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Training Log Archive: Swampfox

In the 7 days ending May 26:

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Sunday May 26 #


O' activities began and ended with hanging some streamers. The challenge was not finding the locations, but tying the streamers in high (55+mph) winds without having them blow away before they were fastened.

Friday May 24 #


Did an O' run at Forest of Little Hope, where there was still some hope because leaves were still essentially off, and just beginning to bud out.

But there was less hope than I thought there was, as I realized halfway around when I had got within sight of what was my next control--and realized that--oops!--it wasn't, and that I had taken the leg out of order. So much for focus on the task at hand. At least it was nice out, and nice to be crunching through some sage, and so what if I inadvertently added a bonus section to the course I was running.

Many, many campers were already up by the afternoon and more were arriving while I was running. Supposedly the weather over the weekend isn't supposed to be May good, but at least for today it was quite pleasant out.

After finishing up at Forest of Little Hope, and went back to Happy Jack, and finished up by doing some more running to check out pit #3. The forest area it was in was thickish with poor visibility and lots of fallen trees, and nothing super obvious near the pit to locate it with. On my first pass at it, I didn't see anything at all. I ran a larger loop to expand beyond what would have been the control circle (had there been a control there) and still didn't see anything, and was ready to declare that there wasn't a pit there after all.

And there wasn't a pit. On my way out, I swung out a little wider to one side, and thought I saw some break in the slope behind and under a fallen tree, and when I circled around the tree, I discovered, instead of a pit, the kind of prospecting trench you often see cut into a steeper slope. So 3 for 3 on the lidar anomalies I spotted.

Thursday May 23 #


Did some biking with Tyler in the late morning, mostly south of town. It was very pleasant out, sunny with some breeze, and the prairie was spring green.

I ran in the afternoon, and by then the sun had gone behind clouds, the wind had picked up, and it felt like some cooler air was arriving. But still, at home, nothing, just a little less nice. So I ran in shorts, and, at the last moment, changed out of a short sleeved t-shirt to a long sleeved shirt, and wore a jacket.

Earlier in the week I had been looking at some lidar covering some of the ski trails at Happy Jack, and had noticed what looked to be like three possible pits that I had never seen before. All 3 were on the small side compared to a typical, average sized prospect pit. My experience has been is that some of these things prove out, and some of them turn out to be nothing. For this run, I had printed out the lidar image and planned to check the possible pits, just because I was curious.

Up top, conditions proved to be different. It was much windier--the highway sign outside of town warned of 55+ mph wind. And decidedly chillier. It really would have been nice to have some gloves on. For that matter, some long pants or a warmer jacket (or both!) would have been nice. But I figured I would warm up once I got started, and once I got in the trees the wind wouldn't be as much.

So, off I went up the trail. And, yeah, the wind wasn't as bad in the trees, but I didn't really warm up all that much, and my hands definitely didn't warm up any. I found possible pit #1 in a thicker portion of forest with lots of fallen trees, so actually seeing the pit and getting to it took more effort than you might guess. Pit #2 was there, too, and in a bit of semit-open area, so no problem.

And then, on to #3? No. I turned around, because the wind went up another increment, and, for added fun, now it was snowing, and rather than getting warmer, now I was getting colder. I was happy to get back to my truck and climb in out of the wind, turn on the heat, and drive home.

Tuesday May 21 #


The plan for today was to run some intervals and see how that would go (knee), and while the weather forecast again wasn't great, at least it was better than yesterday, and I wasn't worried about getting shut out again. Of course there was some decent wind, but so what. That's like rain in Seattle.

And when I got up top and was driving by the Visitors Center, I looked down the frontage road and could see a work crew at the Forest gate at the end of the paved section, and *couldn't* see the gate. Had the gates been opened today, and was the gate just open for the work crew?

I drove to the gate and one of the crew members told me that Law Enforcement (Forest Service) had just been there and had unlocked the gate. So through I went, parked at my usual spot, and ran intervals in the wind. For brief moments there was even a little sun peeping through the clouds, as some kind of tease and a reminder that the Solstice is just a month away.

By the time I finished the wind had notched out, and had a distinct chilly edge to it. Coming down off the hill you could see a half dozen or so snow squalls scattered around in the valley, and one had Laramie completely enveloped as I was driving into town.

Monday May 20 #


I thought I would try to get out for some orienteering today, and while the weather forecast didn't look great, neither did it look bad, and I thought if I got out by mid-afternoon, I'd probably be okay. However, even before noon there were some very dark clouds overhanging the Range. The weather radar made it look like the clouds were likely to move on, but in fact they didn't and just got darker. It looked like it might be worse on the other side of the Summit, and so I revised plans and decided to just run trails at Happy Jack.

And headed out in early afternoon, stopping at the grocery store on the way. When I came out of the store and looked east again, it really didn't look good. But, I had checked the weather map again and it hadn't shown much more coming into the area, so I was optimistic that what was up top would either dissipate or move on.

Even when raindrops started hitting my windshield halfway up the canyon I wasn't dissuaded, and I kept on going for the parking lot at Tie City. By then some amount of slush was mixing in with the rain--maybe half melted snow, or slushed hail, probably snow though.

At the parking lot there was a car by the gate, a Forest Service truck by the car, and another vehicle inside the gate--which had to be Forest Service also, since the gate was shut. My guess/hope was a crew was out clearing trails, since nobody was in sight. But it couldn't have been much fun, because now the weather became plain execrable, with strong wind sweeping in fog from the north and the rain/slush mix getting heavier.

After waiting for about 20 minutes for the weather to improve, and seeing things still only getting worse, I abandoned all plans to run trails and headed home.

I know there might be some people out there saying "there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes" or something like that, but a) I didn't see any of those folks out there, b) I said it was execrable weather, and not bad weather, and there's a difference, and c) there's such a thing as common sense. And common sense says that if you're going to subject yourself to misery, you ought to at least be getting paid very well for it. ; )

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