2/5/2004 - 6:10 PM - Dave Update and Brief Reflections
“There is no way to comprehend how we will feel on that first day, as we stand with our feet in the Atlantic staring west. There is no way to know what the drudgery of covering 20 miles a day, everyday, for 5 months will feel like. But I'll tell you what, of all the pain, repetition, or bad luck that COULD happen, I am totally and completely ready for it.” The above passage includes the last thoughts of mine before beginning the run across the country. This is the first time I have read the words since posting them on the site almost one year ago. Wow, looking back on that first day, with our feet in the Atlantic staring west…. To be perfectly honest, the thought at the front of my mind was, “It’s really cold, I can’t believe I just ran through 2 feet of snow in my bare feet and am now standing in the 50oF Atlantic Ocean.” After the initial shock, we headed down the road and, for the first time, the weight of leaving for the trip was gone. From then on it would be left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, until we hit the beach in Oregon. As we headed down the first stretch of road all I could think was, “Okay, so were running, now what?” As the day continued we found ourselves continuously talking about what it would feel like to role up onto the beach in Oregon and soak up the whole experience. I can’t tell you how many times this discussion came up on the trip and how motivating it was in times of need. I also talked about the dangers that ‘COULD’ happen on the trip. I honestly don’t think that there was a single bad thing that happened on the trip. Yes, there were some set backs and unforeseen problems but nothing that caused us any major trouble. Anything undesirable that happened was taken in stride. We knew that if we just kept running we would be that much closer to the finish. Neither of us spent any significant time in a bad mood. Sure there were the miserably cold days, missing friends and family, but I would not have been happy doing anything else. As the miles clicked by and winter turned into spring, the trip became a way of life. Get up in the morning, run for 20 miles or so, meet some wonderful new people and go to sleep. I guess when I talk about it that way it sounds rather mundane but it really did not and does not feel that way. Everyday held new sites, new people, and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. The response on the web site was that much more inspiring so there was never any reason to doubt ourselves. If there was one misconception I had before the trip began it was the response of the people across the country. From the housing offers, readers on the website, and friendly smiles and waves of people driving by, I never imagined that we would receive the support we did. Before we left I was optimistically thinking that we would spend 30% of the nights indoors. To know now that we had housing offers for over 90% of the nights seems almost unrealistic. We had originally planned for a few hundred hits on the website a month. We ended up having an entire expected months worth of hits in just the first 3 days. And, not only did people smile and wave as they drove by, but several times they pulled over to talk to us and even give us a couple bucks to help us on our journey. There is no way to explain the feeling I have when I think about all of this. It seems impossible. All I can say is Thank You, Thank You to everyone. I haven’t talked very much about the final day to the beach and the thoughts that ran through my mind. I guess it’s because it wasn’t the most important part of the trip. Scott and I always new we would reach the coast and when the day finally came it kind of felt like we had accomplished the inevitable. It’s not until I look back to everything from the conception of the idea, the planning, the act of leaving, the miles on our bodies, and the people who supported us, that the true enormity of the accomplishment comes to mind. From a big picture view, we had just spent the last five months doing the exact same thing day after day to arrive somewhere that would have taken a few hours on a plane. The feeling in the end was the same we had had from the beginning. It wasn’t about the destination, it was about the journey. I don’t care how cliché that sounds, it’s the truth.
2/5/2004 - 6:09 PM - Scott Update and Brief Reflections
I can’t believe it’s been nearly one year since Dave and I jogged off the chilly beach in NJ. Running across the country had been a longstanding dream of mine and making it a reality was truly surreal. How in the world we made it across the US without a close call with an automobile, without being threatened, and without any real problems is something that still amazes me. Aside from the early injury setbacks caused by running with the packs on our backs, we never so much as rolled and ankle or tripped on a curb. Getting to meet so many incredibly generous people along the way kept our spirits high, and our attitudes good the entire trip. People often asked us if we got sick of each other. Absolutely not. We never had any real disagreements the entire trip. We felt so fortunate to be in the position of doing exactly what we’ve always wanted to do, that there was never anything to argue about. We were the luckiest guys on earth, and we knew it. That kept us smiling 99% of the time over the 160 days. The other 1% of the time involved some tough moments. I had a few spells on the trip where I really missed my best friend and girlfriend Bethany. There were also a handful of days where I’d wake up, look at hairy, gaunt, unrecognizable face in the mirror, and ask myself, “What are you doing to yourself?” But each day was brand new with fresh scenery and new friends. I can’t stress enough how amazing all of our hosts were. I think about them everyday. They all took in a pair of strangers at the drop of a phone call or an e-mail. They fed us, they did our laundry, they gave us tours of their towns, they told us the stories of their lives, they let us be part of their lives for a day or two at a time…..just as we let them be part of ours. There was never a moment when any host made us feel unwelcome or uncomfortable. They may never truly know how much they each mean to us. We’ve been home from the trip for just over 6 months. So if we’d chosen to turn around in Oregon, I guess we’d be home by now. Huh. Anyways, while we are home from the trip, we will never be finished with the trip. The trip was the beginning of new friendships, and a passage to the next part of life (not sure what that is though). Nothing makes me happier than trading e-mails with people I met along the way. That alone can pick me up when I’m having a down day. Getting an e-mail from someone who was once a stranger, but now forever a friend, reminds me of all the goodness and kindness there is the world. I still shake my head in disbelief when I look back on the trip, and look at how “normal” my life has become once again. Honestly, I have trouble sometimes talking about the feelings the trip gave me because it was my way of life for 6 months, and then it was gone. Losing that way of life was, in many ways, like losing a friend, but I made many new friends along the way. I apologize for how much this note jumps around, and if some of it doesn’t make sense…..but at times I do have a very hard time expressing my feelings about the trip. I’m not sure why, but I do. It was truly a dream. Please read Dave’s recent summary. It says exactly how I feel about the trip. Thanks to all of you, and please keep in touch…..Scott
1/10/2004 - 3:36 PM - Yes Dave is alive (1/10/04)
Well, it’s been a long time since the run has ended and I have been indescribably lazy about writing some sort of an update. My original plan was to write one after a few weeks which turned into after my marathon, then Christmas. Well, I have no excuse but finally after 5 months I will let you know what has happened to the other half since the run. The finish on the beach was great with lots of friends and family. On Monday the 4th (two days after finishing) Scott and I flew back to Philly and parted ways. Scott, getting a ride with Bethany back to his new apartment in Bryn Mawr, and me back to my parents house in Allentown. In some ways, I wish I could have gone home and sat around thinking about the last five months, but that wasn’t the case. I had just over a week to get my but packed and moved out to Berkeley, CA where I would be starting Graduate School in Material Science Engineering. So, for 5 days I attempted to pick and pack my way through twenty five years of clutter. I would be driving to CA and would only be taking what fit in Beowulf (my Pontiac Aztek). This time at home was entirely to short for my mother who had to worry about me wandering around the country for 5 months just to see me move to the opposite side of the country. Well, it had to be done, so after the car was packed and goodbye’s given I was off to traverse the country, albeit in a much easier and faster fashion. I had planned the drive to take about 4.5 days taking route 80 the whole way. However once I got on the road I was able to just go. With a stop in Chicago, IL, North Platte, NE, (with a quick stop in Lincoln to visit Ann Ringlein) and Winnemuca, NV, I arrived in sunny Berkeley after 3.5 days. One thing I must have learned on the trip was how not to get bored. Upon arriving in Berkeley, I had to wonder how often someone had finished a run across the country, flown across the country, and driven across the country all in about 1 week and a half. All that was left was to bike and ride a horse. Since arriving in Berkeley things have gone great. I am living with 4 other people (5 total) and couldn’t have picked better roommates. Classes were a little difficult at first having to not only get used to everyday life again but also the fact that I hadn’t studied or taken a test in 3 years. After the initial shock I was able to settle in and relax somewhat. Running wise, I spent most of the fall ‘pretending’ to train for the marathon. I had several set backs such as a bad case of poison oak (they don’t have this on the east coast), a strained calf muscle, small bicycle accident, and general laziness. So, after only two weeks over 70 miles, and two long runs of 20, I ran the Cal International Marathon on December 7th. Although my training had not been good at all, I decided to go out at Olympic Trials pace (5:24/mile, 2:22.00 overall) and hold on as long as possible. Surprisingly things went well through the first half in 1:10.30 ish (right on pace). At this point however I knew the body wasn’t going to last. I held on with the pace pack through 21 and was still under pace at 22 but then everything fell apart. I ended up running 2:26.28 which was a 7 minute pr so I couldn’t be to upset. It wasn’t what I had hoped but better than I had expected. After the race I tried to come back to quickly and am currently dealing with an IT band problem. Ugh. Oh well, it’s probably good for me to take the time off. I did go home over Christmas and was able to see my family which hadn’t been together in over 2 years. Over New Years, I saw Scott for the first time since parting in the Philly airport. As always, it was like we had just seen each other the day before. I have just recently returned to Berkeley and am getting ready for a tough semester. My research will be kicked up a notch, I will have 3 classes instead of 2, and I will have my prelim examinations this semester to determine if I am worthy of the Ph.D. program or not. I am very happy though as I have a girlfriend (3months), a great group of friends, a fun advisor, and of course beautiful California weather. With everything that has happened since the end of the run I haven’t had to much time to think about it. But I will say that it was an absolutely fantastic experience and without the support from our hosts and all those who followed us on the website it would not have been nearly as fun, exciting, easy, and completely unforgettable! Thank You Everyone!!
9/3/2003 - 2:43 PM - What I've been up to....Scott (Sept 3rd)
OK…so what have I (Scott) been up to since hitting the Pacific about a month ago? Well, not running much. My hopes of being in great shape and running a fast marathon at Chicago in October have been flushed in the toilet for a number of reasons. First and foremost the motivation to get out the door each morning to run has been virtually non-existent. I've run probably 10 times in the last month. I think the shortest I've run has been 8 miles. I even did a speed workout on the track in my first week home (repeat 5:05 miles with 400 rest), but after that I just didn't want to be tired all the time. Along the way I've also moved into a new apartment with Bethany, contracted a bacterial infection in my lungs, and severely strained my back from lifting boxes. I can barely bend over to pick up a pen off the floor right now. So, next weekend I am running with the Bucknell Alums at the Reach the Beach Relay in New Hampshire. After that I am going to take off 4-6 weeks with no running at all. Then, I'll re-evaluate things and perhaps begin training for a spring marathon. Right now I still plan to be in Chicago for the marathon (as a spectator), so if people want to meet up for a beer, I'd love to see you……Brian, Lori, Wanda, and others. Bethany got me a Playstation 2 for my B-day (along with GTA3), so I've put in some solid hours in front of the TV in the last month as well. I took a 10 day road trip too! I headed south to my parent's in NC and eventually up to Boston. In Boston I met up for a drink with Sara, a regular follower of ours when we were on the road. Thanks for hanging out! I glance at the pictures on the website every now and then. It's amazing how much of a distant memory the trip already seems. I'm busy with other things and moving on, as is Dave. In fact, when I last spoke to Dave (Sunday) he'd yet to look at the site once since we finished. He's quite busy adjusting to his new life in Berkeley. Thoughts of "what comes next?" bounce through my head every now and then. I feel like I want to do something else but I'm not sure what yet. For now I couldn't be happier to be settled and living with Bethany. I may go back to work at my old job, but am open to doing anything. So if you know of any job openings for anyone doing anything, e-mail me, as I'm all ears. More to come, I promise…..including pictures from the finish. Thanks…..Scott (Sept 3rd, 2003)
8/20/2003 - 11:41 PM - More to come!
Ok, so it took us 2 1/2 weeks to post the details about the trips final 3 days. For that we apologize. However, keep checking back as there will be 150ish more pictures posted. They will be from the final 50 days of the trip. In addition, we'll both be writing some longer essays as reflections of the trip. Thanks......Scott and Dave
8/20/2003 - 11:41 PM - Day 160 - Florence, OR to Pacific Ocean!!!!!!!!!
Saturday morning was the last day we’d wake up and think, “We have to run west today.” At around 10am everyone gathered at the house as we prepared for our final 2 miles. We stood around the house and socialized for nearly an hour before making the decision to go out and run. It was kind of strange because this was the day that we’d be running for, and everyone was there, but when it came time to say “Let’s go finish this thing!” we almost didn’t want to do it. A friend of Dave’s had told us in the middle of the trip that we should savor every minute because once we hit the beach it would all be over. That was very much in mind on that last day, but I was happy and excited above all else. So once the decision to finish was made, we drove two miles back to our last finish point, packed up the jogger one last time, took a bunch of pictures, and started to run. As we’d hoped, we were joined by most able bodied friends and family for those last two miles. They were quite festive. We had not seen a bottle of Mad Dog on the road since day 37, and wouldn’t you know it we saw 3 empty bottles in our last 2 miles. Those Oregonians must really love the stuff. What are the chances that we’d see 3 the entire trip, and then 3 more in the last 2 miles? Unbelievable really. Once to the beach, those friends and family who did not run were waiting to greet us. We stopped about 50 yards short of the ocean to hug people, take some pictures, shed our shirts and shoes, and take one last breath before making it official. Dave and I looked at each other and said “Let’s go.” We calmly jogged to the water, and despite its chilly temp (about 55 F), we never broke stride. The goal had been reached, the dream fulfilled. We gave a huge smile to one another, hugged, and called it a day. The shorted day of our trip (2 miles) was the sweetest and the last. . I could never add up all the hours, energy, and heartache we’d invested over the previous years just to make that moment of diving into the Pacific a reality. The truth is the only thing of importance is that we’d made it happen, and done it on our own terms. However, saying that we made it happen couldn’t be further from the truth. Take a look at the credits list. Every single person on it had a hand in helping us achieve our goal. No matter how big or small the favor, if you helped us, your name is on there. You are the one’s who made this trip what it was all about. We will forever have that list to look at and cherish. Many people on the list we will see again, and many we may not, but know one thing, you helped make our dream come true.
8/20/2003 - 11:17 PM - Day 159 - Florence, OR - DAY OFF
On Friday morning we woke up and had breakfast in the resort restaurant with Dave’s parents. With the entire day to do as we wished, we headed into Florence to look around. The town was small and quaint with lots of tourist shops. Dave was pleased to see a candy shop selling fudge. He got a half pound of chocolate and ate the stuff like an apple. On the way back to the resort we stopped at a beach point to walk around. There were lots of people walking, running, playing, and taking pictures. I (Scott) spotted a pair of bikers on the beach who appeared to be conducting a ceremony of sorts. I mentioned to Dave that perhaps they were starting or finishing a long journey. We’d heard on several occasions that Florence is a popular start/finish point for trans-con bikers. Eventually the bikers made their way towards us. We struck up a conversation with them, and they confirmed our inquiry about their journey. They had just completed a cycling trip from the coast of Maine. We spoke for nearly 45 minutes, sharing stories from the road. Once back at the resort, our friends and family began to slowly trickle in. First Kate (my sister) and Zan (brother-in-law) arrived. They were followed by my parents and Bethany. Then Mull, Joe, Mike, Kellem, and Lisa rolled in, then Wood, Saki, and Rick. Only Eric (Dave’s twin) and Karen (Eric’s fiancée) remained. In celebration of my 26th birthday I had dinner with the family at the resort restaurant. It was a so great to be reunited with my family again. Having them there was the best b-day gift I ever could’ve asked for. The second best……a Play Station! I never asked for it, and never expected it, but Bethany gave me a PS2 for my b-day, along with Vice City and Tiger Woods Golf. Wow, I really was the luckiest guy on earth (still am)! After dinner everyone went to the lovely house that MC Jonathan F. Mull rented for the weekend’s festivities. Plenty of beer was already going down when we arrived (9pm). I was given a few more b-day presents as well. They included a delicious cake (courtesy of Bethany’s parents) and 40’s of Olde English 800 and Steel Reserve Malt Liquor (courtesy of Rick, Saki, and Wood). Once the parents turned in for bed, us youngsters went out to see what Florence nightlife had to offer. While I won’t go into great detail, I will say that we looked a bit out of place. Nonetheless, we had a fantastic time and didn’t leave until last call (2am). I was really overwhelmed (in a good way) by having the company of my family and very best friends for my b-day, but more so for Saturday’s finish.
8/20/2003 - 10:51 PM - Day 158 - Walton, OR to Florence, OR
On our last full day of travel Jim Hill kindly drove us 45 miles to our drop point. We had about 20 miles to cover to reach Florence, OR. It was 8am when we were dropped and Dave’s parents were not scheduled to arrive in Florence until around midnight, so we had a lot of time to kill. While we ran nearly all 20 miles we took many, many breaks. The realization that the run was coming to an end was setting in, and perhaps taking several breaks was our way of drawing things out a little longer….or perhaps we were just really tired. The night before we’d been out drinking beers in Eugene until nearly 1am, so weren’t particularly well rested. In fact, I (Scott) had one of my only severe hangovers of the entire trip on that last full day of travel. I’m a complainer and I really let Dave hear about how poor I was feeling. We did stop for lunch that day in Mapleton, OR. Like we’d done hundreds of times before, we wheeled the jogger into a local diner, bought a newspaper, did the crossword, and chatted about nothing in particular. Sportscenter was on TV, and I watched it for a while. It was fun to think during that meal about how significant the moment was for us, and how seemingly insignificant the day was for everyone else in the restaurant. Our waitress was quite rude, and three men sat at the bar complaining about everything….but nothing in particular. To us it was really the last day of a life changing event; to them it was just another summer day with lots of shit to be done. A few hours after lunch we approached Florence. Dave and I had joked for weeks that we would celebrate our arrival in Florence by bowling a few frames and drinking beer. Immediately upon our arrival we got some Gatorades and sent a few e-mails from the library. However, once those tasks were completed we headed to the bowling alley. With the exception of a few guys at the bar, we were the only people in the place (it was 5pm on a Thursday). We bowled 5 games each and drank plenty of beer. Much of the time was spent laughing and reminiscing about all we’d been through. Really we concluded that except for a couple of scraggly beards we were relatively the same guys who’d left Jersey 158 days before. Once our arms were tired and our brains buzzed, we left the alley and grabbed some dinner at Taco Bell. At dinner’s end the time was just 8pm. We had nearly 4 hours to kill. I was really tired, and wanted to sleep, so we found a clearing in the woods and threw down our sleeping bags. The spot was just 2 miles from the beach and looked to be a great starting point for Saturday’s final run to the shore. Until 11:30pm, when Dave’s parents picked us up, we dozed under a clear night’s sky. Dave hiked around a bunch and at one point nearly got trampled by a dear. The sky was magnificent and I counted 6 shooting stars in just 30 minutes. Around 11:30pm, Dave’s parents arrived and we went with them to the resort. We chatted for a while before going to bed.
8/5/2003 - 5:54 PM - Long update and thoughts to come soon....i promise
ok, i'm back in philly trying to get life in order. this weekend was a fantastic. great to see so many friends and family. i (scott) am collecting my thoughts for a long essay to post here. it may come in a few installments, but keep checking each day for new journal entries and pictures. there are tons of photos to post. it will take a while to get them all up, but we will. thanks so much for all of your notes, support, help, encouragement, and even criticism. it's made this all wothwhile.....scott
8/2/2003 - 10:11 PM - Day 160 - Dave & Scott RUN THE USA!
Webmaster TubeSteak here. I have officially received word that today, 8/2/2003, Dave and Scott have officially reached the beach in Florence, Oregon. Much to their surprise there were THREE empty bottles of Mad Dog found over the last two miles! They will be completely bumming! Webmaster Wood flew out to run the last few miles with them and celebrate, and he has reported that approximately eight people finished the run together with Dave and Scott. Wood "claims" that many pictures were taken today. Of course, these pics will be posted soon to the site.
7/30/2003 - 8:05 PM - Days 156 and 157 - Noti, OR to Walton, OR
For runners of any/all abilities yesterday would've been the most fun and interesting day of the trip….as it was for us. I (Scott) am a bit rushed right now but will replay the highlights. We went into Nike with John Truax, who is the track and field spike designer. First thing in the morning was a running department meeting with most of the Nike running staff on hand. After getting to hear their story they asked that we share ours. Much of the day was spent touring the many departments and huge campus. We got to speak with Alberto Salazar for a while. At day's end we headed out for a run with Nike intern and NCAA Indoor 5k Champ Sara Gorton of University of Colorado. Before beginning our run though we stopped by Nike's "Oregon Project" house which has been fitted with oxygen removal systems to simulate living at altitude. Currently there are 5 men living there. Chad Johnson, one of the residents, joined us for the run too. We also met his housemate and several time Runner's World Road Runner of the Year Phillemon Hanneck. Despite temps in the mid 90's, Sara and Chad took us to a cool and shaded park for the run. We clicked off 9 miles at 6:30, which is par for their course. I was a bit tired and sluggish, but it was great to run with a pair of national class athletes. We grabbed some dinner afterwards and chatted for a while. Despite an invite from Chad to spend the night at the house we hit the road around 9pm and drove back to Eugene. We joked about if we'd slept there we could've cranked up a bedroom to it's max (18,000 feet), drank a beer, and woken up with brain damage. This morning we were back on the road for another 15-20 miles. The road we're on now has been the worst of the trip when taking traffic, no shoulder, and turns into consideration. It has not been a lot of fun. Take into account the mid 90's temp and we're not happy campers. Today's run left us just 25 miles from the Pacific. We got picked up by Jim Hill (former 13:19 5k runner from U of Oregon). He took us by his company SportHill clothing for a tour. We're now saying goodbye to Dave and Becky Dusseau who have hosted us for almost a week and given us full use of a car. They have been fantastic and I'm not sure how we could ever repay them or many people we've met along the way. I could write pages and pages about yesterday but must go. Track one of us down for a long run sometime and we'll tell you all about it. Time to go swimming over at Jim Hill's……..
