I’d never been to Texas except on flight connections. I was hankering to get out of my usual midwest flatlands for something new and decided to tackle a canyon ultra. It was more than I was prepared for. A group lesson from park rangers on how not to die from a rattlesnake as thick as a fist, or a charging bison, or even a cute prairie dog (they can carry bubonic plague) to start was an ill omen. But what I really wasn’t prepared for was a 600 foot canyon wall climb that required as much use of arms as legs, it was that steep!
Long story short, this race ended up a DNF (did not finish). It sucks, but it happens. Ultramarathons are hard and eat the unprepared. Lesson learned. But the trip was not a waste. Texas was as advertised, with bison, cowboys and cowgirls and awesome BBQ. And the scenery really was majestic.
At the end of a dusty day, no better way to clean the red soil off than a nice hot bath at the B&B I stayed at. There wasn’t even a shower, just a tub, how rustic is that?