Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Trinity Alps

Mom and I were able to get in a short trip in the Trinity Alps last weekend.  The end of October is getting pretty late in the mountains, but we were lucky to have warm weather and no fresh snow.  Also, all my classes at OSU are taught online and are recorded.  This allowed us to leave Thursday as I was able to watch a couple pre-recorded lectures before we left and catch up after the trip on Monday.

If you'd like to follow our path through the mountains, here's a link of a Caltopo map of the area: https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=41.02284,-122.97302&z=14&b=f16a

Thursday we drove to Big Flat trailhead up Coffee Creek road and started hiking just before 3pm.  The first half of the climb was all in the trees and we made pretty good time hiking as the trail was smooth and the grade moderate.  When we reached Brown's Meadow, a little over halfway to the Caribou Lakes basin, the air was getting pretty smoky.  We could smell the smoke a bit and all the mountains were blurred by haze so we debated going on.  We decided to push on to Snowslide Lake, the nearest lake in the Caribou Lakes basin, and spend the night there.  We reached Snowslide Lake at 6:40 and the lighting was getting pretty dim.  After a quick dinner, we headed to bed, unsure what tomorrow would bring because of the smoke.

A little ice on the trail on the climb up to Caribou Lake

Smoke rolling in on day 1

Fortunately, Friday morning brought clear skies!  Given the clean air, we pressed on over the pass to the Stuart Fork drainage.  The climb up from Caribou Lakes to the pass is fairly short, but the descent down to the Stuart Fork was quite a bit longer.  This section is all "use trail", but the trail is well established the whole way.  After reaching the Stuart Fork, we took a quick snack break in the shade, then pressed on toward Emerald Lake.

Looking back at Caribou Lake

There is trail all the way to Emerald Lake, so it didn't take too long to get there.  The is a use trail along the North side of Emerald Lake, but we didn't find it right away.  The North side was brushy and I though the talus-hop along the South side would be just as fast.  So that's what we did, but it turns out that talus hopping was quite a bit slower than taking the trail.  After reaching the end of Emerald Lake, we reconnected with the trail and pressed on to Sapphire Lake.

We intended to head on to Mirror Lake, so we took the use trail along the North shore of Sapphire Lake.  This trail was very brushy and we lost it once or twice, but it got us to the far end of Sapphire Lake.  From the end of Sapphire Lake, there was some more bushwhacking and scrambling to get up to Mirror Lake.  Climbing up to Mirror Lake there was a faint trail in spots, but most of the time we were looking for cairns which marked the route.  We reached Mirror Lake around 5:30 so we had time to enjoy the views and watch the moonrise.

Mom along Emerald Lake

Old mining equipment below Sapphire Lake

Emerald Lake

On the use trail along Emerald Lake

Looking back down on Emerald Lake

Climbing up to Mirror Lake

Smoke behind Emerald Lake

A smoky moonrise

Friday afternoon was a little smoky, but Saturday morning brought the clearest skies yet.  This lead to some great reflections off of Mirror Lake!  Our plan was to head over Mirror Pass and then traverse cross country back to Caribou Lakes basin where we spent the first night.  We knew that Mirror Pass would be doable and most of the route on the far side of the ridge didn't look too bad.  The one tricky spot was "Point 7400+", but I thought that we could probably get around that.

So, we began the morning with the steep climb up to Mirror Pass.  The climb wasn't too bad, although we ended up a little too far to the right to get over the pass.  We were at the low point of the pass, but the only way off the backside was farther to the left and a little higher up.  We lost a little time traversing to get to a point where we could cross the pass, but soon we were headed down the backside of the pass.

Mirror Lake

Sunrise above Mirror Lake

Climbing to Mirror Pass

The top of Mirror Pass

After getting off of Mirror Pass, there are long granite slabs which made for easy cross country travel.  We hiked along these for a while before we headed into the trees to descent to a tarn above Little South Fork Lake.  The descent to the tarn was fairly easy, but as I looked at Point 7400+ as we descended, I couldn't see any good way over it.  We had a couple maps and a short description of how to get around this spot, but the route didn't look very promising.

We scoped out the route for a few minutes from the tarn before we began the climb.  We ended up heading a couple hundred vertical feet up steep loose talus before turning around and head back to the tarn.  We spent a little more time looking for a better route, but we couldn't find any.  At that point, we took a few minutes to assess our options and decided that heading back to Mirror Lake was our best choice.  It would leave a long haul for Sunday, but at least we knew we could get back.

