Caren Ware's Blog

November 23, 2014

My Spring as Concierge at SPRING CREEK Ranch in Jackson, Wyoming

Before, during, and after Africa I made sure I had ‘those” resumes out. I heard so often that I ought to get a “real” job. I was chosen to interview for many recreation management positions, but knew three things: I was older than the hiring age they sought, I was an entrepreneur and feared as having too much experience in the private business sector, and I was used to running my own company and working for myself. The job search reminded be of Dallas airport when it got shut down in an electrical storm. It took through the next day to get the thousands of stranded passengers onto other flights and missed connections. People by the hundreds ran from counter to counter trying to get on lists for the few seats left. I had no idea how many people were queuing for jobs…any job despite the education and back ground experience. And trying to interview and be chosen in the pile of hundreds and hundreds of applications was…well, like Dallas Airport after an electrical storm. So while I took the time to soak in what I was going to do with all my projects, I took this coveted job as a concierge at a priceless piece of property with the billion dollar view, Spring Creek Ranch. I would be designing and booking people’s grandest experiences; a ‘to do’ list while vacationing in the Tetons and Yellowstone. I would do so while pulling together the scripts, journals, pictures, and projects of “FINDING FIT”, starting up an event production company, an adventure travel company, and putting in motion the non profit agency to help the needs I saw in my travels. Now, there is a lot of “to do’s”!!!

My good appetite for adventure was perfect for devoting to finding out what super things one could discover DOING in this Wyoming region. I found many fascinating things. Paragliding for one. Since the Tetons are a slip fault mountain range, there are no foothills. This is what makes them so awe posing and dynamic. They stand erect from the valley floor. They are perfect for thermal updrafts and perfect for paragliding. The guides take the guests by tram to the top of Jackson Hole Ski Resort at near 11,000 feet. They tether tandem for a jump, fluff out the chutes, run a short distance until the wind just lift all three, the guide, the guest, and the paraglide kite.

I ordered a girlfriend from So California to come test out these activities with me. Her great response.  In a heartbeat.  She arrived a few days later. If she could do these in her high heeled boots and tiny physique, than any of our guests could. Thank you, girlfriend, for being so game. Paragliding ended up being a surreal and pleasant surprise. It is not one hundred mile an hour winds in your face and terrifying free falls of parachute jumping. It is placid swirling and ebbing high in the sky with the sound of the flapping strings and the ruffling ballooning of the kite. Soaring! Peaceful. Until the pilot thinks to thrill you with an upside down 360 degrees. I was impressed with the athleticism and caliber of the guides that loved this sport of kiting. They seemed fit, enthused, very knowledgeable  , yet easy going. Patient to wait out the proper weather and winds. http://www.jhparagliding.com/IMAG0447 - Copy IMAG0449 - Copy IMAG0453 - Copy IMAG0455 IMAG0461 IMAG0463 IMAG0467 IMAG0468 Paragliding requires pretty much the same training as being a pilot of an airplane. They call them ‘pilots’ and the ‘pilots’ I met in Jackson impressed me as masters of their craft.

January 25, 2014

Talk about GO GIRLS

Filed under: A Runner's Story,fitness,hiking,mountain biking — Caren Ware @ 9:21 am

Laying foundations for your girls. The Whitley’s literally bounced into our lives. They moved in our mountain side, built a studio in their basement, and started dancing, and dancing, and dancing. They were gymnast, ice skaters, acrobats. And Miss Bobbie was an unrelenting, passionate, and intuiative- all about their welfare- instructor… and we benefited. We had an active, determined young gal and they had a perfect place for her to pour that into. And it layered a friendship for a lifetime. Laying foundations for my girl, inside and out! A gift that keeps giving. The “Girls” are all grown up! One of my treasures, to be friends with… Miss Bobbie and the Whitley’s. Love it that they lived outside the box, that they instructed with fervor and intensity, and that they never gave up the dream or theme, knowing it would pay off as phenomenal. I like sharing that kind of out of the box with you. They made “FITNESS” a family home, a family lifestyle, and a living.
Fitness has been a huge part of the journey. God has been the other. Zeal the fuel. I will celebrate our boys and the.1

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IMAG3479 great men they are becoming, but here’s a tribute to our girls. This is life’s most blessed journey. I am about to go run unrelenting miles in Africa and trek to the top of a 19,000 mountain, but parenting the inner heart and the moments of growth in our kids are the treasures. And,watching who they have become is summiting its own kind of mountain top. My hands are held high and I peer over the vast expanse below that will be their futures. It IS one of life’s greatest PEAK experiences.

February 6, 2013

Lessons learned.

