Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 Numbers and Pictures

Its that time of year when many of us habitually reminisce and reflect. A recent stroll through my mind, my training log, my travel journals, and my photos made me keenly aware of the fact that I faced some tough challenges in 2014. I also reached an undeniable conclusion that I managed to do and see a lot. This country is dotted with countless impressionable sites and people. I consider myself blessed to have the wheels, energy, and curiosity required for endurance sports and adventure traveling.

It is also important to note that most of these adventures and races allowed me to interact with some incredible people. Those people supported, humored, taught, and inspired me more than I have or can express. Perhaps the best expression of kinship or friendship is time spent together, so I intend to continue to do more of that in the future.

If you know me at all then you know that I'm a data freak, a counter, and a number cruncher ( yep, you're rolling those eyes!). Here are some of the numbers from 2014:

17,330 miles on the ct200 (46.2 mpg!)
1324 cycling miles (lowest year of cycling, but I rode in 12 states)
754 miles of running (typical, but it took a 50 mile day to get there)
29 states visited (6 less than planned - see next entry)
1 deer collision
10 different National Parks visited (5 Smokies visits:)
25 breweries visited (9 new - to reach 152 total)
14 State Parks visited
2 new skin cancers (both BCC)
5 National Monuments visited
12 Doc visits (Ugh - insurance cost increased and coverage decreased)
19 mountain summits (below ave)
8 races (lowest since the herniated discs in '99)

Because I carry and use cameras almost every day, I had to glean from a massive inventory before settling on a collection of my favorite sights and memories from 2014. They are in no particular order, except that I added the recent AT hike onto the end. Sorry in advance: Some of the images contain me . . .

Enjoy - Inquire - Explore -Echo!

Yellowstone Great Basin
Hammerfest contrast
Front row seat at a Cabin Concert
Smiling because I had narrowly missed another fall on the LBL ice
Another glorious morning run - two days before the nerve acted up again
Asheville, NC is our brew capital
Riding all out makes me happy!
Crossing the canal to begin another run at LBL
Running the Bluff Trail - Lookout Mtn, TN/GA
 Moccasin Bend, TN from Point Park 
Running Cloudland Canyon, GA
We had just compared wounds earned on LBL ice
Spreading the HR gospel
Foreboding vision
Start line of my favorite 10K . . .
. . . and the finish line 4000 ft higher up
MST - Mountain to Sea Trail, NC
Sun-soaked fresh snow energized a 20-mile MST "hike"
On the MST near Asheville, NC
God smiled on me often -  Looking east from the Bighorn Mtns, WY
Running single track through Yellowstone . . .
. . . brings you face to face with nature  . . .
. . . over and . . .
. . . over . . .
. . . and over again
A grim aspect of Murphy's Law shows up . . .
. . . repeatedly
All trips involve planning, journaling, and sipping 
Approach to Angel's Landing - Zion NP, UT
"Hiking" the Narrows in Zion
All of those experiences for $80
Reward for finishing 60+ hrs of class in four days.
July 4th run - Mt. Elbert, CO
Picking up a traveling friend took me through KY hill country
Morning run around Cades Cove - Great Smoky Mtn NP
Tranquility takes me back year after year
The sprint began here - just after a bear cub tagged me
The sounds surrounding a forest stream are therapeutic
Running up Mt. LeConte, GSMNP . . .
. . . timed to experience sunset from the cliffs
Every sound was a bear; A hungry bear. 
Cycling Ridge Road Rocky Mountain NP, CO
The Flatirons overlook Boulder, CO
This guy kept following me through Wyoming
Mile 31 well before sunset
They would return at mile 67 at sunrise
This badass just whipped a 100 miler
And this wannabe is about to receive a whipping in a 50 miler
Not the first time he was getting dressed after the gun went off
See the table? He will turn my "trophy" into one!
Du Nats, St. Paul, MN - Andy was the bus driver
Cloud dance in Monument Valley, AZ
Camping with Idiots at 11K ft in the San Juan Mtns, CO
A wee jog 12K ft up on the Continental Divide - San Juan Mtns, CO
Nearing the tunnel at mile 40 of the Tunnel Hill 50 - cold left hand!
Colorful San Juan trail decor
See the orange shirt? I chased it or ran from it for hours
Yes, the award was a railroad spike
Super Moon rising - from the back yard 
More San Juan medicine
This part of Du Nats was a blast despite (or because of) that crosswind 
 Relief came only when I heard my placing
More running in Yellowstone
Very tasty meal while waiting on Old Faithful
Patience . . . 
. . . can yield great rewards!
Fog and sulfurous gas abound during a
sunrise(?) run in Yellowstone
Ha! What I did to get this shot was, well, crazy! 
Spur of the moment hike on Antelope Island, UT
Driving across Antelope Island
Kolob Canyons - Zion NP
Sunset in Kolob Canyons of Zion NP
Sunrise stroll in Zion Canyon, UT
Zion Canyon
Zion Canyon from Angel's Landing
North Fork Virgin River, Zion NP
Hiking The Narrows, Zion NP
Running into the sunset at Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Start of a 29-mile jog into the Grand Canyon on the Kaibob Trail 
Sunny day two at the Grand Canyon North Rim
Lucked into star/planet gazing in Bryce and Grand Canyons!!
Colorado River passing through Navaho land north of the Grand Canyon
One of many rainbows that greeted me along the journey (WY)
Just another bike ride
Chose this route using Google Maps on my phone. SCORE!
I needed another VFuel to avert that bonk after the Supai Tunnel 
Deep in the Grand Canyon 
Breathless and speechless just before exiting the Grand Canyon 
A view from the top of Colorado
Storm building over the San Juan Mtns
VFuel ready for a 50-mile run 
Three days before he crushed Hardrock - a class act
Super Moon rises over Patoka Lake, IN during a beer cruise
Well, those Rappites were seeking a utopia
Watched four USI runners earn AA honors on a swampy Louisville course
Ended the year with a 72-mile AT hike across the spine of the Smokies
Rugged beauty
Mountain laurel
Its easy! Just follow the white blazes
Thunderhead Mountain
A place to sleep - with mice

Gideon helping me count the nickels for future travels
Hope to see you along the trail in 2015

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