“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did.” -Mark Twain
Outlaw 100, is a 100-mile race with the option to strive for 135 miles in Robbers Cave, Oklahoma. It’s a come to Jesus race that will make you face your inner demons and come out the other side. Highly recommended for adventurers, pain seekers, and runners.
The Atacama Desert is fricking cool. If you’re going to check out anything in Chile, it’s a must-see place. Even more so, if you’re into going on badass adventures, bring some warm clothes, grab some camping gear, and rent out a 4×4 vehicle.
Valparaiso, Chile is not my cup of tea, but it’s worth checking out. If you do find yourself in Chile at the change of the year, spending New Years in Valparaiso is not a bad place to be, just make sure you get a hotel and a bus out of the city in advance and be ready for a million-person party. You only really need a day there, maybe two, and contrary to how I normally travel, if you do find yourself there the free tour the city provides is worth checking out.
I just got back from Chile and not only did I have an awesome adventure, but I learned quite a few things along the way. The first stop was Santiago and to be honest, we spent two days too many there. Continue reading on for the 17 things I learned while there and how to better enjoy your next adventure to Chile. No need for us both to make the same mistakes.
Running 50 miles isn’t insurmountable and it’s well within the grasp of anyone who is willing to put the time and effort in. We had made a lot of dumb mistakes, like not bringing a headlamp, not training on similar terrain, and trying to do a 40-mile run only 3 weeks before our race, but we still turned out fine. As long as you follow a progressive ultra-marathon training plan, you are willing to put up with some pain, and you keep your sense of humor, you can complete a 50-mile race without completely upending your life.
We had traveled 225.9 miles across 16-days. During this time, you almost felt like you had traveled back into the past. You could actually see how parts of the canyon were formed. To include the massive magma dam that was breached after once damning the entire canyon. Or, the massive walls of rock that look like they should fit together, yet they are randomly split apart by hundreds of feet due to some unimaginable forces.
“Look, I told them last night I wanted to see the falls. Today, they saw me arrive late after helping the other raft. And, the guys saying we only have a couple of hours are the same guys who have been here before and don’t care. People always boss other people around to shape the world to their needs. You have to look out for yourself and take control of your life. This is likely the only chance I will ever have to see these falls. It’s worth pissing a couple of people off in the process.”
The people around me have obviously never heard the phrase “life is what you make it”. The setting sun makes the worried expressions surrounding me stand out like some kind of stone statue. Though, the fear is so obvious the contrast is probably not needed. We are sitting around camp discussing the boogie man of the Grand Canyon, a rapid affectionately called “Lava Falls”.
It’s funny what becomes normal. I’m looking up at a thin strip of stars split between the Canyon walls knowing that it’s about time to wake up. Not that I know what time it is. I had ditched my watch a couple of days prior. Not because of any higher ideal, or to get away from time, but because I figured I might as well get an even tan.
I would like to use the word “serene” or “calm” to describe how I feel as I move downstream. Mostly because I’m surrounded by some of the most picturesque scenery I’ve ever seen and would be for another 16 days. But, for some reason, when I think “serene” or “calm” I associate the word “comfortable”. And to be honest, saying I’m feeling uncomfortable is rather an understatement.
“I feel like I should be more nervous”, I quietly think to myself. I’m standing in the sweltering heat of Lee’s Ferry, Arizona. Lee’s Ferry is the last point at which a road reaches the Grand Canyon for the next 225 miles. And, I’m listening to a woman named Beth talk about how to set up an oar rig along with the rest of the equipment we are renting from her company. The equipment is for our rapidly approaching rowing and kayaking trip.