Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Few Race Reports From This Year

Here are a few race reports I had written from a couple of the races I had done this year. These are some lengthy reads, grab a seat and get comfortable. Each report was written shortly after the race itself:

Austin Rattler 100k, April 8th, 2017

This was my second year going out to Austin for the race, I had such a great time last year and loved Austin I wanted to go out and race again. Austin Rattler is part of the Leadville Race series, I had originally hoped to come out this year and snag a Leadville slot, but then I got my spot in the general lottery, so my goal of this race was a good finish time to get a good starting corral for Leadville 100 MTB race. I set a high goal of finishing under 5hr 30min, which would ultimately put me right where I wanted to be corral wise for Leadville. I knew 5hr 30min would be a stretch and things would have to go perfectly smooth for that to happen, but I always like to set hard-to-reach goals and this was one that was quite probable for me to attain.
This is my first year working with a coach (Steve Heaton) and this was my first “A” race, so I was excited to see where all the work leading up to this race would play out.
I got to the race site on Thursday to preride and campout for the next 2 nights leading up to the race. The course in on a ranch 45 min east of Austin. The course is three 20 mile loops for a total of 100k and somewhere around 3000ft total of climbing, so fairly flat. The first half of the loop includes some fast fire road and open single track in field/pastures going out to the far end of the ranch returning on single track twisting through the forest. I knew my strength was the first half of the course so my plan was really to hammer the first half of every loop and then once I got to the back half of the course, I knew I wouldn’t be able to hammer through the twisty single track through the forest and my heart rate would naturally drop to give me some recovery.
Race morning…things leading up to the race start went well. I was the calmest I had been leading up to a race this year. I felt good and strong, no nerves that made me want to throw up or question my sanity of what I was doing. Everything felt good and just right. I did a quick 15min warm up with some hard pushes and went down to the start.
500 racers, 1 mass start. By the time I got to the start, 20 minutes before race start, the corral was packed. I couldn’t get my starting position from the entering in the back, no one was letting me through with my bike. You must get a good starting position, as there is about ¾ mile of fire road before we get to the first single track section you must have a good start or you will get held up in the bottle neck. My coach and I talked about this and made a plan, start at the front and just hammer until singletrack.
So how do I get up front? No one is letting me through in the back of the corral. Well I went around the side of the corral picked a starting spot near the front, but not all the way at the front, which seemed about right. Threw my bike to some guy I that I was able to grab his attention and jumped over the fence into the corral. Now I had 15 min to stand there and size myself up to everyone else. Keep in mind almost everyone else was male almost 500 racers…maybe 50 women total. I tried not to let self-doubt talk enter my head. Instead I went with the positive self-talk, “yes you can start here” “yes your fast enough” “ you look just as fast as they do”…etc, etc. Just kept trying to keep myself calm and assured. 15 min is a long time to stand there and do that. They made a callup to the short list of pro’s and guest racer: Lance Armstrong…that lined up right at the front. Sweet, I’m racing against Lance Armstrong…how many people can say that? National Anthem and then the gun!
It was supposed to be a neutral rollout to the bridge about 1/10th of a mile from the start and then all game. Neutral rollout really didn’t mean much unless you were right at the front. But I waited until I crossed the bridge to lay it out and then I hammered. There was a short 300-foot climb about a ½ mile in of loose golf ball to tennis ball size rocks, I was surprised by how many were struggling to gain traction and actually make it smoothly up the hill. This really gave me more confidence because I had no problem and zoomed by the strugglers. I got to the single track with no bottleneck. Prefect! Right where I wanted to be. The pace in the single track maintained at a good speed and I pushed “just keep the wheel ahead of you” I kept saying to myself. I knew the pace was fast, and the effort was hard, harder than I could sustain for a 5hr+ race, but I wanted to take the chance and I went with it, just sticking to the wheel in front of me. About an hour into the race I knew I had to start dialing it back a bit, my heartrate was staying in Z4 and I knew that wasn’t sustainable. So ever so gently I eased up a bit. I watched as a few people went by, I couldn’t get back onto a wheel I could hang onto without pushing super hard, so I let people pass and let my effort come down a bit, it was early and I was starting to feel like I was going to bonk, if I didn’t ease up.  I needed to hydrate and eat.
I came into the first lap at 1hr45min, the first lap is always faster as the 2nd and 3rd have single track that is bypassed in the first lap due to the mass start. I did a quick water bottle switch at the feed zone and calorie intake. I knew I had to push a relatively hard effort to keep under a 5hr30min finish time. It got really windy on the second lap, I prayed for a wheel to catch and then this big tall guy went by and I caught his wheel. My prayers were answered, I hung onto his wheel and pushed hard to stay there. We passed a few handful of people. Once we got to the singletrack that winded through the trees, I lost his wheel, but kept pushing. I came into the second lap somewhere around 3hr42min, I did the math, I had to finish the last lap in under 1hr 50min, that’s 7+ min faster than the second lap. I knew what I had in me and how tired I was, I didn’t think it was feasible. I stopped at my feed zone and took the time to get some calories and hydration in. And went out for the last lap. I caught some wheels but once I hung onto I wheel, it was too easy. So I kept passing people without really having a wheel to ride. There was one open section with a nasty head wind I did sit on someone’s wheel for some rest but quickly gave it up because the pace was too slow for me. I didn’t get superwomen powers the last lap and knew I wasn’t going to break 5hr30min. I just held onto my steady pace and pushed it all the way to the end, I passed a lot of people on that last lap, I was happy with how I was riding.
In the end I finished in 5hr45min. That was a 53min PR from last year. I was really happy with how I had done, I took a chance and went out hard. I have no regrets as that was what I needed to do to break 5hr 30min my ultimate goal. I finished 18 of 37 women finishers and 268 of 437 total. 7th out of 11th in F30-39. A 5:28 finish would have gotten a 3rd place podium in my AG. I know I am ALMOST there. I feel my fitness is there, but it’s the bike handling that I lost time on, exactly in the areas I knew I would, the back ½ of the course where the singletrack twists through the trees. Overall I came away from this race with more self-confidence than I had before. I feel I am a strong rider but I know I lack certain technical skills, which I will continue to work on.
Post Austin Rattler

