Drew was too tired to report much tonight. I talked to him and he was in high spirits, as day 4 was done and there are only 2 more to go. Other racers are going very fast on the downhill and he may be loosing some time there, but he is in one piece and that is very good.
He sent me this and some pictures:
"Today marked one of the longest legs at 42 miles and 6,600' of
climbing. I woke up this morning worried about my tendonitis. Last
night I thought I was dealing with an IT Band issue, but after a little
research discovered the root of my problem. I ended up taping my leg
which was extremely helpful.
By reducing the movement of the muscle, day
4 was bearable."
He did stop to take some photos that I had requested. Thanks, Drew!
If y'all have been looking at the satellite imagery under his Garmin track, you may have noticed that the river bottoms look really strange.
They look like there are large sand dunes piled up in the flood plane. (Click on the image to enlarge.) Those are tailing piles left from mining for gold by dredging. Here are two close ups.
Basically, to get at the gold that is present in the river gravel (gold that has eroded from the ore bodies in the mountains), a large dredging machine sorts and washes the gravel. The heavier gold sinks to the bottom of the machinery. The sand, silt and gravel is spit out the back of the dredge and piled up. Then the machine is moved and another pile is made. It leaves a messy, non-functional river channel, but at least there isn't a lot of heavy metal or chemical contamination.
Plans are in place to reclaim some of these areas to get them back to a natural mountain river channel, but that will take a lot of money and time.
What we humans won't do for fancy jewelry!