Saturday, February 23, 2008

Easy Saturday

My coach, Greg completed Ironman Malaysia in 10:37:32!!!!!! Seventh in his age group and 35th overall -- WOW!!! Congratulations Greg! The heat and humidity just could not beat him down! (I liberally "lifted" this pic of Greg competing from his good friend, Susi - who was kind enough to post it!) Thanks to Susi for all her hard work in updating his fans!!

Saturday is my free day -- so I tried to sleep in. I always get up around 6:30am anyways though! The day started off fantastic with a phone call from my two best buds in England -- Jason and Cath. Cath is an avid triathlete and I think Jason is going to be someday . . . somewhere in the future. I keep hearing things like he's getting fitted for a bike -- but not too compete; and how he is learning to swim -- but just to keep Cath company; and running now and again -- just to stay in shape. You better watch out, Jase -- you are a prime target for the tri-bug!! Hahahaha! Cath is an amazing swimmer and loves triathlon as much as I do! Can't wait to see you guys in a few weeks!

The sun was brilliant today, but the wind was starting to pick up again. I won't be doing my long run tomorrow outdoors. :( I like to get up at about 5:15am-5:30am to just get out the door and run, and the sun ain't that brilliant that time o' the morning. I can't wait until summer is here. Sigh.

Diva and Toby did get to go on a nice walk today. I thought I'd post some pics of what February looks like in the Crowsnest Pass. Diva found a stick along the way, and proceeded to carry it for most of the walk. This road winds through the Frank Slide. It is an isolated spot especially in the winter and prime doggy-walking territory.

Here is a picture of Turtle Mountain. It is a mind-boggling spectacle any time of the year. A large chunk of the mountain split apart and literally fell down in the wee hours of the morning on April 29, 1903. 90 million tons of limestone rushed down the mountain and spread out across the valley in 90 seconds. Approximately 70 people were killed. Today, the highway intersects the slide -- it is an awesome sight to drive through and see a blanket of far-flung boulders -- some as big as a Hummer (hee-hee!) on either side of you. I had a friend who worked at the east end tourist hut for a couple of years, and she told me the funniest comment was by a man (I REFUSE to reveal his nationality!) who asked, "How did the slide miss the highway?" HAHAHAHAHA!! Allright -- he was from Texas -- but I have had my share of dumb-dumb moments too! hee-hee!

I never get tired of looking at the mountain -- the best scenes, in my opinion, are to be found during early summer mornings. If you catch the mountain when the light has that special quality of rose-pink -WOW!! The limestone somehow captures and diffuses the light in a special way. I'll step outside my house (in Frank) and look at my hand, and it's pink -- the sidewalks are pink -- everything is pink! It is a surreal experience.

There are still deep cracks and fissures in the mountain. Occasionally you can hear deep rumblings or see a puff of dust as scree tumbles down. The sounds are deeply menacing -- they sound like the mountain is crumbling from within into the depths of the earth with this terrible groaning noise. What is especially disturbing however, is the troubling fact that your eyes can't reconcile with what your ears are hearing. For such a lot of racket you expect to see something!
The few times me and the doggies have been caught on the old road below the mountain when the mountain is talking, have not been very pleasant! Toby just takes off like a bat out of Honolulu, and I'm left thinking . . . is this it?

Turtle Mountain is closely monitored by strange scientific devices that sit atop the mountain, and researchers have assured us that the mountain WILL fall again one day -- not upon the new town of Frank, but into Hillcrest. Just when this will happen is anyone's guess. Still, if you ever get a chance to hike Turtle Mountain - do it! It is a beautiful, non-technical hike, and the deep chasms at the top are magnificent to see. The view of the actual spread of the slide is amazing from up top as well.

This afternoon, I watched the 2007 Ironman World Championships and kept getting all emotional! The stories of the individual athletes get me every time. Have great Saturday everyone! :)


Jason said...

Hey, hey, hey, there aint no way I'm doing no stinking triathlon!

p.s. fancy getting up early on a summers morning and showing me where the best photos are to be had?

Cath said...

Hey there - what a beautiful read of the mountains! It really is a beautiful mountain, and especially with the history that goes with it. Jase's favourite in the whole of the Elk Valley is still Crowsnest - we;ve got it blown up big-stylie and hung up right opposite our bed so is the first thing we see every morning!

PS......shall we enter Jase in for Elkford next year??? :):)

Keith said...

Love the mountain pics. I've driven through the Frank slide and done a bit of tourista stuff there. Very cool. What a great place work out! Think of it, after coping with those winds you'll never notice headwinds anywhere else.

Julie said...

Yes, you have a point! Last year at IMC, everyone was talking about how the course was quite windy, and to be honest I didn't even notice the "little breeze!"