Really stupid...

If an idea is good, it's on the verge of being stupid. ~ Michel Gondry

I have always had this theory… get a group of people in a room, throw out a bunch of ideas and at the end of the night, look at your list to find the most idiotic and that's the one you should do.

This blog was spawned from one very stupid idea - run the Leadville 100. I gave that a shot in the summer of '07 - completed 73 miles - and survived. The blog lives on...

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Front Range Five...

The person who doesn't scatter the morning dew will not comb gray hairs. ~ Hunter S. Thompson

Yesterday: Run - Front Range Five, 5 hours
Today: Ride - Casa del Critters, 1 hour
Tomorrow: Run

Yesterday was a blast. My alarm went off at 3:45, rousing me to start what would be a long but fruitful day. Luke and I met at the Sanitas trailhead at 5, gathered our things and headed up what would be the first of five summits that day. Our goal had more to do with refining technique and honing our endurance than setting any speed records and we moved at a modest pace through the Sanitas Valley in the early daybreak. Mule deer dotted both sides of the well-traveled path as we moved up above Dakota Ridge and watched the sun rise over the eastern plains. We summited roughly on schedule and quickly descended via the western trail back to our cars where we grabbed our packs and headed south toward Flagstaff, peak two. (Sanitas summit was not documented with photos.)

As the sun began its rise higher in the east, we moved past the red rock formations that make up Boulder's west side and down into Eben G. Fine park. We were moving smoothly, though it was not even 6:00 and quickly made our way up the Flagstaff trail. After a brief stop at the Filthiest Bathroom in Scotland (what is wrong with people?), we continued our climb upward and summited Flagstaff Mountain shortly thereafter. Peak two down, three to go.

We traveled around the western side of Flagstaff and to the Ranger Trail trailhead where we began our ascent of Green Mountain. Green features an interesting, steady climb interspersed with steeper staircase sections that can really test your fitness. Fortunately, our goal today was not to push the fitness levels per se but to keep a steady pace throughout our effort so we hiked most of Green. We started to see heavier traffic on our ascent and were met by several short-range runners who were clearly very fit. It is not uncommon to see World class athletes training on the trails and roads around Boulder county. There are some really strong athletes in this area but we were also greeted by several groups of people who were not elite competitors out for an early morning hike. Some people's commitment to the outdoors makes up for the neglect of others (see paragraph 2). We summited Green on schedule, stayed a few minutes to enjoy the view, then started back down to the saddle where we would tackle Bear Peak. Two more to go.

To get to the Bear Peak trail, one descends from the saddle of Green to the south for about 15 minutes (max). This is one of my favorite places in the Flatirons. This portion of the trail system doesn't see a lot of traffic and features rolling trails through pine forests that then dump out to beautiful green meadows and a small stream across which the trail meanders. Luke and I ran quickly down this section to the Bear peak trail where we turned back south and headed uphill for the toughest climb of the day. The top third of Bear features a more exposed, alpine-style summit than any of the other peaks we would stand atop this day. We met a few other hiker/runners at the top of Bear and enjoyed the views of both the front and back ranges from the top of Bear. If you have not made the effort to summit this peak, I highly recommend it. And then there was one.

South Boulder peak is the tallest of the peaks we would climb on this day though its summit is less interesting than Bear. We wound our way down the west side of Bear to the saddle between the two peaks. From this junction (where Shadow Canyon trail meets the one on which we traveled), we continued upward to the South Boulder Peak summit. Mission accomplished. We returned to Shadow Canyon trail and quickly descended past a surprisingly large number of hikers to Mesa Trail, headed north briefly to Big Blue Stem and down to the South Mesa Trail trailhead where we were met by Megan to shuttle us back to our cars at Sanitas. Five hours on the nose.

View the full album here.

The remainder of the day was spent working and napping then I met up with a good chunk of the crew at Megan's parents' house in Gold Hill for a bar-b-que. When I got home, I helped Rach scrape wax out of Rock Shot's ears. Good times.

Today I plan to go for a short ride (better get on that) and tomorrow, it looks like I have scheduled the day off. I was planning to do some back-to-back long runs but may just stick with alternating running and riding from here on out to avoid any injuries. I think I will be bagging the super-long run as well and will opt for a 40-miler as my longest run prior to Leadville.

Movie time: Last night I actually watched a movie as well. Go figure. The Yes Men is a documentary that follows the exploits of a group of satirists who find themselves in the unlikely position of representing the WTO at a number of conferences and news events. I found the most interesting piece of the film to be the reactions (or lack thereof) they received from those entrenched in the business world. Only the college students to whom they lectured in one scene called them on any of their bs. Very interesting how people conform and accept that which is clearly wrong when their livelihood is on the line. I can't say that I haven't been guilty of this as well and this film was a clear illustration of the corruptive effect the desire to keep one's job/please one's boss/not look stupid in front of one's contemporaries can be. It would benefit us all to retain some of that college-age mentality from time to time.

Fight the good fight.


1 comment:

Nichole said...

Consider renaming that last photo album to "Lots of Fingers and a Couple of Thumbs."

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