Ruby Red returned home as Dusty Rose in need of a flea bath. Days of dirt off-roading to reach remote trail-running lands in Utah and Arizona followed by a return trip home through the windy sandstorms of Oklahoma and Texas — she, along with her pilots were in need of a scrub and much-needed downtime.
Continue reading Grand TrailFest – Dusty Rose and her Pilots
The organizers of the Grand TrailFest brimmed with positivity. We survived trail running days 1 and 2 and through their words dreamed about our final treat — running on Navajo land viewing the Grand Canyon at Horseshoe Bend before dropping into the Slot Canyon. It’s day 3 on legs that no longer bend and who’s even thinking about terrain?
Jill got us to the designated start-park lot just in time to be the first to arrive, the first on the shuttle bus, the first to the porta-potties, the first to drop bags at gear check and the first to set her gps watch. I meandered aimlessly, spilling my hot water, fumbling with peeling my banana, writing the wrong bib# on my bag-check and wondering how one gets her game on without coffee. Continue reading Grand TrailFest – Day 3 the Grand Canyon on Sacred Ground
Any pains from weary legs and tenderized feet melted away thanks to temps in the 40s, half the elevation of Bryce, and anticipation of views along the Mesa’s of Zion.
Today’s course would start with a 3+ mile descent, a 7ish mile loop around the rim of the Mesa — a mountain that is wider than it is tall and flattened on top — followed by a 3+ mile ascent to the finish. Trail runners are not known for precise measurements and nobody seemed to mind. Continue reading Grand TrailFest – Day 2 along the Zion mesa
At the trail head just outside of Bryce National Park we were met with crispy 22 degree start temps, cups of hot water, nearly 9000 feet of elevation and 750 trail runners. By 7:30 am we stepped off of a dusty service road and said goodbye to all sensibilities.
The first few miles we took the pace slow, breathing more heavily than we would like, but at least we were warm. The single-track trail reached it’s highest altitude at mile 5 and each time we reached a new summit I thought surely we wouldn’t go higher – but we did. Continue reading Grand TrailFest — Day 1 – Running with the Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon
There is a certain excitement that takes over when you are about to embark in something that is completely beyond your comprehension — and skill level. How can we possibly climb these cliffs?, and what exactly did the race organizers mean by steep descents — is that code for free fall? — and why must there be so many signs about rattlesnakes?
Ruby got a nice overnight charge in La Verkin, and we promised to speak in hush tones on yesterday’s mishap as a way of keeping the future in a happy place. Avoidance and denial are our new friends and that is all we will say on that. Shhh. Continue reading Grand TrailFest – we have arrived
Departing Castle Rock at 5 am meant our first stop was Copper Mountain at 11000 ft altitude and 36 degrees. We didn’t stop because we needed rest, or needed air devoid of oxygen, or wanted to break out our winter gear. Up until yesterday we melted our way west through a heat wave and all Ruby knew was a/c. While I shivered & sported an altitude headache, Jill read the owners manual. Soon Ruby made her first heat, and we were back cruising I70.
We descended the pass from Copper Mountain, noting ‘Steep Grade’ signs near truck run offs — off road gravel pits pointed high to the sky — and we were glad to be surrounded by trucks with working brakes. Continue reading Grand TrailFest Utah – La Verkin Utah
We departed Kansas City at 5:30 am and drove an entire hour before finding coffee a few miles east of Topeka. It was a lucky find. After Topeka there was no chance of waking up for 400 miles.
Wiki refers to Kansas topography as having 2 sections — the Osage Plains and Flint Hills — but from I70 where the speed limit is 75 it resembled one long dust prairie of tumbleweed. We barely noticed a steady climb westbound and when the rare internet appeared Wiki explained that we would reach 4000′ at the Colorodo border. Continue reading Grand Trail Fest Utah, Hello Castle Rock Colorado
We put Ruby Red Lips to bed, sipping juice on a charging station in front of the hotel just west of Columbus, Ohio. I crashed from a long day of driving, and Ms Mario could not let go of racing Ruby in her dreams, so she lay awake the night. I opened my eyes at 4:30am. Ms Mario’s bags were packed, lights on bright, and she wore her readers, staring at the rested one.
Ms Mario: You awake?
Ms Mario: I found us a coffee shop.
Me: Of course you did.
Ms Mario: I didn’t sleep
Me: You want me to drive?
Ms Mario. If you wouldn’t mind
A few miles west of Columbus we found a 24 hour coffee shop, and the slow driver took the helm. An hour later, I woke my sleeping co pilot to capture a photo of the Indiana state line. She fumbled with the phone, pressing buttons, launching unnecessary phone apps, and I put the car in park, patiently waiting for the camera to engage. Eventually she found the camera, it flashed and the photo perfectly captured her groggy state. Where else can you stop cold on an Interstate to wait on your co pilot to take a picture?
Driving, driving, driving and more charging stops, more conversations with fellow juicers, advice from fellow E-drivers how to properly drive in reverse, coffee refills, more naps for the sleepy one, taking in the vibe, the wind, the heat, more state lines and a destination of downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
Continue reading Grand TrailFest Utah – Kansas City here we come!
Ruby Red Lips had her favorite driver behind the wheel, the one who tested the outer bounds of every speed limit, the one with no fear of jamming the accelerator to the floorboard, watching all objects appear further in the rear view and a co-pilot riding fetal. Her tires barely touched the road and she had a thing for passing pickup trucks dangling masculinity. Then, Ruby needed juice and a new driver. Continue reading On Route to Grand TrailFest Utah – Can an Electric Car survive an Electrical Storm?
Sign-on for 3 days of trail running in remote Utah because it sounded cool – 9 months back. Begin altitude training without the altitude – 4 months ago. Plan juice stops for a x-country ride in an electric car – 3 weeks deep. Pat ourselves on the back for our superb organization, packing & food prep skills – 1 week ago. Life’s a snap, all bags ready to go, healthy foods overflow, oh that delicious window of downtime – 1 day ago. Toss out a week of mighty fine organization because the bulge wouldn’t fit in Ruby Red Lips — our hot-rod-Lincoln disguised as a Tesla sedan — the final 10 minutes. It’s time for departure and all roads point west.
Peace, Love, Out
Jane & Jill
More on the Grand Trailfest
And, what’s on the run docket:
Bryce Canyon Trail Run
Zion Canyon Trail Run
Grand Canyon Trail Run