Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Water is life 50k 2011


Water is life!

I've always fancied myself as more of a sun worshiper.
But
You can't drink sunshine!


Ra is still my homeboy

How about a compromise?

"Water is life and the sun makes life worth living. "
(Sweeney 2011, lol)

Water? Who knew it could dance better than I could?
answer:
Anyone that's ever seen me dance.

I'm proud to say at least 57% of my body in composed of the stuff.  The other 43%  most likely a mix of Avocado, hops, and BS  (that would explain both the green and the brown in my hazel eyes)
Each day it cleanses me allowing me to find new ways to get dirty.

Stupid fact (or perhaps I'm making it up)

Ever heard of that dude Jesus? (suposedly he was born around 2011 years ago)
Well water is contunuely recycled on this planet and odd's are that in every glass of water you drink there is at least one molecule of water that passed through him. ( I guess you could say the same thing for Socrates the Buddha or Tim Leary.) 


Water is pretty damn important we take it for granted every day and rarely do we we give it credit.  It's time for me to pay my respect . 


2010 Race
.  Last year BookisTed, Jules and the Professor all participated in the run and gave it rave reviews.  Ever since seeing the pictures and hearing about how great an experience it was this was an event I really wanted  be a part of .
(plus much of the course in run on soft sand, how could I resist?)
This year Luna Sandals was a sponsor of the event yet for some reason nobody could make the the trip
"I'll do it! I'll do it! Pick me! Pick me!
While persitence hunting the weekend before the race Barefoot Ted asked If I would like to go represent Luna.
HELLLL YEEAHH!
I was stoked!

History of the race
(from the race website)
In an effort to bring back community involvement, known by the Hopi word naa’ya, Bucky Preston, founder of the Paatuwaqatsi Run, along with many volunteers organized the first Paatuwaqasti Run in 2003. Since then, the Run has grown and now has over 200 participants entering the different races. Bucky Preston stated: “This was something that I had always wanted to do for many years. We are forgetting our Hopi values. We are forgetting to help each other’s out. I want to see that effort return to our community. Putting Hopi life values and teaching at the forefront is the purpose of the run. Why are we taught to run early in the morning? Because running not only strengthens you physically, it strengthens you spiritually. A runner would take one of the many foot trails from the village in the early morning to a spring, take a drink from the spring and sprinkle himself with the cold water. This gave that person strength and provided healing for any ailments. Everything at Hopi involves water—water is life. Now, water is being abused and is depleting. In some places, it is gone and I want to bring awareness to the people.”
The run also helps to keep these trails ‘alive’. These trails are viewed as the veins of the village. By utilizing them the villagers keep them open, which helps to keep the village alive and brings the clouds.
The Paatuwaqatsi Run, since its inception, is based on these cultural values to remind the Hopi community of these teachings. The run also invites other cultures to learn from this and share their values about life enrichment and the role that water and running plays in their lives.
The Paatuwaqatsi Run’s main event is an Ultra Run which is a minimum of 30 miles. The course follows the old foot trails of the First Mesa Villages, including Walpi and visits seven natural springs. The Ultra Run is designed for conditioned runners who are used to covering distances of 20 miles or more. The course covers various types of high desert terrain from open sand to hard rock surfaces atop high mesas to riparian habitat around the base of the mesas.


Louis Tewanima, a Hopi Indian, won a silver medal at the 1912 Olympics and was a two-time Olympic distance runner.


History of Hopi running

The Hopi people are known for running long distances at record speed. Throughout Native American history and culture, the tradition of running can be traced to mythical stories. The people believed that their ancestors and animals showed them how to run, and they understood that the mythical races helped to organize the world. In Hopi culture, the people ran for practical and ceremonial reasons. Several centuries ago, Hopis did not own cattle, sheep or burros, and they relied on their ability to hunt, which required them to incorporate running in Hopi society. Besides running for gaming purposes, Hopis ran in search of food. When there were no horses for transportation, running helped to cover great distances.

Moreover, Hopis organized races between neighboring villages. For example, runners from the villages of Orayvi and Walpi would often challenge one another to a race. In such cases, runners participated in races to prove their fortitude and fleetness of feet. Hopis also ran for physical reasons, as the people believed that running banished unhappiness, strengthened the body, and rejuvenated one’s energy. Furthermore, according to Hopi oral tradition, young boys as well as men from Orayvi would assemble at a common place in the morning and run to Moenkopi to work in their fields.
In addition to the practical reasons for running, Hopis used running as a way to transport information. During the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, Hopi messengers ran to the nearby pueblos to prepare the people for an attack against the Spaniards. Hopi messengers were celebrated for their promptness in delivering messages. In 1903, George Wharton James gave a dollar to Charlie Talawepi of Orayvi to take a message to Keams Canyon. Talawepi ran the distance of seventytwo miles and brought back a reply in thirty-six hours.

In times of warfare against the Navajos, Hopis runners often ran to Navajo country to look for salvia, hair combings, and food in their enemy’s hogans. When the runners brought back the elements, they buried them as bait and ignited a fire above the items so that the Navajo would be weakened before the approaching battle. In such instances, running had a supernatural purpose. Hopi running also occurred in conjunction with several ceremonial events. While preparing your body to participate in races such as the Snake and Basket dances, praying as a group for rain and prosperity during these ceremonies serves as significant of giving from one’s self and embodiment to the ceremonial events. Today, Hopis continue to practice ceremonial running. Therefore, Hopi running games are religious and secular in nature, as the people played these games to bring rain and cultivate crops.
During the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, the Hopi primarily ran for spiritual and practical purposes. Beginning in the twentieth century, Hopi running became increasingly linked with physical fitness and American sports. One of the most famous Hopi runners was Louis Tewanima from Songòopavi who won the silver medal in the 10,000-meter race at the1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden. Another Hopi runner, Nicholas Quamawahu, won the Long Beach – New York Marathon in 1927.

Back to my Shenanigans 

A few days  before the race I headed down the the Stone Brewery.  My buddy Chris always takes good  care of me.  He hooked me up car a full of ale and some one of kind Stone racing gear.  He had Just read Born to Run and a coworker Randy was wearing Vibrams.  Both of them were very interested in Luna Sandals and I'll be disappointed if they are not wearing them when I next visit.
Thanks you Stone Brewing Co for your support.


  The brewery is awesome place to have a meal and drink FREE BEER after a brewery tour.  If you love strong hoppy ales and good vegan friendly food this is place you need to visit.


Since I had  only found out a few days before the event that I would be running it.  I had to scramble for travel plans.  Ideally I would have liked to fly to Pheonix and then drive the rest of the way to Northern AZ.  My buddy Jamil from (Glendale AZ) had won the race last year but this time he was traveling from CO.
Lucky for me I had another friend in the race the beautiful and sweet Maria Walton (part Apache).  When I called her up she could not have been more inviting. "Come stay at my house will drive up Friday morning with Guadajuko (her love ) and his owner Caballo Blanco.

"Sweet"

Airline tickets were a bit pricey  plus you can only bring so much beer on a plane.
 Looks like I'll be driving  One problem my car needed smog check this year.  Being the responsible guy that I am, I waited till the very last day.   After about 10 minutes sitting around  reading Cozmo, I was called over to my car. 
"Sir we have a problem."
(doh)
The computers on my car were not receptive to the machine at the smog check place. The dude working on my car told me to go drive 50 miles and come back and maybe they will turn on (nope) 250 miles later (nope) I paid my registration but did not receive my sticker. Maybe an illegal drive to the desert will get it to work? 
 I drive like little old lady anyway let's hope I don't get pulled over.
I drove straight out to Phoenix  (well  I did stop at fruit stand for some dates and figs). The weather felt great when I stepped out of the car 113 degrees farenheit.  Judging by the picture above you can probably guess I didn't go straight  to Maria's house.  I ended up at Shelly Sharp Disc gold course.  It was too hot to dilly dally around the course so I decided to jog a little 30 minutes later I had finished 2 rounds and was re-hydrating with a nice Stone IPA.

