2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,400 times in 2010. That’s about 15 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 53 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 228 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 501mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was June 13th with 169 views. The most popular post that day was Cowhide & Harley Pride.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, stumbleupon.com, mail.live.com, my.msn.com, and couchsurfing.org.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for lizandcolleengodying, liz and colleen go dying, lizandcolleengodying.wordpress.com, lizandcolleengodying.wordpress.org, and lizandcolleengodying.wordpress.com.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Cowhide & Harley Pride June 2010
3 comments

2

About our Insanity April 2010
6 comments

3

Check out our Route June 2010
6 comments

4

Why is Montana so windy? Because Idaho Blows and North Dakota Sucks. We’re in Montana: Home of the Studmuffins. June 2010
2 comments

5

Lather (ie. Ascend Absurdly Large Mountain), Rinse (ie. Descend Absurdly Large Mountain), Repeat (ie. Repeat) June 2010
9 comments

MISSION RUN: Success.

August 26, 2010

Reflective Pink Tacos. That's all we are.

Three months ago, we had a dream. We dreamily dreamed a mighty creamy dreamy dream of dreamlike dreaminess. A midnight marathon! In the desert! Beset by rattlers ‘n coyotes! Saturated in intolerable heat and encompassed by a void of blinding darkness! Exhausted! Hallucinating! Starving! And how would we get to the desert to run that marathon? We’d bike it, by gum! We’d power ourselves across the continent with the strength of our own two legs, by Thor! We’d make history in our own valiant bicycle trek across the United States of America, God Bless Us Every One!

Two little girls. One big ol’ goal.

And we failed.

We died and were raped every day, fulfilling all of your worst expectations for our incompetent, helpless little selves. We were killed and eaten by grizzlies and wild cats several times. We were mauled by roadside boars, lying sneakily in wait for defenseless human female prey in the bushes just past the on-ramp. We fought off swarms of killer, flying, man-eating jellyfish. Liz was struck by lightning. Twice. Colleen was plowed simultaneously by two Semis going in opposite directions (after first calculating that if Semis A & B were separated by an initial distance of 15 miles, and Semi A was traveling Southbound at a speed of 70 MPH, and Semi B was traveling Northbound at a speed of 80 MPH, the two trucks would meet at a point 7 miles South of Semi A’s initial position after 6 minutes. And at exactly that pristinely calculated moment, everyone would die and the whole world would go up in flames.) We were violated by irate squirrels. We were abused to death by earth, wind, water, and fire.

JK. We only half-way failed. Or if you’re a positive-minded individual, we half-way succeeded.

Random Bus Moment. Everyone looks retarded.

Three days ago, we bussed out into the Nevada desert to complete our summer’s journey with the crowning achievement of our lives – a 26.2 mi… errrrrr, a 13.1 mile run in the desert at midnight. Over the course of this entire summer, we went running a total of approximately 6 times, 3 of which took place in the week preceding the race. We were too busy biking ridiculous distances all the time to actually train for a long-distance running race, which is why we downgraded from the full ET Full Moon Midnight Marathon (http://calicoracing.squarespace.com/et-full-moon-midnight-maratho/) to the half-marathon.

We met the man who holds the current Guiness Book of World Records for most marathons run in a single year. This fella up here in the picture? He once ran 105 marathons in one year. That's almost one marathon every three days. (And we thought WE were tough!) This guy already ran one marathon that morning, and now he was doing the ET Midnight Marathon. PEOPLE DO THE CRAZIEST THINGS! He was with a friend, a woman who was going for the female record (103 marathons in one year). This lady had also already run a marathon in the morning, and had completed 72 marathons already in 2010! GAHHHHHHH!

Thus it occurred that we hit the course in the desert outside of Area 51 at 12:30 am on the 22nd of August, 2010. The course is located at an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet, and is nothing but a straight shot through the desert along a mostly-deserted highway. The first six miles is straight uphill, at something like a 2% grade, and the last 7 miles are straight downhill. For all you runners out there, you know that constantly running at an incline is exhausting. But our bodies are completely f***ing ripped from our summer of death-pedaling. We are seriously hot shit. Like, you have never seen two young ladies in such good shape, walkin’ down the street and lookin’ so good. Too good, some might say, for our own good…

We are badass. And shiny.

Warriors of the night, bedazzled with twinkling stars as it was, we ran up that first 6 miles of hill. And at the top, we were abducted by aliens who, despite our raging protestations, stopped time in order to probe us all over our fantastically toned bodies.

It was terrible… terrible… Somewhat resembling octopuses, they had 8 tentacle appendages, each topped with a whirring, bloodied chainsaw-like meat grinder. Their scaly skin, tinted orange with a metallic glint like that of crinkled aluminum foil, gleamed like cum-stains all over the sheets in a sordid motel room under a black-light. I’ll never forget those eyes, those 7 beady, purple eyes, set into each bulbous, gourd-shaped head, as they sucked at our bodies. “Why do humanoids run in the absence of sunlight across unnecessary desert land-expanses wearing silly-looking reflectors and flashy lights?” the aliens asked us. “We… um… don’t really know,” we responded. “Oh. OK then,” said the aliens. They proceeded to install mind control devices in our craniums and released us back to the exact point we had been abducted from. They began time where it had left off, and the mind control devices are mass-less and invisible. Therefore, we cannot scientifically prove any of this. But we don’t care if you believe us or not. The truth lives strong in our hearts.

The aliens pushed the “forward” button on their mind-control devices, and we found ourselves running again. 7 miles downhill to the finish line.

The entire ordeal took Liz two hours and seven minutes, and Colleen, two hours and sixteen minutes.

We hopped the shuttle buses back to Vegas, and arrived back to Melanie’s place at about 8am. Our bodies hurt everywhere.

The next few days were a clustercuss of random craigslist rides, hitchhiking moments, and a maddening non-stop road-trip home. Colleen found out that one of her friends had a Pontiac Aztek that needed to be driven back to the Midwest from Sacramento. Convenient convergence of objectives, yes?! Colleen’s friend said that we could use the car to get ourselves back to Minneapolis for free as long as we got ourselves to Sacramento to pick it up. So we proceeded to freak out about getting to Sacramento as soon as earthly possible. Back in Vegas, we made the following post on Craigslist at something like 3 in the afternoon:

– – – – – – – – – — — — – — – – –

We are two female college students, and we need a ride from Vegas to Sacramento. We have two bicycles with us and some touring gear, which means that a sedan wouldn’t cut it unless you happen to have a bicycle-rack for your car. We’d be able to chip in some gas money and keep you company on your way towards Northern California!

