I got up and went to the Avalanche Cafe with the idea of getting some writing done, but Hardrockers kept walking in to talk to Billy Simpson, seated next to me, so it was far more interesting to join into the post race chit chat. One thing Billy said, and I agree with totally: "There was alot of love out there this weekend. Alot of love at Hardrock".
I meant to take it easy. I had two items on the agenda: go on a tour of a gold mine, and take a hike up Island Lake Trail, which would take me to the iconic lake featured prominently in many Hardrock photos.
I headed up the trail, nice easy single track, but climbing right out of the meadow. I kept it mellow. I was feeling much better, after breakfast and two coffees at the Avalanche, but all I wanted to do was stretch out the muscles, and shake off some of the stiffness.
A beautiful little trail.
As I ascended the trail, I noticed a Hardrock flag. Hmm. I thought the course was well up and above the Ice Lake Trail I was hiking on. But apparently not. I don't remember this section of trail at all from 2012, all I was doing that year was following other people and not trying to hold them up. But when we got to the Island Lake, I remembered the trail!
And funny, I don't really remember the lake. At all! I was do busy on climbing and keeping up with the other runners. The first section was such a blur to me. Until we came to Grant Swamp Pass.
This is the climb up to Grant Swamp Pass. I ascended about 1/3 of the way up the slope. I was watching some clouds, and did not want to get stuck in some "weather" and have to run down this slope, as it was nearing noon.
The next time I post a pic with Island Lake I hope to be wearing a bib in the photo again!