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Prescott Duathlon Needs Volunteers February 22, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, trails.
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Prescott, Arizona – The Go! Off Road Duathlon is to be held on March 20th, and is in need of volunteers to do a multitude of jobs on and off the course in order to make the race a fun and safe event for all the participants.

The race is in triathlon format, except there is a run in place of the swim, and it all takes place on trails!  It starts with a 1.5 mile trail run, then a 8.2 mile mountain bike ride, followed by a 2.2 mile trail run.

If you would like to volunteer for this event, please visit the link above to visit the race site.

And Then There is Epic Mountain Biking…… January 27, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Mountain Biking, trails.
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Here in Arizona we have a fellow named Chad Brown who is and Endurance Mountain Biker.  I really like reading his blog because he does Bikepacking trips of epic proportion on a regular basis.

His blog is fittingly called Bikepacking and Endurance Mountain Biking.

Check it out.  He has great commentary and superb photos of parts of Arizona that most people never see.

Adventure Racing August 13, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, ar guide, extreme sports.
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I just read a new article on Adventure Racing and thought I would pass it along.

Brush up on Your Navigation July 10, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, orienteering.
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There is a new product available to help you brush up on your navigation skills when you can’t get outside to do it for real.

It is billed as a “Table Top Adventure Race and Navigation Challenge”  and is available from ARNavSupplies.com

Check it out!

Mad Mud Run in Las Vegas May 27, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events.
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Last weekend, Tracie and I had the pleasure of travelling up to Las Vegas to help out at the Mad Mud Run put on in Summerlin by Sierra Adventure Sports.

We arrived on Friday afternoon, and while Tracie helped Kim and Carla with registration and package pickup at the local REI store, Rick and I went out to finish marking the course.  Rick had already spent most of the day marking part of the course and making sure that hay bales had been dropped off in the right place, and most importantly, that the 50′ long mud pit had been dug out and filled with topsoil and water.

Rick and I went out onto the desert part of the course and marked arrows on the ground with white flour.  He took me on a tour of the whole event, so that in the morning I could be of assistance making sure that things were set up and people were where they were supposed to be.

When that was done, we met Kim and Tracie for dinner at Gordon Biersch restaurant and brewery for dinner.  Their garlic fries are the best!

The next morning we met at the race site at 5:00am to get things ready for the 8:00am start.  Dave and Windy had driven up from Phoenix to help out as well, and we all met up at the crack of dawn.  Dave and I went to assemble the wall and the over-under obstacles, while Windy ran the course so she would be familiar with it and where the balance beams (her station) were going to be.  Rick put out cones with directional arrows, while Kim, Carla and Tracie got the race headquarters and check-in area ready to go.

Just before 7:00am, Kim put the final touches on the Mud Puppy course (it is the short obstacle course for kids), and then the participants started pouring in.  I took a photographer on a tour of the course so he could see where he wanted his staff to shoot, and when I got back I couldn’t believe how many people were in line to register!!

Rick announced that the race would start in waves, and called the first racers to the line while I got the fire hose ready to give them a good soaking shower in the first 100 feet of the race.  After we got all 3 waves of racers started and out on the course, we had a few minutes of welcome down time, but not long!

The first finishers started to arrive about 7:30, and Jeff and I were at the front of the mud pit trying to make sure that racers didn’t dive into the mud, but crawled in and stayed on their belly under the flags the whole way through.

It was a very fun event to be a part of, and Tracie and I were grateful that Rick had asked us to help out.  The community of Summerlin was out in force, and they really enjoyed themselves.

Rumor has it that in October Summerlin will be hosting another of Rick’s Mad Mud Runs, mark you calendar!

North American Rogaine Championships (Orienteering) May 27, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, extreme sports, Just Stuff, orienteering, team challenge.
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Ray and I decided at the last minute to enter the 8 hour Rogaine that was part of the North American Rogaine Championships put on by the Tucson Orienteering Club.  We raced as team GO Adventure Recreation.

This endurance orienteering event was held up on the Mogillion Rim northeast of Payson, Arizona.  Along with the 8 hour competition, there were also 12 and 24 hour events.

We arrived at about 8:30am and had just enough time to set out our gear and double check our supplies before maps were handed out at 9:00.  The course would open at 11:00am. This gave us 2 hours to plan our best route in order to maximize our score and still make it back by the 8 hour cut off.  We decided to stay primarily on the east side of the map in the area of Wildcat Canyon.  In looking at the topo map, we could could see that the terrain was steep, and would be slow going in some areas.  There were so many tall ponderosa pines, that we also knew that navigating would not be done by landmarks, but by bearing and distance.

