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Training Log Archive: Swampfox

In the 7 days ending Jun 17:


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Sunday Jun 17 #

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A squishy day with rain and mist nearly all day. Quite a contrast to the heavy smoky eye conditions of just 2 days ago, and nice to get a cleansing and refreshing of the area. Probably all the moisture and coolness (high in the 50s today) effectively means the end of the Badger Creek Fire, though no doubt mop-up work will be ongoing for several more days at least.

Ran trails at Happy Jack, which were 100% dust free, setting the stage for a brand new cycle of increasing dryness and subsequent dusty trails.

Mapping today was a total no-go, but did a fair bit of drafting done.

Saturday Jun 16 #

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Skies were gray all day long and finally by mid-afternoon a measure of rain was issued. Where I was mapping, it merely sprinkled for about 5 minutes, and then later, while running, it was spitting rain every so often, but not near often enough to actually get wet. Town made out better however, and things might resume being green again for a while--especially areas that are favored with in place sprinkler systems.

While it was raining I looked around to see if I could spot Neil's car, but came up empty. I did run into two sets of friendly rock climber couples walking out of Pelican Bay, where they had been climbing.

Came home just as Jukola was ending (well, at least for the top teams; the rest of the field will be dribbling in over the next few days), and thus was able to go through the results leg by leg in just a few minutes. Really it's a much more humane to follow the race, as long as you don't particularly care that much about any given team.

Note

So J-J finished his Jukola leg--well done, J-J!

Prior to the race, on Friday, I went around to our local farmer's market and interviewed dozens of shoppers and touristos and touristas about whether J-J would be able to finish a Jukola leg or not (note that I didn't know what leg he would be running; nor did the people I interviewed.) Overwhelmingly, they were skeptical, most pointing out he had at most a few words of Finnish and unsure if he had the required amount of sisu.

They should have had more confidence. For myself, I had no doubt that J-J would finish, as long as a maximum leg cut-off time of 3 days wasn't strictly enforced.

Friday Jun 15 #

Note

Finished off the second third of Granite Planite. Some of the mapping the past few days was more workmanlike than a thing of beauty, but then the base I am working from is quite poor, so at the very least what I've done represents a very big upgrade.

Ran trails afterwards. Not so smoky where I was running nor in town today, which had everything to do with wind direction. It was warm, dry, and windy, so not a good day for the fire suppression effort. From looking at the latest maps, it looks like the fire has gone about as far as it can to the east, so unless the winds do something really unusual like blowing hard and sustained out of the SE, I would guess the fire has done its worst.

Thursday Jun 14 #

Note

Checked registration for the Rocky Mountain O' Fest--uh-oh, we actually have some folks coming. No choice now but to finish up this map I"m working on.

Today was the windiest of the past 5 days, an announced red flag day. Red flag days when there's already a fire going are especially bad. Smoke everywhere. Felt like hanging out indoors with an oxygen mask while listening to Alan Parsons Project, but settle for some quality time outdoors with the mosquitoes and smoke instead. Got another small hill mapped and wrestled with a tiny seam in the map nearby. I'm working at such a ridiculously large scale I doubt anyone could notice the seam in a race no matter how hard they tried, but it's a reminder that no map is perfect--or even close, I was thinking to myself today.

Ran up at Happy Jack afterwards and came back with many mosquito smears. It's a wonder that ICE doesn't come and seize me, too.

Wednesday Jun 13 #

Note

By early afternoon, the fire off to the SW was going great guns, aided by continued dry weather and some decent wind. Luckily the smoke plume was south of town, and again aimed at Cheyenne. Unluckily, it turned out to be just about centered on the area where I was mapping today. I quit mapping early, at around 5:30, because it basically dusk then, from the thickness of the smoke overhead. While I was mapping, I was joking to myself that the little bugs flitting around and the occasional dandelion seeds blowing past were actually bits of ash. Until I realized they were in fact actually bits of ash. The fact that ash was falling about 40 miles downwind from made me think the fire must have been burning with some real intensity.

From there, I went up to run at Happy Jack, which was just north enough to be mostly smoke free. If you looked at any dirt surface though, it was easy to see the ash on the ground. Ran for just under 2 hours, easy, and ran by a new section of bike trail being put in that hadn't been there yesterday.

Tuesday Jun 12 #

Note

More fire, more smoke. The wind direction kept smoke (mostly) south of town, redirecting on a path more favorable to oxygen providers and pulmonary specialists in Cheyenne; and to think there are those who say forest fire smoke doesn't do any good for anybody!

Last rain on May 28th, and things continue to dry out. Maybe a hurricane will show up soon, for a little change in climate.

More mapping, with a lot of gingerly stepping around patches of cheat grass. It's not quite ready to go, but the season of the fatal combination of cheat grass + socks is not far away, and where I was mapping is the last of the south facing slopes I had to face, so from here on out, the cheat grass danger to my personal lower leg integrity will diminish, at least while I am mapping.

No cows yet in the area where I am working, while they have showed up in numerous other pastures up in the Forest. It makes me envious and I wonder if I should switch event areas to take advantage of the cattle where they exist, rather than where I want them to be?

Note

Ran trails, and ran out to the East Headquarters Snowfield, which was gone--it must have melted out over the weekend. Maybe it will start forming up again right around Labor Day, if we're lucky.

Monday Jun 11 #

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On the way home at the end of the day yesterday there was a long, thin smudge high in the sky that made me think of a fire far away, somewhere down in Colorado.

Biking today, however, and looking out over towards Jelm Mountain, I realized it wasn't from a fire far away at all, because there was so much smoke in the western part of the valley that Jelm Mountain had completely disappeared. In time, reports started surfacing on the radio about the fire, burning somewhere SW of Fox Park. Today was dry and windy, so that didn't help. Lots of smoke in Laramie by late afternoon.

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