7/28/2003 - 6:12 PM - Days 154 and 155 - Eugene, OR - REST
Hello from our extended break. I (Scott) had a great trip to Southern California. I got to visit with friends and family who I only get to see about once a year. I did get in a few runs of 8 and 12 miles along Huntington Beach. I took the rest of the days as rest days…..aka In-N-Out Burger Days….aka I went to bed at 4am and woke up with a hangover days. After a relatively light and tame social agenda for the last 5 months I abused myself in SoCal. As is always the case I was brought to my knees by the almighty "Shark Attack" at Sharkeez in Newport Beach. Only those who have experienced the "Shark Attack" can truly appreciate the pain associated with said beverage. I made it back safely to Eugene yesterday in time to enjoy a great cookout with Dave and Becky Dusseau. They hosted us last weekend for a night in McKenzie Bridge at their cabin, and are again treating us to beds and home cooked meals while in Eugene. After dinner they headed to the cabin and left the house and a car to Dave and I, and their 17 yr old son John. Dave and I were fully expecting the house to turn into something out of an '80's teen movie (think 16 Candles), but John headed out with friends and spared the house. Dave and I drove up to see Pre's Rock, got some ice cream, walked a few laps around Hayward Field, and then met Caitlin Wittreich (her father Paul ran with us on Day 21 out of Emlenton, PA) and her friends for a few beers. We had a great time but everyone had run up a pretty severe sleep deficit over the weekend, so we called it a night before 11pm. Today Dave and I played 18 holes of par 3 golf with Dave scoring a 1stroke victory. We then headed over to Hayward Field for our run. I'm still unsure why, but we both decided to attempt light workouts. I ran 2 x 1mile at 5:20 and 5:12 with 1 lap recovery, while Dave ran 3 x 800 in 2:18ish. It was 95 degrees and we hadn't drank anything all day, so I cut my workout short by 1 mile. While the heat hurt quite a bit it was great to run a workout on the historic Stevenson Track at Hayward Field. We're now getting cleaned up for a drive up to Portland. We will be spending tomorrow at the Nike World Headquarters. We've been invited to sit in on some running department meetings and will receive a tour of the campus. It should be great. We'll get back to the road on Wednesday to put a dent in our remaining 40 miles. Cheers, and thanks so much for all of the notes and e-mails! I can't tell you how much the support we've received has kept us going out here. Can't believe it's almost over……
7/25/2003 - 1:54 PM - Days 150 and 151 - Los Angeles, CA - REST (Scott)
Hello….just checking in from Los Angeles. Life on vacation is good. I went for my first run yesterday in 5 months that I started and finished by myself. There was no one to talk to, no baby jogger to push, no traffic to dodge, just the ocean to look at and my own thoughts to keep me company. The run was along the strand in Huntington Beach. It was 8 miles with the middle four at an accelerated pace (6:00, 5:45, 5:30, 5:30). Those four felt great. It was nice to finally get the legs moving a little bit. Marathon weekend is 11 weeks away, and I’ve got to build a lot of speed into my legs between now and then. The weather yesterday was perfect for sitting on the beach. I spent most of the afternoon there, and followed it up with happy hour at one of my favorite SoCal joints, Taco Surf. $1 tacos and $1 beers from 2-5pm everyday. Great stuff! I’ve also hit In-N-Out burger twice in three days. Nightlife has been easygoing and tame (by choice). I’ve slept in until nearly 10am everyday. Tomorrow I’ll be driving up to Ventura to visit my cousin Lee, his wife Kim, and their two sons. I am growing more excited everyday about next weekend. One week from today I’ll get to see my friends and family in Oregon. I’m coming to grips with the basically being done. No tears shed. It’s been a great ride, but there are lots still to do in life. I’d like to thank everyone for all of the great notes we’ve received on the message board and through e-mail over the last 2 weeks. Your support really means a lot to us, and we couldn’t have done it without you. We will answer all of the e-mails, but it may not be until we are done and back in PA or CA. Thanks again.
7/22/2003 - 11:23 PM - Day 149 - Eugene, OR to Noti, OR
Today began with an eight am wake up and a trip to Dunkin Donuts. Although we were disappointed in the fact they did not have breakfast sandwich’s, we did enjoy a taste of home. Palmer and Julie joined us as we headed out the door and walked with us for about 1/4 mile. After they departed, we spent much of the morning dodging traffic. The road was packed and there wasn’t much of a shoulder. Finally, after we got to the edge of town, we were able to start running. We carried the wave all the way to mile marker 40. We are on our last stretch of road and that mile marker meant there was only 40 miles to the beach. With 2 days of travel, we decided to call it quits for the day and Julie came and picked us up. Now the wait begins. We have gotten so far ahead of schedule that we will spend the next 8 days waiting to continue our trip. Scott had left on his flight and I am settling down to another night of rest. I hope not to think about the finish for a few days as it might just drive me batty. I will be meeting tons of people in Eugene so that will keep my mind off the finish. It should be a great week of rest and reflection. Scott and I will both try to add some entry’s throughout the layoff. Well, Palmer is coming to say goodnight so I must be off.....
7/21/2003 - 6:37 PM - Day 148 - Walterville, OR to Eugene, OR
Got a solid 10 hours of sleep last night. Felt good, and I (Scott) certainly rest easier the closer we get to the finish. In many ways I expected to feel like a child on X-Mas Eve leading up to our last days out......just so excited that I couldn’t sleep, but that hasn’t happened. Perhaps it is so strange for me to imagine not being out here that I’m having trouble processing how close we really are to being done. It is a remarkably similar feeling to the one I had before we left. I thought that I would have incredibly inspiring thoughts and be overflowing with excitement, but it wasn’t like that. It is very tough to describe really. Well, as close as we are to the finish in mileage (just 60 miles to go) we won’t stroll onto the beach for another 12 days. So there’s still lots of time to think about it. Much of my thinking time will be spent on the sunny beaches of Southern California where I’m jetting off to after tomorrow’s run. I’ve received permission from Dave to go swimming in the ocean if I’d like. I didn’t want to offend him if I chose to take a dip in the Pacific before we arrived on foot. This morning we had pancakes for b-fast and were on the road by 9:30am. The day was just a short 15 mile hop into Eugene. We made quick work of it and we’re sitting down for lunch by 11:45. We dined at a sub shop attached to Dunkin Donuts!.....the first one we’ve seen since Akron, OH. There was no debate about continuing on for more mileage today, because by finishing there today we’ve guaranteed ourselves b-fast at DD for tomorrow. After lunch we were picked up by Julie Caswell, a friend of the Bronfenbrenner family. We are staying with her, her husband Adam, and son Palmer for a few of our nights in Eugene. No plans for tonight. Just take it easy......
7/20/2003 - 7:30 PM - Day 147 - Nimrod, OR to Walterville, OR
Another beautiful day in Oregon. The sun was shining and the sights were beautiful as we hit the road around 10:00 am. Scott was feeling great and ready to run. I on the other hand was feeling a little soreness form coming down out of the mountains. I had plenty of energy, just not a lot of power in my quads. But whatever, and off we went. We had been running for about twelve miles when two bikers with gear in tow passed us. A little ways up the road they had stopped and we ran up to talk. They had come from Virginia and were heading to Astoria where they would be finishing. We chatted about our adventures and then headed on down the road. The temperature rose pretty quickly throughout the day and by the end of the run, it was well into the 90’s. Walterville is a small little town along the McKenzie River. We hit up the local restaurant and enjoyed a small lunch. Soon after, our hosts Catherine and Dale Beam arrived to take us to their home. They live up on the mountainside and although only less than a mile form the main road it feels like the middle of nowhere. You can see the surrounding mountains and here the flowing river. It is beautiful. Tonight we will be sitting down to some home cooked Indian food which Catherine actually learned to make in India. It should be a treat. Tomorrow will be a nice short day into Eugene. I can’t believe we are almost in Eugene……
7/19/2003 - 11:21 PM - Day 146 - McKenzie Bridge, OR to Nimrod, OR
Last night we had a great time here with Jeff Sherman. He has quite a library of old running tapes. We tapped into the films and watched full, uninterrupted copies of the 1972 Olympic 5k Final (Prefontaine) and Haile Gebreselassie’s 12:44 5k (11 second world record) from 1995. That was great entertainment for a couple of running geeks. This morning we downed some pancakes for b-fast before hitting the road. Our run was a relatively easy, slightly downhill, 19/20 miles. We clicked the miles off with no trouble. In fact, today was as good as I’ve (Scott) felt running on the entire trip. Needless to say, because I felt so good I spent much of the run day dreaming about a fast fall marathon, and wondering how in the world we’ve made it this far. Upon completion of our run I took a dip in the frigid McKenzie River, while Dave wisely stayed dry on land. We were picked up by Jeff Sherman’s neighbor, Dave Dusseau. He took us back to his and Becky’s (his wife) house for the afternoon. We dined on enormous and delicious steaks for lunch, sipped beers, and enjoyed the beautiful day. Brof snuck away for a few hours to read the Harry Potter book, Dave (our host) stole a nap on the hammock, and Becky and I chatted on the deck. Eventually we all decided to head to the Blue River Reservoir for a swim. The water was crystal clear, but crowded. We entered the water by jumping off of a 30 foot bridge. It was a bit frightening, but quite a rush…..enough of a rush that I went back for a second go around. After the jumps, we sat on the rocks and casually swam for an hour or so. Once we’d had our fill of sun and water, we headed back to the house for dinner. Again, Dave and Becky grilled a delicious meal that we downed in the comfort of the back porch, overlooking the McKenzie River. I’ve spent much of the day marveling that we only have 5 days of travel left. I think back to early in the trip and wonder how we didn’t go crazy from the enormity of having to cover 3200 miles. Somehow, someway we’ve almost made it. We will have over a week of time to kill in Eugene next week as we wait for our planned finish date of August 2nd to arrive. To kill the time I will be heading to Los Angeles for a 5 day getaway. So-Cal is one of my favorite vacation spots, and I’ve lots of friends there who I haven’t seen in quite some time. I am really excited…..Taco Surf, In-N-Out Burger, Sharkies, and Huntington Beach! After all of that I have the weekend of all weekends to look forward to…the party in Florence. Two weeks from this moment it will be in full swing, and like the day we left New Jersey, our lives will never be the same.
7/18/2003 - 9:49 PM - Day 145 - McKenzie Pass to McKenzie Bridge, OR
After a heavy nights sleep, we awoke to bagels, toast, and cereal. We weren’t in much of a hurry today because our host was not expecting us until 2:00 pm. We sat and talked with Charlie and the kids, relaxed, and finally got going around 10:00 am. We were on the road and running by 10:45 am. Today’s run was completely downhill. We dropped from about 5000 ft. to 1200 ft. over the course of the 20 miles. There were several sections that were very steep and I am sure we will be feeling it tomorrow. Overall though, the downhill enabled us to run from start to finish. A heat wave is coming through the area but thankfully there is a plethora of tall trees providing plenty of shade. The humidity is still very low so if we stay out of direct sunlight, we can stay relatively cool. We pulled into our finishing point at the ranger station at about 1:30 pm and sat around talking to the rangers until our host, Jeff Sherman, showed up to take us back to his place. They live in a small little mountain town that is really beautiful. The foliage is so thick that you feel like you are the only person for miles. After a quick lunch, we headed to see some of the local sights. We sat in a hot spring for a while and visited some of the waterfalls on McKenzie River. We returned to the Sherman’s, worked on the computer and will be sitting down to a dinner of Elk meat in a short while. Tomorrow’s run should be just as beautiful as today’s. Every step brings us closer….
7/17/2003 - 11:58 PM - Day 144 - Sisters, OR to McKenzie Pass
The day began with a 7:00 am wake up call. From there, it was off to the Sisters Athletic Club to start our day. We arrived in town around 7:45 am and hit up the local Deli for a breakfast sandwich. We headed down the road around 8:30 am and after a couple cell phone calls, we were off and running. Today’s run took us from ~3000 ft to 5500 ft of elevation at McKenzie Pass. Although it sounded like a big climb, it was spread out over 10 or so miles and wasn’t too bad. The run would also be one of the most scenic of the trip. We started in the high desert area with sparse trees and a lot of sagebrush. In the first few miles, the trees became taller and more abundant as we climbed up into the forest area. This was great as the scattered shade helped keep the temperature down. About 4 miles from the top of the pass, the trees opened up in front of us exposing a huge lava field. Only about 1500 years old, the cooled lava stretched about as far as the eye could see. It looked like we were on a different planet. This also opened up extended views of mountains off in the distant. For the first and probably only time of the trip, we were able to see Mt. Hood; the largest peak in Oregon and famed start of the Hood to Coast relay. We continued up the road passing in and out of the lava fields until we reached the pass; 16 miles into the day. On top was a viewing area built from the lava rocks. Once inside they had little openings in the walls that showed perfect views of each mountain peak. A quick rest and we headed down the other side. We didn’t really have any destination but we knew with a two day total of 40 it would be best to get at least 20 out of the way today. When we reached 20 miles, Charlie Kanzig arrived to take us back to Sisters for the night. The drive down took almost as long (not quite) as the run up as the road was really twisty and turny. It didn’t seem that bad on the way up but as we traveled down, I was glad to have it out of the way. Back in town, we had some food, worked on the computer and rested. We are in our last county in Oregon and besides a few rolls in the coastal mountains; it’s all downhill from here…
7/17/2003 - 11:57 PM - Day 143 - Sisters, OR - DAY OFF
Yesterday morning we got up around 8am, reserved a 10:40am tee-time at a local golf course, and headed into town. We grabbed some breakfast at the local bakery, picked up some golf clubs at the health club, and went to the course. Before teeing off we knocked a few balls around on the range and putting green…nothing too serious. The last thing we are, on the golf course, is good, so the point of the day was to relax and enjoy ourselves. As a twosome we got paired on the first hole with two other golfers who we’d play the round with. Upon introduction we noticed one of the gentlemen wearing a Bucknell hat. Quickly we learned that his son Ian (the other member of our now foursome) is the new offensive coordinator of the Bucknell Football Team. This coincidence made for a fantastic day on the course with our new friends. Ian and his wife recently secured housing in Lewisburg, and having only visited there a handful of times he was eager to learn about the town and school from a couple of insiders. So for the rounds five hour duration we traded advice, stories, mulligans, beers, and just had a great time. I’m anxious to say hello to Ian this fall back in Lewisburg, and perhaps share some more stories and beers then too. As far as the golf goes, well, we could’ve played better, much better! It didn’t matter though as the course was beautiful, and we’d amazingly been paired with the two guys we were meant to be paired with (whether any of us knew it or not). After the round we went back to Tate’s and got cleaned up for dinner. We were invited to join one of Charlie’s assistant coaches, Rima, for dinner at her parents’ house. Many members of Rima’s family from all over the country were in town to visit, so we had questions coming at us from all angles. It was a terrific meal and great company. We only wish we’d had the energy to stick around longer, but despite it being a day of rest we were quite tired. With full bellies and heavy eyes, we headed back to Tate’s for a full night’s rest.
7/17/2003 - 11:57 PM - Day 142 - Redmond, OR to Sisters, OR
Tuesday morning began like so many of our days happily have: breakfast with our hosts. Chris and Chrisi prepared us a delicious spread of pancakes as early morning fuel. By 9am we were in Redmond and ready to get moving. The day ahead was a flat 20 miles to Sisters, OR. We figured that with a short break or two, we could make it there by noon….we were right. The run was fairly uneventful, which is how we like them. The less excitement on the roads, the better. We’re so close to being finished that the last thing we need now is a close call with a car or a violent mauling by a mountain lion. Once into Sisters we made contact with one of our scheduled hosts in town, Charlie Kanzig. He gave us a warm greeting and introduction to Sisters. We walked down the beautiful main street and got some lunch at a local deli. He then took us to the house where we’d be staying for a night or two. The house belonged to Tate Metcalf, who was out of town but kindly left it open for our use. In addition to having use of the house, we were also left the keys to Tate’s truck….so we had wheels too! Charlie filled us in on the arrangements that Tate (owner of the local healthclub) had made to keep us busy and comfortable. They included a massage and 18 holes of golf. After getting acquainted with Tate’s we headed out for our massages. They were fantastic…I mean, who can really complain about a massage? We then grabbed some dinner before heading to Charlie’s cross country practice. He coaches the Sisters HS XC teams and invited us to meet his runners. We enjoyed chatting with the runners before and after practice. It brought back some fond memories for me (Scott), as Tuesday was the 10 yr anniversary of my first cross country practice. It was that night (10 yrs ago), that I had to agree to pay my father back for the running shoes he bought me when I quit the team….which in his estimation would be about a week. Dad didn’t seem too convinced about the whole running thing. In fact, after those first few practices I had to fight hard with my parents to let me run on the team, because the two weeks of mandatory two-a-day practices overlapped with a leadership workshop I’d been invited too. And really, what kind of future could running shape for me? A leadership workshop could surely make all the difference in who I’d become as a person. Right? Well those Air Pegasus dad bought me were in the trash 9 yrs and 99.1% of a transcontinental run ago. I don’t think dad’s getting his money back. After Charlie’s practice was complete, we went back to Tate’s for some sleep. A day of rest was ahead……
7/14/2003 - 10:59 PM - Day 141 - Prineville, OR to Redmond, OR
I awoke this morning around 8:00 am and headed into the house to check some internet stuff and talk with our hosts. Scott had left his watch outside the van (unbeknownst to me) and slept in until 9:00 am. This really wasn’t a problem because we only had 17 miles to cover. We enjoyed oatmeal pancakes and great conversation and finally hit the road around 10:15 am. We ran easy while talking most of the way. We pulled into Powell Butte after 8 miles and hit up the local convenience store. No.....we didn’t rob it, we just had a coke and a candy bar. After about 15 minutes, we headed out again and arrived in Redmond around 12:30 pm. We had a quick bite at the local deli and then were picked up by our hosts Chris and Chrissy Kuka. They both coach (one basketball, the other track) and teach at two different local high schools. After a little conversation and snacks, we headed off to the Deschutes Brewery to have some local micro brew. A few beers later we headed back to the Kuka’s house for some barbequed pork and pasta. We have just finished dinner, which was fantastic, and will be indulging in some ice cream later. We’re feeling great and enjoying the great company. Due to our August 2nd finishing date, we now have more rest days than travel days remaining in our trip. The last 3 weeks should go pretty easy as we have taken 11 rest days so far and have 10 to take in the last 19 days. I am excited to see the beach but even more so to see my family and friends....
7/13/2003 - 4:52 PM - Day 140 - Ochoco Reservoir in OR to Prineville, OR
This morning we woke up and didn’t feel nearly as sore as expected on the heels of a 40 mile day. For b-fast we shoveled down some eggs, toast, and coffee. Because yesterday was so long, we only needed to cover 8-10 miles today. By 9am, we were off and running again, anxious to get the day’s mileage behind us. Surprisingly, both Dave and I felt remarkably good today. The 10 miles we ran were some of the easiest in recent memory. That may be due in part to only having to cover 10 miles today. Regardless, by 10:30am we were in the van and headed back to the house for a day off relaxation. As I type this update I can look out the glass doors to the deck and see the Three Sisters Mountains covered in snow, and 45 miles away. We are surrounded by tree covered hills, and lush green farm fields....it is a spectacular view, and the weather couldn’t be better. We’ve made all off our lodging contacts between here and Eugene, do not have a day of running greater than 20 miles remaining, and have 10 rest days yet to take. If I didn’t know any better I’d think that we might actually make it to the Pacific. If anyone has some suggestions about how to kill 10 days in Eugene/Portland, we’re all ears. Right now we’re thinking of maybe renting a car to tour around for a week, and I may fly to LA for a few days. Who knows. It’s good to be happy and free.....
7/13/2003 - 4:50 PM - Day 139 - Mitchell, OR to Ochoco Reservoir in OR
On Saturday morning, Jenny kindly had us over to her house and cooked us pancakes for breakfast. Upon filling our stomachs, she gave us a ride back into Mitchell so we could get a start on the day. It was 8am, and all we were sure of was that the next town was 48 miles away, the next store was 40 miles away, and we would have access to fresh water 16 miles outside of town. We easily ran the first 7 miles of the day before starting another mountain pass climb. The climb was about a 6% grade that lasted 8 miles. There were a few points of relief where the road flattened, but for the most part it was a long, steady climb. Once to the summit we pulled into a campground to take a break and refill our water. The original plan was to hang out there all day while the sun was hot, and then cover another 8-10 miles in the evening. After an hour of sitting around, we both agreed that the temperature was reasonable enough for midday travel, so we got back on the road. We quickly and easily ran the next 8 miles, as the road was slightly downhill, and surrounded by pine trees nearly 100 ft in height. It was a beautiful day. After the hour we took another break on the roadside. We’d covered 24 miles, it was only about 1:30pm, we both felt good, and a store and reservoir were just another 16 miles down the road (downhill miles too). So we agreed to make the push that would bring our day’s mileage to an even 40. Once back on the road we did some walking, but running felt easier on the legs, so we ran mostly. As we headed down the mountain a VW camper pulled over, and a lady got out. She said that we looked like we were working hard, and offered us some cantaloupe, and mango. Neither of us were in an eating mood, so we politely declined. When we told her where we were headed, she said that she (Kim) and her husband (Dennis) lived close by, and we were welcome to stop by later for showers and sleep. It sounded great, and after some quick directions, we were running again. We still had about 11 miles to go, but the thought of a shower when we were preparing for another night out, made the miles palatable. About two miles from our intended stopping point Dennis came driving down the road to offer us a ride to the house. With the desire to go a few more miles, we agreed to meet at the diner/store and get a ride from there. That would give us an even 40 miles for the day, allow us to get a bite to eat, and allow us to cool off with a swim in the Ochoco Reservoir. Unfortunately the store and reservoir both proved to be disappointing. The store was not yet set up to serve food, and the reservoir was murky with algae, and didn’t smell terribly refreshing. We did get a snack at the store, and oil cans of Fosters, and sat outside on a picnic table to wait for Dennis. Just 10 minutes later we were at there house, showering, checking our e-mail, and told to make ourselves at home. Having left Mitchell in the morning with no idea where we’d sleep, luck was on our side. Kim and Dennis prepared us a delicious pasta dinner, and we traded stories about our travels. They kindly offered to host us for a few nights if need be, so before going to bed we made plans for Sunday’s run and returning to their house. After a very long day, we slept very well....
