Tuesday, August 04, 2015

St Croix Point-to-Point 40 @ 40

Most of my adventures begin as a combination of dreams and fears and this was no exception. We've been vacationing on St. Croix in what US Virgin Islands since our honeymoon 18 years ago and I've always loved running there. In recent years I've run the St. Croix Marathon and the St. Croix Scenic 50 Miler as well as some smaller races and adventures.

However, the fact that St. Croix is 26.5 miles from tip to tip has been bugging me. It just begged to be run but I didn't know anybody who had done it. Meanwhile, I turned 40 this year so last winter I started dreaming about finding a good 40 mile route from Point Udall (easternmost point of all US territory) to Sandy Point (wildlife refuge on the far west end of the island) and running the island to celebrate my birthday.

We spent seven weeks on St. Croix this summer for my work sabbatical so it was the perfect time to fulfill dreams and overcome fears (there are three H's of running in the tropics: Heat, Humidity, and Hills). I used the WalkJogRun site to experiment with various routes. The process included these dead ends:

  • Run the most direct route down the center of the island (either the highway or Centerline road): Boring (and not far enough)
  • Tackle all the biggest hills and mountains on the island (Goat Hill, Lowry Hill, Beeston Hill, Hospital Hill, Scenic East, The Beast, Blue Mountain, Mount Eagle, Scenic West, The Crusher): More than 40 miles, but maybe next time?
And this final route:
  • Run Point-to-Point (Point Udall to Sandy Point, get it?) with some East End Hills, through Christiansted, out Northside Road, then up Scenic East and follow Scenic all the way to Hams Bluff, through Frederiksted, and down to Sandy Point until my watch beeps 40 miles.
So I planned my route, froze several gallons of water which I would drop along the course, prepared snacks, and even arranged to meet an acquaintance who wanted to run the first half with me. Then on July 26 I woke up at 3:40 am for a breakfast of banana and peanut butter and my wife Cindy drive us out to Point Udall in the dark early morning as we dropped food and water along our route.

Shortly after 5am, with the sun starting to rise over our shoulders, Pam and I donned our headlamps and headed west. Within 20 seconds I realized I had forgotten to apply sunscreen (who puts on sunscreen in the dark?) but Cindy was already too far down the road to get her attention, so on we ran. As soon as we left the Point Udall monument we hit the trail and passed by East End Bay, Isaac Bay, and Jack Bay. By the time we made it to Grapetree Bay the sun was up and our headlamps were dead weight.

From there we followed South Shore Road past Divi and Grassy Point until we came upon a seldom-used trail that my friends Mike and Bridget Klein introduced me to. The trail is overgrown, steep, and rugged (just how I like it) and eventually leads to the top of Seven Flags Road. From there you've got a great view of the south shore.

After a quad-busting run down that mountain we came out on East End Road on the north shore with a nice morning view of Buck Island. 

We had logged about nine miles at this point and were happy to unpack our first cache of water and food. Our water was in good shape (though not cold) but the peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I had secured in a zip plastic sandwich bag was full of sugar ants. At first I thought that I had been sloppy and not sealed the bag, but upon further inspection I discovered those little buggers had eaten through the plastic bag and smothered themselves in the mango jelly. Disgusting! The good news was that I wasn't hungry yet and the views of Buck Island were great. Maybe I had been sloppy with the bag and the ants were just a fluke? Time would tell...

At this point the sun was rising fast and though a heavy layer of clouds was shielding us from the worst potential heat, it was still getting toasty. Our next cache of water and food was by the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant three miles down the road. The water was fine and drinkable but my peanut butter and jelly sandwich at this spot was swarming with sugar ants AGAIN. I was a little more hungry and a little more annoyed this time, but there was nothing to do but keep running.