Sacramento is our ultimate destination, but we will take any ride that gets us closer to Sacramento. We’re hoping to go up through Reno, and then back down I-80, in order to skip LA. But if we have to go through LA, so be it.

Basically, we are desperate. We’ve been on a bicycle tour for 3 months, and we just ran a half marathon in the Nevada desert at midnight last night, and as soon as we get to Sacramento, we have a car there that will take us home. Sweet, blissful, home. Please, majestic craigslist guardian angels of the greater Vegas area, heed our prayers and bring us unto Safety and out of this goddamn heat. We seriously need your help.

Reply to this ad with an email, or send me a text/call at 612-226-7789 if you might have space in your vehicle! Seriously, we can leave within half and hour’s notice.

Thanks,
Colleen & Liz

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Sure enough, we get a phone call at 5:30 from a guy named Josh.  He picked us up at 8:00, and we were magically transported to Reno, NV by 4:00am.

We waited around at the truckstop for a bit, and decided that splitting up would be the most logical way to make progress.  Since we were planning on taking I80 all the way back to Des Moines, and Reno is right along I80, there’s no reason that BOTH of us would have to make it to Sacramento.  So Liz stayed at the truckstop where Josh dropped us off, a true watchdog of all our valuable possessions, and Colleen jumped into the cab of a semi with 3 big, burly dudes heading West.

Needless to say, the ride was riddled with extremely intelligent conversation and thoughtful reflections on the nature of life, such as:

“Once, I told my daughter, only difference between you and that thing [a speaking GPS unit] is I turn that b**** off!” -Trucker

“Over there, see?! That’s where all them weeny California drivers drive, over in the right lane where it’s all slow and shit. See this here?  We’re goin 70 and the limit’s 55!  And you don’t see me gettin’ my ass all puckered about it!” -Trucker

“Sometimes, you see these signs that say, ‘Reduce Speed When Wet.’ If you ask me, that is just a conflict of interests.” – Trucker

The truckers dropped Colleen off in Sacramento, where she picked up the car and traced her tracks back to the truckstop in Reno, where Liz was busily warding off hoards of rabid thieves from our precious panniers.  We loaded up the car and drove non-stop for about 30 hours, taking turns at the wheel and trying to sleep when not driving.

Ladies and Gents, we have arrived back to our respective homes, those sweetly simply majestic locales of our birthing origins. Our trip has come to its final moment. And in this the moment,we’ll stop doing wildly interesting things you only wish you’d done and then posting blogs about them on the internet, and instead, we’ll start doing the same things you lucky bastards do, day in and day out.

Liz will be staying in Iowa, among her peoples, if you will. And in this natural environment, Liz shall play with her kitty whilst watching really shitty reality television and consuming her father’s Coors beer (a recent and welcome upgrade from the Coors Lite he had, before this joyous event of the prodigal daughter’s return home, preferred to other similarly beerish beverages).  She shall eagerly await the coming of her mating partner to sweep her, as always, off her paws.

Colleen will be staying in Minneapolis, among a random crowd of strangers in the general vicinity of Steven’s Square neighborhood. Mostly, she will spend her time playing with her kitty. But when she isn’t at home in her fabulous, fabulous 6-month-lease one-bedroom apartment *cough* [probably] shithole, she’ll be hiding away in a Minneapolis coffee shop in order to affirm her image of herself as an artist pretending to be an intellectual, but really just a loser getting discombobulated with the universe and writing things that nobody will ever care to read.

Ie, we’re both just normal people with our own idiosyncrasies, just trying to find our way through this cold, cold world full of all sorts of things that would like nothing more than to rape, maim, or murder us.

It’s been fun, kids.

I don’t know what else to say. Get out there. Ride your bikes. Have your own adventures, and all that shit.

Because: We. Are. Done.

…for now…

Moment of Zen

Vegas, Take Two.

August 20, 2010

SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

NIGHT II

LAS VEGAS, NV

(1) Liz and Colleen decide to re-engage “Go Out” sequence.  Our Couchsurfing host graciously offered to let us use her car.  We drive to Fremont Street, Downtown Las Vegas.

Oh my god, no way. Just what I've always wanted!

(2) We park our Scion, and our first encounter with Vegas civilization, kitty-corner from the sign you see in the photo above, involved a young man asking us outright, “You ladies got numbers?”  He skipped the pick-up line, obsequious flattery, and cat calls, and just cut straight to the chase.  We respond, “Not tonight.  But hey, it’s Vegas!  Gotta play the odds, right?”

Liz-sized beverage containment units are clearly VERY necessary.

(3) We visit Walgreens so that Liz can buy conditioner – a very necessary amenity to have on you AT ALL TIMES while out on the town in Vegas.  Here, we discover the huge-beverage receptacle unit, a native species of product here in Sin City.

Someone's a bit gassy...

(4) We enter the Downtown Vegas complex, which is roofed by a massive LED light screen and lined with Casinos, cheap souvenir shops, Kiss impersonators, and show-girls posing for photos.  We passed an Oxygen Bar Kiosk (I know, right?!) where Colleen pays too much money to have a 90% oxygen solution propelled mercilessly up her nostrils for 12 minutes of pleasure and relaxation.  Colleen proceeds to be silly for the next couple hours.

(5) Lightning bolt of LED light strikes Liz directly in her frontal lobe.  As a result, Liz is no longer capable of rational thought processing.

Our "scenic" view of the Fremont street wares from the balcony at "Gold Diggers"

(6) We enter “Gold Diggers” casino to piss in their ceramic, where we received cards for free cocktails at the club upstairs.  We got our free drinks, and saw an ad for “Mermaids” across the street which caused us to want to bring our business there instead.  (We thought we could get hurricane Daiquiri beverages for $0.99, with collectible plastic beverage unit to bring home!  We were mistaken about the promotion, but the ad got us in the door.  Because we are apparently pawns of the system.)  We also saw lovely LED videos of ladies removing their bikinis, with the tits censored by words such as “ADZOOKS!,” “OOPS!,” “INDEED!,” and several other gems.  We did not, unfortunately, enter the topless lady facility.

He's not too old for us, is he?