7/13/2003 - 4:49 PM - Day 138 - Dayville, OR to Mitchell, OR
The next morning we awoke early to get a jump on the day. We knew it would be hot again and with 32 miles to cover, we wanted to hit the road. So at 5:00 am we were up and packed. We hit the road around 5:30 am. We had been told that the road steadily rises out of the canyon we were in and then drops into Mitchell were we would be finishing for the day. What we didn’t realize what it was a 25 mile rise before dropping into Mitchell. After downing a few granola bars, we started running. After a few miles, I commented to Scott that the cart felt like a ton of bricks and we were both working really hard. At this point we turned around and realized that what we thought was flat road had actually been steadily going up. We continued on for a little while longer and then the road really started to go up. We decided to walk the really steep parts because they were really wearing on the person with the cart. We ran on and off the rest of the way up the mountain as the terrain changed from steep to not so steep and back. Finally, the road began to head down. However, this proved to be more painful than the up part. In the first 25 miles of the day, we had gained about 2500 ft. in elevation. Now, we were giving it all back in only 7 miles. The road was dropping at about a 6%-10% grade and really tore on the quads. Knowing what lay ahead in the next couple days, we decided to walk most of the way down the mountain. The last time we had run down a hill like this, our quads paid for the next week and we didn't want to go through that again. So, even though it took a little longer, we finally rolled into Mitchell around 11:30 am. We had actually covered the 32 miles relatively quickly due to the terrain. When there isn't any place to stop and rest, we just keep going and going. Anyway, Mitchell was another tiny town that was setup really well for travelers. They had a local park that provided camping and a place to shower. We hit the cafe for food and the general store for more supplies. As we sat in the shade resting, Jenny Deluca (the Forest Ranger at the John Day Fossil Beds) pulled up. We had been given her name by Brad Ward (the head of Admissions at Bucknell for the West Coast) and had been in phone tag contact. She offered us a ride to Prineville so we could scope out the next two days of travel and pick up some extra provisions. After getting back from there, she took us out to the Fossil Beds to camp for the night. It was beautiful out there with many painted hill formations. We hit the sack around 8:30 pm. Unfortunately, the mosquitos were back with a vengeance. A little interjection. For some reason, the mosquitos don’t like Scott but they LOVE me. Sitting here at the computer, I can count at least 30 bug bites I have received in the last 48 hours. Despite coating myself in insect repellent and staying mummified in my sleeping bag at night, they still get to me. I have at least five bites on my feet for crying out loud. Scott on the other hand does not have a single bite. He even sleeps outside his bag sometimes. It is quite frustrating. my only guess is that he doesn't have a reaction to them but it sure is feeling very unfair. Anyway, I think we will have a place to sleep for the rest of the trip so I won’t have to worry about it any more. I hate mosquitos.......
7/13/2003 - 4:48 PM - Day 137 - Mount Vernon, OR to Dayville, OR
Lets see....We woke up at the Stowers and headed out the door around 7:00 am. We were on the road by 7:30 am and feeling pretty good. Our plan was to run the 23 miles into Dayville, rest through the heat of the day and then cover another 8 or so miles at night. The run went pretty smoothly and quickly. It did start to get hot in the last few miles, but we had plenty of water and stayed relatively hydrated. We pulled into Dayville around 11:00 am and headed to the local cafe. Dayville only has a population of about 100 people but is setup for people passing through. The local church leaves their doors open all the time so after finishing lunch, we headed there and grabbed a shower. We sat inside for most of the afternoon napping, doing crosswords, and avoiding the heat. It was one of the hottest days of the trip so far and luckily, we were staying cool inside. Long about 5:00 pm, we headed back to the cafe for dinner and then hit the local convenience store for supplies. The next town was 39 miles down the road and there were no provisions between. We covered the next 8 miles at a relaxed pace, passing through the John Day Fossil beds. We found a great place to camp around 7:30 pm, setup camp, and were in our sleeping bags by 8:00 pm. It was still really warm out so we tried lying out in the open. However, the mosquitos decided to attack with a vengeance so we were forced to wrap up. This proved for a rough night as we not only sweat to death, but had to listen to the incessant buzzing of the mosquitos. Needless to say, we slept, but it was not very refreshing.
7/9/2003 - 7:07 PM - Day 136 - Prairie City, OR to Mount Vernon, OR
This morning it was tough to get out of bed, even for Dave (which never happens). We were both in very deep sleep when the alarm beckoned us at 6:30am. Still dazed, we were in the car by 7am, and on our way back to Prairie City for our day’s start. In Prairie City, we had a long, slow, and delicious breakfast at a diner. The owner of the diner, and several patrons were quite interested in what we were up to. Route 26 is heavily traveled by ‘across the country’ bikers, which people have grown used to, but the folks in the diner didn’t quite know what to make of us. Once we made it clear that we were in fact on foot, they chose to quietly ask each other speculative questions about us, rather than ask us themselves. They were talking just loud enough for us to hear them, and some of what we heard was rather the funny. The highlight of the conversation went like this, “What in the world are they running to Florence for? I’ve heard of people biking, but not running!” Response: “I dunno, but I sure hope it’s to see a psychiatrist, ‘cause them boys is crazy.” I couldn’t help but just sip my coffee, smile, and think to myself, “Yeah, maybe I am just a little bit nuts. Check please.” Once out the door we got right down to business. We hadn’t eaten a huge breakfast so running almost immediately did not pose a problem. The 13 miles to John Day went pretty quickly. Our quads were sore from yesterday’s long, steep decent, but we still felt good enough to run 11/13 miles. For the last 300-400 miles we have been noticing a trend in road side litter…..lots of empty cases of Keystone Light. For much of the trip the most common litter was cans of Busch and Busch Light beer, but out here the motorists prefer full cases of Keystone Light. We haven’t just spotted two or three empty cases in the last month (it takes a lot more than that to pique our attention), we see an empty cardboard case of the stuff about every three or four miles. We have not developed a theory about this yet, but it is certain that Bush is no longer the beer of choice for motorists. Once into John Day we made a few quick stops. Dairy Queen for a Blizzard…..for me (Scott). Another sidebar…..Dave is now one day into a boycott of DQ. Since Kirksville, Missouri, where we hit our first DQ of the trip, we have probably made about 15 return trips. In those trips 15, I kid you not, our order has been served correctly twice, yes TWICE! We order the same thing every time, and they mess it up every time. In Jackson, WY we had the same person take our same order on three straight days, and we were served three different things (none of them correct). So Dave now refuses to eat DQ. Because it’s usually not my order that gets botched, I have not thrown in the towel on the franchise that Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, once said an NBA referee could not manage. Well, I don’t know who can manage them, but certainly the one’s we’ve hit have some serious issues. OK, so after DQ, we hit McDonalds for a Happy Meal (Dave), and a gas station for Powerball Tix (me). Tonight’s Jackpot is now about 250m clams. Dreams of a fully restored late 60’s El Camino dance in my head as I fall asleep at night…..250m would buy me an entire fleet, and I would probably have enough left over to hire Dave and Rick as my drivers. The last 8 miles of the day to Mount Vernon were easy and went quickly. Once into town our host, Dick Stowers, picked us up and brought us back for one more night at his home. We’re now taking it easy, making some phone calls to set up accommodations for the rest of Oregon, and gonna put on Back to the Future. Yeah, we’re gonna be back to the future of our lives really soon. Nothing like a 160 day detour from life to make you forget that you’re almost 26 and have no idea what you want to do on August 3rd, or the next 74 years.
7/9/2003 - 7:02 PM - Day 135 - Mile Mark 200 on rt. 26 to Prairie City, OR
On Tuesday, we actually awoke relatively dry. Our water-proof bivy sacks and sleeping bags had done their job and although they were completely soaked, we had managed to stay warm and dry throughout the night. We were however quite dirty. As Scott said before jumping in the shower later, “I think my scalp is infested from last night.” …and when he washes his hair just six days from its last cleaning, you know it got really dirty. Anyway it was early, 6:00 am, and after a few power bars and homemade banana bread from the Pinto’s, we were off again. We had about 2 miles of climbing to the summit before heading down the valley. The day was full of up and down as we crossed three different “passes”. Ten miles into the day we arrived at Austin Junction. It was basically an intersection with a store and café but hey, we weren’t picky. We headed up to the door to enjoy some food. Well, they were closed, all day, so that was out. As we sat gathering energy for the last 15 miles of the day, 2 bikers (Bob and Bill) pulled up. They were biking across the country from Seattle, WA to Princeton, NJ and had spent the night camping behind the store. They were pretty bummed that the store was closed as well, but hey, what are you gonna do. Anyway, we exchanged stories for a little and then they were on their way. As we went to leave, Brad one of our hosts in Brogan pulled up. He was on his way back to Portland. He came bearing gifts and we both rejoiced as he pulled out a large bag of Oreo’s (from the Smith’s). For some reason, they were exactly what we wanted and we scarfed them down rather quickly. We headed out up our last pass of the day and (thanks to the Oreo’s) I was feeling great. It was about a 7 mile climb to the top of the pass at 5280 ft. but we just kept trudging along and made it in about an hour and a half. A quick rest at the top and down we went the other side. We ran the last 8 miles into Prairie City and had dropped to 3000 ft. in elevation. It was not kind on the quads. However, we both felt pretty good and the chicken strips at the Prairie City café tasted extra good. Dick and Evelyn Stowers picked us up and took us to their home in John Day. We sat, relaxed on the couch, watched a movie, and dozed in and out until dinnertime. After a great dinner, we headed to the local church softball game. Scott controlled the outfield in left while I played shortstop. A few dazzling plays and many hits later, the team had won. It was a shellacking as the final score after 6 innings was 27-3. Like Scott said before the game started, “We didn’t run 2800 miles to lose.” Anyway, the game was fun and the people were great. We arrived home around 10:00 pm and went to bed immediately. Wednesday will be our first flat day in awhile and should give us some much needed recovery….
7/9/2003 - 7:02 PM - Day 134 - Ironside, OR to Mile Mark 200 on rt. 26
We arose in Ironside to a pissed off cow mooing its head off. It was time to get up any way so we headed downstairs and enjoyed eggs, toast, and bacon. Carolyn gave us a ride out to route 26 and off we went. We would be spending the night out so we didn’t have any real destination to get to. We had heard of a couple campsites but weren’t sure how reliable the information was. So, we took off running down the road towards Unity. With just one quick break (when we crossed into the Pacific Time Zone, woohoo!), we had covered the 18 miles to Unity and were sitting down to a nice lunch. We read the paper and did the crossword as usual and then headed to the local convenience store for some supplies. We stocked up on tuna fish, Ritz crackers, and water and, after checking with the forest service on the campsites ahead, we headed out. Over the next 12 miles, the scenery changed from dessert sagebrush to mountain trees. Although climbing most of the way, it was some of the most beautiful landscape of the trip. The higher we went, the taller the trees got and we were provided with shade that saved us from the scorching sun. It was actually quite pleasant. We pulled into the campsite around 4:00 pm and sat down for a rest. And we sat, and we sat. Darkness wasn’t for another five and a half hours and there wasn’t much to do. Eventually, we ate dinner and setup camp. As we crawled into our sleeping bags around 7:00 pm (it wouldn’t be dark for another 2 hours but hey, there was nothing else to do), we heard thunder and noticed the sky getting a little darker. We hadn’t seen a cloud in nearly 2 weeks and there we were, our first night out in three weeks, and it looked like it was going to rain. We packed up our stuff so it wouldn’t get wet. For some reason we were to lazy to tie the tarp over us, but we were sure the clouds would pass overhead quickly with just a few drops. Well, we were wrong. Around 9:00 pm, the rain began to fall and fall and fall. While trying to stay as dry as possible, we crawled under the tarp and used it kind of like a blanket. It rained until 3-4 in the morning; what a mess.
7/9/2003 - 7:01 PM - Day 133 - Brogan, OR to Ironside, OR
On Sunday we decided to split the day into two twelve mile sections. Our hosts, the Smith’s, were hosting a community fundraising brunch that we wanted to stick around for. The problem was that it didn’t start until 11am, well past when we wanted to be on the road. We found a solution. At 8am we hit the road and ran twelve miles west on route 26. Brad Philipsen, a friend of the Smith’s, then picked us up and returned us to Brogan for the brunch. The meal was quite a production. Prepared for 400 people it was complete with eggs, homefries, toast, sausage, beer, and the main course: calf fries, AKA Rocky Mountain Oysters, AKA bull testicles. Dave didn’t give them much of a chance (picture him trying to eat vegetables….. this was quite similar). I (Scott), however, cleaned my plate, and then Dave’s. The food and company were both fantastic. We spent most of the meal chatting with Brad, and Gail Bateman (our host from Vale). Done eating around 12:30pm, we decided to return to the Smith’s for some midday r+r, as the temperature had risen well into the 90’s. At the Smith’s we watched golf, ate Oreo’s, and napped. Around 3:30pm we decided it was time to find some motivation, and knock out the day’s final 12 miles. So Brad kindly drove us back out of town, and sent us on our way. We ran most of those 12 miles without a break. Fueled entirely by Rocky Mountain Oysters and Oreo cookies, my body (stomach) felt a little out of kilter. However, we made into the small town of Ironside, OR alive, in one piece, and without any serious gastro intestinal situations. Our hosts in Ironside, the Pinto’s, greeted us at the door with smiles and a pitcher of water. We sat on the porch, enjoyed the beautiful scenery, and chatted for quite a while, before heading inside for showers and dinner. Dinner was simple, yet delicious. Our bellies were filled with salad (well, mine with salad), lasagne, bread, and cake….oh, and a few Busch beers. After dinner we conversed with Jerry and Carolyn for a short while, before hitting the pillow at a modest 9pm.
7/5/2003 - 9:42 PM - Day 132 - Vale, OR to Brogan, OR
We awoke to another huge meal. Waffles, sausage, and bacon. What a great stay we had with the Bateman’s. They treated us well and the rest day was perfect. Today was a 24 mile jaunt north to Brogan, OR. The sun was out with a vengeance and by noon, the temperature was in the 90’s. We set-off around 9:00 am. Once we hit the outskirts of town we started running and went all the way into Willow Creek. Willow Creek consists of a school and a Cafe and that’s about it (although the school sign did say welcome Dave and Scott, Coast to Coast, only 400 miles left). It was quite touching. We stopped in the Cafe to enjoy the air conditioning and get a drink. Our hosts for this evening (the Smith’s) had given me a gift certificate for my birthday to enjoy whatever we wanted from the cafe. I slurped down a thick chocolate milkshake and Scott downed a satisfying Coke. As we headed back out into the heat, we still had about 13 miles to go. So, we put our heads down and trudged on. Scott and I have somewhat decided to add to our running every day. We have both gotten back into the habit of doing push ups and sit ups. I had been doing them everyday until Macomb, IL and hadn’t done any since then. Now the finish is near and the desire has returned. Today was also the first day we started doing striders. We both threw in a couple of pickups throughout the day (when we were not pushing the cart) and it felt great. Our legs do feel a little more tired but some of that was the mileage of the day and the heat, not just the pick ups. We will see how our bodies adapt and go from there. We arrived at the Smith’s around 1:30 pm. We relaxed for most of the afternoon chatting about small town Oregon. We are now sitting down to a great meal and I am sure we will leave the table quite content. Scott and I also worked on the schedule for the last month. Due to gaining days, we are a bit ahead of our August 2, finishing date. We will also probably gain another day or two across Oregon due to the isolation of our route. However, this will enable us to take the last week real easy as we ease our way towards the shore. Hopefully, we will have a fairly accurate schedule on the site within the next few days....
7/4/2003 - 9:44 PM - Day 131 - Vale, OR - DAY OFF
Last night we had a fantastic time in small town Oregon (Vale). Gail and Conrad prepared a huge grilled beef dinner, complete with a birthday cake and presents for Dave. After dinner we all headed out to watch the 89th Annual Vale Rodeo. It is a four day event that takes place each year over July 4th. The night’s events started with the Suicide Race. It was a cross country horse race that started on the backside of a mountain, just outside of town. The competitors race their horses up and over the mountain, cross a large creek, and then finish just 100 yards later in the rodeo arena. The race was incredibly exciting. One competitor broke away from the field early and appeared to have the race won. Coming into the creek crossing his lead was about 200 yards, however when the horse hit the creek (about 4 feet deep) the rider went straight over and into the water. While struggling to remount his horse, another competitor caught up, crossed the creek without incident, and sprinted on to victory. It was really quite exciting. The crowd of 3,000 then turned their attention to the full schedule of rodeo events. With beer in hand, we took our seats and enjoyed the night. We saw everything from bull riding, to calf roping, to mutton busting….that was my (Scott) favorite. Mutton busting involved kids about the age of 4-6 riding sheep, as grownups would ride a wild horse. All of the kids were decked out in full cowboy garb, and took it quite seriously. It was fantastic. The rodeo lasted from 8pm to 11pm and was followed by a town wide dance party in the rodeo arena. I regret to inform you that we skipped out of the dance party to get some sleep. It was a fantastic night though. On several occasions Dave and I joked about what fun it would be to attend such an event with our friends Jon Mull and Joe Culbertson. Ahh, just the thought of it warms my heart. This morning we did not have alarms set….we just slept until we didn’t want to anymore. By 9:30am we were both awake at the kitchen table gazing at another huge meal. Biscuits and gravy, bacon, fruit salad, and eggs were on our plates. After breakfast we relaxed for a while before Conrad asked a magical question, “You guys want to go golfing?” Without hesitating we said yes, packed up the car with some clubs, and headed out to the local nine-hole course. Conrad, his son Sean, Dave and I had a great time. Neither of us had swung a club since last September, but we held our own. The weather was great, but pretty warm (95ish), so 9 holes was the perfect amount. For those keeping score at home I shot 46, and Dave shot 51. We both played quite well on the first five holes, but as the round continued our putter (we shared one) let us down. I can’t wait to play when I get home in August. Once home from golf we showered and watched a few hours worth of “I Love the 80’s” on VH1. The show has become a favorite of ours on the trip. Our TV stint was followed by yet another huge meal of tacos and tamales. It was delicious and we’ve really eaten a lot in the last 24 hours. The rest day has been fantastic. We’ve spent time on the couch and on the golf course….what’s more American and patriotic than that? Oh, drinking beer is?….well we’ve done that too. Happy July 4th everyone. Yesterday was Dave’s B-day, and today is our course’s B-Day. Granted, many of the roads on our course weren’t around 227 yrs ago, but the wagon ruts and ideas that lead to highways, which eventually lead to interstates, were being formed then. Just 400 miles to go…….
7/3/2003 - 7:13 PM - Day 130 - Nyssa, OR to Vale, OR
Happy Birthday to me! After a great nights sleep, we were dropped off in Nyssa to begin our first full day in Oregon. First things first, however, and we sat down for a nice breakfast in the local café. After working on the crossword and downing our pancakes, it was time to hit the road. After 2 miles of digestion, we started running and coasted along until we had about 7 miles to go. A quick break and we were back on our feet and running. We have pretty much run all the miles in the last two days and it feels great. Hopefully the mountains in the distance won’t take too much out of our legs. We pulled into Vale around noon and made a quick stop at the local Dairy Queen. Scott was excited because it is the first DQ we have stopped in on the trip that has had the Mud Pie blizzard (a favorite of his that we had yet to see.) After satisfying our cravings, we headed the last half mile to our hosts' house, the Bateman’s. We will be spending the next two nights here as we have decided to take the 4th of July off and celebrate. Unfortunately, the yearly road races in Vale (mile, 5k, and 8k) have been cancelled due to construction and the rodeo being in town, so there will be no firecracker race for us this year. This is probably a good thing, as it will allow us to actually rest on a rest day. Thank you everyone for the birthday notes and cards. Not to sound cheesy but this is the first time my twin brother (Eric) and I have spent a birthday in different time zones. Thus (with me being two minutes older), it was the first time Eric has been older than me his entire life. Enjoy it bro and I hope everyone has a good time at the annual birthday bash. Flip one for me…….
7/3/2003 - 7:13 PM - Day 129 - Caldwell, ID to Nyssa, OR
Yesterday we had a fantastic computer setup, and actually worked on it for about two hours to send Webmaster Wood another 60 pictures for the website, but we failed to write an update of the day’s activities. So here it is…..we hit the road in the AM around 9, with 24 miles to cover. The first two miles of the day were walked, before we ran for a lengthy hour and fifty minutes. That is one of the longer spurts of the trip without a break. To get our legs marathon ready (most likely October 12th race) we need to start doing some longer continuous runs without breaks. I’d (Scott) like to have my long runs ready to be 22-24 miles when I return to Philadelphia in early August. That shouldn’t be a problem. I’m already looking forward to doing 24ish miler with Terrance “T-Bone” Shea in the Boston area in mid to late August. He is one of my senior advisors for the marathon, and we always have great chats on long runs. If things go according to plan, we should be running together in Chicago on Oct 12th. Oh, so Brof and I took about a 45 minute break after our long spurt. From there we legged out the last 8 miles to the Idaho/Oregon border in about 58 minutes. As we approached the bridge over the Snake River, we joked about how excited we were for our first border crossing on Day 4, and how disappointed we were that there was no “Welcome to Pennsylvania” sign to greet us. Well, we were just as excited for yesterday’s border crossing, and just like the day into Pennsylvania, there was no sign welcoming us to Oregon. Those will be the only 2 pictures missing from our scrapbook. Every other state that we ran in had a “Welcome to….” Sign. Oh well. The license plates were enough to confirm that we were in fact in Oregon. No more than three minutes after we stopped on the roadside, our host for the night, Matt Brown, pulled up to get us. He promptly ushered us back into Idaho, where we would spend one more night. Once back at the Brown’s, Matt went back to work and left us to have free reign over the house. We spent most of the afternoon uploading pictures into our Yahoo account. Matt’s wife, Sherri, arrived home from work around 3pm. After saying hello and chatting for a while we got back to work on the computer. Soon our noses began to perk up a bit, “What is that smell?” AHH, warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. We didn’t even have to go to the kitchen to get them. Sherri, kindly delivered them to us on a plate. Boy did they taste good. Matt got home from work around 5:30pm and we agreed to head out for dinner and a movie. Dinner was at a yummy Mexican place, and the movie was Terminator 3. I’m sometimes weary about sequels unless they’re gonna live up to the standards of the first one or two. Terminator 3 did not disappoint. Lots of explosions, lots of good Arnold humor, and only about 3 billion people died. Sorry to give it away, but Judgement Day actually happens. I couldn’t believe it. I remember in T2, August 28th, 1997 was slated as Judgement Day. Of course that caused us living in the MODS at Bucknell to tremble in great fear the first week of school. What was the point of going to class if Judgement Day was coming? Anyways. It didn’t come then. But it happens in T3. Well, I suppose our Judgement Day will arrive the morning August 2nd when our friends and family judge if we’ve sobered up enough from my b-day bash (August 1st) to stagger the last 5 miles onto the sandy beaches of Florence. AHH, it’s just 29 days away.
