SHET 1 takes an easy victory
It could be easy to say that Sean and I failed at our goal of completing Sehgahunda on snowshoes, but at least we stepped out the door and went for it.
The back story on this challenge. Back in 2007/2008 when we started work on Sehgahunda I explored the trails on foot by running sections and then running the 20+ mile FLT from the Dam to the finish line (No check points).
I also took one of our event staff out on mountain bikes to then do the same 20+ mile route. My time difference was 10 minutes (lets just say Greg was not a very good mountain biker at that time).
Flash forward a few years and I start thinking about completing the same trek via a third mode of movement. I've run it, I've biked it. I know a few others that have also done it both ways. I figured what the heck I'll try to snowshoe it and be the first known to do it 3 ways.
So last fall when we came up with SHET we decided to make this the first challenge and of course lets go bigger and recreate Sehgahunda on snow (not to be confused with Disney's Sehgahunda on Ice) aka Snowgahunda
Just a week or so ago I wrote how Mother Nature was messing with us since we have had no real snow this winter. Well that all changed this week. Mother Nature dumped on us huge. 18.5 inches in a day with some towns reporting over 20. We geared up, tossed everything in the truck and went for it.
Temperature was perfect at 32-34 degrees. No wind other then a little bit blowing up from the gorge in spots. Some sun might have been nice but not needed. Barb, Sean and I drove down to the Dam in Mt Morris and we were ready to go at right about 7:30 am. My rough estimations were that we were looking at about an 11 hour day. I figured I was good for 8+ at feeling decent and suffering bad for 3 more isn't that big a deal.
My hope was that even though we got 18+ inches of snow that the trails would have a bit less since they are protected a bit by all the trees. About 20 feet in those hopes were shot and our next hope was that as we got to better tree coverage things would thin out. We got to see Barb at the .75 mile mark as we cross a parking lot to head in for the next 5.5 miles of single track. This section is where the trees get heavy and we should have a bit less snow. NOPE
We did get lucky for maybe 1 mile and got to be in a hikers broken path. Other then that, it was breaking trail the entire time. I chose to wear my Crescent Moon Magnesium Limited Edition snowshoes. They are slightly larger then my CM Gold 12 running ones or my Dion 121 race ones (I had 2 pairs of each of these with me as well) so they would offer a bit more flotation. NOPE
With every step each foot would sink about a foot into the snow and raising each foot back up out of the snow was a chore. It was like doing Sehgahunda wearing 8 lb. ankle weights on each ankle. I tried to maintain a moderate effort but it was clear early on that this was not going to be our day.
I had estimated that the first section would take us 2-2.25 hours. It took nearly 3.5. Quick math told me we could be looking at a 15 hour day and I knew that was not in the books. So when we got to a bail out spot I offered it up for us to duck out there. Sean wanted to finish out at least the first section so we trudged on. Once we got to the power lines I took a short break and then just went into full on focus to set trail up the climb to the Check Point 1. You just have got to love that all check points are at the top of a climb.
So as I approached the top, Barb was there waiting for us with food and drinks and dry gear. I told her we were calling it a day. From there we changed into dry clothes, drove to scope out the rest of the check points and then went for burgers.
So we didn't accomplish our goal, or did we. We wanted to get outside, to push ourselves and to try to accomplish some new stuff. Check, check and check. So what if we didn't "cross the finish line" We pushed ourselves, we suffered a bunch and we tried something different. That's all we really wanted.
Someone on Facebook commented on a video I posted with "how is that fun". In my head all I can say is how is it not fun.