Friday, June 19, 2009

Fun day in Sheridan, Wyoming

My Dad and I are in Sheridan, Wyoming today.  Tomorrow is the Big Horn Trail Run, but today, we did the tourist thing with my Aunt Ethel.

This morning, we visited Big Horn, Wyoming, a tiny town south of Sheridan, population 198.  We toured the Bradford Brinton Museum, a gentleman's farm of the 1920s and 1930s.  Brinton was a farm implement engineer and well-enough off to have a 2000-acre ranch in Wyoming as a summer home.  The house and museum contain an awesome collection of western art from the likes of Hans Kleiber and Frederic Remington. 

We ate lunch at the Bozeman Trail Inn in Big Horn.  It is the oldest continuously operating inn in the west.  We had tasty ham and cheese sandwiches and awesome steak fries while admiring the collection of fancy whisky bottles collected over the years.

In the late afternoon, we headed to Story, Wyoming to visit the Story Art Station, an artists' coop with selections of local artists' work.  I particularly enjoyed the beeswax candles and Christmas ornaments by Harts Aglow and the fused glass objets d'art by Paulette Kucera.  I was equally impressed by the artwork of all the other talented artists.  If I had any wall space left in my house, I would have surely bought more!  And I would dearly love to own one of the fabulous hand-felted purses by Marilyn Roberts, but being allergic to wool has its drawbacks.  A humorous story from Story:  The road sign announcing the city said Population 650, but someone had painted a large 1 over the 0, so I guess there was a recent baby born to some lucky family!

We ate dinner at the Wagon Box Inn in Story, and all I can say is Yum!  I had the Coriander Salmon Salad with Huckleberry Vinaigrette and it was totally tasty.  Dad had the daily special — Stuffed Rainbow Trout — and Aunt Ethel had Chicken-Fried Steak.  They both enjoyed their meals as much as I did.  Definitely worth a trip!

Lastly, we visited the historical site of the Wagon Box Fight, a battle fought during Red Cloud's War in 1867.  Thirty-two soldiers held off an attack by 1000-2000 Sioux, Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne and members of other Indian tribes by taking shelter in a corral created by placing 14 wagons on their sides in an oval.  The soldiers were equipped with new Springfield-Allin repeating rifles with which the Indians weren't familiar.  The Indian warriors had planned to attack and then, when the soldiers reloaded, to storm the corral and kill the soldiers.  But the lull during reloading never came, and despite several attacks, the Indians were unable to overcome the soldiers.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


OK, so I've been thrown yet another curve ball.

I've had nodules in my thyroid for six years now.  I go have an ultrasound every year and the nodules have never changed...until now.  This year, I have two new nodules and two of the old ones have gotten bigger.  My doctor thinks I should have my thyroid removed.

I had the thyroid uptake scan back when the nodules were first discovered with negative results.  I've also had two fine-needle aspiration biopsies in the past, both with negative results.  My thyroid is still functioning, at the low end of normal, but my doctor thinks it is not worth the risk of it being cancerous.

I was agreeable to having the surgery until I read some of the posts online about the after-effects of the surgery.  One lady gained 40 pounds, another 20 and another 19. The last thing I need is to gain weight!  Other after-effects sound awful:  joint pain, mood swings, depression, tingling hands and feet, cold hands and feet, hair loss.  What could be more fun than that?

Now I'm not sure what to do.  I guess it will all work out eventually...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

2009 EuroCross 5K

What a hoot!  EuroCross is one of my favorite races each year, guaranteed to provide some dirt and mud and lots of fun.  The 5K is run as five loops on a 1K course with two creek crossings on each loop.  There are straw bales to jump over, one short-but-steep hill, another longer hill, and a little segment on pine-needle covered trail through the woods.

That's me in the background, two years ago, climbing up out of the second creek crossing.  This year, the water at the first creek crossing was chest deep!  This crossing was waist deep instead of the usual calf deep you see here.  Everyone was suitably soaked and streaked with mud by the end — yum!

I even managed to get 2nd place (out of two!) in my age group this year.  I'll take 'em any way I can get 'em!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Big Horn Trail Run 30K

Lately, I've been training for my next big (and maybe last!) race, the Big Horn Trail Run 30K (18.7 miles) in the Big Horn mountains near Dayton, Wyoming on June 20.  I ran this race last year, too, and it was a blast!  There are also 50K, 50 mile and 100 mile races running simultaneously with different start times.  They bus us up to the start of the race at about 7600' and let us run down to the valley at about 3800'.  Last year, my bus actually saw two moose grazing alongside the road.

I didn't take any pictures on race day, but I borrowed some from another runner (thanks, Molly!) to show you what it was like last year, and what I'm looking forward to this year.  This photo shows what the start of the race looks like.  Don't be fooled by the gravel road.  It didn't last long!

This is what a lot of the course looks like.  The wildflowers were awesome last year.  There was still snow under the trees in many places.  We even get to cross several shallow streams.

Eventually, we wind our way down into the Tongue River Canyon, shown here.  The coolness coming from the icy water was very welcome, because the last leg of the race is run on a very flat, hot, dusty gravel road.  Last year, I asked another runner if the road ever ended and he replied, "Not today!"  It sure seemed that way...

But I did finish the race in 5 hours and 15 minutes, and the best part was that my Dad was waiting for me at the finish line!