7/1/2003 - 4:31 PM - Day 128 - Boise, ID to Caldwell, ID
After a great nights sleep, we awoke to homemade pancakes and beautiful weather (courtesy of the Macomb’s). We headed out the door around 8:30 am. We altered our route a bit to pass through Caldwell, ID instead of Middleton. This enabled us to travel closer to our host’s house and it didn’t add any mileage on to the trip. We walked along for the first 3 miles of the day enjoying the somewhat cooler weather and navigating the miniscule shoulder. After three miles, the traffic died down and we were able to start running. The rest of the day went pretty quickly as we arrived in Caldwell around 12:00 pm. We stopped and had lunch at Subway and then hit up Dairy Queen for a Blizzard. David Babble picked us up around 1:00 pm and we headed back to his house for a shower and some rest. We are now enjoying the company with his wife Leslie and their four boys. Later today we will probably head to the pool and then enjoy the rest of the evening. Tomorrow we will have our last border crossing. Woohoo!!
6/30/2003 - 11:17 PM - Day 127 - Regina, ID to Boise, ID
Wow, I’m (Scott) really tired. This morning our host, Dennis McComb, shuttled us 24 miles out of town to our starting point. Our day’s plan was to run back to the McComb’s house for another night’s lodging. We were on the interstate and running by 9:30am. Neither of us felt particularly good or energetic, but with just 14 miles of interstate running left for the trip, we were anxious to get done. Those first 14 miles did pass relatively quickly. We stopped for lunch at a Burger King. Our breakfast had been small, but we didn’t want to fill our stomachs in the middle of the day, so we dined light. Despite not eating much we did spend nearly 90 minutes in BK resting and working on a crossword puzzle. Once out the door we had about 10 miles to cover, but we did not feel in any hurry. We walked about 5 miles discussing our faint memories of some of college’s greatest benders. That kept us entertained and made the time pass quickly. As we entered downtown Boise we found some bike paths that followed the river. After checking some maps we realized that the paths headed in the right direction. While we sat on a lawn a few ladies rode by on bikes and said, “Enjoying your jog boys?” We smiled and nodded our heads. As they rode away Dave looked at me and said, “Let’s catch ‘em!” So we jumped up and took off at a 6 minute pace to give chase. The ladies had about 150 meters on us from the start. Initially we cut into their lead, but then with the help of some down-hills, it was back to 150 meters. We had no plans of giving up. We cranked the pace down to about 5:30 and held steady, slowly narrowing the gap. After 7 minutes of the hardest running we’ve done since Boulder, we had the pleasure of seeing the ladies’ expressions as we pulled even with them. Luckily we caught them when we did, because we had to go left about 100 meters later, and the ladies went right. After the excitement, our day was pretty bland. We took our time over the last 4 miles to stop at Baskin Robbins and make several phone calls. Once back at the McComb’s we showered, and headed into Boise to get Dave some running shoes. Dave was pleased because the local running store had the model he has been looking for since Illinois. For dinner the McComb’s had some friends over, prepared a pasta and sausage feast. We’re both pretty exhausted and ready for bed. Today’s temp was again in the 90’s (4th straight day) so that is taking its toll. Aside from some general fatigue though, we are in perfect health. Dave’s ankle is back to 100%. Mentally we’re very, very excited for Wednesday’s border crossing: Oregon!!!!
6/29/2003 - 4:37 PM - Day 126 - Mountain Home, ID to Regina, ID
We awoke early this morning so we could hopefully be done before the day got really hot. After being dropped off, we got a quick breakfast from McDonald's and headed down the road. This would be the downfall of me (Dave) today because for some reason my body rejected the food. My stomach was in a knot within the first 2 miles on the road. I kept feeling like I wanted to puke but was avoiding it for some reason. Anyway, we started running after a few minutes and covered the first 12 miles pretty quickly. My stomach was making every step uncomfortable but besides that we both felt pretty good. Despite starting early, the sun was heating things up quickly. After a short break at 12 miles, we hit the road again running. We tried following a side road that was supposed to take us to the next exit but it petered out within a mile and forced us back out onto the highway. We ran for about another 6 miles before I had to stop and curse McDonald's for awhile because my stomach felt absolutly dreadful. Scott was very patient with me and we soon were back up and running. We pulled up to an underpass with about 4 miles to go and stopped to take a drink. At this point I was ready to pull the trigger because I couldn't stand it anymore. However, I didn't go through with it and after getting several good burps out, things actually settled down (only three hours after eating the crap.) Anyway, it had reached 90 - 95 degrees Farenheit but the last 4 miles for me were the best of the day. I finally felt normal. As we neared our final off ramp, Ritu (an old friend) gave me a call and we chatted all the way to the finish. We called Dennis Macomb (our host) and he drove out and picked us up. Tonight, we will be heading to a barbeuqe as it is the end of the River Festival hear in Boise. We will be treateed to good company, good food, and fireworks. Although finishing the third highest mileage week of the trip, we both feel pretty good and excited about reaching Oregon.
6/28/2003 - 8:11 PM - Day 125 - Glenns Ferry, ID to Mountain Home, ID
We were not expecting today to be easy, and it wasn’t. After a relaxed breakfast chatting about running and triathlons with Susan, we loaded up the car and made the one hour trek back to Glenn’s Ferry. By 10am the baby jogger was in motion on the freeway, with a blazing sun rising over our backs. From the moment we started there were very strong headwinds (25-20mph) impeding our progress. We did our best to ignore them, and got through the first 8 miles rather quickly. We rested at an exit for about 20 minutes and had a chance run-in with the Crumrine’s, our hosts from Hazelton. From the exit we chose to take old route 30 for the next 18 miles into Mountain Home. While the route would be about 2 miles longer than the interstate, we knew it would be much safer and have far less traffic. Five minutes after restarting our engines from the break, we had a tire go dead flat on us. The stop to change it took about 15 minutes. Having covered just 8 miles, the day seemed to have come to a stand still. The sun was getting very hot, and we had a long way to go. Once the tire was fixed and we set off again, we began to discuss the dilemma we were in. On one hand the 30mph winds were keeping the air cooler than it’s mid 90 temperature, but on the other hand the winds made running extremely difficult…..but if it weren’t for the winds we’d be roasting in the heat. It was a no win situation, but we did our best to slug through the wind, taking breaks about every 15 minutes to down some water. Eventually our destination, Mountain Home, drew nearer and all was well. About 2 miles outside of town we stopped to speak with a man in the midst of a transcontinental bike ride. He began in Astoria, OR and is headed for Portsmouth, NH. We exchanged road stories for a while, before heading our separate ways; ours west, his east. It was interesting to see that he had about as much gear as Dave and I do combined, and he is finishing just a week after our August 2nd conclusion. Just a 45 day trip for him. Once into Mountain Home, our host Andrea Day picked us up and took us to her house. We are now resting comfortably and have a very low key evening planned. Today wore me (Scott) out pretty good, and tomorrow’s temp is supposed to hit triple digits. With another 25 miles to cover, we need to get a good night’s rest. We finish 5 weeks from today.
6/28/2003 - 8:10 PM - Day 124 - Bliss, ID to Glenns Ferry, ID
They stay with Jess Price was great. Susan Vickery (our host for Glenn’s Ferry) would be picking us up at 12:00 pm so we had to get up and on the road. . After a quick McDonalds stop for breakfast, we hit the road around 8:30 am. It was a beautiful day. The wind was calm and the temperature had not risen too much being that it was still morning. About 5 minutes of walking, we started running and didn’t stop until we were about 10 miles down the road. We took a short drink and assessed our situation. The east bound part of the highway was torn up and the traffic was down to one lane each direction in the west bound lanes. We couldn’t travel on the road anymore because there was barely enough space for the cars let alone two crazy’s and their baby stroller. So, we hit the dirt. It actually worked out pretty well. Despite covering the next twelve miles this way, we came across almost no construction. There was one guy cleaning a truck with a water hose, and one guy driving a small flatter. Besides that, we had the entire east bound highway to ourselves. There were times that the packed dirt became sand, which made pushing a little difficult, but we no longer had to worry about traffic. As we neared our finishing point, we got a little confused. The map had exit 121 and exit 120. We had planned on meeting Susan at exit 120. However, as we approached exit 121 a sign read, “Exit 121 in 1 mile, next exit 9 miles.” Confused that there was no exit 120 we took a seat to rest. We decided that exit 120 must only be for east bound travelers, thus no sign for those of us traveling west bound. So we took a chance and continued down the highway another mile. Luckily, our assumptions were correct and we arrived at exit 120 around 11:45 am. In the last 30 minutes the sun had taken hold and it started to get very hot. Gratefully, Susan pulled up about 5 minutes after we finished and we were headed back to her place in Boise. The drive to her house was a little disconcerting as we saw the future miles we would be covering. In an hour car ride, we had seen our next four days of travel. We arrived in Boise and immediately went to Susan’s going away party. Susan definitely sacrificed a lot to put us up. She not only drove 80 miles (one way) to pick us up, but is moving to Oregon next week. So, in case her life wasn’t hectic enough, she decided to take in two complete strangers off the street. We are really grateful, and have had a great time. After the going away party, which included a screening of “Jackass: The Movie”, we headed to the local pool for a dip. Then, we were off to dinner at Bardenay in downtown Boise. It was great, and after a quick stop at the grocery store, we were sitting back at her place watching TV and enjoying a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. We went off to bed and slept soundly through the night.
6/26/2003 - 11:56 PM - Day 123 - Jerome, ID to Bliss, ID
Before getting a move on this AM, our host Lance treated us to breakfast at Perkins. The food was good, the weather looked great, and it was shaping up to be a fine day. We were off and running at 9:00am with 24 miles to cover. The mileage today can be summed up in one word…..easy. Perhaps being well rested, perhaps the perfect weather, or perhaps being at just 2500 ft (as opposed to 6000-7000) is making things seem easy. Maybe it is all of those things, but one thing is for sure….we felt great today. The 24 miles were gone in an instant, and we were sitting on a guard rail waiting to be picked up by 12:30. Also, most of the 24 miles were slightly downhill. The only drawback is that we did spend the entire distance on the shoulder of interstate 84. We got picked up by Megan and Alicia, friends of our host. They drove us to Jess’s (our host) and we were showered and relaxed by 2pm. We spent the afternoon reading, tooling around on the computer, and I (Scott) bagged a 90 minute nap. Jess was home from work by 4pm, and prepared us a delicious pasta dinner. We just watched the movie “The Recruit” and have our eyes set on bed. It seems the local TV coverage we received on Tuesday night has gained us some notoriety out on the roadways because for the last two days we’ve had a disproportionately high number of cars honking and waving at us. Yesterday three different cars stopped to ask if we were the guys they saw on the news. One man even handed us a $5 bill and wished us luck. Because the exchange took place in front of a Dairy Queen, there was only one thing we could do with the money….get Blizzards. I have only one rule when it comes to the lottery….start playing when the payout reaches triple digits. Now is one of those special times. So inevitably some of our time over the last few days has been spent discussing what I’d do with the $150 million Powerball Jackpot. I have grand plans for the cash if it were to come my way….first and foremost creating a Bucknell XC Alumni Mansion in Lewisburg to house alums on our weekend returns. The plans run deeper (details to be released if I win), but of course much of it would be shared with my friends and family. However, because Dave insists that I’m wasting my $$ by playing, I insist that he won’t see a nickel of my winnings if I hit. If I were to hit, some people would probably call me the luckiest man on earth, but they’d be too late. Dave and I have already given ourselves that title. We’re doing exactly what we want without a care in the world…..
6/25/2003 - 7:27 PM - Day 122 - Hazelton, ID to Jerome, ID
Well, today finally felt like summer. With temperatures in the upper 70’s and the sun shining, today was great. After a great breakfast of eggs, bacon, and chocolate chip pancakes (provided by the Crumrine’s), we headed out into the morning sun. We walked off breakfast for awhile and got to running. The scenery didn’t change much from field after field but we did see corn fields for the first time since Illinois. I thought they only grew potatoes out here?! Anyway, as we ran into the town of Jerome, we enjoyed another burrito lunch. Although not even comparable to the ones we ate in Pocatello, they were still pretty good. We took a quick stop at Dairy Queen (they got our order right for the first time on the trip) before heading to the interstate exit. Lance Wuthrich picked us up and brought us back to Twin Falls. We stopped to take a look at the gorge and the large bridge spanning it. We were informed that it was one of the only bridges were you could legally base jump and/or bungee jump from in Idaho. We are now showered and working on the computer. The Wuthrich’s have two computers hooked up to DSL so we should be able to get a lot of work done. We will try to post as many pictures as will fit in our yahoo briefcase. Tomorrow will be a dull day of running on the interstate but it looks as though we will not have to spend another night outside in Idaho. Thanks to everyone who has helped.
6/24/2003 - 5:33 PM - Day 121 - Rupert, ID to Hazelton, ID
After a very laid back and easy stay with Mary Rogers in Rupert, we were ready to roll this morning. The first 90 minutes of the day were spent having breakfast and reading the paper at Kathy’s on the town square in Rupert. The food was delicious, the service fantastic, and we kicked the Twin Fall’s paper’s crossword puzzle’s @ss. We take great pride in successful completion of a crossword puzzle, and today was just the second time we’ve done it. They provide a good daily mental exercise that help keep our minds from rotting away. Once out the door we walked about 3 miles before beginning to run. While running we were interrupted for an interview by the CBS affiliate from Twin Falls. That took about ten minutes, and they followed us for nearly a half hour shooting different camera angles. We ran for about 10 miles before taking a break. Unlike yesterday when we ran on little sleep and empty stomachs (and felt awful), we felt great today. The weather remained cool, and showers looked possible, so after a short 2 mile walk, we ran then next 10/11 into Hazelton, ID. During that stretch we got soaked by rain for just the third time on the trip. Not too bad for 121 days. However, the rain was tolerable because the temperature was in the mid to low 60’s. After getting drenched by rain, the sun came out and we were dry by our run’s end. Upon our arrival in Hazelton we stopped at a local Mexican restaurant and inhaled some burritos and cokes, before proceeding to our host’s home. We are all showered up and relaxing now. Our hosts are the Crumrine’s, parents of Casey, who we stayed with in Pocatello. Today’s 21ish miles of running felt remarkably easy. Everyday my mind goes back and forth about whether or not my (Scott) body will be up for 10 hard weeks of training upon completion of the run. At times all I think about is using this huge mileage base to aid running a fast marathon this fall, but at other times I think that all I’m gonna want to do once we finish is not run for a while. For me it feels good to be worrying about how or if I’m gonna use this run as training for a fall marathon. It feels good because I know we’re almost done, and after 121 days I’m perfectly healthy. Just 39 days to go……
6/23/2003 - 10:35 PM - Day 120 - Some-place-on-some-road, ID to Rupert, ID
Although our resting place last night seemed a little fishy at first it wound up working out pretty well. The only problem during the night was that, despite being the second night of the summer, it was the coldest night of the trip (mid 30’s). The night sky was one of the clearest we’ve seen in our lives. Without turning his head, Scott counted 6 shooting stars in a twenty minute period. We managed to stay warm enough to get some sleep but we are definitely thankful to be inside tonight. We arose around 6:30 am and got to packing up the campsite. As Scott mentioned this morning, cleaning up the campsite is one of our least favorite tasks of the trip. We got moving around 7:15 am. The air was still quite cool and would remain so the rest of the day. So far we have had to wear hats in gloves for the first two days of summer. It is summer right? Anyway, it is better than 90 or 100 degree heat so I guess we should be thankful. The day went by pretty quickly as we had the most desolate scenery of the trip. There was nothing to see but fields and fields of sage brush; and I mean nothing. With about 8 miles to go in the day we topped one last rise and Rupert appeared in view. Although a small town, anything to focus on was great. We ran to the historic downtown square and hit up Doc’s Pizza for a great lunch. Mary Rogers, our host for the night, picked us up during her lunch break and dropped us off at her place to snooze and watch movies. It was nice to be done early (12:00 pm) which allowed us some great relaxation time. Around 5:30 pm, Mary arrived home from work followed closely by her friend Michelle, and her daughter Neeka. After a quick meeting with the mayor of Rupert, we sat down to a great spaghetti dinner followed by deserts galore. Needless to say, I (Dave) ate too much sugary stuff; although, can one really ever have too much sugar? Anyway, we are now preparing for bed which thankfully will be warmer and softer than last night. Places to stay for the rest of Idaho are quickly coming together and it looks like we will be lucky for most of the state. It feels good to get 120 days out of the way with only 40 remaining. But although we both have the feeling of wanting to be done, neither of us really wants this to end.
6/23/2003 - 10:34 PM - Day 119 - American Falls, ID to Some-place-on-some-road, ID
After a fun rest day, we got dropped off at the American Falls exit by Bryce. The stay with these guys was great and they have hooked us up with their parents for lodging for at least another two nights in Idaho. Much thanks. Upon being dropped off, we headed into the diner at the truck stop to enjoy a big breakfast. This would be our last place for a sit down meal until we arrived in Rupert (Monday), 50 miles down the road. With stomachs full and provisions obtained, we headed off down the highway. Although seemingly rested from our day off, we didn’t have any place to be until dark that night so we took things pretty slowly. Despite using the ‘ignore it’ method on my ankle, it still hurts a little (not surprisingly). So I (Dave) guess I will have to take care of it if I want it to get better. As I am writing this, (24 hours and much attention later) it has improved dramatically and will be better in no time. It’s not really that bad, as it hasn’t slowed us up a step but I want to heal it before it gets worse. Anyway, the day went by pretty quickly with some running, walking, and sitting. We finally pulled off the road about 8:00 pm to find a place to camp. We knocked on the door of house to see if we could sleep in their yard, (so as to feel a little safer.) However, the man who answered couldn’t speak English. Being unable to explain the situation we decided it better to go on down the road to find another place to sleep. We pulled off into the sage brush and set-up camp. Despite there being many thorny things on the ground, once we lay down we were actually pretty comfortable. The only downer was that the temperature was quickly dropping and, from reading the paper, we knew it was going to be a cold night. Oh well, it could have been raining….
6/23/2003 - 10:32 PM - Day 118 - Pocatello, ID - DAY OFF
Friday evening we went out to dinner in Pocatello at a local Mexican Restaurant. The ISU guys are gonna have to e-mail us the name, because I don’t remember…..and it was worth remembering. For under $9 you could get a 24oz Corona and a burrito bigger than a dictionary. The burrito was one of the best I’ve ever had. The place is a must stop if ever in Pocatello. After the meal we went to a few bars for beer and chatter. Nothing terribly memorable, just great times with our new friends. We were in bed around midnight and looked forward to sleeping in. The day off was great. Friday night we each scored about 11 hours of sleep, and had no plans for our rest day. In fact, it was such a day off that we spent five hours within arm’s reach of a computer and never once checked the website or thought about updating it. For lunch we dined at The Bistro, a local spot where Nolan (one of our hosts) works. There, we ate a bunch, sipped beers, and watched the USATF Championships on TV. Rare is it that track is on television, so when it is we make every effort to watch, and do our best not to criticize the coverage. It’s a beggars can’t be chooser mentality. Once done with lunch, and back at the house, we watched “Matrix Reloaded” on the projection screen TV. Our hosts had an amazing collection of DVD’s, many of which just got released in the theatre. So during our four day stay we had a wide choice of movies that we’d otherwise be paying $8 to see at the mall. After the movie we began to think about getting to bed. It was still early (8pm) but another good night’s sleep would feel great. However, before heading to bed we ordered some pizza and watched Casey play some Vice City. As the game was concluding, and our hosts were formulating their evening’s social agenda, Nolan looked at his watch and delivered the funniest words I’d heard in at least 118 days, “Welp, it looks like beer-thirty.” With that, our hosts headed out and we went to bed. Yes, we actually passed up going out for beers on a Saturday night. The 10 hours of sleep we got felt great, and the stay in Pocatello was fantastic. Bryce, Casey, Nolan, and Raul are all really great guys, who we gelled with immediately. I look forward to seeing them all again sometime in the near future. Perhaps we’ll all get together to watch Bryce run in the Oly Trials 800 next summer in Sacramento. I (Scott) hope so…..
6/20/2003 - 7:57 PM - Day 117 - Chubbock, ID to American Falls, ID
Last night we headed to the bar around 5:00 pm for dinner and trivia. Casey came with us and we talked, played, ate, and drank the night away. Finally around 11:00 pm, we headed home; Casey made it home a few hours later. This morning, the weather changed again. After many days of hot sunny weather, we awoke to a very windy and slightly chilly day. To top that, we have finally run ourselves into a corner and will have to take the interstate out. Yes, we have reached a part of the country in which the only way from point A to point B is via the interstate. Luckily, Idaho is one of a few (if not the only) states that allows pedestrians on the highway. We got dropped off around 8:30 am at the local Burger King. Both feeling rather lazy, we sat, ate, and read the paper until we finally got going around 10:00 am. Feeling no rush and rather unenthusiastic, we moved along slowly and talked for the first 5 miles of the day. With the wind blowing quite strongly in our face, we were in no hurry to get running but we had to go at some point. So after sitting for about 10 minutes we headed off down the road. Our bodies felt tired, but good, so we moved along at a decent clip. We stopped again after only 5 miles to make some calls and talk to the poor people on the east coast who are getting drowned in rain. I have heard that it has been raining heavily… just a little. We got going again and this time covered the remaining 11 miles. After taking 4 hours to cover the first 10 miles, we covered the last 11 miles in less than an hour and a half. The ISU guys came and picked us up again for a third night. We have had a great time with them and greatly appreciate the hospitality. We are up for another afternoon of movies, relaxing, and enjoying doing nothing.
6/19/2003 - 6:41 PM - Day 116 - Blackfoot, ID to Chubbock, ID
We woke up this morning feeling great. Today was our shortest day (not counting rest days) since coming out of Ogallala, NE more than 30 days ago. We ‘only’ had 17 miles. After throwing back a couple of Breakfast Jack’s (from Jack in the Box) we got on the road. We had a long stint of running and arrived in Chubbuck, ID before we knew it. We stopped at a local restaurant to get a milkshake. One thing that has amazed us (and slightly pissed us off) is the wide range of milkshakes in the trip. Maybe I’m not thinking right, but when I order a milkshake I intend to be able to drink it through a straw. Anything thicker would just be normal ice cream…right? Anyway, we received frosty thick milkshakes that had to be eaten not drank and it ruined a great day (sort of). Not that they tasted bad, but darnit when I want a milkshake I want a milkshake. Anyway, we are now sitting in the basement of Bryce’s house watching a projection movie screen. Our bodies feel pretty refreshed and we are ready to keep rolling. The ankle pain is gone and we are nearing the 4 month mark. Cheers to the days ahead.
