During my first few days in the barrancas in Chihuahua, MX I was like Alice in wonderland, marveling at the fish-eye night sky, the majestic rock cathedrals and the exotic Rarámuri – who in their neon-colored blouses, loin-cloth like skirts and biblical sandals seemed to be from a prehistoric epoch. In my eagerness to explore, I caught up with Caballo Blanco, who was leading the foreign and local athletes on a scouting trip; the runners were acquainting themselves with the first half of the race course. However, I hadn’t come to prepared. The bottle of water I reminded myself to bring during my rustic shower, had slipped my mind as the barrancas at down wowed me with the splendor. By the time I set out to catch up with Caballo and crew, my mind was filled with awe and I had completely forgotten about “water.”
Something like six, seven hours under the desert sun and 20 miles later, having had NOTHING to eat or drink, I was feeling the beginnings of what it means to “bonk” as they call it. I could think of one thing and one thing only: water. The last several miles I started feeling loopy. Then, the very last mile, I didn’t know if I could make it. That’s when Wes miraculously appeared. He had already made it into town and was on his way back to his hostel… which was a bit out of town and in the direction from where I was coming. When he saw how parched I was, he quickly offered a bottle of water. I sucked the liquid down in seconds. Then, he passed over his specially ordered fruit licuado (smoothie). It stands as the most tantalizingly sweet and refreshing fruit smoothie I’ve had in my life. I was so grateful. Scratch that… my parched body was most grateful.
Since then Wes and I have had a few e-exchanges. Just recently, I received a request from him:
Hope this finds you so well. Shoot me a quick story or two of your latest adventures. 🙂
Also writing right now because I’d like to ask your permission to use some of your photos in a presentation I will be giving on my time in the canyons and the race. I will not use the photos for anything else. The presentation will be given to about 100 people in the endurance running, tri athlete, cycling community up here in northern california in early June. I would also like to direct these folks to your work and hopefully a few of em might like to purchase prints.
Let me know what you think.
I gave him the green light:
Go for it Wes.
Thanks for writing.
Tons of luck for your presentation! Let me know how it goes!!
How did you score this presentation? What’s it for exactly?? What else is new?
Wes, of course, was appreciative:
Thank you so much Laura! Stoked to have your permission.
The presentation will be June 10th. Here’s the link for the topics I’ll talk about.
Reading the bio of the event was when I found out that Wes, at the young age of 19 (if I remember correctly) is a cancer survivor studying at Standford University. I had no idea. When I had first met Wes I had sensed a great strength in him. I also sensed that he possessed a great understanding and passion for truly living… now I know why.
If you happen to be in Cali in June… go check out his presentation. I have a huntch it will be a compelling talk.