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Training Log Archive: Swampfox

In the 7 days ending Mar 22:

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Sunday Mar 22 #


Skied and cut it short after enjoying some skittery, icy conditions for the right amount of time. That allowed me to run longer, and I ended up going for something over 2 hours; it's been weeks it seems since I've been out for that long.

I ran down to, and along Lodgepole Creek, eventually off the trail and crossing the creek to visit a control from a Yellow Pine course from several years back--the race there that Ali C. won, whichever year that was. I couldn't remember for sure what the control itself was, and I was kind of thinking it was a lone ponderosa pine, but as I got close I recognized double boulders under the tree, so it was probably a boulder control.

Then I ran through the Yellow Pine Campground itself. I do that several times a year, usually when nobody is there (and it's closed for the winter half of the year). It never fails to serve up many memories, all positive. Today while I was running through it the names that came to mind were the Dominies (don't think I've seen Mark and Barb since the last time they were there), Ross and Sam, and Don and Marit Davis. I always run the whole loop in the campground, and I always think of Marit and Don at the far end, because that is where they were camped in their big truck drawn trailer...

Saturday Mar 21 #


Biked a short while to check out the scene at Walmart (normally busy) and to take in a couple of city parks. When I came up to one of them, I saw a line of 5 police vehicles and thought that couldn't possibly be a good sign. However, it turned out that a small group of policemen were having lunch under one of the picnic shelters. Glad to see that rather than some of the alternatives that came to mind. At the same time, even though it was a group of 10 or less (current state guidelines/orders call for groups of no more than 10), should they really have been having lunch together like that? Wasn't judging--just had the question in mind. I called out hello to them and waved as I went by, and they waved back.

Then skied, and cut that short as the trails had softened during the day and had by that point started to firm up again, and were rutted. Plus, I have for several weeks now wanted to run out to the far end of the Headquarters Trail, and was waiting for a) when I had enough time to get out there in daylight, b) an occasion when there would be good visibility without fog (we've had a lot of late and early day fog up top lately), and c) a snow surface firm enough to support my weight, because the snow is still mostly much to deep to run through if you're sinking through it. And the reason I wanted to get out there? Because having heard rumors that a big wind farm slated to go up west of Cheyenne was underway, and having seen turbine blades on the interstate being trucked east, I wanted to see if I could spot the towers going up.

So I had enough daylight, there was no fog, and I had tested snow surfaces while skiing and had determined I should be able to run on top of the snow, so off I headed.

50 minutes later I was out to where I could overlook a vast amount of the land east of where I was, and sure enough, there were dozens of brand new wind towers sprouting out of the ground, about halfway between Vedauwoo and Cheyenne, south of I-80. The light wasn't good enough for me to see any blades and so I had no idea if any amount of electricity was already being produced. It was still very cool to see.

Then ran back at a quick pace in hopes of getting to Walmart before it closed--which I did. By then there were only a small number of shoppers, which I was happy to see, and I was able to find everything I was hoping to get.

Friday Mar 20 #


Skied quite late in the day, finishing up at about dusk. There was about 2" of new snow; the trails had been groomed in the morning and the snow arrived that, and with few people being out on it, it was all but perfect. No wind either, even though by the forecast there should have been some.

I felt quite lucky even to get up there to ski. When I was looking over some local news early in the afternoon, I saw a report that the interstate was closed between Laramie and Cheyenne due to an accident (24 vehicles, mostly semi trucks) that happened hours earlier in the morning, with expected time to open maybe by 9-10 pm in the evening. I looked at the WYDOT site to check out the current status and looked at the web cameras, too. About 2 hours later I was wrapping up things at home and thinking about exercise for the day, and checked the road closure information again, and read what was posted more carefully, and whether it had been up there earlier and I had missed it or if the information had changed I'm not sure, but now I saw a sentence at the end that said local traffic was being allowed between Laramie and the Summit. I had no idea if that might be limited to people who live up near there, or if it might apply to even hikers and skiers, etc, and I figured I would at least give it a try. Glad I did. The gate was down across the interstate past the on ramp, and a State Trooper was there who waved me on through once I told him where I wanted to go. And a dozen or so vehicles had preceded me to the Tie City trailhead by the time I got there.