6/19/2003 - 6:41 PM - Day 115 - Idaho Falls, ID to Blackfoot, ID
We left Idaho Falls around 7:30 am. Even though we slept out, we both felt relatively refreshed. Seven miles down the road was the town of Shelley where we knew we could get a warm breakfast. We started running and despite a nagging pain in my (Dave) right ankle, we made it there within the hour. My ankle was tweaked climbing Teton Pass and has been a bit of a nuisance. However, it gets better everyday and will be gone by the end of the week. Back to breakfast...we stopped in a small little diner with a great atmosphere and enjoyed pancakes eggs but unfortunately no French Toast. After feeding, we headed back out on the road. The sun was heating the air as the temperatures quickly rose into the 90’s. We ran pretty steady all the way into Blackfoot, ID. Once in town, we headed to the library again. Once again, the Idaho Public system let us down. Ten open computers with internet access but because we weren’t from Idaho we couldn’t use them. We did manage to get a hold of the number for the Cross Country coach at Idaho State University. We called him and he got us in contact with Bryce Knight. He ran the 800 at Idaho State University and is still training in the area. He came and picked us up and took us to the track house for a much needed shower. We made some calls and then headed out to dinner with a bunch of the guys. We had a great meal and great conversation and returned home to bed by 11:00 pm. It was a great stay and we will be back tomorrow.
6/19/2003 - 6:40 PM - Day 114 - Mile Mark 358 on some road to Idaho Falls, ID
Our bodies were really sore and beat when we headed down the road on Tuesday morning. We came across a gas station about 8 miles into the day. There we stopped for about 90 minutes to eat some grub and rest our tired bodies. We still had 15 miles to Idaho Falls, ID but neither of us wanted to move. Such is life. I (Scott) recall very little about those 15 miles other than it was hot and I didn’t want to be on the road. Once into Idaho Falls we made our way to the public library to get on the internet. Unfortunately their computer system is only set up for members right now, so we were told to go to the UPS Store 2 miles away where we could pay $6/hour for computer use. All the while there were 4-5 open computers in the library. Upon receiving the bad news we sat in the library for a half hour very angry and trying to figure out what to do. Despite a population of 50,000 we didn’t have a place to stay and were awaiting a lodging offer phone call that never came. We did not want to cover two more miles to pay for internet access. After a half hour, a librarian had mercy upon our souls and said that she could get us on the internet afterall. Our tired, dirty, and pathetic looks must have found a place in her heart that caused her to reach out. Unfortunately the internet would not fully open the pages we need to view, and crashed about every 10 minutes. We accepted the fact that we just weren’t meant to be on the internet, and left the library to get something to eat. While heading to a local bar we stopped and chatted with some Idaho Falls firemen. They told us about public park on the Snake River that was open for free camping. The park was just 2 miles out of town, and fortunately in the direction that we’d be heading. So we filed away that info, and hit a local bar for some food. The bar, The Frosty Gator, had a huge selection of beers, a great menu, and NTN interactive trivia. We hit the jackpot! It was around 4pm when we entered, and after 8pm when we left. We would’ve stayed later if it weren’t for waning daylight (we thought) and still having to find our sleep sight. Within 20 minutes of departing we were at the campsite. It looked great, and with lots of daylight still remaining (it was 8:45pm!) I dove into the Snake River for a bath, er, I mean swim. It felt fantastic, and quite refreshing. Fortunately the sleep situation was a complete 180 from the night before. There were no mosquitoes, and the temp was about 70 degrees. We slept like rocks!
6/19/2003 - 6:39 PM - Day 113 - Victor, ID to Mile Mark 358 on some road
Well it’s been 4 or so days since we last updated the site. We’re alive, covering the miles without too much trouble, and have slept out a few times. On Monday morning we departed Victor, ID with Swan Valley set as our final destination. Getting to Swan Valley required us to cross another decent sized mountain pass. It was not nearly as steep as Togwotee or Teton, but taxing nonetheless. After about 21 miles we rolled into Swan Valley at 2:30pm. In Swan Valley we ate some lunch and sat in a restaurant for a few hours, while storms passed by. Because we had no place to stay in Swan Valley, and there were no campgrounds nearby, we headed out of town at 4:30pm with no particular destination in mind. Before leaving town we each had one of Swan Valley’s “World Famous” square ice cream cones. It was ice cream scooped out in the shape of a cube….and incredibly anticlimactic. By 8pm we’d covered another 19 miles, making it 40 for the day, and were about out of gas. We found a safe camping spot in a field overlooking the Snake River. After am evening snack of tuna and Oreoes we climbed into our sleeping bags for some much need rest. While trying to settle in we ran into a major problem…..the temperature was still around 80 degrees and there were mosquitoes everywhere. Within minutes of zipping up my (Scott) sleeping bag I was soaking wet with sweat, but pulling the bag down meant inevitable attack from mosquitoes. Dave was in much the same predicament. The solution to our problem was suffering through a very unpleasant and restless night. Coming off of a 40 mile day, it was the last thing that we needed. Come to think of it, I never need another night like that again. Oh well, we did manage a few winks of sleep, and were on the road again by 7am.
6/18/2003 - 2:06 PM - Confirmation of Life
Heard from Scott last night on the phone. They were in Idaho Falls, actually on schedule with the site due to an unexpected day off. They have logged 65+ in the last two days and are doing well. They slept out the last two nights, including in Idaho Falls which is population 50,000. Too bad no one came through for a bed there. They were drinking (shocker) and playing trivia when I talked to them. Sounds like it's going well. Still on track for an August 2 finish in OR. Scott apologized for the lack of new pictures, but fast internet connections are hard to come by when you can't even find a bed. They'll post when they get to a computer. Please, please, please reach out to any contacts you have out there and help them out to find a place. Later on ~Webmaster Wood
6/16/2003 - 11:46 AM - Day 112 - Wilson, WY to Victor, ID
We awoke early and headed to Wilson to begin our trek up Teton Pass. Lisa Batchen met us at the Martell?s house for the run and off we went. Lisa is an ultra runner having completed many many races in the past. Currently, she is gearing up to do 750 miles of racing by September including 400 miles of racing in 5 days. Anyway, it was another beautiful day with temperatures in the low 60?s and clear skies. The pass consisted of a 2500 ft elevation gain in the first five miles of the run. Needless to say we walked. We made it to the top relatively easily and stopped to enjoy the view and take some pictures. As we headed down the other side of the pass we continued to walk. The first three miles down were 12% grade and the pounding was severe enough without the running. After the three miles we began running. The road was still dropping but not at such a harsh decent. We crossed into Idaho around 13 miles and stopped to contemplate two states left. In some ways it seems like were almost there but at the same time we have almost 900 miles to go still. The last five miles was on and off running into town enjoying the conversation and view. Lisa is an expert on nutrition and health relating to blood type. She intrigued us with her different take on endurance training and the terrific results that have been achieved. We finished up at the emporium in Victor, ID and enjoyed one of the best milkshakes we have had on the entire trip. The Hervig?s came and picked us up and took us back to their place for a grilled cheese lunch. We then headed up to the local ski resort. Lisa is head of the Spa there and we were treated to swimming, a hot tub, and a fantastic massage and the hands of Dana. It was very relaxing. We headed back to the Hervig?s around 5:30 pm for a dinner of steak, salmon, garlic bread, and corn on the cob (the one vegetable I eat). It was great. We sat and talked into the evening. This is the last place we have lined up for the next few days so we will enjoy the coziness of being indoors?
6/16/2003 - 11:09 AM - Day 111 - Wilson, WY - DAY OFF
Yesterday provided exactly what we hoped it would?.rest. By not waking up until 9:30am we both bagged about twelve hours of sleep. The day itself had very little structure. We did another 30 minute stint sitting in Jenny Lake to cool our legs, we hit the brew pub to watch some more golf, and we relaxed at the Martell?s house for a while too. Marty took us out for a nice Chinese Dinner, and we were in bed by 8:30pm. If there was more to report, I?d (Scott) let you know, but we really didn?t do much of anything yesterday except for enjoy doing not much of anything. Our stay in the Jackson/Teton area was truly the easiest one of the trip. We had our own place, our own car, and the weather/scenery was tremendous. But like many of our other stops, the people who we met made our stay truly special. The Martell?s, along with their friends, Jake, Dave, John, Todd, et al made us feel at home for all four days. And whether I like it or not, Marty got me a little interested in ultramarathons. Damn you! It was tough to leave this morning, but having been in the are for four days, we were getting a bit anxious to head on down the road. Compared to how far we?ve come, we can almost start smelling the beach. It?s only two states away!
6/13/2003 - 8:43 PM - Day 110 - Jackson, WY to Wilson, WY
Despite today being a “rest” day we woke up at 6:15am to meet a local photographer for a photo shoot. She took pictures of us running in and around Grand Teton National Park. The shoot took about 3 hours and involved a lot of stopping and starting for our already sore quads. That was OK though, because the morning was beautiful, the shoot was fun, and the pictures may be used for a magazine feature. Once completing the shoot, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast and read the newspaper at Jedadiah’s, a local hot spot. We then decided to make our rest day even more restful, and cover the 6 miles from Jackson to Wilson. This would shorten our next leg of the trip down to 19 miles. Those 19 will include crossing Teton Pass (2500 foot climb in 5 miles), so the shorter we can make that day, the better. We spent most of the 6 miles to Wilson walking and chatting with friends on the phone. Once to Wilson, Jake, a local ultra runner who we met last night at dinner, gave us a ride back to our home base in Jackson. Our plan was to then hit Jenny Lake for some icing, but clouds had rolled in, thunder was clapping loudly, and rain falling…not good lake weather. So instead, we showered, and decided that because our rest day was proving none too restful, that we would take tomorrow off as well. We have lots of days to spare between now and our August 2nd finish, and because this area is so beautiful, the decision to stay another day was an easy one. We then stopped by the photographer’s studio to take a look at the pictures from this morning. There were some great shots, and we got a CD copy of all 200 pictures. It was then time to do something relaxing…so we hit the local brew-pub for beer, food, and watching the US Open Golf Tourney. We’re now at the Martell’s preparing to enjoy a cookout dinner of elk steaks. I (Scott) can’t wait, as I’ve never had elk. I imagine Dave is excited too, because elk is neither a fruit nor vegetable. So now that we’ve secured tomorrow as a day off, I swear to myself that I will sleep in and stay off my feet. If the weather clears, as the forecast is predicting, we will do another cold water treatment in Jenny Lake, and another beer/golf treatment at the brew-pub (weather will not matter for that one). Despite the relatively hectic day, it is truly relaxing here. This very moment is the first time on the trip that I’m unsure what # day we’re on. I think it is 110, 111, or 112. I’ll check on Sunday when we get moving again, but for now I’ll enjoy the feeling of being in one place for more than one day.
6/13/2003 - 8:42 PM - Day 109 - Moran, WY to Jackson, WY
We awoke early yesterday, hopped a ride with Marty, and headed out to Moran. We decided to cut yet another day out of the schedule and run all the way into Jackson today…a total of 31 miles. This would allow us to take two days off in Jackson, one of the most beautiful places on the trip so far. We both felt pretty crappy in the morning, as our legs were tired from the climb up and over the continental divide. We spent the first two miles talking to friends about setting up our finishing day plans. This was great but it also makes the end feel near even though it is still 50 days away. We began running and ran most of the next 16 miles to Moose. We pulled in tired and weary and enjoyed a long lunch of burgers and crosswords. After about an hour and fifteen minutes, we got back out on the road. Despite some indigestion, we both felt much better and ran smoother and stronger the whole way in. We pulled into Jackson and hit up the Dairy Queen for some Blizzards. A brief walk through town and we were done. We immediately jumped in the car and headed out to Jenny Lake. With torn muscles, we waded our way out into the lake. The lake is fed by snow and glacier melt and is as cold as an ice bucket. After the first few burning minutes it felt great. We continued to freeze ourselves for the next twenty minutes and then it was time to leave. We headed down to the restaurant/bar in Moose to relax. We sat up on the deck, which has a view over the entire Teton Range. We enjoyed Fat Tire from the tap and cheesy garlic bread. At about 7:00 pm we headed to the Calico to meet Marty and his running pals for dinner and a drink. The place was packed and we enjoyed great food and even better company. We arrived home around 11:00 pm and hit the sack. Even though we are taking the day off tomorrow, we will be getting up at 6:00 am. No rest for the weary…
6/11/2003 - 4:50 PM - Day 108 - Togwotee Pass, WY to Moran, WY
We awoke this morning feeling a little tired but ready to go. Today would be mostly downhill and although taxing, not like yesterday. We headed out with Pat and Zoe (her dog) about 6:00 am. We picked up some breakfast sandwichs from The Cowboy and headed up the mountain. Although we have not seen any wildlife on foot in the mountains, we did spot to small heards of elk on the drive up to the divide. Both heards had recently calved and there were little ones scampering around. Pat let us off at our finishing point from yesterday and we headed down the mountain. Yesterday we had a gradual climb to almost 10,000 ft. and it didn;t affect us to much. Today we had gone from 7000 to 10000 in about 15 minutes and it took our bodies a little while to get used to. Between that and Scott having some minor heartburn, we covered the first 8 miles pretty slowly. We were running but it was quite steep and our legs would get tired quickly. We reached Togwotee mountain lodge (~ 9 miles from the pass) and stopped in for a candy bar and a drink. We had the most beautiful view from the lodge as we took our break. The skies were perfectly clear and you could almost see the entire Teton Mountain Range. It was an awesome sight. It gave us a little inspiration and a little energy. After this little rest we both felt much better and began to cover the miles fairly quickly. We ran the last 11 miles (with a few small breaks) down the mountain and the scenery opened up into a wide valley with a lot of ranch's and touristy hotels. We took a longer break herer as we only had about 5 miles left in the day. We got up from our break and for the first time started walking. Upon reaching the valley, the wind had increased ten fold and it was hitting us right in the face. With just under 3 miles to go we decided to run it in and get to the finish. We arrived at Moran Junction about 12:15 pm and were picked up by our host, Marty Martell. He drove us back into Jackson where we would be stayin gfor the evening. His friend lent him a small cabin right at the base of a ski slope just a few blocks from downtown. We have the place to ourselves and a car to get around town as well. It is a great set-up and we are greatful. The last few days have produced fantastic scenery with even more to come.....
6/11/2003 - 4:25 PM - Day 107 - Dubois, WY to Togwotee Pass, WY
Yesterday we headed into Dubois for some breakfast around 8am. For the second straight day we ate at the Cowboy Cafe. Our meal was delicious, and paid for by a group of travellers who were sitting next to us. On our way out of the restaurant a husband and wife, who were sitting outside, stopped us to chat for a while. They too, wished to pay for our meal, but someone had beaten them to the punch. After 107 days these kind, random gestures still amaze us. We were on the road around 9:30am, and knew that we had a tough day ahead of us. The first 13-14 miles out of Dubois had some rolling hills, but were mostly flat. However we were continuously blasted by 30-40mph winds. Knowing that running up a mountain later in the day would prove difficult, we did our best to run the windy miles. After 14 miles we began our climb up a mountain to Togwotee Pass. We started theclimb right around 7000 ft and would finish at 9700 ft, on the Continental Divide. We did our best to maintain a brisk walk up the 5% grade, and it turned out to not be as bad as we expected. Knowing that today we'd be running down the other side, we wanted to have something left in our legs at days end. At 4pm, on her way home from work, our host Pat picked us up and returned us to Dubois. We then inhaled a huge pasta and sausage dinner, before hitting the lights at 8:30pm. Today's wake-up would be 5:15am, so we wanted every last bit of sleep we could get.
6/9/2003 - 5:34 PM - Day 106 - Red Rock Creek, WY to Dubois, WY
After a not too terribly refreshing night of sleep we awoke to the sun and packed up camp. Although we were at our highest elevation of the trip it was the warmest night we’ve had yet. With everything packed and some energy bars in our stomachs, we headed up the road to Dubois around 5:45 am. Thanks to yesterday’s long haul, we only had 15 miles to cover. This was good because we both felt like crap and didn’t feel like moving very fast. We trudged along as we climbed up and up to 6700 ft. The sights were spectacular today with red rock, painted cliffs, and roaring waters. Despite our weariness, we were happy to have some of the best landscapes of the whole trip. We pulled into Dubois about 9:15 am and found a nice place to enjoy breakfast. We sat for a while being very thankful that we were done for the day. As we headed to our hosts house (Pat Neveaux), the clouds came roaring in and the wind and rain came pouring down. Luckily, we made it inside before we got wet and got to work on updating the site. We headed to lunch about 12:30 pm to enjoy a gut buster burger at the local café. Scott inhaled his while I only managed about ¾ of my burger. Eating has made me nauseous the last three days so I haven’t had much of an appetite. It is now 2:45 pm and we are done with everything we need to do for the day. Our host will not be home until around 6:00 pm so we are up for snoozing and maybe watching a movie. The cat has already made friends with both of us and her hair has become one with most of our clothing. It will be great to get some much needed rest…
6/9/2003 - 2:49 PM - Day 105 - Morton, WY to Red Rock Creek, WY
We hit the road yesterday around 11am after a fantastic stay with the Ward’s in Riverton. The 3 boys kept us entertained the for the duration of our stay, while Carol and Alex gave us both a glimpse into what it’s like to manage three balls of energy from 6am to 10pm. For the first 4 miles yesterday we were joined by John Ring and John Welsh, both members of the Dartmouth Cross Country and Track Teams. They are headed to California for the summer, and managed to track us down on Saturday night for some beers (their treat, THANKS!), and again on Sunday AM for a run. They were welcome company, as we’d not been joined for a stretch of the run for nearly three weeks. After they turned around we continued to run as the road was downhill, the weather perfect, and we both felt good. After an hour of running we took a short break, but got back at it pretty quickly because we both felt so good. We came upon a rest stop around the 11 mile mark and chose to take a lengthy break for water, a nap, and snacks. “Lengthy” resulted in only about 45 minutes, as once again, we both felt antsy and wanted to keep pushing. With 14 miles left into our destination of Crowheart, WY, we did a mixture of running and walking. The sun was shining bright (but not too hot), and snow capped mountains lingered in the distance. The day really felt carefree. We arrived in Crowheart around 3pm. Crowheart consisted of a few houses and a General Store. We raided the store for food, beverage, and a newspaper. The next hour was spent sitting on a bench outside eating, and talking to whoever walked by. Unsure as to where we would sleep for the night, we were looking for leads. One gentleman helpfully informed us, “Down the road, just 7 miles, there is a lodge, restaurant, and campground at Red Rock Creek. The campground is free and will be a great place for you to settle.” That sounded perfect. We’d already logged 25 miles, but it was early and we felt good, so 7 more was no sweat….especially if it meant a safe place to sleep. Around 4pm we set off down the road at a brisk walking pace. We felt no need to rush because there were still roughly 5 hours of daylight, and we’d already run 19/25 miles. After 7 miles of walking down route 26 we were in the middle of nowhere, and there was no lodge in sight. Not a big deal, maybe the guy was off by a mile or two, so we continued on. Three miles later……still nothing. Not panicked, and actually feeling great physically, we decided to start running again. After three miles of running, off in the distance, we could finally see a large red rock face, and what looked to be a building with a sign in front. Unable to contain our excitement, we spent the next two miles discussing what food and beer we would order in the lodge. As the lodge drew closer, we realized that no cars were there, and I (Scott) was able to make out the words, “FOR SALE” on the sign. Ouch. There would be no beer, and dinner was beginning to smell like tuna fish. We’d traveled 40 miles on the day, the last 15 in order to find a safe campground, the sun was beginning to set, and we still had no place to sleep. We snooped around behind the closed lodge, but it honestly looked like the movie set for Texas Chainsaw Massacre. No good. This meant only one thing…..start looking for pipes underneath the road. So after strolling another mile down the road we luckily found a pipe that was wide, looked comfy (for a pipe anyhow), and out of view from the road. We quickly set up camp, had some tuna, crackers, and candy bars for dinner, and prepared to sleep. Just 15 miles short of today’s finish point of Dubois, we set our alarms for 5:30am. An early morning arrival to Dubois would ensure us nearly 24 hours rest until starting again on Tuesday AM. So at 9pm, for the second time in our lives (second time in 6 days), we shut our eyes to sleep in a cattle transport pipe underneath a road. Mother Nature turned out the lights shortly thereafter (days here are now really long, with first light around 5am and last light around 9:30pm). As is typical for our nights out, we tossed and turned for a few hours before finally dozing off into a cautious, yet silent slumber.
6/7/2003 - 9:52 PM - Day 104 - Shoshoni, WY to Morton, WY
Well, to finish off yesterday.......As we gathered our things to leave the library in Shoshoni, Carol and Alex Ward called and offered us a place to stay for the next two nights. This would allow us to cut another day off the schedule, totaling 4 days gained since the Bolder Boulder race. Most recently we have taken 148 miles in 7 days and reduced it to 138 miles in 5 days; an average of 27 miles per day. The next four to five days will take us over the continental divide (9600 ft.) and continue the 27 mile per day average. We are feeling a little ragged but ready to tackle the challenge. Anyway, back to yesterday evening. When we got back to the Ward’s house, we were greeted to warm showers and a fantastic meal of Italian sausages and pasta. It had been 72 hours since our last warm shower so this was much appreciated. We spent the evening watching Treasure Planet with their three boys, 7, and twin 4.5 year olds. They were full of energy and made me appreciate the hard times my twin brother and I must have put my mom and dad through. After a great nights sleep, we awoke to a beautiful day. It was a little chilly but the sun was shining and there was no threat of rain. The weather cooperated the whole day and made things easier than expected. For breakfast, we had waffles AND pancakes. So, with full belly’s, we headed out on the road for a 30 mile day. Being a little weary, we decided to take a slightly different approach. We ran for 30 minutes, rested for 5 minutes, walked for 10 minutes and then repeated. This kept us relatively fresh throughout the day and we made it through 25 miles still feeling pretty good. At this point we headed out onto dirt roads for the last 5 miles. This enabled us to cut at least 8 miles off our trip for the day. Although the footing was very loose which made it difficult to run, getting off of the pavement was much appreciated. We pulled into Morton around 3:30 pm and took a seat outside the Stage Stop restaurant. A sign on the front door said Private Party so we sat outside to wait for Carol. As we waited, the bartender came out and said they were open and that the sign was for later. She very strongly insisted that we come in for a beer. We wavered on answering and she once again insisted. So in we went. There was a very colorful crowd inside getting ready for the Belmont Stakes and drinking beer. So as not to make enemies, we ordered up two beers and joined in the conversation. We quickly drank our first beers knowing that Carol would be arriving any minute. After talking for a little, the bartender insisted we have another, on the house. About 1 minute later, Carol pulled up. So what else to do but down the hatch and out the door. Even though a little shady, it was definitely a great bar and it would be real interesting to go back again. We have now enjoyed a great chicken dinner and I am just about to indulge in some brownies. Tomorrow will begin our initial accent into the mountains and should be interesting. The views just get better and better. Overall our day went great with one big uh-oh. As we finished up yesterday, I marked our finishing point on the GPS and put it away in the pocket it has been in for the whole trip. Upon removing it this morning, something was wrong. There was a large piece loose on the inside that was banging around. Expecting the worst, I turned it on. Luckily we still had power but alas, the tracking capabilities are shot. The GPS can no longer find the satellites it needs to tell us where we are located. However, we do still have the mapping capabilities so I can at least see where we are going. This is a big downer as Idaho will get pretty tricky and we have become so use to the GPS that we will have to quickly learn how to act without it. I am not really that worried but rather pissed off. Expensive electronics that have only been in use for 3 months should not fall apart. And of course the Customer Service operators are only available Monday to Friday. Luckily we were not in the backcountry or we would be dead come Monday.....damn technology!!!
