|Luke Nelson and Ty Draney in the Snake River Basin © Matt Irving|
TrailRunner Magazine recently published a great feature article from endurance runner Luke Nelson, telling the story of his truly epic journey, along with fellow ultrarunner Ty Draney, through some of the best salmon habitat left in the world: the Snake River Basin.
How epic? We're talking about a "two-day run of well over 120 miles of rugged terrain with a total elevation gain of about 20,000 feet" kind of epic. Here's the intro:
The cold penetrates to my core. I am lying underneath my giant Forest Service map as a rogue thunderstorm bathes the canyon, an intense deluge that lasts about 30 minutes. Ty Draney, my good friend and ultrarunner extraordinaire, who is under the other map that we brought, sounds like he is getting some rest. I am incredibly envious that he is able to doze off, as I am shivering far too hard to coax my body into even a light sleep. The rain quickly passes, and I endure the shivering for another 10 to 15 minutes. Then I crack. I wake Ty and again we force our depleted bodies to move.
Several years before I found myself sleeping under an oversize map, I worked on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River as a raft guide. That summer I often pondered what it would be like to travel through the heart of the Frank Church Wilderness along the river on the trail. I didn't run at the time, and it seemed impossible—80 miles of travel along the river followed by another 40 or so to get back to civilization. Yet the seed had been planted.
Read on over at TrailRunner