I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tahoe Dream Vacation

There wouldn’t be enough time, or enough words for that matter, to give a full description to the week we had spent at Lake Tahoe. Below are just random thoughts that jump in memory at this particular moment, along with a handful of photos. It was hard to pick from about 400 shots, but may be Larry at some point will put them all in Picas album, and we can share them all.
- Checking out the first few miles of Tahoe Rim Trail 100 and being in awe at how beautiful Nevada side of Tahoe is
- Finding a campsite completely randomly, just because it was cheap – and realizing that it was the best campground one can wish for, right above the Emerald bay, very secluded, not crowded, and with a trailhead to boot
- Hiking in backcountry/Desolation Wilderness for days, over 10 miles each time, with more than 4,000 feet of climb, and views that take your breath away - that, and the altitude:)
- Trails disappearing soon after hitting the snow, and route finding with no maps (a picture of the map from the trailhead that Larry would take each time we start) – we have such different approach to it, but as a team it worked wonders: Larry would stare at the camera view and count turns/elevation lines, while I would just scout around left and right until we both hit the direction we need to go, usually simultaneously
- Seeing Larry smiling so much, he was like a kid in a candy store the whole time.
- Feeling mountains filling us up with energy and excitement
- Running downhill for miles, and miles, and miles…and enjoying the freedom of it
- Wild flowers at full bloom!
- Frozen lakes up high the color of aqua blue, our favorite color
- Getting burnt by the sun at altitude and loving it!
- Climbing Mount Tallac at 9,735 and meeting a 72 year old man Bent, who does this kind of hiking every weekend – I want to be like him when I grow up! Having pet-like marmots and chipmunks at the top trying to steal my bottle and pack and take it away into fissures of the mountain
- Seeing a huge freakin’ bear – make it TWO – up close and personal. One wandered into the campground and tried to pick open containers for food storage. Another roamed free in the Manzanita of Granite Chief Wilderness. That’s enough wild life for me for a year!
- Stumbling upon a neat little motel to stay for a couple of nights and enjoying North Tahoe city
- Checking out first 5 miles of WS100 course and getting to run with Andy JW and his son Logan downhill – I can now officially say I passed AJW!
- Meeting oh, so many friends at the pre-race meeting at Squaw Valley – this race is special no matter what you think about it. There are others that are as beautiful or more, as difficult or more, almost as old…but this is the only one that has a history of the beginning of this insane sport, the hype (yes, it’s good to have one race with hype), and the amazing competition!
- Seeing Chris Thornley drag a gong up the Escarpment to greet runners on the morning of the race, as they reached the pass and the sun rose over horizon…
- Watching up close and personal from many points on the course the spectacular battle of Killian Jornet, Tony Krupicka and Geoff Roes for 80 miles straight – never such a close race for so long
- Hanging out with Katherine, Rock Horton’s “better half”, most of the day and hearing stories from old times, new times and no times
- Cheering up every friend, old and new, being so inspired seeing them work hard and overcome obstacles, on the trails and at the aid stations
- Being at the finish line to see the WS100 course record being broken – not once, but twice!
- Getting nervous hearing about Meghan’s progress as she slowly gained on Tracy’s splits in the last 20 miles, and being there as this incredible woman runs 15 minutes after the winner into the finishing chute!
- Seeing Meredith T. break 24 with 4 minutes to spare – that’s drama to you! – after DNF’ing twice at Western. A dream come true!
- Being very sad as we had to leave…back home…I never liked leaving mountains, views, dry air and friends…but life goes on. And memory will be forever in our hearts.


meredith said...

It was so awesome to have y'all out there!! All smiles, ALL day :) I am thrilled that you both had such a wonderful vacation!

Rooster said...

Sounds like a fabulous trip! I was up all night watching online and my nerves were crazy and I wasn't even there. Not too often do you see ultra running in a pure competitive format. I love the picture of the bear. :)

sea legs girl said...

Olga, what an awesome trip! Oooh... I know what you mean about not liking to leave the mountains.

This is so cool: Rasmus and I were watching Tracy Garneau come into the finish line and after she crossed the line, I started screaming "That's Olga!!!! That's Olga with the camera!" I didn't know you were going to be there, so what a fun surprise!

sea legs girl said...

Just to make it clear: we were watching online, not physically there in person, ya know, otherwise I think we would have said hello :).

Rod Bien said...

Olga, AWESOME to see you before the race and on the course!!! You lifted my spirits each time I saw you out there! Oh, I opened your email to me from my phone and by accident I deleted it! I think you might have sent pictures??? Could you forward that email to me again. So sorry and again, great to see you!!!

Rod B.

Monica Ochs said...

Olga, Looks like you had a great trip! I wish I would have been able to visit with you while you guys were at States. We must have just kept missing eachother. I would love any pictures you have of Nikki's finish. Thanks! That cracks me up that you overheard her make that comment about being a social runner who likes to talk because I am not a huge talker. At one point during our run she said TELL ME A STORY!!! It was all I could do to think up a good story to blather on about. :) We had a great time though! Looking forward to seeing you at Pine to Palm Beautiful Girl!

mtnrunner2 said...

Great pics! Like the cool rocks, the lake views, the mix of trails. Gotta love the mountains. California's a beautiful place.

I followed WS100 from afar via Twitter and Facebook, and even looking at a bunch of text messages, I couldn't tear myself away, the suspense was killing me.

Sarah said...

Wow! Vacations don't get better than that. Glad you were able to experience it.

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