Archive for canyonlands half-marathon

Spring Break 2012

Posted in Dermagraphology, Rancid Recollections with tags , , , on March 26, 2012 by A lo Hawk

Pursuant to my 2012 resolutions, I took two short road trips during spring break.


Back in February I visited a doctor in Durango who approved my paperwork for a medical marijuana card for treating symptoms of Lyme disease.

(You may recall Alohawk contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite while hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2008.)

I had not received my card from the state but my authorized paperwork allowed me to buy medicine for 35 days so I needed an excuse to go back to Durango to stock up.

(Grand Junction shut down all of their dispensaries last year.)

In February I also visited a highly recommended tattoo artist named Matt and described for him my idea for a mayan calendar inspired tattoo.

(Your Flesh is an ornately decorated studio on the second floor overlooking downtown mainstreet.)

I scheduled a four hour block of needle time with Matt which turned out to be one of the most enjoyable sessions I have had in nearly forty hours of needle experience.

(While in town I stopped by the dispensary for some edibles to use on my next trip.)


My long time running buddy had insisted we register for the Canyonlands Half Marathon. I had not entered a road race in years so I was reluctant at first. However, the gorgeous and fast course along the Colorado River finally convinced me.

(The downhill course cuts through a dramatic red rock canyon before turning towards the finish in downtown Moab.)

We met in Grand Junction and drove to a nice campsite along the river only a few miles from Moab.  As we set up our tents we noticed the wind was going to be a pestering annoyance.

(When we returned from check-in we found our tents mangled and our sleeping bags covered in a thick layer of fine red dust.)

Ed’s neighbors and  frequent training partners had made the trip over from the front range and, as they did the previous year, rented a condo and gathered for dinner. We met them at the Red Cliffs Lodge where we had drinks on the spacious patio with impressive views of the stark spires of the Fisher Towers.

(Ed and I had hiked the Fisher Towers trail earlier in the day.)

On race day we awoke early and headed to a cozy bakery for a pre-race meal of cinnamon buns and coffee. We had plenty of time to walk over to the finish area and hop aboard a bus to the start of the race.

(While waiting amongst huge boulders in the start area trying to stay out of the chilly wind, we ate a granola bar made with hash oil.)

As race time approached, everyone crowded into the road which provided welcome warmth, cameraderie and protection from the wind.

(A rare, pre-race calm settled over me as I began to feel the effects of the spiked bar.)

After two impatient miles stuck shuffling behind large pace group herds, I finally broke away onto open road where I found my fellow road dog at the water station.

(I began ramping up the pace as I felt myself flying between sun and shadow, wind swirling at me from every direction, my path an asphalt strip between mighty red walls bisected by the muddy river.)

The course emerged from the canyon and turned into a headwind along the main road into Moab. Automobile and race traffic was nominally separated by traffic cones.

(At one point a house on a wide-load trailer unexpectantly passed close to my left shoulder.)

After the race, Ed and I mooched a hot tub and shower before enjoying a catered dinner in the condo’s courtyard with the entire front range crowd.

(Like true camper trash, we returned to our dust filled tents and I spent a miserable night with a shirt over my face to keep from choking on the dust in the everpresent wind battering my shelter.)

The next morning, before returning home, we desparately needed a reinvigorating breakfast experience. We made one more visit to a Moab cafe where a temporary power outage delayed our gastric gratification slightly.

(Thus concludes my chronicle of a 51 year old pre-apocalyptic american male on spring break in 2012.)