Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Idiots & Wildflowers

It is July and I am once again exploring the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. Using Silverton (9318 ft) as a base camp, I am running, biking, and, of course, hiking in these grand and jagged mountains. And, to my benefit, I have once again connected with other Idiots. Not just any Idiots, but the Special Idiots. Two members of the group, Chris and Alan, will be challenging the San Juans in the Hardrock 100 this weekend. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the HR100 is considered by many to be the toughest 100 mountain event in the world. Today, between my run and ride, we hiked nine miles on or near the HR100 course, reaching 12,600 ft in the Ice Lakes Basin. There, we found Heaven.

First, the training efforts. I have managed to do (attempt) tempo efforts in both running and cycling today. The pathetic, petulant, and rebellious manner in which the body reacts when it is deprived of oxygen is fascinating. The mind grows cloudy, the arms tingle, and, if you push hard enough, the lungs heave forcefully and frantically in search for precious life gas. I am certain my eyes rolled back in my head at the end of that hard run effort, because even though I don't take drugs, foggy hallucinations swept through my mind. This afternoon I was able end an active day by riding up to Red Mountain Pass in, by force of nature, a tempo effort. It was worth the Ricky Bobby trip back down. After listening to Kristy creak and moan, I've got to remember to tighten everything up before I get to Leadville this weekend.

In between today's run and bike I met up with five other Idiots (a Facebook group) for a nine mile hike. Below you will find some of the many pictures I took along the way. I will not have internet time to load all I want to, so come back to find many more, and captions, in coming days. Enjoy!

Polar RCX5 map of Ice Lakes Basin Hike.

Alan and Chris - Two Hardrockers

Billions of wildflowers waved in the breeze to welcome us.
Looking back on final climb into Ice Lake Basin.
Who shot me shooting Kari shooting wildflowers?
That tan patch is toxic mining pilings.

Beauty and the beast . . .
Basit takes flight!
Look closely at this flower called Elephant Head.
Golden Horn and Pilot Knob over Ice Lakes Basin.
Island Lake at 12,600 ft
Can you see the HR100 trail angling up to left?
This is what happens when you hike with Idiots! 
Chris and Basit enjoying my icy dive.
Looking back at Ice Lakes Basin and shadowed Golden Horn.

Like what you see? Find a trail and start walking . . .
"Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit." - Edward Abbey

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