By this time it was about 5 p.m. Maria wouldn't be home from work until after 10p.m. but she told me Caballo would be hanging out her place and to come on by.
I new Caballo Blanco enjoyed a good beer every now and then and I was glad I had someone to share my libations with.
It was good to see the dude and I was happy he was on board for the adventure.

The next morning we were joined by Jamil's younger brother Nate. Nate's good dude who is following in his brothers footsteps at becoming a great runner and  a fruitarian


We left Phoenix at about 11 a.m. on a 4 or 5 hour drive.
As we drove drove the pillows in sky turned from white to grey.  A storm was brewing and by the time we reached the Hopi reservation water had begun to spill from the troposphere.


We weren't really sure where we were going.  There was supposed to be a pre-race dinner at the starting line (also where we planned to camp) but we were way early for that.  

Building on the top of 1st mesa
(picture snapped from a moving car as we drove aimlessly in the rain)
After driving around for a little while we decided to wise up and call one of the race directors to figure out where to go.
They informed us that the dirt road to the starting line had been washed out and that they were scrambling to get things together at  Post office up the highway.
The clouds were spilling there load but Guadajuko and my favorite Apache Maria didn't seem to mind.

We found our destination got checked in and had a nice pasta dinner. At the dinner I saw two other runners who planned  on wearing Luna Lead Cat. sandals during the run.  It was nice to know I wasn't the only Lunatic out there.

We were here to celebrate the importance of water.  It was a beautiful site to see it rain in the desert.  We were even blessed with a beautiful rainbow.
Nate and Guadajuko checking out the specs at our lodging.

The ground outside the post office was pretty muddy, luckily we found a covered area outside an abandoned building which we would call home for the night

View from our hobo hotel.

Amazingly all of us slept really well.  Early the next morning the sun was out to greet us.

The skies could not have been more beautiful
Nate, Jamil, Caballo Blanco, Maria and I

Just a few minutes before the race was to start I gathered a few friends together for this pic before ditching my camera in the car.
I had planned on wearing my Original Luna Sandals (my favorite) for racing.  From what I had heard the course was not very technical with a huge portion of it being on soft sand but because of the rains from the day before that soft sand was now mud.  I still really wanted to wear the originals but at the last second I decided to wear my new Luna Lead Cats instead.


I guess it's about  time I get to the event.

It was not a race.


Each step we ran was an individual prayer for water!
 That being said my game plan was to to "prey" as fast I could.

 Because of the the rain the starting line was moved closer to the main highway.  The washed out road to the original starting line (non passable by car) would now be where we would start.

Looking at the course all you could do was laugh.
How long till I will be covered in mud?  One step or two?

I was their for an adventure, the water was a blessing for the Hopi people, time to have some fun.

Let's Prey.

I wished my friends good luck and lined up at the front of the starting line.  All of a sudden we were off.
There was good vibe in the air.   My spirtis were high and the comrodery with other runners was off the charts.  Rather than avoid the water I saw Jamil out in front jam straight through a puddle about 10 inches deep like a little kid trying to piss off his mom.
(it was great to see)

The mud was was thick and heavy and you could feel it pulling you down with every step.  My 7oz Luna Lead Cat's felt like cinder blocks on my feet.  (thankfully there were no mobsters their to throw me in the Hudson).  At this point I wished I had gone out barefoot. The path with the least mud was narrow and the group got into 9 min pace in a single file line.  I found myself sandwiched within the group trudging along in 10th place.  I thought about pushing the tempo and wanted get out of this corral but decided it was not necessary this early in the run.

Well it turns out only the first mile or two were soggy mess after that most of the trails were in really good shape.  I passed a few people and ran in about 6th place for the next few miles.

