19009 SE Barton Park Rd. Boring, OR 97009
"The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed wether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is to try and be there." -Annie Dillard
Almost, just barely, I was tempted to blow off the start of Sunday's race day completely. Yeah, I mean, I was tired...still am. At this point, we all are. Semi-anxious working weeks leading up to giddy preparations culminating in 48 hours of exhausted splendor. Race hard. Don't pass out. High fives and the like of whirlwind race day heckling and cowbell ding ding ding ding run ups or trying to find your damn shoe again and stay dry under the tent for a damn second. Next thing you know you've cleaned the mud (or tried to...maybe thought about it) off of ALL of your stuff, haven't had dinner yet and the two beers you just crushed are NOT going to make you feel full any longer. It's variations on an already mutable theme, but we can all relate to the somehow long yet still immediately short timelessness of race weekend. And it's f'ing exhausting.
I've only driven hwy 224 a handful of times, but there always seems to be magic happening. The first time: powerboat camping. Yep...exactly. Let that one sink in for a second. Seriously, though...put it on my to do list. The next time was a late afternoon forest fire smoke sunset. This time, it was 7:50am or so Sunday morning and we smelled the sodden morning air mated with the scent of scallions through the heat vents of my truck. Although I knew other colors existed at that moment, it was difficult to see anything other than black foliage shadows and searing orange everything else. I was upset to be driving on this road and not riding on it. Regardless, we watched morning pass aflame behind rain-dotted, condensed windows through which we could still feel the dead fall air. All I wanted to do was stop and shoot photos there.
The least I could try and try and do is be there. And so we arrived at Barton and set up shop in a still pre-caffeinated state. You may have heard the sound cannon blasting the unnce-uuncee all day...it was a birthday celebration. I must say, Kudos to Cross Crusade for keeping the course variation great this year. I'm impressed at how courses continue to suit different strengths weekly. I see why people consider Barton a classic; the mud and dramatic lighting ALL DAY really helped too. Spend the weekends, people...we can't take cross with us.
And I keep hearing people say "the Crusade is dead". Long Live the Crusade.
Huge gigantic thanks go to Patty Bekrosdale @cxpistols for manning the kamera for a few races. Guy's a natural!