Red Pine Lake Trail and Lake, Wasatch Mountains, Utah, elevation 9620 feet.
It was a HOT August, Sunday afternoon and the thermometer on my bike was reading 99 degrees. Becky, Jon, and I rode earlier that morning on our bikes to the Belleview Ferry so that I could hitch a ride to
I’m doing well! I’m not 100% recovered from my back, shoulder, or knee injuries, but I’m doing well and still improving. I’m able to do most anything I want, just not to the extent or intensity I once was,.... yet.
I just returned from
I am pretty sure that multi-time winner of the Wasatch 100, Karl Meltzer, passed us on the trail Saturday afternoon. Earlier we crossed paths with Neil Kaersley, a friend of my sister, who is taking part again this year in the Wasatch 100 as a pacer for his brother-in-law, Mark Colby. (The race starts this Friday at 0500.) There was freakin electric on the trails. Neil and my brother-in-law, Jim, both said they see Apollo Ono, the Olympic speed skater, on the trails regularly. I was totally “amped” up there in the mountains. My mind has been spinning on how to figure out how to spend more time out there.
My sister, Judy, and I hiked
The knife edge leading to Frary Peak, elevation 6500 feet.
I carefully backtracked, but was unable to “un-climb” some of the areas I climbed up minutes before. Then I saw a hiker several hundred feel below. We screamed to each other, with me gaining the knowledge that I was “off-trail” and that she was “on-trail”. The executive decision was made for me to attempt to climb down to the trail and have another go at reaching the summit. Minutes later I found myself lodged in a chute with nothing below my feet for 40 feet, hanging by my arms (my chest and arm muscles screamed at me for the next 2 days). I was in a spot. Repeat mantra, “do not do anything stupid”.
I dropped Jim’s stick and watched it land 100 feet below me. Now, with more fingers in use, I climbed back out of the steep chute and found another way down. It took me a while to find Jim’s stick. In the process of all this, which included scrambling down rock scree, a microwave oven, sized rock dislodged because of my antics and crashed down the mountain. I could hear it smashing everything in its path as it rolled down the mountain for the next 2.5 minutes. It was so loud that I prayed my sister couldn’t hear it, for fear she would think it was me.
I eventually reached the summit and called Jim who was in his office. I told him I was “okay” and that I had Judy’s cell and I had reached
Later, that same day, Judy and I waded from the beach into the Great Salt Lake. I floated unbelieveably high, just like everyone ever told me. Instead of floating up and down like in a pool, I was able to have head, hands. feet, knees, and stomach out of the water while laying on my back. The GSL is much saltier than the ocean. It is all that remains of the ancient inland sea of Lake Bonneville.Me floating in the Great Salt Lake
There is so much to tell. Being with Judy and Jim was awesome; adventure during the day, good meals and games at night, plenty of sleep, and a ton of laughs. It was a great break from my wonderful, yet busy, life in
Monday morning Jim woke me early and said we’d hike to
By day 5 of my trip my legs had adapted well to the ups and downs of the trails and my lungs had adapted well to the altitude. Sunday, Jim lent me his mountain bike and I rode the dell until my heart was pounding out of my chest. It has been a long time since my heart rate was up that high. During adventures, I hiked in my trail shoes, but wore my new Sport Trek Vibram Fivefingers on the plane both ways, and all the time off the trails. They were too new to my feet to risk wearing them on the trail. Upon my return to Wittman, however, I ran 2.25 miles on Wednesday in them with success. I plan on running the Gunston 5K in fivefingers.
I could go on, but I won’t. Good to have some trail-tales this time. My new mantra is now, “Live, Love, and Serve” ~ Michael