Along the same lines, I forgot to bring adequate food along for my adventure (#2). A single 300-calorie PowerBar isn't enough for what turned out to be a 4+ hour event, even for my skinny butt. On the bright side, I did bring along enough water. However, I didn't drink enough of what I brought, bringing the Wrong-tally to 3, and counting.
I had decided to do a little more exploration in the Eldorado Canyon area, however, I didn't tell anyone specifically where I was going (#4). Add to that, the fact my family left town not to return until Monday night. If anything had happened to me, I wouldn't have been missed for nigh on 60 hours or so (#5).
Keeping up? So far, five tactical errors, and I hadn't even started the truck yet.
Speaking of the truck, I descended a 4x4 track that was snow-and-mud covered to get to my intended start point. I didn't really have a lot of options to get back out. (Two alternates, I think. Both potentially equally treacherous.) The snow and mud on the departing ascent might be more than just a little difficult (#6).
My intended plan was to ride my bike to investigate. The bike I haven't been on more than twice in ten years (#7). My helmet was ill-fitting and painful; I took it off for part of my ride to alleviate the nascent headache (#8 & #9).
Once I got going, I changed my plan of where an how far I was going to ride (#10). A bit further along, I changed it again, and went where I had no idea the trail led (#11). Why, you are asking, did I take an unknown trail? Good question. I though it might get me to where I needed to go, but wasn't sure, because I had no map (#12), but it headed in the correct general direction, and I was running on empty. (See wrongs #1 and #2.) That particular path was a motorcycle track. Anyone try to ride up a motorcycle track covered with 1" of mud when not covered with 2" snow (#13)? Personally, I think riding a bike up a motorcycle trail is a Wrong all on its own. With a motor, up means straight up: follow contour lines – are you kidding? Yeah, runners can follow the motortrack for short distances, bikes - nah.
As for getting me home, sure, I could use the GPS on my phone to locate me and the truck, despite the lack of cell service, as the GPS uses satellite. But the phone has to be charged for that to work (#14). All that aside, I wasn't able to do a lot of riding up the trail, and – here's a protip for you all – bike shoes, even 18-year old classics with laces – don't have a lot of traction in snow and mud. With >1000' gain in just two miles (see below), making those two miles took me seemingly forever. The Hills Were Alive With The Sound Of Cursing.
Needless to say, I survived, and I was able to glean some positives out of the experience: (a) The route is a viable run route. Rocky in parts, steep in a few, but overall, for a distance maven, enjoyable. (b) I only spent 8 miles of the 14 total in the saddle. My butt-bones thank me. (c) I hopefully learned something from this.
To sum: Do as I Say, Not as I Did, and if you yearn to sojourn solo like I do:
- Tell someone your start point, your route and your ETA to the startpoint.
- Do not deviate from your planned route. See something interesting? Do it another day.
- Take enough nutrition for twice the expected distance and duration.
- Take a phone and make sure it's fully charged.
As my curses and self-recriminations echoed off the canyon (who knew how many times I could drop F-bombs in a row?), I realized it's good for me to go alone. There isn't a person on the earth who would have enjoyed my company for more than the first mile/15 minutes. Doing it this way, at least some will enjoy my route, though. If you want to see any of the routes I've found check out the trail maps page on ccrunners.com and download the ccrunners_routes.kmz file. Some interesting places.