There’s no aid station that I’m looking forward to more at this year’s Western States 100 than Peachstone… or Cal 2 as the purists call it. That’s my response to the fourth Western States synchroblog topic – “What aid station are you most looking forward to?” While that answer is due in part to the fact that I am only certain that I’ll be pacing Andy Jones-Wilkins from Bath Rd (60.6) to Green Gate (79.8) – there’s a something about the aid station that sticks out. Perhaps it’s aid station’s simplicity.
[NB. Cal 2 just barely beat out Dardanelles. Had I thought I’d be going slowly enough to eat the Dardanelles watermelon while pacing AJW, I might be writing about a different aid station. You’ve got to admit that it’s hard to beat cool watermelon during the heat of the day.]
The aid station itself is sparse. From my dimming recollection, I recall a couple guys, a small table or two with simple snacks and drink, and an ATV as the totality of Cal 2. There were no screaming throngs like at Michigan Bluff, no sense of accomplishent like you’ll find at Rucky Chucky, and certainly no inebriated hashers offering to apply vaseline wherever you like. Nope. Just you and a couple folks under some tree cover in the woods.
Then there’s the decidedly ambivilant distance. Cal 2 is 70.7 miles into the race. As a racer, you’ve come a damn long way, but still have more than a marathon to go. It’s just another aid station to tick off the list. There’s no mountain or river crossing to be had, either. Heck, there’s not even a lore-worthy aid station on either side of Peachstone!
Ah, but Cal 2 is simply old school… or at least as I imagine old school ultrarunning to be. I like that. It’s all I need … and all I want. No string lights and projection TVs. No boats. No hoopla whatsoever. They’ll check you in, fill your bottles, give you a snack, and encourage you on your way to the Placer High. Thanks, guys, for doing exactly what needs to be done!
…and, yes, I’ve purposefully omitted any pictures of Cal 2 from this post. I think it’s befitting of the aid station. There ain’t no crew at this here aid station and there’s no place for cameras in a race. If you want to see “Peachstone,” haul yourself the 70.7 miles from Squaw Valley… or at least pace someone in from Foresthill.
Anyway, what do y’all think of Cal 2/Peachstone? Love it? Hate it? Wouldn’t know the difference between it and Hwy 49?
Don’t care for Cal 2? Well, here are the other aid stations that the rest of the synchrobloggers have their eyes on: