Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Life List

Float Green River, Rio Grande, Devil’s River, Pecos River, Possum Kingdom to Whitney on Brazos, Texas Water Safari
Rim to Rim to Rim hike of Grand Canyon
Havasupai falls
Climb Denali
Climb Whitney (maybe run the Badwater??? Really wishful thinking)
Pacific Crest Trail
Appalachian Trail
Continental Divide Trail
At least 10 of the Colorado 14’ers (Long’s Peak for sure)
Copper Canyon Mexico
Canyonlands National Park
Arches National Park
Zion National Park
Big Bend National Park
Yosemite National Park – climb half dome
Yellowstone National Park – fly fishing Wyoming
Glacier National Park – fly fishing Montana
Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge – Search for Abbey’s grave
At least one summer as a fire lookout
Etc., etc. etc. – I need to get started soon, huh!?!

Friday, March 6, 2009

PDTR Here we come, maybe...

What is a PDTR? The Palo Duro Trail Run! You know how you always hear how guys have a commitment problem? Well, I certainly have no problem with committing to my wife, but lately I have had a hard time committing to my running. So last night I called up my brother Matt and said he has to do the PDTR 50K with me, thus officially committing to this thing. He already had a yearly goal to run a 50K, so everything seemed great. Today I went for my first official training run in the canyon. I did a 7 mile run that had a trail register at the halfway point. My entry to the register was, "PDTR 50K here I come". On my drive down into the canyon I saw three muleys, I spooked up three more on the trail, and saw one turkey on my drive out of the canyon. I also spooked up an LL Bean model during my run. I ran up behind a 60-something lady wearing hiking boots, nylon pants and longsleave shirt, wide-brimmed, foldable hat, and matching trekking poles. I thought I was gonna give her a heart attack, but I guess she was okay after I left. I felt bad for scaring her, but not too bad because I was too focused on the scenery. While running, I also saw the tracks of coyotes (maybe dogs, but there were no matching human tracks), bobcats, birds, squirrels, and a porcupine. Later, when I got home, Marie and I were talking about the race and we decided it would be a great idea to invite Amber (my brother's wife) to run the race (the 20K) with Marie, while Matt and I ran the 50K. While we were at it we thought it would be a great idea to have my Mom and her husband Marcus (also a runner) come too. Also, if Lisa (my sister) and her fiance came, we could have the whole family up here for a nice visit. As our discussion progressed we said, "Oh shit, when is Lisa's wedding?". Well, it just so happens that Lisa's wedding is the exact same day as the PDTR. So I did what any sane person would do and I called up my sister and asked if she could move the wedding date. Luckily she had nothing reserved and she may be able to move her wedding date so that we can all get together for a wedding and a race all in the same month. Anyway, I am excited about the race and I hope the scheduling of races and weddings can all get worked out. If not, obviously Lisa's wedding is much more important than a race. Now that I have committed to my brother and the handful of people that read this post, I will hopefully become an official ultra-marathoner by October 17th.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Backroads and Weddings

There is a song by the Bois D’arcs called “Backroads of Texas” that celebrates, as the name implies, the backroads of Texas. I highly encourage you all to listen to this song and travel the backroads, as they really are much better than the interstate highways. This weekend, Marie and I headed down south to the land of the pines (another song reference for those of you who are familiar with OCMS) for the wedding of my long-time friend, Larry Jordan. We had a wonderful time driving first to OKC to drop off the kids with the in-laws, then to Waco for a visit with our good friends there, and finally via various backroads to Tomball were we spent two nights with our friends, Kevin and Allison and their newly born son Bryce (Brice?). The wedding was typical…there were exchanges of vows and rings, the “I do’s” and the kiss. We spent very little time with Larry, but it was nice to see him and meet his wife. We also were able to visit with his parents, brothers, sister, and nieces. The wedding was an early wedding so we were back in the hotel by 3:00 pm. We, Marie and I, Kevin, Allison, and “Baby”, and Josh and Valerie, spent the rest of the day drinking too much, eating dinner, and having semi-intellectual (with a stress on the semi) arguments about politics and God, and planned for upcoming visits. Josh and Valerie will be promising themselves to each other in May, so some future backroad traveling will be done by me and Marie in just a couple of months. Valerie has a bachelorette shower in early May, a bachelor party is planned for Josh on Labor Day weekend, and the wedding is on the 30th.
On Sunday, we had the wonderful pleasure of traveling 600 miles from Tomball to Amarillo. It ended up taking us 11 hours, with a one hour stop in Ennis for a visit with another of our Waco friends and her daughter. A large portion of this trip was on main highways, but we decided to take a backroad through North Texas on highway 180. I love roads like this. After about 30 minutes of traveling through Weatherford (a nice town) and Mineral Wells (not so nice) we finally struck out on the flat, straight road west towards Snyder, 200 miles in all at a safe and sane 80-90 mph. On this stretch of road we passed mesas, wind mills (both old water ones and new air power ones), three road runners, and an armadillo. I was staring out the windows taking in the view and the time flew by like the dead skunks on the side of the road (about 20 in all). The final stretch up I 27 got to be a bit long, but we made home by 7 and we were in bed by 10.
We had a great time and I am looking forward to my travels down south for Josh and Valerie’s wedding and parties and I will surely pick as many backroads as possible.

p.s. look for pics from our trip on Marie’s blog, I am sure there will be many.