USA Adventure

Yesterday in the high Sierras, today on scenic Lake Tahoe.

Sunrise woke in South Lake Tahoe, circled the lake northward – day’s first stop:  Emerald Bay.  Mix of tall redwood & pine – HUGE evergreen – line California’s largest freshwater lake.  Bay tinted green (emerald green) where it hugs shore.

$10 to the Park Ranger.  Successfully secured parking (kinda a big deal in California).  Stared long/hard at the Lake horizon, before starting the short steep hike DOWN to Vikingsholm on tourist-heavy Tahoe – HIKE day ❤


Vikingsholm…this magnificent “castle” is a unique blend of nature’s spectacular beauty and man’s architectural ingenuity.


The Vikingsholm foundation was laid in 1928, but the building was constructed in 1929 by 200 workers. Vikingsholm was built by Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight as a summer home. Before starting construction, Mrs. Knight and her architect traveled to Scandinavia to gather ideas for the construction of the house. Some parts of the structure contain no nails or spikes, as a result of old-fashioned construction methods. Most of the building was made from materials found at Lake Tahoe.


Mrs. Knight is best known for building Vikingsholm, but she and her husband Harry, a businessman were primary backers of Charles Lindbergh’s non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927.


Followed the steep one-mile path DOWN DOWN DOWN to Vikingsholm.

White granite canyons, HUGE forest’d trees.  Snagged 2 enormous pine cone for my Colorado mantel.

Interesting well-preserved residence, Vikingsholm, but didn’t purchased a ticket to tour inside.  I trail-hiked DOWN to see California redwood, to enjoy the all-consuming scent of pine.  Not disappointed, WOW!

Dipped both hands into Lake Tahoe before trekking back UP.  UP UP to Hwy 89, the local northbound highway I’d travel lake-circumference.  Tahoma, Tahoe City, then lunch.  3 more hours to play ‘til my return flight home from Reno.

89 North to Truckee, diverted left on Squaw Valley Road.

Squaw Valley, California – site of the 1960 Winter Olympics.  Gotta/hafta/must STOP, right?  Team USA won first-ever hockey GOLD; Americans [David Jenkins & Carol Heiss] topped both figure skating podiums.

The Games’ spirit, the OLYMPIC FLAME stays lit 24/7, 365 days/year.  Pretty neat.  I was here.





After a weekend off from marathoning, back on the trail – literally.

Friday a.m. flight to Reno, scenic hour-half drive to South Lake Tahoe.  Running on 2 historic trail systems tomorrow – the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) & XP (Pony Express) trails in California’s Sierra Nevadas.

Easy laid-back drive, radio set to classic 70’s – never turned the dial, all weekend.

Hotel check-in, then a rural 45 minutes on US 50 West to Kyburz (bib pickup).  Located tomorrow’s trail Start at Echo Summit (1968 US Olympic high-altitude training center).  Quick hello/goodbye.  Back in the morning California redwood, Ponderosa pine ❤

First year event – read & re-read the course description PLUS snapped a shot of the map itself (nothing left to chance).  More concerned being lost in the high Sierras than any wildlife encounters (only bear I saw/stuffed at Strawberry Lodge).


RACE DAY, SATURDAY:  Cool & overcast.  Mix of HIGH CLOUDS & MASSIVE TREES.  Super thankful, appreciated the cover.

Most of the day, focused/eyes alert for PINK ribbons.  13.8 miles in, started the climb UP.   Two HUGE hikes, over 4000ft vertical gain.  Lovers Leap Trail: let’s just say, I know why they leaped.  Crazy difficult hike.

but…the Panorama?  (like being) Wrapped inside an Ansel Adams photograph.  Just WOW!  Every north-facing tree blanketed in vibrant green moss.  Yellow-green: closest colour match in my Crayola box.  That’s the memory I’ll take home to Colorado.

Only negative?  Course went long.  I know, I know, it’s trail.  Folks: this course went long.  My watch (& Strava app) died somewhere after 30.5 miles – my first ultra finish of 2017.  (I say first ‘cause I haven’t yet given up on running a 50-miler this year.)

#94 in the books.  2nd longest [amount of time] I’ve been on my feet (behind 2013’s Barr Trail hike UP Pike’s Peak).



Echo Summit Trail Challenge – August 5, 2017


Trail Marathon  Jude Archie  M  06:40:28    1

Trail Marathon  HAGA K R  M  07:51:36    2


HIKE DAY tomorrow ‘round tourist-friendly paradiso, Lake Tahoe.  Living well, lucky in life 🙂



road-trippin’: Reno to Tahoe 




Bib pickup yesterday at Three Sons in Milford IA.  For those of you taking U of O’s entrance exam, answer key is at the register 🙂

The University of Okoboji is a fictitious university in the state of Iowa. The university was the creation of three brothers (The Three Sons of their dad) in the early 1970s, who printed T-shirts with an “official” school crest.  The word “Okoboji” refers to several lakes, and to the town of Okoboji, in the Iowa Great Lakes region that are popular recreational destinations.


The university is home of the undefeated Fighting Phantoms.


It is common among those claiming to be alumni to display university decor, such as car decals and T-shirts without informing unsuspecting out-of-staters that the university is fictitious.  The name is now used in connection with several annual fund-raising events for charity, including bike rides, a marathon, and a winter games competition.  A local radio station, KUOO, has joined in the joke and refers to itself as the “campus radio”.


5 o’clock alarm, early 6am marathon start.  Luckily, my evenings digs were only 10 minutes away – not a whole lotta sleep after last night’s live ‘Little House’ performance.  Double lucky?  Air conditioning.  5am, already 78 degrees.  Gonna be a July hot one.

Watched a lotta ultra races on YouTube while Bighorn training…including Badwater, a 135-mile endurance run thru Death Valley in JULY.  120+ degree heat, last year 84 of 97 finished.  Key?  Hydration AND a cold wet sponge (over the head/back of the neck).  Hmm…

Start/Finish at Arnolds Park Amusement Park.  Small marathon field, no more than 100.  5K turnaround at Okoboji’s The Inn, then clockwise circled West Okoboji Lake.  Plan today: slow steady pace.  ‘Steady’ the plan; goal: even splits.

With the exception of a fast first mile (7:25/min pace), held a steady 9:25/min pace thru 14.  Multiple views of Iowan summer vacations: lotta boats, whole lotta skiers.  Lost my way 3 times – almost a full mile off-course at mile 18.

[Check out my Strava pic/out-n-back line ‘bove 160th St.  Luckily, sun-bathing residents provided return directions.  ARGH!]

Port-a-john at mile 19, negative splits next 4 miles.  12 min/pace, but moving.  Took advantage of every opportunity to water douse my hat/head/shirt/arms/neck.  iShuffle died, 7 miles to go.  It’s a crutch [I know] but helps calm madness/’the voices’ after mile 20.

Walk, jog, sponge bath.  Kept moving forward.

Seemingly out there by myself – but I did it, I finished.  HOT day: 94 degrees & high humidity.  Just under 5 hours (mere 30 seconds under).  Medic placed a bag of ice on my neck.  Said my thanks, collected a medal & retrieved my rental [car].  No drama 🙂

3 hour haul to Minneapolis, air conditioner on HIGH.  Flying home tonite.  Home sweet Colorado home.


U of Okoboji Marathon, Triathlon, Half Marathon & 10K – Marathon (Jul 15, 2017)


Haga, K R   4:59:31.95

City: Louisville, CO
Bib #: 679




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