It was the most well marked course I had ever seen and it felt like ever 100 yards their were local people cheering us on in their native tongue "Askwali" thanking us for running on their trails.  Thanking us? Man, the Hopi people have people have an awesome attitude toward life!  I was truly humbled to be in their presence hopefully a little of their kind generous spirit will rub off on me some day.
A few of the hill's had miraculously avoided being saturated by the rain.  This provided a wonderful soft sand cushion and I bounded down them giggling like four year old with a big old smile on my face.

The course flattened out a bit before reaching the second mesa.  My legs felt strong and I moved into 5th place.  At about mile 10 I turned on the speaker of my mp3 player and started jamming.  During the next climb I passed Jamil and another runner.  I had wanted to run with them but at the time my bodies rhythm was not in tune with theirs.

I dashed over the top of the mesa till the trail abruptly ended at a cliff face.  What now?  I got worried and started pacing back and forth.
Jamil and his buddy quickly caught up and yelled at me to go over the edge.
Really?
I looked over cliff and too my surprise I saw a volunteer off in the distance and we were in fact supposed to climb down the side of it.  I let Jamil and his friend pass and they were down it in an instant.
As for me I took forever and would never catch back up to the 2 of them.

Because of the added weight to my sandals from the mud, the leather laces kept stretching.  about 5 times during the race I had to retie them costing valuable time.  I questioned my decision not to go with my Original Lunas.  What's the point of having better traction if all it does is hold more mud? If I had had little traction on the bottom does that mean less mud would have stuck to it?
I don't know.

My body felt strong and ran the next 10 miles or so feeling pretty comfortable.  The weather was perfect about 75 degrees and I was really enjoying the run but I was starting to get tired.



At about mile 20 we climbed huge mesa which we ran on top of for a few miles.  From their you could see Walpi village which has been continuously inhabbited for over 1,100 years. It was an amazing site that I won't soon forget.

When you become an ultra runner you start to discredit the distance of the 50k as being far.  In my head I'm thinking piece of cake but 30 miles is still a descent run.  My goal going into the race was sub for 4:30 and I wanted to maintain about sub 10 minute pace for as much of the run as possible.
I was doing a good job by down the home stretch I began to tire

During the last 5 miles I was passed by 3 runners.  The pistons in my engine were still firing but the power they provided propelled me at a very pedestrian pace.

I could see the finish line but my gps was tracking way short.  The course had been modified because of the rain and maybe it would end sooner than I expected?
At this point I was very welcoming of that outcome.

I tried to step it up a little down the home stretch to beat my original goal of 4:30.  Along the way I passed one runner and strolled into the finish line in 4:28 minutes in 7th place overall.

At the finish line they only had bottled water. (somthing I try to avoid)  Although I was quite parched I declined.  Then all of a sudden up stolls this Hopi lady with a gatorade bottle full of water.  I was about to grab it out of her hand and start pounding it like it was a Stone IPA.  Before I got the chance she corrected my error in judgement offering to bless me with a sacrement of water.  I was honored to recieve the blessing on my head, It touched my heart and made me forget about my thirst.

All in all the Luna Lead Cats held up pretty well.  On day tlike that their was no such thing as a perfect shoe (or lack there of.)   Half the time I wished I was barefoot 1/2 the time I wished I was wearing a combat boot.
I fugure the Lead Cat was a good compromise.

About 200 people ran in the race either doing the Ultra or as part of relay team.  Out of these people at least half were Native American. After I was done I sat around and watched  many of them finish.  There was so much positivity at the finish line coming from the volunteers.  It was a great scene to see people reconnecting to their native culture through this run.

(pic from last year,my camera was locked in the car)

As if the Hopi people weren't already gracious hosts, they provided the runners with a traditional  meal for lunch.

After our meal and before awards were given out the organizer of the run Bucky Preston (an Ultra runner Caballo remembered from back in the day) gave a moving speech about the importance of water.  The springs that once yielded sustainability for everyone were now very dry and what little water they did provide was (contrary to government reports) undrinkable do to high levels or arsenic coming from the near by coal mines. The Water is Life run helps bring awareness to this dangerous problem for the Hopi people and Bucky reminded us not to take this this valuable resource for granted.

