Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gift of Dirty Sock

I had actually been dreading today's run, as the weather for most of the week has been 30's and snowy/grapple/sleety with a projection of the same for the weekend. As I needed to run 20, I just was a bit put off at the thought of running in snow...again, but low and behold I woke up at 6 AM and it was clear. I drove down to our little slice of Moab here in the Gunnison Valley, Hartman Rocks and what luck to have such a day. Sunny, breezy with increasing clouds as the day progressed (I WAS out there for 5 hours 15 minutes, so a lot of time to assess such things), but NO moisture whatsoever.

Started at the McCabe's entrance and climbed up the road, which I've done many times now, but continued on straight where I usually veer off to the left. This enabled me to be adventurous and explore an area of Hartman's I'd never seen and also trying out Dave Moe's trail, Enchanted Forest trail and a section of Skull Pass. Then, headed back around on the road to do one of absolute favorites at Hartman's, Dirty Sock. So, literally and figuratively I DID Dirty Sock...JOY! Each of the trails I did the out and turned straight around and did the same back. I forgot my map and figured that this way I wouldn't fetching get lost...say what you will, it worked. Rounding back on the road I connected with Josie's trail and did the same out and back then was done.

Until mile 18, I had only seen one person, another runner. Then, came across quite a few groups of mountain bikers heading out or in from trail enjoyment. I didn't see too much wildlife other than a plethora of birds and small ground-dwelling mammals, which the dogs seem determined to harass each and every one. The only bummer about Hartman's is the lack of water for the dogs. We found some large swath of snow at about mile 10 and the dogs ate and rolled to their hearts content. Then, just prior to and after Dirty Sock goodness there was an area of boggy puddles. I always share what's in my pack with Natty, but as Bombadil isn't the sharpest tool in the shed just can't seem to master this task. I fear we may be nearing a close for this season and the dogs and Hartman's for long runs.

Bummer no photos, sorry, Shamus had the camera on his turkey hunting weekend, which unfortunately produced no turkey and one majorly tired boy.

Hope that everyone's races went or go very well! My thoughts also go out to all those people who've felt the results of the tornados down south and so sorry for your losses.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Wrong Place

Song of the day - Del Tha Funkee Homosapien ~ Wrong Place

One of the most under-rated hip hop artists with some serious skills...I believe I may be in the wrong place as it's supposed to snow again this weekend.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paper Scissors Stone

Song of the day - Portico Quartet ~ Paper Scissors Stone

Jazzy goodness for Thursday...


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Never Letting Go

Song of the day - Phoebe Snow ~ Never Letting Go

Phoebe was probably best known for "Poetry Man," and this one is kind of a slow one for a Wednesday, but she passed away and was an amazing artist with a range that was equally amazing and thought I should pay respects to her today.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What I did on my mud season holiday...

As I said, we ran away to the desert last week to get away from what we in the mountains get to experience when things start to melt, "mud season." I won't bore you with all the fine tune details, but will share some of the highs and lows and some photos of the BEST hike I have had in quite a long time.

High's & Lows:
1. I ran my hand into a rather large cactus in the middle of the night, which left it swollen and feeling like I had eyesight is actually quite good?;
2. Shamus got to visit with grade school friends he hasn't seen for a couple of years;
3. Natty yarfed up a owl pellet the size of a Nerf football of grass (she's not much of a car rider...we got two anti-dogs on this front);
4. Saw our first two rattlesnakes (I believe to be Western Diamondback) sunning themselves on a dirt road...SO COOL;
5. Drove through my first dust storm on the Navajo Res;
6. After driving through the aforementioned dust storm, got pulled over in a Safeway parking lot for accidentally cutting off a cop (I am actually quite a cautious driver, call it tired and hungry driving). I think he thought I was drunk, but I explained we'd be driving all day and were just trying to get some food before every place closed for the night. The whole time Bombadil is trying to jump over the seat and out the window to lick him, cripes. He checks my license as his lights are all on, flashing and then another cop pulls in...double cripes. Then he brings back my license and says to be careful and have a nice night, which Shamus is grumbling about still to this moment that he SO would've gotten a ticket...quack, quack, quack. Thank goodness the nice police officer didn't notice that neither of our side view mirrors are operable...phew!;
7. Only one Bombadil poop-scapade in the old jeeper, which was about an hour from home;
8. I saw my first saguaro cacti and some of them were blooming, absolutely AMAZING;
9. Wildflowers and cactus flowers everywhere, wonderful to immerse ourselves in color for a bit; and
10. Met a lovely fellow one of our nights camping that told us about a trail to get up to some cliff dwelling ruins in a canyon right above our campsite in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness in Arizona. So, we woke up early the next morning and this is what we found on the roughly 7 mile hike on an undeveloped trail:

