Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Volunteering Tevis 2012

Last weekend I went up and volunteered Tevis again. This was my third year volunteering, and my second "real" Tevis - last year, if you remember, the snow was still several feet deep in the high country in July/August, and the day before the rescheduled October Tevis, it snowed again, so they modified the trail. But this year the snow was normal and the trail was normal - Robie Park outside of Truckee down to the Auburn Fairgrounds.

I took a bunch of photos and uploaded mine plus many more - if you want to poke around in them, they're at the Tevis Cup gallery.

For those of us who are strictly volunteers, there's only five real chances for us to get pictures: Robie Park on Friday afternoon, the Highway 89 crossing just after dawn, Robinson Flat at lunch, Foresthill at dinner, and the fairgrounds arena - the "finish line" - late Saturday evening. I don't think any of us webcast people actually took pics at the finish, but we all got pics of everything else all weekend.

I had a great time. Definitely my best Tevis yet - I know more people, and it's the classic trail, and it's so breathtakingly beautiful. I got really grumpy and hated life after we closed down Robinson Flat, but I somehow realized it was just a sugar crash from eating a giant handful of dried fruit without any protein to balance it out. I stopped at The Gas Station in Foresthill and bought a block of cheddar and gnawed on that til I felt better.

I just love Foresthill. It's a tiny town, under 1500 people, and the Tevis (along with the Western States Trail Run ultramarathon) is one of the two great spectacles of the year. They put up "welcome riders" signs, and the trail runs right through town and people come out with their folding chairs and sit and cheer the riders through. This year (I don't remember this in previous years), the Tevis coincided with the town garage sale swap meet thing. Everybody brought all their armoires and matching four-piece kitchen chair sets to sell to everybody else, and the volunteer fire department had a barbecue, and maybe 500 crazed endurance people came roaring through to top it all off.

Anyway, since it's such a small place, everything seems to be "the" instead of "a." There's The Gas Station. The Chinese Takeout Place. The VFD. The PO.

I had a few riders I was particularly cheering for, and all of "my" riders who started also finished! One didn't start, which is pretty heartbreaking :( I was also acting as a supernumerary volunteer crew member for one rider, and once we finished whooping her off into the dusk at Foresthill, we all headed to Auburn.

I got to the megatropolis (13,000+ people!) of Auburn at 9:45 and almost wept with delight when I discovered In-n-Out Burger was still open. I inhaled a burger and fries, and when the last fries were crammed into my maw and my tunnel vision opened back up, I realized the place was filling up with other pulled riders and crew. I stood around In-n-Out talking until 10:30, when I learned that the first couple of riders had already finished! I went outside, and it was raining, and I decided to skip the whole fairgrounds thing and go home. I got on Interstate 80, set my cruise control at 67 mph, and did not touch a pedal for one hundred ten miles. I was trying to get all the way to the Bay Bridge toll booths, but I got boxed in by some slow moving jerks in Oakland and had to hit the brake a couple miles sooner than I planned. ;) Driving at night owns!

Maybe 2014, if everything continues to go perfectly. We'll see. :)


  1. I like volunteering, too. Loads of chat, fun and no competition nerves to deal with.

    2014, eh. Looking forward to that!

  2. Looking forward to 2014--we'll come help you (!)

  3. Sounds cool. I would come cheer you on and be a volunteer crew member for you. :-)

    And I agree...night driving rules.

  4. Lucky you are to be experienced in the Great Experience that is Tevis! My friend finished near the last & two more had to pull at
    Deadwood. I've been invited down to ride those trails & hope to get there one of these upcoming years!

  5. Dude! you gotta pick up several In N Out burgers and keep them in your backpack for just such emergencies! they taste just F-I-N-E cold.
    - The Equestrian Vagabond


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