Laguna Salada is a giant dry lake bed full of basically talcum powder. Roads paths, and trails go in every direction.
I was a bit nervous. There had been a little rain the week before which meant parts of the lake bed could be a sticky gunky mess. I was having flashbacks to my childhood. Spending a day at Laguna Salada watching one of my dad’s friends unstick his Blazer from the clay mass.
So, we went into the lake bed and followed the gps. At one point a slew of green arrows pointed to a path that ran parallel to the gps course. We went with it. I was hoping/assuming that it was a course set up to keep us out of any muck. It turns out it was arrows for another race, NORRA’s arrows would be orange. Luckily we had an intercom and Rhonda and I could debate the merits of our course. For about 10 miles it ran parallel about 50 yards east of the main road and then it started to turn away from it.
I didn’t want to turn into the potential muck and go cross country to get to the main course. I also really didn’t want to turn around. Not only would it be ten miles of back tracking, it would be really dangerous going the wrong way on a race course. Finally I saw some tracks going cross country and went for it.
It was smooth and solid and we made our way to the official course.
The rest of the course was reasonable (except for the random pit in the road) and we wound up finishing the 73.5 miles of stage 1 in 1:48:08. Not bad for out first race.
Arwen, Mary and the kid’s met us at the finish and we headed down the highway to the start of the next stage.
the race continues here