6/6/2003 - 2:49 PM - Day 103 - Mile Mark 84 on rt. 20/26 to Shoshoni, WY
Well the pipe ended up being a success, mostly. There was a brief moment around 1:30 am when something was scurrying around on the tarp with us. However, every time we turned a light on there would be nothing to see or hear. After about 20 minutes, it either stopped or we were too tired to hear it anymore and we passed out. We awoke at 6:00 am to an alarm, making sure we packed up before any cows got moved under the highway. You never know when a rancher will show up and we didn’t feel like having any altercations. We got up on the road about 6:30 am and took in the morning air. It was a little chilly but the sun was out and the temperature was warming quickly. We walked for the first four miles to wake our legs up and try and forget the long miles yesterday. We ran for the next hour and came within 2 miles of Shoshoni. We walked in the last two miles out of being tired and we had run out of water. It was actually perfect planning as we drank our last bit two miles out and easily had more once we got into town. We arrived in town around 9:30 am looking to stop by Yellowstone Drug for one of their famous milkshakes. The store was not open yet (opened at 10:00 am) so we made a quick gas station and post office stop. We walked into the store and sat down to a nice cheese burger/chicken tender meal followed by milkshakes. They tasted great but I wouldn’t really call them milkshakes as we both had to use a spoon to eat them. I would say they were more Frosty (Wendy’s) like. While paying for our much appreciated lunch, we met some people from Allentown, PA (my hometown). They had just visited Yellowstone and were on their way home. I think they’ll get there before me… After finishing the crossword and gathering our energy we headed out to find the local library. We had been given directions (in a sort of guessing fashion) from a woman behind the counter at the store. As she finished up, a group of 20 something’s said, “We’ve lived in Shoshoni all our lives and didn’t know there was a library here.” Needless to say we weren’t expecting much but here we are with Internet access and warm surroundings. In the time we spent eating, the wind went from calm to about 40 mph and the temperature dropped about 15 degrees. It is now about 40 degrees F with a 30 degree F wind chill. There is a chance of SNOW. It is June 6th right??? Anyway, we are currently debating heading down the road a few more miles as we still have no place to sleep tonight and it is only noon. However, this temperature change will make things interesting.
6/6/2003 - 2:48 PM - Day 102 - Hell's Half Acre, WY to Mile Mark 84 on rt. 20/26
Yesterday we crawled out of our sleeping bags around 7am, and we’re greeted by heavy winds and overcast skies. The traveling conditions did not look good…..especially for a day that we knew we’d be out for a long time and fully anticipated sleeping out again. In addition we were both a bit sore and tired from sleeping out the night before. We headed down the road with the wind blowing in our face at about 30 mph, and rain came in unpredictable spurts. The weather was strong enough for us to forgo running for a brisk walk. We hoped that this would conserve our energy for later in the day if/when the winds let up. After 8 miles we took a 45 minute break at a highway rest stop. The rest stops out here are not your PA Turnpike type stops with three restaurants to choose from. Here, you’re lucky to have your choice of toilets and water fountains. Nonetheless, it was a place to get off our feet and out of the wind/rain. Our next leg of the day took us 7 miles down the road to Hiland, WY – population 10. In those 7 miles the wind continued to blow, and we even got hit by a small hail storm. The day had not been much fun. Hiland did have a General Store (which we knew about ahead of time). We also knew that the store would be our last chance to purchase anything until Shoshoni, 42 miles away. In the store we ate pizza and grilled cheese, bought some water and crackers, and got a last bit of rest before departing into nowhere. We managed to run off and on for about an hour coming out of Hiland, until we hit a construction zone. One of the flag (wo)men waved us over and told us to hop in the truck because we could not pass on foot. Those were words not to be taken lightly. She explained that it was 12 miles of one lane dirt with construction vehicles all over the place. We told her that we’d keep out of the way. She seemed puzzled by our stubbornness, but let us go ahead. For the first mile we stumbled across an uneven dirt path made by a bulldozer, until another worker told us that we were not allowed to be there. He said that for us to continue we must be on the other side of the fence line (100 feet to our right). We didn’t argue, and politely declined his offer to give us a ride through the 12 miles. Our only choice was to hoist the baby jogger over a barbed wire fence and hike it the next 10 miles through rough and gritty ranchland. Fortunately, the fence had been replaced recently, so there were faint tire tracks along it. These tracks made the 10 miles passable, but hardly palatable. We had to keep a constant eye out for cactus and snakes. Fortunately we only saw cactus, and ran over none of them. It took us a full 3 ½ hours to get past all of the construction. During which time we did not stop once to sit down. I (Scott) should note that the afternoon weather was much nicer (low 60’s and sunny). By the conclusion of the construction we were both very tired and very hungry. We took seats on construction pipe that was along the roadside, and each scarffed down two cans of tuna, a Fast Break bar, and some Ritz Crackers. We were exhausted, had covered 36 miles on the day, and were still 21 miles from any civilization. Knowing that we had enough food and water to get us through the night, we decided to head down the road and search for a camping spot. After 2 miles of walking and of running we were spent and willing to sleep anywhere. Our campsite came in the form of a pipe underneath the highway. It was large, blocked the wind and rain, and completely out of sight from passing motorists. It was by no means luxury, but it would do. By 8pm, having covered 41 miles on the day, we were in sleeping bags with our eyes shut. Nearly all six of our nights outside have been the same for me. I get into my bag around 8pm, and spend the next 2-3 hours trying to get comfortable. As you can imagine, underneath picnic tables and in pipes are not the easiest places to just doze off. By 11pm my body usually gives in to its need for rest and falls asleep in any position. I can then usually stay asleep for about 5 straight hours. By 4-5am I start waking up every half hour or so (the sun is rising) until we decide to get moving. Once out of my sleeping bag I usually discover that my body aches about as much as it did when we went to sleep. So to alleviate the pain we decide to cover 25-30 miles. I keep saying that we are extremely crazy or extremely dedicated, or perhaps some of both. At times I don’t quite believe that we’re still out here. Oh well, 57 days to go.
6/6/2003 - 2:38 PM - Day 101 - Mile Mark 18 on rt. 20/26 to Hell's Half Acre, WY
We woke up late (around 9:00 am) and were treated to breakfast by Dayton, one of Colby’s roommates. We had 26 miles to cover, no place to sleep, and were not in much of a hurry. Dayton dropped us off at yesterday’s finishing point around 11:30 am. We headed down the road for the first mile or two feeling out our legs and letting the pancake breakfast digest. We covered the first 12 miles to Natrona pretty easily. However, since Natrona was 2 trailers on the roadside we continued running most of the way into Powder River, another 9 miles down the road. We did take a few breaks to rest, drink some water, and waste some time. Powder River (population 50) had a small convenience store and we were able to pick up provisions that we would need for Thursday. From here to Shoshoni (~62 miles) we would not be passing through a town bigger than a population of 10. Five miles up the road from Powder River was a place called Hell’s Half Acre. They had a restaurant and campsite and would be our stopping place for the day. Unfortunately, it would be an uphill climb the whole way. It wasn’t too bad and actually ended up having pretty views. We pulled into Hell’s Half Acre around 5:00 pm. It was a great site with colorful rock formations and deep ravines. Imagine a mix between a smaller Bryce Canyon with a touch of Badlands and you can get the picture. We headed into the restaurant and spent the next two hours eating and talking to the owners. They offered us a spot under one of their viewing enclosures to sleep and we set up camp. It was very windy so we set up somewhat of a lean-to to block out the wind. After some adjustments we found it blocked out all the wind and we would be up for some calm sleeping. Unfortunately, as we lay our heads down to sleep along the ridge of the canyon, the wind changed direction. After having a head wind all day and evening, the wind was now blowing form the east, making our set-up basically useless. Being too tired and half asleep, we said, “Screw it,” and went to bed…
6/4/2003 - 4:05 PM - Day 100 - Evansville, WY to Mile Mark 18 on rt. 20/26
We both slept well last night and were ready to cover the days mileage. We got started early as Colby dropped us off at the Burger King around 6:30 am. After a quick bite, we headed out. We spent the first 8 miles of the day traveling through Casper. Most of the roads were under construction so we had to walk most of the way. Once we reached the outskirts of town, we decided to gather our energy and start running. Despite the good nights rest, neither of us was very inspired to be running. Last nights host, Colby, would be driving out to pick us up at 11:00 am no matter where we were. This resulted in a rather laid back approach to the day as there was really no finishing goal. However, we continued to roll along for another hour. When we stopped to take a break, we got involved in a fun game of “hit the 40”. We set up an empty 40 oz. beer bottle about 20 feet away and proceeded to through rocks at it. Sehon took the bottle out at the knees and I decapitated it. Eventually, the bottle was a pile of broken glass and it was time to get back on the road. We ran for another 15 minutes and then strolled to a nearby house to wait for Colby. He arrived about 5 minutes later and we were back in civilization by noon. We covered about 20 miles which actually put us 10 up on what we had planned. The next stretch of road to Shoshoni is about 100 miles of nothing and we are quite interested to see what we come across. Although empty we do have some housing possibilities that will be very appreciated. We’ll see as the days go. Due to the stretch of nothing, we will warn you that it might be awhile before another update is seen. However, we have seen the Internet in some pretty empty places so you never know…
6/4/2003 - 4:05 PM - Day 99 - Glenrock, WY to Evansville, WY
After a good night’s sleep at the White’s in Glenrock, we strolled into town for breakfast at the Four Aces Restaurant. I (Scott) had a breakfast burrito that was bigger than my head, and Brof inhaled some French toast. We were on the road moving by 9:30am with about 23 miles to cover to get to Casper, WY. Despite the 30+ miles we covered on dirt and mud on Sunday, we both felt pretty good and happily ran much of the 23 miles at a leisurely 7:30/mile pace. Although we’re now at 5000+ feet of elevation, the terrain was rather flat so our legs did not take much of a beating. We rose so gradually to these higher elevations that running here makes no noticeable difference. For our run the weather was quite nice so throughout our trek we took several 15-20 minute breaks along the roadside. By 1:30pm we were eating Whoppers and drinking Coke’s at Burger King outside of Casper. As we ate the skies turned angry and a heavy rain began to fall. Our Casper contact, Colby Dreschel, picked us up after our meal and took us to his house. He returned to work and gave us free reign over his place. So for the remainder of the afternoon we listened to his incredible music selection, took a walk to the convenience store for some Ben and Jerry’s, chocolate milk, and a sixer of Fat Tire, and watched Ocean’s Eleven on HBO. It was an easy and stress free day by all accounts. Once Colby was home from work we enjoyed burgers and pasta for dinner. Afterwards Colby showed us some pictures from some of his worldwide trips. As travelers, we both thoroughly enjoyed seeing his photos and exchanging stories. Because today was going to be an early morning, we hit the sack around 9pm.
6/1/2003 - 10:02 PM - Day 98 - Douglas, WY to Glenrock, WY
Today was a bit of a battle from start to finish. Being that we had to cover about 32 miles, our spirits were pretty low at the start. We were both feeling a little tired and took the first 10 miles pretty easy (about 50/50 running walking). As we pulled into Orpha (3 houses on a dirt road), we began to see what lay ahead of us. For the next 15 miles, we would be running on dirt roads. We sort of knew this ahead of time but hadn’t taken the weather into consideration. It had rained last night and been cloudy all morning resulting in muddy sloppy roads. We tried running at first but spent more time spinning our wheels so we decided to walk for a little. Here and there, the road would be dry enough to run but not for very long. Some dark clouds began rolling in after 9 miles, so we took a rest under a train trestle. Before the clouds unleashed there fury, a cop pulled up to check our id’s and make sure we weren’t going to kill anyone. As he left, he did tell us that the storm approaching had just dumped marble size hail on Glenrock and we should probably take cover. Just down the road was an outhouse so we wheeled the cart in and, due to the overwhelming stench, stood outside under the slight overhang from the roof. Thankfully, most of the storms strength was just south of us and we received a brief rain with a few hail pieces here and there. It ended just as quickly as it began and we were back on the road. The brief rain did not seem to damage the roads anymore and from this point on, they actually seemed a little firmer. However, I (Dave) still could not get in a groove. The slippery roads combined with my tired legs just did not make me happy and the miles clicked by pretty slow. However, as we approached the end of the run (about 7 miles to go), we returned to pavement and my spirits lifted. We had run every step since the rain storm and our legs were happy to have some solid ground to push off of. With 5 miles to go our host (Doug White) road up on his bike. He is an avid tri-athlete (having completed 3 Ironmans, including Hawaii) and had run a half marathon earlier in the day. We slowly made our way into town as the energy slipped from our legs and with about a mile to go decided to walk it in. We have now had dinner and are looking forward to an early bed time. Tomorrow will be one of the shortest days we have had since the race; only 22…..
5/31/2003 - 9:04 PM - Day 97 - Glendo, WY to Douglas, WY
I am sitting here in Douglas, WY, home of the Jackalope, after a long day. During the night last night the weather threw everything at us from hard rain, to floods, to strong winds. My pillow (all my running clothes stuffed in a sack) became soaked through due to the wind blowing the rain into our enclosure. However, the picnic table/tent did a good job and everything else remained dry. We woke around 7:00 am and started to pack up camp. We laid a few things out to dry and headed into the convienence store for breakfast. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty cool still and the sun was behind clouds so nothing really dried out. We wrapped up the wet things in trash bags (to be dried later) and headed out on the road. The road slanted relatively downhill for the first part of the day so we decided to start running right away. The lack of sleep due to the rain, trains, and hard ground was felt immediatly. Our muscles weren't aching but we had an overall sense of fatigue. We ran for about a half hour and took a 5 minute break. We repeated this until we pulled into Orin Junction around 11:00 am; about 15 miles into the day. After a long lunch of pancakes and cinnamon rolls, we got back on the road. The weather had opnce again changed. The sun was now out and the temperature had risen at least ten degrees. Scott was quickly down to no shirt but I decided to use this time to dry out my wet clothes. I took turns putting on my different articles of wet clothing, allowing the sun and wind to dry them. This worked relatively well until I realized that my clothes were staying damp due to sweat, so I joined Sehon and went shirtless. We ran for more than an hour upon leaving Orin Junction and pulled into Douglas sooner than expected. We headed towards the downtown area to meet a reporter from the local Douglas Newspaper (John Eisel). We talked to him for about an hour and were very thankful when he offered his place up to crash. We have now returned from a fine mexican meal and will be lounging around the rest of the evening. Although feeling very strong in the second half of the day, Sehon and I have both hit the wall pretty hard and are looking forward to a good nights sleep. Tomorrow will conclude our contraction of 5 days down to 3 and will be the end of 3 very long days. However, it is well worth it to have a roof over our heads...
5/31/2003 - 9:04 PM - Day 96 - Guernsey, WY to Glendo, WY
Coming off of Thursday's beating at the hands of Mother Nature, we were bound and determined to get revenge in any way that we could. Before starting our run we walked around Guersney State Park for a few hours with our host Michelle Jackson and her daughters Ali and Josie. It was quite scenic and gave us the impression that the day's weather and surroundings would be picture perfect. We headed out of Guernsey around 11am with Glendo, WY as our final destination. Glendo was originally slated as a two day journey from Guernsey, but due to some slick mapping by Brof, we found some shortcuts on the GPS that would cut the distance from 41 miles to 28 miles. Just 3 miles out of Guernsey we hung a right onto a dirt road. Little did we know that we would not touch pavement for another 17 miles. We ran for about a half hour on the dirt road until we came to the first fork. The fork was in an open cattle field and gave us 2 options....grass with two tire tracks, or grass with two tire tracks. We were no longer on "roads" that a two wheel drive car could navigate. We were on ruts in the grass. However, these ruts were showing up on the GPS unit, so we took a leap of faith and headed into the wilderness. After about a half hour we came to our first "private property - no trespassing" sign. The sign was on a barbed wire gate that was permanently latched. We'd come a full 5 miles from our last paved road, so onward was our decision. So we pretended not to see the sign and carefully hoisted the baby jogger and ourselves over the fence. That act would be repeated 5 times in the next 10 miles. Eventually the ruts disappeared and we found ourselves in the middle of a field staring at the GPS unit. We just kept pushing the jogger on what the GPS said was a road, but was just a field, until eventually the tracks reappeared. I will say that we were having a lot of fun while doing this. We were cautiously optimistic about our chances of getting to where we thought we were headed. Afterall, the GPS unit hadn't failed us yet. Eventually, about two miles away, we could see a house, a barn, a dirt road, and about 100 head of cattle. This is the first time in my (Scott) life I ever thought of a dirt road as a sign of civilization. We slowed pushed the jogger through the field of cattle, and gave a friendly wave to the man on horseback, who was rounding up the herd. He never approached us, but I'd pay a huge sum of money to know what was going through his mind the day that two guys pushing a baby stroller came waltzing down out of the hills. Two miles on the dirt road lead us back to paved, good old highway 319. We were spent from the rugged terrain, but happy to know we'd made it out no worse for the wear. However, we still had 8 miles to Glendo. We ran most of that 8 despite being quite tired. We wanted to get into town ASAP because we were hungry and had no place to sleep. Once in Glendo we ate at a local place and did our best to talk it up with locals in hopes of finding some shelter. Howard, the owner of just about everything in town, managed to stumble accross us. He said tht we were welcome to throw our bags down on the lawn behind his restaurant. Assured that it was safe, we said thank you, and began to set up our campsite. The sky was threatening at this point, and rain was certainly on its way. We decided that sleeping under the picnic table would work best. So while I unpacked things, Brof ran into the General Store to buy us an 8' x 10' tarp. At 7:30pm, without a moment to spare, we were nestled in a dry (mostly) sleeping environment underneath a picnic table. The skies opened, and it poured for about 3 hours. Trains went by us within 50' about every half hour, so neither of us fell asleep for quite sometime. It was rather exciting though. We'd had an amazing day crossing the open prairie and managed to find a perfect (I'm serious) place to stay dry for the night. It's always nice to sleep under a roof, but nights like last night really test our fortitude and dedication. Neither of us complained a word. I'd say that yesterday was our biggest test of the trip, and we passed with flying colors. Oh, one last thing....our picnic table suite was 50 yards from a motel with a vacancy.
5/29/2003 - 7:30 PM - Day 95 - Lingle, WY to Guernsey, WY
Ugh, today was a tough one. It seems as though the Bolder Boulder decided that it wanted to run with us for a few days in Wyoming. When we woke up today, the race was still in our legs in a big way. Apparently it shocked our bodies a bit more than we expected. After some cereal we headed out the door knowing that we were in for a battle. At 8:30am the temperature was already 85 degrees. The air was already hot and heavy. Too make matters worse I (Scott) am lugging around a head cold with me. We poked along for the first few miles before clicking off a sluggish 55 minutes into the town of Fort Laramie (pop 243). There was one local spot open for lunch, so we didn’t have much choice as to where we would eat. We entered the establishment to get some grub, which took the waitress by surprise. We concluded two things....A) the place rarely, if ever, has customers and B) the waitress was souped up on one or many narcotics. That was no bother to us though, as she seemed excited to have customers. She took our order and we went about doing a crossword puzzle in the newspaper. A few minutes passed before a gentleman entered the establishment, gave us a blank stair, and headed into the kitchen. Shortly thereafter our waitress came out with our food and explained, “You have to appreciate a guy like that. His mom took a 2x4 to his head when he was 18 months old.” At a loss for words, we politely nodded and said nothing. She disappeared into the kitchen and he came out to see. The first thing that he said to us was “I’m an alcoholic.” Again, at a loss for words and feeling a bit uncomfortable, we just nodded and said nothing. He then explained to us that he lucked out with getting a job at the restaurant because no one else wants to work there. The waitress came out with our check a few moments later, thanked us for eating there and asked us if we’d like to buy the place because it was for sale. We declined, packed up the stroller, and headed for the door. The last words we received were, “Have a nice drive.” It was quite a lunch, one that we will surely never forget. I only wish that Webmaster Wood and Wally were with us. They would have thoroughly enjoyed it. While the situation at the restaurant was serious, it did provide us with some comic relief in the middle of a very long day. As we headed out of Fort Laramie, the temperature was approaching triple digits, and we still had 13 hilly miles to cover. Two miles outside of town we stopped to sit under a tree next to the North Platte River. Before starting to run, we both dipped our hats and shirts into the river for relief. Without wringing out the shirts, we put them on sopping wet, and began to run. I started my watch....our shirts were bone dry in 13 minutes. The intense heat was one factor, the 40mph headwinds were another. That, combined with our extremely sore legs and more hills than we’d run in 600 miles, was quickly vaulting today towards the top of the “This Really Sucks” chart. Also, despite having put ice in our water jugs this morning, the weather heated our drinking water and Gatorade to bathtubesque temperatures. That made our water stops barely refreshing. When we thought today couldn’t get much more strange, we got blasted by a rouge thunder storm for about 3 minutes. It was enough to soak us....only to be dried out again in under 15 minutes. Just two miles from our destination of Guernsey, sat a rest stop along the road. We stopped there for nearly 45 minutes to rest and guzzle cold water from the fountain. Two miles never felt so far. We slowly made our way into town and caught a glance of the bank thermometer, it read 93....and the sun wasn’t even out. OK, so I’ve made today sound really bad, and it was really no fun at all.....but we are now safe, cleaned up, and hydrating for the second straight night with the Jackson’s in Lingle, WY. We’re being treated like kings, and are quite thankful. Tomorrow will begin an interesting stretch of the trip. I don’t think we have a place to stay for the next 4 or 5 nights. So tonight we’re gonna get all the R+R we can, because who knows when we will see a bed again. All’s well......
