Two Moon Reports

Oct 4-6, 2017, Kingdom Trails, VT, TwinkleToez Wheatley, Lightning Curry and Lupine Cox began their hunt for the C2M buckle; TT's report on same here...

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Coyote 2 Moon: this time it is personal

 Coyote is the trickster; he stole fire from the gods and gifted it to the children of earth so that they would be able to see in the night. The only trick our head coyote did was to get us to run for 2 moons and convince us that it would be enjoyable. Well, the trick is on him, it was totally worth the effort!

 Some would say it was an EPIC run, some would just send out a string of tweets #blessedlife#soretoes#gourmetultra#traillife#ultra#soreknees#C2M#sotired#whyyesiwouldloveagrilledcheesesandwich, I would not say any of that (I am not on the twitter). I would say that we had a good time supported by awesome people. I could get into a blow by blow description of the run, but that would be boring. Instead I will hit the highlights and some of the low lights (for me at least) and let your imagination fill in the rest, maybe next year you will be here with us to experience the C2M for yourselves.

 First the basics; the prerace information meeting was held over pizza and was very laidback. We had time to nap before the run. We had to wait for Dave and Lauren (his incredible wife who also happens to be THE crew chief extraordinaire) to arrive. Dave is so hard core that he worked all day teaching kids before driving across Vermont (which we all know is not straightforward by any means) and arriving to be told “you have 10 minutes before the start”. So at 4:20 PM on Wednesday October 4th we were off… 32h34m and ~13,678 feet of climbing later we were done…in between all that here is what I remember.

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 These are just some of the high points: Seeing a flying squirrel as it zoomed by my head to land on a tree and then bounce off into the dark to do whatever it is flying squirrels do when you can’t see them. Flowing single track that just rolled on into the distance inviting you to just keep running. Telling stories and laughing our way around the course. Being met by Chris and Lauren at the best aid stations I have ever run into, we ate (among other things); grilled cheese sandwiches, grilled cheese and turkey quesadillas, cooked beef, chips, doritos, ginger ale (Schweppes not Canada Dry!) scrambled eggs with cheese wrapped in homemade tortillas, ramen, instant mashed potatoes, some of the tastiest burgers I have ever had, and as we reached the 100km mark, coke and chocolate covered espresso beans. Speaking of food, during this race we ate so much real, solid food that I rarely ate the running food that I was carrying. Glowing eyes of a family of racoons, spooky on the trail in the middle of the night. Seeing the harvest moon rise not once, but twice! Watching the sun set from the summit of Burke Mountain. Listening to a barred owl hoot away for almost 10 minutes on the first night. Being the only people on the trails through the night. With 18km to go, being met by Dave Hetzelt, Sue Scott, and Alan McGrath who would spend the next 2 hours with us as we ran/walked the last section of the course. With 13km to go being met in the woods by Hugh ringing his bell and cheering us on before running back to the VT114 with us. Coming up the trail as a group towards heaven’s bench and seeing Chris and Lauren on the rise with sparklers and glow sticks to celebrate almost being done. Finally, sitting in the yurt with cold pizza and beer enjoying that awesome feeling on not moving. I should also mention the hot water cleanup of dirty legs before bed, the hot showers before breakfast and then the breakfast itself with plenty of food and laughs talking about what we just did.

 As for the low lights, I only have a couple. First off the biggest bummer was Laurel tripping (on “nothing”) and going down hard after a valiant attempt to stay on her feet. She broke her fall and managed to dislocate her shoulder, like the tough woman she is, Laurel finished the first loop and then after a couple of Advil’s managed the second loop as well! She is tough! The 3 hours before dawn on the Thursday were tough for me. I was tired and sleepy, kicking roots and rocks. I couldn’t understand how Laurel and Dave were running; it was all I could do to keep up with them. I felt like a zombie coming into the yurt at the end of the second loop. Obviously, I recovered but man that was rough. The first climb up Burke using the DH trail was tough, it seemed endless but we eventually completed the climb.

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There you are. My short and sweat [sweet?] Coyote 2 Moon run report. Running with friends on wonderful dirt trails being taken care of by two of the nicest people out there.

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[Coyote THREE Moon, Ojai, CA, Nov 3-6, 2017

Below you'll read the report of Scott Kennedy, he and Matt Robison completing the Ojai course across 3 moons. Well done, Scott and Matt!!  Mauricio Puerto started with them, but with mechanical issues later, converted to join Manley Klassen in support mode throughout the weekend, with Mike Epler and Bill Kee chipping in as the miles stretched drudgingly forward.  Note mileage approximations bracketed below indicate, except for Topa, aid stations off the ridge - the profile map at the bottom of the report will help the reader correlate elevation challenges along their route.]

Coyote Two (Three) Moon

Nov 3 - 5, 2017

Five years ago I completed my first 100 miler, Coyote 2 Moon (C2M). It was the second year I was on the course; the first year I had signed up for the 100K and we literally got washed out. So much wet - rain and mud galore. The course will always stand out in my mind; heck, it’s in my own backyard.

