The Middle and the End; A Day or Two Through Northern Spain and The Alps
With Ehunmilak behind me I needed to reinvigorate myself and the trip. I hopped on the bike as soon as physically able and headed for a climbing crag outside of San Sebastian. I met a couple of fun Germans, and we spent the following few days climbing (or at least looking for it), drinking and eating around San Sebastian.
I decided it was important to see Picos De Europa, a Spanish National Park and climbing mecca in Spain. I loaded up the bike and headed for it, somewhere through and arriving in Asturias.
|Classic village scene in Asturias.|
After Picos I decided to make my way west towards Vigo, where my good friend Abel lived, for some much needed rest and relaxation.
I spent a decent amount of time in Vigo, recovering and reflecting on the rest of my trip. When it came time to start off again back to Asturias for Desafio Somiedo, I had a renewed excitement for my trip, and had settled in to the life of bike touring.
Before the race in Somiedo, I met Diego, another Territorio Trail guy. We had fun the days leading up to the race exploring the area.
The race itself was a blast. I switched to the shorter marathon distance as I thought I'd play it safe for UTMB. I think more to the truth is that the marathon distance had significantly less mandatory gear, so I opted for fun.
I ended up in 4th, but more importantly I had fun and was feeling good physically. Feelings I hadn't felt in a while.
|Don't Stop The Party!!|
Post Somiedo, Diego was nice enough to drive me a good bit closer to Aneto, the highest point in Spain and the highest point in the Pyrenees. I arrived quickly, and took to the mountains for a few days.
Via the wonders of online communities, I found myself a few days later, and a few if not many very wet and sketchy miles on the bike, in the comforts of a Catalunyan sheep farm.
The topic of Strava came up a bit during this time. Thought I would add this considering I'm a big Sam Elliott fan.
|I guess 2000' climbs are the norm here.|
Onwards towards France and the Alps. Nikki and his girlfriend decided to come with us and we a loaded up and headed North.
The following few weeks was a pretty good span of running and climbing 4,000m peaks in the French and Italian Alps.
|First night in Chamonix|
|Mer de Glace.|
|A typical scene. Waiting for climbing parties.|
|A just as typical scene. Passing climbing parties.|
|On the one of the infamous fixed lines on the Italian route.|
|Josh's first pair of sunglasses.|
|Climber's summit of Gran Paradiso.|
Arrival in Courmayeur for a final few days of Alps.
|Josh went right.|
An end to a summer, an end to a trip, and a whirlwind 3 days of nonstop travel. Its a long road between Venice, Italy and Second Mesa on the Hopi reservation in Arizona where I jogged around the 50k and tried to remember why I like running events.
It felt real good to be back in the desert.