From a local's perspective, I wanted to mention that I and a number of other
Durango folks that are involved with the HRH as volunteers or runners fully
support the decision of the HRH Board and Dale Garland to cancel this year's
run. I know it was an agonizing decision for them, but there is no doubt
they did the right thing.
Since the Missionary Ridge fire started June 9, the resources and the
spirit of this community have been pushed to the limit. Every morning we
wake up to a town and a landscape choked with smoke. As I write this, there
is ash falling from the sky outside my office window in the middle of
Durango. Some of our neighbors have lost their homes and many more have
been evacuated, unable to return home for days or weeks. The fire has
become a 70,000 acre Monster we cannot control and perhaps, worst of all,
is completely unpredictable.
In this context, the notion of inserting 400-500 people in the backcountry
of the San Juans for a run would have been unconscionable. One catalytic
converter on one car igniting one weed could become the next Monster. No
kidding, the conditions are just that bad.
This was to be my first Hardrock. And so, here I sit, like a new retiree
on Monday morning, not quite knowing what to do with myself. But here's to
the future and the health of our community, our forest, our mountains and
the continuing success of the Hardrock Hundred.