Back to dust
This has been an interesting start to our race vacation. We pulled into Frog Town mid Thursday and got busy setting up. We had the choice of spots and laid out a nice simple pit oriented to protect us from the wind. At least that was the plan based on the wind direction at the time and from last year. After we'd finished and had lunch, I headed out for a run on a section of trail not used for the race. Nice and fun - easy rolling running along the edge of the canyon. A few more people had arrived when I got back, but it was a quiet afternoon. Until the wind shifted and started howling. Dust devils eddied in the road, swirling around and coating everything with powdered sugar like dust. We had some cool neighbors from Wyoming and chatted for a while - they were also on an end of summer hurrah before ski season kicked up.
Friday was people watching and pre riding. We headed out mid day, testing the heat and wind. Yep, just as much fun as I remembered. The JEM drop was indeed dusty and loose with inches of dust hiding the rocks. Lots of dust everywhere on the course - piles of in between jagged rocks and coating both us and the bikes. I remembered most of the course and was pleasantly surprised with how easily I was able to clean some of the sections I'd struggled with last year. I say that now - might change after a few laps! Overall though, it was a nice refresher. And then came the people watching. Since we'd gotten to Frog Town early, we had nothing to do but sit back and watch fellow racers set up pit. Some must have been seasoned veterans - knowing exactly what to do and where to be. Others? Well, the entertainment factor was quite high for sure. The tents got moved five times as stakes wouldn't go into the ground or the grand plan was changed; RVs parked and reparked and plenty of indecision. We just sat in the shade and watched it all unfolding around us. Frog Town doesn't seem to be that big until you step back and look at it.
And now it is race morning. The wind is still howling and sending dust swirling. Ominous clouds are draped over the mesas to the north. The weather forecast is questionable with the potential for rain and more wind. We shall see what the next 25 hours bring!