(7) In Mermaids, we were immediately assaulted by a cocktail waitress who took our order and directed us to the nearest slot machine.  Five minutes later, we were assaulted by this guy, who had lots to say. “I just had to come over here and let you cute ladies know, you’re a blessing. You. Are. A. Blessing. Here, have some fries. They’re fresh! I promise.” Later on, he HAD to inform us, “I just got off parole. I used to take things out of department stores without paying, you know? But I’m off parole… Here, you gotta read this release letter. I’m so happy about it.” He produced his parole-release letter. We congratulated him.  John, our Craigslist ride into town, showed up to hang out with us and scared off the old geezer though…

One! Million! Dollars! And a couple black dudes. And John.

(8) The party is relocated to “Binion’s,” where we received $10 free slot play if we joined the Player’s Club, which we did.  We are official Players now.  We met some randos, took photos with ONE MILLION DOLLARS! with them as they made not-so-subtle attempts to grope Liz’s chest and shoot their finger-guns at the massive pile of money.

(9) We get too drunk to remember to take any more pictures.

(10) We sober up for a couple hours.  Get some food. Hear John’s wonderful stories about hitchhiking to Honolulu (ie. stowing himself away on a plane.) when he was naught but a weeeeee young lad and traveling the states and marrying… interesting ladies.

(11) We drive home at 4am.  But not without a stop at a mini-mall parking lot to resolve Colleen’s internal conflict between the food she had consumed and the alcohol working its way out of her system.

Vegas is fun. 🙂

OK, so we walk into New York New York, and there's this massive Jelly Belly-constructed Statue of Liberty. Welcome to America, immigrants! Land of the Sugar, Home of the Obese! We've got it all here - freedom, all you can eat fruit-flavored high fructose corn syrup globules, and mean metal boxes that chomp your money for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Vegas is a great place (perhaps the place?) to get lost in the contagion of individual moments and allow them to infect your entire being – but only for the few colorful moments while they last, lest ye be washed away in the tidal waves of lust, greed, and mind-altering substances. We aren’t exactly your average “OMG! Let’s go to VEGAS and PARTY and celebrate how awesome it is that we are totally AWESOME!” girls. We don’t usually gamble (with the exception of the illusive Montanian Shake-A-Day’s) because we don’t have money, and what little money we have, we’d rather use to get ourselves back to the Midwest so that we don’t get stuck here and melt, precisely like grilled cheese sandwiches, in a gas-station parking lot somewhere… desperate to refill our camelbaks, in perpetual terror of having to bike even one more single hill, and hopelessly exhausted beyond comprehension. We’ll drink our fair share and enjoy ourselves, but the glamfabulous glitzritz of the Vegas nightlife? No thanks. We prefer our lovely, stinking tent and our delectable, thirst-murdering small town Bud Lites.

On second thought… Yes to the whole Vegas schtick, thanks. But only for a few short days. And then… HOME!

Ladies and gentlemen, we got driven into Sin City on August 18th in a great big ol’ pick-up truck with our bikes hanging out in the bed and our minds lost somewhere in the desert sands. Thanks for the ride, John! Glad to be your first Craigslist rideshare toadies. We got dropped off at Melanie and Marissa’s apt in W. Vegas – our couchsurfing hostesses – and waited patiently for dark, that glorious time when Vampires and Werewolves and Devastatingly Saucy Biker-Girls descend upon the streets. How did we kill the time, you wonder? We totally dressed up so that we’d be HOTT! Just like celebrities! Because celebrities are clearly very happy people who lead extremely fulfilling lives! Liz turned up the heat by wearing her classy little black & beige dress, a new find from a Ross department store in Del Mar, where you can “Dress for Less.” Colleen tried to follow suit, donning her San Diego Urban Outfitters… um… rag-like… thing that kinda resembles a dress but is mostly just a rag, but that’s ok because she likes it just how it is. Once again, we wondered how much more perfect our lives would be if only we had homosexual inclinations towards each other. We’d look, um, “heavenly” together.

Sensory Stimulation! EVERYWHERE!

Discombobulated in the garage before leaving, we knew the night would be a good one. High on life, driving into the city we’d been heading towards for 3 months, the greater part of which was on a freakin’ bicycle, we caught our first glimpse of the strip at night, not just any strip but the strip. And that same, senseless attraction to Sin that everyone’s ever felt when they roll into Vegas for the first time, that naughty little desire to corrupt all that remains of the good in you, it hit us square in the face, almost as hard as the heat that brutally attacks your sensory system every time you walk outside. (It’s wellllll over 100 here, folks. We knew to expect this, but DAMN is it HOT.) We began by the pyramid, somehow managed not to get lost, and meandered idiotically up the strip, having very profound conversations and moments of meditation and what not.

The yin and yang of classy attire and really trashy beer-drinking

It took us a while to find the cocktail waitresses with the free drinks – we are both n00bs to this sort of activity – but we eventually did. Somewhere between the Eiffel Tower and the pirate ships. We got a couple pitchers of beer, wrangled up some cranberry-vodkas, and gave away $10 between the two of us. For free! Free money for the casino owners! We could have bought meals, but no! It was WAY more fun feeding the whizzbang shiny blinkerbot machine our hard-earned lunch-money.

I can’t help but to reflect that all of the animals in fancy dresses, draped over the slot machines like living cloaks, hitting the “Same Bet” button over and over again, looked just about as robotic as the gambling devices themselves.

It’s amazing how many ways casinos manipulate people. Not only are the flashy lights disorientating, the lay-out of the floors is tough to navigate. At one point, it took us 20 minutes to find our way out of a casino because we honestly couldn’t figure out where the exits were. Architectural design flaw? Or clever way of making us stay inside so that we’d spend more money? Everyone knows about how the slot machines lie to you – they make you think you’ll eventually win by throwing you a quarter every now and then, but taking nickels at a steady rate. And free booze? Sure! We’ll take it, because if we do, we’re way more likely to lose track of our loose change. We gambled away $10 of our money. And when that ran out, we conned the guy sitting next to us out of $5 by sharing our impressive stories and our beer (but moreover, the proximity of our tits). We promptly made the $5 disappear into thin air. Like magic. Because it’s Vegas.

MOMENT I WISH I’D HAD THE CAMERA OUT FOR: So, we’re walking down the strip. Colleen had made it abundantly clear earlier in the evening that she’s on the lookout for a husband. What better time to get married than on a whim in Vegas to a stranger, right?! And a man with a large beer gut who appeared to be homeless walks by in the opposite direction. The thing is, he’s wearing a tattered wedding dress that hugs his belly like spandex on a fratgirl, a threadbare wedding vale that flutters wearily in clumped-up discord about his balding head, and a facial expression so desolate and forlorn that it turned the heart to stone. He passed. And that was that. But that single moment, tied up in a white bow, seemed to be a powerful symbol of everything that Vegas means. And Colleen no longer wants a Minute-Rice spouse.