Tahoe 100k MTB, July 15th, 2017

Preriding the Tahoe 100k Course with teammate Megan Ruble

Tahoe 100k The Race That Wasn’t
I went back and forth about actually writing a race report, since the race did not go in my favor, but that’s not what race reports are about and we don’t always have the outcomes that we had hoped for.

Let me back up to a month before when I was at the start line for the Carson City Off Road 50 mile race. I’m not going to give a full report on that but I will briefly tell you what happened. It was HOT. I knew all week it was going to be a hot race. I was hoping that would play in my favor, I had been training in the heat and knew everyone else had to deal with the same conditions I did, so I wasn’t worried about the heat. The day before on my preride my Garmin topped out at 106 degrees. I knew I wasn’t going into this race 100% rested, my legs and body had some dwindling fatigue from training despite cutting back that week going into the race, but I was ok with that.  I’m training for Leadville, I didn’t need to be fully rested for this race. I also felt like I was fighting a cold all week, I did what I could to keep myself healthy and didn’t focus on that too much. From the minute I started the race things felt off, as the race went on the heat on the 2nd lap beat me down and eventually broke me. I’m a climber and I could barely climb, my heartrate wouldn’t come down despite me easing up my effort.  I eventually ended up pulling the plug after the 2nd lap, 35 miles. I couldn’t imagine heading out for the 3rd lap and having to deal with the heat all over again, it was a technical course and I was not at 100%, dealing with the heat exhuastion.  I felt like I was going to do my body more damage to continue.

Fast forward to last Saturday, Tahoe 100k. I was so ready for this race and had everything dialed in. My training had been going well, I was comfortable with my new nutrition plan my coach and I had been working on for longer endurance rides, my coach and I also worked on my training plan to make sure I was going to into this race well rested. The whole week leading up to the race I paid close attention to my hydration and sleep. I wanted to do everything that would put me in the best position for a good outcome at Tahoe. A good finish at this race would move me up 1 or 2 corral positions for my start at Leadville. And more importantly I was excited to see where all my work that I have put into my training was going to pay off.

The Sunday before the race I was able to preride the course with Megan Ruble. We both were super excited for the race and it was fun to have her crossing over to the “dirty” side of racing. I knew she would do well as a strong road cyclist and this course favors strong riders, without having much technical terrain, also a course that is very favorable to me. On the drive up to Tahoe I connected with my coach and we devised a plan to pace myself over the 2 laps of the race.

