Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I arrived at the parking lot and seeing no one else at the appointed time, rolled out alone. I spun up the switchbacks, finding a smooth pace and visualizing the race coming up. By the time I had gotten to the top, the rain had started and the thunder was rolling. I thought about turning back but had a 3 hr ride planned, and knew that these storms typically blow over pretty quickly....this one did not.
I never really noticed how much of a ridgeline the trail follows until this trip. Interestingly enough, to the north I could glimpse blue skies, but to the south there was only dark grey punctuated by flashes of light.
As fear mounted up, I reminded myself to relax and have fun even thought conditions were borderline epic. And that is what I did. I focused and I got back down into the valley. I only went down once,and landed on some soft clay, no harm done.
I got to the picnic ground and hung out under the overhanging roof of the smelly outhouse. I was not fearful enough to hideout inside.
As I ground my way up the road, I was pleased to see that the gravel was compacted and smooth, which will make the time on the road less, come race day.
I didn't get 3 hrs in, but I was greeted by a yearling black bear. Of course the pictures did not turn out, so you will have to trust me. We looked at each other, about 40 ft apart for a couple of minutes, before going our own way.
Encouraged and feeling peaceful, experiencing the calm after the storm, I loaded up and headed home to the loves of my life.
Have a great day.
Have a great day!!
Posted by My name is Stephen at 9:31 AM