If you want to help please email
Waterisliferun@yahoo.com


Race Director Bucky handing me a traditional Hopi award.
Bucky told me that this bowl made from the  Yucca tree was Hopi runners would often receive as a prize for winning a race.

I was stoked and it is one of the best awards I have ever received.
Thank you, Bucky! and thank you to whom ever crafted and donated this bowl to the race!

(but even if I had received nothing I'd of still had a smile on my face)

I dig sage and use to burn it quite a bit but realizing that the smoke aint so good for my lungs I new right away this bowl would be used for fruit.
"Hey Jamil, What did you get for finishing 2nd?"
Jamil scored a fancy set of red moccasins.
Perhaps he will make a sequel to 
(He's got kind of a granola Tom hanks look, Right?)
After the race I got a chance to hang out with a real cool Navajo dude named Pete.  We have crossed path's a few times but never got a chance to to chat.  Last year Pete ran in Luna sandal's.  It was a pleasure meeting him and his wife and I look forward to our next interaction.

As for the rest of my group Nate dropped at mile 20 but was in good spirits at the finish line.  Caballo ran a strong race finishing just behind Guadjuko. I got to watch Maria finish and she came in with a smile on her face (as always) and her arms spread out for a big hug.  I had a great time with you guys and thank you once again Maria for your Awesome hospitality.


I had never been to an Indian reservation before and I gained a lot from this experience.  The Hopi people have an beautiful outlook on life  that we could all learn from.
Thank you to all the amazing volunteers and sponsors  that made this a top notch event.  I will be back next year.  

Thank you to the Luna Sandal Company for supporting my Lunacy
:)


The next day before heading home from Pheonix I decided to play a round of disc golf with Nate at a course I had never played before in Pheonix "Popago Park".  I pretty much only golf barefoot but thought maybe I should bring my Luna's?
(I forgot them)
Check out the terrain
My nerve endings were on sensory overload.  I played slow and steady and by then end of the round my feet felt riveved from the desert accupreasure and ready to run another 50k.

What's next you Ask?


Tuesday night I leave to New York for the New York City Barefoot Run.  I have no expectation's other than a good time.



And 
by the way my car passed smog when I returned home.

Life is good!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A bunch of Sandal Clad Lunatics Go Persistence Hunting


Hunting Really?

This could get dangerous!
I have never wanted to kill an animal in life!  I don't even eat meat.   However I do realize that a lot of the luxuries we have in the modern  world often come at the expense of the lives of the animals whom inhabitit it. I'm no saint (I totally would have let the Snakes stay in Ireland) and realize that many animals do in fact die in order for me to live in a world full of modernity (kind of sad) 
but hunting, Really?

After I gave it a little more thought I came to grips with the idea.  First off I have degree in anthropology (who doesn't?) Have I done anything with it not really.  When I went to College I got almost all A's (obviously they didn't grade me on my garmmer) Sadly though my goal was grades not knowledge.  The only thing I really gained is the authority to make stuff up and quote imaginary people while I spew out BS claiming that I totally learned it in school.
I figure I've evolved about half way from Australopithecus to being an average American. 


I have always felt that hunting was more humane than eating commercially raised meat  including organic and I decided to join in on the expedition, knowing that our chances of killing an animal would be extremely slim.  I'm as pacifist by nature, but when it comes to sports or games I have a extremely competitive mentality.  I think that my desire to compete I.E. run races may be the way my subconscious deals with it's  instinct to hunt.   I was interested in seeing if some kind of primordial disposition to kill would come out in me.



Would I gain the thirst for blood?  Would I eat the animal if we were successful?

What is Persistence Hunting?


Persistence hunting is a hunting technique in which hunters use a combination of running and tracking to pursue prey to the point of exhaustion. While humans can sweat to reduce body heat their quadruped prey would need to slow from a gallop to pant.[1] Today, it is very rare and seen only in a few groups such as Kalahari bushmen. Persistence hunting requires endurance running – running many miles for extended periods of time. Among primates, endurance running is only seen in humans, and persistence hunting is thought to have been one of the earliest forms of human hunting, having evolved 2 million years ago.

