The Mountain Bug

IMG_7227There is just something about being out west that speaks to me.  The space.  The air.  The hands down drop dead gorgeous beauty of it all.  I’m quite certain it’s been in my blood since birth.

When I was a small child my Dad would speak about the mountains in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming with a hushed respectful whisper.  Even now, when he can’t travel, his eyes still get this far away look when he talks about his time in the mountains.  After spending my own time out there exploring I absolutely get it. There is just something magical about them. This past year I’ve had the luxury of getting to spend more time out in those beautiful mountains.  The more time I spend the more time I want to spend.  Dad laughs and says, “Kid you got ‘da bug’.” He’s right, though and I’ve got it bad.

Army Brother is getting ready to deploy for several months.  He approached me with an idea.

“I want to do a race with you when I come back.  I want something to train for, something to look forward to, but most importantly you’d better make it hard.”

Hard you say?  Hm. I started looking at various options and races.  The one


thing I knew, though, it had to be in the mountains.  We both find joy and pleasure being in the mountains.  Perhaps it’s because we share memories of Dad’s death marches, known to most normal humans as ‘hiking’.  Excepting hike with my Dad truly was like a death march.  Or perhaps it’s because we share DNA.  Either way, I started looking. I threw a couple of options into his email box and he wasn’t interested.  I didn’t even get a ‘meh’ from him.  Then this past weekend I came across the North Face Endurance Challenge Utah race.  My eyes lit up like a Christmas treeI texted him the link and received a response almost immediately.

“Are we doing the 50 miler?!” I could feel the glee coming through the phone.

Um, no.  I love you baby brother, but even I have my limits right now.  We settled on the 50k.

Wait, what?? Did I just agree to do 31 mountainous miles with my brother?  More importantly am I really that excited about it?  Why, yes, yes to both.  Who is this person??

When I approached the Marine Brothers their retort was; “in a car or on a horse because you can’t be serious about doing it on foot.” Okay, boys, I’ll take that as a no.

I guess Dad is right, I really do have ‘da bug’.  At least I have good company.


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