So when my friend Maurico posted a C2M “Fat Ass” how could I say no! I was all in regardless of how undertrained I felt, but who ever feels ready for a hundred miles, especially with 25,000+ ft elevation gain. To top it off, the planned event was on my birthday weekend. The trail gods were making it pretty obvious I needed to get my ass out there for some miles. Heck, a whole weekend of miles!

We kicked off as usual, bowling on Friday night. Again fate shouted at me … I bowled a score of exactly 100! Omen for a great weekend.

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After bowling and a quick stop for vittles at the grocery store, we headed into Rose Valley. Geared up, we got our pic taken. Full moon in the background beckoning us to come and play. The climb out of Rose was gorgeous but not greatly eventful. Once on the ridge we headed up for our first Topa Summit [~mile 9].

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(Mauricio, Matt and myself - photo courtesy of Manley)

Weather was outstanding, not cold, not hot, but just right. Down Red Reef to White Ledge camp. I had stashed water here 3 miles up from the bottom, as well as at the bottom of every leg down from the ridge. I’m often slow and I figured this was my contingency plan. It would be ugly but I could theoretically finish this thing with just water refills and the food in my pack. If I got left behind I knew I would at least not die (probably).

Manley was originally going to meet us at the bottom of Sisar [~mile 15], but with the new gate he’d have to hike in about a mile. Since water was already stashed, we decided he could just go straight to Thatcher and catch a few hours of sleep until we got there. So we hit a quiet and lonely Sisar bottom with just some water in the shrubbery. No problem. Those fluids, and snacks from our packs were plenty before we headed back up to the ridge. Three or so hours of moving until we arrived at the bottom of Horn Canyon/Thatcher School [~mile 27]. Manley got us fed and allowed us a few minutes to catch our breath, then it was right back up to the ridge.

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At some point the sun came up, but by this time my brain was only partly functioning. We spent another 9 - 11 miles on the ridge. We had spread out and I was running alone. In the mid morning I came upon some serious aid [~mile 37]. The smarter coyotes had set up some pop-ups, tables and food to be had while they explored the trails in a less tortuous manner. Running but saving time to socialize and relax. 

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(Somewhere on course)

I paid homage to the Buffoon, said hi to Mike and Bill and while I took a few minutes off my feet, I wolfed down some generous foodstuffs. I think Mike or Bill even threw something on the griddle but my brain was on strike and by now it’s all a blur.

Belly full, I grabbed my stuff and headed out toward Gridley. I was suffering from some foot pain at this point and had a hard time getting down Gridley [~mile 47]. When I reached the bottom Maurico and Matt were looking fresh. Some more food and fluids and right back to it, turning around and climbing back up the way we had just come.

Who knows what happened between Gridley bottom and Cozy Dell [~mile 60], I sure don’t. The climb out of Cozy Dell was also a blur, the only memory sticking out was when the three of us laid down in the trail for a few minutes. All of our cognitive abilities were pretty dull and a 2-5 minute slumber party seemed like a good idea.

On the ridge we traversed the two or so miles to the top of Howard Creek. Once we started down, the other two moved gingerly and quickly dropped me. The two plus miles to the bottom of Howard Creek [~mile 68] were dreadful. I limped along as it started to drizzle. My right ankle joint was screaming at me and my mind was made up, I was going to pull the plug. No way I could move another 30'ish miles like this.

The support van was parked in the usual aid spot, lights out. However when I got closer Manley opened the van door. Having trouble standing he got me in the van. Lo and behold … we were going to get some sleep! Man, was I elated! I usually don’t sleep in a hundo but I wasn’t planning on moving anymore so I closed my eyes and slept.

Five hours later we got up and Maurico decided he would drive the support vehicle to Rose Valley and crew us. I didn’t think I could cover the 5 or so miles and said as much, but I decided to commit to moving at least that much further no matter how long it took. Surprisingly things were much better. My foot was less tight and the pain had reduced. Making it to Rose Valley [~ mile 73] wasn’t much of a problem.

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(On the ridge just before heading down Chip Seal to Rose Valley and Breakfast!)

In Rose, we received some serious aid. Bacon and other scrumptious morsels awaited us. We just had the 27 mile loop and one more Topa Summit [~ mile 96]. Maurico decided to call it a day and we planned he could head home and get some rest. He had work the next day. So Matt and I headed out for the final leg. My car was in Rose so when we finished we’d have a ride out.

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It wasn’t fast and we got back to the car just after the sun went down …. We had turned Coyote 2 Moon into a 3 Moon Event - ooowwwww!

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Left: First running of C2M Right: Second running of C2M

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(Final Route) [that's 8 climbs from off-ridge trail heads to the Ridge, including twice to Topa]

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(Elevation Profile)