Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mount Jumbo Redemption and Camp Limberlimbs

Last week, my knee and a rock had a run-in on Mount Jumbo during a Sentinel-Jumbo double. The week that followed was filled with daily icing and ibuprofen doses. The result? Healing! 

Fresh of a life-giving weekend at Camp Limberlimbs, hanging out with the coolest kids out there who just happen to have Juvenile Arthritis, I had another go at the Sentinel-Jumbo double. Here it is:

Route: Mount Sentinel via the ridge trail to the summit then 1-mile to the Mount Jumbo trailhead and the standard trail to the summit and back to the base of Mount Sentinel
Vertical Feet: 3,500 feet
Distance: ~8.5 miles
Elapsed time: 2 hours 18 minutes
- 31 minutes of Mount Sentinel (20 minutes down)
- 33 minutes up Mount Jumbo (25 minutes down)
- 19 minutes transition time (from trailhead-trailhead)
Temperature: Too-warm-for-the-first-day-of-Autumn

What a lovely outing! I cruised up Mount Sentinel. Conscious of the heat, I eased off the pace slightly, particularly on the steeper sections: my tendency in heat is to dry out my throat and scorched my lungs. I tried my best to avoid this today. On the summit, I drank ~8 ounces of water while in motion. 

After an uneventful descent, I hit the drinking fountain at the trailhead for a ~8-10 ounce swallow of water. I immediately launched into my flatland power-stride and cruised the River Trail to Van Buren Street to Cherry Street to the TH (~10 minutes). I begin the easy cruise up Mount Jumbo. 

Although shorter than Mount Sentinel by about 500 feet, the shortest trail on the hill is about 3/4 mile longer than Mount Sentinel's 'Ridge Trail Express.' This provided a nice gentle grade to lock into a steady 4.5 mph uphill pace. On the way up I passed the rock that had impacted my knee just over a week earlier. I gave it the 'stink eye.' On the summit, I took a shorter swig of water (~6 ounces) and promptly began my descent.

I was careful to watch my footing this time. Success. Back at the trailhead, I retraced my steps back to my car at the M Trailhead. I took some more water and put in a solid 10-minute stretch session. I pleased to see the elapsed time of 2 hours and 18 minutes for the route. This I felt very good about considering the heat. 

Important non-sequitor: and oh my goodness, what a blast at Camp Limberlimbs this weekend! Camp Limberlimbs is a 3-day, 2-night camp for kids 7-17 with various forms of Juvenile Arthritis. Most of the kids that attended last year were there again. Every kid that I have talked with at the camp over the last two years has had a moment in their budding lives that they were unable to walk, play or get-around pain free on account of aggressive arthritis. A good many of them now are getting around splendidly thanks to wonderful treatment plans and the incredible breadth of drugs available to control the symptoms and the disease itself. 

We played games, did arts and crafts, did archery, swam, played various sports, laughed, told stories, played music, danced, sang, ate, jumped, ran, planned and executed pranks, snuck around, had a bonfire and laughed some more.

It truly was a wonderful experience. As a newcomer to the scene, the most impressive thing about all of this, is the commitment of past campers to the cause. A strong majority of the camp counselors began going to Camp Limberlimbs when they were 5, 6, 7, 8 years of age. And some of these folks are in there 20s, 30s and 40s. This means that most folks volunteering to help out the kiddos at camp have been going in some shape or form for 15+ years! It is remarkable! But it makes sense: it is a community of folks who have a relatively misunderstood - by the general public - and under appreciated diagnose. Most of the volunteer counselors are life-long friends that met at camp in elementary school! 

All right, that is all for now!

Onward and upward,


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