Indelible memories of the Nevada 10-in-10 Challenge |

Indelible memories of the Nevada 10-in-10 Challenge

Don Quilici

Four athletes (and four good personal friends) completed 10 very physically and mentally-demanding challenges in a period of 10 grueling days.

I know because Elaine and I were there for each and every one of those 10 memorable days that resulted in the first Nevada 10-in-10 Challenge going into the record book.

The four were Jeremy Evans and Karl Horeis of Kingsbury, Rick Gunn of South Lake Tahoe, Calif. and K. M. Cannon of Las Vegas.

The 10 Challenges were sponsored by the Nevada Appeal as part of the Nevada Commission on Tourism effort promote a number of the physical attractions found within the state.

Evans, Horeis and Gunn are current employees of the Nevada Appeal and Cannon is a former employee.

Elaine and I were on the trip as the support team for the four athletes.

I was the designated driver of the motorhome as we drove a total of 2,175.3 miles around Nevada.

Elaine was the designated cook who planned, prepared, cooked and served the meals. She also served as the ex-officio “Mother Hen” who fretted and worried until all four athletes were back in the motorhome, safe and sound, after each and every Challenge.

Here are some indelible memories of that trip:

Every Day: Elaine and I created a tradition of the two of us greeting each of the four athletes at the end of each day, regardless of time or location, with a congratulatory huge smile, a “High Five” and a big glass of cold, fruit juice.

The frustrations of dealing with the never-ending problems with that miserable motorhome and the lack of signals for our cellular phones.

Day No. 1: Driving the motorhome to the west side of Tahoe through the four-lane, bumper-to-bumper traffic at South Shore and then up the very steep, narrow and winding road at Emerald Bay.

The big smiles, shouts of joy and High Fives, all around, when the “Fab Four” finished at 5 p.m. at Barker Pass.

Day No. 2: Waking up at midnight in the Mt. Rose Campground in the pitch darkness of the motorhome and seeing a shadowy figure standing inside the doorway and moaning. It was Gunn, the first of the four to arrive from that day’s torturous, 18-hour, 57-mile trek.

Then, watching a totally exhausted Cannon fall sound asleep while holding his plate of food in one hand and a glass of fruit juice in the other.

The two of us staring in total awe at Evans’ badly blistered toes.

Day No. 3: Meeting the four athletes at Evans and Horeis’ home at the top of Kingsbury Grade at the end of that day.

Then, after much-anticipated hot showers, barbecuing New York Steaks while enjoying a fabulous view of Lake Tahoe from their deck.

Day No. 4: Missing contact with them at lunchtime at Big Meadow Campground on the Luther Pass Highway at 10-11 a.m. We waited until 2 p.m. and then drove to the Sno-Park area at Echo Summit to wait for the end of that challenge. Later, we found out they had arrived about 15 minutes after we left.

The four arriving at Echo Summit with arms interlocked in celebration of completing that leg.

Then, the long tiring drive in the night from Echo Lake to Sand Mountain near Fallon.

Day No. 5: Watching and video taping the four, sand board off Sand Mountain, just after sunrise.

Amazingly, Cannon did a 360-degree turn on his run!

Eating a huge Ravioli lunch at Bruno’s in Gerlach. Watching them drive off into the Black Rock Desert to skateboard behind Jeff Munson’s vehicle.

Staying overnight in a RV Park in Winnemucca that had fabulous hot showers and a swimming pool!

Day No. 6: Watching and counting the dust clouds from their bikes as they returned from the Bloody Shins Trail.

Seeing the blood run down their legs from the deep scratches caused by the thick brush along the trail.

Driving around in Elko to get maps of the Ruby Crest Trail.

Driving to a private residence near South Fork Reservoir where we spent the night parked in front of their home.

Day No. 7 (The worst day for all): Getting up at the ghastly hour of 2:15 a.m.

Borrowing a pickup from our hosts and driving to Harrison Pass.

Horeis driving the truck on a progressively, worsening dirt road until he decided to turn the pickup around so I could drive it back to the motorhome.

Unfortunately, it got stuck in loose dirt just below that primitive road.

At 6:20 a.m., the four began their 40-mile hike across the Ruby Crest, while Elaine and I hiked 4.5 miles back to the Harrison Pass Road.

When we reached the road, a Guardian Angel by the name of Rick Fazzary of Lamoille stopped and gave us a ride back to the motorhome.

Driving back to the private home where we described the location of where the truck was stuck.

Then driving to end of Lamoille Canyon to wait for the hikers.

At 9:30 p.m., seeing the tiny lights from their headlamps and then watching all four pin points of light slowly work their way down the steep mountainside.

When they arrived, there were lots of High Fives and lots of awesome blisters.

After a quick dinner, while the four of them slept, the two of us driving seven, very long and exhausting hours to get to Great Basin National Park by 5 a.m.

Day No. 8: Waiting for Evans to arrive back at the motorhome after they had climbed Wheeler Peak and the other three had already arrived.

Evans was badly hampered by numerous blisters on most of his toes.

When he arrived, 2 1/2 hours later, slowly driving the motorhome down the very steep and winding road from the Summit Trailhead to Baker.

Just out of Baker, losing the tread off one of the inside duals. That was when we discovered the jack did not work.

About 3 1/2 hours later and after borrowing a jack, we left at 5 p.m. for Las Vegas. Stopping in Pioche for gas and to buy a tire to have for a spare.

Arriving in Las Vegas at 10 p.m. with the temperature at 104 degrees.

Day No 9: Rock climbing the cliffs at Red Rock Canyon, west of Las Vegas.

When they finished climbing, driving to Armagosa Valley. While driving on a local, paved, back road to find the Big Dune, the motorhome overheated and stopped running. Turning on the generator to run the air conditioner. About 15 minutes later, the air conditioner stopped running in that God Awful, unbearable, searing, 111 degree heat. Several hours later, we got the motorhome running, drove back to S. R. 373 (The Lathrop Wells Highway) where it stopped running again.

Waiting in the stifling heat along the road while the four took Cannon’s Jeep to sand board off the Big Dune.

When they returned, we got the motorhome running and then drove about three hours to an overnight parking spot just off S. R. 264 (The Dyer Highway) near Boundary Peak.

Day No. 10: Driving to a location along S. R. 264 where there were large, shade trees and a small, crystal-clear, ice-cold stream. That was base camp while the four climbed Boundary Peak.

While waiting, we drove 12 miles into the tiny town of Dyer, found the Dyer Bar and made arrangements for a celebration party later that night.

Returning to base camp where Elaine and I took a refreshing bath in the stream.

The four arrived at about 5:30 p.m., there were the customary High Fives and some special, ice-cold beers in celebration of their accomplishment.

Then the short drive to park the three vehicles overnight at the Dyer Bar where it was PARTY TIME!

Day No. 11: Returning home.

— Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you about the ultimate Poetic Justice at the very end of the trip.

If he grins and says, “It was the motorhome breaking down, one last time, in the driveway of Evans and Horeis’ home at Kingsbury Grade,” he wins the bet.