I chase Colleen down
as she’s leading the group down the hill.
We reach another fork in the road and another
decision point; either option will take us to our destination.
Both appear on the map as two- tracks, but one,
the more direct route is actually a downhill single
track trail. The single track has the potential to cut
2-3 miles from our trip, but Utah single track has been
deceiving so far.
The last time we got excited about downhill we
ended up in the infamous Dead Cow Canyon for the better
part of a day.
We discuss the options for a minute and the team
unanimously decides to go for the single track.
story, unlike so many others, has a happy ending as
we are rewarded with the single most spectacular 3 miles
of trail any member of the team has ever touched with
It's an absolutely amazing hard pack trail with
a gentle downhill grade, meandering through a wildflower
and eucalyptus filled canyon.
Numerous stream crossings at high speed cool
us down form the mid-day sun and add even more excitement.
We can’t believe both the beauty of the canyon
and the good fortune that led us to this decision to
be on this trail.
One of our quickest
transitions of the race, about 30 minutes, takes us
to the horses.
The horseback section turns out to be an uneventful
slog, except that now we’ve added two beasts that we
have to baby-sit for the trip.
Seven miles uphill and another seven back down
will bring us back to the final supported TA of the
On the way back to
the transition area, Danny and I discuss strategy for
the rest of the race and the need for discipline in
the final day and a half ahead of us.
As the team organizes gear and eats the Domino's
pizza that Randy and Jerry picked up (a taste of civilization!),
we talk about what it will take to finish and gain the
commitment of the entire team.
Our plan starts with a complete rebuilding of
our packs, eliminating any unnecessary items.
Discipline around the number of length of rest breaks
No more then 15 minutes sleep at a time.
Five-minute breaks about once every 2 hours,
and we agree to not remove the packs during the rest
movement, regular eating, and hydration are key elements
to success. All agreed, we rebuild the packs, grab an hour of sleep and
head out at 12:30 am.
We don’t expect to see the crew until the finish
Our goal: 24 hours
to the finish.