So it’s been a while since my last post. A lot has been going on.
I’m still currently living with my brother and Courtney. Oracle is still going alright. I’ve settled into the workflow and routine of the job.
So what all has been going on?
Well back in July, I think, I was browsing Instagram when I noticed a post from Candice Burt and Destination Trail looking for volunteers to help out with the Bigfoot 200. The Bigfoot course goes around Mount St Helens which is just about an hour drive north of Vancouver. I went ahead and emailed to ask if I could help out. I got a pretty quick reply back letting me know I was set to help. I would be course marking.
I wasn’t quite sure what to really expect when it came to marking a 200 mile course. It sure was fun though.
I showed up to the dispersed camp site in Randle, Washington pretty early. While I was hanging out and waiting a green pickup rolls into camp. The folks that got out were our camp cooks for the first weekend. I introduced myself to them and it turns out I knew the fella, Todd, from the Hagg Double race back in March. I met his wife Tonya and their two dogs. Small world. A little while later everyone else rolled into camp.
The next week was a blast. I was course marking all day then hanging out with everyone in the evenings. I met Candice Burt and Riley Smith. Candice needs no intro but Riley is sort of the fella behind the scenes of these 200 mile races. He does a lot of work from course marking to social media to putting up/taking down tents. You name it Riley does it. If you get him in the right mood he’ll tell you all about it. I wound up course marking just shy of 100 miles. I wanted to do 140 but we wound up driving too much. I also had to take a day off to drive everyone around plus I had a down day because of some heat exhaustion. Once the weekend rolled around I departed Randle to head home and I actually wound up getting a speeding ticket at 11:56pm on August 5th…4 minutes before my birthday. So it goes.
The next weekend I wound up going back to Bigfoot to help volunteer for the weekend. I left work from Hillsboro at midnight to get to Marble Mountain at about 2am. When I arrived at Marble it was basically just a sleep deprived Riley doing most the work. I stayed around to help him ou. I stayed up for 34 or so hours after that. I got a few naps here and there but otherwise I was busy. I had to pick up aid station supplies, grab runners and volunteers, grab drop bags, etc. So much driving.
While waiting for 200 mile finishers the crew got pretty bored. We did what we called the Muffin Top Beer Mile. It’s basically a beer mile but you eat a large chocolate Costco muffin as well. It’s not a good idea and nobody should do it. I won if that matters. I don’t think anyone really “won” that.
The experiences of Bigfoot were amazing. The course, the weather, the exercise. Most importantly the people I met were incredible. The volunteers, racers, and employees are some of the best folks I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around.
This experience made me want to do more of this work.
My plan after Bigfoot was to skip Tahoe and help out in Moab. I discovered an itch and wound up requesting the time off for Tahoe. Surprisingly I got the days off. Next thing I knew I was driving down to Tahoe.
I’d never been to Tahoe. It lived up to the hype. The lake is beautiful. The people are welcoming. The traffic is bullshit though. One day Riley and I set off to mark about 18 miles of course on the Cali side of Lake Tahoe. It didn’t happen. First we had to go get a new piece for Riley’s bike. Normally not a big deal but we had to deal with Labor Day traffic. Tahoe City is not designed for that amount of traffic. We spent at least 3 hours in it. We wound up having to hit 2 bike shops and a hardware store to get Riley’s bike seat on properly. We get to the section we need to mark and not even 2 miles into it Riley’s seat is loose. The frustration made us call it a day so we turned around just to sit in traffic again. We got nothing done that day.
Oh, also the first night I was in Tahoe I was kept awake by two campers having relations. I won’t name who it was. They know.
The rest of Tahoe was just a blast. Long hours and a lot of work but the one constant was fun. Like I said about Bigfoot the people are incredible. Steph, Kyla, Riley, Krystal, Candice, Garrett and all the volunteers are just so much fun to be around. I can’t throw enough praise their way.
I managed to catch a bit of a respiratory cold while in Tahoe. It may have been the dust but I feel like it was a cold. This set me back on my running a bit. My Garmin Forerunner 220 also finally died from what I think was water damage. Luckily Candice gifted me her old Garmin Forerunner 910xt which is a pretty decent tracker with a very long battery life. The 910xt also tracks ascent and descent which is something I’ve wanted in a watch for a while.
I managed to meet some pretty awesome runners too. Courtney Dewaulter, Jamil Coury, Sean Nakamura, Tyler Spike, Cameron Hanes, and more. I never imagined I’d get to not only meet some of these people but to sit down and have a beer with ’em was incredible.
Seeing the runners before/during/after 200 miles inspired me.
Today is Monday. Friday night after work I’ll be leaving for Moab to course mark. I have the following week off. It’s a 1,000 mile drive and I can’t wait. I’ve never been to that part of the country. Garrett is heading the course marking. We are hopefully going to be camping along the course so there will be a lot less driving. This kind of course marking really appeals to me especially in that type of terrain. I’ll be seeing an environment that’s completely foreign to me. I can’t wait.