Bradley's View

Bradley's View

Friday, August 30, 2013

Late Summer

     Life has been a whirlwind of joy lately.  I've found myself saying, "It sure feels like fall out here", quite frequently.  I guess it's about time I accepted that summer is winding down and breathe in the colors of the autumn in Colorado.  These are a few things that I've engaged in the past month:

I went to Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario (west of Lake Superior), with a wonderful group of people. 
Me, Anna, Matthew, Rachel, Bill, Drew, and Paul, my dad.

On the ten day trip, we spent a lot of time singing, paddling, and telling stories.


A lot of portaging and paddling requires a lot of eating, so we spent a lot of time cooking, too.

 And catching fish to eat, like this Walleye

We also swam regularly.  The weather was beautiful, though hot.  The mosquitos were relentless.  The memories aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

Back in Colorado, I picked up (except for the fitness level...) right where I left off last summer.  Below are a few pictures from an outing with Eric, Robin, Mike, Troy, and Guy up Mt. Yale.

Summit shot

Mike descending the ridge's talus.

Robin soaking up the summit.

Mike and I set out on the 50 mile Gore Range Trail.  We started up near Surprise Lake, about 30 minutes north of Silverthorne, and ran 30 miles back to Silverthorne, where we grabbed a bus back to Leadville.  This was Mike's final big shakeout run before toeing the line at the Leadville 100

Nothing but singletrack.

Black Lake and some of the Gore Range

Once an incredible homestead along Boulder Creek.
    Genevieve and I made a trip to one of my favorite areas in Colorado, the Dominguez Canyon.  We hiked in a few miles under the stars and spent the following day running along the dried rivers and climbing the canyon walls.

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     The weekend of the 100 came around in Leadville, things were booming around town and the air was thick with adventure and excitement.  I had the pleasure of pacing Mike from Winfield (mile 50) up over Hope Pass and into the Fish Hatchery (mile 77).   Mike had a hell of a day out there, finishing in 22:37.  Tough stuff; it's always great to be around people who are dreaming and doing.

Cruising into mile 60, mustaches and all.

    The next weekend rolled around, and amid all the excitement I wanted to celebrate with a long and beautiful run.  My uncle, Bill (pictured somewhere above...), shuttled me and Jamie up to Copper Mountain in order to get a midnight start southbound on the Colorado Trail.  We couldn't have had a more beautiful night for the outing.  Once we got above the trees, we ran the singletrack between Searle and Kokomo Pass with our headlamps off under the light of the moon.  It was an incredibly powerful experience.

Me and Jamie at the start

     Jamie and I reached Camp Hale around 4:30am, at which point Jamie headed off to work and Genevieve joined me en route to Tennessee Pass.  The sun came up during this stretch, and I felt a little loopy from lack of sleep.  When we reached Tennessee Pass, we stumbled across some trail magic, which consisted of Little Debbie's and Dale's Pale Ale.

      We skirted around the slopes of Galena and then bombed down to the Timberline Lake trailhead, where Mike, Sal, and Meg were waiting to greet us with beers and birthday cake.  This is where the run ended, after about 38 miles, but the day had hardly begun.

     Later in the evening, I was lured into a surprise birthday party over at the pie shop.  Never before have I experienced such overwhelming feelings of love and friendship as I have in the past few months.  With the support and encouragement of these people, I was able to enjoy what just may be the most fun run of my life; with them I have come to find people and places that I can call home, and in which I can experience community.  I don't think there is a luckier guy anywhere.  

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