Day 15, Saturday, October 3rd
Willits to Carbondale
Tabitha Johnson, Cleveland, OH
Jeffery Sullivan, Boston, MA
Ciera Moyer, Calimesa, CA
My body was full of excitement for several reasons this morning. 1- I awoke in a familiar place (mom’s house). 2- I knew I got to run with friends today. 3- It was the start of the big promotional event at Sopris CrossFit (my Colorado home gym) 4- It was the shortest day of the entire run! 5- The next day was a “rest” day.
Four of my good friends from Chico flew in the night before and stayed in Breckenridge. They wanted to run with me today but it’s a 2 hour drive over for them….which meant we got to start a bit later than normal and sleep in. However, like clockwork, 6:30 hit and I was awake in a house full of silent sleepers so I busted out the computer and started blogging. Around 8:30, Michelle Kinney came over from across the street (where she was staying with some good friends of mine). We ate a little breakfast and just as I finished taping my toes for the run that day, my friends came to the front step. Bret Crowe, Jenn Schultz, Kayla Bentley and Casey Annal… familiar faces with huge smiles and open arms… I knew this was going to be a great day!
We all took off in Big Blue toward Willits to the spot where I had finished the day before in a malnourished/delirious state. I didn’t even recognize the spot when we got there… I really was out of it yesterday. After a few pictures, we took off on the run (well 2 people on bikes). I STRONGLY suggested to my Chico friends to trade off and on with the bike so that they didn’t risk getting altitude sickness. It worked well. The six of us chatted it up the entire time as miles just whizzed by. I pointed out to them where I worked as a groundskeeper in the summers during college, where the backside of our local ski hill was, where the best view of Mt Sopris is. I told them stories of my friends growing up and asked them about how things were back in Chico. As we were running along the Roarking Fork River, Michelle and I got to chatting about her learning how to fly fish (a goal of mine). Then all of a sudden we were just over 6 miles into the 7.5 mile run when we hit the town of Carbondale. Rather than staying on the Rio Grande Trail, we ran right down Main Street where I got to point out the good restaurants, the cute shops, and all the small town things. Marcus followed us down the sidewalk with the drone as we passed people either giving us funny looks or cheering us on.
As we turned right off of Main Street, we took a quick pit stop at Sopris CrossFit where I was so honored to introduce my good friends from home to my good friends from Chico. The Sopris crew was busily cleaning the gym and setting up all the gear for the silent auction they put together for Move Mountains. So after some quick hugs, we were back on the run. And then it happened… the last steps of the day, I hit the half way point with 5 good friends, Marcus, Tory, Vaughn, my mom and Dario all there. 250 miles!!!! I honestly couldn’t believe it… in some ways it felt like we had been on the road for so long, but in others it felt like we just started.
I had the crew with me look back toward Carbondale at the mountain that has given me inspiration in so many ways my entire life. Mount Sopris, the massive peak that sits just outside of Carbondale, is the emblem for my run. It’s the mountain in my logo and the representation of home that I have worn around my neck since the day I left for college over 15 years ago. It has dangled by my heart from my chain for so many years as a sign that I will always return to the valley. That this area has been, and always will be, home. Sharing it with so many people that I love, at such a monumental point in my voyage, is a memory that I will hold with me forever.
Post-run we went to True Nature Healing Arts Center and I was able to share another amazing piece of Carbondale with my friends. The reflexology path is one of few registered paths in the world. It’s a pattern of strategically placed river rocks and geodes that each have a purpose and direction to help heal the body from the feet up. Needless to say my feet are pretty beat up, so there was a lot of healing to be done. I could have stayed there for hours. But we had to split ways for a bit… I headed to the radio station with Tory, Marcus, and Michelle were we met Dave and his beloved girlfriend who was hosting the KDNK radio show that day. She interviewed Tory and I about our journey with Move Mountains and gave us the opportunity to share with a crowd we may not otherwise have been able to touch. Thank you!
From there, I headed back to my mom’s house with the intention of resting but instead a much better thing happened. My long time childhood friend, Lindsey Spaulding (now Ellsworth) showed up with her family (husband Damian, 5 year old Cooper and 4 month old Kalli). Right behind them was Kevin Ogar…an acquaintance through CrossFit (now turned friend). He also was volunteering his one weekend off during the month to come be a part of Move Mountains. We got to catch up, share stories and then of course take the kids and the dogs to the park for their playtime. Not “resting” but very relaxing and a good change of pace from the go, go, go.
When Lindsey and her family had to go, I had enough time to shower before heading to the amazing event put on by Sopris CrossFit. I can’t wait to tell you all about it in the next blog!!!
Lesson Learned: I am a very lucky girl… I have amazing friends in my life.