The trial of miles; miles of trials.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Saturday Run LSD

Friday afternoon was filled with an absolute shredding of the Boardman River Valley.  We put up close to one hundred miles on the trail with plenty of off-trail powder stash sessions to round out a solid day of riding.  The off-trail "bowls" held impressive amounts of powdery snow.  With the steep terrain and deep snow it had the feeling of being out West. 
steep and deep

the boys and their toys
An interesting thing about riding with your buddies is that even though you can't talk to one another, you still have this strangely intimate bond on the trail.  You know that the guys you are with have your back at all times and you have theirs.  All the way from the leader through the middle of the pack to the guy in the back reelin' 'em all in.  It's the exact same feeling I've had over the hundreds of miles logged on Leota trails, chasing clouds of dust and smelling the sweet aroma of 110 octane race fuel around every twist and turn.  All of which is not so different from how I remember feeling riding jet skis on open water.  Communicating in a way so completely different than what we do on a daily basis; the epitome of non-verbal communication.  Over the years as I have experienced this, I catch myself thinking that these are the guys I grew up with and they are my best friends.  I would do anything to protect them and I believe they would do the same for me.  When you put yourself at unmeasured risk, while walking that thin "zero margin for error" line, you can't help but to feel this unspoken bond.  And if you are man enough to accept it, it's a wonderful feeling.

The run Saturday morning was incredibly difficult after the raw amounts of beer that were consumed on Friday night.  But it was special in its own way too, because for the first time in a long time, I didn't have to run alone. Upton promised me he would run on Saturday and he made good on his word.  We set out on Boardman River Road atop a new layer of snow and under sunny skies.  Again, it felt good laying down fresh tracks in this pristine setting.  We wound our way up through Sand Lakes Quiet Area past upland forest, lakes, creeks, bottomlands and cattail marsh; chatting all the way.  It was nice to get away from the group and catch up with an old friend.  When we turned back at mile 4 the sight of our side-by-side fresh tracks made me think of the training partners I had seen locked shoulder-to-shoulder in the Bayshore Marathon.  In a way it makes me jealous.  I wish I at least had the option to train and race with a good friend...but I suppose a solid compatible partner is hard to come by.  I'll settle for the cherished runs I do get to share with others from time to time.
Later that morning, on our way to breakfast, I had to tow Brent's sled for the second time in two days as it was out of gas.  Apparently the time we spent in the powder the previous day had eaten up way more fuel than expected.  The rest of the day was filled with short rides around the cabin and a botched run to Fife Lake.  By late afternoon the trails were getting rough and Upton was getting beat up on his touring machine (The Cadillac).  His carbides had long since vaporized to the rigors of riding asphalt and gravel and as a result, he was washing out corners.  It was safer and easier to head back to camp and drink the rest of the day away.  Keg #2 was gone by 10 PM.  It was a beautiful weekend filled with good friends, fast machines and cold beer.

keg nectar


  1. Great post, and nice job having the discipline to get your runs in!

  2. yes, good job getting the runs in. Operating machinery high-speed is definately fun, I wish I had more time for it. There was definately a lot of snow there, funny how it works, but now this week most of the snow will melt. Good thing you guys got a decent amount of riding in.