The view up the canyon from our campsite

The view across the box canyon at one of the cliff dwelling ruins

These were everywhere and I believe that they are a type of agave, which die once they have flowered

One of the floors still perfectly intact of what we think may have been an oven

One of the petroglyphs, which is now hard to decipher because of all the graffiti absolutely disgusting that someone could deface such a beautiful thing

I haven't had time to look this one up, but it was a cool little flower

Shamus & I passing under the waterfall to get to the other side of the canyon...I know so cool, right!

My new favorite photo of the Fat Man, Bombadil.

The only second story left of many buildings. It just boggles the mind though.

Song of the day - Blend Crafters ~ Lola

Blend Crafters = DJ Nu Mark & Pomo...sweeeet


Monday, April 25, 2011

Come As You Are

Song of the day - Nirvana ~ Come As You Are

Because we didn't have power at Chez JP this morning and I had to come as I was to work...also because I do LOVE Nirvana.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Desert Rats 25 Mile Trail Race Report

Well it's a week later, but it's official I am a Desert Rat! I figured I would still give a run down because it was such a brilliant experience.

We went down to a SUPER SECRET camp spot on Friday evening and met up with WB and Funderson. Got to bed early and then the alarm went off at the arse crack of dawn. The race was slated to start at 6:30 AM and they suggested to be there an hour early to pick up a seemed similar to going to an airport. I got dressed, grabbed my pack and a banana and slapped some peanut butter on a wheat bagel and was ready to roll. Funderson being the unbelievably amazing friend that she is wheeled me down and got me there about 40 minutes before the fun began with a temperature of 37 degrees. It being 5:50 in the morning was still quite dark, but I was Johnny on the spot and brought my headlamp. I kept pressing the dang button and couldn't figure out why it wasn't working. Opening the battery area, I determined the batteries. So, I just crossed my fingers and hoped that it would be light enough for me not to kill myself by the time 6:30 rolled round.

The sun was just about to crest the hill as we began and was perfect sans headlamp. There were around about 200 people doing the race either 25 mile or 50 mile. The 50 mile just repeated the 25 mile course twice forwards then backwards. I cruised at the way back on the road starting out and things had cleared out substantially by the time we arrived to the first trail. This trail is mostly uphill for about 2.5 miles and comes to a ridge which you skirt along with a stellar view of the Colorado River. Then, downhill to the next trail and an aid station at mile 4.9. These volunteers were AWESOME and the offering at each of the aid stations was great. 'Tis yet another reason why trail races are near and dear to my heart. Off on the Moore Fun trail, which rolled and had a sharp uphill just before aid station 2 at 9.2. Went back and forth on the trail with a lovely woman, Cheri chatting intermittently between breaths. We were upping the final hill before the aid station (which we couldn't see) and Cheri mentioned that she hadn't see a flag and was worried we had maybe gone astray, but a few steps further and a flag was in sight. This race was a cup-less race, which worked just fine as I was wearing my camelback. So, I cruised through aid station 2, grabbed a Hammer gel and shouted thanks. Down the first hill and quickly ran in to a spectator walking a dog up the trail who asked when I was slated to finish. I said I hoped for 1:00 PM and she asked how many hours that mind blanked and math seemed to be something of a conundrum. I apologized for my lack of info and kept on down the trail. The next stretch I was pretty much on my own for most of which I drank in the beauty of the day and the wildflowers that were EVERYWHERE. Aid Station 3 came along at mile 12.6 and again I didn't let grass grow under my feet and kept my turtle-like speed going. We climbed again out of the aid station and I got a rush of energy that I cautiously capitalized on. My mantra for the day seemed to be "Feelin' great, doing good." and "Pick up your damned feet," as some might say that I "shuffle" my feet at times. I didn't fall, but stubbed my toe wicked hard and had another close call right before I passed someone coming the other way, DOH!