Three more miles down the road we had cached more food and water near the Savant restaurant (amazing food!) in Christiansted. At this spot I had stashed a sandwich bag filled with a homemade concoction of rice, freshly-diced mango, and coconut milk (recipe inspired by this book). Interestingly, the sugar ants have a strong liking for store-bought jams and jellies but no apparent interest in the rice mixture. The good news was that I was finally able to eat my first few bites of solid food after 15 miles of hot and hilly running. The bad news was that I discovered a hole in the seam of my water reservoir and it was leaking fast.

At this point my doubts were snowballing: no sunscreen, a Camelbak that doesn't hold water, and almost no food. It seemed like everything was going wrong. My planned route passed just one tempting mile from our rental house. Would I be able to make it all 40 miles or would I bail early? 

I've learned that to accomplish things like this you have to hold on to them very tightly if you ever want to achieve them. You have to be hungry, determined, and ruthless to get you through dark moments and to the finish line. At the same time, you have to hold these things loosely so you don't harm yourself, do something you regret, or feel shattered when you don't achieve your goal. After all, it's just a run, right?

We had an uneventful run through Christiansted, out Northside Road, through Five Corners, and paused at Chocolate BBQ where Pam peeled off after a tough 18 mile run. I enjoyed her company and our conversation, but was a bit jealous of the thought of her taking a swim in the pool and going out to brunch with friends. The miles weren't getting any shorter and the sun wasn't getting any cooler, so off I went running fast and strong down the curvy hills to North Shore Road.

I had just passed 20 miles when Cindy met me on the side of the road with a replacement water reservoir and a tube of sunscreen. This special delivery was a relief to my body and to my mind. I left there refreshed and replenished and with the ability to carry water again. I regained my confidence that I was going to be able to finish all 40 miles.

But these hills! I had run these same hills the previous day as part of a 10-mile training run and I was suffering from the back-to-back-attack! I made it to the top but it involved more walking than usual.

Two of the rewards of running the Scenic Road are strong breezes and great views. The shot below includes Salt River Bay and the site where Christopher Columbus set foot on US territory.

After a few more miles of climbing and running the mountain ridge I finally crossed over to Scenic West where the road gets...rougher and steeper. Don't let this nicely painted sign fool you!

In the next three, dusty miles I carved my way around Blue Mountain and Mount Eagle and finally came out at the top of the Beast. This is where things get really hot, dusty, and hilly.

In about a mile I was able to get my next supply cache: water, coconut-mango rice, and sunscreen. The water was hot, the rice was delicious, and I slathered thick white sunscreen all over my sweaty body like it was my only hope! (Note: I ate before applying sunscreen and decided that was a smart move.)

From there I had another big climb which put me at the lookout over the Carambola resort. I've always loved this view and took a few minutes to soak up the experience: blue water, green forest, red roofs. At this point a few Jeeps from Tan Tan Tours pulled up and one of the local drivers asked me if I had just hiked up the hill. When I explained I was 30+ miles into a 40-mile run across the island he gave me a big smile and just shook his head.

Just up the road and around the corner is a nice view of Hams Bluff and the lighthouse. It's indistinguishable in this cell phone image below, but it's out there.

After a few more dusty miles I came upon this interesting gate which is decorated with stop signs and horse skulls. My exhaustion and the ominous postings overcame my curiosity and kept me moving on, but if you know anything about this place please leave a comment below.

From there I descended "The Crusher" which is one of the biggest and steepest hills on the island. Even though it has a decent layer of concrete on it, the 27° incline make it a tough place to run up or down. I don't think photos do it justice, but here's a view looking back up the hill.

I finally came to the bottom of the hill by the quarry and was relieved to find more water, ice, and sunscreen that Cindy had dropped for me in the afternoon. I probably wouldn't have made it to the finish without this stash of relief. I loaded my hat with ice and headed south toward Frederiksted for the final push. Everybody knows the road from Hams Bluff to Frederiksted is pretty rough these days, but you don't realize how long and hot and hilly it is until you have to run it, in the heat of the day, at the end of a 40-mile run.

