It's GO time
Suitcases have been strategically packed. Carry-on suitcase
is filled with essential and mandatory race items and my 18,000+ calories of
non-triggering allergy sensitive food in their original packages. Larger check-in
suitcase contains my protein and recovery powders, trekking poles, a pretty
dress to wear at the banquet, assorted gear and things I think I might need but
the wheels won’t come off the bus if my luggage gets lost.
Fingers crossed, we successfully made it through TSA as we
caught our flight out of Los Angeles mid-day on Thursday.
15 bleary eyed hours later, we bounced into Seoul for a run
to the gate to catch our connecting flight departing to Mongolia. The only
travel snafu occurred when we went through TSA in Seoul. My carry-on suitcase
was pulled aside and the agent went through my bag. Luckily she was totally not
interested in my food but dug deep and pulled out my itty-itty-bitty multi-tool
utility knife (mandatory equipment) and with a dirty look told me that “this
was not allowed” as she threw it in the bin containing other collected
We arrived in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, Friday night around 11pm. We have time traveled into the future.
We are staying at
the lovely Blue Sky Hotel.
The hotel overlooks the Ghinnis Khan Plaza and a park full of trees.
After the morning pre-race briefing, final gear/paperwork check, and last minute fiddling with the packs, we load onto the buses and depart for camp one located in the Dashinchilen District of Northern Mongolia.
Several hours later, we arrived at Camp One.
Camp One was located next to the ruins of the Khar Bukhiin
Balgas Palace. Khar Bukhin Balgas Palace
was inhabited by the Kitan who ruled Eastern Mongolia, most of Manchuria and
China in the 4th century (917 to 1120).
Sunset at the ruins of Khar Bukhiin Balgas Palace