Thursday, August 7, 2014

Return to Leadville

Sam and I are preparing to leave for Leadville in less than 24 hours. A lot of racers are already in the city, or at least in the vicinity. We just have life stuff to deal with before we can head out, so we'll get an early run up into the mountains in the morning. It seems unbelievable that it's already time for the Leadville Trail 100, and it feels as though it's been only a few weeks since the Silver Rush 50. Oh, wait! It has only been a few weeks.
The Silver Rush 50 was the first time either of us had been to Leadville, and while we'd both heard stories of the town and had seen Race Across the Sky, I know I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I had an idea of what the town would be and as we rolled in, it was in part exactly what I anticipated and partially a completely different animal.
Somehow, the town seemed smaller than I'd expected, and during the initial hours of our visit I couldn't understand the pull for people to continue to come and race in a small former mining town. As our time progressed in the city though, I found a certain charm and appreciation for the area. The views are spectacular and the people were wonderful. I enjoyed being able to walk the entire main downtown area in a few minutes. I appreciated that I would see the same people more than once. Little things seemed somehow easier to appreciate.
After our departure, we both found ourselves thinking about Leadville, wondering what it would be like to live in such a place. It started with a thought of having a small apartment in the area after realizing that it's tough to find a place to stay when these races are going on. Then, we wondered if we could actually live in Leadville full-time. It was more of a fanciful thought than something that would actually happen, but it was an interesting distraction and an idea that seemed almost doable.
While I like the idea of being removed from hustle and bustle, I also realize that I enjoy having a city close at hand. Denver is only a couple of hours from Leadville, but I personally think it's perhaps still a bit too removed for my liking. The realization that winters are much more harsh than here at the base of The Rockies is yet another obstacle. I know that I am really much more of a summer person than a winter gal and knowing that snow is not only possible but more probable most months out of the year, well, it just wouldn't be the best decision.
Still, I find myself looking forward to our return to Leadville. There is something warm and inviting about the city that mentally draws me back. We hold out hope that the weather will be kind to all of the riders this weekend, but do so knowing full well that we are dealing with the unpredictable-yet-still-somehow-predictable mountains and weather patterns. Thunderstorms look possible for the afternoon of race day, but we know that weather changes on a dime as well.

To all the racers this weekend, good luck, be safe, and ride hard!

3 comments:

  1. I have obviously had the same feelings about the place, something pulls me back (besides the impending pain). After the events are over, I think I would like to trek up there during the winter, to see how bad it really is : ). Of course, best of luck to all we will be joining there, some have already picked up their packets, but for me, there was really no reason for the extra expense for us to be there, and the loss of a vacation day, we already live at a decent altitude, so there's not as much of an adjustment compared to riders who live near sea level. No RAIN! well, just keep it short...

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  2. We have a couple of places we go back again and again, feeling that pull, thinking we could allllmoooossstttt live there... but for... yeah, usually the winter. If not cold and/or snow specifically, then long hours of darkness and feeling 'housebound'. It's nice to have those places to keep going back to, though. They become a kind of home away from home, familiar and welcoming, but without the risk of becoming humdrum, boring, routine. Have a great time in Leadville, both of you and good luck to Sam for the race!

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! Hopefully Sam will sleep well, we'll have great weather and everyone participating will do great.

      It's been a beautiful day here... difficult not to fall in love. :O)

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