A cruise ship was in Frederiksted that afternoon so the huge influx of tourists made the run into town a little more interesting. Imagine lots of chairs, umbrellas, and sunburn swarming the beach. As I made my way into town the Siren calls of Frederiksted were tempting: a pina colada at Rainbow Beach, a shave ice at Freedom City, and a smoothie from Polly's were all calling my name but I ignored their songs, persevered, and ran right by Fort Frederik and the pier, down Strand Street, and toward the pool. The beaches were packed, the streets were full of both tourists and locals, but I ran on.

I finished my run just short of the pool with an 8:00 mile to sneak in a finish time of 9:59:48. Definitely slower than I expected for 40 miles, but it turned out to be one of the hottest days of the summer and I drank and doused my way through at least six gallons of water. Garmin gave me credit for 4,341 feet of elevation gain and almost the same for descent. Full route and pace details can be found here.

Cindy and the kids picked me up and drove my home where I cooled down with passion fruit juice and a dip in the pool. As a 39-year-old, turning 40 looked sad and significant. Now with 40 years and a tough 40-miler behind me I feel strong and healthy.

The only thing that really got to me were my feet. I don't think I've ever sweat so much in ten hours and I'm pretty sure it all soaked my socks and pooled in my shoes. I didn't have any blisters or chafing, but my feet were tender for several hours until they dried out and returned to normal.

My lessons from this run include:
  1. Dream big
  2. Don't be afraid to try
  3. Plan ahead
  4. Improvise when your plans fail
  5. Food first, then sunscreen

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Steve + Kate: Family

Steve and Kate have become good friends of ours over the years, so I was excited when the opportunity came for me to shoot a family session with them and their two daughters. The love they have for their kids is deep and we see real purposefulness in how they're raising their daughters. The girls have such different personalities from each other, yet have such sincere care for one another. I'm grateful for these guys and hope they enjoy their images!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tahoe Rim Trail: 185 Miles in Six Days

I love doing hard things, things that I'm not confident I can accomplish. I love pushing up against the edge of reasonable, past the boundary of comfortable, and into the realm of the unknown. I'm not afraid of failing, but afraid to not try.

It all started with an article by Meghan Hicks in the January 2014 edition of Trail Runner magazine. After reading her fascinating account of running the entire Tahoe Rim Trail solo and self-supported I responded with unquenchable hubris, "If she can do it then I can do it." I texted my friend Andy Cornett and discovered he had read the same article which had sparked the same dream in him. If we did it together it would be even easier because we could share certain items such as a tarp and cook stove, lessening our pack weight.

So we committed to doing the trip in late August 2014 and spent the spring and summer training (some ultras including Burning River 100 for me and Andy's first marathon), planning (testing freeze dried meals, comparing packing lists, selecting new backpacks), and reading Meghan's story (over and over again).

Near the end of August we flew to San Francisco. We spent the night at my sister's house in Palo Alto and the next day we purchased a few last minute supplies (stove fuel, trail snacks, and jugs of water) and drove up to Lake Tahoe. We dropped a stash of food at a hotel in Tahoe City where we planned to stay half way through our adventure and also stashed a few gallons of water at trailheads along our Day 1 route where there were no natural water sources. We also scouted out the Kingsbury Grade South trailhead where we planned to start the following morning in the dark. (Andy Cornett left, Adam Pratt right)

We spent the night at a local hotel where we packed and repacked our gear for the week, reviewed maps, charged the Garmin, and tried to grasp the challenge ahead of us: 170+ miles on foot, self-supported, in six days with backpacks starting at about 25 pounds.

Day 1: Kingsbury Grade South Trailhead to Marlette Campground, 29 miles
We were up early, cleared out of our hotel, and hit the trailhead right at 6am. It was brisk and dark when we started, but the sun rose quickly to reveal a beautiful, meandering trail.

After almost three hours of running we took a short break for what would become our morning ritual: boil water for a breakfast of quick oats with dried fruit, nuts, and powdered milk.

About 12 miles into the morning we stopped for another break with one of our first good views of Lake Tahoe.

