Sunday, May 05, 2013

PMBAR 2013

 I had the opportunity for the 3rd year in a row to "police" FS Road 5015 during PMBAR.  I was looking forward and so apparently were lots of other folks, to spending a day in the woods, and serving up some grilled cheese sammies and Coke.  I loaded the truck and headed out to be at the Laurel Mountain Trailhead by 8am.  Eric had not included N Mills River in this year's edition so I would be able to get the job done here.
My space for the day,  it was awesome.
 I got set up, brewed some coffee, turned on some tunes and waited.  I watched a couple of hours tick by, still waiting, seeing no racers.  Then I started to second guess myself, wondering if I had set up on the wrong day.  I called the wife to verify the date,  just in case.  Around 11am, I got some sammies on the grill and ready to go.  Perfect timing.  Just after 11am , the first team came through.  After about 20 minutes, the second team.  10 teams came through by noon, then there was another long lull in the action.  Finally around 1pm,  teams started rolling through fairly regularly and I was in business. 
nom nom nom
 The day had started misty and chilly, and gradually, the rain moved in.  The raindrops got bigger and bigger as the day went on, and people brought reports of wet and muddy trail conditions.  I was at a point where an out and back seemed the best way to go so I got to see a lot of people deteriorate later in the day.  Once a body gets soaking wet, and then chilled, it is very, very difficult to get warmed back up.  The body starts to shut down, and things can get hairy pretty quickly.  I would say from what I observed that most of the people out there were aware of this and aware of their limits.  But, every now and then, things happen and we need help from the outside.  For a couple of people, the grilled cheese and hot fire pit were not enough to bring them back from knocking on hypothermia's door.  Twice, I cranked up the truck with the heat on, to attempt to warm the racers up, but to no avail.  I had to watch the painful decision to pull the plug on the race.

Sometimes, no matter how well you plan and train, things turn south and it is a wise person who pulls the plug before having to call in the professionals...  I've been there, and it gets expensive.
Tony and Taft, eyeballing more sammies.
All in all, though it was a great day.  Seeing old friends and greeting new ones.  Lots of planning and speculation going on throughout the day.  It didn't matter if it was the pros or the first timers, everyone was looking for the quickest way somewhere.  Earlier in the day, it was the quickest way to the next checkpoint.  Later in the day it became the quickest way to the free beer!!
The warmest spot in Pisgah!

Sunday, I was pretty worn out.  A busy week prior, and then hanging out in the paradise called Pisgah all day.  I must say, I did feel several twinges of jealousy.  But at the same time, I was very glad that I was warm and dry.  Doing this has definitely been a highlight of my year!!

I do this with no expectation of receiving anything in return.  The folks who came and were refreshed owe me nothing.  I ask nothing.  I simply want to do something kind,  to start a ripple in the water, so to speak.

Every year, several people ask how they can repay.  So,  if you really want to do something, you can either click here to donate to Trips For Kids WNC,  or contact me to donate bikes or gear for The Bicycle Thrift Shop.   

Other than that,  a high five  or a smile is what I want,  and I got plenty of that out in the middle of the woods!!  You all rock!  Thanks for the inspiration.

1 comment:

Eric Wever said...

Thanks Stephen!!!