There’s no fucking snow in Santa Barbara, only surfing, The Endless Summer, and the Hope Ranch Surf Club.
Stretching from LA to beyond the beautiful Big Sur coastline, the LP, as it’s affectionately known amongst the town's nature enthusiasts, is often overshadowed by it’s more popular siblings, the Sierra Nevada, Angeles, and Sequoia National Forests, to name a few.
“Your Father’s National Forest,” what the huh?
So, if it’s so relatively unknown, who the heck cares about an ffkay, what?
A Fastest Known time, or FKT for short, is essentially a speed record on a popular and/or well-defined route, and while the Los Padres Traverse isn’t quite popular (yet), it is fairly well defined and a total of three crazy people have gone for it! There’s also only one way to make something you like popular: start doing it.
Being not so highly competitive in the grander scheme of ultrarunning things and with virtual-ly no real race reg’s in sight, we’ll call this one a favorite of our infamous vegan friends: low-hanging fruit. So on January 16th I set out at 7:00 a.m. solo, with a photographer at the ready (because pics or it didn't happen) to munch on that juicy fruit. It just so happened to also be in my ‘backyard’ so logistically quite easy to execute and requiring no out of county travel, though you do get really close to SLO.
What’s another way to make something a whole ‘nother level of fun? How about you add in a dozen miles of sporadic knee-high snow fields while climbing to 6,000 feet and facing 50mph gusts of winds in the face. Snow, I must mention, left over from our one storm of the season thus far...three weeks ago, with recent mid-winter weather temps pushing Endless Summer type sunshiny days.
He’s training for some dumb long, flat, boring road event that’s even farther than 42 miles (talk about not fun) in the desert later this month, so there’s no chance he takes it back anytime soon, but obviously a well-deserved pat on the back if he does.
It’s the only thing I’ve beaten him in my entire life (thus far!) and I take great pride in claiming his title as one of his favorite pastimes is shoving it to me real good, too.
Mother Nature truly does rule, a way of being for the extensive wildlife that calls these places home (we’re merely just passerbys), she acts as an unsympathetic ogress to us homosapiens indifferent to our qualms. But I forgive Her, always and very quickly, and you should too because you’ve got to know any disdain with Her fury will reap fresh bad luck and karma in the most mysterious of ways. It’s imperative to quite literally and figuratively roll with it (the snow, the winds), while meandering across the middle ridges of the mountains like Madulce Peak, be it slow, but always with a relentless passion to prudently pursue what pains you most: progress. It’s within these deep discomforts that the greatest self-discoveries are to be had in Her presence. Despite our mere mortal conquerings of the moment, she’ll continue to wear the crown around these parts, keepin’ it crystal clear that her royalty rules all, with both supremacy and swagger.
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