Willie McBride's 40 for 40: Updates Galore!

We know it's been a while since we sent out an update on TB Pro Willie McBride's 40 for 40 challenge - but he hasn't slowed down adding adventure notches to his belt. With just a few weeks left, Willie's gearing up to finish up this year of endurance feats strong. 

In the meantime, here's an update on what Willie's been up to!

17 of 40

Pyramid Peak, Washington

I had driven up from Portland to congratulate my girlfriend Keiren and her friends on a successful 3-day circumnavigation of Rainier on the Wonderland Trail, then stayed the next morning to add on this solo adventure before heading home. ~18 miles total out and back from Kautz Creek Trailhead. Not a mighty summit by any means but definitely a fun objective nonetheless, surrounded by some seriously grand scenery.  Only saw one person the entire time… so lovely to be alone in the stunning mountain wilderness on a beautiful summer day!

Adventure #17 Theme Song: Rasputin by Boney M.

 

18 of 40

Broken Top Loop, Oregon

A glorious 22-ish mile route outside of Sisters, Oregon.  Needless to say this 40 for 40 project has been exhausting already so I was happy for another slightly lower-mileage adventure. I’d been wanting to do this one for a few years now and was thrilled to finally make the time to do it, especially with people I love like Keiren and Jeff and Jumbo the sweet pup. So grateful for these very special days and the opportunity to do these activities! Such a fun and beautiful route!

Adventure #18 Theme Song: My Beautiful Boy by Phosphorescent

 

19 of 40

Northern Loop, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

A couple weekends ago I volunteered at the Daybreak Racing Backcountry Rise 50mile/50k on Saturday, then drove north that night and got out on Sunday for a lovely solo adventure on the ~31 mile Northern Loop, a route I’d been wanting to do for the past few years. I took it easy and enjoyed a solid, stunning day in the mountains. Such an absolute pleasure and privilege to do these things, I am forever grateful. 

Adventure #19 Theme Song: Sun, Arise! (An Invocation, An Introduction) by Phosphorescent

 

20 of 40 & 21 of 40

Mt Gladys & Cub Peak, Olympic National Park, Washington

Smoke made us shift our objectives last minute and we headed to the SE corner/Staircase area of Olympic National Park instead. We decided to do some shorter mileage but steep routes, to Gladys Divids and Mt Gladys on Saturday and to Wagonwheel Lake and Cub Peak on Sunday. I’ve spent a lot of time in ONP but hardly any in that corner of it so I was thrilled to explore and stunned as always at what an incredible and vast park it is!  Sharing the weekend adventures with good friends made it all the better.  

I knew this 40 for 40 project was a *bit* ambitious and A LOT to undertake, physically, mentally, financially but didn’t realize just how tough it would be to sustain… That said, I am happy to finally be over halfway done. I want each of the 40 to be meaningful in some way but they need not always be long or especially arduous or extreme. It’s a good reminder in general…

Adventures #20 & #21 Theme Song: Humbug Mountain Song by Fruit Bats

 

22 of 40 & 23 of 40 

Mt Washington, Mount Skokomish Wilderness, Washington & Spray Park Loop, Mt Rainier National Park

Did Mt Washington (~7 mile, 2,200’ bike approach to a 3,100’ climb in just 1.5 miles!) on a beautiful weekend, ticking off another objective that’s been on the list for some time now. Amazing and airy and definitely a fun bike ride back down to the car! Keiren and I packed up, grabbed dinner in Olympia, and headed to camp at Mowich Lake. Sunday morning we did the ~17 mile Spray Park Loop which I’ve been also wanting to do for a while…. So much fun, so much to be grateful for 

Adventures #22 & #23 Theme Song: Thank You For Ever by Helado Negro

 

24 of 40 & 25 of 40 

Mt Arvon, Michigan & Chicago Marathon

It was a pretty neat juxtaposition to do Mt Arvon in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan w/ my sister and have not a single other person around for miles and then just three days later do the Chicago Marathon with over 40,000 other runners (not to mention the spectators!) through one of the biggest (and best!) cities in the country.

What a cool experience to see the range of wilderness to urban from solitude to being truly among the masses! If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this #40for40 experiment is that an objective doesn’t need to be long or especially difficult to be worthy of inclusion. What makes something special is who you do it with and/or how much you can be present to enjoy it… that’s all. Although it’s the shortest mileage and duration of all the #40for40 adventures so far, Mt Arvon with my dear sister definitely ranks as one of the most meaningful. Comparison and the ego mind only rob us of happiness so we must push back, again and again. 

Adventures #24 & #25 Theme Song: Home by LCD Soundsystem 

 

26 of 40

4 mile & Pohono Trails via Sentinel Dome, Yosemite National Park, California

Feeling very fortunate to have returned to one of my favorite places on earth with some very special friends for a delightful weekend of adventuring, eating good food, and spending time with good people. On Saturday Dawn, Kili, Keiren and I did a 20 ish mile point to point from El Cap Meadows to Tunnel View via 4 mile and Pohono Trails and Sentinel Dome. Amazing route, amazing views, stunning day with a leg soak in the cold waters of the Merced River afterwards. Very grateful!  

Adventure #26 Theme Song: Would You Come With Me by The Elected

 

27 of 40

Mt. Dana & Mt. Gibbs, Yosemite National Park, California

The next day Keiren and I headed to the high country and did a glorious link up of Mt Dana (13,045’) and Mt Gibbs (12,772’). Such incredible peaks and views of the sacred Sierras. Couldn’t have asked for a better day, especially with Keiren.  It’s been a busy fall so far and there’s more to come… just trying to stay injury free and enjoy it all!

Adventure #27 Theme Song: Since I Left You by The Avalanches

 

28 of 40

R2R2R, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona 

This was my 9th full double crossing of the canyon since my first visit to the park in 2010 and an extra special one at that, sharing it with Keiren. Hadn’t been planning on the full effort, due to a crazy busy past few weeks and the NYC Marathon coming up shortly, but just couldn’t resist the pleasure of chasing Keiren for the full 45 or so miles :) Yet again, what a day and deep journey through probably my single favorite place on earth! 

Adventure #28 Theme Song: Journey in Satchidananda by Alice Coltrane

 

29 of 40 

NYC Marathon 

The NYC Marathon was without a doubt one of the coolest, most beautiful experiences of my life and I can’t wait to do it again. What a stunning and wonderful celebration of movement and people it is!

Grateful to be able to do this incredible event and partake in the biggest race in the world; so emotional to share the experience with the 50,000 other runners and walkers and countless cheering masses, especially after the darkest years of the pandemic are over and we can again gather and celebrate en masse.

Adventure #29 Theme Song: I Can Change by LCD Soundsystem

 

30 of 40

Mailbox Peak, Washington

Couldn’t have asked for a more stunning day for a Sunday afternoon adventure up Mailbox Peak with my love Keiren and dear friend David Vialli. This small but steep peak had been on the list for some time so I’m happy to have gotten up there, especially with some snow on it! Up the old trail (~4,000 ft climb in less than 3 miles!) and down the switchbacks of the new trail, just before dark. Such a fun outing and a funny juxtaposition, just a week after the craziness of the NYC Marathon! From road marathons to mountains, variety is the spice of life. 

Adventure #30 Theme Song: Cities by Talking Heads

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