I have received a complaint from an avid reader of my blog who shall remain nameless (Karin) that I have missed an entry from July. How remiss of me. So here is the missing chapter from July.
As part of my training for the Hounslow Classic I knew at some point I would have to do a double crossing of the Grose Valley to get a feel for what it will be like on race day. Apparently the route is used by trekkers to train because it is a lot of climbing. I began organising some willing accomplices to start from Perry's Lookdown, drop down to the Blue Gum Forest, climb up the other side, turn around and do it all over again. A good sized group indicated that they might join me, but as the day drew closer, only one (fool) hardy soul remained. The indomitable Karin, who is also crazy enough to be running in October.
Of course to make matters all the more interesting, as the day approached, the Blue Mountains were hit by a rather large snow event (that even made its way up into Queensland). Social media ran hot with folks posting pictures like these, which made the training run increasingly unlikely.
|The day before - not promising (I stole this from Facebook)|
Despite the extreme weather, road closures, and good advice from our friends, Karin of course remained determinedly optimistic and keen about running (is that a surprise to anyone), so we didn't cancel. We touched base on the Saturday morning just before leaving. Apparently the highway was open again, but still closed at Katoomba due to black ice. Deciding to at least give it some kind of a go, we added a few extra layers, and off we went.
As we hit Glenbrook and climbed to Katoomba, it was snow free, and we thought that the day might go as planned. Of course as anyone who has run with Karin knows, she is the master of plan changing and adding extra sneaky extra bits to any run. So when she hinted that maybe we could add a few extra sneaky kms (surprise !), I had already anticipated this - so long as we were finished in time for me to visit Mountain High Pies. I must have my pies !! Bargain struck, we changed our plans (to what I had already planned because I knew it was going to happen anyway and had allowed for the extra bit I knew she would want to do).
However, once we hit Leura, things changed dramatically. We began seeing snow piles, snow men, and clear evidence of black ice on the roads. Not good. Suddenly the police were stopping traffic. We did a quick u-turn back to Leura, then head off along Mt Hay Rd, having decided to reverse our planned run.
We bumped along to the Pinnacles parking area, seeing lots of patches of snow along the way. It was decidely nippy but not cold when we got out. We geared up, then set off on our merry way.
The track was clear, but there was heaps of snow along the way, and our progress was slowed by playing silly buggers, photos and snow ball fights. A few extra km in the day as Karin kept making me run back and forth until she had the right shot. The climb over Lockley's was a tad chilly, and after Karin had done her best to knock over the cairn at the top (it used to be taller), we began our descent.
|what all the cool kids are wearing this season|
|plenty of snow|
|Rob, stand there and I'll take your photo|
|now run over there and I'll take your photo, then run back again|
|closely followed by|
At the bottom we had the log crossing. I did my usual scaredy cat shuffle whilst Karin skipped across with twinkle toes. A hidden talent, but it may not work so well on race day after 40km. I may have to slog across the river if my wooden legs are any more wobbly in October.
Karin arrived way too soon after, ruining my attempts to look all cool and calm. As we chatted, I also tried to eat whilst not throwing up. We admired the views for as long as we could to delay the return trip, but eventually we had to get moving. I was freezing.
On the ascent I had disturbed a large bird of prey. On the descent I disturbed it again as it was finishing off what it had started. Not pretty. It may be what I look like in October on race day.
Back at the log, I nervously tip toed across with Tinkerbell dancing and chattering along behind. We hit the beginnings of the climb, and as the slope increased, I could feel my climb up to Perry's Lookdown returning to haunt me. Not that it stopped the talking. Possibly the only person who talks as much as me is Karin. We'll call it a tie. We definitely do not run in silence through the forest.
At the top Karin had to do one of those scary ledge shots that scare the crap out of me. *click* now get down. Crazy person.
Back at the car I realised I had muddled up the time and we had plenty to spare for the trip to Mountain High Pies, thus ended a good day. Lots of chat, lots of fun, lots of climbing, just the right amount of snow, and my blog is now up to date.
This post is dedicated to the patient spouses who sit at home pining while we bugger off and have an adventure (but really, probably just enjoying the silence).