A marker to adventure.
We’re just a few miles from the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). You might remember other posts with pictures of the trail marker.
For the past six weeks I’ve been reading all of the blog posts on the PCT Journalist. The Journalist is the collection of blogs from many of the thru-hikers, many of whom started at the US-Mexican border down in California back in April. It’s quite interesting to read their stories, good and bad.
Thru-hiking the trail (all 2,663 miles of it) isn’t something that we’re discussing in this house. Well, there might have been a mention or two, surprising first brought up by Goddess.
I know I’ll keep her.
But we use sections of the trail quite often, especially as I get out in the wilderness and look for places to take pictures.
Anyway, I’ll be giving back a bit this weekend, attending the PCT Association’s Trail Skills College, which happens to be held right up the road. Close enough that I can be there in 45 minutes, far enough away that it’s a fun little camping trip.
After that, checking the schedules to see where work needs to be done. We’ve stumbled across tree falls that have blocked the PCT, although I’m sure those are cleared already. But there are plenty of others, plus trail repairs and erosion mitigation.
All things that need to be done, yet are another excuse to get out in the wilderness.
Over the weekend, I’ll be disconnected, which is a great thing. But I will be thinking about bicycle races. There are plenty going on right now or starting this weekend that are all pretty impressive in their own rights. What makes the races even better is that, thanks to technology, we can follow in real time.
- The pros are racing in France in the Critérium du Dauphiné, where many are using it as their final tune-up race before next month’s Tour de France.
- We’re just over 36 hours into this year’s Race Across America (RAAM), a 3,000 mile fully supported time trial, running from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD. The racers sleep but an hour or two a day, otherwise they’re on the bike. This year’s leader is the defending champion (7 days, 22 hours, 52 minutes) and he’s already put a sizeable lead over the rest of the solo racers. But it’s still early, as he’s at 700 miles in, near the Four Corners area and hasn’t stopped for a nap yet. Live tracking here -> http://tractalis.com/raam2014/ . The teams start on Saturday, and being able to relay across the country, they’ll catch up to the solo leaders about four days later. It’s impressive to watch.
- This year’s Trans Am Bike Race started last Saturday in Astoria, OR and wends its way eastward to Yorktown, VA. It’s longer than RAAM, clocking in at 4,223 miles, but it’s fully self-supported. No outside help. The racers carry whatever they need, buying food along the way (with no outside help) or grabbing a hotel room if they need it. The idea is to work on your own to get from one coast to another. There isn’t a time limit, so some riders may be out there for over a month; this differs from RAAM, which does have a time cut-off. Live tracking here -> http://trackleaders.com/transam14
- Finally, this year’s Tour Divide will have its official kickoff tomorrow, 13 June. This race runs north to south, crossing both the Trans Am Bike Race and the RAAM routes. Those races tend towards road bicycles; the Tour Divide leans heavily towards mountain bikes, as it runs the roads at trails that follow the continental divide from Banff, Alberta, Canada to the US-Mexican border in New Mexico. The Trans Am Bike Race actually borrowed its rules from the Tour Divide – it’s a solo effort where the rider must be self-sufficient, only resupplying or sleeping in locations that are available to all other riders; no help from friends, family or strangers. Live tracking here (once they get started) -> http://tourdivide.org/leaderboard
Plenty of goodness there. Amazing efforts and tests of endurance in each one.
Fun to watch.
But don’t forget to get out there and do something yourself!