Monday, April 7, 2008

STR Campout...Hurkey Creek, Part I

Nancy and I at Hurkey...toolin' around

Went to our first STR camping weekend and had a really great time!

Dan and I arrived at Hurkey Friday evening to see Allison, Justin, Gene, Andy, Ann, Nancy, Roger, et al. returning to camp after a short p.m. jaunt. I wasn't sure we were going to make it after all because I have been fighting a pretty nasty case of PO since Tuesday and it had started going systemic on me...had no appetite for two days, wanted to take naps when I got home from work, etc. I hadn't been feeling like myself, but I didn't want to keep Dan from the fun and didn't want to miss out on any action, so we went. Also popped a Claritin and started feeling better but...(foreshadowing!)

We set up camp pretty quickly and made the quick rounds, visiting and saying hello. Had a couple sips of Clinky's tequila, met Margo , made dinner and sat by the fire. It was pretty chilly and the cold air wiped me out. Lots of folks were just getting the party started by the time I fell asleep but I didn't wake up through the night at all.

Woke up before sunrise on Saturday feeling pretty good. Made breakfast with Denmother and Roger, and then got ready for the ride. Dan and I were going on the Hurkey-Ernie Maxwell-Southridge ride with extra credit singletrack thrown in. Our group was Dan and me, the Manns, Luke, Eric, Tim, and Gene.

On the climb up Keen Camp and out of Hurkey, I immediately knew I would not be finishing the ride. I felt really, really balance was off and though I was feeling it a little in my lungs, there was just something I couldn't pinpoint (Claritin?) I rode a pretty decent pace up to the meadow and up toward May Valley Road and then things started falling apart.

I can normally hunker down and kick whatever struggles I am having aside, but not today. We veered off onto the Coldwater Creek singletrack loop that is part of the Idyllwild Spring Challenge course.

It was a fun bit of technical sections with some downhill coasting and rock challenges. I was doing okay until my front wheel washed in a turn. I wasn't hurt but knew that it was a sign that my focus wasn't very good.

We reached the hike-a-bike section and it was a long slog up slippery, narrow singletrack. I'd occasionally get back on the bike and make some futile attempt at pedaling up, only to be thwarted so quickly. We got to a section of technical climbing (my area of strength) and I struggled again. I was off and on the bike many times, doing all that I could to keep up.

Finally, we reached the end of the singletrack and went to rest by a big boulder. I threw in the towel.

Dan and I went down Snakeskin back toward Hurkey and eventually linked back up with the 24 hour course. Back at camp, I licked my proverbial wounds, took a shower, ate lunch, and enjoyed talking with Traci, Margo, and the girls.

I rested for the remainder of the day, snacking on camp food and hanging out. I made it off early to bed (around 9) and had a decent night's sleep...

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