I didn't run yesterday and it was so nice out that after skiing I decided to do a night run, and I ran for an hour. By then the skies were clear, and towards the end of the run I was coming out of the trees from the south into a large clearing, and could look straight into the Big Dipper. It was so beautiful that I stopped in the clear to admire the night skies (which up there are incredible on a clear night), and noticed a plane was moving across the Big Dipper. Then I saw there were several other planes in view and realized it was a line of planes, spaced maybe 5-10 miles apart (my guess), one after another, flying at the same speed and altitude. At any given time I could see 4-5 planes, and I stood there for several minutes watching. I wasn't counting carefully, but between 17 and 20 planes went by, and I probably didn't see the first plane(s) going by. I had never seen anything like that before; in the end I was guessing it was probably something like FedEx or UPS. For all I know maybe there are regular flight convoys like this and I had just never seen any of them before. Somehow, what with all that is going on now, it felt reassuring to me to see that line of planes in the sky--as a sign that some necessary things are still organized and functioning well.

Thursday Mar 19 #


In the end, no blizzard hit our area; the storm might have shifted just enough further to the east for us to escape. Signs on the interstate indicated highway closures about 50 miles further east.

It had snowed since trail grooming in the morning and it was snowing lightly the whole time I was up skiing in the afternoon. Maybe 2-3" of dense but dry snow, which was slow on my skis. I skied for 2+ hours, and got back just as dusk was about to set in, on this first day of (winter) spring. It sure didn't feel like spring in somewhere, like, the South. It felt a lot more like (winter), because it was.

Coming back home along Grand Ave., I noticed several restaurants had dimmed lighting in the seating areas, but had drive-throughs open. More signs of changes underway in town.

Wednesday Mar 18 #


Biked around town to run some errands and check things out.

Some things have changed overnight. There was only about a quarter of the activity downtown today that there was yesterday. The library was closed. In general there was a quieter feel to town, much more like Spring Break usually is.

Skied late in the day; trails were still slush soft and good for what I like. A grand total of three other people were there, so it was bustling.

It was supposed to start snowing by 6 pm, but in fact it never did anything more than a few flakes in the air, even by late in the night. A decent storm is still in the forecast for tomorrow and we will see.

Tuesday Mar 17 #


Filing this under "you can fool some of the people all of the time"--now the incredible Trump is claiming he knew the corona virus was a pandemic all along. All along!

How many times does someone have to jump the shark before the diehards see it?


It was fairly mild and mostly sunny, and felt that way while biking, even in the face of decent wind out of the west. Which I got to fully savor, as I chose to bike out to the airport for the first time this year.

While still a couple of miles away, I could see some kind of steel scaffolding or roof structure above all the other airport buildings. I didn't recognize it, and wondered if it was maybe a new hanger under construction. Or maybe it was something that had been there all along and I just hadn't noticed it before at that distance.

As I approached the main parking lot and was first able to see all the buildings that comprise the airport, something seemed odd, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it--mainly because I wasn't considering one (very unlikely) possibility. That being the terminal was entirely gone, which I finally recognized was the case. Then everything made sense. So a new terminal is going in, and I guess it will be better than the old one. It will certainly be newer!

Monday Mar 16 #


Skied and ran. Nice spring conditions for skiing, and saw and said hello to Jim and Adam while I was out. Running on the trails now is trickier, and only the most used (compacted) trails are possible now that snow in many places is starting to get rotten from underneath--leading of course to post-holing.

Stopped at Walmart on the way home, late enough so that there weren't many people inside and easy to keep an appropriate distance from anyone. Some stuff was sold out, but most stuff was available and certainly there was plenty to choose from. And all the produce and fruit was there, which is what I was after. Just guessing, if within a week or so logistics will have pushed most everything through in most parts of the country, by which time also most folks will recognize that there's no danger of food supplies running out, and consequently the buying pressure will recede.

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