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Training Log Archive: Swampfox

In the 7 days ending Jun 9:

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Sunday Jun 9 #


Biked in the morning south of town, which included a swing by the brick and mortar remains of Fort Sanders, which is monumented and protected. I've seen the structure from a distance many times, but hadn't realized it was actually a monument. My guess is that it probably counts as one of the least visited monuments around, because it's so obscure you really almost have to have a reason to go see it, and because there's really not much to see, and finally it's in a location that draws virtually no traffic, so someone is highly unlikely to simply stumble across it.

In the afternoon I went out and mapped some. If I had realized how windy it was, I might have opted not to do it. But as long as I faced away from the wind, holding the map board still enough to draw wasn't too bad. By the time I was wrapping up, the wind had notched up even higher, and it was just as well to be finishing then.

I did go out armed (clothed) in newly permethrined pants. I didn't see any ticks, so someone might conclude the pants worked. I think it had more to do with spending all the time today in an area of low tick probability, so probably not a good test. Yet.

The current project is to finish off the NE corner of Area 307, which is also the extreme NE corner of the chunk of National Forest (Pole Mountain Unit) east of town. Everything that is left fits on my map board, and I got enough done today so that I can cut a piece of the map and reposition what's left so that it's easier to hold and handle without having to touch any part of the map with my hand. Hopefully I can finish this up before the bugs and cheat grass (which is already curing) get too bad, and the race is on.

Saturday Jun 8 #


Met Tyler at The Forest of Little Hope, where we re-ran the race there from Labor Daze last year. Tyler hung the ribbons--which was good training for him, having to study the map harder and in greater detail to get the streamers in the right place--and overall he did a good job, with streamers for 2 controls placed not quite on the right side of control features, but close. And, funny enough, the one control that was just simply wrong was the same control that I got wrong for the actual race last year (and which Sharon correctly caught; she may have been the only one who noticed--she was at least the only person who said anything to me about it, and the features were both very similar and very close, and you came to the wrong feature with the control on it first, so of course you would punch!)

Later on in the day, after some rain, met Tyler and Alex at Pilot Hill for some mountain biking.


Like yesterday, no real knee discomfort while running. I did feel a little soreness in one spot after mountain biking (2 1/2 hrs or so.)

Friday Jun 7 #


I am now ready to wage war.

My plan is to seek out tick heavy areas, and zig-zag through these areas extensively while mapping. The more ticks I can attract, the better, at least if this permathrin stuff works as advertised.

I ran a time trial course out at Granite Planite. The time didn't mean much, because it was very windy and the wind was coming out of the SW, which is the worst direction given the layout of the course I was running. But my legs felt good. And the wind was actually nice for the running, from the standpoint that it was quite warm out, but with the wind it felt effectively fairly comfortable.

On the way home, while driving, I felt something crawling on the back of my neck, and when I reached back with my hand to sweep it away, I got stung on a finger. Of all things, it was a yellow jacket. I never saw it in the truck and I have no idea how it got in. Maybe it landed on me while I was running and it just held on for the ride?

When I jerked my hand away, the yellow jacket must have stayed on it, because it ended up falling on the seat beside me. Still driving, I grabbed my hat and slammed it down on the hornet and pressed down on it as best I could until I got home. At least with yellow jacket stings the pain dissipates very quickly.


Notably, this was the best my knee has felt in a long time. Hard to say there was any discomfort either while I was warming up, running on the course, or warming down, or afterwards later in the day. Encouraging.

Thursday Jun 6 #


Warm and sunny today, and a perfect summer day. It's amazing to compare how quickly things have gone/grown just in the past 3 days, going from just a few early spring varieties of wildflowers, to an almost full gamut--everything from loco weed to lupine to larkspur to paintbrush to golden banner to violets to wild strawberries and almost everything in between.

This afternoon I was wading through prairie full of blooming bitterbrush with it's creamy light white-yellow blossoms and heavy perfume. I thought about the fact that when I first moved here, they usually started blooming on the summer solstice--that made it easy to remember. Now, they are consistently blooming 2 weeks earlier. While doing that, I also picked up ticks #3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. I was never fond of ticks, but I must be getting soft because now ticks creep me out more than they used to. Plus, if I find ticks on me while I'm mapping, back home in the evening every little minor tingle or tickle I feel makes me wonder if there is a tick on me that I missed. Maybe it's time to haul out the big gun: Permethrin.

If the ticks were the lowlight (they were), the highlight was hearing some loud cracking noises from an aspen grove below me while I was on the slope of a ridge, and then seeing a good sized bull moose trot out from the other side of the aspens. It trotted up to the top of the opposing ridge line, and stopped and turned to observe me. It was a stare down! Eventually the moose resumed trotting away from me and disappeared. It was the first moose I had seen since the incident with a moose back in February.

I ran at Happy Jack last thing, and checked on the snowfield at the east end of Hqs. It's still there, and substantial enough that it should last another few days.

Wednesday Jun 5 #


Had it not been for some decent wind today, it would have been warm. As it was, it felt nice. Summer weather either way, and, as another clear signal, I had a few mosquitoes come after me at Happy Jack this afternoon. I try to stay positive about things, and I am positive these things were mosquitoes. Generally speaking, there are a few things I will make exceptions to not have to feel positive about, and into this category I place both mosquitoes and a certain former president.

There were 3 more blades parked up at The Summit. Many people think it is the drivers that need the rest and that's why they are stopped, but actually it is the blades. You can look it up. I'm not sure why they get so tired, but if they get too tired they will snap in half, and what good are they then? Just useless carbon fibers blowing in the wind.

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