By the way I think this whole video is fake.  I do however feel that it adequately depicts what a successful persistence hunt would entail.

I am not going to Africa and there are no Kudu  running wild in United States.

So what should we hunt?

a fierce beast indeed

What a brilliant Idea let's hunt the second fastest land animal on the planet.
The only thing I've ever seen run faster is a cute girl at the bar running the opposite direction when she finds out I have no money.
 :(


Where Should we go?

The Red Desert  Wyoming.
(sure why not)
Supposedly The weather would be warm.  The desert would be relatively flat with good visibility and there would be a ton of antelope.

Out hunting tribe was put together at the last second and I didn't even know I would be apart of it until less than a week before our expedition began.  Our band of prehistoric hunters would consist of myself (duh ) Barefoot Ted,  Bookis, Jules, John Durant ( AKA the Caveman) Philip (AKA the Professor) Dennis and Ulrich.

By the way Jules, Bookis and I are Vegan.


Let's get this show on the road.
On a Thursday morning I flew to Denver where I was too meet Ulrich, Barefoot ted, Bookis  and Jules.

video
Ulrich in slow motion
(If that don't make you smile I don't know what will.)
My flight  arrived a litlle before the Luna crew.  Ulrich was there right on time to pick me up.  He's successful entrepreneur in the ceramic's business who struck up a bond with Barefoot Ted a few years back.  Right off that bat I liked this dude.  After a short wait  the others arrived and we were on the road for a four drive up to the Red Desert.


We settled on Wyoming because their was supposed to be a ninth member of our tribe.  Are missing member knew the area, told us he would take care of the permits, was an experienced hunter, and an ultra runner but for some reason he never showed?
Now were really gonna have to rely on our instincts.
(Uh oh!)


We needed a permit to hunt, It was labor day weekend and also the first week of Bow hunting season for antelope.
We ended up at some fish and game office where we found out all the good area's were already taken.  The nice people at the office pretty much laughed when we told them what we were up to.  I don't think they cared whether we had a permit because they had already made up their minds what our outcome would be.
.
That's a big freakin moose.
I'm not at the beach anymore
We fumbled around the office for awhile to no avail
While we failed
 The other half of our tribe procured
 a Bow hunting License. For the middle of BFE

After about another hour drive we met up with others at some random supermarket, picked up some of Wyoming's finest booze (I think it's their only one) Koltiska and set forth to our hunting grounds.

I hadn't seen the Professor since January at the Calico 50k he arrived with Dennis my new friend from Leadville and the Caveman  whom I had never met before but have followed his Blog Hunter-gatherer.com for some time now. He also the organizer of the New York City Barefoot Run which on Sept 25th which Luna Sandals is a sponsor of and I will be attending.

We kind of took liberties with where we supposed to go.  We ended up on some random dirt road in the middle of nowhere.  The sun was setting and we found a small clearing.  Just as we parked the vehicles we saw an antelope off in the distance.  

Jules, Bookis and I immediately jumped out of the SUV and gave chase.  That damn buck  was fast and lost us in no time. After less than a half mile the chase was over and I felt pretty winded.  The altitude was around 7,000 and I could deffinetly feel it. 
(This aint gonna be easy.)

It seemed like a good spot.  If we found one antelope there must be more right?  Along our chase we spooked a small rabbit which made the professor pretty excited,  he has a thirst for blood and had brought his sling shot along with a jar of marbles and decided to go a little hunt of his own. (unsuccessfully)
It was the one and only rabbit we saw all trip)

Score
Antelopes: 1 Rabbit: 1  Hunters: 0


I guess it's gonna have to be Guacamole for breakfast
(Sweet)
Plus a little cowboy coffee.
From where we camped at almost any given time you could see wild horses off in the horizon if you scanned the terrain long enough.
As we were sitting around getting the sleep out our eyes up strolled a lone buck
This time instead of bounding out after it with reckless abandon.  We slowly marched down the road snapping photo's with our cameras before it dashed off
Mighty hunters we are
 :)
Antelope: 2 Hunters: 0

On the bright side we got a good look at what some fresh antelope tracks look like.