I saw a gentleman before the start that looked well on in his years and wondered what his pace would be. Low and behold, I found him again and his name was Bill, 72 years old. He is no stranger to trail races and was like a jack rabbit hopping from rock to rock with ease. I felt the urge to go and said farewell. Then, rolled up and down the trails that were high above the river. Shamus, the brats and Funderson's sweetheart WB were hanging at mile 17.8 and a welcome sight they were. Shamus dumped another bottle of water in my backpack and smiles all around then I was off. Unfortunately, the brats thought they were also now racing and followed, but Shamus corralled them much to their chagrin. I felt GREAT and came upon more racers coming to the final aid station. We also started seeing the leaders of the 50 mile. Duncan Callahan in the lead and in the zone. Simply amazing to be out on a course with people of such elite ability. Ducked into aid station 4 at mile 19.5, grabbed some goodies and was off. Until this point there was a lovely breeze and it wasn't too hot, but I started up the final, never-ending hill and it was stagnant and hot...okay well 70's, but it's 30's here and snowing so that's hot to me! I scarfed down a piece of PB&J on tortilla and started power hiking up the hill. I actually laughed aloud twice as I rounded the corner and the trail continued to go up. I knew what the elevation profile looked like and was ready, but I still laughed...see here's proof.

As we neared what I believed to be the top, I came across a woman bent over and in obvious pain. She looked at me as I came closer and her cheeks were thoroughly flushed. I asked if everything was okay. She said she was having some cramps, but trying to make it to the cut off for the 50 mile. I said I have water, gels, bars and an Ipod... you name it you can have it if it'll get you there. She grabbed a gel and took off again. I've felt the digging down deep for races myself, but now have truly seen it in the eyes of another. Alone again and enjoyed the flatter section of the trail, then passed a few steadily more and more of the 50 milers heading back out to include a local Gunnison Valley ultra-running hero (of mine) Allen Hadley, who was hooting, hollering and high-fiving as I passed. Then, switchbacks down began and at about a mile and a half before the end a vision in red greeted me with shouts of "JP." My friend, Funderson met me to run out the last bit even with a sore foot, which as usual made that mile and a half feel like a flash. I crossed the finish line in 6:31:25 and these are the wonderful shoes that carried me through.

The photo just doesn't do them justice...

We stayed and cheered as each racer came in. Love to be there and see the joy and relief as people cross the finish. We waited patiently for our other MAJOR local hero Duncan to finish and he cruised in at about 7:38, AMAZING!

Sorry to be long-winded, but this was a wonderful experience. I will do this race again and would suggest it to anyone looking for a spring race/kick in the pants. It was so inspiring that I've signed up for my first 50k on Memorial Day weekend, JOY! I told Shamus that he better look out because jack rabbit Bill and I have a date for the Sage Burner.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Me, Myself, and I

Song of the day - De La Soul ~ Me, Myself & I

Classic De La for a Friday!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Long Time Woman

Random 3:

1. Had my first experience of being the hitchhikER on Monday as I had to drop my car off for work and Shamus was already gone for work. I kind of felt like elementary school and waiting to be picked for a team, but no sweat third time is a charm and the third car picked me up. At work with 10 minutes to spare and a new pal named Lars... I know, I know funderson, I pick up hitchhikers and now I AM one.

2. I have seen some good movies, and bad this week and thought I'd share some of the Good, Bad and the Ugly in my opinion for what it's worth. Sin Nombre - spanish subtitled movie about gangs in Honduras and immigration to the US, good movie; Tell No One - french subtitled movie murder mystery, good movie; Cedar Rapids - surprisingly a comical movie, not going to win any awards, but a good laugh fo sho; Wolfman - Benicio Del Toro couldn't even save this werewolf movie. I usually HAVE to finish a movie for fear that I might miss the point or a good part, but I was wanting to turn this one off and Shamus made us finish it - BAD NEWS!

3. I have had some great little runs this week and feel like I am ready for this Saturday's challenge. Here's to the hopes that I am a Long Time Trail Woman! We'll be running away to the desert after the trail race ADVENTURE! So, I'll miss all my blogging pals and hope it's a lovely week for you all. Best of luck to all those racing this weekend and safe travels!

Song of the day - Pam Grier ~ Long Time Woman

A true beauty

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blue Ridge Mountains

Song of the day - Fleet Foxes ~ Blue Ridge Mountains A lovely tune via funderson Peace...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Song of the day - Sonic Youth ~ Dirty Boots

It seems with mud season upon us all of my boots are in fact dirty, not to mention my car...


