Sunday, June 13, 2010

What have I gotten myself into?

A section of the Dirty Mogollon Mormon Madness permanent

How do I get myself into these things?  What is it you ask?  Well, 2 years ago I recorded an account on here of my harrowing attempt at running this permanent (Dirty Mogollon Mormon Madness 200k) the first time and also my self rescue and retreat to the car with my tail wagging between my legs (thank goodness for iodine tablets).  Well, following that, the route was inactivated until I could get the time to fix it so it would be more "runnable".  It's been one of those things that has just kind of floated in my mental pool skimmer these past few years so to speak.  So, when Mike Sturgill emailed me this week asking me once again where I was at on this, it struck a chord.  My plans to run the Lonely Conquistador 300k this month were pretty much shot with my inability to train over the last month.  I was kind of sweltering in a funk and well, the email kind of gave me something to work for.  So with 2, 7 year olds in tow, an updated cue sheet, my trusty Jeep Cherokee and a map we set off to confirm the course was rideable yesterday.

My first fear is running this with Mike,  Mike is the brevet riding machine that very few folks can keep up with.  He will be coming back from a 1200k a few weeks before so maybe he will be tired.   Maybe he'll be in a smell the roses mood that day.  Maybe I'll get a mystical bionic infusion.  Perhaps the dirt will bring us onto the same level.  Who knows.  It should be interesting.

Although the course is a lot friendlier it still took me 8 hours to drive it in the car.  Of course the boys and I did ride a mile section of it that we couldn't take the car on to make sure it was rideable so that ate up an hour.  There was also the time making notes on the cue sheet.  Still,  I figure we did a good 5 -6  hours of driving.  It's going to be a long ride.

I am proud to say that although it is a lot easier,  there is still some technical riding on the route for the mountain bikers out there.  Not a lot mind you,  but there are still a few miles worth to spice up the endless dirt roads.  After we passed Stoneman lake I had to put it in 4 wheel drive a few times and I think I could have ridden my bike faster through some of the spots.  The cool thing about the course after stoneman lake though is we went more than an hour a few times without seeing anyone.  Some of the country back there is forest with wide open meadows, not a sould in sight, and a pond here and there to pretty things up. 

Past Mormon Lake lodge and soon it was back into the boonies.  The time from when we left the road by Kinnikinick lake to Pine Spring was utterly devoid of people.  Most telling was a giant tree that had fallen on the intersection between two roads and just lay there while a few tire tracks showed people having done their best to get around it.  In all fairness though one of the roads behind Stoneman lake had two downed trees on it a half mile apart just lying there for months, maybe even years, unhindered by road maintenance crews.

I enjoyed the many dells behind Hutch mountain with their fur and oak trees hugging the roadsides and filling the scenery with greenery.  This section really is one of the better kept secrets of this section of the forest I think.  I am pretty sure I'll be exhausted by this point so maybe that will be a good thing.  At long last we get to the lifesaving Pine Spring and mark the end of the course that I needed to verify.

As of 20 minutes ago I have requested the route be reactivated and am ready to gear up and give this thing a go in a month.

Sneaky son got a hold of my cell phone and figured out the camera somewhere past pine spring.

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