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It was three in the morning, completely dark, except for the starlight and the occasional headlamp from a Leadville 100 runner. The only sound was lake water lapping against the shore. We could see the Milky Way and my daughter saw her first shooting star. That became my favorite moment of the summer.

The Boat Ramp at Turquoise is not an official aid station but, at mile 93, it’s the last best area to offer a runner support and we were waiting to see if Jean needed anything or John wanted to bail before completing the last 7 miles.

Our early morning stay at the boat ramp lasted about 45 minutes but my daughter and I only had 10 minutes or so entirely to ourselves. Other support teams came and went. We watched as the runners came by ~ some still running very strong, while others were struggling a bit. I shined my flashlight on the trail letting them see where to continue running as Logan shouted out “Doing great, only 7 miles to go. Two hours and you’ll be under 25!”

Jean and John waved to us as they went by ~ both just wanting to complete the last 7 miles and be done. Thankfully, they didn’t stop since those few minutes would have put Jean over the 25 hours.

Oddly, I did witness cranky supporters who felt since they waited for their runner, the runner was somehow obligated to stop. To me, the best thing was when Jean DIDN’T need anything and felt well enough to continue on. I could certainly entertain myself well enough at all the aid stations ~ the beautiful scenery, people and dog watching and, most importantly, spending time with my family. And then seeing Jean strong enough to continue on at such a great pace made it all the more enjoyable.

I went back the next day to see the boat ramp and it’s a beautiful spot but at night, it’s incredible:

Boat Ramp at Turquoise Lake, Colorado

Boat Ramp at Turquoise Lake, Colorado

It’s been an amazing summer but this is the moment I cherish the most. As I see the leaves turn colors, it’s time to chase a favorite fall moment. Do you have a favorite?

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Now on the day that John Wayne died
I found myself on the continental divide
Tell me where do we go from here?
Think I’ll ride into Leadville and have a few beers
Think of “Red River”, “Liberty Valence” can’t believe
the old man’s gone”      Incommunicado  (Jimmy Buffett)

Leadville Silver Dollar Saloon 1879
As Jimmy Buffett fans, we couldn’t resist having “a few beers” in Leadville even if it wasn’t on 11 June, the day John Wayne died.

After being away from Colorado for many years, I was happy my memory of the clean, crisp air and wide open spaces didn’t fail me. We got out of Denver (altitude:5,430 ft) right after landing and made our way to Silverthorn (altitude: 8,730) for an overnighter. Coming from sea level didn’t cause any of us too much trouble although we all felt our hearts beating a little faster and any exertion (running up stairs) caused a bit of heavy breathing.

Colorado driving to Leadville
The next day we headed up to Leadville (altitude: 10,152). Our vacation rental house wouldn’t be ready until 4 pm so we stopped often and enjoyed the beautiful views as much as possible.

Colorado Continental Divide Jean Logan and Patti
Continental Divide ~ Tennessee Pass.

Every continent, except for Antarctica, has a continental divide. The North American Continental Divide divides the flow of water between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Rain or snow that drains on the east side of the Continental Divide flows toward the Atlantic Ocean and drainage to the west side flows toward the Pacific Ocean.

Colorado cabin 2
A Colorado Cabin

Colorado biker outside of leadville
Biking at 10,000 feet

Colorado Leadville Fly shop guide sign
Fly Fishing Anyone? Think “A River Runs Through It” setting

Leadville Turquoise lake Logan walking along the shoreline II
At Turquoise Lake just outside of Leadville

Leadville Sunset from rental house II
Sunset in Leadville

Leadville High Mountain Pies

If you find yourself in Leadville (or nearby), be sure to eat at High Mountain  Pies. After all my travels and more than a few pizza pies (Italy included), I can honestly say it’s the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. YUM! Now I’m on a quest to find a similar pizza in the Washington DC area. Where’s your favorite Pizza place?

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