Ever since watching my partner Lucas Horan do his second circumnavigation in 2019 (https://www.strava.com/activities/2404531121), I had always wanted to make the journey around the Bay myself. Lucas and I got engaged last fall and were planning to get married sometime in 2021, but he disappeared on December 24th, 2020 and on January 11th, a body was found in the San Francisco Bay that was identified as his.
When Lucas' mom and I finally felt like we could come up for air this spring, we decided we wanted to fundraise for the Bay Area Ridge Trail - an organization that Lucas' was deeply passionate about. Through Lucas' two full circumnavigations around the Bay: one counter-clockwise loop in 2017 and then a second clockwise loop in 2019, he developed a “keen fondness for the land and trails that surround the SF Bay” and became very passionate about supporting the effort to connect those trails into one continuous loop, accessible to all. To help carry out his vision of connecting the trails, Jan (Lucas’ mom) and I partnered with the Bay Area Ridge Trail to fundraise for a specific section of not-yet-open trail that was close to Lucas’ heart.
To help kick off our fundraising effort, I embarked on a full circumnavigation of the Bay on May 31st, 2021 in Lucas’ honor, channeling his adventurous spirit and using so many of the ultra-adventuring lessons he taught me to complete the loop and help his legacy live on. To read more about Lucas and our project to fundraise in his honor, visit: https://lucashoran.com/connecting-trails-for-lucas
Because this year has been such a hard year for me emotionally and psychologically, the decision to do the circumnavigation was a somewhat spontaneous one decided about a week before starting. Because of this, I did not have a dedicated crew supporting me throughout the adventure. The first 150 miles I did fully self-supported, refueling at restaurants, grocery stores and 7-11s (a Lucas favorite spot for middle-of-the-night aid stations) and sleeping in a myriad of places (1.5 hours on a park bench in Los Gatos on night one and a hotel in San Jose on night two). The second half of the adventure, however, I had a number of amazingly supportive and wonderful friends that came out to bring me aid as well as set up camp for me where logistics would allow. While not all that well planned beforehand, the adventure ended up being an incredibly healing journey of love, community and gratitude. Gratitude for all the things Lucas taught me, all the epic adventures we had together, all the mistakes we made and learned from. Gratitude for this little slice of life I got to share with him, even if it was cut too short and came with a whole lot of pain in the withdrawal. I miss him more than anything in the world, but am so grateful I got to have him in my life and am so grateful for all the humans I have holding me up and supporting me today.
Back-up links and information:
Link to the Strava activity:
(mileage and time off here for some reason due to me combining the gpx files into one long file)
Links to all the activities found on Garmin (in order):