Rebekah, Charleigh, and I left Tucson not quite 3 weeks ago now, but it seems like it’s already been forever! All the great experiences we’ve had and beautiful places we’ve seen have almost seemed to slow down time these past couple of weeks. Immediately upon leaving Tucson, we headed to Show Low, Arizona which is the mountainous Northeastern area of the state. We spent a couple days there staying at a farm while our 5th wheel was being hauled to Grand Junction.
The farm we were at is called Lodestar and was absolutely spectacular. We got to see the many things they do there including growing all kinds of plants throughout the year, keeping goats, chickens, geese and more animals, crafting pottery, and a ton more. And everything they did was completely off grid using solar power and their own ingenious irrigation systems. After a peaceful couple of days there, we finished up our trip and made it to Grand Junction in probably our smoothest ever road trip with Charleigh. Our 5th wheel arrived just an hour after us, and in no time we were hooked up and enjoying life on The Farm!
In typical fashion, I was out the very next day to explore the area in what ended up being a century ride. While Grand Junction and the neighboring city of Fruita are known for their mountain biking, it was immediately apparent how amazing the area is for road riding too! The farm roads are not only mostly very good quality and devoid of traffic, but seem to go on forever. Not to mention the climbing at Colorado National Monument and the quality swimming at Colorado Mesa University.
With plunging into training for upcoming Ironman Cork, I have gotten plenty of longer rides and runs in to further explore the area and I am continually impressed by the numerous great options of training here as well as the welcoming culture towards endurance athletes in general. Training has been going fabulously these past couple of weeks despite increasing altitude slightly, increasing training, and starting back to work. All while not feeling too overstretched or stressed which is something I’ve struggled with in the past year.
Speaking of work, I started work at St. Mary’s Hospital the Monday after arriving to Grand Junction. The orientation process went smoothly and quickly and I have fit in pretty seamlessly. My coworkers have been amazing so far and the hospital does a large variety of surgical cases being that they are the only Level 2 trauma center between Denver and Salt Lake City. I have already switched to working the evening shift which will be my normal schedule which allows for me to have all of my free time in the mornings before going in.
At this point, I am super excited about continuing to live and train in this area. While there were the typical stresses of getting settled into a new location, Grand Junction with it’s country roads, stunning sunrises and sunsets, and positive atmosphere has made us feel more at home than we have in awhile. I have decided to forego doing my next planned race at Gulf Coast 70.3 in favor of fully committing to my preparations for Eagleman 70.3 and Ironman Cork. If everything continues to go as well as it has been, I will be very excited to see what I will be capable of achieving in those races in June!