happy solstice. bittersweet this year. tomorrow, the fool, family and a few select veterans will be making the annual pilgrimage of art loeb. my celebration will take place with lew dogg on the bark and ridgeline at sunrise. i think a trip up the icy butte is in order. would i rather be in north carolina? yes. but i'll do what i can.
wanting and longing of the etherial journey of ALTAR has me thinking of the days in the woods recently. fog adds ambiance. silence, even amongst a group, seems to bring an enchantment to the sleeping woods. water line is higher, but seems to rush no greater than usual. no sense of panic. almost building a base of it's own for the pending spring runoff. after the first of the year i truly will be preparing to lay in some specificity towards my running of western states in the middle of next year. this journey has turned from a race to a journey for me, and i am confident that now, finally, the time is right to prepare for and take it. this is the third year in a row an opportunity to start has presented itself. in 2006, i won the lottery, but my body rebelled against my toxic spirit in the form of multiple injuries. broken heart at the death of a close friend, broken ribs racing shut-in and an achilles injury prevented me from even getting started to prepare. this turned me back to the bicycle where i rediscovered spirit and balance in the woods by surfing the dirt a different way. relocation to the west coast seemed to bring a renewed vigor for trail running. my group was a bunch of WS veterans. the enthusiasm was infectious. soon, i found myself taking advantage of an opportunity to earn my spot the old fashioned way, and i raced my way into the 2007 event by taking 2nd at American River. 10 days of kamp soon followed and while i ran well at kamp, i realized what a journey this was going to be and it left me knowing that i was not ready for the total experience of the event. 100 miles is a long way, and while physically, i think i would of been fine. i had not built the mental strength to sojourn. it proved to be the right choice as my may and june proved.
now we have 2008. lottery lucky. third year in a row this event and i have crossed paths. i feel like all the tools are in place. i am finally ready to set off on this journey. what a beautiful thing to have to look forward to.