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.

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


5 Responses to “MISSION RUN: Success.”

  1. greg said

    The plural of cranium is crania.

    And welcome home.

  2. Matthew Smith said

    “…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.”

    Well it is good to see that this ass busting trip that most people would have wussed out of built up your confidence. If it’s any consolation, at least one of your family members is hiding away in a trailer in Alaska, eating squirrels and wild berries, trying to affirm his image of a mountain man, occasionally roaming the streets for a wi-fi connection to write a message to his sister.

    Good job. You shunned about 80% of my incredulity, which is about a B-.

    • smit3694 said

      Oh, we were being GRADED, were we? You, good sir, are a baboon which finds itself in the predicament of being both pompous and conceited.

      You’re eating SQUIRRELS? Not even WE sunk to depths that low… (or heights that high?)

      Also, PS: JOKE. More people than ever before have read this blog than any other words I have ever sequenced into a sensible, meaning-transfer-capable code. (That wouldn’t have been terribly hard to do, but it is certainly, at the very least, progress in the correct direction.)

  3. Heidi said

    I’ve been waiting 2 weeks to read this finale. Well worth it! Congrats, you bodacious babes, you!

    • Will said

      enjoyed the story of your adventures. If you make it up to canada, I’ll be your craigslist chauffeur.


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