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Tabeguache Trail FKT Attempt

 As I’ve hinted before, I’ve had a big project in the works for the last two years - since I moved to Grand Junction actually. There are two long trails leading out of GJ - the well known and well traveled Kokopelli Trail and the far lesser known and rarely traveled Tabeguache Trail. While I originally had my eyes on the Kokopelli Trail, I found myself getting drawn to the Uncompaghre Plateau and the mystery of the Tabeguache Trail. Digging in a little more, I discovered that there was not FKT established for Tabeguache. There wasn’t even a route on the FKT website! As the third leg of the Grand Loop, it was surprising that there wasn’t a route established. There was a route for Kokopelli leading from Fruita to Moab, the Paradox Trail from Moab to Montrose, yet nothing for Tabeguache. Between my attraction to the trail and the terrain it traverses and the potential to be the first person to attempt a thru-run of the Tabeguache, that became my focus. Build out my map and refine the GPX

You tried so hard

 And got so far… But it wasn’t far enough. It seems like when I have a big dream, it always takes two tries to get it right. My FKT attempt to be the first person to thru-run the entire Tabeguache trail looks to be on the same trajectory. I had high hopes when I started my watch Thursday at 0400 that we would be able to work with the narrow weather window and reach the Lunch Loop trail head some time on Friday. Was I concerned about how fatigued I had been for the two weeks after the Grand Mesa 50? Absolutely. That race had taken a lot more out of me then I’d anticipated. I was hopeful that the recovery from after the race had pulled me back from the brink a little, but… There were signs that it hadn’t. Regardless, I was committed and felt that I was ready. There was only one way to find out and that was to start.  Heading to Montrose on Wednesday was a quick shift in plans. Originally, Nick and I had every set up for Friday so that I would have a day to finish last minute packing and

The Corner Piece

With every big adventure, there is the capstone -  the corner piece that provides the biggest challenge. For Tabeguache, that piece is the Roubideau section. It’s early on in the trail - starting about mile 32. On the map, it looks fairly flat, but I know that’s not the case based on my research. The route finding is rumored to be challenging as well for the entire segment. But what makes this the hardest segment is the last 7 miles. There’s the descent into and climb out Potter Canyon. And finally, the last five miles of none motorized trail. We’ve ridden it once on our bikes, so I know what I’ll be getting into. It’s not a very well used chunk of trail, with the cow paths sometimes more noticeable then the real trail! I have to hit that section in the light, other wise it’s going to be much to hard to find the trail. And because it’s non-moto, there won’t be much support available.  So mid June came the last scouting for me. One more big day on the trail before the summer races. My g

A changing view

 I know people wear contacts all the time for all kinds of sports. It should be an easy adjustment to get back on the bike with the contact. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. I’ve been struggling with comfort on the bike since the trails dried out. Running has been fine for the most part, but the cycling is still a work in progress. One day I’m great, the next nothing is clicking. I’m not processing the information as quickly - which doesn’t make sense to me. My vision is good with the contact - near 20/20. I think it’s the shifting positions when I blink. The contact grabs and catches a little, then my entire brain has to reset. And when it’s super dry or hot out, it catches even more frequently. Add in speed from descending and the whole thing isn’t comfortable. Then I start losing confidence in what I’m doing because I’m not willing to push the effort at all so I can see easily. It’s a spiral of slowing down.  Nick has told me on multiple times not worry about it. If I’m not

An Unexpected Goodbye

 We have been living with the threat of saying goodbye to one of the monsters for a while now. After all, DumDum is almost twenty, probables has some health issues and is definitely a cranky old man of a cat. Having something happen to him is almost expected. However, the girls George and Sasha are only 10.5 years old, hardly senior cats in our minds - and quite healthy. Or so we though. Sometimes health issues are hidden until it is truly too late and there’s nothing to do but say goodbye.  At the end of March, I was feeding them their little wet food snack. And I noticed my chunky girl Sasha was just picking at her food. She’s usually quite quick eating so that was a surprise. We watched her over the weekend and realized that she wasn’t really eating much at all. Nothing like normal, just a nibble of dry food here and there. I did the fully non-scientific method of weighing here - held her and stood on the scale, then weighed just me. And she was down a pound or so from the last I’d

It all changes in the blink of an eye

 Imagine if you will - getting on your trainer, spin bike, treadmill or other piece of workout equipment. You've been having weird issues with your eye - including a strange glare on lights, intermittent double vision when you bend over and generally just sensing that something is off. You've been dealing with it for about four weeks now, but it's not getting any better. The appointment with the eye doctor is made for the next day- but no one seems to think it's serious. After all, there's no new floaters, no flashing lights in your eye and no spots where the vision is gone. You can see just fine - when you aren't having the double vision - it's just that something is off but you don't know what. But it's time for a workout - time to put all the wonky vision issues behind you and just focus on the movement and activity. And then... Workout done, you bend over to take off your shoes. That double vision, unfocused vision comes back, like a door falling

Hanging Flume

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I’ll admit - I had never heard of the Hanging Flume prior to seeing the Facebook ads for the race. Intrigued, I googled everything - the Hanging Flume, the Unaweep-Tabeguache scenic byway and of course the race! It was supposed to be in March and I was all set to do it as a last long run for Behind the Rocks. Then the date changed to first November and finally October. With the October date, I pushed it to the back burner. After all, I was planning on the Crested Butte 105k three weeks earlier. Not smart to add another race no matter how interesting it sounds. And then my retina detachment. Well, I wasn’t racing the 105k so…. Time to reassess and maybe do a new race! I waited to sign up until I had gotten some decent long runs to see how I felt. After all, racing a 50k after about two weeks on the couch wasn't the smartest thing to do. Those long runs went well and I was moving much better then I anticipated after the eye surgery. It's always a crap shoot after something like t