3000 Miles in the Sub

I had no idea it was such a long way to Memphis. Couple of weeks ago I flew back to Portland to see my sweetie, Lenore, and have some more fun out west. I flew into Seattle on Sunday where Lenore picked me up at the airport and we headed strait to our hotel, The Ace. The Ace Hotel is a hip spot downtown a few blocks from Pike Street market. Everything about the place was perfect for a romantic weekend, yea, that's right, I said romantic weekend and I don't want any grief from my buds about it. Totally hip room, styled in a retro/euro theme with clean white all over. Great bathroom and great breakfast in the morning included. If you ever get the chance, stay at the Ace. We cruised around towntown eating and window shopping and found a great radical bookstore called West Bank Books. Radical, left, socialistic bookstore. Perfect. In the morning we drove back to Portland and Lenore settled in for another week of studying and school and I spent most days running and exploring Portland. We got to take in a movie, Into the Wild, and ate at several great places, my favorite being a Lebonese place in East Portland. I got a good 18 miler in on a sweet trail just out of town with a hardrock buddy, Mike Burke and a Montrailer, Olga and another dude that just ran his first 100 miler at San Diego this year. The next day i had to take off for the long drive, parting being difficult as the next time I'll see Lenore will be Christmas. I headed out Monday and headed strait to Ashland OR to run and visit with Kyle and Eric Skaggs who are living there thru the winter. I got to meet Hal Koerner and Ian Torrance at Hal's running store, Rogue Valley Runners, and have dinner with them and the Skaggs boys and their gals that night after we did a 1 hour run up in the hills outside Ashland. I also took the Park street challenge, a 6/10 mile road that climbs 450 feet in the last 4/10. Eric has the record at 4:45 and I turned in a stellar 6:10 to take the grand masters course record. (nobody over 50 has tried it yet) A great afternoon and evening for sure. Tuesday morning I got up and drove 12 hours to Salt Lake City to stay and play with the Speedgoat, Karl Meltzer. His wife, Cheryl cooked a delightful dinner Tuesday night and we got to bed pretty early. Did we run, no, we played golf Wednesday at a killer course where Karl took me to school shooting a 76, that is right, a 76. I had heard the guy was a good golfer, but damn! I think i shot somewhere around 100. Typical. Karl was fun to play with, someone who knows the rules, doesn't take himself too serious, but, has the talent to take his game way below par if he didn't have other hobbies like winning 22 of the 36 100 milers he has entered, or, being an extreme skier all winter in the Wasatch range. It was fun getting to take a peak into this guys life. He grows his own veggies in the back yard, is handy with a tool belt and has the right attitude about where money falls on the priority list. From Salt Lake Thursday morning, I pounded more pavement for about 8 hours down to the Grand Canyon, getting there at about 4. I set up my tent and headed over to the south rim for a look see. That thing is amazing and I was impressed with the whole park. It gets a ton of visitors and they are doing a good job of keeping it as natural as possible. After dinner I turned in early and slept like a log. The alarm went off at 5 a.m. and i hustled to get over to the Bright Angel Lodge by 6 to meet Erin and Dustin, two guys I met at Trans Rockies this year who live and work in Flagstaff. We met and headed for the South Kaibab Trailhead. At about 6:30 just as the sun was giving us some light, we dropped over the edge and started the 6.5 mile run down to the river. It was so cool getting to watch the sun rise as we decende down into the canyon. it drops 4500 feet from the rim and we waisted no time only stopping a few times for pictures. about an hour later we hit the bridge that croses the Colorado river where Erin and Dustin turned around to head back up. They had to get back to Flagstaff for work. What a cool thing for them to do, coming over to run down with me. Good guys and talented runners. Erin was 3rd at Pikes Peak marathon last year. I continued north past Phantom ranch for about a mile or two and turned around for the climb back out up the Bright Angel trail. That climb is about 7-8 miles and 4800 virtical. it was an awesom trail with spectacular views. The weather was perfect clear and temps ranging from 30 at the start to about 60 at the bottom of the canyon. In all i prbably did a total of 17 miles in about 4.5 hours and I worked hard on both the descent and ascent. I got to the top and headed for the shower, got in the trusty Outback and jetted to memphis. A great 2 weeks with tons of good trail, good friends, and goals met. Life is good my friends, the only problem is that it is limited, so get out there and live it............Peace.....Billy