Ever wonder where the mountain in Mountainstroh came from? I did a whole post on this once, but this is a bit different. I call myself Moutainstroh, because for 10 + years my life revolved around climbing (or more aptly TRYING to climb mountains. My final record was 3 and 6. That’s 3 successes and 6 turnarounds.
During this time, I read every mountain book I could get my hands on. Expeditions to Everest, K2, the 14 – 8000 meter peaks, the 7 summits, Denali you name it, I’ve read it. I would scour used book stores looking for ones I hadn’t read. I have an “adventure” library stored in my attic waiting for the time I have space big enough for the book-case I need to hold them all.
So while I am NOT an expert, and I sure as hell don’t have a lot of personal success stories. I am VERY well read, and do have some experience. I also truly love mountains. Driving through them, hiking, just sitting and watching them. Yep, watching them, get close enough to a big mountain, like Rainier, and you can watch avalanches, rock slides, weather patterns, wind, clouds. Its better entertainment than almost anything on TV (except The Waking Dead!)
So, given all this, why and I saying I might have to give up the name? Well folks, I’ll tell ya. I’ve put in a helluva lot of miles, biked up hills, done 3 Century rides and done a lot to get ready for this ride. But until today, when checking Facebook, I realized I made a rookie mistake which may cause me to fall flat on my face Saturday!
In all my training, all my preparation, it wasn’t till I read a comment by Mike that said “remember the air is mighty thin up there” that it hit me. Holy crap I NEVER took the elevation into consideration! This is a ride around a caldera filled with water. A caldera is what you get when a volcano blows its top and collapses. In essence I am biking around the top of the mountain.
Bottom line, this will be the highest ride I’ve ever done! All my training rides, except for Chinook Pass have been at Sea Level! As soon as I saw that, I went to everyone’s friend Google! The entire rim road I will be on for 33 miles is above 6500 ft with the highest point being 7860 ft!! How I could have gotten to the day before the ride and not thought about this is the reason I may need to switch to something other that Mountain (Suggestions can be submitted to this blog at anytime!)
Now the good news… Not this year, mind you, but I the past I have been WELL above this elevation many times. Historically I do great until 12,500 ft. Tomorrow I will drink water like a fish! forgive the crudeness but the guides I know said the best way to fight altitude issues is to drink water until your urine is C&C (Clear and Copious) then you know you are hydrated, and hydration helps the blood flow at elevation.
So, after a LONG drive we are at the hotel. We just had Mexican food for the second night in a row (NUTHIN wrong with that plan) and tomorrow we drive up into the park. I will scope out the route, the highest point, AND spending the day up there, then sleeping down here will help some!
Lord next thing you know I will figure out I left the bike at home!!! HEY WAIT!!!! Oh there it is, right there, we’re good! Talk to yall later!