Thursday, November 19, 2009

to moab and the ultimatexc

with a visit to vegas out of our system, we got up early thursday and headed to moab - but not before digger locked himself out of his hotel room. we stopped at a walmart for water and promptly lost onions. we thought we might have to tie a helium balloon to his belt for future shopping trips. saw lots of beautiful scenery along the way.

on route to moab we passed through beaver city, and of course had to take advantage of this sign for a great photo opp!

we pulled into moab and our condo after dark - and after missing the turn a couple of times! here's a view the next morning from the front of the condo.

dinner that night was at the moab brewery. digger had a half-pound burger, with fries, more beer, and rated it an 8.5.

on friday we drove to arches national park to try and find the start of the race. we paid our $10 to get in, only to find that we weren't even close - doh!! after lengthy directions and a few maps, we made our way over to the right one. getting there involved manouvering down kane creek road, which was an adventure in itself. digger was driving and he almost killed us! the shoulders were really soft, with crumbly gravel, and there were tons of switchbacks and hairpin turns. we thought for sure we were going over more than a few times!!! we then made our way back to the town, where digger had hot chicken wings (and more beer) for lunch. we eventually picked up our race kits, and the cap put together an awesome spaghetti dinner to get us loaded up for the next day. once full, we each tried to determine tomorrows' finishing order in a 'top secret pylon pool'. it was a toss-up between beaver and cy, with the general consensus being me last (including my pick!). digger topped the night off with a few more beer before we all tried to get some sleep.

above is a picture of beave and digger getting ready for the start. check out our cow faced drop bag. at 8:30, race director dan counted down and we were off. we climbed up 500 feet on the pritchett canyon jeep road for over 5 miles before reaching the first aid station. from there we hit some single track and ran along the top of hunter canyon. note the 500 foot drop !!

the next really cool part was a one mile 'hike' up the 'scorched earth wall' jeep road - climbing 1000 feet to the hurrah pass. this seemed to go on forever, but the views were spectacular once again!

and yet another great view of the colorado river as we came down the jackson trail single track.

once through the aid station at the start/finish area, we had to head back out for another 10 miles or so. they first made us go up this ladder which was tied to a cliff and ended in a patch of cactus, and then climb up a short cliff using a rope to get to the top. good grief!! after a brief road section, we climbed 1000 feet up to the moab rim along a slab of slickrock. it was really steep! once at the top we had to go just past the jeep before turning around. yes, there was a jeep at the top!!!

the rest was pretty much downhill, including another creepy descent using those stoopid ropes again. and of course my foot just had to cramp as i was trying to figure out where to place it so i wouldn't skid to the bottom. argh! i came up the last little sandy hill to the finish, where the rest of the pylons were waiting to cheer me in. my time was 7:18 and i was really happy with that. the upset of the day was digger, winning the supermasters division with a time of 5:48!!
beave was next with 6:05, followed by cy (6:12), onions (6:22) and the captain (6:51). we were a very happy group of pylons!

once digger received his medal, we got ourselves into the van and went into town. me and cap went for the traditional pylon post-race milkshake, while the rest of the guys settled for beer. in the end, cy won the pool, having best guessed the order, and his own finishing time. we tried to order a pizza later that night, but the driver never showed up, claiming the roads were bad!??? so me and beave drove back into town and picked up 2 large yummy all-dressed for some well-deserving runners.

in all, it was a great race. the course was extremely challenging and the views were spectacular. i would recommend this to anyone who loves an adventure!!!

more stories to follow.

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