Sunday, February 20, 2011
No reservations...let the adventure begin!
The past two days have been a whirlwind of reservations, a statement which sounds paradoxical to me.
I've spent the past 30 hours or so working on Badwater business. Entry fee & paperwork sent via priority mail, hotel reservations, rental van reservations, airline tickets, figuring out how many Mt. Whitney permits and for which dates. Steph and I have talked on the phone a half dozen times.
Hammering out details for the return trip. Still waiting on a few last minute crew travel arrangements. A few little changes we've made to our plans for when we get there, like spending the first night in Las Vegas rather than Furnace Creek, so we can do our major shopping in the morning in Vegas.
Identifying the still-to-be-solved mysteries, like how we're going to get our coolers home at the end.
True, it is going to be a whirlwind, maybe we'll have a dust devil or two, but one thing is for sure... I have NO reservations! I can hardly wait to set foot in Death Valley again!
I can't count how many times in the past two days I've been doing something else and suddenly I'm running Badwater again, and I get this big smile on my face, and I get lost somewhere out there on the highway, overlooking Devil's Cornfield, with the Panamint Dunes in the background, feeling my searing skin and the sun blasting down on my head, seeing the heat blur a band of waves across the asphalt.
One of my favorite, but most difficult, places on the whole course is here, around 35 miles in, before you head downhill toward Stovepipe Wells. It's late afternoon and the hottest part of the day. It's at this point that the race is about to begin, because you've nearly survived the hottest part of the race and you're about to face a 5000 foot climb on hot asphalt as the sun is setting.
And then the stars at night. Under the black sky with silhouettes of the mountains, shadows of the rocks and sparse little plants, it almost looks like you're on the moon.
Let the adventure begin!
Photo credits: All photos by Nathan Nitzky