Hey, Drew here, with a quick local adventure story for you.
Last Tuesday morning I loaded my mountain bike, backcountry ski gear, and trail runners into the car with a singular mission in mind: to blow off work. Well … kind of. This wasn’t just any day of ‘playing hooky’; this was “All Sports Day” (considered a holy day to a zealous few, and a frivolous sufferfest to everyone else). Knowing full well that I was far too out of shape for it and may die out there, I jumped at the opportunity to participate (what can I say … I can’t say no to some type 2 fun. If you don’t believe me - check out my last write-up; I am a sucker for the suffer).
The day began with a favorite local tour that features a 1.5 mile skin with 1.3k in elevation gain. We arrived at the trailhead around 8:30am, slapped on our skins and promptly began moving. It was already pretty toasty, so we knew we needed to make haste in order to ski the face before conditions got wetter and more dangerous.
Once we finalized the ascent, the views were killer and the stoke was high. This was definitely t-shirt (and shorts for some) touring weather. One of those days when the dual leg vents just can’t dump heat fast enough.
The conditions on the way down were killer. A perfect late-spring corn line that had everyone frothing for another lap. We had to contain our excitement and be cognizant of what was still to come; we still had quite the day ahead of us.
We skied back to the car, loaded up, and began heading down the canyon to our next activity - the trail run (certainly the stop that I knew was going to kick my butt the hardest). After getting in a nice stretch and lacing up the runners, we were off; there wasn’t a moment to waste.
Now, here’s where things get interesting… I was fully aware that any trail run above 4 miles was going to kick my butt (go ahead and call me soft, I deserve it), so I intentionally avoided scoping out the trail ahead of time. Not sure if that was a wise choice or not, but in any case, the run ended up being 10 miles long. Gulp. Like I said, I’m a sucker for a good sufferfest.
With the late spring sun beating down on us, we took off like a pack of wild turtles and shuffled along. The running portion of the day had it all - stream crossings, wildflowers, a mother bear with cubs (yeeesh…), and lots of mileage. Looooots of mileage.
The halfway marker was quite a welcome sight.
"Do not pet them, do not pet them" was on repeat in my head.
Mama Bear keeping a close eye on us.
Looking far less beat up than we felt after the run.
We were all a bit haggard - some much more than others (pointing the finger at myself here) - once we eventually found ourselves back at the parking lot, but we were still alive. After scarfing down a double PB&J and slamming some electrolytes, we were on our way to the next stop - a soak in the river.
While I didn’t anticipate that this stop would be much more than a relaxing soak after a long run, it ended up becoming yet another spot to endure some suffering. Rad - our third sport of the day was essentially a group ice bath.
In classic All Sports Day fashion - we weren’t there to relax. We got in, soaked for a bit, and got out - mission accomplished (and my swollen knees were certainly grateful).
Feeling fully depleted, we continued down the canyon just a bit further and popped the mountain bikes off of the car. We had juuuuust a little more to squeeze out of the day. While we had some lofty plans for the ride on the front end, recent rains and snowmelt had closed down a few of the trails we’d originally planned to link together. So, we called an audible and opted for a shorter ride. A shorter ride that began with a punchy 1,000 foot climb - ugh.
One after another we slowly pedaled (read: crawled) up the first climb and kept on chugging. The way down was certainly a bit dicey. With legs that seemed to be made of jell-o and arms that resembled something like a wet noodle, it was everything we could to just keep things rubber side down, but somehow we all made it out unscathed.
The local wildlife came out to show their support for All Sports Day. Feelin' the love, friend.
Reaching for the rigid bike seemed like a fun idea in the morning... why do I do this to myself?
After some parking lot high fives (and well-concealed tears) we headed back our final sport - eating smoked bison ribs and drinking beers. (No photos of our final sport to show... my hands were full 🤷).
It was all we could do to post up on the deck for some much needed food and frothy bevs, and recount our day’s efforts.
There’s something magical about choosing to suffer alongside friends, and All Sports Day is the perfect way to acknowledge that; it’s indeed a holy day to be revered.
Thanks for tagging along; see ya out there for next year’s All Sports Day.
(P.S. Thanks to my fellow All Sports homies for the invite, and for the photos of the day!)