Granite slabs


Steep terrain below "Point 7400+"

Looking back at Point 7400+

After turning back from Point 7400+, we made our way back across the granite slabs to Mirror Pass.  I thought if we could reach Mirror Lake before 5:30, we may be able to hike down to Sapphire Lake.  The climb down to Sapphire Lake involved some scrambling and route finding so we knew we needed to be through there before dark.  We made it up to Mirror Pass in good time, but we would have to get down to Mirror Lake pretty fast to push on.  We descended pretty quickly to Mirror Lake, but it took a bit too long and we got to the lake around 5:50.  We still had about 1 hour of light but it wasn't going to be a smart move to try and get to Sapphire Lake.

Afternoon smoke rolling in


The backside of Mirror Pass

Climbing Mirror Pass

Descending into Mirror Lake

Sunday morning we got up early as we intended to get going as soon as the sun was up.  We were ready about 15 minutes too early, but once we had enough light we started the scramble down to Sapphire Lake. The top of the descent involves a bit of scrambling and we had to go backward and use our hands a few times.  The lower part of the descent is more brushy.

It took us a while to reach Sapphire Lake, which assured us that we made the right call to stay at Mirror Lake.  The trail along Sapphire Lake was just as brushy as the previous day and again we managed to lose the trail a couple times.  After getting to the far end of Sapphire Lake, we would be back on good trail until the car.  We headed down past Emerald Lake, taking the trail this time, and then down the Stuart Fork to the climb up to the pass to Caribou Lakes basin.  Part way up the climb, we saw two people which constituted all the people we saw on the trip.

Leaving Mirror Lake

Leaving Mirror Lake

The end of Sapphire Lake

The climb up to the pass is south facing and exposed so it got a little hot by the time we reached the top around 1 pm.  We spend just a minute on the pass then descended down to Caribou Lake where we got some water and had a snack.  The traverse across Caribou Lakes basin was pretty and so was the short climb up from the lakes.  After that we'd be in the trees until the trailhead.  We took in our last good views in this section as we hiked along.  Once we were in the trees, there wasn't much to see, so we hiked quickly, trying to get to the car as soon as possible.  We got out around 6:10, threw the packs in the car and were driving about 6:15.  It took about 7 hours to drive home, but it was a great trip so the long drive was worth it.

The Stuart Fork side of the pass to Caribou Lakes

Caribou Lake

Hiking out of Caribou Lake

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

2020 Oregon Fires

This September Oregon had 5 fires in the Cascades which burned over 100,000 acres each.  Most of this damage came in just a couple days when Western Oregon experienced extremely low humidity and heavy winds from the east.  These conditions combined with dry forests at the end of summer led to small fires blowing up and many more starting and growing quickly.

Now that Oregon has had a bit of rain, the fires and mostly under control and there aren't many recent hot spots.  (To check hot spots go to Caltopo).  The heavy rains of November, December, and the rest of winter should put the fires out quickly, but there's a lot of destruction that can't be undone.  Plus, there's going to be a lot of landslides coming.

For years, big fires have swept across California.  There's been a couple big fires near Oregon's southern border over the last few years, but nothing bad in Oregon...at least not the Oregon Cascades.  Just last summer I was running near Detroit, Oregon (near this year's Beachie Creek and Lionshead Fires), and thought to myself there's no way this will burn.  For years, I've been convinced that Oregon's fires season will turn into what California has experienced.  But I was pretty sure that it wouldn't happen that soon.  After all, Oregon is hundreds of miles north.  Plus, Oregon is so much wetter.

Fresh snow on Mt. Jefferson, big trees on the hills...how could this burn?

Turns out things happened a lot faster than expected.  With over 1 million acres burned this summer, there's no doubt that Oregon was on fire.  Once the fires started going, it was scary how fast they spread.  The wind started blowing on a Monday afternoon and by Tuesday, Governor Brown had invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act.  After the fires took off, I said to one good friend that it was a good thing for us that the fires didn't start on the weekend.  We've gone running in the hills outside of Detroit on plenty of weekends and had we been there when the fires blew up it would not have ended well for us.

