That about sums up my last 18 hours.
After working 5am-130pm I hopped in the car and destroyed the 375 mile drive to Silverton in just over 6 hours, only stopping once (working on my aid station efficiency). The drive was uneventful and I mused at the glob of traffic eastbound on I-70 (presumably the tail end of the long weekend travelers).
I was stunned with the beauty of Ouray and its coveted spot nestled tightly in the San Juans along the Uncompahgre River. I nearly drove off the un-guard railed road a few times looking up and around at mountains patched with snow and trees clinging to the near vertical angles rising over 5,000 feet above the 8,000 foot quaintly reinvented mining town.
The twisty road evens out shortly after Ouray and climbs into Silverton. Having been up since 4am (typical weekday for me), I was fairly tired and simply found a dark side road (all roads are dirt save for the main street in Silverton) and crawled in the back of my car to sleep. It was damn cold. The low was only supposed to be 45 but it felt like 30 (humidity, I guess).
I finally climbed out of my car at 7am, stiff and chilled, quickly dressing and starting the car for heat. I almost ran over Dakota Jones, who was riding his bike around a corner. Ironically, he was sitting on the sofa of the coffee shop I settled on about 3 minutes later (where I'm typing this now). In my half asleep, bed-head, state I called him "Duncan" as I walked up to say hi. He said he feels great and wishes the race were taking place today. It seems that every of the 20 people in the cafe are Hardrock runners or involved with it somehow; current Hardrock champion, Jared Campbell sits at the table five feet from me (maybe he's writing on his blog that he's sitting five feet from me. Or, maybe, he's just wondering who the homeless looking guy is in the corner looking at him). They all seem to take the already grizzled and sinewy visage of the ultrarunner to a new level. It is Hardrock, after all.
Fresh coffee to drink and cold water on my face, I feel awake and excited to absorb the energy of the town, the runners, and the history of both. Runner check-in is at noon, so I'll go to that and then Karl said he'd call me when he gets into town for an hour run with him to shake his legs out after his long drive. There's a voluntary "long" trail/course briefing at 4pm but I'll choose time with the Speedgoat over that. The guy owns this race and his insight is invaluable.