially a mixture of awe and confusion. A place, a scene, a moment so incredible I can't understand what I'm looking at, can't believe I'm there. After a moment everything fades away except that in front of me and I understand how lucky I am to be able to be where I am, when I am. This was one of those times. Enjoy.
I think, haha hope, this is the high point of the Ouray 100 miler that I decided would be a good idea to sign up for, and attempt. Actual elevation of the pass is around 12,600', watch shows the peak to the S that we scrambled up.
The air up there is thiiin so you gots to go slooow. Excuses excuses...
Outdoor lover, daydreamer, guy with his dog.