But that's what people in Lyons, Mill City, and other small town on the west end of the Santiam Canyon experienced.  Fire on both sides of the road and no warning.  People lost their houses and businesses.  Some people lost their lives.  And this was just one area that was affected.  With the Riverside Fire blazing to the north and the Holiday Farm Fire and Archie Creek Fire to the south, Oregon suffered greatly.  I can only imagine the loss that some people experienced.

Detroit, Oregon    Photo: Mark Ylen

After all the fires this summer, I started thinking about how all the fires began and how we can prevent more huge fires in the future.  The best way to stop fires is to keep them from starting.  Yes, it's impossible to stop lighting strikes, but a fair number of fires are caused by humans.  In 2020, the Oregon Department of Forestry counted 900 fires in Oregon (through October 14th), with 733 of these being human caused.  That's over 80% that people started...so there's a lot of room to improve.

Frankly, human caused fires really make me mad.  They are completely avoidable.  It's not very hard to put out a fire, it's probably easier than making a fire in the first place, but you still have to do it!  If I were in charge of things, this would be the first thing I'd target in fire prevention.  Sure, maybe different forest management can help too, but if people take 10 minutes and put out their fires, that 80% of the fires taken care of before they even start!

My proposal would be no fires in 2021 from May through October.  From November through April, fires are allowed because it's probably going to be raining.  So chances are that if people don't put it out their fires properly, then the rain will probably take care of it.  Then, if human caused fires stay below 5% of the total fires for the year (or some other low percentage or a specific number of fires), then fires are allowed in May for 2022.  Another good year, fires in June.  Another good year, add another month to the "Fires Allowed" list.  A bad year (more than 5%), a month gets removed the "Fires Allowed" list.

If summer fires are banned forever, no one is going to follow the rules.  People want to have fires in the summer, and if they are told "never again", people will just ignore the rules.  But if you give people a chance to earn back summer fires if they show they are responsible enough to put their fire out, then most people will probably cooperate.

Forest management can help too.  In the summer, the forests turn into a tinder box.  And with endless miles of forests across the hills of the Cascades, things are set up for a big burn.  I've heard that thinning can help prevent big fires, but I'm curious how much.  I'll be honest, I wouldn't be too pumped to see logging roads popping up everywhere, but a road here and there is certainly better than this past summer's destruction.

What I'd really like to see is an analysis of how the fires in Oregon burned differently on different land.  The fires burned through old growth forests, Wilderness, National Forests, and timber land.  Timber land would be most similar to thinning forest so it would be interesting to see if the fires burned differently on that land.  I have no clue if the fires burned differently or not, but I'd be interested to find out.  And I think that finding out would be a worthwhile exercise that we could learn a lot from.

Unlikely, but hopefully it won't look too different from this....

Monday, September 28, 2020

Pacing and Crewing at The Bear

Jacob got into The Bear 100 about three weeks before the race.  When he signed up for the waitlist he was about 200th and I know that there was at least 100 people after him as I had looked at the waitlist to see if Jacob was moving up.  As it turns out everyone on the waitlist got into the race.

I flew into Salt Lake on Thursday afternoon and Jacob's girlfriend picked me up from the airport.  After a brief stop at their house, Jacob and I headed up to Logan for race checkin.  We were able to get there before 6 which was good since Jacob was able to do the medical check.  Since I had an afternoon flight we were a little worried we might not make it before 6 and he'd have to do the medical check on race morning.  After the medical check, we picked up Jacob's race packet (needed to do it by 9 pm) and headed to the hotel.  We ate dinner and since it was still early, we drove to the start to make sure we wouldn't have trouble getting there in the morning.  Then we headed back to the hotel and went to bed about 8.

Race morning we got up at 4:30, ate breakfast, and headed to the start.  We showed up about 10 minutes before the start which worked out great for Jacob.  We sat in the car for a few minutes, then Jacob lined up for the 6:03 am wave and soon was running.  I headed back to the hotel and slept.

Just before the start in Logan, UT

Jacob heading out in Wave 4 (6:03 am start)

I only slept about an hour and half so I had some time before I needed to leave the hotel.  I ate breakfast, watched a recorded Zoom lecture for Heat Transfer and then headed off to Tony Grove aid station.  I got there about 11:30 and that left me with plenty of time to hike around before Jacob would arrive.  Record pace would put a runner at Tony Grove around 2:50 pm.