As we gathered are bearings to do next  I decided to put The Professor's marbles to good use.

I had never played before and got my butt kicked early but was able to win the 2nd match using mt patented sniper technique.

Bookis made good use of his winnings
(check out his lobes)
Lets go hunting.

Almost immediately we spotted an antelope.  We had a game plan to spread out and try an chase it in a circular pattern but Barefoot Ted got a little excited, sprinting after the antelope before anyone knew what was going on.
Ted's Impulsive enthusiasm is part of what makes him such aspecial dude but on this particular day it didn't work to our advantage.  (love ya dude)
After giving chase for about 10 minutes the Antelope was gone

Antelope 3 Hunters 0

I figured we had about a 1 in 1,000 chance of success so I guess our odd's were increasing.
Pat Jemima
We didn't know if we would encounter other hunters,  we decided to dawn some orange bandanna's so that we wouldn't become the their accidental prey.

Natural gas wells Piss me off!

The desert is pretty void of human structures other than the thousands of natural gas wells scattered out everywhere.  Not only are they an eye sore they often  poison the ground water using hydraulic fraking to extract their gas.  If you wanna know more about this I highly suggest everyone to watch the documentary Gasland
I wonder how long the antelope have in this desert before the contamination destroys their lives that is if it hasn't started already.

We decided to climb the wells tank to get get better perspective of our terrain.

We walked for hours with out seeing an antelope. Wild Horses were everywhere off in the distance but the only wildlife to be found in the immediate vicinity were little thorned lizards.


Just when we were about to give up we caught site of antelope relatively close to where we started our original persuit.  At the time we were pretty spread out.  All of a sudden the antelope got spooked and the chase was on.  I was lagging a bit behind as we hiked which put me in the best position to chase the animal when it doubled back on us.

within 10 minutes of running the rest of the group was nowhere to be seen.  The antelope was pretty fast but I wasn't gonna let him get away that easily



It's hard enough to chase an antelope and keep track of where it's going.  Now try doing that in sandals while running through prickly sage brush trying to avoid thousands of tiny cacti and film yourself at the same time.  It takes someone pretty stupid to do such a thing.
This video documents  what transpired.
The Antelope is maybe 150 ft away, 
He blends in pretty good Huh?

I gave chase for a little over six miles.  For the first three miles or so he would stride out to anywhere between 1/4 and 1/2 mile gap between him and I. He was difficult to follow and I lost site of him a bunch of times but I didn't give up.  After the first few miles he began to slow, I'm not sure if he was getting tired or that he had accurately gauged my speed as not being fast enough to make physical contact.

Tiny cacti everywhere I had to be careful.

We kept playing a game of cat and mouse and I started to have fun.  It was a rewarding feeling to keep up with beast.  The animal began to feel more like a friend than prey. I felt like I could easily continue the chase  for another few hours but after six miles I started to feel a little bit lost.  Even I had kept going I am almost certain it would not have ended in a death.   The weather was way to cool (maybe in the mid 80's at it's hottest)  and  the antelope was getting at least 1 minute of rest every 10 minutes,  I'm guessing that's plenty of time for him to pant and keep it's body temperature regulated. If  I was to succeed this chase would have to last well into the night.  I have no tracking skills and little knowledge of the surrounding environment.   That was not gonna happen.

I would love to get the Antelope's perspective on the Hunt.  Was he scared? Was he having fun and did he find it humorous how inapt of a hunting I was.

As soon as I gave up the chase and started walking back to where I presumed my camp to be. The antelope started to follow me.  This lasted a few 100 yards.  I think he was taunting me and I deserved it.

Congrats to him. :)

Antelope: 4 Hunters: 0 


I wasn't lost after all and found my tribe well before sunset.

