Rocky Mtn West

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).

 

TROY’S CALIFORNIA TRAIL RUNS

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 

 

 

 

“After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again.” ― C.S. Lewis

 

Failure/not completing what one’s started – it’s a tough pill to swallow.  Some spout excuses, I’ve never been one to jump on board. Running’s a solo sport.  Body failure, mental weakness, weather conditions – doesn’t matter.  It’s you, the trail & a pair of shoes.

Started the weekend early like most (of my) race adventures.  Booked a bus ticket, not a lotta options to northwest Wyoming 🙂  Boulder to Denver, Denver to Buffalo (Wyoming, not New York).  9 hours.  Then ride-shared with a buddy to Dayton (Wyoming, not Ohio).

Bib pick-up Friday afternoon in Sheridan.  2 drop bags packed for Saturday’s 52 mile run.

2-mile taper runs all week.  Half-month watching Bighorn videos [on YouTube].  Hot temps, their principle complaint.  Tomorrow’s forecast?  Light rain & mud, remnants from last week’s snow.  PERFECT conditions.  Summer’s come late to Wyoming.

Reviewed the map, reread the manual, talked with one of the race’s first 100 mile finishers.

Every T crossed, nothing left undone.

 

Should you drive into the Footbridge Aid Station, be aware that there are 2 creek fords to drive through. The second is quite deep at this time. Do not attempt to drive to Footbridge without a high clearance vehicle.

 

Our aid stations are well stocked with GU products, GU hydration, water, and a full supply of a variety of foods to help you in your endeavor for the distance you have registered and chosen to run. Please remember that the aid station volunteers who hike to their stations are limited in supplies, but are still well-stocked to assist you.

 

…you should yield to any runner that is catching you from behind, let them pass by stepping to the upside of the trail so that they may continue at their pace. The faster runner does have the right of way, and would be appreciative of your yielding this to them. This is true for horses as well, and others that may be on the trails.

 

We are expecting fairly average course conditions for 2017, but remember we are famous for the Bighorn shoe sucking mud. There will be snow, mud, rocks, roots, elk and their calves, moose and their calves, bear and their cubs, grouse, snakes, and other wildlife as well as challenges along the way, but we are in WYOMING and just consider this part of the adventure.

 

Welcome, and safe travels to our wild and scenic Bighorn Mountains!

 

Thank you,
Bighorn Race Officials

 

Saturday.  Race morning.  5am race start, 45 minute drive from my overnight cabin.

Bed at 8:30, didn’t drop off ‘til after midnight, up again at 3.  Mentally sapped.

Not the lack of sleep – FEAR.  I can’t do this.  It’s too many miles.  All trail.  I’m at elevation.

Pitch dark, in the car by 4.  One deer.  Two moose.  Then…heavy fog.  Large patches of snow [on] both sides of State Highway 14.  Only 10 minutes to Start.  Where is the turnoff?  No cell signal, map left in the cabin.

Must have missed a turn.  Back over the pass, back into the fog.

Never ever located the Start.  HUGE fail.  Have never missed a race – and this my goal race, my first 50.

Tough miss.  Just wasn’t meant to be.  Loss.

Showered at the cabin, retreated home – left a day early.  Prepaid my stay, sunk cost.  Home.  I’ll figure it out at home.

 

UPDATE: 3 days later, still Bighorn-wounded but back at it.  Reconnecting the dots.  Have created a path for 100.  All flights booked, all races registered.  Ready, ready to run.  Looking to Ireland: October 29th.  Marathon #100.  Focused.

Bighorn 2018?  Yep, I’ll be back.  Count on it.  I’ve never run FROM anything.

 

 

 

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