Breakin’ Mama’s China
The Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run through Colorado’s San Juan Mountains starts and finishes in the mountain town of Silverton, and has a total elevation gain of 33,000 feet. I’d met my friend Roch Horton at Grouse Gulch, the 42-mile mark, intending to pace him as far as Ouray.
From my house, at 9,800 feet elevation in the Colorado Rockies, I have to run downhill first. Above is sealed under feet of unrunnable, soft, post-holing snow. So it’s downhill, passing beneath nine avalanche slide-paths on a snow-packed road, often in a howling, pushy wind that streams old snow around in phantoms.
The Measure of a Mountain
I remember the feeling more than the sound; a palpable ‘crack’ shattered through the bones of our house. At first we thought it was a car accident or gas explosion, but as we looked out the bay window to the north, we knew it was far worse ... a mushroom cloud vigorously boiled up over the Portland skyline.