When the course opened we started out to the south at a good brisk hiking pace of 6km/hr.  I had fairly new shoes, but I figured they would be fine.  We found our first control right away, then headed for the second.  On the way to it, I could already feel a little hot spot developing on my heel…..darn.

We got the second control then headed for the third.  On the way to it, I decided I had better change socks and put on a thicker pair. Too late!!  My heel already had a nickel sized blister on it.  Bummer, we were only 3 miles in, and I was already having issues.  I put on my thicker wool socks and tightened up my shoe and off we went.

For the first 3 hours, our navigation was spot-on.  We walked right to every control, until we tried to find the dreaded number 45!  We figured it to be exactly 90° and 500 meters from the intersection of two forest roads on the map, so after we found the intersection, we followed our compasses east for about 500 meters…..nothing!  We walked in big circles….nothing!  We went back up to the center of the ridge and followed it down according to the topography…..still nothing!!  We eventually decided to move on to the next control. Dang it, we had just wasted 30 minutes and missed out on 40 points!

We hiked into a very steep walled canyon that was the main part of Wildcat Canyon toward an 80 point control.  Once in the bottom, we made good time and found the control without any problem.  Our fiasco with #45 now required that we re-evaluate our proposed route.  We would not have enough time to get as many controls as we had originally planned.  So we modified (code for shortened) our intended route.

Somewhere on the way to the next control, my heel blister burst with an agonizing burning feeling and I could feel the liquid in my sock. Yuck!  Oh well, nothing I could do about it now!  And on we went.  Now you might be asking yourself, “Doesn’t he know about moleskin?”  The answer is yes, I do, however, my feet sweat so profusely when I hike that nothing, and I mean nothing will stick to them.  So moleskin is a no-go for me, neither is duct tape, or band-aids, or anything else.

In order to try and shorten this story, I will tell you that we navigated very well the remainder of our day and made it back to the Start/Finish with under five minutes to spare, having scored 790 points and hiked over 21 miles in 8 hours.

The route we took at the Rogaine

The route we took at the Rogaine

We weren’t sure where that ranked us, but have since discovered that 790 points was good enough for 5 place overall, and 1st place in the team division.  That’s right, we are the North American Rogaine Champions (in the 8 hour team event).

The profile of our 8 hour Rogaine

The profile of our 8 hour Rogaine

Riding not Writing April 18, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
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I have been doing quite a bit of mountain biking this week, and conversly have not been doing much writing on this blog.

Short recap, with some photos to be posted soon:

Thursday evening, Kent and I braved the super cold and windy weather to ride out behind Thumb Butte.  It was snowing on us at one point!  My front tire threw a rock that went into my rear spokes, and broke yet another of them.  Another trip the the bike shop for repairs.

Whiskey Off Road Newbie Jennifer and I rode two loops of the Camp Perlstein/393 /Copper Basin Rd. from the Aspen Creek trail head on Friday afternoon.  She did much better on the switchbacks the second time, and will do just fine in the Whiskey 15.

Saturday morning, I met up with Jonea who was up here from Phoenix to pre-ride the Whiskey 15.  We rode the 19.5 miles and 2500′ of climbing that is called the 15 mile “fun” ride.  The trails are in pretty good shape, with lots of water crossings because of the spring storms we have had.  I am sure she will do fine on the 15 next week too.

Saturday night, Jonea and I went and did some night riding on the single track trails out at Pioneer Park / Brownlow Trail.  Man, it is a whole different world riding at night, talk about tunnel vision!

Wednesday Night and Whiskey April 9, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking.
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Wednesday evening, Kent and I rode from Thumb Butte up the road (5.7 miles of UP!) to the Skull Valley overlook, then followed the last part of the Whiskey Off Road course back down to the truck.

The ride up was tough.  My legs were already feeling a bit sore (could be a combination of so much riding lately and volleyball on Monday night), and on top of that, we were riding right into a very stiff and cold wind.  We saw a group of 5 mule deer cross in front of us about 4 miles in. We made it to the overlook in 45 minutes, and then took the single track to the east.