After only a few hours of running we found ourselves rather scared of the four-lane road crossing at the Spooner Summit trailhead. Being at the crest of the hill gave us limited visibility in both directions and invoked memories of Frogger. We finally made it across the road and with 18 miles under our belt stopped for lunch in the shade. From there it was a tough 7-mile uphill, sandy slog toward Snow Valley Peak.

After we passed Snow Valley Peak, beautiful Marlette Lake came into view which meant our camp site for the night was close!

After a few switchbacks we finally rolled into camp where we pitched our tarp (with cord and hiking poles), washed our feet, made dinner, and were in bed by 8:15.

Day 2: Marlette Campground to Gray Lake, 26.6 miles
We were awake at 5:30am, but every morning it was a struggle to get out of our sleeping bags, get packed, and get moving. Most days it was about an hour between the time we were awake and the time we were running. When we finally got running at 6:30am we were rewarded with more great views of Marlette Lake and Lake Tahoe.

Five hours into the day we crossed Ophir Creek and entered Tahoe Meadows where we stopped for a break and to filter water. I should mention that in the previous section of the trail we crossed paths with scores of mountain bikers. Exactly two of them willingly yielded the trail, the rest didn't, and two guys buzzed me uncomfortably close. As both a runner and a cyclist I have to say I was NOT impressed with the trail etiquette of this crowd. If you have a choice, avoid this section on even days. If you're a mountain biker, read the signs and share the trail.

After crossing the road over to the Mount Rose Trailhead we hiked a few more miles up to the beautiful Galena Falls where we stopped for a lunch of lemongrass ramen noodles and more water filtration.

After hiking up the switchbacks above the waterfall we had some more steep hiking as we approached Relay Peak. There was no running in this section, but we made good consistent progress.

We finally made it to the peak at 10,420 feet.

Caught our breath.

And took in the great views.

But we still had miles to go, so we attacked the switchbacks on the way down, hoping to find water to camp by. We passed the dry remnant of Mud Lake and took a 1.1 mile off-trail detour to Gray Lake. When the view cleared and we saw water we celebrated our discovery.

We choose a flat camp site on the north edge of the lake by the outlet, and settled in for the night. It was a great place to filter water, wash clothes, and mend feet. Andy's feet were looking pretty rough after two long days, but with some good dressing and rest I knew he'd be okay.

We ate a dinner of freeze dried chicken and rice, enjoyed a long and beautiful sunset, and were asleep by 8:40.

Day 3: Gray Lake to Tahoe City, 33.6 miles
After a good night's sleep at Gray Lake we started the day with beautiful views of the back side or Rose Knob Peak.

After hiking 1.1 miles back up to the Tahoe Rim Trail we skirted the front edge of Rose Nob Peak and found beautiful views of Lake Tahoe spread out before us. This is one of the best places to take in the entire perimeter and imagine completing the loop.

It was a chilly and windy morning, but with a clear ridge line we were able to log eight miles before breakfast, cross the state line from Nevada into California, and find a nice breakfast lookout in front of Martis Peak.

After our daily oatmeal routine we pressed on, taking in fantastic views of Lake Tahoe, great trails, and awesome trees like this one at Watson Creek.

At about 17 miles we pulled into Watson Lake for a break, water filtration, and lunch. The lake was beautiful with a warm bright sun lighting up the shore and clear blue skies overhead. We took a long break here to rest, eat, and for Andy to tend to his feet. If we could have anticipated the impending change in weather we certainly wouldn't have stayed as long as we did.

Within a few miles of Watson Lake we noticed some clouds starting to form on the northwest corner of Lake Tahoe, which was exactly where we were headed. The storm was becoming more ominous, the clouds more dark, and the thunder was long and low. We felt a few stray drops of rain, so in an attempt to outrun the storm we really hit the gas for the next two miles.

