Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Green Monster

Why is it that soon as I figure out what day I'm leaving for my next road trip I'm suddenly ADD. I start getting ready to go for a run, get distracted and start packing, get distracted and start blogging.... Or is it these GM's? Maybe a little like BM's - I mean, they're green and liquidy. Green Monster smoothy: I've bet my buddy that I can drink 100 of these in a year. It's a spinach based smoothy, but you mix with fruit and other yummy things to make it actually taste good. And, yes, it does taste good! Google it if you get a chance. I'm on #2 today. No pun intended...

Next stop on the list - somewhere south of here. For those who get my "find me spot" messages, you'll know when you get a waypoint. And I'm not being vague for the sake of keeping it a secret, I don't know either. Eventually I'm headed to Calico for a 50k on Sunday that I probably won't run (tendinitis still bugging me). It'll be a fun trip with some good friends.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Few Days to Kill (and No Virginia, Your Truck Cannot Fly)

Since I couldn't post these right away, it's a few days worth of posts, starting with Friday, ending with Sunday:

click HERE for pictures

It's Friday. Time for me to get outta town. After Across the Years I am down with tendinitis still. I'm giving my ankle one week to heal. Officially. No running, no streak started. And according to my buddy who thinks he's normal, it's old age that caused this.
I need to contemplate this and few other things, so I decided to do a little early spring cleaning, of my stash of arms, and head to some public land to camp and blow shit up. Or, unorganized target shooting for you civilized people. I'm out here now, writing this. So far I thought I'd trash collect on my drive down the dirt roads for targets. I'm in the Panoche Hills.

I only found one beer can (Coors, damn dirty Coors drinkers - I had NO ONE in mind when I wrote that...) so that was my target for tonight. I stood it on some bushes and went for it. You could see the smoke flying, the bullets whizzing, the ground behind it puffing up.... walk to my can.... nothing. Completely unscathed. Not one shot in my can.
I suck.
No problem. Shotgun time. Ok so I finally hit it with the pistols after a few more rounds (and no, not by banging directly on it with the pistol, either) after shooting the hell out of it with my shotgun. I'm not sure if I should be proud of my holey can or embarrassed that there's still so much left of it.
Either way, I forgot how much FUN this is! Tomorrow I'm gonna waste a bottle of water. Wooo hooooo!

Fri night sometime: My Gun, My Fun
I just shot off a bunch of rounds with my shotgun because I could. No particular reason. Just thought I'd share. Thats all.

Sat: Success Is....
Another successful day. Success being defined, today, as having done nothing but drive around to scout out camping & target shooting spots, shoot up a water bottle, eat, read, nap, ride bike, and not get a ticket from the ranger.
Yes, another incident with a ranger. I'm not a bad person. Just maybe too curious. I have to say again, the rangers around here are so much nicer than in the bay area. I was honestly confused about where I was (I had a crappy map) and was camped in an area I shouldn't have been. When I drove out of the road, his precise words were, "What do you think you're DOING driving on wilderness study area land?!?!?" I bumbled my excuses but I did have a bad feeling I may have been on the wilderness study land when I got there last night. That explains why I had the whole area to myself tho! There were signs, but they were soooo old and barely legible, so I thought, self, if they really didn't want anyone down there there would be big signs telling me so!
No. According to the nice ranger he said I was responsible for knowing the rules. I asked for a better map, which he had. And he let me off with a warning, but not before taking down all my information and running it.
So I drove out of the Panoche Hills and to the Tumey Hills, where I proceeded to blow up water bottles and other items I scavenged from the ground. You know those clays they use, they really disintegrate nicely when blown to smithereens with a shotgun from 30 feet away...

Like I said.... a successful day.

Sun: Unsolicited Lesson Learned: No Virginia, Your Toyota Cannot Fly

My guardian angel has a full time job. Or else I'm getting close to the end of my 9-lives.

I made myself a good breakfast this morning. For some reason I thought I'd need it.
I thought I'd drive a couple of the major "roads" in the Tumey Hills to scout a little more. I saw one side road on the map that really caught my eye. Oh yes, I had to go down that one. That WAS the one that was going to be a big score of a great big flat camp spot right in front of a big hill to use as a target backdrop. I just knew it.
Get to the road. Drive down it for a ways. I see an off trail that goes straight up a hill off to my right and I think, those crazy 4wd guys, who in their right mind is going to go up THAT thing?! I pass it and continue on my nice mellow looking road. About a minute later I see a hole in the road, and it seems that it should fit in between my tires. I go for it.

