And so it begins: training for Arrowhead 2015
Back at the end of August I sent my registration in to participate in this winter's Arrowhead 135. As I've done in the past I'll be doing it on a bike. (You can choose your mode of transport: bike, ski, run)
Why do this to myself? Mainly because for some twisted reason I want to. It's kinda like fun, only different. "Because it's there" seems full of bravado and cliche. "Why not?" is ridiculous because there are about a zillion reasons why not.
I've thought about it quite a bit - and the more I think about it the more confused I get. And the more insane I think I am. But lately the theory that holds the most water (they're all a bit crackpot) is this: I'm a firm believer that everyone (including me) is capable of so much more than they think they are. There are things that I know I am physically capable of that I have no desire to. And then there are the things that I'm not so sure that I'm even capable of but have no desire to do. (Like the Tour Divide - from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells on the Mexican border. The winners do it in a couple of weeks. I can't imagine. When I was in college I spent a spring break in Austin, Texas riding my bike every day (maybe 80 miles a day). At the end of the week I was ready to be done - I was tired physically and, more importantly, mentally. Actually I can imagine what this would be like and perhaps that's why I don't wanna do it. In the Tour Divide, imagine riding 130+ miles a day, getting a cheap motel room (or just sleeping in a tent), getting up early and doing it again the next day. For weeks. I like riding my bike...but there are limits. Don't get me wrong, I have a great respect for those that do it. But it's not for me. Anyway I know what Arrowhead entails (I've started 3 times and finished twice 2009, 2011 [part 1, part 2], 2013 - where I didn't finish because of a snowstorm) and for some fool reason have desire to do it.
I've been wanting to give bikepacking a whirl now for a while - but for some reason have just not done more than a few short overnighters. So this year I've decided to bike pack my way into shape. This is very handy because the Cheqaumegon National Forest is a few miles out the door.
So to that end, I took off to Horseshoe Lake and set up my hammock (the most comfy camping setup I've ever had).
|The view from my hammock (through the bug net)|
|The view over Horseshoe Lake as the sun went down.|
I had experimented with drying food this summer and so and had stuff I had dried for breakfast. Rice, carrots, ground turkey, and onions rehydrated over my alcohol stove.
|On the ride back home|
|After stopping at the artesian well I stopped by the Rainbow Lake Wilderness Area to do some hiking. I left my bike at the entrance and hiked in.|
|On a ride with John (my father-in-law) we rode on the ATV trails in the Cheqaumegon National Forest - more specifically the Iron River Trail.|
Yesterday was great weather. So I rode up into the CNF and set up the hammock and took a break and cooked myself a meal and read a book and hung out for a while.
|The colors are starting to turn in the CNF|
|I love Fireweed. So does my wife. So I collected some seed to bring home and plant.|
|Not all the trees that are turning are maples...but most are - here are a couple.|
|Old School. Larry up front and Endomorph in back.|