Hiking between Tony Grove at Temple Fork

The Bear is a race that has alway intrigued me so I wanted to scout out the course a little since I had the chance.  Plus, there was nothing else to do, so I started hiking toward Temple Fork, 7 miles earlier on the course.  It took about an hour and 15 minutes before I saw anyone running toward me.  The first runner I saw was Jimmy Elam who I figured was about on record pace based on when I left Tony Grove and where I saw him.  (He won in 18:38).  The next couple runners were about an hour back.

Looking back toward Tony Grove about 3 miles from the aid station

There were some cool rock outcroppings on this section of the course and a lot of cows.  Most of the trail was narrow and not too steep, but there was a few short, steep pitches.  After hiking for a couple hours I decided I should head back to Tony Grove and get ready to pace Jacob.  That would put me back at Tony Grove about 2 hours before I expected Jacob but I didn't want to miss him!

I felt lucky I got to see this tree growing between those two rocks.  It was blocked from view for uphill traffic, but I was hiking downhill in the opposite direction the runners were going.

Cows...there were a lot in this section that I hiked

There was quite a few rock outcropping like this which I found pretty cool

After hiking toward Temple Fork I headed back to the car at Tony Grove and got ready to crew and pace.  I got all my pacing stuff together and organized the car so I could quickly grab anything Jacob might want.  Pacers were allowed at mile 37 (but no crew) so I decided I'd hike backward on the course (again toward Temple Fork) and catch Jacob before Tony Grove.

Almost to the short descent into Tony Grove

I caught Jacob a couple miles before Tony Grove and we hiked up the last section of the climb.  Jacob was in good spirits and moving well which made me happy!  After we crested the climb there was a mile long descent into Tony Grove.  Halfway down the descent I asked Jacob if there was anything specific he wanted, then took off for the car to get ready to crew him.

After a quick crew stop at the aid station, Jacob headed out and I ran back to the car with all the things he didn't need.  Then I took off down the trail, caught up with Jacob, and started pacing.  It was a cool time of day to be out there.  It was still plenty light out, but it was clear that the sky was starting to dim.  The climb out of Tony Grove was pretty open and a little rocky in spots.  This section was all hiking, but Jacob was making good time and we were enjoying the nice views.

Jacob is just to the right of the closest tree, a little left of center in the picture

Climbing out of Tony Grove

Upon cresting the climb, we had a long descent down to Franklin Basin and the next aid station at mile 61 (9 miles from Tony Grove).  We started the descent in the light and I was impressed how well Jacob was moving.  He seemed to do really well when the trail was steeper which meant that his quad were doing well.  On the steeper or rockier pitches, we passed a few people who had pulled away from us on the climb.  About a mile into the descent we needed to turn on our lights which meant that our world would be reduced to a small circle of light for the next 10 hours.  (Well, Jacob's world at least, I'd be heading back to the car and racing off to the next crew point).

Just beginning the descent

Heading into the night on the way to Franklin Basin

Night running...harder to see, a lot of darkness, yet somehow magical

Well, magical for a while, but the novelty wears off

The descent into Franklin Basin went well, but took a little longer than expected.  This was no problem, because we'd never been on that descent before so it was hard to tell what the course would have in store.  Jacob ran all the downhill on this section and hiked well on the few short ups coming into the aid station.  After fueling up at the aid station, Jacob got a bit cold leaving the aid station which made me a little worried.  Fortunately after putting on a very light raincoat leaving the aid station, he was hot in 10 minutes.  It amazing how much of a difference moving makes compared to being stopped.

Jacob had hiked the climb out of Franklin Basin in the snow, so he pointed out the tree where he'd seen a porcupine.  We did the climb with few other runners and were able to chat a little bit as we moved along.  About three miles out of the aid station, I needed to head back to Tony Grove and Jacob pressed on toward   Logan River aid station.

On the map, I had found a cutoff trail which looked like it would take me back to 9 miles earlier on the race course in about 1.5 miles.  From there I just needed to follow the course in reverse for 4 miles and I'd be back at Tony Grove.  After leaving Jacob I saw the sign for Shorty's Cutoff which gave me a lot of confidence that the trail would actually go through.  The trail started out a little less used than anything I'd been on earlier, but was still easy to follow.