I learned a few things today in my second venture backcountry skiing.  It takes a lot of athleticism and conditioning to ‘skin’ your skis to the base of the Tetons… than even more than that to punch your way up a mountain.  Our destination was a place they coined “25 SHORT”.  The ski line to come down is 25 feet short of 10,000 feet.  It was my first real day of relying on my self and my new equipment.  I dropped my water bladder and it spilled out.  Had I been on a long haul back country venture I would have had to boiled down snow for new water.  I also learned that lakes freeze so solid you can cross them, but they develop a ‘lake’ layer just under the last layer of ice that you can crash through to and get wet enough to be in trouble back here.  The reward of a day out in the backcountry is the backcountry.  It can be serene, quiet, peaceful, stirring.  It can be dangerous.  As the temps rise so does the chance for mountain sides of snow to slide.  Experience tells you to stay on lines near the trees.

When I finally got to the highest point on ’25 Short”  it was time to convert the nordic set up to downhill, and the chance to SKI the mountain and its virgin snow.  I pulled the skins off the skis, twisted the binding to lock in and stepped in.  I went to do the same with the other ski…and it wasn’t there.  I looked all around my feet, bewildered.   A track lead down, down the steep slope and into a ravine. I had knocked my ski off its perch and it quietly took the thrill ride down without me.   There is no way to ski in thick powder on one ski. I had to straddle my lone ski and toboggan down to my lost ski.  So much for all the physical outlay to get to the top of a mountain…to be reduced to sliding and IMAG0217 IMAG0216 IMAG0218 IMAG0220 IMAG0222 IMAG0225 IMAG0226 IMAG0231tobogganing, and tumbling down.  At least I was able to retrieve the ski and appreciate that the protocol is to turn the skis upside down on slopes so the bindings act as a brake and it doesn’t slide.  I still can feel that stunned , and very stupid feeling when I looked down and that ski was gone!

 

January 27, 2013

A soft pedal. Hush ride. You can hear the woods.

Filed under: fitness,hiking,Marathon Running,mountain biking,road biking — Caren Ware @ 8:52 pm

fattirepicScott and Jay’s FAT BIKE SNOW SUMMIT was a huge success.  It was classic outdoorsmen and women bonding.  A lodge, good food, fun company, and a smart chance for the national forest service, land commissioners, and such to come see the bikes in action and go for some demo rides.  A snow storm made the ride softly challenging, but nothing when compared to the slide show that Jay and his wife presented on their RIDE to Nome on FAT BIKES.  They, and a handful of hearty others rode the challenge to make the Iditarod Route with the  Sled dogs…but human propelled.   Can I clamor about my -28 when they biked for days upon days in -40 to -50? IMAG0001IMAG0097IMAG0089

Island Park has a BIG SPRING.  It is big.  An entire river comes right out of the ground at a temperature of 52 degrees as the water filters from Yellowstone.  The trout love it and so do the fisherman in this area…and the muskrats.  Got to watch them forage in crystal clear waters, using their tails as rudders.  Cute critters.IMAG0097IMAG0107IMAG0110IMAG0112IMAG0117IMAG0128IMAG0121IMAG0132

Snowmobilers were very curious. They kept asking us where our motors were as we rode!

The summit hosted a 25k race/ride.  Itz ABOUT TIME brought out a self contained timing unit and timed away.  If they were willing to pedal in these conditions, we were willing to TIME THEM!

January 21, 2013

Caren Ware will attempt to run 26.2 miles in Antartica. March 7, 2013

IMAG2476Living a year in Jackson definitely is adding a  winter experience.  I am getting ready to run my THIRD REMOTE CONTINENT marathon… in Antarctica. Not hard to simualte  when this winter has dipped as low as -28. Negative temperatures can turn into negative situations real fast.  They warrant caution and  preparation.  They are teaching me to include an avalanche shovel,  emergency sleeping bag,  and extra gloves, wool, and down jackets stashed in the truck and put into emergency packs whenever going ‘backcountry’.  And they are showing me that freeze framed beauty is so contrast to the summer beauty of wild flowers, meadow grasses, and waterfalls. Up here, in winter the animals are furry.  Thousands of elk have made their winter migration.  They know digging through the snow will lead to grass .   The big horn sheep are herded up on their winter bluffs. And moose and buffalo are instantly spotted, dark on a white scape , unable to hide from their hoof printed trails left in the soft snow.  The lakes are frozen and steam rises from the few rivers still flowing. The Teton Range stands like a stunning bride dressed in its white gown.  I wanted to see what a winter looked like.  More than that, I needed to FEEL what a winter was like.