Just in time for a twilight game of Ultimate Frisbee.

6 of us took the cactus filled plain to test both our agility and Bernoulli's Principle on lift.  At this altitude it was difficult at best and we had to use extreme caution when stretching out for a catch.


As darkness neared it was time to get a fire started

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Maybe I should have been more supportive.
(sorry Philip)

Jules had mad skills and got a flame going in a matter of seconds


Ted made sure the fire didn't go out making good good use of the cheap booze.

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As Ted would say "Dude!"


Fire roasted Yams for dinner
Yum


I warmed my feet with the fire and my dulled my brain with some 114 proof bourbon


It was a fun night.


The next morning we set forth on another hunt.

This time we stumbled upon a herd of  5 or 6 antelope.  We spread out and approached with caution.  With in about 5 minutes the antelope took off we gave chase the best we could.  I myself took took the flank  thinking that if the antelope turned I would be in a good position.  After less than 20 minutes of chasing over a terrain that was not ideal for human running the antelope had vanished we continued to search for them to no avail.  I speculate that when the antelope flea as a group they are more inclined to run farther away  knowing that they only need to out run their slowest member to be safe.

we did find some nice elk  bones 
This one made for a nice bottle opener after the hunt.

As for our feet. Most of used the new Luna Lead Cat and they preformed great


Persistence Sandal hunters

Along the way back The professor and Bookis tracked down some rubber.


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I think this may be the first time Sandal hunters have ever been caught on video.
(and I didn't have to stage anything like Attenborough did)

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Since we didn't end up running anywhere close to Ultra distances we decided to burn off a little steam with some foot races 

Caveman wins, Ted declares shenanigans and the judge declare's Dennis cheated.

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Bookis totally kicked my ass

Persistence hunting is hard work.  Yes there were plenty of animals to chase but with our little knowledge of the environment and moderate weather conditions we didn't stand much of a chance.  It was time to 
 get the hell out of desert and hit up some Hot Springs.

Final score
Antelopes: 5 Hunters : 0

4 hours later we found ourselves at the Strawberry Park Hot springs in Steam Boat CO

The place was pretty awesome and it was nice to get the desert grime off my body.

.  We arrived just before Sunset and stayed till 10 p.m.  After Dark the springs become an adult only playground where clothing is optional.  Well since we were there as a group of 8 dudes we all kept are shorts on. At one point Dennis said to the Caveman "This would be a great place to take your girlfriend." I agreed (it would be a great place to take his girlfriend, lol) Alcohol is not permitted but we snuck in a little moonshine via water bottle.  It got pretty freaking dark real quick, visibility was slim  but if you had a keen eye you'd notice plenty of boobies bouncing and willies dangling about.

Instead o f camping we decided to cruise back to Denver and crash at Dennis's house about another 4 hours away.
Dennis was deffinetly the mvp of our trip!
(thanks dude)
He lives in the heart of the city and gets paid to have a New Belgium ad on the side of his home
Pretty freaking cool if you ask me!
But it would be a lot cooler if the ad were for 

I decided to go for a little barefoot stroll in the morning

Less than a block away was Coors field
(home of the Rockies)
What do you find outside Coors field


Busted Coors bottles of course.



Dennis was gracious host and even offered us up some meat from his freezer.
(I declined)


We had plenty of time to kill and decided to pitch marbles 

The goal was too roll them as close to the opposite wall as you could without hitting it about 80 ft away

The competition was intense

We used our expert tracking skills learned from our time in the desert


Speed and agility were not needed but it made for better photos 

If only we had  played for cash

With a few hours left till we had to be at the airport. we explored the city


Jules played some piano


and Bookis found something to hug as usual


I said it before and I'll say it again

What a bunch of Lunatic's

We may have failed as hunters but we excelled at having a good time.  On this occasion failure didn't feel so bad.  I deffinetly think we could be successful under different circumstances. Perhaps we will try again next year but If I go the rest of my life with out eating or hunting another animal I can live that.

With one exception?

 The cAntelope 

Long live the Vicarist!