Adventure Racing race 24:00:00 
Around 1am, we were moving roughly 6km per hour, in complete darkness and into a stiff headwind. We'd ridden 120 kilometers, and still had 140 to go. We were all exhausted, unfocused, and irritable. We'd tried a brief puppy-pile on the side of the road, but the ten-minute catnap did little to boost our energy, and it was too cold to stop for much longer. We passed a sign -- 2.5 miles to a cattle farm -- and we hoped that there would be something there.
When we first pulled up, we saw rusted-out vehicles and a dilapidated old barn, filled with dead buzzards in the stalls and hundreds of bottles of animal antibiotics. "We can make this work," we tried to convince ourselves.
And then Brent called out from a few meters away. He'd found a modernized covered wagon, and it was unlocked. It was only a couple meters long, a meter wide, but inside was a bunkbed, mattresses, and a sleeping bag. It was absolutely perfect. Brent, Andy, and I snuggled up on the bunk, and Mark made himself a nest out of foam pads on the floor. We set the watch for two hours... and then another hour... and then one more. We learned later that AMK had caught a couple hours there the night before.
It was the best sleep I've ever gotten during a race, and when we woke up, just before sunrise, we had a new lease on life. We picked up our bikes, tripled our pace, and got back on course. The rest of the ride wasn't particularly fun -- more washboards (oh, those washboards -- at one point, I told Brent that I thought I'd broken my uterus and that even if we wanted to have another kid, we were probably out of luck), more sagebrush, a bunch of flats in Mark's skinny tires (the rest of us were, thankfully, riding tubeless - so glad I converted!) -- but it passed quickly enough.
We paused at the next two CPs for race-provided water, then again at the hottest point of the day, on the side of the trail next to a giant chemical plant, with plenty of warnings of toxic gasses in the air. "Well, the wind is blowing," we reasoned. "We can probably stay for a few minutes without getting too sick."
At the final point, in the abandoned town of Ferris, Randy Ericksen provided us each with a can of Pepsi, and from there the ride turned into a fun, twisty, sandy spin through canyons and up and over ridgelines. We rode for a few minutes with NV Journey out of the last CP, and on the final ascent East Wind sprinted by us, offering high-fives as they passed.
We rolled into TA just as a big storm was forming above us. We packed up our bikes, grabbed our packraft gear, and transitioned quickly to the last big section of the course -- roughly 45 miles of trekking and rafting across reservoirs, through whitewater canyons, and down swift rivers. We'd heard that the section was taking top teams substantially longer than predicted, so we prepared ourselves for a long night as we walked out of TA...
...for about 500 meters, until the storm broke over us and we pulled out our rafts, burrowed under them, and waited out the thunder and lightning, thankful that we hadn't yet made it onto the water.
Twenty minutes later, we were back on our feet, moving toward the CP on the banks of the Pathfinder Reservoir. Dart and Quest were just in front of us, and we all converged along the water, where we thought the point should be. And we looked... and looked... and looked -- wasting four hours of daylight, and trying to get into the mind of the RD to see if we were misunderstanding the purpose of the checkpoint (which, we thought, was really just to get people down to the water!!).
Finally, at 10:00pm, after hours of wandering and retracing our steps, we walked onto it, and fifteen minutes later we were inflating our rafts and setting off. Frankly, I still have no idea what happened. Something about discrepancies in the water levels? NV Journey ended up following us to the point and getting on the reservoir with us. Dart and Quest found it not long after we did. A maddening moment, but luckily not a race-altering one.
We paddled smoothly across Pathfinder, Brent's nav sharp as he traced the various coves and shorelines in the dark. We pulled out at the dam above Freemont Canyon, and paused to consider our options. Olof met us there and warned us that the whitewater was trickier than it seemed, and that Team Canada had ripped open both of their boats. Dart told us they were planning to sleep until first light and then run it. I was tired and cold at that point, and a little bit wary of heading into the canyon at night, but ultimately I acquiesced with assurances that we could portage around all of the obstacles.