Sunday, November 27, 2011

imogene - 9/10/11 - burke drinks the koolaid! part two

burke and I really didnt know each other too well outside of racing so the trip was a nice chance to get to know each other, to share war stories and to take in the amazing scenery around us. as we drove along i told burke tales of how a beaver had fell a tree in the road on my last trip to imogene and the joint effort that it took for some of us drivers to get it off of the road, minutes later we passed through that area without incident. i also told him of the motorcycle driver that had layed his bike over at a scenic pulloff and myself and a few others had to help him up, again moments later was arrived at that location and had no similar occurances - thank god. at that site however burke got his first look at the mountains that we would be playing in shortly...he looked nervous, yet so excited! He was like a kid at a candy store that knew he already had to go to the dentist later that day.after taking some photos we continued on to ouray and checked into our hotel. Burke was eager to get a look at the town so we unpacked our things and then walked around a bit. It felt so good to be back in ouray...I love that town!the backdrop is so amazing, the old buildings the mountains surrounding the town, the crisp smell of fall in the air...it is a little slice of heaven tucked away from the rest of the world. Burke was amazed as well, he had been here many years ago and remembered the hot springs and not much else so it was like he was discovering it again for the first time.after grabbing so Mexican food for supper we packed it up for the night and eagerly awaited the breaking dawn of the next day so that we could begin our walk-thru. as the morning came so to did the clouds as they blanketed the sky and kept the cold crisp air in place for us. after showing burke where the starting line was - by the Antler hotel, we head done Main Street and started our trip. before we evn got to the end of main street we came across a doe and two fawn grazing in the front yard of one of the houses. burke and i both love nature so the cameras popped out and our photo journals began. after a few minutes of following them from house to house we continued around toward the Million Dollar Highway. immediately the course popped back into my head like a had just run it yesterday...even turn, every structure, every waterfall. i could feel the goosebumps covering my entire body as the excitement and lve for this rac and course came rushing back into  my body. after rounding the huge bend on the highway we made our way over to box canyon...which is just spectacular. burke immediately fell in love with it..he was expressing his lov for the beauty that he was seeing and snapping photos left and right. i couldnt help but to smile and chuckle as i had been the same exact way last year and just getting to see it in him made it all the more special. all of this and we hadnt evn gone a mile yet...i knew that he would be suffering from scensory overload before the day was through. after leaving the box canyon area we made our way to the old powder shed..just an amazing structure! after going aound the backside of the shed we started our climb up onto the frest service road and back into the mountains. i told burke to let me know when we had gone fa enough for the day as we still have to retrace our steps back to town and i didnt want to wear him out for the ra├že the next day.  we continued on and easily made it back to the first aid station of the race, as denoted by the people that were out there setting things up. burke and I continued to talk and share tales as we slowly climbed the rolling sections etwen miles 2 and 3. we continued onward and stopped at each waterfall and rock formation, snapping pictures along the way so many in fact that burke's camera filled up before we reached mile 4. burke was smiling ear to ear and bubbling with excitement..he was so happy that he had finally made it to the ce that he had wanted to do. he was also hapy that we had decided to do the walk thru as he wasnt sure exactly how the elevation would affect him and he was sure how much he would be able to run as he was woried a bit about the cutoff times. miles 4 through 6 really gave burke a good idea of some of the steep climbs and some of the very runnable areas...they also gave him an idea of just how high we were going and how high we had already climbed as he both got a look at just how small and far off Ouray now was and also he was able to get his first look head on with what he had yet to face....Imogene Pass and the road to get to it.steeper and steeper we climbed as we made our way past ynakee boy basin and to the lower bird camp. burke loved the old foreman houses and mining area. we also got a kick out of the small motorcycle gang that was afraid to venture back in to the mountains behind the lower bird camp as they didnt want to tresspass and get into trouble..while in the meantime hear come little ol burke and myself as we go jogging right past them into the forbidden zone. this point on in the race begins the major four wheel drive portion of the race in that other than by foot you arent getting in or out of this section if you dont have one. also by this point in the race we are now just about even with the tree line and huge vast mountains surround us in every direction...one side in particular is a huge rock slide area...it is so beautiful!yet it is so technical as well. it was at this point that i noticed burke begin to slow down a bit. i could tell tht he waned to go on, nor only for imself as he was having a blast but for me as well, as he stted that he didnt wnt to let me down on the walk through as he knew i loved the mounains and would hve just coupntinued on throughout the rest of the course if i so desired...but i told him i was just so happy to et a chnce to share this with him that he would never let me down in anyway..especially since this was for him and his benefit. at tht point about 7 miles into tht walk through, we turned around and strted our way back...just as it strted to rain, it was as if the heavans knew tht we were on a mission and that it had waited just long enough for us to complete it. along the way back into town we talked some more, saw some more new sights that we had missed on the way up and took a ton more photos along the way. by the way, all of the photos from this trip can be seen on my facebook page. after geting sck into town we had lunch at the mexican restausnt again and then went back to the hotel to et thins around for the next day and then got eady to go to the packet pickup and pasta dinner-race breifing. stay tuned for part three for the rest of the story...

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