Colleen is, for some inexplicable Colleen-reason, fascinated with the indoor ashtray.

FACTOID: Drinking on the streets is legal. It’s strange to see open bottles floating by on the pavement, and reminded us of Europe, where we used to frolic in parks with our beers all the time. Also, smoking in the casinos is legal. Also, bringing your newborn child into the casino WHILE smoking a cigarette is apparently legal.

Being discombobulated on the strip was a blast. But life isn’t always so full of frivolous, light things. We must be off now to collect our race packets… Because, of course, that half marathon is sneaking up on us in… what… TWO DAYS?

Holy crap. Holy crap. Holy crap.

Moment of Trippy Zen

Dear Lady-that-we-met-in-the-minivan-just-outside-of-Tilamook or Guy-that-we-talked-to-at-the-food-mart-in-Nehaven or Homeless-dude-in-Bellingham-that-walked-up-to-us-and-spontaneously-screamed or Friends-we-abandoned-in-Minneapolis or Non-Believers-who-told-us-not-to-do-this-because-we’d-totally-die-or-get-raped,

We left Minneapolis on May 20, 2010. It’s been nearly three months on the road, and with the progression of time, one begins to lose track of oneself. After a while, I, for one, began to address myself in the 2nd person singular in my head, as though my 1st person singular were still sitting somewhere comfortably at a coffeeshop in Minneapolis and watching this trip proceed forward through the lenses of a set of cameras installed on someone else’s face in someone else’s eye sockets. “Pump your straining muscles, you silly girl!” the first person singular demands, “ Don’t let them stop, you can’t let them stop. Because you need sleep, you need food, you need rest, you need to get somewhere where you can find these things. You have to deal with all of those obnoxious imperatives of your ongoing existence, you insufferable fool! And then, wake up tomorrow and bear it all again, in hopes of tasting a moment’s victory in the simple act of erecting the tent and crawling (utterly exhausted) into its cramped confines, or perhaps meeting a hospitable stranger, whom you never would have known existed otherwise, and taking your sleep like an addictive drug you couldn’t do without in their guest bedroom. You can do it, but you know it won’t be easy.” All these grammatical persons become far more complicated when first person singular realizes that there’s another first person singular accompanying it, and that it’s always been first person plural. Since day one, and until day x, y, or z, when it’s all over. “You’re not the only one experiencing this,” says the first person singular, ”There’s another one, doing, seeing, hearing, and smelling the same things. And feeling something… related, but different. We are doing this together. We are rolling along the byways of this spinning world, trying to keep up with it, trying to suck it in and keep it within ourselves.” But there’s just too much, two minds can’t even hold it. So we bring strangers into our first person plural club. We meet you, we look into your eyes and try to see there someone we can understand and appreciate. There’s a great big “We” that happens, sometime very soon after the first 50 miles have been pedaled and left behind in our muscle-memory. We have come to appreciate so many of the you’s out there, but the verdict is still out on the question of understanding.

It’s hard to say exactly what this trip has meant. It’s been a ridiculous whirlwind of landscapes that transform themselves drastically, often within the space of a single bend in the road. It’s been a collection of moments when our bodies scream at us, and our minds fight like hell to keep the dream alive. It’s been a grand Tour d’Humanité as we are invited into and fondly bid farewell from the lives and homes of a sea of strangers. (I often wonder at what point a stranger becomes a friend. Does it take a single conversation? A single night of crashing on the couch? Or does it have to take years?) We sow Chance in fields of possibilities, and harvest Memory in time-ripened bushels. But where to store the Memories so that they won’t stagnate? Where to stow them away so that we can find them again when it comes time to feast? I keep feeling such different sensations, and everything keeps changing.

Towards the end, it got to the point where going forward everyday was still far more physically challenging than we thought it would be by that point, even with the addition of several new interestingly shaped muscles bulging out of our thighs that certainly hadn’t been there in the beginning. But it became a far greater mental challenge. To keep doing what we did, day after day, week after week, and eventually month after month is (you gotta hand it to us) pretty insane. And it took a lot of will power and (quite literally) drive.

People still ask us, “Why did you do this?” I mean, for crissake, if you’re going to put this much energy and will into a trip, you should have a reason, right? Well, believe it or not, I still don’t think we have a satisfactory answer to that question, beyond the singular impetus of Adventure!!!! I am not convinced that there is an answer anymore. Embarking on any journey, there’s always a distinct haze of naïve excitement. In this case, there was a distinct haze of “Oh S—. What the F— am I getting myself into and how the HELL am I going to do it? And WHY, dear god, WHY for F—’S sake am I excited about all this pain I’m about to willingly impose on my weak little body? But I’m going to tell everyone I know about it and give them our blog-address and talk up how awesome it’s going to be because I’m friggin’ going to do it regardless.” For some reason, I thought everything would all click and make some profound sense a month into the journey, but it’s nearly over and we still have practically no idea what’s going on.

And there’s something about the question “Why?” in this sort of scenario that I dislike. Intensely. There doesn’t need to be a deep, meaningful, clearly-stated objective here. Here’s how I look at it: The Universe got bored one day and decided to create Earth. Earth got bored one day and decided to shake it up with some wicked tectonic-plate action, resulting in the creation of continents and mountain ranges and gorges and all sorts of purple, majestic things. The mountains and seas got bored one day and decided to evolve some humans out of the mucky goo on their surfaces. The humans got bored one day and decided to have wars with each other and stake claims for themselves by pissing all over very large expanses of territory so that countries came into existence. Colleen’s and Liz’s parents got bored one day and decided to make some babies (Disclaimer: I don’t know if that’s actually how it went down. I’m just going with the flow. Cut me some slack). Colleen and Liz got bored one day and hatched an idea to conquer our country as though it were nothing but a gargantuan obstacle course with death lurking around every unknown corner, placed there for the express purpose of having us bicycle the hell out of it.