5/28/2003 - 4:45 PM - Day 94 - Henry, NE to Lingle, WY
After a great nights sleep in a king size bed (thanks again to Jen for giving up her bed), Scott and I awoke to yet another sunny day. Thankfully we would be getting started much earlier than yesterday so the heat would not be as bad. After a breakfast of Fruity Pebbles and Bagels, Jen drove us out to Henry to start our day. On the way out of town we saw a bank sign reading 80 degrees F. It was only 9:00 am. After about a half mile, we hit the Wyoming border. It has been 29 days since our last border crossing and it felt good to finally have one again. We also noticed that our shoulder shrunk to half its size as soon as we changed states. Nebraska might have taken a long time to cross but it had the widest shoulders by far. There was a sign today that provided interesting east/west perspective. As we entered Wyoming, we saw a sign that said, “Yellowstone/Teton National Park via route 26.” We are almost 450 miles from the park yet there is a sign letting us know we are headed in the right direction. On the east cost, this would be like leaving Boston, MA and seeing a sign for, “Washington D.C. via interstate 95.” I guess Wyoming will be pretty empty. Anyway, we continued down the road until we reached Torrington. We stopped in a local Arby’s for a drink and read the newspaper. The newspaper was still from Omaha, NE despite being almost 600 miles away. After about 45 minutes we got up and headed down the road. We ran the last hour into Lingle. Despite the weekend activities, we both felt better than expected. Quad’s and calves are still a little sore but not so much that it is slowing us down. As we rolled into Lingle, our hosts (the Jackson family) drove up behind us and took us back to their house. After a nice cool shower, Scott and I are relaxing and enjoying being done by 2:00 pm. The days are pretty hot now and we continue to focus a lot of time on hydrating. Gotta go refill my water glass.....
5/28/2003 - 12:33 AM - Day 93 - Scottsbluff, NE to Henry, NE
Legs were really sore from yesterdays' race. Temps were in the low 90's. 23 miles wasn't much fun, but we knocked it out in under 4 hours. Gonna be hot tomorrow too, and race soreness never REALLY sets in until two days after. FUN!
5/28/2003 - 12:32 AM - Day 92 - Boulder, CO (Race Day)
Yesterday we were awake by 4:45am to prepare for the Bolder Boulder’s 7am start. I’d (Scott) brought some Dunkin Donuts muffins back from Philly, so we gobbled those down before heading out the door. Did an easy 2 mile warm-up and got to the starting line with a few minutes to spare. Everyone had told us to go out easy in the race, as the 5200 ft elevation and hills would catch up with us late in the race. So I went out really easily and felt relaxed. I was doing my best to run well, but enjoy the event too. There were tons of live bands along the course and even a dozen or so belly-dancers doing their thing around the 4 mile mark. Dave went out well ahead of me, but by 3.5 miles he seemed to be coming back a bit. I managed to catch up to him at the 5 mile mark. I was hurting at that point, and Dave needed to be woken up….so we worked together for the last mile and appropriately finished the race side-by-side in 33:01. The “official” results show Dave at 33:06, but we crossed together. We haven’t finished together in a race since our junior year at Bucknell, but neither of us found it strange that after 90 straight days of starting and finishing runs together Sunday proved to be no exception. Bryn Mawr Running Company (Philly, PA) member Matt Dipretore finished right behind us in the race. The three of us quickly made our way to the massage table from the finish line. After the massage we ushered ourselves to the beer area and cracked open a cold one. The time was 7:56am. It was gonna be a good day! We headed back to our car, which was parked at the 5 ½ mile mark, and set up camp for the day. There we relaxed, ate, drank beers, and watched nearly 50,000 runners pass by over the next 4 hours. Once Kate Nelson finished her race, she joined us as well. Throughout the day we bumped into some people who recognized us from the website, and even spoke to an old college foe who ran for Army. After the “Citizens Race” was finished, the professionals took the main stage. That race was exciting to watch, as they run a loop course which passed us 10 times. Exhausted from the race and being in the sun all day, we went back to our hosts to catch some rest in the afternoon. Once recovered, we went with Tim and Diana to a friend’s birthday party. We had a delicious meal there, but were all pretty exhausted. By 9pm we were all back home and crawling into bed.
5/28/2003 - 12:25 AM - Day 91 (Dave) - Boulder, CO - DAY OFF
Once again, we woke up around 7:30 am. I was determined to get more items checked off the list. The day turned out a little more successful. We headed out on the road to buy a new hat. My hat fell apart back in Maryville, MO and I have yet to purchase a new one. Since my hair has gotten longer running has been a pain without a hat as my hair flops in my eyes. Being the horrible shopper I am, what should have taken 10 minutes took 45 minutes and by the time we returned to the car the Bolder police had given us a wonderful parking ticket (joy). We continued on with the task of purchasing new tires for the baby jogger, and even ran some errands for Tim Dolen. He is in charge of the elite race at Bolder Boulder and we were happy to help him as the race approaches. After lunch, we headed up into the mountains for a little hike. It was a beautiful day and we found a nice perch to just sit, talk, and enjoy the scenery. As the day wound down, Dolen took us on a tour of the race course. It is fairly flat, (some slight up hills and down hills), and two small but definitely effective hills. He warned of the danger of going out to hard, especially at elevation, because the course was downhill for the first mile and then uphill for the second. We listened to his advice and then headed home to sleep. We had to be up at 4:30 am the next morning for the race so we needed to get to bed early. Scott arrived home from Philly soon after we got home and we all hit the sack….
5/28/2003 - 12:16 AM - Day 90 (Dave) - Boulder, CO - DAY OFF
Kate and I woke up around 7:30 am and made a list of things we/I had to complete. I needed to eat breakfast, buy new tires for the baby jogger (including puncture resistant stuff), update the web site, call people in Wyoming, buy a new hat, go for a hike, and check out the Bolder Boulder course. Task one was completed and that was about it. We spent some time driving around Boulder, and then returned to Dolen’s place. After a two hour movie/nap session we headed off to the Bolder Expo. We met Chris Lear (the author of ‘Running with the Buffalo’s’ and ‘Sub 4:00’) and talked for awhile. I bought a copy of his new book, Sub 4:00 (the story of Alan Webb’s freshman track season) and we headed home. I have finished the book and found it quite entertaining. Once again, Lear had great access to the Michigan team and he does a great job of describing the mental and physical difficulties that Webb had to go through during the season. He also touches on the seasons of Nate Brannen, Tim Broe, and Kevin Sullivan. For anyone interested in hearing more of Alan Webb’s story, besides most of the crap that has been written about him, I highly recommend the read. Anyway, back to the day. After the Expo, we returned to Dolen’s for a pasta party his local running group. They were a great bunch of people and really made the night interesting. As dinner wrapped up, we headed to bed. Although we didn’t get much done the day was quite enjoyable and relaxing…
5/25/2003 - 2:26 PM - Day 91 (Scott) - Philadelphia, PA to Boulder, CO
Ah….more Dunkin Donuts for breakfast this morning. That, combined with nearly 10 hours of sleep is great preparation for tomorrow morning’s race. Today has been leisurely spent on the couch. Bethany and I are currently watching the Prefontaine Classic on TV. Unfortunately I’ve already spoiled it and looked at the results. Oh well, it’s good to see track on major network TV. I’ve got a 6pm flight back to Denver and will be leaving for the airport shortly. Returning to Philadelphia and familiar surroundings has been an incredible boost for me. Bethany means the world to me, and seeing her has been fantastic. Despite a rigorous travel schedule from Boulder to Philly to Boulder, I will return this evening more rested than when I left. I’ll be to bed by 10pm tonight, and awake at 5am for the race. It should be a great day. I cannot wait!
5/25/2003 - 2:24 PM - Day 90 (Scott) - Boulder, CO to Philadelphia, PA
Yesterday morning I was awake and out the door by 4:30am, en route to the Denver Airport for a 36 hour return to Philadelphia. I hadn’t seen Bethany in 10 weeks. We’ve missed each other immensely, and she’d had a major knee surgery since we’d last visited. There were some people who I wanted to meet and things that I wanted to do while in Boulder, but going home to comfort my best friend made the choice to return an easy one. I was safely on the ground and with her at 12:30 yesterday afternoon. The first place we went was Dunkin Donuts. We then stopped by the Bryn Mawr Running Company to say hello. I spoke with Jeremy and Ross for a while, and was pleased to learn that a large group of guys will be running the Steamtown Marathon in October. With Steamtown on the same day as Chicago, the better choice of races to run fast in a group may now be to stay local. I’ll see if my legs are still attached when we arrive in Oregon before making a decision. The guys in the store informed me that Bryn Mawr runner Matt DiPretore will be at the race on Monday. That was a pleasant surprise and I look forward to seeing him on the starting line, and after the race of course. Bethany and then stopped by my old apartment to visit with ex-roommate Joe. Eventually we got some dinner and spent a nice, relaxing evening together.
5/25/2003 - 2:22 PM - Day 89 - Chimney Rock to Scottsbluff, NE
We woke up on Friday morning anxious to get our mileage out of the way because the sooner we finished, the sooner we’d get to Boulder, and the sooner we’d have 3 days of R+R, and one 10k race too. The Callan’s prepared us some pancakes for breakfast and had us to our starting point by 8:30am. The weather was humid, and quickly warmed into the mid 70’s. We arrived in Scottsbluff, NE (23 miles) in just under 4 hours, having spent only about 20 minutes off of our feet. Once in town we got a cab to the airport where we picked up a rental car. The plans for a private plane ride to and from Boulder fell through. Not a big deal at all though, because the drive to Boulder was beautiful. Once in Boulder we headed to the Pearl Street Mall to find some grub, and take in the local atmosphere. We’ve both been to Boulder before, but we’d both forgotten how unique and fun Pearl Street is. With thin runners’ bodies, long hair, and scruffy beards, we seem to fit right in. We met up with Kate Nelson, who came in from Omaha to hang out for the weekend, and settled down for dinner at an outdoor table at the Cheesecake Factory. The food was great, and the weather and atmosphere were just perfect. After dinner we met our host, Tim Dolen (Bucknell ’78), at his house. It was particularly comforting for me (Scott) because my three favorite pieces of summertime clothing had safely arrived in the mail….my old beat up shorts, my Adidas hat from the London Marathon, and my flip-flops. I showered, and put on my “new” clothes immediately, along with my new Boulder Bolder 25th Anniversary T-Shirt. It was the first time in 90 days I’d worn something other than running clothes. After getting the lay of the land at Tim’s house, Dave, Kate, and I went to Greg Nash’s (Bucknell ’97). There we had a few beers and visited with Greg and three of his friends who were visiting from New Jersey. Greg and Tommy O humorously interrogated about the first 89 days of the trip. Because it had been a long day, and I had a really early morning ahead of me, we headed back to Tim’s at 11pm and went to bed.
5/22/2003 - 8:49 PM - Day 88 - Broadwater, NE to Chimney Rock
Last night’s tour of the ranch was great. We saw an old sand stone house built in the 1800’s and some deer up on the hills. We climbed up on top of one of the bluffs and watched the sun go down. The sky was full of color. When we got back to the house we enjoyed a fine strawberry shortcake dessert and headed off to bed. We awoke this morning to more calm beautiful sunshine. After a quick breakfast of eggs, ham, cheese, and toast we headed out the door. After about 2 miles we started running and quickly covered the 13 miles into Bridgeport. We stopped at Subway for a relaxing lunch. Once again, we are going to consolidate the next three days into two so we decided to go another 14 miles. We walked for the first 3 out of town and then ran for about 10 before finishing off the day at a leisurely stroll. The ending point of the day turned out to be Chimney Rock near Bayard, NE. A popular landmark for old western travelers, it definitely caught the eye on the horizon. The sky was clear and the sun was shining bright which provided great views of the natural land formation. The Callan’s picked us up about 5:00 pm and brought us back into Bridgeport for a great spaghetti dinner. We will get our rest tonight and then push to Scottsbluff tomorrow…
5/21/2003 - 7:17 PM - Day 87 - Oshkosh, NE to Broadwater, NE
Shelly Howsden prepared us a fantastic breakfast this morning of cinnamon rolls and an egg casserole. I could have eaten forever, but I didn’t because there were things to be done. So Dave and I wiped off our faces, patted our full bellies, and walked downstairs to play GTA for a couple of hours. Eventually we decided that our real day should begin, so Shelly kindly dropped us off 10 miles outside of Oshkosh, and we began our run. We logged the first 6 miles into Lisco, NE with great ease. There we stopped for water and a Popsicle. We walked a few miles out of town, and took another short break before running another hour. The weather was very nice and the land quite scenic. There are lots of cattle fields and high rising sand bluffs off in the distance. By 3:30pm we’d easily covered about 20 miles, and arrived at our host’s house outside of Broadwater, NE. The Livingston’s live on a plot with 500 acres of farmland, and 4500 acres of open ranchland. We are looking forward to a tour of the grounds later this evening. Things are easygoing and relaxed right now. We’ve decided to consolidate the next 3 days of running (about 54 miles) into 2 days. This will put us into Boulder by Friday evening, and give us all day Saturday and Sunday to relax before Monday’s race. It is our only planned rest period on the trip longer than one day, and Boulder will be a fantastic place to spend it. Steaks for dinner!
5/20/2003 - 5:17 PM - Day 86 - Lewellen, NE to Oshkosh, NE
We woke up to some sore muscles due to the strong winds from yesterday but nothing that really impeded our progress. Today the air was calm with temperatures in the mid 50’s. We headed out from the Jensen’s around 9:30 am and got right to it. We only had ~10 miles to our original stopping point. However, since our hosts (the Howsden’s) were able to pick us up we decided to go a little further. After a short stop in Oshkosh, we got back on the road and ran for another hour. This took us about 9 miles outside of town for a total of 19 miles on the day. This will help immensely tomorrow, as we will only have to cover about 20 miles instead of 30. We are now showered, fed, and working with a fantastic Internet connection. It is always nice to have one every few days so we can upload pictures, check our route, and check email without spending hours and hours on the computer. Tonight we will be heading to the local teen center to talk to some of the kids in town. It should leave us feeling good and help reinforce our love for the best part about this trip; the people. We continually are amazed with the response of people, as the population becomes more and more sparse. We are still securing great places to stay and having a great time…
5/19/2003 - 8:55 PM - Day 85 - Middlafreakinnowhere, NE to Lewellen, NE
After a nice restful day yesterday, we were ready to go today. Even though it has only been 48 hours since our 40 mile excursion, we both felt strong and ready to go. Unfortunately, so did Mother Nature. The temperature was down into the 40’s and the wind was blowing directly in our face. We started the day with a great breakfast of eggs and bacon thankfully provided to us by Sherri. Jonathan Beverly picked us up and took us to our starting point for the day. It was very slow going (because of the wind) but we had a lot to talk about. Jonathan is the editor for Running Times Magazine and we pulled as much interesting info from him as possible. He is a great guy, laid back, and made for a good running partner. After about 8 miles he turned around to head back to his car. We continued on down the road for a mile before pulling off and taking a break. Even though we only had 18 miles today, the wind had drained our energy pretty quickly. We pulled into Lewellen around 11:30 am and sat down for a bite to eat. We called the Jensen’s and got directions to their house. After lunch we ran the last two miles, with the wind still whipping, and arrived just after 1:00 pm. Wind blown and a little cold, it was nice to be done early. Soon after arriving Anna and Elisa Jensen headed off to town with Scott to pick up some things for dinner. I guess I was being anti-social or something but I decided to curl up and watch some TV. They were back soon, after chasing down their horse that had escaped, with cookie dough in hand…mmm…cookie dough. Anyway, we are up for another great meal tonight with great company. Tomorrow will be a pretty easy day as well, as long as the wind takes a break. Only one week until Boulder and it has been a long time since I have felt this un-fast. Oh well, we’ll see….
5/19/2003 - 8:54 PM - Day 84 - Ogallala, NE to Middlafreakinnowhere, NE
Yesterday we got up around 8:30am, fairly well rested, and were eager to get our run completed. Because our 40 mile days put us a day ahead of schedule, we were able to split the 31 mile trek from Ogallala to Lewellen into two days. So we headed out the door around 9:30am and asked Brady to drive down route 26 around noon to retrieve us. The 40 miles on Saturday had not taken nearly the toll we anticipated, so we easily ran the first hour of the day. The terrain began to roll quite a bit. The hills were long and gradual, and got us to the trip’s peak elevation (so far) of 3,700 feet. By noon we’d covered about 15 miles, sat down on the road side, and easily rendezvoused with Brady. Once back to Ogallala, I (Scott) hit the couch for a nap and Brof headed to the supermarket for a loaf of cookie dough. Once I awoke he had returned and consumed about ¾ of the roll. I managed to get a small pinch. The day’s excitement came courtesy of local wildlife. While walking through the backyard’s gate, Sherri stepped on a snake that was sitting in the grass. All of us in the house were quickly aware of the situation at hand. Upon examination the snake was large, coiled, hissing, and not in a good mood. So Brady got out a garden shovel and attempted a beheading. Like a dull guillotine in medieval France, this beheading required several swings before successful completion. After the beheading, we sat down for a delicious pasta dinner, and blueberry pie for dessert. Still a bit worn out from Saturday, we were in bed by 8pm. I read a book, made some phone calls, and was zonked out by 9pm.
5/19/2003 - 8:50 PM - Day 83 (Part 2) - Paxton, NE to Ogallala, NE
Upon leaving the Paxton library Dave and I decided that with no place to sleep, we’d crank out another 19 miles to Ogallala. We knew that would bring our daily total to 38 miles, but we both felt good, the weather was immaculate, and the day was still young. With just a 30 minute break, we ran 15 of the final 19 miles into Ogallala. Once there we were tired, hungry, and curious as to how our hosts would react to a “Hey, we’re here a day early,” phone call. So as we inhaled a pizza at Pizza Hut we made some phone calls to get ahold of our hosts. Without actually speaking to the Bonsall’s (our hosts), they’d gotten word that we were in town, and Brady found us at Pizza Hut. His home was just two miles up the road and right along our route, so Dave and I agreed to run there to bring the day’s total to an even 40 miles. Once there we met Brady’s wife, Sherri, and his two adorable children Nathan (3) and Grace (1). The kids went to bed shortly after our arrival, but we stayed up talking with Brady until about 10pm. Brady ran 8:35 in the steeplechase and competed at both the ’96 and ’00 Olympic Trials, and is now a teacher and high school track coach. So naturally our topic of conversation was running. If not for having covered 40 miles, I think we would’ve been up much later.
5/17/2003 - 3:31 PM - Day 83 (Part 1) - Hershey, NE to Paxton, NE
Despite sleeping out last night, we both felt as well rested as possible this morning. The weather during the night was perfectly clear with a light breeze, and the temperature never got below 55. With just a few sore bones and muscles we headed out Hershey before 8am. We traveled 7 miles down the road to Sutherland before stopping for some breakfast. While neither of us was particularly hungry, we felt that we should eat, so we each forced down a sandwich and candy bar. Out of Sutherland we ran 12 miles to Paxton and in the process crossed into the Mountain Time Zone. The wind was in our face for most of those 12 miles and we slowly climbed uphill as well. We are now up to about 3200 ft of elevation. The wind and climbing were offset by a picture perfect sky and a mid –morning of about 70 degrees. The terrain and scenery has begun to change significantly as well. No longer do we have waiting-to-be-planted cornfields surrounding us. The predominant landscape is now rolling, grass covered sand hills. Signs of civilization between towns are now slowly dwindling away to nothing. This morning alone we had three cars ask us if we needed rides (I’m sure they rationed that no one would willingly be out here on foot). So now we are in the Paxton, NE Public Library. We just had a good lunch at the world famous, well maybe just Nebraska famous, Ole’s Big Game Bar. We’ve been told all across Nebraska that we must go to Ole’s. It definitely lived up to its hype. There are over 200 mounted and stuffed animals in the bar including giraffe, elephant, a full polar bear, a wolverine, a python...you get the idea. It’s clear that international hunting laws were either non-existent or very liberal when Ole did the majority of his hunting in the 50’s and 60’s. So we are once again facing a night with no pre-arranged lodging. We’ve already covered 19 miles today and have reached our intended stopping point, but it’s just 1pm. So our plan is to bag another 12 miles and get to Roscoe, NE before nightfall. There we will probably get some dinner and hope to stir up some conversation that may lead to a roof over our heads. However, the weather tonight is forecasted to be decent, so another night sleeping under some trees would be no big deal. A shower would feel good though. We’re pretty grimy right now from sweating in the warmer weather. I (Scott) also haven’t washed my hair in three weeks. While I’ve done that willingly, I think it’s time to change the oil. A few random thoughts and happenings…we saw a Dunkin Donuts wrapper yesterday outside of North Platte. That lead to a one hour debate as to how it got there. I argued that it was a fluke because the last DD we saw was in Canton, OH. Dave however said that there must be one nearby. Well, he just confirmed via the DD website that indeed North Platte has one. Talk about a missed opportunity! I’d go countless miles off route right now for a DD or White Castle. One thing we’ve seen a lot of, or more than expected I should say, are hypodermic needles. We counted four of them in just an 8 miles span this morning. I guess we could come up with a fun game for hypodermic needles, like we have with seeing empty bottles of Mad Dog…or maybe not. No mainlining! That was one of the rules we set for the trip, and we will stick to it. Well, one final though before I conclude…sitting in the library makes me think of my beautiful Bethany. She’s a children’s librarian and I am picturing her reading a book to 30 wide-eyed youngsters. Ah, I miss you and will be home soon…
5/17/2003 - 3:04 PM - Day 82 - Brady, NE to Hershey, NE
We had a great time feeding the animals out on the ranch. The animals that we fed were in a 400 acre fenced in area and consisted of mainly sheep, goats, and small deer. There was also a longhorn steer named big red with a horn span of over 9 feet. We got some good pictures of the animals and then headed out onto the 2000 acre hunting area. Here we saw a bread of deer from China that had beautiful artistic looking racks, large bull Elk, roaming bison, the largest breed of Antelope in the world (from Africa I think), and some donkeys. It was neat seeing all of these animals in a somewhat natural habitat. After our tour we returned to the barn for some good home cooking and an even better nights rest. It rained all night but by morning had cleared off. The ground was still a little wet but the day would prove to be great once again. We covered the first 13 miles to North Platte at a pretty reasonable pace and then sat down to enjoy a small lunch. We had yet to secure a place to stay so we were not in to much of a hurry. We headed on down the road after an hour or so to cover another 7 miles. When we reached our original stopping point we still had no place to stay so we decided to continue another 7 miles down the road to the next town, Hershey. Although a town of only ~500 people, we found a nice restaurant/bar to pass the time and fill our bellies. At about 8:00 pm we went to the edge of town and found a great place to sleep. We found a nice little crop of pine trees that we were able to get under. We swept out a resting area using sticks and made camp. Scott went out to the road to ensure that we couldn’t be seen and we went to sleep. This was a much better situation than the first two nights out as we felt safe, had trees overhead to keep us warm and nice weather. Sleeping out can be relaxing afterall…
5/15/2003 - 3:53 PM - Day 81 - Gothenburg, NE to Brady, NE
We awoke to yet another beautiful day. Mid 70’s with almost no wind and not a cloud in the sky. We headed out the door around 9:30 am and were both feeling great. We began running within a half mile of starting and didn’t stop for 13 miles. We took a quick 30 minute break and then got back to the road and covered the last 9 miles by 12:45 pm. We got picked up by Pat and June Novacek and taken back to their place. They live on their son’s, Jay Novacek, ranch about 10 miles south of Brady. Their other son, Bump, had contacted us a few weeks ago to set-up our stay. Despite most of Nebraska being flat so far, we are now surrounded by hilly terrain. The ranch has about 10 different species of large game animal along with several types of goat, sheep, and fowl. We have been put up in the hunting lodge and later will be heading out to help feed the animals. We are hoping to get a good glimpse of the lunar eclipse tonight being that we are out in the open. Unfortunately the clouds have rolled in and I don’t think we’ll be able to see much. It sure is beautiful out here though....