We went back and forth between optimism and fear, but the thunder became louder and closer. It was becoming apparent we could not outrun this storm. We threw on our lightweight (but not waterproof) jackets and pulled up our pack covers at the same time the rain turned white and started to bounce…hail! Andy and I ran side-by-side for the next half mile with my sleeping pad over our heads as protection from the ice pelting.

We went through a total of four distinct hail storms, lots of cold rain, a 30° drop in temperature, menacing clouds, and a good dose of frighteningly close lightning. As the trail continued to climb higher and higher around Painted Rock and Cinder Cone I've never been so afraid in nature. We ran fast, stayed low, and prayed constantly. I didn't realize it at the time, but we were running along a ridge called "Thunder Cliff" in the worst of the storm. Not funny! Logging some 12-minute miles, we covered the last 12 stormy miles in about three hours. My GPS indicated the trail was about 2.5 miles longer than we expected, but we finally descended into Tahoe City as the storm cleared and we saw the sun again.

We had a hotel reservation for Day 3 which we had planned as a "treat" for our halfway milestone. After such a cold and wet afternoon we agreed that a warm shower and bed sounded great. We cleaned up, warmed up, ate up (Lakeside Pizza, we love you!), and stocked up. We even did some laundry before repacking everything for the morning.

We had covered more than 89 miles in three days, but we were a bit worn out. Andy's feet needed lots of attention and I used more than my fair share of Balmex, but we were in good shape. We got a solid night's sleep, ready to go another day!

Day 4: Tahoe City to Middle Velma Lake, 32.8 miles
We ate breakfast in our hotel room and started hiking back to the trailhead (0.6 miles away) at 6:30am. It was the first time we had any real cell phone reception in three days, so we both used the opportunity to check in with our families back home. As I overheard Andy's conversation with his wife I could tell he was feeling exhausted and discouraged. His ravaged feet were making this trip harder than it should have been.

When we got to the trailhead we started a challenging climb of about 2,500 vertical feet. It was a challenging stretch but our legs felt good, Andy's feet were well-protected, and we enjoyed beautiful places like this misty mountain meadow. 

We ran several fast miles along Ward Creek and got a good start to the day. Starting the day this strong was the tipping point for me: I knew we'd finish the entire loop. I knew that if we could run this strong on the beginning of day four then there was no stopping us! We spent time on some long traverses like this one…

We finally made it to Twin Peaks and intersected with the Pacific Crest Trail, which overlaps the Tahoe Rim Trail for the next 50 miles.

Around mile 21 we stopped at Richardson Lake to filter water, eat lunch, and enjoy the peaceful view. We ate some tortillas filled with extra sharp cheddar cheese and dry salami which we bought the previous night in Tahoe City.

A few miles later we entered the Desolation Wilderness area, which would turn out to be the most beautiful section of the entire trail.

Our goal was to make it to Middle Velma Lake by 7:15pm which would give us just enough time to filter water, clean, and cook before sundown. With some late-day hustle we pulled into camp exactly at 7:15pm and found a fantastic little camp site near the water's edge.

As we got close to the lake we met a school teacher and group of high school students on a multi-day trip to kick off their school year. The unfortunate surprise was that they were missing a student for the last four hours. Ironically, the missing student had been designated as the group navigator. We were too tired and useless to help search for her, but we offered to pray for her safe return. We never heard the full story, but as dusk turned to dark the student, stunned and shocked, stumbled back into camp. It's a precious thing when the lost are found and we fell asleep in peace, and exhaustion, at the end of Day 4.

Day 5: Middle Velma Lake to Showers Lake, 30.2 miles
We slept well under the stars, but had a late start in the morning. We finally got running at 6:50am and quickly came upon Fontanillis Lake which is surrounded by beautiful granite peaks and offering back mirror-like reflections.

After that we came around the equally-stunning Dick's Lake.

A strong hike up to Dick's Pass at 9,400 feet gave us great views of where we had come from. That's Dick's Lake in the foreground and Fontanillis Lake further in the distance.

As well as where we were headed, deeper into the Desolation Wilderness.

