|It's 2015! (photo by Jacque Povilaitis)|
In January we survived no snow in Flagstaff by spending time mountain biking in Sedona with friends and enjoying Oak Creek Brewing company. Sara improved her confidence on the mountain bike and is now ready to ride the infamous white line next time we hit the red rocks (see video).
February was very race filled. We both did the Agassiz Uphill in Flagstaff, the Mt Taylor Winter Quadrathlon in Grants, NM, and the WillRace Snowshoe Qualifier in Bend, OR(we both won!). We followed the snowshoe race with a failed attempt at the Bend pub crawl, but enjoyed quality time with our siblings.
|Qualifying for nationals in Bend|
In March we got engaged! We want to continue adventuring together for a lot longer so we're making it official on June 13th. We also became majority partners in Sea Level Sucks where we hope to inspire others to more outdoor adventures (a work in progress).
|Romantic Engagement Photos by Jacque Povilaitis|
In April Sara started the first of 5 river trips as a guide. While she was on the river soaking up the sun and having water fights, I kept trying to keep up with the guys of Team Run Flagstaff Pro. I also traveled to Vegas for my first XTERRA trail run and placed a humbling second to Roberto Mandje after he loped away on hill number three of seemingly hundreds.
|Still hanging with Mandje after the first mile (pic courtesy of XTERRA)|
As Sara continued her river season in May, I went to Los Angeles (Malibu to be exact) where I got to race another XTERRA race through where MASH was filmed. We also began seriously thinking about planning our return to the CDT.
|Saying goodbye to good friends in Flagstaff|
In June, Sara continued her river season and I went on a Zeno/Forrest weekend trip to Colorado for a race and play time in the mountains. I raced the Mount Evans Ascent where I remembered that road running is not as fun as trails, there is no air at 14,000' and wind slows you down. Zeno and I had a great time hiking a couple 14ers after the race, though, and returning to sections of the CDT from the year before. Sara and I also began and finished planning our last 1000 miles on the CDT June 30th and July 1st so we could leave on the 2nd.
|Zeno's first Mountain Goat sighting|
|Finishing the Lander 4th 1/2 Marathon|
|Sara on the CDT before Rogers Pass|
After getting off the trail at the end of August we drove back to Flagstaff, packed, drove to LA, went to a wedding, and then I drove up to Missoula to start work at the Cycling House the first day of September. Sara followed a few days later with the rest of our stuff and we began life as Montanans. September was also our introduction to bike racing. Sara did the Montana Hell Ride and I tried my hand at cyclocross. Despite Sara's bout with near-hypothermia, we both enjoyed the bikes and are looking forward to more races for 2015.
|Sara in GNP (pic also now an ad for the Student Conservation Association)|
In October we started to feel at home in Missoula. Sara found steady work at the Good Food Store and I continued trying to sell bikes and wheels. I also raced a 20k in Whitefish and found that cyclocross races don't transfer to trail runs longer than 12k.
|Wind sculptures and blue sky at Discovery Ski|
In November Sara went back to Flagstaff to help run the Grand Canyon Youth fundraising event and got to see great friends and family. I stayed in Missoula and journeyed to Coeur d'Alene for a weekend of freezing cyclocross to end the season. It also started to snow some in the mountains so we got to use our Kahtoola microspikes more in November than we did all last year in Flagstaff.
|You can help send a kid on a GCY trip here|
In December I went down to Scottsdale for the Cycling House staff retreat; a glorious week with a wonderful facilitator, early morning runs, afternoon rides where everyone repeatedly attacked, and late nights. To end this week of exhaustion I attempted to defend my title at the McDowell Mtn Trail Frenzy 10 mile, but failed when my Cycling House coworker opted to run.
|Team TCH 1-2|
Back in Missoula we wrapped up the year with a huge Christmas snowshoe where we climbed over 4000' to the ridge just below Stuart Peak. When we started there was 1/4" of snow and at the top there was over 7'. It was a beautiful day, but we were both quite exhausted after nearly 18 miles of powder.
|Working down 7' of snow|
The next day we went cross country skiing at Pattee Canyon for the first time with a night ski. It was great being able to skate without fear of rocks!
|Breaking trail in the Rattlesnake|
We continued our snow play days with a ski/snowshoe excursion at Lolo Pass the next day. The trails weren't groomed yet, but we did get in a couple miles of classic skiing before Sara's boot came apart. After hobble-skiing back to the car we donned the snowshoes and ran a couple miles up and across a ridge-line with views of more snow.
|Training for Snowshoe Nationals begins!|
Since then we've gone out on skis a couple more times, and even spent a day alpine skiing. We are loving how easy it is to play in the snow here in Missoula. Even when there isn't any in town we can run up to the point where skis/snowshoes are a necessity within a couple miles.
|Ski day at Discovery - my first and last double blacks|
2014 did have some great moments. But with snow, steady living locations, and the promise of long summer days (and a wedding!) we're hoping for bigger things out of 2015. We appreciate all the friendship and help we received last year as well. Thank you!
|Happy New Year! (Photo by Jacque Povilaitis)|
Forrest and Sara.