I’m making it sound like this whole trip was spawned because we have nothing better to do with our lives and will do anything, no matter how suicidal, to kill our idle boredom. For the record, that is not the case. There are plenty of things we could have done, like work at our jobs, be productive members of society, and have good manners, good hygiene, good roofs over our heads, and a functional attitude towards planning for our brilliant futures. But as our summer plans took shape, we wanted something different. Something challenging. Something to help us break free from the bonds of normalcy and ascend that much closer to Nirvana. There is no specific “Why” to what we’re doing. We’re just doing it to do it. (And also, for the glory. Glory is good. We like glory.)

Asking “why?” can, too often, have the tragic side effect of crippling potential. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of times when having a good cause or a good reason to do something will be a significant (and totally awesome) motivational factor. But there doesn’t have to be one. Whatever you spontaneously decide to do, if you interpret that action as an exploration of the boundaries of your own existence, there needn’t be any further explanation. Do what you want, make your own adventure, live it up.

We’re still just two ordinary ladies, overdosing hardcore on adrenaline. It seems extraordinary when you spread it out on a map and count the miles. But every day, our trip was as simple as hopping on the bike , taking a nice, long ride, and keeping a good outlook when we pulled into some new town. Somewhere down the road, we got new panniers, new tires, new chains, and new brake pads, but the whole way, it’s been the same old spirit of grinding gears, whirling wheels, spinning spokes, bellowing breaks, blasted buttocks, and tingling thumbs. “Just keep it all in motion,” our first person plural somehow says to us, “Keep our muscles pumping, silly girls! Keep driving it all forward! See what lies ahead!”

Life is full endless endpoints. And often, we’re so locked into Now that all the Now’s become Then’s without our consent or approval. We’re coming in fast on the end of this trip, and the end of this blog. For anyone out there who has met us, wondered in awe and astonishment how we’re doing this, and bemoaned the fact that you can’t – you can. There’s no reason to live life in fear, and every possible reason to live life taking chances and having adventures. Be safe about it and take precautions, by all means – we’re certainly trying to (for the most part). And if you’re anything like us (you probably are, if you were curious enough to start a conversation with us or let us camp in your backyard), you won’t find all the answers to life’s ongoing laundrylist of problems. But you’ll find out a thing or two about yourself and the whereabouts, howabouts, and roundabouts of your particular adventure, however and wherever you choose to have it.

It’s just great. Even when it sucks. We don’t exactly know how to explain why that’s true, but it is.

Love,

Us

PS. We’re still just chilling in San Diego. Last few days have been just as uneventful as the combination of a TV and a leather sofa have ever been.  We’ll have a couple more posts here before the bitter end, though.  We’re hoping to catch a little bit of that Vegas Crazy you hear so much about it…  without the whole “spending a lot of money” part…

Tourists!

August 12, 2010

Mike, our craigslist angel, drove us down to San Diego in style in his Chevy Silverado.  The ride took about 7 hours instead of 2 weeks.  And that was that. And we are so totally cool with how things have been working out.

EXTREME TOURISM!!!

With the advent of our new-found bicycle-hate, we have lost our sense of spontaneous adventure and have become dirty, dirty tourists.  Upon arriving in San Diego, we met up with Diane, one of Colleen’s parents’ high school friends.  Diane has been letting us stay in her comfy guest bedroom in her beautiful home in Del Mar, CA (just north of San Diego), complete with swimming pool and hot tub, beer-loaded fridge, two feisty dogs, great location 2 miles from the beach, and guaranteed sunny weather everyday.  We feel like the stars of a reality television show, and we have no shame about it.  Diane has been letting us use her car to drive our lazy buns all over town.  In a flash, our lives have taken us from sleeping in the bushes, scared for our lives, to stewing in a hot tub, hoping it never ends.

Day 83: We paid a visit to downtown San Diego, where we totally went SHOPPING!  (And got a $30 parking ticket for getting back to our meter 7 minutes too late.)  We totally bought some CLOTHES, and we look super totally cute now.  We went to Balboa park, and took like, totally fabulous pictures of everything so that we can show our mediocre travel photos to our friends when we get back and have nothing substantial to say about the photos.

TOURIST MOMENT: As we rode the FREE! Balboa Park tram, our cap’n noticed something unusual to the side of the tram.  “And now, if you look to your right,” he said, “you’ll see a tree that fell down.” [[noticeable pause]]  “Wow, that was the most exciting thing I’ve seen all day.”  Colleen and Liz erupt into laughter.  No one else found it all that amusing.

Day 84: We took this show down the road to Tijuana, Mexico, where the cityscape changes drastically within the space of a few feet at the USA-Mexico border.  After walking across the border without event, we made a bee-line for the margaritas and cigarettes like the well-behaved tourists that we are, although Tijuana is no longer the tourist destination it used to be.  The tell-tale signs of economic decay are all over the place.  Completely vacated plazas, abandoned sales booths, and crumbling buildings lined the streets in some parts of town.  In others, overly persistent salespeople practically stalked us down the street, telling us repeatedly, “It’s my turn now!  Please, come in, just look. I give you something free.  Please, lady.”  It’s fun to shop, eat, and drink for cheap.  It’s not quite as fun to know that the low prices result from all sorts of economic and social impoverishment.  If we had more time, money, and protective measures, it would have been interesting to bus deeper into Mexico and see what its like beyond the border.  (Summer 2011? Who knows…)  But for now, our short visit of colorful booth-shopping, 3/$1 taco-eating, $1 beers, buying fruit salad, fresh chorros, ice cream bars and candy from street-carts, and free tequila-shots everywhere will have to suffice, and we enjoyed our visit thoroughly.

Day 85:  BEACH. Finally. ‘Nuff said.

We’re still not sure exactly what we’re doing for the next few days until the race…  But things are simmering down.  Just as they ought to.

Two Females, One Bar.

August 9, 2010

Our moods have increased drastically as we begin initiation of our new plan.  As soon as we confirmed our ride with Mike, our smiles reemerged from the dark, moist, caverns of our mouth-holes, and a pure, brilliant happy feeling filled our weary souls.  Essentially, ridesharing down to San Diego guarantees that we WILL get to the Mexican border and we WILL get to spend some time in Southern California.  Both of those delightful goals were becoming dubious possibilities as time begins to run out on us.  Furthermore, we WILL also get to see LA when we bike back up the coast – it’s on the way to Vegas.

(PS. HOLY CRAP, Vegas!  So very soon!)