After a short warmup Saturday morning. I squeezed into the start line next to Megan, we had positioned ourselves near the front as to not get behind the weaker climbers as once the course hits dirts, the climbing starts with some fairly steep pitches. As the gun went off, Megan and I separated quickly in the mass start of everything. I tried not to get caught up in what everyone else was doing and stuck to the plan my coach and I had discussed. After the steep pitchy climb, the climb leveled out onto the fireroad switchbacks out of Northstar. I settled into a comfortable effort, that almost seemed too easy, but I kept telling myself to wait, wait until the 2nd lap then you can use the energy. After the climb the course hits a short curvy singletrack decent. “Just keep on pace with the wheel in front of you” I told myself, we were in a line and there was no opportunity to pass. Someone was getting antsy behind and yelling out to hurry up, I always find it comical when that happens, we were clearly all in line and only going as fast as the person in front of us, not sure how he figured his yelling would help, plus in less then a 1/10th of mile the course opens up to fire road again with passing opportunity galore.  Shortly after we hit the fast fireroad decent, I tucked in and went as fast as my wheels would take me, it was real dusty and hard to see any line. Riding the course the weekend before was helpful as I knew were the smoothest lines were. On the downhill I noticed Erin Machan pass me, I met Erin the first year I started racing in 2015, as we have mutual friends and have both race for the Wattie Ink team. She is a stellar mountain biker and always has strong finishes, she’s one of those riders you aspire to be able to be as good as. Since I met Erin, we always seem to be at most of the same races. She’s always finished ahead of me. Well, today, I was passing her on the climbs and she was passing me on the downhills. I finally settled on a comfortable position of riding behind her and keeping her in my sight. Effortwise I was right where I needed to be, it was still early on in the race so I didn’t need to waste energy blowing by her on a climb again, I just settled in and was feeling good about it. Then we came up to “The Wall” a steep descent with loose gravel and lots of ruts. I knew the line I wanted to take from riding it last week. And then it happened.

All I remember is following the line right where I wanted to be. Then the next thing I know the right side of my body is being slammed into the ground. I hear cracking, “was that me? Or the bike.” Then the world around me got really small. I could hear voices yelling out “Are you ok?” but they were so far away. Here I was on the ground and I couldn’t move. The first thought that went through my head was, “NO….not Leadville.” I calmly said to myself, “ok take your time get up in your ready”  I knew it was a bad crash as I lay in the dirt hearing people yelling out asking if I was ok…I couldn’t answer, one because I couldn’t get a sound out and two I didn’t know if I was ok. I mentally did a full body scan, “ok I think I can move” I got to my feet. OMG I hurt, as I stood I doubled over in pain from the hit my ribs took. There was a medic that was stationed at this dangerous downhill part of the course. She was running down to me. She said “Are you OK, you crashed really hard.” I said something like, “that really hurt, I hurt really bad.” Then I said, “I’m going to get on my bike and see how things go.” In the back of my heading thinking “you can still ride with broken ribs right?” I’ve heard of people finishing races with fractures from falls they’ve taken during a race. I’m not going to quit. Amazingly, I looked at the data from my Garmin, from the time I hit dirt to when I was back on my bike heading down the rest of the hill was only 3 minutes. It seemed more like 10.

Well, things didn’t go so well when I got back on my bike, it hurt to breath, downhill bumps hurt. People were passing me asking if I was ok. About 10 minutes later I see another medic on a motorbike. I stop, this time I have him check me out. No obvious external injuries compromising my chest wall. He asks what I want to do, we are in a really tough place for anyone to get to me. I can keep going forward till the next aid station or go back to the top of “the wall” I’ll keep going I say, he radios to his team in front of me to expect me coming. Well that was slow going. I had no power being generated from my right side of my body and I have a big climb in front of me. Pedal a bit. Get off the bike, push the bike a bit, get back on, pedal a bit, and it continues like this for the next two miles. I painfully watch as people are passing me left and right recognizing women in my age group and it pangs me  for me to see how well I was doing and how far in front in was of some of my fellow competitors.
Eventually medic on the motorbike comes up from behind me. Asking how I’m doing. “Not good” I say. “We can get you out here” he says. He radios his team and a big ATV comes down the hill. My bike and I get put into the ATV and off the course I go.