My quest to run a remote marathon with remote people on every continent would have to pardon the remote people for one continent….Antarctica.  There are only two marathon opportunities on the most remote of remote places.  There are only 100 slots for each of these two.  Due to the popularity to do all 7 continents as a bucket list of life to dos, making the waiting list now takes three to four years.  Buzz back to the origin of my blog and see that I put that permit in 4 years ago.  It has just come up as ‘my turn’ to be running in Antarctica on March 7, 2013.  I will share with you the training I have found here amoung a region of mountain athletes.

Going to Antartica to run is a commitment.  It takes almost a month to travel to and from and involves a lot of days out at sea in seas known only as the roaring forties.  Waves.  Wind. Cold. Anything can happen on that one day we get to disembark and RUN 26.2 miles on a huge slab of ice.  And it takes some hefty coins.  Luckily, I started paying for it four years ago.  But in those four years, an additonal 2,800 to go was tacked on.

So I am training in Jackson, Wyoming. Try running in this!!! I have been experimenting with what I would need in Antarctica.  Good thing.  Though I had a Patagonia down hoodie sweater, a Northface Windstopper zip up, and an Arcteryx shell jacket as outer layers, I ran in -2 with a cotton jog bra and cotton panties.  About 6 miles into a twelve mile run I started to crunch.  My sweat was freezing the under garments to my body! Wow. Really. These were not the idea places to invite potential frost bite.  I now own Icebreaker wool briefs and bras.  This is a New Zealand wool from high mountain sheep that does not itch…kinda.   I also added Smartwood socks to my collection. Another respectable wool product company that  doesn’t itch.  Kinda.

Try this for a combination training goal…to run this remotest of remote Antarctica marathon and than return and hit the track and be trained for the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Track & Field to be held in Brazil, October of 2013.  Follow the blog to see how I will possibly make that happen.  But for now, blog along as I get ready for Antarctica.  Im testing out clothing in these pictures. It is -15 degrees. My fingers and face are questioning my choice to do this.  Watch the video below and get an idea of the terrain I will be running on.IMAG2481

Meet Jay Petervary,an amazing endrance athlete

December 5, 2012

GOBBLED UP!

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Thanksgiving Day is the biggest results timing day of the year.   Teton Valley had a Turkey Chase on the weekend and Jackson, Wyoming had a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.  I had the immense privilege to get to work with the Teton County/ Jackson Parks & Recreation and Jill Harkness and crew. They put a lot of pre prep to making this a festive event for the entire community.  The crowd was treated to a sunny day and unseasonable higher temperatures than normal for this time of year. Two years ago it had to be cancelled when temperatures fell to minus 20 degrees.  The day prior to this year’s race it was snowing. Today, and so much a reason to be thankful for, it was sunny.  But for me, I was most thankful, thankful for this year was Itz About Time’s new Techy, Nick.  He is the BEST.  He comes from a background in successful cinema filming, producing feature films, and now operates a high action video company.  Check out www.Jacksonadventurevideo.com.  He, and his identical twin brother, have  put the successful rigors of Hollywood aside to enjoy this region, and we are blessed to have the  talent. Check out our new website.  www.itzabouttime.com.  Participants were delighted to be ‘officially’ timed with RFID chip timing.  Their almost standard comment was, “It’s about time we got professional timing.”  Get it.  The MC did, and the pun for the morning was…IT’S ABOUT TIME we got timing with ITz ABOUT TIME.  Gotta love it.About-us-Nick-1024x731

October 25, 2012

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 .  www.kingcross.athlete360.com/ , or www.hobacksports.com.   Fitzgerald Bikes, in Victor, Idaho just 30 minutes from Jackson, hosts the MOOSECROSS and SPOOKYCROSS. www. shop.fitzgeraldsbicycles.com/ or www.moosecross.com

July 20, 2012

Wydaho: best of Wyoming and Idaho Mountain biking

Filed under: mountain biking,road biking,traveling,Women Running — Caren Ware @ 10:12 am

Wydaho Rendezvous, the Teton Valley’s Mountain Bike Festival is held in Mid-July.  If you are a mountain biker, it is a must!!  It is a combined effort of bike shops in this area to introduce  their network of great single track trails.  www.tetonmountainbikefest.tvtap.org. There are set times every day for all kinds of group ride at all levels to pick from.  One day is hosted in Victor, the other in Driggs by that town’s bike shop.  The roads are blocked and professional exhibition riders do jumps and tricks.  Beer keg pull relays are in play. There’s swag, bike demos, live music, and tons of great scenery.  A poker ride each evening greeted you to all the eating establishments.  Now, there is my kind of a ride!! Lots of families were participating.  Kid’s loved it.  Best part for me, and coming off the advice of the tattooed guys that helped me learn my way down Targhee, was taking a bike clinic from a pro female rider.  Amber is on the USA Endurance Mountain Bike team and races 100 mile off road races.  That takes quads.  She was a fun combination of pretty and pretty gutsy.   On a flat surface, she coached how to guide the eyes first than the bike will follow.  “If you stare right at it, you are destined to hit it.  You should be looking beyond and where you need to go.  Our senses do a good job taking in what we need to navigate past.  Learn to use and trust them.  And don’t hold onto those bars for dear life.  Relax the hands, put the elbows out and ride cowboy style! “

