The Winter of 2012/2013 – The Quest for the Order of the Hrimthurs.
- 2 Months, 1 week and 5 days. December 24 to March 8
- 12,000 miles – on the Jeep, not my legs.
- Co-Directed one Winter Ultra – Tuscobia Winter Ultra
- Completed Four Winter Ultras:
- Entered The Order of the Hrimthurs
- Just hours after Dark entered the Order. How cool is it that my dad entered The Order? And he didn’t just finish the three races, but won Tuscobia and Arrowhead in the Ski divisions. I am still coping with the fact that an old man, my old man, kicked my arse this winter. Congrats also to bikers Hal Lowen, Dan Lockery and Alex Oenes for entering The Order.
- Followed Roberto Marron via Facebook updates as he becomes the first person to ever attempt, and complete, a Double Tuscobia Winter Ultra. 300 miles. Sick, with a ph.
- Skijored with Cooper and Juneau (to be honest, with Cooper, and Juneau ran along behind)
- Fat Biked – Snowbound in the Underdown
- Slept in various types of accommodations ranging from the Jeep, the side of snow covered trail, a snow covered lean-to on the side of a snow covered trail and temps of -35 degrees F, a Bed and Breakfast, 4 star hotel, 1 star shit box, friends couch, rental house with a hot tub, in a shack with no plumbing or electricity, with relatives, and with my parents.
- Was able to witness Hell freezing over – Twice! First freeze: Helen ran not one but two Winter Ultras – Triple D, and then another at Actif Epica. Of course she won Triple D and tied for the win at AE. And the second freeze: for the first time ever she didn’t beat me at a race – we tied. (San Juan Solstice and Voyageur 50 Miles notwithstanding as she was just babysitting me to those finishes).
- Went to a Colorado Avalanche game.
- Snowboarded at Vail (with Ang); Snowbird (with …..Cheryl and Flo took Noah to Solitude, but we had a nice couple days of visiting), and four days at Mt. Bachelor and one backcountry day on Tumalo Mountain with Bink. The best snow and weather of the three states was Oregon, for those of you wondering. Going backcountry was scary amazing fun. Earning your turns and your beers always feel great.
- Taste-tested a good chunk of the 20 breweries in Bend and Sunriver. 10 Barrel Brewing Company gets my vote. Or whatever brewery I am located in at the time. The Mac-n-Cheese at Sunriver Brewing Company, with the addition of the in-house smoked steelhead, is well worth the $20.
- Visited with family, relatives and friends in five states and one province.
The Midwest is a great place, mostly because of our friends and family, but also because of the natural beauty of the landscape and the seasons. Having the chance to see and catch up with friends and family was soooo good. And being able to experience winter is something I know I can no longer take for granted.
Being able to spend a few weeks with my parents, and the home cooking, was really cool. It has been a long time since I last lived with them. Good times, even if they were plotting to keep our dogs forever.
The hardest single in-race moment to entering The Order of the Hrimthurs came at mile 120 of the first race – Tuscobia. The Winter checkpoint. I more or less collapsed on the floor, sleep deprived and in a fair amount of physical discomfort. I needed about 5 hours to gather myself for the final 30 mile push. The 33 mile stretch from Birchwood to Winter might somehow be the most difficult section in either Tuscobia or Arrowhead. It is a bit of a mystery why this is true, but it is.
I love road-tripping. Cooper and Juneau are fantastic travel buddies.
I owe a huge thanks to Lynn and Daryl Saari for their medical opinions and expert foot work at Fortune Bay. And also to Daryl for his sled, even if it did pull like a giant frozen buffalo chip.
Completing a Double Arrowhead ( Arrowhead 135 Double ) is a culmination of a project a couple years in the making, yet only the first half of the master plan for 2013.
A couple of the places that helped me prepare, unwind or otherwise made my time alone a bit more meaningful: High Point Village at Timm’s Hill; the Shack; Melgeorge’s Resort; The Comet Theatre and Carol Carlson (Sat Nom Kaur)
I need to snowboard more. Being at the top of a snow covered mountain strapped to a piece of wood elicits a spiritual connection to the earth that I crave more of.
As a Race Director, fellow competitor and a fellow spirit in nature, being able to witness others’ efforts and triumphs gives me immense joy. Often times more joy than in my own accomplishments. And also as a son. I am really proud of the accomplishments Dark made this winter, and the sacrifices and support he received from my mom. It is always a team effort and they make a good team. I am also quite proud of Helen for dipping her toes in the frozen waters of Winter Ultras. I know she has the toughness to excel in these conditions and events, should she so choose.
Canucks make everything more fun – and chances are you won’t go hungry or thirsty when they are around. And if you go to visit them, you will always have a place to stay.
It was a busy, and fulfilling, winter. But it is nice to be “home.” And while I do miss winter as it continues to be cold and snowy in many of the places visited in the past couple months, as well as our friends and family back in the Midwest, there is something to be said about sleeping in your own bed and seeing your best friend every day. It is very nice to be home indeed.