 UPDATE: Luckily, I did not break ribs, they were just badly bruised. So I knew my training was only going to be limited by my pain. I was off the bike for three days and back training for Leadville as Leadville was less than four weeks away. I am thankful I was able to get back on my bike and continue forward. The day of the Tahoe I accepted it for what it was…I accepted the fact I wasn’t going to move up my corral spot, I accepted that I missed Tahoe as a critical training day for Leadville. I didn’t have time to wallow in “what if” or “why me” moments, those would not help me. I only had time to put myself back to together and do what it would take to get me in the best physical and mental state given my new current condition going into Leadville. It hasn’t been the easiest, some days are better than others. I’m more than two weeks out from the crash and still having significant discomfort at times. But I will tell you this, Leadville has been such a big focus for me and my training this year and it’s been one of those bucket list races I’ve always wanted to do. I have to believe all the training, dedication, and love I have put into this sport, will me give me my moments of glory and continue to do so as long as I put the work in and believe that it is possible.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Full Circle - The Journey to the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race

On the Leadville 100 MTB course heading out to Twin Lakes

I started this blog site five years ago in the beginning of 2012, the blog began as a narration of the  journey of my training for the Leadville 100 Trail Run race. It then followed me through my adventures of life eventually leading me to my thru-hike of the PCT in 2014, in which I wrote everyday. I haven't posted in over two years and the last post was about me completing the PCT. Today, August 9th, 2017, I find myself back at Leadville 3 days out from one of the biggest races I have commited myself to complete...The Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. So here I sit almost full circle five years later ready to attempt Leadville this time not by foot, but by bike.

Let me back up a almost three years ago a bit. What happened after the PCT? Where did I go? What was I up to? Well, I found myself back in the Bay Area taking another traveling job, just because I didn't know what to do or where to go...I just wasn't struck by an answer. Life was so easy on the PCT all I had to do was follow this three foot wide trail north, but after the trail, there wasn't but one path to choose from. How was I to know what direction to go? I gave myself three months in the Bay Area and then I would leave after that assignment.

It was during that time back in the Bay Area, I reward myself a gift for hiking the first mountain bike and shortly there after (maybe 3 weeks?) I entered my first mountain bike race at the CCCX Series in Monterey. I knew how to ride a bike from my triathlon history, mountain biking couldn't be any harder right?
My New Bike-A gift to myself for hiking the PCT

My first Cross Country Mountain Bike Race, Febuary 8th, 2015, CCCX Series, Cat 3

That was a muddy race!!!

I quickly learned that mountain biking wasn't that required skill and time. But I was hooked. I continued to race Cat 3, I continued to race the CCCX races, Sea Otter, Tahoe 50k, and some other local races.
My Biggest win of the 2015 season: 1st Place 30-39 women, 6th overall Tahoe 50k

As I was busy diving into the world of mountain biking my three month assignment was coming to an end...I still had no answer to what I was going to do or where I would go next. Then one day I noticed Stanford was building a cancer center in the South Bay. I went online and discovered a job posting that was exactly what I was looking for. I applied for that one job, no others, and things kept falling into place. I accepted a permanent position in June 2015, my first permenant job in almost three years. I was scared...this meant I had to stay in one spot longer then 6 months, I had to sign a year lease, I had been living this carefree life of not being tied down to one place for longer than 6 months and I was giving it that up, but the opportunity was a great move for my career and I couldn't turn it down. So I have now permanently put down roots in the Bay Area.

Fast forward to 2016 and I continued to fall in love with the sport of mountain biking and racing. I moved up to Cat 2 and continued to develop my skills as a rider and saw continuous improvement.
CCCX Race, March 27th, 2016 Toro Park
Austin Rattler 100k, April 9th, 2016

Carson City Off Road 50miler, June 19th, 2016

As the 2016 season ended. I was left feeling a little unsatisfied. I was improving on the bike but my race results weren't where I wanted them all the time I felt like I was all over the board. I knew if I wanted to continue to progress I needed to hire a coach.

