"Only those who risk failing greatly can ever succeed greatly." –RFK
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Tour the Badwater course - a photo journal by Dr. Ben Jones
(pic: Mile 100 on the Badwater course. Photo courtesy of Dr. Ben Jones)
OK, perhaps it's time for something a little lighter! How about something that never fails to ignite in me feelings of awe, humility, reverence. It's my sanctuary, my church. It is Death Valley. Even just looking at beautiful pictures like this stirs up all sorts of "higher" unworldly emotions.
Ben has mastered the art of photographing Death Valley, capturing just the right moments, the best angles. And he did it again. This is his newest and perhaps second only to his "Death Valley Blooms" albums, his best in my opinion.
Want to take a virtual tour of the Badwater course? Think the desert is flat? Think Heartbreak Hill is brutal? Ever wonder what the finish line looks like in the distance from the eyes of a Badwater runner? Can you imagine the sight from high up on the road to the Whitney Portals looking back at the long and winding road whence you came? ...And if you think YOUR gas is expensive?
This is the best photo journey of the Badwater course I have seen. Landmark by landmark, Ben takes you from Badwater, 282 feet below sea level, to the Mt. Whitney Portal, 135 miles away with an exotic galaxy of life and splendor in between.
If you are ready to forget about taxes and health care and insurance and training and deadlines for a little while, then go HERE and take a virtual tour. (With permission from Ben.)
I am an ultra runner, physician and have been medical director of some of the toughest ultras. I tend to be a mover and a shaker and louder than my size suggests. However, my Gemini twin is gentler and contemplative, an artist, a writer, and a poet. I am a dog lover, a believer in souls, and have a special affinity for those who struggle because I have been there.
This is my crazy lovable huggable Weimaraner, Steely Dan. I call him Steely. He left us in January of this year at only 6 years from lymphoma that did not respond to chemotherapy treatments. Steely was a total goof. He loved trail running, road running, treadmill running, new experiences, making eye contact, sleeping on his back, me, kids, and liver treats. He was Zappa's best friend. We miss him dearly.
This is Stella. A rescue from the shelter. She's about 6 months old and a Border Collie. She is a joyous bundle of energy and curiosity and now also Zappa best friend. She will make a nice running partner when she grows up.
This is the now the big brother of my family - a rescued Greyhound. His name is Frank Zappa. I call him Zappa. He's 7 years old and has learned all about life beyond the track and crate from Steely when he was with us. It was very rewarding to watch his personality bloom as he settled into the family. And yes, he runs like the wind!
This is Natasha, my dearest friend. She was with me through college, medical school, residency, and she moved with me from Chicago to Spokane several years ago. She was my best running partner for 10 years. My sweet Natasha died from bone cancer in 2006. I miss her still. I hung a windchimes over the deck outside. When it chimes, I smile and think she has finally -- wherever she is now -- caught a squirrel!