I still fell over and down more than anyone else on the trails, but I liked my gals ride I choose.  It was fun to be among giggling ladies, especially when we came upon another set of stranded females with a flat.  It took 10 of us 20 minutes to fix that flat!  So girl. I think we were purposely enjoying the break.  You definitely couldn’t help, but enjoy the views.  My cardio taps so fast when I hit a hill. I breathe like a horse.  I am beginning to wonder if the bout with Pneumonia years ago got a part of my lungs.  I am still under acclimated. But riding bikes is a fun break from running.  And I can’t, but think this will help build strength and endurance for running.

Yeah, for the vision of these bike shops to establish themselves at the front door to so much mountain biking. It was worth wydahoing?!

July 10, 2012

The plunge

This time I took the most indirect route to Jackson, Wyoming, spontaneously and purposely. I headed out of Los Angeles over the Grapevine, dumping into the San Joaquin Valley.  The outside temperature was a searing 108 degrees. Baking Bakersfield and Fresno went by on Hwy 99.  Onto Hwy 40 and after Oakhurst, I pulled off and up through the pines and headed to Bass Lake, California.  I rolled down the windows and there was that spicy, sweet smell of this area’s particular pines.  The lake came in view and the inviting sounds of jet skis and boats cracked a smile in my heart I hoped it could.  Bass lake had been a great stomping place for me.  I worked for Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp the four years I was in college.  The camp was intimate and isolated, but attached to the lake for skiing.  Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp took cheery, chattering busloads of campers to climbing and hiking in Yosemite.  I was one of their term camp counselors that taught water skiing and climbing, and guided backpacking trips and hikes to the top of Half Dome.  The summers were organized and very focused on the joys and experiences of the campers, but we counselors were the better benefactors from solid summers spent there.  It was a Christian camp dedicated to providing super trips that taught kids about themselves, relationships, and who God could be in their lives.  I was so impressed with how this impacted and changed lives through just being outdoors. I minored in Camp and Recreation Administration.  I hoped for the opportunity to use outdoors as a means to affect lives. My husband and I had even taken positions one summer at running the kitchen and camp maintenance when our kids were toddlers.  That is how much I loved this camp.  And the outdoors.  Someone told me as I struggled to find direction from the divorce to go back to where I think I first lost the sock. So ponder… I never lost my socks when I was in the outdoors.  I was heading back to that spot.

Camp was in session so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to interrupt.  I pulled into a marina and went for a short trail run.  It was hot even at this altitude.  Coming back very sweaty, I plunged into the lake, luckily, feet first.  I was met with a surprising jar and a searing pain.  What appeared to be emerald and deep water was actually shallow.  I had hit a rock only a few inches below the surface. It made me mad at how stupid I was to misjudge the depth and not check first what the consequences of taking such a plunge would be. The gash could have used stiches.  I refused to baby it.  I deserved the scar it would leave. Stupid,  Caren, to plunge without knowing what lie underneath.  It was a great parallel of the reality of the same stupidity I had to face in the consequences of plunging into a relationship while still married. It looked so cool and refreshing. The pain from both my new injury and the ones the relationship plunge had caused racked my body.  Tears rolled.  Mad tears. Hurt tears.  How could I have been so stupid?  Needy.  Wreckless.  I rocked and writhed, wet and muddy on the dirt path.  Both inflicted rightful pain I deserved.  Both gashes will leave scars.

I finally grappled myself together, wrapped my wound from my truck first aid kit, changed from my soiled running outfit in the bath house, and visited the camp. I was thrilled to find it unchanged.  Though years had gone by, the campers bouncing by with paddles and life vests, swinging on ropes courses, and nets, they were just the same.  And the camp owner’s daughter, my exact age now, was the new camp director. We high fived each other over turning fifty.  And the counselors?  Many were the sons and daughters of the counselors I had worked with years before.  De ju vue.  It is one of the best run camps around.  Definitely, in my book, one of the most effective and well rounded. I didn’t stay long, but it was a detour I needed to remind myself of.  Felt like I self-imposed a scene from Scrooge and Christmas Past. Felt like it reminded me that the outdoors is that powerful teaching environment.  It was refreshing to know that nature, credit it God’s creation, hadn’t changed that much.

Romans 1:20. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made….”  God’s invisible attributes are seen in the things He has created.  I personally cannot deny that.

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