Last night, we biked a few short miles into Cupertino, CA in order to wait for our ride down the coast today.  We hung out at the library for a while, and when that closed at 6PM, we had no choice but to resort to MISSION DRINK.  Now that we no longer have dudes with us, we can return to our natural habitat, ie. that low-lit den-like building on the corner of town full of older men getting plowed.  Using our super sensitive, keenly trained, and ultra precise bar-radar, we located the best dive bar in town, Paul & Eddie’s Monta Vista Inn (www.paulandeddies.com).  Using our incredible double-x chromosome magic, we made friends with everybody at the bar within 15 minutes.  And having wheeled our loaded cycles onto the premises, everybody knew that we were both extremely badass and also not from these here parts.

It’s been awhile since we’ve felt like unique, special snowflakes – the West Coast sees so many touring cyclists that we’ve felt more like a tiny part of an avalanche.  But Cupertino isn’t on the coast, and it isn’t really on the way to anywhere that a touring cyclist would normally go.  We’re only in town for our rideshare, after all.  Thus, at Paul & Eddie’s, we got star-treatment once again.  (How it should be.)  We bought ourselves one beer each, and the locals took care of the rest.

At Paul & Eddie’s, Jaegermeister is the house wine.  The little bar claims to sell more Jaeger than any other bar in the entire Bay Area.  At first, we didn’t believe it.  But after pounding back round after round of Jaeg-shots, we were starting to think it just might be the truth. By the end of the night, we had each had 4 shots of Jaeger and our minds were fuzzier than baby bunnies. The kind bartender lady had mercy on our stomachs and prepared 2 hotdogs and a bowl of potato salad for each of us. ‘Twas truly grand.

BAR MOMENT:  It got dark outside and as usual, we hadn’t yet figured out a place to sleep. Close to the end of the night, one of the guys who had bought a round of shots approached us and squeezed Colleen’s shoulder, saying, “You guys just might get lucky tonight.  My wife is at this wedding or something tonight, and I refused to go because I had to come here instead.  Anyways, I just called her and left a voice message.  I’ve got a big backyard, and you can probably camp there. Want to know what I told her?  I said, ‘there are these two extremely hot girls with great bodies here at the bar, and I wanna take them home and let them sleep in our yard.'” Colleen, not quite able to believe her ears, responded, “You actually said that in a voicemail to your wife?”  He replied, “No.  I actually said, ‘there are these two girls extremely hot girls with great bodies here at the bar.  One of them has a huge rack.  I want to let them sleep in the backyard.”  Conclusion:  Men are extremely hilarious.

Pig & Wacko's. The perfect camping site.

We wound up camping in “Pig” and “Wacko”‘s backyard, about a half-mile from the bar.  Pig, thus nicknamed for his obsession with collecting piggy paraphernalia, gave us coffee in the morning and then we all went back to Paul & Eddie’s to keep the buzz going with some morning Bloody Mary’s, which were extremely delicious.  Back at the bar, we found out that there were only two bottles of Jaegermeister left after the previous night’s debauchery, and that those meager two bottles were supposed to last until Wednesday.  Oops… Guess we all outdid ourselves.

We had a wonderful time reliving some of our Midwestern nights of intoxication and revelry.  Thank you, Cupertino, for delivering some serious fun in our moment of boredom and lethargy.

And for the cherry-topper, we should be off to San Diego shortly!  USA-Mexico Border, here we come! At 60 MPH rather than <15!

Moment of Zen

Now that the shunning has officially taken place, we are ready to take our bicycles, hack them into miniscule little metallic bits, pour the remnants in a jar, throw the jar off a cliff, set the rocks on fire below, and watch it all burn long into the night.

That being said… Day 80, plan: Bike South-ish.

Reality: After parting with our friends Ethan and Mikey, we began pedaling South with one thing on our brains: TRUCKS. Semis. Beautiful, majestic, sixteen-wheeler flatbeds, and people who would transport us hundreds of miles in mere hours and without all the back-breaking hills, profuse sweating, cussing to the wind, and flat tires. We wanted to hitchhike – we wanted it bad. Oh so bad. You have no idea.

There is apparently only one truckstop in the entire Bay area. And luckily, that one truckstop is only 5 manageable miles from Ethan’s house. We got there, loitered a while (we’ve gotten very good at loitering by now), and collected some dust as nothing happened. Because it was a Saturday, business was slow at the truckstop and the clerk behind the register estimated a 10% chance of successfully hitching a ride. In mad desperation, we remounted our steeds and hit the road. But only for three blocks.

In favor of cutting out 20 miles, we took BART as far South as BART goes. This landed us in Fremont, CA, and it took twenty minutes instead of two hours. Thank you, public transport. You rock.

Colleen is very happy to be riding the twilight train. Perhaps... too happy.

In Fremont, we went to a Mexican restaurant and bought some cheap quesadillas before biking 11 extra-super-duper-long miles to a mall in Milpitas, CA. Having been tipped off by a dude at the restaurant, we hopped on the tram into San Jose, and knocked off another 25 miles or so, riding all the way through town to Campbell, CA. (But not until after we had been thoroughly verbally molested by some drugged-out twenty-something-year-old kid with a serious case of the munchies and just about the most horrible racist and obnoxiously ongoing commentary we’ve ever personally witnessed on a public transit train platform. He offered to buy our bikes from us at $20 a pop at least twenty times. Thanks, but no thanks. We’ll keep our wheels, for now. Anyways, destroying the bikes and watching them burn would be far more emotionally productive than a twenty dollar bill.)

Thus it took place that Liz and Colleen covered approximately 60 miles, 16 on bikes and the rest on public trains. WE ARE SO BADASS!!! YEAH!!!! BIKE ACROSS ‘MERICA!!!!

We can’t stop laughing. Everything is so funny and ridiculous. We are delirious at this point. We’ve been doing this so long… We want to be home. But we’re stickin’ with it because we “have” to. We’re stickin’ with it because we’re mulishly stubborn. We’re stickin’ with it because we already put our money down on this stupid f***ing race in Vegas, and we can’t get it back.

We descended upon a gas station restroom late last night aftering disembarking the train. There, we did the whole hygienation process thingamajig. We then camped across the street in the bushes. Because that was, like, a good idea at the time… or something. And when we woke up in the morning, we revisited the gas station in order to re-hygiene our night-filth away. This is how pathetic we are.

Camping in the bushes across the street from the gas station. Yup.

Day 81, plan: Bike to Santa Cruz.

Liz changes a flat. Once again. BLEGHHHHH.