The single track still has lots of loose sand and big rocks in it.  Maybe it had a tough winter, or horses have been on it or something, because it is rough.  I kicked some rocks and branches out of the way on the way down in an effort to make it a little more friendly.

When the single track opens up along a ridge into a two track, there is a big pine tree leaning over across the trail.  It is not down on it yet, but it looks like it could come down at any time.  This is on the trail I recently dubbed Turkey Track, because of wild turkeys roosting nearby.

At the bottom of Turkey Track, the Rock Garden Trail starts.  The upper part of this is a two track, and is currently pretty rough.  Lots of loose and sharp rock that takes your front wheel wherever it wants too.  There will be some bloodletting in this section on race day, I guarantee it!

When you actually get to the Rock Garden, it has been cleaned up pretty nicely now. It is nowhere near as bad as it was even on Sunday.  After the Rock Garden, the rest of the trails are in pretty nice shape.  We saw another group of deer right next to the 321, they acted like they didn’t even care that we were there. Someone has even come in and cut the huge tree out of the way that was down on the bottom of the Garden Grove trail.  There are still 4 wet crossings on that trail however.

The Miller Creek trail was in good shape. That is, as good a shape as it probably can be, with all the unmovable rocks that are in the middle of the trail as it snakes along the creek toward Thumb Butte Park. 3 wet crossings here.

We finished up just before dark, both hot from the ride, and cold from the evap cooling supplied by the strong winds.  12.4 miles, and my hamstrings feel like they are about to pop…

Friday Evening on White Rock February 7, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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Except it is green now!  The white rock at the top of White Rock Trail has been painted green, so now what??? Change the name to Green Rock Trail? Nope. Call it Chamelion Trail? Nope.

Kent and I rode up Thumb Butte Road from just west of the park to the top end of White Rock Trail.  Then we took WRT back down to the park and back to the truck.  It was a quick ride (29min. riding time) but fun!  That was all we really had time for anyway, as it was getting dark.

The top end of WRT is in great shape, and the bottom more rocky end it just….more rocky!

Black Canyon Trail January 31, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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Eight of us drove down to Black Canyon City today to ride the Black Canyon Trail.  We were joined by my friends from Phoenix, Rick and Bryan.

There were really 10 of us, but Bryan is taking the photo

There were really 10 of us, but Bryan is taking the photo

It was a perfect day, and the desert was beautiful.  We rode an out and back on the trail of a little over 7.4 miles one way.  We had to cross the running Agua Fria twice.  The trail is very narrow in parts and has a lot of up and down with some very tight corners and some pretty crazy exposure.  It worked us (I guess I should speak for myself) pretty hard.  In the almost 15 miles we had a total elevation gain of over 2000′.

In the photo left to right: Me, Tim, Ken, Cliff (his first ride with us), Ray, Hal, Rob, Rick and Shawn.  And because I couldn’t get the camera to balance on this one little log, Bryan is taking the photo.

bct-sign

Me climbing back up from the river.

Me climbing back up from the river.

Tim cruises by

Tim cruises by

Rick rides a narrow section of side-hill trail

Rick rides a narrow section of side-hill trail

Ken above the river

Ken above the river

Cliff ready to bomb the downhill
Ray isn't bothered by the exposure on his left

Ray isn't bothered by the exposure on his left

Cliff ready to bomb the downhill

Hal cranks up a hill

Hal cranks up a hill
Rob thinks I have a gun not a camera!

Rob thinks I have a gun not a camera!

Shawn with the river in the background

Shawn with the river in the background

Bryan is starting down toward the river

Bryan is starting down toward the river

Adventure Racing Tidbits January 16, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Just Stuff.
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Here is a quick overview of the History of Adventure Racing, that I found just tag surfing this today.  While it only really covers the big expedition events, it is a decent primmer.

Wikipedia has a much more extensive article about AR, and it even has a link to a race that I am the director of, the Gilmore Adventure Race.  Speaking of Wiki, we all know not to trust it as a reliable source right?  That is because anyone can go onto it and change info at any time…so reading from it is more like saying, “Someon told me……”  Lots of good info in Wiki, just use other sources to verify it!

Also found this article called Why I love Adventure Racing, and You Should Too! This is a re-publication of an article that world class adventure racer and all around AR stud Ian Adamson wrote a while back.

Duathlon Course Map January 13, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Events.
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I just finished mapping the course for the GORD in March.

The Pink route is the initial Trail Running leg of 1.5 miles.

