Dreaming with open eyes

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure." - Helen Keller

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It's game time.  All the planning, training, anticipation have culminated in this moment.  Today I begin a solo time trial of the Grand Loop.

 

As you can tell lately, this isn't something I'm taking lightly.  This route has nearly destroyed tougher men than I.

For perspective in the profile below, the Kokopelli trail/Paradox (gateway rd) intersection is at mile 102.  It's actually about 113 to this point...my mapping produces shorter than actual mileages.  Lots of time in the desert, lots of time in the alpine.  The last 150 miles I know only by the maps...it is intimidating.  High elevation, uber tough trail conditions (by reports), abundant wildlife, as remote as any spot in the lower 48.  I am fascinated by this stretch...

Some comforting words came my way yesterday.

- Mike Curiak (who established this race) upon learning of my plan:  "sheeeeit, glad it's you and not me..."
- Sager:  "it's an interesting place you guys go."  He ain't talking geography either.

But I can take comfort in knowing it has been done before.  Mostly I'm just thrilled to have the health and fitness to contemplate such a ride.  It will be a great learning experience.  New limits will surely be found, and with luck, extended.

The schedule:  I'll leave GJ this evening about 6:30 pm, which should have me starting the KT about 8pm.  Just enough light to get through some techy bits.  I'll call Mike from Bedrock, CO and he may post updates to MTBR in this thread, or he may make a new one.  Not sure...

To all those doing KTR, good luck, play fair, and I'll (eventually) miss y'all, but I'll be deep in my own cocoon during your race.  If the plan pans out I'll be at the Virginian hotel in Moab Sun am, prolly dead as a dodo but willing go out for b-fast and swap stories.  Hope to see some of y'all there.