Day IV: Tuesday, April 28

Guest Post by Lewis (lowercase) Taylor

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series on the Michigan Bluff Training Camp. Check the blog each day to see lc’s report on how the Oregonians are doing at camp and how lc is doing in his efforts to simulate camp back home in Eugene, Ore.

The problem, I’m realizing, is that Eugene ain’t on a bluff. In fact it’s kind of the opposite of on a bluff (in a depression at about 500 feet above sea level).

Eugene's answer to the Swinging Bridge.

Eugene's answer to the Swinging Bridge.

There are no canyons right off the front porch for me to drop into, no screaming downhills that go for 16 miles, no 22-switchback climbs (or whatever Devil’s Thumb is) in my backyard. Each day, I think “How can I find some elevation, and fast?” I keep telling myself that the Willamette Valley is just one big stretched out canyon right? That if dudes in Florida can train for hills on 100-foot-high bridges then I can find a way to do this. Today I hopped in the car at 4:30 a.m. and drove to Patterson Mountain Road, which was to be my Dusty Corners for the day (sharp downhill followed by a steep up). It wasn’t even close. It was dark and rainy and cold and not nearly steep enough. It sucked. I wouldn’t recommend virtual training camp to anyone, but I’ll keep doing it since I’m on the hook for this blog. No Cougarbait, you can’t take over!

What They Ran: Today the boys conquered two major canyons, traveling from Dusty Corners to Michigan Bluff. They hopped in the car, stopped when the snow got too deep, then ran four miles to the trail. Bev and Alan Abbs joined the Oregonians for another chilly April run.

More homoerotic camp fun.

More homoerotic camp fun.

Nobody ran Devil’s Thumb as advertised on the schedule (wimps). The boys saw Paul from New Zealand, LB talked GM out of her USATF hat and Bili made a mess of his gel flask.I heard surprisingly few comments about his run, which offers some major climbing and descending through the heart of WS canyon country. This leads me to believe AJW’s theory that these guys are saving themselves for Saturday. Either that or they’re keeping their cards close to their chests.

What I Ran: Patterson Mountain Road to South Willamette Trail to Eula Ridge Trail and back (Down, UP, Down, Up), plus 1 mile to/from Sandpiper Auto, plus 6 miles from home to work via riverbank trail.

One of the the three, count 'em, steep switchbacks I ran on my version of Devil's Thumb.

One of the the three, count'em, steep switchbacks I ran on my Devil's Thumb simulation run.

Their total distance/time: 21 miles/3:20 to 3:40.

My total distance/time: 13 + 1 + 6 = 20 miles/1:55+10ish minutes+51:21 = 2:56:21

What they saw: Pacific Slab mining area.

What I saw: Rain, darkness.

Camp Conditions: Today SLF tipped the scales at 126 pounds after the run (up one measly pound from yesterday). He also showed off the ridiculous roadmap of veins in his legs. SLF says he learned two valuable training camp lessons: 1. Never let Thornley borrow your hat. 2. Don’t bring anything you care about to camp. It will get ruined.

On the camp schedule for tomorrow: Cal Street Tempo, good for 18 miles.

Rob's so vein. I bet he thinks this blog is about him.

Rob's so vein. I bet he thinks this blog is about him.


  1. Originally Posted By Cougarbaitlc, quit your whining, i live in a virtual training camp all the time, i live in virtual oregon — it’s call iowa, I don’t have anybody to train with…last time I tried, I asked the local small college coach if I could tag along behind his runner’s while they did some cruise miles…his answer?? “NO!”…that was downright rude and he even went to grad school at oregon and ran for XO for awhile so you’d think he’d have some running social skills??…so, train, train by yourself, make up your hills, make up your competition, run with mackey like i do, all the time, i even taunt him on the hills, run those 5-6 hours runs all by yourself like i do all the time — talk to yourself, yell at yourself, even get mad at yourself when you screw up your aide and don’t have enough GU’s, drag the brake on your baby jogger if you want hills, drag a car tire behind you…hell if you want some real training drag grab willson and go train with him…

    hold their CARDS close to their chest.???.how about card, who down there has a chest big enough to hold cards as in plural next to their chests? Hell, SLF can’t even hold card sideways and hide behind his chest!

    I bet you AJW can lick a GU bottle clean better than them all..aka…Headmaster!!!

  2. Four of us were out there yesterday, Matt Keyes, Derek Semanski, Marty Hoffman and myself. We ran MB to Dusty Corners (up the rod and returned via Pucker Point. The Oregon crowd, obviously having superior intelligence to us avoided Pucker Point which had a nasty amount of small branches and litter on the trail.

    Jeff ran from MB up the trail, we met abut half way between Swinging Bridge and the top of the canyon (on the LC side). A few minutes later, the rest of gang come crashing down the hill from up above us. A. Abbs was leading the charge. We re-grouped at Swinging Bridge. Our group of four got a 1-2 minute head start but were quickly caught on Devil’s Thumb by the Training Camp crowd (especially that tapeworm dude). We re-grouped at the top of the Thumb and again at the pump and ran down Eldorado. I stopped halfway down to massage the some plantar problems out of my foot. Derek from our group was first down to the bridge – heralding our first (and only) victory over the Campers of the day. I don’t know where LB was, I think he must have taken a detour to look at Deadwood Cemetery.

    Matt, Derek and I made a smart ascent to MB but were rudely passed by LB and Rob only 200-yards from the top (and we had a head-start). We joined the campers for a Pepsi afterwards. A fun day in the canyons was had by all. I have to say I felt pretty strong, but those guys (and gals) are in a completely different league to me.

    If you are doing the icecream sandwich run on Saturday I’d suggest just leaving milk and sugar outside your front door – it will freeze on its own.


    Paul Charteris

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