After descending from Dick's Pass we were passing water sources constantly. Considering the trip started with 42 miles with no natural water source it was a relief to have more frequent access to water. We filtered all our water for drinking and cooking, but at least we didn't have to carry a full day's water on our backs anymore! We passed many beautiful lakes, including Susie Lake.

But the highlight of the day was Lake Aloha. It's a stunning experience and my photos don't do it justice. Click the panorama below for a little taste. It's one of the most beautiful places I've seen in my life and would love to bring my family back here one day, set up camp, and just relax and explore for a few days.

But what goes up, must come down, and the descent from Lake Aloha was brutal. The trail was strewn shards of granite which shred our feet and forced us to pick careful lines down the mountain. At one point I noticed we clocked a 27:48 mile, hiking downhill. Ouch!

But at the end of that tough stretch was another beautiful site: Echo Lake. Andy and I agreed we could retire here and split a place. The lakes is about 2.5 miles long, guarded by steep white granite peaks, and rimmed with beautiful little cabins that are only accessible by boat. The views were magnificent but the trail was hot and dry as the granite cliffs reflected the heat of the day down onto the Tahoe Rim Trail.

We finally made it to the far end of Echo Lake and were relieved to find that Echo Chalet was still open. We had heard this deli/backcountry grocery had limited hours and we were hungry for their famous milkshakes.

We bought a bottle of Gatorade, a gallon of water, a turkey sandwich, and a blackberry milkshake and the total was over $20. It was worth every penny! The sandwich only lasted about a minute and the milkshake was awesome on a hot afternoon.

We took one more look back up the length of Echo Lake before getting back on the trail for the last push of the day.

We had a few miles of rolling trails after Echo Lake before we ran into a big nasty surprise that neither of us had noticed on the map: a crushingly steep climb of 1,500 vertical feet. It was a tough stretch that really sapped our energy and enthusiasm.

We were hoping to make it to Big Meadow to sleep for the night, but between a late start, a tough afternoon climb, and longer mileage than expected we make it to Showers Lake at 30.2 miles and call it a day! We set up camp on a clearing above the lake with an unobstructed view of the sky and hustle through or evening routine. I filter water while Andy gets dinner ready and we're both relieved to be done for the day. We wash feet and clothes at the shoreline as the sun goes down and eat dinner in the dark as we absorb the experience of the day.

As we settle in for the night we talk about Meghan Hicks, our inspiration for this trip. We talk about her like she's our virtual traveling partner, wondering what she ate, where she slept, and how in the world she did this whole trip on her own. We're amazed by her strength and guts and agree that we need to meet her some day!

We lay on our backs in our sleeping bags and gaze into the milky way, oo-ing and ah-ing at the shooting stars. I feel excited to almost be done with our adventure, but a little sad this would be our last night sleeping outside. I fell asleep quickly as I know we have one more long haul ahead of us.

Day 6: Showers Lake to Kingsbury Grade South Trailhead, 32.1 miles
Realizing that today was going to be a tough, long day on the trail we wake up early at 4:15 and were running by 5:30am. The first few miles are in the dark, illuminated by our headlamps. The sun rises two miles into our run, just as we leave the Pacific Crest Trail and and continue on the Tahoe Rim Trail.

After about six miles we pass through Big Meadow. As much as we would have loved to wake up in this beautiful meadow and have a shorter last day, we know we made the right decision to cut the previous day short instead of death-marching through the night.

After exiting Big Beadow we hike another two miles and up about 1,000 vertical feet before stopping for water filtration and breakfast at the Grass Lake trail junction. We calculate that we have about 10 more uphill miles to Freel Peak so after a relaxing breakfast in the shade we hit the trail with full stomachs and a hunger for the finish. After some grueling, hot, and dusty switchbacks we make it over Armstrong Pass and to Freel Peak. We want so badly to get to the summit, but it's an extra mile each way and 1,000 vertical feet up. We take a picture, vow to return one day, and start the descent toward Star Lake.

