Monday, September 23, 2013


 It was four years ago when I first stumbled on the idea of climbing Southern California's three largest mountains - San Antonio, San Gorgonio and San Jacinto - in one continuos effort.  It's known as the SoCal Triple Crown or the 8,000 meter challenge, I dubbed it: Tres Saints.  At the time I didn't own a pair of running shorts, didn't know the definition of an ultra-marathon and hadn't read Born to Run.  I had just finished up an awesome summer in the high sierra that culminated in a traverse of the palisade crest from Temple crag to Thunderbolt peak in one continuos 18 hour push.  To sum up my first two attempts at Tres Saints, I will just say:"Life happens, while you're making plans."

On Friday, September 20th I left Idyllwild around 2pm headed towards the trailhead for Mt. San Antonio.  I started up the trail around 4pm and was back to the car by 7pm.  I used the last light of day to prepare my pack for Mt. San Gorgonio which I headed toward next.  I hit the trail at 930pm, and after a long, cold, dark and sometimes painful run I returned to the car a little after 4am.  That's right, I had the brilliant idea to do the longest, toughest and highest of the three mountains during the middle of the night.  On the drive from Forest Falls to Marion Mountain trailhead I utilized the cruise control, set at 60mph, and I enjoyed a nice slow traffic-less drive, letting my legs rest and refueling my body and mind, which were both starting to feel the fatigue.  At 6am, after not sleeping in over 24hrs and putting 28 miles of mountain trails under my feet, I headed out with the fresh energy of two friends and a lot of caffeine towards the summit of Mt. San Jacinto.  We had a great hike, enjoyed the last beautiful morning of Summer and were back at the car by 1130am.

In the 22 hours between leaving and returning to Idyllwild my thoughts ebbed and flowed, sometimes they took me to strange places, places I haven't been in years.  This morning, while reflecting on the journey over the last four years that brought me through the physical act of accomplishing this ludicrous goal, I am filled with gratitude.  I am grateful for all the support from my family and friends who allow me such self indulgent passions.  You know who you are, and you know there are too many of you to list.  To all of you, I say THANK YOU, I am grateful!

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