|This was one dirty forest.|
As I descended from the mountain top into the depths of the ashes that had once been a scenic forest it seemed that hell had been here and moved on. It wasn't possible to go up and down the mountains without grabbing onto the dead trees wrapped in a bark of soot. Wearing a white shirt was a poor choice of colors for me. I mean, seriously, who wears white after Labor Day?
The beautiful forest that the trail took us through had been torched by wildfire, last month, leaving dirt and dusty ash with charred bark on the trees. It took two showers for me to get clean.
|Don't let that smile fool you. It's a facade.|
This was one of the most grueling races I've done in terms of the trail. The mountains were so steep that going down them at any pace was a challenge and walking up was at a slow crawl that was nearly unbearable. It became my own personal Vietnam.