Humbled in Kennecot

Doesn’t it look like I am meditating serenely in the mountains?

Nothing could be further from the truth! Actually, I had collapsed onto my knees, trying to stretch out painfully spasming & cramping quadriceps.

My friend Kirk & I had just climbed roughly 5,000 feet on our bikes from West Jordan to the top of an mountain ridge overlooking the Kennecot copper mine.

I felt fine for the first 2 hours of climbing, including 2 miles of a consistent 20% grade, but during the last half hour of vertical effort, I completely cracked to pieces.

I could have walked faster.

Finally at the top, the view was incredible, but I was a mess. I handed my camera to Kirk, gasped: “take some pictures of the scenery” and pretty much fell knees first into a tuft of grass. I didn’t know he turned the camera on me.

The Kennecott mine is a fascinating place. There are only 2 manmade things clearly visible from orbiting spacecraft- the great wall of China, and this giant earth-zit.

Click to get a larger version of this picture, and see if you can spot the trucks creeping up the side of this 3/4 mile deep pit.

When you have completed this “Where’s Waldo” search, consider that these are monstrous trucks that fill 2 lanes when they travel on normal roads, the roof of an SUV doesn’t even reach the center of their hubcaps. The Kennecot website has images of them.

I like challenging myself, but this time, the mountain truly kicked me to pieces. But when you really need it, people come through.

I had a few dollars with me in my seat pack (always have money in your flat kit!), and when I could walk/stagger again, I hobbled over to several tourists who were up there in 4X4’s, I asked if I could buy some food from them.

No one would take my money, but next thing I knew, my hands were overflowing with garlic-artichoke hummus & ham sandwiches, Gatorade, molasses cookies, yummy sunflower seeds & salty potato chips!!!! My faith in the goodness of humanity is restored….

Also, thanks go to Kirk for this crazy epic ride idea. Next week he is moving away from speedskating, back to Colorado, and he will be deeply missed.

3 Responses to “Humbled in Kennecot”

  1. Andrew, you forgot to mention that you climbed like a champ. I’ve never seen you so strong. You humbled my fat, sorry self… so thanks for letting me save face by beating you to the top. ;-)

    Also, thanks for the great adventure we’ve had over the past 3 years! But adventures never truely end, right? They just morph into something new.

  2. things do change, don’t they…

    look at the comment my dad made on the SLC century post… he said stuff there that has been rattling around in my mind…

    I did not LET you beat me to the top, my fast twitch-fibre body-type was just completely fried/cooked/done/fini….

    I’m way too competitive (among fellow hammerheads like you) to LET you beat me… I did feel pretty good though until my hamstrings/quads cracked & just about fell off…

  3. I’m sorry your legs cracked ,but the scenery is beautiful. Thanks for the updates.

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