|heading up the switchbacks to|
the mt. constitution aid station,
randomly looked up to see this.
i keep trying to catalogue the images in my head.
so far they refuse to cooperate.
but some things have started to emerge from the fog...
1:20 a.m.: camp moran aid station. returning loop 2 sweeper says "the weather's not bad out there."
1:30 a.m.: loop 3 sweepers head out, are immediately deluged with wind-driven sideways rain. me: (shouting) "no, this isn't bad at all!" kay downes allen: "what?" "i said, 'this isn't bad!" "what??" "nothing!"
1:55 a.m.: visibility: three feet in front of headlamp. "is it me, or is it getting foggy?" "it's getting foggy."
2:05 a.m. "we could literally be passing bodies strewn on the side of the road and we wouldn't know it."
2:10 a.m. "hey, a confidence streamer!" "do you feel confident?"
2:15 a.m. trail marker points away from road, into woods. (ominously) "here we go..."
sometime later: "this is a great trail. i bet it's really pretty when you can see it."
later still: "did we miss a turn?"
"a confidence streamer would really be welcome right now."
"i'm seeing lots of footprints."
"keep an eye out for bigfoot. this is about the time they come out."
"i thought i saw a light up ahead."
"it could be bigfoot."
overtaking our first runner: "hello!" "hello." "how are you doing?" "about as well as could be expected."
volunteers at mountain lake aid station: "can we get you something? we have sushi and soup and pierogis and apple pie..." "do you have anything with caffeine in it?"
overtaking next runner: "hello!" "hello." "how are you doing?" "you just about caught me falling asleep on my feet."
later: "do you see a trail?" "yes, over here." "good, i was about to lead us into a swamp."
later still: "geez, i almost led us right into that tree." "maybe i should lead for a while."
|checking in at the team 7 hills|
mt. constitution aid station.
(photo courtesy of justin richards.)
approaching section of trail disguised as a small pond: "i'm not sure there's any way around this." "well, #%&*. #@$^, #*%&. we are totally #$%@&."
overtaking next runner: "hello!" "hello." "how are you doing?" "i'm getting ready to climb powerline. it's all i can think about."
climbing powerline: (loudly) "hoo. hoo hoo. hoo." "either that's an owl, or the guy we passed back there is having a lot of fun with this climb." "it's an owl."
next runner: "hello!" "hello." "how are you doing?" "i've been better. i can't keep any food down."
in front of a space heater at mt. constitution aid station, wet clothes steaming. ian burton: "dude, you are smokin'." "oh, yeah. i get that all the time."
|post-sweep exhilaration |
(photo courtesy of daisy clark.)
it was all downhill from there.
sweeping a loop of the orcas 100-mile course ~ in the middle of the night, in the midst of wind/rain/fog/snow ~ was outrageously...fun. kind of addictive, in fact.
many thanks to kay, who came up with the idea in the first place. definitely not something i would've dreamed up on my own.
and, the fact is, we needed the miles.
34 days to #gw100k