The Blue is the next part of the course, the Mountain Biking leg 8.1 miles.

The Yellow is final Trail Running leg of 2.2 miles.

The course map for the Go! Off Road Duathlon

The course map for the Go! Off Road Duathlon

Pre-riding the GORD January 12, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
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I went out to Pioneer Park yesterday afternoon to pre-ride the mountain biking leg of the upcoming Go! Off Road Duathlon (GORD).  Ray came along to check out the course.  I don’t think I can get him to race, but he offered to volunteer.  Thanks Ray!

Almost all of the trails were in very good shape.  The one exception was the Legacy Trail, because someone had taken horses on it while it was still soft and damp.  There were big horse hoof holes (like the aliteration?) I guess I could have said huge horse hoof holes, that will turn into knarly little bumpies when they dry out.  Someone had been doing some erosion control on the trail though….Kudos to them!

Seven in Sedona January 11, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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Seven of us drove over to Sedona today to do some mountain biking.  Just click on any of these images in the gallery to see them bigger.

The first photo is us at the trail head.  From left to right: Mike, Hal, Rob,Nate, Me, Kent, and Kevin.

We did just over 12 miles in what I would call near ideal conditions.  It was a little cool, but the ground was moist and tacky, and the sun was shining brightly on the gorgeous red rocks!

Thanks to Hal for coordinating this ride, and to Rob for leading it.

There were some pretty technical sections as you can see from the photos, but no one got hurt (too badly) and we all made it home alive.  We are going to try to ride over there more often, especially when it is too cold and muddy here in Prescott.

Gilmore Adventure Race is Only 2 Months Away July 17, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation.
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I will have to be spending some of my time out on the course of the Gilmore Adventure Race in the next few weeks, so my blogs might be a little cryptic.

Because we don’t release the event location until 4 days prior to the race, I will have to make sure that my blogs don’t give anything about the GAR away.  I will continue to blog about my outdoor adventures, but try to be vague enough so that racers don’t figure out where I have been……yes, they are like that!  I have had racers try and trick me into divulging the location in the past, so I know that they will often go to great lengths in order to know the location in time enough to either get out and scout it, or spend many hours on the internet pouring over maps and aerial photos.

I will tell you all this much.  This year, as always, it will be a lot of fun!

Everyday Outdoor Adventures March 5, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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Even the busiest of folks can have an outdoor adventure every day. I just discovered that this applies to me too!

Today, I got home from a busy day of work, and decided to throw the frisbee for my dog for a few minutes. Gypsy is a New Zealand Collie, and she is mad about playing catch. Anyway, on one of the tosses, I inadvertently made the disc sail over our fence and into the backyard. The dog looked confused, then put out. We went through the gate and I sent her into the bushes to find the missing frisbee. After a few minutes (it felt like it anyway) of her muffing around in the brush, she came back empty handed….er, mouthed.

So I started hiking up the hill to get a better view of where it could have landed. While up there, I noticed that I had a perfect view across the driveway and into a pine tree where two ravens were trying to build a nest. I stood and watched them put sticks together and attempt to get them to stay put. Sometimes the sticks fell and bounced through the branches like a steel ball in a pachinko machine, and occasionally the would actually stay where they put them.

By now, Gypsy was upset with me and dove into the bushes again. Eventually she came out with the frisbee, ending my bird watching time by dropping it at my feet and barking like crazy. We hiked back down the hill and continued our game before heading inside to get a drink of water.

And that is how I stumbled into my own mini outdoor adventure.

Granite Basin Trails March 4, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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The decomposed granite trails in near Granite Basin Lake were absolutely perfect for mountain biking this week.  While most of the other trails around Prescott were still somewhat muddy (some even still have snow on them!), trails 349, 350 & 351 are in super shape.  They are tacky enough that you can really feel the grip of your tires on them.

Seven of us went out for about an hour and a half of medium paced riding the other day.  We climbed up 350 and took 349 to the west.  That portion of 349 is a ton of fun.  The singletrack swoops and scoops down through the pines, where you sometimes feel the bark of a tree graze against your shoulder as you pass.  From there we took the 351 across and back up to the east end of 349 at Cayuse.  We followed the 349 back up to the top where we came into it off the 350 earlier, then pointed our bikes back down the 350 and back to our cars.

Getting out for even a brief  outdoor adventure on my bike is always such a treat!