The Western States 100 webcast has gotten better each year. I love that I am getting Ian Sharman updates on FB as soon as he goes through an aid station. It seems only slightly ironic that social networking and ultramarathoning go well together. While I enjoy following the action, I'm not wistful about it. Three trials on that iconic course is enough.
I know something about myself more surely now: I'm a creature of our eastern mountain woodlands. I feel most at home trekking and running through a green tunnel of tangly laurel and rhododendron. I spent this morning on the Iron Mountain and I'll spend all day tomorrow slowly approaching, climbing, and descending the high country around Mt. Rogers in my beloved new(ish) home in SW Virginia.
This summer's contrivance for keeping me out "on the mountain" (my two year old daughter Loren knows to ask me when I return home if I've been "on the mountain") is the Tour De Virginia. Beginning next weekend a handful of us have signed on the trek across Virginia on the Appalachian Trail. We'll cover 550 miles in 14 days for an average of just over 40 miles per day. Of course the AT is notoriously gratuitous about climbing every peak along the way.
It's not the Western States, but in a similar way it has helped me to structure some purpose into my summer plans. We'll be putting in long days and camping near the trail, so I won't be connected to a computer. We will relay updates to this blog where possible, though, just in case anyone is interested to follow along. It may seem discrepant to peer into a screen to experience adventure -- but we manage to cultivate our own adventurousness that way, don't we? I know I'll be checking on Ian (and Krissy -- whew! -- and all the other runners) late into the evening...