Monday, April 11, 2011

50,000 Unstoppable Watts

Phew, lucked out again with a window in the weather to get a 13 mile run in Saturday morning. It was supposed to be snowing all weekend, but Saturday woke up to mostly cloudy, ~35 degrees and what NOAA calls "breezy," which would seem nice with their lovely little photo of a windmill, but actually it was a constant wind of about 10-15 mph with frequent gusts of 25-30 mph. Any who, that's spring/mud season is here, but NO SNOW! I did Trapper's twice, which wouldn't have been my first choice, but it's great hills, the road was relatively dry and I felt pretty darn good. There are lots more folks out now that the weather is getting nicer and the ski hill is closed and it's awesome to see. I passed a girl coming down my first go-round and we said our hellos. Then, I passed her again as I was going up and she said, "You must really like punishing yourself." I laughed and said "Oh no, just training for a race next weekend and needed 12-13." Then, we went our separate ways, but the whole rest of the time that I was running I kept thinking of Animal House and saying (in my head), "Thank you sir, may I have another?" HA! It's funny the things that get stuck in my head while running...
Sorry no photos from the run, but the "Christmas" cactus is blooming again and it's just lovely to have some color!
Finished the run and the snow DID start at about 4 pm. Shamus took a road trip on Friday night with his pal and so I did what any gal with a free night does...snuggled up and had an asian horror movie marathon. Welll, not really a marathon because I'm a square and can't stay up past 11 PM. If you've read my "profile," in movies it says asian horror movie lover and I have to admit it's sort of an addiction. Unfortunately, my dear one does NOT and I repeat NOT share this love. Actually, he despises all things subtitled, so any time he IS away there are no English movies viewed in the house. In his defense, he does have very poor eyesight and he did watch one or two ages ago, but ended up falling asleep. I thought later how comical it was, him in and out of sleep hearing people yelling in Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, etc., flashes of ghostly figures and knives. It's okay you can call me a nerd, I've embraced it... Song of the day - Clutch ~ 50,000 Unstoppable Watts Peace...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rebirth Of Slick

Song of the day - Digable Planets ~ Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)

I'm not one to say hip hop is dead, as there is GREAT new music coming out each day, but this is some classic stuff and hard to match.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Walkin' Blues

Song of the day - Jesse Powell Orchestra ~ Walkin' Blues (Walk Right In, Walk Right Out)

Don't you get the walkin' blues, have a lovely day!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Song of the day - Barrett Strong ~ Money (That's What I Want) So, I love this song, but had to share a story that is the reason for my playing the song today. One of my bosses' friends/clients was nominated along with three other individuals for a big hoodalido award (description withheld to protect the innocent...HA!) and will go tomorrow to NY to find out whether or not he is the recipient. Here's what's been bothering me, he was in the office and I said, "Congratulations and what a wonderful accomplishment to be nominated for such an award." He responds, "It's nothing if I don't win." It does take all kinds to make the world go round, but I was just a bit baffled when he said it. I have such a different outlook on things and am not a competitive person and that's why I wouldn't make it far in the corporate world. We all are our own worst critic at times, I guess. Peace...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Over The Falls

Song of the day - Primus ~ Over the Falls So hard to pick just one song... Peace...

Monday, April 4, 2011


First weekend at Hartman Rocks, BEAUTY! It was still snowy/muddy in spots. It's our little Moab, but only 30 minutes away. 60 degrees, sunny with a slight breeze made the 5 1/2 hours and 21-22 miles just amazing. Also enabled me to take the first river ice bath of the season, words can't express how cold the water was and the strange looks from passer-bys were comical, but feel like a million bucks so it was worth it! Here are a few photos of the day:

A view looking down McCabe's about half way up the first hill

One of funderson and I's favorite trails, but it's not ready I held off.

Natty's favorite past time, it makes no difference how small the snow bank is she'll find a way to roll in it

Bombadil was finally hot enough he took Natty's lead and had a roll to cool off

Mountains in the background with my fat head in the way

Song of the day - Green Day ~ Longview

Friday does seem to be a longview away, but the sun is shining...


Friday, April 1, 2011

The Choice Is Yours

Song of the day - Black Sheep ~ The Choice Is Yours

"If my train goes off the track, pick it up, pick it up, pick it up..."
Happy Friday and April Fool's...I have no good pranks.