In November of 2016 I started working with my first coach, Steve Heaton at H3Coaching. Steve got me to a level and prepared me for the 2017 season that I never imagined I could have. With his encouragement I moved up yet again and was going to race Cat 1 for the 2017 season. I went from riding 3-4 times a week to 5 times a week. I also got accepted to race for a team for the 2017 season: Team Cycle Sport-Specialized p/b Muscle Milk. Between working with a coach and racing for Team Cycle Sport my racing and riding was taking on a whole new level, I was stoked and loving every bit of it.

In January I found out I got into Leadville MTB race via the general lottery I was shocked. I never thought that would happen. My goal was to qualify for Leadville either at the Austin Rattler or Tahoe 100k, and probably defer to race in 2018. But I got in for 2017 in January and this was enough time to prepare. I was trembling and crying when I found out...this meant this was the year I got to go back to Leadville and finish what I couldn't do in 2012 in the run (I didn't make the cut-off at the 50 miler mark for the run). This was not only a bucket race for me...but I truly had unfinished business at Leadville and I was not going to go back unless I was entirely sure I was capable of finsihing well above cutoff times.

Early in the season we focused on the shorter XC races: Sea Otter and local CCCX races. The 100k Austin Rattler was thrown in there too.
CCCX Race, March 4th, 2017 Cat 1

Sporting my new Team Kit

After completing the Wente 8hr solo race, June 3rd, 2017

After Sea Otter in April, I switched coaches and started working with Chris at Burnham Coaching the focus of training really changed from shorter harder intensity to focusing on Leadville 100 training. I continued to see progression in my training. In June I had my first hiccup at a race, I DNFd at Carson City Off Road 50 miler, due to heat exhaution. Four weeks later I was at Tahoe 100k hoping for a good finish that would move up my starting corral position at Leadville 100 MTB, and I had a horrible crash 15 miles into a 60 mile race. (I'll upload the race report in my next blog post). The instant I crashed...the first thing that went through my mind was "NO! Not Leadville." Well lucky enough, I walked away with badly bruised ribs and was back on the bike training 3 days later. Not without significant pain, but I wasn't letting that stop me from a finish at the 2017 Leadville 100 Mountain Bike.

So here I am now. Almost 4 weeks out from my crash at Tahoe 100k, and 3 days out from Leadville 100 MTB. I have two recent DNFs leading up to the Leadville and am terrified for another less then optimal outcome. But I truly believe I know what I am capable of and I hope that I can show what that is on Saturday. I have been in Leadville for almost two weeks now acclimating to the altitude. For those of you unfamiliar with Leadville, Leadville is an old mining town in Colorado situated in the Rocky Mountains at 10,200ft above sea level. The mountain bike race is 100miles that climbs up to 12,600ft at the Columbine mine, it's an out and back race, with a mass start of close to 2000 racers.

So was only appropriate I started blogging share my story of the Leadville 100 mountain bike race.

Some photos of where my bike has taken me these past two weeks in Leadville

Top of the Columbine Climb, 12,600ft above sea level
Turquoise Lake

Beautiful scenery everywhere

Bottom of Powerline

Mineral Belt Trail


Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Ok...I know it only took me, ummm like 7 months to write this post. I'm sorry to all those who were eagerly waiting. It's really simple to sit down and write a blog post, but why the procrastination??? Perhaps I just wasn't ready to turn that final page of the journey over. As I had told others who'd ask when I was going to finish my blog, "I'll finish it when I'm ready," was always my answer, it was my journey, and this is how went:
Day 137
14 miles 
PCT mile 2668-THE END, Manning Park, BC, Canada!!!!!
Well...nature won last night...I laid in my tent long enough listening to the squeaky trees and worrying about the wind and my mortality, that at around 11pm I got up, threw everything out of my tent, dragged my tent out from under the dead trees that most likely were going to fall on me and end my PCT journey 1 day too soon, ending up on uneven ground sloping down, but sure I'd sleep much better here then my previous choice.
It was a bittersweet morning packing up camp. Just a mere 6 miles to the border...and then I'd be there, Canada. It's like one of those days where it doesn't seem real, like a hazy dream, is this really about to happen?!?
I beat the group out of camp, well Stomper left first, but I followed suit shortly after. This journey was about me and my solo trek from Mexico to Canada and I wanted to walk the last 6 miles to the border alone. In those 6 miles I replayed the whole 2660 miles in my head and what it took to get me there. Memories brought smiles to my face, tears to my eyes, overwhelming gratitude to my soul and sadness to my heart. I took in every breath like it was my last and filled my body with the wilderness that had become a part of me, that had taught me more about myself than I could not even begin to comprehend in that moment.
And then it was there! The monument! Canada! Just like words can describe, I was numb. But a happy numb, this really happened.