We make it to Star Lake for lunch. I really want to jump in for a swim, but there's a chilly breeze blowing over the mountain. Andy's also tempted to swim, but is afraid that if he takes his battered feet out of his shoes they might never go back in. We settle for fresh water and a quick noodle lunch before we hit the trail and continue our descent.

Monument Pass is a hot and dusty blur, but some of the trees along the way were just mind-boggling!

After a few more miles of running along the east ridge of the mountains with views into Nevada we finish our descent back to the Kingsbury Grade South Trailhead with a steep last mile. We told my sister to meet us there at 6pm. She arrives at 5:53 and we arrive at 5:57. Pretty good planning if you ask me!

And that was it…we were finished. It ended as unceremoniously as it started at a trailhead next to an empty parking lot. The Tahoe Rim Trail is advertised as 165 miles. Using the Tahoe Rim Trail Guidebook and the TRT Map from Tom Harrison we expected closer to 173 miles. My Garmin 910XT calculated 185 miles for the week. The clock said five days and 12 hours. Regardless of the exact distance, it was an amazing experience with a great friend.

We made our way down to the asphalt parking lot where we shed our backpacks (sigh) and peeled off our shoes.

I adore my Brooks Cascadias, but as you can see from the photo below even a pair of socks, gaiters, and shoes couldn't keep out all the fine, silt-like dirt from this trail. You also might notice that my only injury from the week was a minor blister on my left left heel (poor lacing job on the morning of Day 2).  But I covered the spot right away with moleskin and didn't have any more issues all week.

Where do I go from here? I'm not sure, but my world just got a LOT bigger. I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventure and that we've inspired you to try something new and challenging. Maybe you should go watch the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and plan your own adventure!

For those interested, here's my packing list for the week:

Backpack with rain cover (Osprey Stratos 36)
  • 100 oz water reservoir
  • Bear Canister (Bearvault BV450)
  • Sleeping Bag in stuff sack (North Face Scorpio, synthetic 40F)
  • Steripen Classic 3 with fresh lithium batteries
  • Steripen pre-filter
  • Two 20-oz Ultimate Direction water bottles
  • Lightweight water-resistant jacket (Patagonia Houdini)
  • Lightweight GoLite Down jacket (warmth and pillow)
  • Long-sleeve shirt (Brooks compression running shirt)
  • Running tights (GoLite Castlewood Canyon)
  • Spare pair of socks (Wrightsock Coolmesh)
  • Spare pair of underwear
  • Plastic rain poncho (never used, even when it poured on us)
  • Camp towel (super tiny)
  • Trail map
  • Laminated itinerary
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Body Glide
  • Balmex
  • Sunscreen
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Band aids
  • Moleskin
  • Toilet Paper
  • Nail Clippers
  • Nail file
  • Garmin 910XT
  • Garmin charging cable
  • iPhone (for photos and emergency contact)
  • Optrix waterproof phone case
  • iPhone 5 cable
  • USB battery backup (2200mAh, for Garmin)
  • USB wall charger
  • Petzl Headlamp
  • Breakfasts (oatmeal with nuts, dried fruit, and powdered milk in individual ziploc bags)
  • Lunches (peanut butter packets, nuts, trail mix, ramen)
  • Dinners (freeze dried foil packs)
  • Nuun
  • Endurolytes
  • Gels (VFuel and Gu)
  • One bar of Theo's chocolate
  • Light My Fire Spork
  • I carried a tarp for ground cover/makeshift tent and Andy carried our stove (MSR Pocketrocket) and fuel canister
  • 20 feet of cord
  • 4 aluminum tent stakes
  • Underwear
  • Compression shorts (Salomon)
  • Short-sleeve compression shirt (GoLite)
  • Wrightsock coolmesh
  • Dirty Girls Gaiters
  • Brooks Cascadia
  • Brooks running hat
Restock on Day 3
  • Fuel canister
  • Sunscreen
  • Food

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