Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Twin Lakes to Winfield

Twin Lakes is an interesting mountain town.  It sits on the pass to Aspen (the one I've never taken), about 6 miles west off Highway 24.  There are 3-4 buildings on the main street/highway.  Two appear to be lodges, one small grocery-type store and possibly a fourth building.  I'm not certain what the hours of the grocery store are.  Last year, it was open at 11pm on Saturday night during the race.  This year, it was closed at 5 pm on a weeknight.  

Behind these buildings lie several dozen mountain-town style of houses.  These houses don't make any sense to me.  I imagine that the winters have lots of snow and are quite cold.  Nevertheless, most of these houses don't appear, from the outside, to be able to weather a winter in Key West.  Possibly cost is a factor.  Still, while not a professional builder, I think I could devise a low cost house that might stand up better than some of the ones I saw.   

If I were to have a house in Twin Lakes, or Leadville, it would consist of outside walls of concrete (pretty cheap), about 24 inches of insulation (still cheaper than timber), and it would be underground, thus allowing for a foundation and walls for the price of one.  I'd probably use the same material for a roof that everyone in Twin Lakes seems to prefer - tin.  

I digress.
I left Twin Lakes with a baggy full of food and lots of salt tablets. There were several pool of water to run through before the river crossing. It seemed as if there were volunteers at every turn this year. The river was no exception as a very kind man instructed me as to where I should cross, how to hold the rope and where the BIG HOLE was. It took 37 minutes to reach the incline section of Hope Pass.

At this point, I reset my stop watch and decided to 1) not look up for the next two hours, and 2) stop and rest after 15 minutes. I kept my head down and whenever it felt as if my heart was racing too fast I slowed down. I pressed on through 15 minutes and only stopped for a 2 minute break at 35 minutes, then a one minute break at 1:10:00. I figured Hope Pass would come into view by 1 hour and 50 minutes or so. At 1 hour 25 minutes, there it was. What a beautiful site!

I sat at Hope Pass far about 10 minutes to allow Allan Holtz to pass me. (Just kidding) He did walk by and encourage me to get going. I was just having too much of a good time talking to two ladies from Holland about their race this weekend. They came over to do the Gortex TransRocky 6 day stage race. Wow, what a great sounding run. I think that will be my Leadville race next year!

Leaving Hope Aid station, I reset the stop watch, put my head down, and estimated that it would take me 40 minutes to reach the summit, 600 feet above me. 20 minutes later, I was "on top of the world." I realigned my backpack and spent the next full hour running down the other side of Hope Pass. This was a very long hour! When the mountain stopped going down, I stopped running. And there was the notorious 2.5 mile gravel road up to Winfield. I reset my watch, put my head down and estimate that it would take me 40 minutes to reach Winfield. It took me 40 minutes to reach Winfield. I hate that road.

I saw Allan leaving the Winfield aid station as I was entering. Pete was waiting, and ready to pace me. He was ready to get me back over that mountain. But I was not ready. I had no desire to even try. I sat, ate some food, and thought that with a few minutes of rest, a small sliver of desire would creep in. None did. Not even a little, for a nano-second.

I pushed myself through the bar exam when I thought I could not answer one more multiple choice question. I've watched all 4 of my wife's C-sections; Gracie came via a G-section. That's G as in Georgia. I've put in a sink and toilet while struggling with pneumonia. So, I've concluded that it isn't that I can't push myself further than I thought I was able. It's just that some form of analytical, possibly logical, desire must exist for me to "go beyond." Saturday evening at 5:40, that desire was lacking. What I wonder is if that desire will ever exist for me on the Leadville 100 course at Winfield? If not, I can live with that. There are plenty of other 100 mile races.

I appreciate Pete for pushing me, but letting me make the decision for myself. I've learned much about this type of grace from our current church and from Pete. I find it unusual because Pete and I both grew up in the same baptist denomination; yet, I've learned much about accepting people (it sounds so PC-ish and wishy-washy to be saying that, coming from a conservative Calvinist) by watching Pete.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Can't imagine anyone getting more out of the entire experience than you did.

Great job.

Enjoy your family.