  Hornsby was there...happy to see him (it had been 5 days since I saw him last, but knew he was only a few miles ahead) we were able to celebrate this moment together. We had quite a journey, I first met Hornsby on day 75 in Burney Falls...little did I know the miles and days we would stick out together. We were what was left of the Caboose Crew...Buffalo finished days ahead, and Sanford somewhere still behind us.


Hornsby and I

We soaked in the moment of the border, took pictures, and witnessed as the others came to the same place as us, an end of a never-to-be-forgotten life changing journey.

My swag: Happy Feet, the Badgers, and the princess wand

The rest of the crew:


No Mayo and Gypsy



Signing out...the last trail journal.

Eventually I was getting cold and needed to start moving again. The trail doesn't just end at the border...we still had 8 miles left to get to the nearest road and civilization. I continued on. Three miles later I came upon a BIG surprise:

I was speechless and awestricken...My mom and my brother, Eric, flew into Seattle yesterday, drove to Manning Park, Canada and then hiked 5 miles south onto the PCT this morning and waited for me!!! They knew I would finish sometime today, but really played the wildcard and waited several hours in the middle of the Canadian Wilderness for me to show up. 

What an epic way to end an epic journey. I hiked into Manning Park, Canada, with my brother, Eric, and my mom by my side.

Where's Happy Feet????
Found her!!!

Best trail magic of the whole trail.

And done!!!

I am forever grateful to all my would have never happened without all the love and strength I gained from all of you at home believing in me and this journey. So many of you made my resupply days unexpected and fun!!! The simple messages I got along the way...made tough days melt away. Thank you all,
Happy Feet


Monday, February 2, 2015

Day 136

Day 136
October 3rd
24 miles
PCT mile 2654

As Sanford would say, "I'm over it!" That's what I said 16 miles into the day. I was looking at the trail that descended into a deep crater-like valley, only to climb back out on the other side to Woody's Pass. Seriously!!! We couldn't just take the easy way around and cut into the steep cliff side to the left? Granted it looked like rock slide haven, but in my mind the shortest way seemed the most logical at this point. Nonetheless I continued down and then up, and up, and up. In all reality it probably wasn't that bad of a climb, but my body, legs and feet were so beat up it felt like the worst of them all...knowing this was the last pass of the entire trail didn't even help my "negative" mind frame, instead I just bitched about it...sometimes you just got to let it out. Of course with every climb you are greatly awarded with fantastic views. The crew had stopped at the top to regroup and take in the last of what the PCT had to offer us. 

Coming over Woody's Pass

Though my negativity was still there I told everyone "I quit the PCT, I'm over it." It was my body, not my mind doing the talking. I was so fatigued anything over 18 mile days had me beat down. Truthfully, in all the days on the trail I had, I loved every single one of them, the thought of quitting never crossed my mind. I was the happiest I could be out here in the wilderness, this was my place.  And quitting today meant the easiest and fast way out was 20 miles north... Manning Park, BC, Canada. The end of the PCT.

We had 4 more miles to Hopkins Lake where we all agreed to camp, for our last night on the trail. It was dusk and though I hurried as I really wasn't wanting to hike too much of it in the dark, I stopped to take in the last sunset on the trail and do a bit of reflecting.

The last sunset

As it grew dark and I needed my headlamp to finish the last mile or so, Stomper had stopped to wait for me. He knew my headlamp battery was dying and night hiking on this rocky terrian was not easy for me. I was grateful for his thoughtfulness and kindness as we slowly made it into camp.

Ten of us again at camp, squeezed into a small grove of dead trees. Somehow in my fatigue...I choose a nice flat spot, but under two dead trees leaning at a 60 degree angle right over my tent, not to be noticed until I was already set up. Do I move? Are the trees going to fall on me? No, I'm sure I'll be fine. As I continued on to gather water and make some dinner.

The night was much warmer then the previous two nights and we were all able to eat our dinners around a bonfire and enjoy the last night on the trail.