Because every good story has a part about whiskey.
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Destination Zion finally reached! Woohoo!! You just don't know how good it felt to have our tent set up and the miles (of car driving anyway) behind us. Since we had arrived somewhat late-ish we decided to grab a bite to eat at the Pizza and Noodle Restaurant. And since we traded having a campfire for food we were happy to see heaters on the patio. So, so happy. No really. So VERY happy.
|Heater Love. Don't ask.|
So to say Matt was there in spirit was appropriate. Especially once we opened the box.
So a sip of whiskey and a gaze at the stars later we were in our beds snoozing away. Sorta. At least for the most part. Until my and Charito's air mattress decided to deflate halfway and force us together like a human taco. But it was a cold night (there was frost all over everything the next morning) and as long as neither of us sleepily mistook the other for their spouse it was all good. I should say Charito is a great spooner. Girl's got spooning skilz!
So day one came as fast as it went and we all woke up the next morning to... FIRE.
No the campground hadn't burnt down. Apparently Charito and Kristina were the early birds who drove to the store to buy some firewood to make a fire which burned REAL fast so they had to go scouting for other people's leftovers. Yeah. You so much as loaded your car with an ice chest and those girls were standing over your campsite like salivating hyenas ready to steal your wood. They were all business. They even stole the embers from one campsite.
|Stealing wood. Apparently Kristina's sticks qualify as "wood."|
|Those girls have some serious boyscout skilz!|
It was time to get rolling. We had some scouting of our own to do that day and were checking into a hotel room for a little pre-race comfort. Our plan: To find the aid stations in broad daylight so there would be no question as to directions even when it got dark. We also needed to know how far apart the aid stations were and how long it took to get from one to the next in case Mags needed us to meet her at an unexpected stop.
But first we all needed coffee. Jen was in charge of bringing the Starbucks Via.
Apparently, Jen was working on her sleeping-while-standing-up skill. She was scheduled to pace Mags through part of the night. It's always good to have well prepared pacers.
|Chillin in the mornin with coffee.|
|Maggie being her adorable self.|
|Chillin in an epic place.|
So we packed up the car and made sure we had plenty of hydration options...
...and headed off to check Maggie into the hotel while we researched and scouted the course...
Maps. Maps. Maps. Turns out asking a local for directions is a little more effective.
I was designated driver on scout day. I ignore all crazy bitches in the backseat.
Distracted by pretty flowers.
Oh lookie! There's a steep cliff off the side of a mesa!
Let's pretend to jump off!
We did plenty of driving that day... but we still had to get back to pick up Maggie to head over to bib pickup.
Charito documenting all papers in transit.
"THE PAPER" - ETAs of Maggie's best guesstimates for times at each aid station. Little did we know that this little paper would be talked about so much at the Smithsonian Flat water station.
We would be passing by one of the aid stations on the way to bib pickup which turned out to be my favorite aid station of all on course. Whiskey Town Aid. Awwwwwyeah. I don't have any good pics of this place in daylight but it was like Disneyland... for alcoholics... or people who have really funky, rad taste like me. Ha!
On our way to bib pickup we spotted some people riding their horses on the edge of the mesas. Words or pictures can't possibly describe how beautiful that place was.
Bib pickup was just a show up and leave event. No orientation. No hub-nubbing, not that we had anyone to hub-nub with except maybe Shacky and Vanessa who I was hoping to see. They were running the 100 miler as well but were short pacers. It was great seeing fellow blogger/runner buddies out there.
Mags got a slice of free pizza, we drove back to the Noodle and Pizza restaurant where she picked up dinner #2 (Damn! That girl can eat! Which was a good thing since loading up for this race would be important) then the rest of the crew went out to Thai food while Maggie crammed for her morning hundo exam. Really. We came back to papers and gear all strewn about on her hotel bed. It was like 9pm so we decided to go chill in the hot-tub so that Mags could get herself all sorted for the race.
Then it was lights out.
And then lights back on at 4:45am. We had less than an hour to get Mags to the start line.
To be continued...
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Majority of the photos in this post are courtesy of Charito, Jen, Maggie and Kristina.