Caren Ware's Blog

October 27, 2012

What a difference a day makes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 10:24 pm

It was fall one day.  And winter the next.

Not all who wander are lost.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 10:06 pm

Just some of us. The Wind River Range is south of Jackson.   Its southernmost trailheads are about a three hour drive.   It is a pretty drive.  The drive takes you across a high prairie that makes wide Wyoming…wide Wyoming.  You have to share the dirt road with herded cattle.  Also, very Wyoming.  The range sets far back from any highway and is larger and more looming than the Tetons.  The Wind River Range has granite; more rock than Yosemite, and just as striking.  The small town of Pinedale is the nearest settlement.

The trees are autumn.  The sun warms during the day and when it disappears behind a cloud, or a mountain, or for the night the temperatures drop wildly.  They call this the Wind River Range for a reason.  It has these thermo swirling pockets of wind, followed by silence and stillness.  The gusts can knock you off your feet with a pack on.  I choose to hike from Sandy Lake trailhead past Big Sandy Lake, over Jack Ass Pass, and into Tower of the Circques. The Cirques are an amphitheater of granite mountains with a reflective lake in the valley. The reward of hauling self, and pack, and goods, and a good tent is the perch it gets to go on.  There are so many boulders, but with wooded flat spots to establish a panoramic view point for a camp. Picking a spot to camp is like picking the perfect Christmas tree.  It has that same kind of fun.

I wanted to test my new lightweight, but roomy tent I had gotten at Teton Mountaineering as a perk for timing their race.  I had a purple colored water bottle and matching purple covered Jet Boil stove.  It felt cute.  The ‘camp’ was simple and serviceable, and surprisingly warm inside the tent.   It was so, so good to just be out, in the wind and the last glimmers of summer, well, more like fall.

Thankfully, another outdoor retail worker was off and wanted to make the same trek.  We treated it as a solo trip, each carrying all our own gear and setting up camp independently so we could see if we had all the right stuff for a long trek.  It was a good test to see if everything was working.  Had it not been for his presence in that valley I probably would not have figured out how to set up my tent.  He came to my rescue.  The tent was retailed in his store and the grey strings matched on one end while the orange on the other.  Ohhhh.

Though we wandered the valley solo and spent our days poking all over the circques, it WAS nice to know that there was another human being.  But oddly, it was nice to know just one.  Had the valley been full of climber camps and lots of people, it would not have had the draw and refresh that it gave at this moment.  The idea that we were here in contempt of approaching snow, denying the threat of a season change to keep us out made it.  Tickled.  We had this entire part of that range to ourselves.  I liked my gear and would have been quite comfortable save my thermo rest pad had a hole and I got the consequence of sleeping on hard ground.

As we hiked out we chatted about nothing in particular and everything that makes being in the outdoors great.  He is young, and energetic, and hopeful of the life that this area can open up for him.  He was raised on a farm on the east coast and proceeded to scare trout up stream and catch them with his bare hands.  That was impressive.

There are many days, almost daily, that I take a rollercoaster ride between being in total awe of this place, that it is good to be here,  and then  I drop, overcome by the pioneering spirit it is asking me to have to be here , as a female, alone.  The family, relationships, and potentials I left behind.  Oddly, being here is for them.  For me, for them.  Becoming more in tuned.  And guess what.   Chatting along a trail, I find that another, though different circumstances, different life, different age, also has questions, and struggles.  I am not alone.

October 25, 2012

Rave Run/Ride Number 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 10:03 pm

Second great place is on ELK REFUGE ROAD.  In the winter thousands upon thousands of Elk come to winter in this grass basin.  The foothills block much of the wind and the temperatures are slightly warmer, if albeit, only a few degrees, but the Elk think those few are worth it.  During the summer and part of the fall, the road is open for motor vehicles, mountain bikes, and joggers.  In the fall, The Bighorn Sheep also come to the bluffs to hang out.  So do Canadian geese, ducks, artists, photographers, and hikers.  It is stunning and a great place for all of the above to…enjoy each other.  Pam Reed, the two-time winner of Badwater to Whitney took me on a run along the dike of the Snake River and through rolling hills near Harrison Ford’s land.  All are great runs.  She has been relaxing and refreshing running company.  It is a privilege to trot along such a volume of experience.  She wrote a book, The Extra Mile.  It’s a great running read.  Very candid.  As candid as she is in person.  But most my runs are lone journeys.  Relished. Somehow, the beauty is company in itself.

