It sucks that I have so few mountain biking options within an hour of my home. I make the drive a lot. It’s always worth it, for the most part.
Gail and I drove up to Ann Arbor with our bicycles to check out the Border to Border trail in Wasthtenaw County. We started in downtown Ann Arbor and headed east on the path towards Ypsilanti.
Jenny (my sister) decided that this hot, steamy Wednesday would be a good time for an evening trip to the Findlay Reservoir. We loaded three families into three cars and parked in the east central lot between the Blanchard River and Upground Reservoir Number Two.
On the way back to the car I spotted this bald eagle hanging out in a dead tree next to the river. The sun was to our backs and the sky was dark from a recent rain. The evening was windless and quiet. The only movement you could see in the eagle was an occasional head movement, which you sensed more than actually saw, as the white disappeared and reappeared. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It was all pretty awesome.
I had a fun ride on this steamy July 4th. This pilot was visiting with someone near a farmhouse and he started taxiing down the grass runway while I was on the road parallel. It was kind of cool to watch. It was some sort of vintage Navy plane I think because I saw the word “NAVY” with some numbers after it.
What an exhilarating hoops game. This dude named Matt Carlino went crazy for Marquette and almost singlehandedly won the game for them against a considerably better Georgetown team. He started the game out with four straight three pointers then hit a shot with one second left to tie it up. Then he gets a steal at the 0.9 second mark and almost wins it for them. In the end Georgetown won, but it was a great game. There were 15,300 people at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and it got pretty loud. Milwaukee is a great city and the Marquette campus is near everything. The Iron Horse Hotel rocked it, as did the Smoke Shack, Holey Moley Doughnuts, and Anodyne Coffee(and liquor). Great town.
I was lucky enough to catch a Bears victory. It looked bleak during the first half when the Bears were down 10-0 and completely immobilized by a mediocre Tampa Bay team, but things got better in the second half. They punched in 21 points in the third quarter mostly by forcing some turnovers. It got close, but they ended up winning 21-13.
I still struggle to explain what this was and why I did it. It’s pretty singular in it’s nature and scope. It was GORUCK Challenge class 1146 and it lasted about 12.5 hours. It began on a humid summer Friday night at 9pm at the Bean and ended at the same place the following morning at 9:30am (my birthday). We traveled about 22 miles through/in/over Chicago beaches, lakes, streets, parks, and mud puddles. Cadre Mickey and Cadre Brian kicked our asses a few times over but we survived. WE!
It was exhilarating and exhausting. I came away with a lot of confidence in my fitness methodology (thanks XT), a new appreciation for urban hiking, some insights into the ethos of the OCR (obstacle course race) crowd, and great(er) respect for the American military. Oh yeah, GORUCK backpacks kick major ass. I’ll do another Challenge next summer, probably.