After cresting the ridge, I started descending toward the race course.  I could see lights quite a ways off on the opposite hillside which was reassuring.  Then, the trail started to get a bit more overgrown.  Shortly after that it branched and I took the right hard fork as it looked more promising.  At this point, my confidence was waning a bit.  After following a rough trail for a while I reached another junction.  I was thinking I'd reach the course here, but there were no markings at this point.  I decided to head down the canyon as that seemed a more promising route reach the course.  Running down the canyon I could see lights on the other side, but they were still a quarter mile away.  After running for awhile, my trail started to get farther away from the race course.  I was a little worried at this point, so I decided to just go cross country to reach the race course.  This was pretty easy since it was only a quarter mile and there was just some small tumbleweed-like brush in the open areas and no undergrowth under the trees.

After getting back on course, I started running the route in reverse to get back to Tony Grove.  I expected this to be a lot faster, but I ended up stopping repeatedly to tell every runner I passed that yes, I was okay, yes, they were on course, and that I was just a pacer going back to Tony Grove.  In hindsight, it wasn't the best idea to run backward on the race course...especially at night, but it worked out fine.  Mostly....I ended up reaching the course a mile or two farther from Tony Grove than I was expecting.  When I did get back to Tony Grove, I got in the car and drove fast to Beaver Mountain Lodge since I was a little worried I might miss Jacob if he got ahead of schedule.

Turns out I had plenty of time as Jacob was still on schedule.  I ended up waiting for about 45 minutes before he arrived.  When he got there, we made a quick crew stop and off we went.  Jacob headed down the trail and I raced back to the car with his extra stuff before catching up to him on the trail.  It took me a little bit to catch up, but soon I did and was started talking a little bit.

Jacob said he was a bit tired on the previous descent, but he did drink an energy drink at Beaver Lodge and the caffeine perked him up a bit.  It didn't take us long to cross a paved road and begin the long gradual climb up to Gibson Basin.  Somewhere along this climb Jacob pointed out it was his birthday.  Yeah, pretty special.  We contemplated how often someone has a birthday during a race and decided it probably wasn't too often since most people wouldn't opt to run 100 miles on their birthday.

On the way to Gibson Basin

The climb up to Gibson Basin was never too steep and Jacob kept moving well.  He was also in good spirits the whole climb which was encouraging.  We talked a bit and only saw a couple other runners in this section.

When we reached the aid station I was planning to run down road 411/011 back down to Beaver Mountain.  I was confident it would be easy to find the road because Jacob and I saw road 011 spur off of the road we climbed up to Gibson Basin aid station.  Of course, when we reached the aid station, no road.

Jacob was pretty quick at the aid station, but the brief stop and wind made it necessary to put on our jackets.  Like usual, within just a few minutes, the jackets were off and we were again only wearing short sleeves.  At this point I didn't have a watch because I had given mine to Jacob because his watch had died.  I didn't want to ask about the time, but was curious as I thought I should be turning off on the road soon.  But, we were still following a dirt road that looked like trucks had driven on it to get to the aid station so that was a little reassuring.

After a while we reached yellow and pink ribbons which meant that there was a junction ahead.  Good.  When we got there the road the trucks had been driving on continued straight and the course turned off on a ATV track.  I told Jacob good luck and decided to wait a minute or so for the next runner to go by so they didn't see my light and get confused.

But the road didn't seem quite right.  There was no road number which I was expecting to see as the road was labelled at the other end.  Plus, this road branched off to the left and my road needed to go to the right of the course.  I hustled up the hill to catch Jacob.

I told Jacob that it couldn't be the right road and I said I'd keep going with him.  Based on the planning I did before the race, I realized that the road was probably farther out of the aid station than I thought.  Still, I also realized that we were getting pretty close to the point where I would need to run farther to get back to the car than Jacob would need to run to get to the next crew point.  Hopefully the search for the road was more entertaining than stressful for Jacob, but I was sweating bullets.

There were a couple other runners we ran with in this section.  Jacob would get ahead on the downhills and lose a little ground going up.  Since we were at least 2000 feet above the finish line, I was glad he was doing better on the downhill than most runners.  At some point I told Jacob that I'd just go all the way to the next aid station with him since the road probably was there.  Right?....I figured you need to drive the road to get to the aid station....

We both could smell the aid station about 5 or 10 minutes before we got there so we were anxiously looking around the corner for the aid station as we approached.  When we did catch sight of the aid station, I told Jacob, "Well the road's either here or I'm #%@&ed".  It was supposed to be funny, but it was the truth too.  He had 8 miles to the crew spot and I had over 9 running backwards on the course, just to get the car.