Reality: Liz popped her 7th or 8th flat tire, (We’ve lost track of how many it’s been… Her crummy Terry Tellus tires aren’t exactly carrying their weight. At all. Colleen, on the other hand, has had one flat the entire trip. Yeah, Vittoria! Everyone, buy Vittoria tires!) beginning the day on a positive note. When we got on our bikes after fixing the tire, it was nothing but grumbling, hurting, whining, and complete disinterest in being on bikes.

Something snapped in our brains as we rested in Oakland, and we realized that the actual biking isn’t all that much fun anymore. We’re still into the idea of our trip, but if pedaling is going to be torture, it simply isn’t worth it. As we said in the last blog entry, you’ve already been shunned. Thus, our new plan is to have crazy adventures from point A to point B, however the hell we can.

About 3 miles down the road, we decided to hightail it into the first place with Internet we could find and consult Craig for help. Craig is a wonderful man who must exist somewhere, for he has a very useful list. We’re thankful that Craig posted his list online, because upon his glorious list, we saw a posting for a ride all the way down to San Diego. And you know what, dawgs? We’re doing it. We are ridesharing the whole damn way down to San Diego tomorrow. We’re currently in Los Gatos, CA, and we’re going to bike into Cupertino, CA tonight (after we’re done chatting with this awesome bum at Starbucks who’s telling us fabulous stories about his life’s meanders.  The current story is something about hanging out at a bar with a very-wasted Hunter S. Thompson in Colorado). Our ride leaves tomorrow afternoon from Cupertino.

So, with this unexpected turn of events, we have a new plan. Ride to San Diego. Cross the Mexican border and maybe take a bus to inland Mexico, doing how we do. Get back into the USA, and bicycle one final 3-day, 150-mile stretch into LA. Hitchhike or rideshare from LA to Vegas. Run our flippin’ race. Head home. Sleeeeeeeeeep forever and ever, at least for a couple days before hitting the books and graduating college.

(A very beautiful) Moment of Zen

“Where’s Mikey?”

August 7, 2010

Mikey doesn't know that this picture exists. But now YOU all do!

Oakland has been a joy to the world, all you boys and girls.

Rockin' out in the park.

Days 75 – 79 have seen us breezin’ (like a summer mooooornin’) in and out of San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland.  Be it theatre productions, excursions into People’s Park, hiking through the lush woods and gazing uberdiscombobulatedly into the bounitful bosoms of nature (all the way into the chasmic chest cracks of her blessed breasts, might I add) for 4 hours, visiting friends for breakfast extravaganzas,

We found a Kitty!! At a shop in China town! Sooooo cute!

shopping for cute kitty plates and incense burners for realllllllll cheap in China town, crawling all over art galleries and then partying at a POOH (Party in Our Own Honor) all over apartment complexes, learning the magical secret to the art of the hula hoop, wondering where in tarnation (or the Bay Area) Mikey is, or generally biking the SHIT out of this city, we have spent our hours basking in the glory of… well… NOT biking 10-hours a day and NOT struggling for survival and NOT trying not to die and NOT successfully making tracks down the coast…  In short, we have enjoyed the benefits of having a stable roof over our heads and taking a break from the insanity of the road, substituting it instead for the insanity of a freeloaders life in California.

Possibly the worst (or best?) photo of Colleen currently in existence.

We are hitting a wall again.  Every time we get an extended break, it’s been difficult to give up our new “home” and return to the road.  This time, it’s an epic struggle.  We have already biked a total of over 2,200 miles.  We don’t have anything left to prove to you people.  Consider yourselves verily shunned.  We’re not even going to bother saying any of this “Shun the non-believers” crap anymore.  Consider it done.  We would prefer to stay at Ethan’s place in Oakland for a few more weeks of actiontastic nonsense behavior, but we can’t.  We just can’t.  We have to plod forward like old, worn-out workhorses, hauling our ridiculous loads up and down the hilly coast and then hauling our buns all over the Nevada desert for our half-marathon-that-we-didn’t-train-for-at-all from hell.  And we really really really can’t figure out why anymore – not at this point. Now that the shunning has already taken place. 

(That is the only reason we ever did this, you know.)

And with that, we have come to, BUM BUM BUM, day 80. 

Day 80, plan: Successfully get out of the city to somewhere further South.  We’ve been through this all before – navigating out of big cities is tricky and frustrating.  If we can pull it off and find a place to pitch our tent (once again… *tired sigh*), we’ll be “happy.”

Ethan is taking off on a road trip of his own (by car, unfortunately… the dang kid feels like burning petroleum instead of calories, like an intelligent person), Mikey is taking off for wherever the hell it is that Mikey’s go, and we shall be alone again.  Just the two of us, on the road again.

NO MORE MEN! NO MORE MEN! NO MORE MEN! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

No, but seriously, thanks for being a great host, Ethan.  And thanks for being an… um… entertaining travel partner, Mikey.  We’ll miss you when our crazy tent parties are down to two confirmed friends on the invite list.

San Francisco Moment of Zen

Behold as Ethan wails his sweet, mournful harmonica chords to the sea nymphs.

Oh dear Non-Believers, it has been many moons since we graced this blog with the majesty of our words.  Ie., haven’t written anything for a week because our amazing, adventurous lives have consumed all of our attention.  But we have returned to you, as ever we shall, for we feel compelled to continue the shunning process.  And make you feel bad because you haven’t done a danged thing all summer long except sit on your fat arse and rot/read our blog. ;~D

Day 70, Conclusion: After meeting up with Ethan, we hung out in Mendocino for a bit and payed too much for our groceries in the hippie local organic tumultuous barbaric (?) aisles of the market there.  We also stole substantial quantities of organic gummy worms, peanut butter cups, malted milk balls, dried fruits, and a few yogurt-covered pretzels from the bulk food section, which had plenty of signs distributed about in obvious locations that said, “No Sampling.”  We weren’t sampling.  We were straight up stealing.  There is a large difference.  Anyways, everybody knows that bulk food is code for “Take Me And Eat Me Without Paying,” right?

That night, we biked a few miles down the road from Mendocino to Van Damme Beach National Park campgrounds and snuck into the facility while the booth-lady was on break. After setting up our tents and bivy sacks, we felt discombobulted and bloated on sugary sweets and treats as we hosted our first ever TENT PARTY, drinking margheritas and not caring who knew it.  (Note: This frivolous behavior has marked practically every night of our lives since.  Hedonism, my friends. Hedonism.) It was a wonderful evening of trying to prevent Mikey from starting a campfire that would probably burn the whole forest down in one go, jovial merriment, NOT getting sprayed by a rogue skunk that kept on popping up and scuttling threateningly about our campsite, and ongoing idiot-blather as we discussed profoundly deep topics, including but not limited to “Two Mikeys, One Cup.”  Late that night, we passed out in our respective sleeping units and sleeping soundly, dreamt dreamily of dreamish things. 

