Sep 17, 2008

test entry

now Emily can contribute, edit, and delete under her own name. Soon, Emily will click on that little pencil at the bottom right, and this will all be deleted and replaced with something we'll find witty and thought provoking. Or at least with a race schedule. Or perhaps just with this link to her schedule. I think she's running at the Beaver Classic. I don't know about the one in Clackamas.

Sisters trip

Emily finished her OSU cross-country running camp, and I finished my first week in our new office. She'll be red-shirting this year, and I'll be trying to figure out how to hang pictures on the wall.

I got in quite late, and we had an enjoyable breakfast with my folks before their big day at the temple. She drove while I slept. We didn't start running/hiking until after 11am. We knew we were missing a couple of the essentials (I left my good map and all but my back-up flashlight at home.) But this was as much about having an adventure together as it was about climbing. It had been three long weeks since I had flashbacks of dropping her off at the magnet school in inner-city St. Louis for her first day of kindergarden, hoping she'd get off at her bus-stop 7 hrs later.

We ran a bit at first, but not so much when it got steeper. We had to make a course correction to get onto the correct ridge. we sang some songs to pass the time, and made good time until right under the summit in the most dangerous region.

It was harder than I remembered, and I about got stuck. Emily was starting to make mental plans for how to get back on her own should I fall and break my neck, which would be funnier if it hadn't happened to other people in that vicinity before. So about that time we realized we were in the "false bowling alley." So we rappelled, happy to have brought climbing gear (note the helmet hair- we took them off for the pictures) and back-tracked a little to the significantly easier true bowling alley.

There's so much changing in Emily's life right now. I think she's a combination of excited and apprehensive. We've got a bit of a tradition of doing father's blessings at the start of a school year at the top of a mountain, so we did that on the top of North. It's a bit remote, and an effort to get there. It's the closest thing to a temple or the home, and we had it all to ourselves.

So after shedding a couple tears, by 5pm we were picking our way back down, this time staying on the South ridge. This involved a lot of loose rock sliding down with us and in our shoes. From the saddle we made good time to the top of middle sister. The weather was excellent, and the views are great. That's Washington, 3-fingered Jack, and Jefferson above my head.

We made it down the glacier (wishing on the steepest part that we had brought our ice-axes) before we only had moonlight. I found the climbers trail, but didn't worry when we lost track of it. We knew the direction we wanted, but unfortunately for Emily's ankles that meant bushwhacking on uneven terrain. When the vegetation got thicker, we got tired of that, and cut over to the trail we had come in on. The little flashlight was just enough that we were able to jog much of the way from there out. Hopefully Emily's ankles aren't permanently damaged- I wish I had thought of that in her blessing. I had to make some phone calls to coordinate young men's meetings for the next day, so I did that from the woods in wilderness in the dark. I can't get network coverage up high, but I could at 6500' and below. I guess it is odd to use a phone in the isolated wilderness at all.

Emily has now been to each site from Hood to Shasta that is > 10,000'.

Sep 9, 2008

lessons from the trail

The local paper did a nice article on my recent Where's Waldo run. It got me thinking how ultramarathoning is similar to life in several ways.
1) If you don't take in sustenance during the event you will bonk. My favorites are Gu, Heed electrolyte drink, prayer and scripture study.
2) There are trail hazards, and we can get lost. Guides can help us avoid these or find our way back, which can be long and painful.
3) We can be off track and not know the lay of the land even if we have a written map. We can be reoriented by radio or revelation.
4) There are truths (such as the position of the sun, and the message of Jesus) that we can't change by rationalizing.
5) there is a reward for every finisher. You don't get an award if you don't finish, even if you were ahead in the middle.
6) If we are faithful to true principles, we will have a renewing of our strength and bodies, sometimes after a period of feeling down.
7) The last 20 miles may be slow and painful, but as long as we move the right direction on the right trail, there can be tears of joy, rest, healing, and a welcome committee at the end.
8) The only pain that isn't temporary is the anguish of wasted possibility