Beaver Creek aid station

Fortunately the road was there.  I was pretty pumped about that.  Anyhow, I helped Jacob get a few things in the aid station, then headed down the road as he continued on the course.  The road descent was largely uneventful.  There were a few small roads branching off to campsites, but no junctions that even made me hesitate.  I had no clue how long it was taking me (Jacob had my watch) so I was happy to see the course marking and other lights a few miles later when I got back on course.

Since the descent had gone well, I figured that I'd follow the pavement road back to the aid station instead of following the trail in the opposite direction of the runners.  When I hit the pavement, I headed down the road (left turn) as when we left Beaver Mountain Lodge we headed up and crossed the road further up.  After running down the road for a while I hit another road.  That's when I realized I goofed up.  I had run back to the highway, Beaver Mountain Lodge was up the road.  We hadn't crossed the road further up as I thought, we crossed the road below the aid station.

I made this mistake because I didn't see any of the course marking when driving to Beaver Mountain Lodge.  And I wasn't paying attention leaving Beaver Mountain Lodge since I was trying to catch Jacob.  All of sudden I realized where we had actually gone.  But now I was 1.5 miles from the aid station (according to the crew direction I had read earlier) and I had no clue what time it was.

I headed up the road quickly and made it to the aid station without any further screw ups.  I jumped in the car and saw it was about 1 hour 15 minutes since I left Jacob.  Not too bad, but I needed to hustle to Ranger Dip.  I knew that the last 5 miles into Ranger Dip were on dirt roads and some of the dirt roads I had run on had been pretty rough.  Suddenly I realized it I was doing 10 mph on the dirt road, I'd probably miss Jacob.

So, some quick driving down the highway lead me to Swan Lake Road.  I turned off and the road and kept going fast.  The road was wide and pretty smooth, but I wanted to make time when I could in case things got rough.  The road did get a little rough the last mile but at that point I realized that I'd have no problem making it there in time.

The view from Ranger Dip - mile 92

I grabbed everything Jacob might want from the car and started hiking backward on the course.  I caught Jacob a little ways out of the aid station and ran back to the aid station with him.  Then we made a quick crew stop and he was off the final 7.8 miles to the finish.  There was a steeper, one mile climb, then all downhill from there!

Jacob making his way to Ranger Dip

Leaving Ranger Dip...just a short climb from here, then all down

The view from Swan Lake Road which is used to access Ranger Dip aid station

Same view as the previous picture, just a little different angle

I left the aid station and drove to the finish line.  This was the only time I felt like I had plenty of time all day.  It was a good thing since I was starting to get a bit drowsy.  I knew that I needed to take a nap before driving back to Salt Lake.  I might have made it without a nap, but that would have been very irresponsible.  So I tipped the front seat back and curled up for a nap.  I only slept for 30 minutes, but I felt way better after.  I decided to hike up the road and find Jacob.  I had wanted to meet him further up, but I knew I needed to get a little sleep.

It didn't take long before I saw him coming down the road.  He was running well and must have been moving well since the last aid station since he a bit earlier than I would have guessed.  We ran together for a little ways on the road, then I peeled off as he headed down the finishing chute.

Jacob coming down the road.  He's on the right side almost out of sight.

Less than half a mile to go

Jacob crossing the finish line

Jacob finished in 27:20:48 which was good for 50th overall out of over 200 finishers and close to 300 starters.  That was a pretty cool way to celebrate his birthday!

And that wraps up our adventure at The Bear.  It was a blast to spend the day out there with Jacob.  I was a little bummed not to get to do a hundred miler myself this year, but crewing for Jacob definitely made up for that a bit.  The Bear is a pretty cool course from what I saw and Jacob told me that the rest of the course was just as awesome.  Hopefully I'll be able to make it out to The Bear some time soon because it looks like it'd be pretty fun.

Also, thanks to Leland Barker, the Race Director for putting on a great race.  And thanks to all the volunteers out there helping with the race.  I was impressed how helpful everyone was at the aid stations!  All the volunteers I saw had a mask and gloves to help prevent the spread of COVID.  It seemed very safe and I appreciate the extra effort that took!  Thanks.

And thanks to Injinji, SNB, and VFuel for continuing to support my running.  I wasn't racing this time, but it was still a great adventure and I'm glad I was out there.