When I saw that Shilling would be joining us I was excited, not only because he's fun to hang out with but I wanted to pick his brain about Hardrock as well. I learned a few valuable pointers about Hardrock, but more importantly I learned at least three valuable lessons about running with Shilling.
- If Shilling has pants on you better have some as well (we all had shorts on this morning, except Shilling of course)
- If you don't have a specific run plan be careful and prepared if you let Shilling pick the route (some guys already know this, but they weren't there to warn us...Rich)
- If you do find yourself following Shilling and he yells out, no doubt about it, whatever is in front of you is serious
The run started innocently enough from the zoo, up on to the shoreline and over to the mouth of red butte. From there we made our way up Van Cott where Peter bid us farewell as he had to get back. This is where the fun really started as we went east along the ridge. The postholing didn't start for a good mile or so but the fresh dry powder sitting on top of the crust clung to our bare legs like burrs on fleece. By the time we started postholing our lower legs were frozen and none of us knew we were bleeding until Greg found drops of blood on the snow. This is where I theorized the snow actually saved our lives, not from bleeding out, but from mountain lions not being able to pick up the bloody scent. I kept that part to myself as I didn't want to frighten the others...
Anyway after we were properly froze we headed off the ridge north toward the canyon that separated us from Dry Creek, aka smart canyon, where the young Smart girl was held captive several years ago. The descent off the ridge was the best part, almost like skiing in between the scrub oak. Once we were in the bottom we had more postholing before running into a creek bed that had an inch or two of water in it. Our frozen feet got a nice little cold soak before returning to the snow, which actually seemed to temporarily loosen my feet up.
Eventually we found ourselves in Dry Creek where we picked the ice off of our shoes and assessed the blood loss. None of us had lost more than a pint, and although Greg was close it was a little hard to tell because his socks had soaked some of it up. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful as we just ran on frozen dirt. Good times all around...