RAVE RUNS/RIDES. Great places to do BRICKS in Wyoming

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 9:40 pm

I am going to have to include long runs in the training as I am only 4 1/2 months away from the Antarctica Marathon. That is easy to do here…well, at least until the snow comes. On these unusually warm October days that still feel like summer, I have found Spring Gulch Rd leads to more road and bike path than my legs can carry.  So great place to do both.  Ride, than run.

This road carves right through the middle of the Jackson Hole Valley, passing healthy herds of cattle, prestigious golf courses, and wealthy designed homes with views and space and fall colored trees. Note to self.  The days are warm, but the temperatures are dropping with a warning swing as the sun dips behind the mountain.  Brrr.  There’s a breeze and a need for a windstopper jacket.


Not Psycho… Cyclo

Filed under: mountain biking,road biking,traveling — Caren Ware @ 9:11 pm

CYCLOCROSS.  Look it up on Wikipedia.  It’s a new, up, and coming sport with a specialized bike, set of wheels, and one super ambitious rider.  Cyclocross is a fall sport born out of the boredom that winter is not quite here, yet, and the trails are getting too muddy to ride.  Riding them produces ruts and ruins them for the summers to come.  So, hang that fat tire mountain bike up, and grab a crosscycle bike that is something between a road bike and a mountain bike.  The tires are not as narrow as a road bike, but close and rutted.  And the bike is light.  Because you will have to carry it up stairs or over barricades and obstacles.  That is part of the sport.  Timed laps on an obstacle course that covers mud, dirt, asphalt, grass, trees, steps, mounds, banks.  You name it.  Cyclocross is sprint laps around obstacle courses.  And of course, it is rewarding to spectate or participate.  There are kid’s waves, first timer waves, and all kinds of levels according to ability and experience.   And of course, this area knows how to do these events right.  Make you glad you came no matter the weather.  Come hang and hear a band and eat…of all wonderful and great things, Nepalese food from a true Sherpa that came to Jackson area.   Hoback Sports on the Jackson, Wyoming side of the pass hosts a race series at Snow King Ski resort called KING CROSS . , or   Fitzgerald Bikes, in Victor, Idaho just 30 minutes from Jackson, hosts the MOOSECROSS and SPOOKYCROSS. www. or

October 21, 2012

Most classic race warm up ever!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 11:52 pm

They came and overcame!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 11:25 pm

The Tough Towner was a huge success, mainly because the promoters from Grand Dynamics were dynamic.  They put a lot of pre work and planning to make sure the event had a theme and a flair, and that flare was sporty, but fun.  As you can all relate, the pre race warm ups at most races are a joke.  Most elite athletes ignore them and are doing striders.  Only a portion pay attention to the aerobics person bopping.  And mainly only the fun runners are in group all doing their calisthenics. 

Race Director, Tim Walthers, giving course instructions

Not at this race.  Pre warm up is a MUST.  And it was hysterical.  The race started in a park at the base of SNOW KING in Jackson.  The skies were full of fall clouds, but the air warm enough for crawling through mud bogs and running through the wet spray of snow blowers. The park has playground climbing rocks highly used by this mountaineering population.  The warm up guy for TOUGH TOWNER was wearing, I think,  a polyester white jogging suit! This maniac had everyone doing burpies and ski lunges.  I heard that at one point on this course of walls and obstacles that the runners were given snicker bars. 

I was  proud to debut  ITz ABOUT TIME timing services at their event. 

October 20, 2012

ITz ABOUT TIME timing away

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 11:38 pm

TIMING services now available.  CHIP ON THE BIB/and or, conventional


 PO BOX 7742, JACKSON, WY 83002

307-200-6439  office.   909 213 4407  cell.  

October 18, 2012

Overcome your Obstacles. The Tough Towner

Filed under: A Runner's Story,fitness,trail running,traveling,Women Running — Caren Ware @ 9:49 pm

There are great options of road cycling, mountain biking, trail running, and road mileage with a backdrop from Heaven itself in this corner of Wyoming and Idaho. An outdoor Eden in my opinion.

This time of year, a new sport called cyclocross stages many races up here.  I’ll have to explain that to you.  But this Saturday, October 20th there will be a new event in the town of Jackson called the TOUGH TOWNER.  This is being staged by Tim Walthers, who operates Grand Dynamics.  Grand Dynamics works with companies in building positive personal, goal setting, confidence, and greater communication through an outdoor setting and activities.  The Tough Towner is a way for Tim and his staff to give to the community that beauty of letting yourself try something new and challenging, and the reward that accomplishing that brings.  They build obstacles all through town and hand out shirts that say ‘overcome your obstacles”.  This will be the first staged one ever.  You can contact them to bring one of these to your town.  Check out the mascot.  If the elephant can do the course, so can you!

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