7/11. Slept with the Burge Nation in Donner on Saturday night. I was super happy to be out of Auburn, even if it was only an hour up the highway.
7/12. Left California to fill up my tank in Reno and got two loaves of bread for $3. I Looked at a map and decided to take 50 across the state instead of the dreaded 80 and was definitely happy with the decision. It's a less crowded, less developed, and slightly more scenic route but the main goal for the day was to haul ass and so I did. Something about heading east always seems fundamentally wrong to me even though I have made the trip out this way a handful of times. I think it has something to do with our culture's "Go west young man" mentality. I can easily wrap my head around going north, or west, even south; but to go east to get to the mountains that are a western icon is strange. I tentatively picked a point at the other end of the state based off a some caves labeled on the map, but as I got closer I realized the caves were in Great Basin National Park, and I wasn't exactly itching to pay the entry fee then have to deal with the hassles of NP camping, so I blasted across the border into Utah and slept in a parking lot in Beaver. The most interesting observations of the day were the several antelope I saw heading into Beaver. For all my time in the Great American Desert, (that's right, the West is a fucking desert sandwiched between the Rockies and the Sierras) I had yet to see one until dusk of this night.
Total spent on gas - $56.39
7/13. Woke up and got a move on to Moab. I love this Canyon Country so much, It is otherworldly and stunningly beautiful. The drawback for me here is the heat, which leaves me with a strong desire to come back in the winter. The Moab Red Hot 50k+ really stands out as an event I would like to do. Enjoyed the views all the way until I drove across the Colorado River then quickly parked and jumped in. I followed my swim with a 4 level PB sandwich and headed out on an intention free walk up Negro Bill Canyon. I was really happy with the sandy, shaded single track and was motoring right along next to a shallow but loud creek. About a half mile in I came upon a cave the size of a classroom that was about 8 feet high in one of the red rock walls. I had to dust off the old climbing skills and put together a few fairly easy moves in my flip flops to get in. The cave was unbelievably cool, and I instantly wanted to live there. The biggest drawback were the innumerable names scratched into the walls. Why is it that people find something beautiful and immediately get to defacing it for there own honor? Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera with me or would have some very cool pictures, luckily the images are burned in my mind. I jumped down and continued the hike, sometimes in the creek, sometimes struggling to find a trail at all. I turned around after about an hour when the trail was far enough away from the creek that I could no longer hear it. I couldn't resist the urge to run most of the way back (regrettable because my shins hurt pretty badly immediately after and into the following day). Soon enough I was back on the road, planning a slight detour on the way to Telluride.
Last time I drove this way I was totally unprepared for the Route 666 experience, so this year I made sure that it would be perfect. If you look at the picture you will see that it says Old-666, New-491. Unfortunately the puritans that seemingly run this country changed it out of some pious obligation. All I can say is that the "spirit" of Route 666 lives on and I had an excellent playlist to get my head banging the whole way (Black Dahlia Murder, The Absence, Slayer...).
All that was left for the day was a quick drive up the San Juan's and into Telluride. I had a hunch that Norcal ultra dude Don Zea would be in town after Hardrock, I couldn't help but laugh out loud when I found a parking space right next to his Suburban that his kids had decorated. I dropped a note on his windshield and am hoping I will see him around town. T-Ride is great. It's a tiny town surrounded by huge red mountains and seemingly full to the brim of friendly, tan, and athletic girls. I considered the in town campground for about a half a second but was dismayed to see the price was $20 a night. No thanks. After wandering for a while and eating a dinner of leftover scraps that were sitting on my passenger seat I pulled into a neighborhood and passed out.
Total spent on gas-$37.79