THUD. Ohhhhh sh**T. I'm on a road barely big enough for my truck, one side goes straight up, and the other, straight down. And my tire has dropped WAY further than I expected into a hole I didn't see (the road was grassy in spots). I'm looking down the cliff, truck tilting scarily far towards the downhill side. After a short panic, I touch the gas. Truck moves, forward. I go thru the hole with the 2nd tire, it goes. My mind is going "omgomgomgomgomgomgomg I won't be doing that again." Next time I'll get out & look if I don't know what it is. Shouldn't I have somehow known that by osmosis or something?? Sheesh.

I continue along thinking, I wonder how I'm going to get back over that hole? Hmmmm. Well, I guess it doesn't matter if I keep driving down here, even tho it doesn't look like anyone has been here in awhile. I'm SURE that doesn't mean anything! Haha, right? I get to another section of "road" that I don't like the looks of. This time, I park, get out, walk down there, and still don't like it. Decide I should go back. This is too bad, I'm alone, and no one is going to find my rolled truck or me until it's too late.
So I go back.
I get to the hole, stop, get out & inspect it. I can't believe what I see. HOW the heck I made it over this huge hole I have no idea. It's about 4 feet deep, and *barely* wide enough to fit between my tires. In fact, I can see my tire tracks right along the edge on one side, and the other side looks like it may have caved in when I drove into it, creating another pretty deep hole, one tire width between the steep downhill edge of the road and the deep part of the bigger hole. Now, it's all covering most of the road. My God, what if I had gone in that thing?!
Now, I can't drive around it. I decide to try anyway, another panic sets in as one tire gets way too close to that hole and the hill is too cut (about 2-3 feet of cut into the uphill side) to drive up and too narrow for me to squeeze in between.
More adrenaline as I realize how close i was before. I sit and stare at it. I day dream of levitating the truck and flying it 10 feet up the trail. It would really make things much easier. Where is Harry Potter when you need him?!
I get out my shovel. I decide, I'm going to dig the road wider on the uphill side. I walk over there and immediately realize that would take me all day.
I walk away from it all and up to that one side road I'd seen on my way in. Hmmmm, now if I could somehow get up on top of this big hill, maybe that road goes up there has another end.
I walk back to the truck, and chug some Odwalla Juice (brimming with B vitamins!). I don't know how else to calm my nerves. I have to reverse down this road with the cliff on one side. Ugh. Ever so slowly, I back down hoping my brakes don't burn into oblivion as I'm eyeballing that cliff in my side mirror - it seems like it takes forever. I get to a spot where I can pull off & park. I walk, and see the other side of the hill is also very steep. But I walk up there, and see there is a road up here. Decision is made. That's my way out.
Walk back to the truck, chug more Odwalla Juice which I'm now convinced is my super power nectar and can propel me up the hill. I turn on the truck and immediately go for it. I walked the whole thing, I know how steep it is, I'm scared, so I can't think about it. Just go.

Well you know the ending! I'm here writing this down so it couldn't have ended that badly!!! Ok, I made it to the top, hands shaking, once up there could see that the road did, in fact, connect to that other steep little side road. Thank GOD!!!!! You can bet I was!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Race Across the Years

What day is it??  Wow the year flew by!  Last week I drove across Tioga Pass with a friend and we camped and ran our way down CA, right thru to AZ.  Arrived at Surprise AZ to stay with friends Gary & Judy the day before our Race Across the Years.
Naresh did great on his run.  He went thru the night and made about 86 miles.  I consider our mission a success because of that.  I, on the other hand, had to stop running after about 54 miles due to some tendinitis.  I spent a good amount of time in the medical tent and it was suggested to me that i need to quit.  And I agreed.

It was a fun race.  I never imagined that a one mile loop could be fun, but it is!  It's very convenient, you know exactly where the bathrooms are (well that works on trails too), the food is great, and the social aspect is great fun.  On the other hand, some of us aren't meant for flat races, and the repetitiveness of the flat track was probably the cause of the tendon problems.  Live and learn, right?!

12-31 camping running and across the years