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At the end of the last Ice Age, floodwaters from the Glacial Lake Missoula periodically ripped through eastern Washington and deterministically carved the steep cliffs and dramatic valley of the Columbia River Gorge. You can imagine how the volume of 13 Amazon Rivers per hour at speeds up to 80mph would transform a landscape. These were some of the largest documented floods in the planet's geological history, and there's evidence of at least 25 of them over a period of 2,000 years, between 13,000 and 15,000 years ago. Today, the Columbia River Gorge marks the state line between Oregon and Washington, and the canyon's range of elevation and precipitation creates diverse, dynamic ecosystems – it's a magical place.
Lael Wilcox exudes positive energy and optimism. A world traveler, world-class athlete, and a world record holder, this native Alaskan started riding in 2008 at age 20 and the rest is history. Widely regarded as the best ultra-endurance rider in the world, her ever-growing resume includes: winning the Trans Am Bike Race in 2016 (Overall) and setting Tour Divide's women's course record. She was the first American to win the Trans Am and also set the overall course record with her time on the Baja Divide route.
In Episode 15, we head to Hood River, Oregon with State Bicycle Team rider Céline Oberholzer for a double-summit ultra-endurance episode that includes a special World Record attempt of our own.