- Dear Hard Rockers,
I have recently seen many posts on this list about the train and hiking the
fourteeners in the San Juans. Well, I live here in Durango and am pretty
familiar with the area. One of my favorites is to run into Chicago Basin
starting across from Durango Mtn. Resort and run out over Columnine Pass to
Lake Vallecito, about 34 miles. Or you can run it, bag a peak or two and run
back out. The train? It's nice but real ultrarunners will skip it! See you
at Hard Rock in a month.
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I don't have enough words to describe 10 days Larry and I lived through in
San Juans...and I don't think I need to. Although pictures don't do the
justice to this magnificent place, they are still better than words.
This is the idea of a vacation many would agree is The Best. having not
gotten into Hardrock 100, we still didn't want to miss on being where the
heart belongs to - the place, the race, the people. So, we spent a week
hiking many a trails out of Silverton area (those that are NOT part of the
race, to explore, to see, to love). The weather on day 3 (July 3rd) turned
to the "interesting" with monsoon season moving in much earlier this year.
The thunderstorms and lightening were chasing everyone down soon after noon
for the rest of the day. This trend continued for the race weekend as well,
even worse, following the runners as they made their way on the course.
There was no relief, and many were caught at the top of the peaks, above
13,000 feet, soaked wet and in danger of been struck by lightening. Couple
that with late snow this year and wet (more than usual) course conditions,
the Hardrock claimed runners. Out of 140 starters 80 finished. they are my
We swept (picked up marking) from start to Maggies (mile 15~), and next day
dismounted a new section that wasn't used. The thoughts went between "I am
glad I am not in" to "I NEED to be here, and I WANT to be tested". It is not
you against mountains, and not even you against clock. It is you - and you.
Some days you win. Some days you take a step back. This is life.
There is no better place to figure it out.
To all who was there - my heartfelt hugs.
I miss this place already.
Is it July 2012 yet?
p.s. I'll put more captions as days go.
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