What a fantastic extended weekend. I want to hit rewind to start over and experience it all the same again.
Staying at Brent’s house. Seeing Daryl, Zach and Sara again in the same year. Meeting Danielle and Jill. All those people were worth the trip alone. The rest of the memories were an extra dose of sprinkles on top of the cake.
Riding Leb with friends, seeing Jesse and Ryan, followed by eating some burritos.
Winona hotel hot tub and frog slide.
Saturday riding to the race. Seeing everybody again. Meeting Mark. Running to our bikes. Riding with Brent.
Suffering up the first hike a bike. Smelling my brakes on the first descent. Spinning like mad with a group of people from around the country on the road. Suffering up a dirt gravel sandy rocky climb feeling like my heart was going to explode through my neck. Calves feeling super tight. Long sections of wide open grass track that I was actually enjoying. Fresh cut pine singletrack that I wasn’t. Seeing Chris Jensen- hey, I know him! Scaring the shit out of myself following Brent’s wheel into some drops. Dropping Brent in the singletrack passing people. The first aid station debating on the PBR. Ditching Brent wishing I took the PBR as I suffered up that long climb that went on forever and ever that finished with the woods closing in on me and feeling like somebody doused me with a hose. Spinning again on the road chasing the girl that passed me on that last climb. Succeeding only to be passed again while I filled my water bottle. Her letting me by on the singletrack while reminding me to look left.  Hiking my bike up this sandy, rooty, steep ass climb up to Sugar Loaf and remembering to look left. So beautiful was the Mississippi River. Seeing the party at the exposed rock. Scaring the shit out of myself as I descended Sugar Loaf. 
sugar loaf
Then when thinking I was done descending the trail shot me down another steep chute thankfully upright. Spitting out on the road not knowing where I was. Then feeling dumb when I realized it was the road to the Holzinger Lodge. Duh. Realizing that, yes, I am close to the lodge, but no way am I done. And I wasn’t. The volunteer pointed me up into the trail. John chasing me asking if I needed anything.  Feeling pretty decent. Riding the climb up to the top of the Holzinger trail and only walking the step ups where I thought the push up and over would seize my thighs.  Clearing all the log overs in pain. The guy I was riding with saying we were at the top, be careful going down. Going down my fingers and forearms cussing me out constantly reminding me they were DONE. And finally hitting the fast flowy descent into the finish. That first beer was the best. 
32x20. Rigid. Over 35 miles. Over 4300’ of climbing. 4th overall female.
I did it and I wasn’t going to. I’m so happy Brent guilted me into asking him to see if he could get me back in (I had given my registration away). I'm so in for next year up in Copper Harbor.

on my way to the finish
Thanks to everybody that made that weekend happen. I will forever remember it. And thanks to Todd Bauer for snapping pics. I have a bunch in my cart that I will be purchasing shortly.
Other photos here.

p.s. I miss the old way to post in blogger. I can't get the pics like I want them.