Aside from the publication of Julie’s second book, all has been fairly quiet on the Urbyville front, at least from the website’s perspective. We’ve actually been busy little bees these last few weeks, as Operation Grandparents has begun here in beautiful, snowy Ohio. Hey, at least it doesn’t rain as much as Seattle. Here’s a recap of what we’ve done, where we’ve been, and who we’ve seen over the last few weeks.
Those who say we are crazy will soon realize that we are actually quite tame. Just before Christmas, we had the pleasure of visiting Vancouver, BC, where we met up with our Canadian friends, Jennifer and David, who just completed a 16 month bicycle trip from Vancouver, BC to the Southern tip of Argentina. We met them last September while we were on our 1 month bicycle trip down the Oregon and California coasts. Imagine life on a bike for almost a year and a half…we certainly can’t, but we admire Jen and Dave for their tenacity and adventurous spirit. We were delighted to greet them at a restaurant in Vancouver after they biked from the airport to the restaurant. Unbelievable.
While in Vancouver, we also treated ourselves to a nice hotel in the downtown area and ran for 2 and a half hours around the city on Christmas Eve morning. Below are some pictures from that run (other pics are in the photos tab, in US Travel 2012).
We officially left Seattle on December 26th and our circuitous route to Ohio took us down the West Coast, where we visited family and friends in Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. While in Portland, we were given fabulous hospitality in casa Rinn (our #2 Urbyville fan), and we ran the entire 30 mile Wildwood Trail in Portland, Oregon with friends. With all of our upcoming races, we have to make sure we get in good training, so a thirty mile run with friends fit the bill.
Once in San Francisco, we stayed with our good friend Jed and spent New Year’s Eve with the epic character of many of our trail stories, Animal. He lives in the Bay area and we spent the better part of the evening catching up with him. On New Year’s Day, we started the year off right with a two and a half hour run around San Francisco, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, and the Embarcadero.
After leaving San Francisco, one of our favorite cities because of the friends we have there, the weather, and honestly, the good food (we found a vegan fast-food restaurant; enough said), we headed down to LA where we spent time with Matt’s Great Aunt Rosemary. She’s 94 and going strong and we spent time with her and her family who are always willing to spend time with us. The next day included a run on the trails outside of Santa Monica, with sweeping views of LA and the ocean, along with an evening spent with more family in San Diego. Before leaving the West Coast for good, we ran one more long run of two hours on the trails and beaches just north of San Diego. It was perfect weather with even better company and we couldn’t have asked for a better send-off.
From San Diego we were all business until we arrived in Ohio. We drove for 33 hours straight, stopping only to pump gas and switch drivers every tank. It was exhausting, but that first full night of sleep was glorious. We told ourselves it was good ultramarathon training to function for so long on such little sleep.
Our first run in Findlay, Ohio was on snowy, icy sidewalks, and the last remnants of sand from the beaches of San Diego were finally wiped off my shoes. Operation Grandparents is now in effect, our race training is in full swing, and we’re taking on several projects all at the same time. More updates to come on races, CDT preparation, and time with family and friends.