Day 71: We took a rest day at the campground to recover from our self-imposed physical abuse. We accomplished nothing all day long and felt glorious about it. 

However, all of our stealing began to catch up with us when a park ranger came a-knockin’ at our tent door and questioned our presence there.  He knew we had been there the night before, and that we hadn’t paid that day either, and that we were probably poor, dirty vagrants who didn’t intend to pay.  And this was, of course, an accurate assessment of the situation.  Result: He took out his pad and began writing us up for misdemeanors.  Dirty, stinking misdemeanors that would follow us all around for the rest of our miserable, pathetic existences and prevent us from getting jobs and renting appartments and being good, trustworthy people. 

Our reactions to potential misdemeanors:

Mikey: Who knows.  Mikey, our ever mysterious Mikey,  was off somewhere doing something, how only Mikey does. He got off the hook without doing anything except happening to be absent at the time of lawforce intervention.

Liz: Naptime, accompanied by silence and invisibility within the tent until Colleen forcefully dragged Liz’s limp flesh from its sleeping bag and made it produce valid identification.

Colleen: Paranoia, accompanied by thoughts of jail and how awful that would be.

Ethan: Calm, cool, collected acceptance, accompanied by smooth-talking the ranger into compliance with our own wills by eloquently stating our case and providing an argument which, he believed, would hold up in a court of law.

In the end, we got off the hook by taking a verbal beat-down from the ranger and coughing up the $30 for the two nights we stayed at the campground.  No misdemeanors.  Phew.

Day 72: We biked 63 sunny and pleasant miles to Stewart’s Point, CA. Just past the town, we began looking for a park ranger free camping location.  We were hoping to find a scenic, rocky crag where we could pitch our tents.  That way, if we decided we were too tired to carry on, we could send our bodies hurtling over the cliff edges and into the breaking waves of oblivion and beaches of dismay at the bottom where they would break, with the result that we’d never have to ride on a bicycle ever, ever, ever again.  Also, it would be pretty and majestic and whatever.

Camping by the ocean.

And by gum, did we ever find it!  The Most Amazing Spot Ever! And we decided to trespass.  Because we apparently hadn’t learned our lesson from the ranger the night before.  And because if you find the Most Amazing Spot Ever, you DO NOT give that shit up.  After hauling our bikes over the fence (when there were no cars driving by – we’re sneaky like that), we discovered that this rolling, coastal land was most likely a cow pasture.  (If it wasn’t, then somebody had expended an unneccessary amount of energy obtaining large amounts of crusty cowpies and distributing them judiciously throughout the grass. I don’t know any somebodies who busy themselves in such a dubious fashion.)  But the cows were all on hiatus, so it was completely “safe” to live it up all over their stomping grounds.

Just after the sun sank beyond the horizon, we erected our tents a dozen feet from the edges of ocean cliffs.  The wind howled in our ears from across the waters, and the waters themselves stretched away into eternity, tantalizing our imaginations with their salty promise of adrenaline rushes and sure death in the event of unforeseen killer tsunamis (or tomatoes).  It felt surreal. Because it was surreal. Utterly surreal.

Liz admires the big blue.

Day 73: We hit the road, unsullied by cow attack or discharge.  Within a few miles, we were climbing the dizzying coastal hills and sucking every spare energy molecule from our (already depleted) somatic cells.  The jagged cliffsides afford lovely views in sunny weather, but the day was droll and damp.  Bone-chilling even, if you will.  A thick layer of fog hung in the sky, and as we pedalled up and down the cliffsides, we came in and out of the mist like ghosty thingies on two-wheeled contraptions. Uphill and down, we four rode it all out like champions and biked 56 miles to Middle of Nowhere, Side of the Road, California (about a mile before the town of  Tomales, CA). 

Roadside camping.

At that point, a nipping fear for our lives set in.  Where to camp tonight? With almost no visibility, we were having a hard time locating a decently innocuous place to set up camp.  Night was about to set in, we figured there wouldn’t be anything or anyone in the next tiny little town to help us, and all the land was fairly well inhabited by (non-ghost) cows or crops. And then… to what should our wondering eyes appear but a small brambled hill, rising slyly from the side of the road.  Ethan, brave soul that he is, volunteered to scout out the area, and then guided us all beyond the dense growth and behind the hill into another pristinely illegal campsite.  Fields of something or other stretched inland, veiled in a cloak of deep mystery by wave after wave of still-rolling fog. And that wondrous eve, we were lulled to sleep to the tune of cars whizzing by on the dark, narrow highway. Once again, surreal.  Flippin’ surreal.

Day 74: We biked the final 56 miles into San Francisco.  But not without difficulty.

In Lagunitas, we took a lunch break where a nice man bought us all milkshakes.  And then another nice man, who didn’t luckily didn’t know about the milkshakes, inadvertently bought us a big brownie and cookie because he “knows what it’s like to be on the road.”

After this fabulously unexpected sugar rush, Ethan broke a spoke and Liz popped her 6th flat tire of the trip.  All was lost.  So we called a taxi and paid 5 gajillion dollars to ride in comfort back to Minneapolis.  The End.

Kidding. We fixed our problems with our magic bicycle tool superpowers and revved our engines right on into the City.  As we approached the Golden Gate Bridge, we couldn’t see anything through the eternal fog.  Winds that felt something like hurricane gusts blasted our bodies from ever-changing directions.  It felt sickeningly intense as we biked up one final death-hill to get to the onramp for the bridge.

Crossing the bridge was one of those glory moments that I’m not going to bother writing about because it would get all poetic and mushy. And I don’t feel like boring you all to tears with tales of our emotional surges upon arriving in San Francisco after nearly 2.5 months of bicycling.  From Minneapolis.  MINNEAPOLIS, for crying out loud.  It’s ridiculously wonderful and wonderfully ridiculous.

Foggy arrival. C'est la vie!

We hopped the BART to Oakland, unpacked our panniers at Ethan’s place, and have been livin’ the life here for the past couple days.  We’re hanging out in the Bay Area until the morning of August 7th, at which point, our journey will take us further South.  Stay tuned.

Moment of Zen