The 2011 edition of the RMVQ (Remember Marcy Vision Quest) took place on October 8th and 9th and included the usual suspects and some new adventurers. Returning for the 4th year in a row for the University Beacon section was Julie Huck and Laurie Stalling, the RMVQ’s sunshine and mountain top dance party originals. One year Julie brought glow sticks … fun times. Another 4th year veteran Garland Thayer snuck in the Sheep Mountain leg, Mr. Sheephead himself, who has posted a great post already. Other returning veterans were Lydia Larson who was involved in pit crew and support last year and it was so nice to see her bite off a large night chunk. Alden Wright and Ed Stalling also returned for some more late season mountain bike goodness. New to the event was Ross Brown who snuck in a last minute Blue Mountain section. Come to think of it most everything else about this years installment was new.
The newest thing about this years vision quest is that I don’t live in Missoula any more. So that means the organization of the event fell on my Missoula Friends. Julie and Norman gathered the troops and all I did was show up willing to ride. Usually I am planning beta parties and gathering everyone.
Also new this year was someone dedicated to finishing the entire route. So far I am the only person to complete the RMVQ in 24 hours. This year Norman went for it and I wanted to be part of his adventure. So I baked up a scheme where I started 6 hours after him and would try and catch him by the time he hit the Turah aid station. So there I was freshly shuttled by Mo to the Blue Mountain Recreation Area parking lot. I stood there waiting for the noon start when Ross Brown showed up.
At first I started off strong determined to set a new course record and soon I caught up to Ross who took a bit of a head start. Then something happened, I cant quite pin it down. Maybe I have learned the value of a good friend. I decided to ride with Ross as far as he would go.
“How far you going”, I polled him as we rode up the access road towards 50 Dollar Hill.
“Don’t worry about me slowing you down. You go and do your thing. Go ahead”, Ross pulled over and slowed down.
But I didn’t pass. I rode behind him a few more seconds.
“How far do YOU plan to go”?
“University Beacon … but you go. Have a great ride”, Ross said in a more stern voice.
“No … I miss you. I will ride you to the top”, and there was silence and he processed my plans. It seems as though people are taken back when I don’t go full out. It didn’t seem as though he was liking my idea.
“I miss you too”, and we rode on.
An hour and a half later we were still trudging up Blue Mountain and was finally nearing the turn onto the final accent.
“Have a good ride … see you later” Ross shouted.
“What? Aren’t you going to the top”?
“Well”, a long pause, “I was just stating a general intention. Maybe not to the top.”
“Naw … we are almost there. I will ride you to the top. Go for it.”, and then no more words. we kept climbing together. Silent conversations in a beautiful settings. Our riding together was all the conversation needed. We spoke in togetherness and riding buddy speak. Soon we were at the top and said our goodbyes. I posted a Marcy photo and shot down the Grave Range Trail.