5/14/2003 - 10:19 PM - Day 80 - Lexington, NE to Gothenburg, NE
Had a great sendoff this morning with a delicious breakfast. Our stay with the Smith’s was extremely pleasant and relaxing. Had some beers in the hot tub yesterday. That is true relaxing. We were moving by 9:30 am but in no hurry because our host for the night would not be available until about 5 pm. With 25 miles to cover we treated today mostly as an active rest day. We stopped for a few naps on the roadside, and for a long lunch at a local diner in Cozad, NE. We have become regular readers of the newspaper on this trip, and almost always read it cover to cover at lunch. Dave’s favorite is the comics, and mine (Scott) the classifieds. Not sure what it is about the classifieds, but I love to see what people are selling. Who knows, if I see a good deal on a refrigerator maybe I’ll buy it and have it shipped to J.F. Mull in Hoboken, NJ for a little remodeling. If you live on the east coast and need a kegerator built, Jon Mull is the man to see. Oh, where was I...ah yes, traveling down route 30 this afternoon thinking about how today is the exact midpoint of the trip. I can’t decide if it seems like we’ve been out here forever, or if the time has gone quickly. Either way, the first half has gone smoother and easier than I ever could’ve imagined. We arrived in Gothenburg, NE around 5 pm and were promptly handed beers by our host Steve Johnson. I was a bit tired, but it’s rude to say no. Once we showered and cleaned up, Steve drove us out to a local golf course for a beer and to enjoy an incredible view of the prairie. It was truly amazing. The sky is enormous, the grass fields and corn fields seem to stretch forever, and gently rolling hills sit on the horizon. The weather was also an immaculate 75 with a light breeze and just a few clouds. From there, we picked up Steve’s wife Jeanie, and headed out for dinner. Mexican was the cuisine, and it was clean plates all around. With the exception of a steady 15-20 mph headwind, and Dave suffering from severe candy stripes (ask Wally Dietrich for a definition) today was just as fun, easy, and carefree as most have been.
5/13/2003 - 9:18 PM - Day 79 - Elm Creek, NE to Lexington, NE
After a great nights rest in the motor home, we woke up to another beautiful day. The sun was shinning, there was a slight wind and we both felt pretty good. We downed a couple of pop-tarts and headed out on the road. We walked along for about 5 minutes to loosen things up and then got to running. We ran for about an hour and pulled into the town of Overton. Being a beautiful day, we strolled through town and took a break on the fields of the local school. We sat in the grass and soaked up the sun. We continued on down the road and recounted our last 79 days. We are still able to remember the names and places of everyone we stayed with. We are hoping to be able to run through the whole trip when it is all over. We pulled into Lexington about 12:30 pm and headed to our host’s (Steve Smith) business. He took us to lunch at a local café and then we headed back to his house. After a nice shower we got in the hot tub out back to loosen up our muscles. We sat and relaxed all afternoon. Steve’s 9 year old neighbor Austin came over and challenged Scott to a game of PIG. After destroying the poor kid he threw him to the ground and taunted in his face, pointing his finger and laughing. Now, we are getting ready for a great dinner of barbequed pork chops and cookie bars. Once again things seem easy as are bodies are responding well and the people we are staying with are continuously gracious. Tomorrow will be the trip’s halfway point. It’s all downhill from there.
5/13/2003 - 9:17 PM - Day 78 - Kearney, NE to Elm Creek, NE (second try)
I (Scott) have a confession to make…some of what I wrote in the original journal entry for May 12th, Day 78, may have been exaggerated. With that said, here is a glimpse into what may have really happened on May 12th. We awoke to a sunny day and had McDonald’s pancakes for breakfast. It seemed weird for us because we’d had French toast for breakfast every single day of the trip up until that point. Hadn’t we? The first few miles of the day were slow going due to sandburs getting stuck in our tires. They hide in the gravel and are extremely sharp…sharp enough to puncture our tires. Fortunately yesterday morning the goo filled tubes repaired the holes left by the sandburs. We were not so lucky last Saturday when we suffered two flats as a result of the burs. Once we got running yesterday the miles were quick and easy. We knocked out 16 miles in about 2 ½ hours with a short break included. Our pace was down to a rather comfortable 6:30 at one point. We’re beginning to talk about doing some speed work to prepare for our surprise visit to the Bolder Boulder 10k in just twelve days. Done running by 11:45 am, we spent the day’s remainder running errands and relaxing in Kearney. We even found time to view the box office smash hit Hard Rain, starring Christian Slater and Morgan Freeman. Our hosts, the Pallas’ took us out for a delicious bar-b-que dinner. We were in bed by 10 pm. I promise a full reflection of the first half of the trip by week’s end.
5/12/2003 - 4:17 PM - Day 78 - Kearney, NE to Elm Creek, NE
Last night Dave and I stayed up all night helping out at a local animal shelter. This morning we each drank a case of beer and did 16 miles at about 5:45 pace. It was really easy and made us realize what whimps we’ve been to this point. After a quick break to wrestle some steers at a local ranch we ran another 10.2 miles in a shade under 50 minutes to cash in about a 2:22 marathon. Dave was feeling quite good after the morning’s marathon. I complained a bit about being sleepy and overly hydrated. So we returned to Kearney, NE rescued a cat from a tree, saved a rainforest, and gave a motivational speech to a group of 50,000 disadvantaged children. After signing autographs and posing for pictures with all of them we each drank a case of Mad Dog for lunch. We will shortly be catching a plane to Los Angeles where this evening Britney Spears will feature us in the filming of her upcoming video, “All I Want Is Homeless Runners.” We will immediately be flown back to Kearney, NE where at 9pm this evening we will attempt to eclipse this morning’s 2:22 marathon. Our legs should be recovered, and 2:15 should be well within reach. If we hadn’t wrestled the bulls this AM, we would’ve run 2:15. If we have any time left before midnight we will indulge all of you who think we’re free loading alcoholics and drink lots of beer at the expense of our hosts. Call us liars, call us crazy, call is idiots, but until you try all this……please don’t call us mundane. -Sir Sehonalot
5/11/2003 - 7:16 PM - Day 77 - Wood River, NE to Kearney, NE
After a knifelike night out on the town, we got to bed around 12:30 am. We got plenty of sleep and woke up to somewhat better weather. It was sunny but the wind was blowing from the north west so it was In our faces for the hole day. We had about 27 miles to cover during the day and were able to break it up pretty well. When we woke up, Megan McGown drove James, Scott and I back to Wood River. We ran the 7 miles to Shelton and stopped at the McGown residence for a fantastic breakfast of waffles, French toast, bacon, and sausage. It was great. We then sat around and talked (Scott slept) for about 2 hours. At 1:00 pm we headed back out on the road. We covered the next 7 miles to Gibbon relatively quickly and gave our host for tonight, Randy Pallas, a call. He drove out and met us for the last 13 miles of the run. We ran along and talked about running (surprise, surprise) until we had about 5 miles to go. At this point, his daughter Jordan met us to finish the last few miles into town. She is a junior in Kearney and was a great addition to the run. The four of us made our way into town and up to their doorstep. They have given Scott and I full run of their motor home parked out on the street. The fridge is packed with food and the bed’s look comfortable. Tomorrow they are going to pick us up so this will be our home for the next two nights. Scott is currently getting dinner ready and we will be taking an early bedtime tonight. After running an extended amount of time under 7 minute pace for the first time on the trip yesterday and running about 25 of the 27 miles today, we are both feeling pretty good. Hopefully we will continue to do so. I hope all of our hosts in the Peoria area, that was inundated by tornados last night, as well as everyone else that has had to deal with them are okay. I know many of you have prayed for us and we will definitely be returning the favor tonight. Sleep well everyone…
5/10/2003 - 5:58 PM - Day 76 - Grand Island, NE to Wood River, NE
We got a great night’s sleep before waking up to warm bagels and cereal for breakfast. During breakfast we watched a ’97 Cornhuskers Football Video with 8 year old Austin Moran. He watched it to get psyched up for his flag football game today, so we figured it might psyche us up for our run today. Within minutes of hitting the road rain was falling steadily and one tire had gone flat. We pumped it up and hoped that it would not require a full tube change, but out hopes were not fulfilled. So with heavy rains we put the jogger in a ditch along the road, and crawled under a tree to stay dry while making repairs. The repair was successful, but staying dry was not. We shrugged our shoulders and got a move on. After 7 miles we stopped in Alda, NE to warm up a bit and to wait for tonight host, James McGown, to join us. Once James arrived, we hit the road. The rain had increased to a downpour and the temperature had dropped into the 40’s. We didn’t want to waste anytime covering the last 7 miles of the day so we ran rather quickly. For the first time all trip we ran well under 7 minute miles for a sustained time. It was getting colder, the rain became sleet, and the three of us were sopping wet. No worries though, as we had plenty to talk about. James ran a 2:20 marathon earlier this year so we chatted quite a bit about training, racing, and beer. Those 7 miles went by in a flash, and before we knew it we were showered, dry, and eating antelope sausages at James’ house. The antelope fell last fall at the hands of James. He cooked it on a George Foreman Grill, and it was delicious. We each put away about a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies after lunch, and turned on the TV. I (Scott) quickly fell asleep for a one hour nap. We’re now at Shelton High School, where James is guidance counselor. Tonight is graduation and James is handing out scholarships to his graduating seniors. After graduation we are hitting the party circuit to meet some of the local students. Eventually, I think there are plans involving a brew pub in Kearney. It’s the weekend, we are recovered, and gonna go with the flow. Good luck to the Bucknell Alums racing in DC tomorrow. Bring home the $1,000 bucks!
5/9/2003 - 9:51 PM - Day 75 - Hampton, NE to Grand Island, NE
Last night was nice and relaxing again. We got to bed around 11:00 pm and didn’t wake until 9:00 am. We started the day with a wonderful meal of french toast and eggs. We packed up our things and headed out the door. Having covered about 30 miles yesterday neither of us was pressed to run. We strolled along for about 4 miles and took a rest in someone’s front yard. Scott took a short nap while I soaked in the great weather. Besides a slight headwind, it was a great day for running. After about 30 minutes of rest, we got up and started running. We only had about 14 miles to go so we decided to run for a while. After an hour of running we took a break on the bridge over the North Platte River and called our hosts for the evening (Ron and Kim Moran) to get directions. For the first time in the trip, the GPS was displaying landmarks incorrectly so we were very confused by the directions we received. We continued on anyway and eventually figured out the mistake. The directions we were given were great and within 4 miles, we had arrived at our destination. Kim picked us up and, after a quick bite to eat from Wendy’s, took us home for a warm shower. After we got cleaned up we popped in a movie. Scott quickly passed out. When Ron got home from work he lent us his truck to go to the mall to buy shoes. I have never had luck at buying any real type of running shoe from a mall, especially from Foot Locker, but we decided to give it a try anyway. Alas, the mall shoe stores held to their past history and I came away empty handed. I’m not really worried because I still have a few days before I will need new shoes and I have been told that there is a good running store in Kearny (2 days away.) After a wonderful meal of Pesto Chicken and Parmesan Bacon Pasta, we are both stuffed and ready for bed. Tomorrow should be fun as we only have about 17 miles and will be hosted by a Marathon Olympic Trials qualifier. Maybe we can pick up a few pointers for Chicago…
5/8/2003 - 8:29 PM - Day 74 - Waco, NE to Hampton, NE
Had a fine stay with the Stahr’s in Waco, NE. Last night they prepared us a fantastic Japanese style dinner that we cooked on the table. It was a fun meal, tasted great, and was the last thing we expected to eat on a farm in Nebraska. After dinner we spent a lot of time on the computer, before heading outside to watch the sunset from atop the farm’s two 80 foot grain silos. Climbing the ladder to the top was a bit unnerving, but once on the top the view was tremendous. Climbing down was also a bit scary, but we both made it out alive. We got to sleep by 10pm, believe it or not! It was a great night’s sleep, but awoke to heavy winds and a steady rain. Verle took us to a local truck stop for breakfast before turning us loose in the storm. We covered all of our equipment and our bodies in trash bags, and hit the road. After knocking out the first fifteen miles without much trouble we stopped for lunch. We were only stopped once by police this morning. They’d received a report of a baby being pushed on the roadside. The officer gave us puzzled looks, and sent us on our way. After lunch we ran another 8 miles to our intended stopping point of Hampton. Once there we received a phone call from Ann Ringlein in Lincoln explaining that she’d found us a place to stay in Aurora, NE, just 7 miles down the road. So we got moving again, and ran another 7 miles through the wind and rain. Fortunately the rain was never too heavy, and the 30mph winds were at our backs all day. Once in Aurora, we easily found our way to our host’s house. The Schneider’s gave us a nice greeting and we just had warm, yummy meal. Today’s total was an even 30 miles….a bit further than we planned on going, but it will make tomorrow shorter. Another early bedtime is in store for us. Were now in the countdown to halfway stages of the trip…..just 5 more days until we cross the midway of the trip. At times it seems like we’ve been out here forever, but at other times it seems to have gone quickly. I (Scott) can’t believe all of the people we’ve met and fun we’ve had in the first half. An analysis of the first 80 day’s highlights will be written and released next week. Keep watching…….
5/7/2003 - 7:53 PM - Day 73 - Seward, NE to Waco, NE
Well last night may not have been as brutal as originally expected but we still drank a 40 oz. each and once again the 2 am bedtime was met. However, these last few days, although very fun, have definitely been interesting on the body so we are going to take it easy for a while now. Today started off pretty normally. We woke up, said goodbye to Ann, Dan, and Phil and headed on our way. We walked for the first 4 miles this morning as we were pretty tired and it was a beautiful day. After a short rest, we got up and started running. We were originally going to do a bunch of short spurts today but once we got going, we didn’t want to stop. An hour and 45 minutes later we had arrived at our destination. Tired but grateful to be done, we headed into downtown Waco to mail a few things home that we have picked up along the way. To our surprise, our hosts (Peggy and Verle Stahr) happened to be swinging through town right at that moment. We loaded up their truck and headed back to the farm. After a little bite to eat and a nice cup of gourmet hot chocolate we went outside on the porch to talk with Verle. The weather was absolutely perfect and it was nice to feel the warm grass on our tired feet. Now we are trying to get a bunch of computer stuff done because despite being out in rural Nebraska, the Stahr’s have an excellent wireless connection. Tonight will be our first early night in a long time and is very much anticipated…
5/6/2003 - 7:58 PM - Day 72 - Lincoln, NE to Seward, NE
Last night was another great one, and another late one too. We’re getting pretty good at going to bed at 2am or later…..last night was the 4th straight day of that. Our hosts, Ann Gaffigan, Dan Maurer, and Phil Lueking took us to a great bar-b-que joint for dinner called Famous Dave’s. It was beer, beans, and ribs for most of us. From there we went to a battle of the bands which was entertaining. Eventually we ended up at Phil’s apartment. There were about 8 of us and a few cases of beer. We just hung out, listened to music, watched basketball, and were even treated to Phil’s uncanny impersonation of Hulk Hogan. It was complete with sunglasses, a bandanna, 24 inch pythons (Phil was on the offensive line here at Nebraska), and the song “I Am a Real American” playing very, very loud. To say that Phil is an exhibitionist would be an understatement. However, he is one of the truly nicest guys we’ve met on the trip. The night ended with us posing for pictures in cowboy hats with beer, a mounted deer head, and an M-16. All of those items made for some unique photos that will forever remind us of our stay. Despite a 2am bedtime, we were back on the road at 10am with 27 miles to tackle. The day went by pretty quickly as we ran 24 of the 27 miles. We did get rained on pretty hard for the last hour. Fortunately the temperature was around 60 degrees, so we didn’t get too cold. We did get stopped by highway patrol again today. Like before, someone had called in a report about two guys pushing a stroller. The officer ran our licenses through the system and sent us on our way. Well, now were heading out for dinner with Ann Ringlein and her husband. Ann owns the Lincoln Running Company and coaches distance at Nebraska Wesleyan University. She has been great to us during our stay here in Lincoln and instramental in arranging other stays for us. After dinner we don’t have any solid plans yet but a 2am (or later) bedtime is expected. Our bodies feel good and our minds are forever at ease.
5/6/2003 - 6:14 PM - Day 71 - Eagle, NE to Lincoln, NE
Well, after yet another late night we awoke this morning to a beautiful day. Last night was a little more out of control than was initially expected. After swearing to a 9:30 pm bed time, it wasn’t until then that the night began. Several drinks later, the 21st birthday had been celebrated as it should be with a “wally” shot as number 16. A quick munchies stop for a sub and it was finally off to bed (2:00 am). Back to today. There would be no weather threat today as we ran along the Nebraska countryside. We strolled along for the first 7 miles and stopped for some snacks and a drink. We caught up on the local news and headed out. The last 15 miles of the day were covered on a “rails to trails” pathway. The buggy rolled along fine and it was good to get off of the hard macadam. We finished up at the Lincoln Running Company on The University of Nebraska campus. Our host from last night, Ann, owns the store so we sat and talked with her for awhile. After about 45 minutes, Dan came and picked us up in his rebuilt Ford Bronco. He took us back to his place to get cleaned up. His fiancée, Ann (a fellow steeplechaser), came home and we headed out to dinner. Phil, the center for the Nebraska cornhuskers, met us as well. Needless to say, he is not a small man. After a great meal we headed to a battle of the bands competition and heard some good music from the band Golliday. Now we are preparing for a night on the town at Fat Nappy’s in downtown Lincoln. Nebraska has definitely proven so far…..
5/4/2003 - 7:52 PM - Day 70 - Union, NE to Eagle, NE
Last night we had another great time with Kate Nelson. Instead of going to the Cinco De Mayo party we went to Kate’s summer house to hang out. We drank beers and malt liquor (of the 40oz variety of course), and toasted smores on an open fire. Kate put all of Dave’s hair into to small, tight braids. While they may be taken out soon, the image has been immortalized in pictures. They will indeed be posted on the website for the world to see. The nighttime temperature was pleasant but it was quite windy. However, the wind blew away the clouds and opened up a nice starry sky. This morning Kate took us to Bistro 121 for delicious Sunday brunch. The owner/chef, Walter, is a close friend of Kate’s and gladly prepared our brunch free of charge. We said goodbye to Kate after brunch. It was tough to say goodbye because was an incredible co-hostess and friend to us while in Omaha. Because the weather this morning was awful (monsoon conditions) it seemingly worked out well that we didn’t get started until nearly 2pm. For the first 90 minutes of our run the sun was out, we were shirtless, and had a 25 mph tailwind. All was perfect…..until we noticed some nasty, grey swirling things in the sky directly above us. Yes, it is tornado season and we are in tornado country. While the funnel clouds were not huge, they scared the s%@t out of us and really made us run. We jumped a fence and ran to the nearest house. We stood under some trees outside the house keeping constant watch on the sky. The wind was whipping crazily in all directions but we never seemed too threatened. After nervously watching for 45 minutes, we cautiously got back on the road. The wind had turned completely around and was then blowing 30mph directly in our face. We ran the first 10 minutes quite hard and then both bonked a bit. I (Scott) think that the nervous anxiety from the weather tired us out more than we thought. Our legs were heavy and drained. So we walked along for the next 2 miles before getting picked up by our host Ann Ringlein. We only managed to cover 18 miles today, which will make tomorrow a bit longer than originally planned. That’s OK though, as I’m just glad to be inside and safe with a cable modem, pizza soon to be delivered, and a big screen TV with GTA and Vice City just a staircase away. We are staying with some XC guys from Nebraska Wesleyan University. They are currently at their track banquet, but later tonight there will be a 21st B-Day bar crawl for one of the guys on the team. So we’re gonna get some rest, and head out on the town in Lincoln, NE.
5/3/2003 - 8:24 PM - Day 69 - Omaha, NE - DAY OFF
And on the 69th day, the boys rest.....This has been our longest stretch of the trip so far without rest (18 days) but it is probably the best we have felt. Today was the first day Scott and I have really been separated since the trip’s start. I headed off to the Zoo with Kate Nelson (our host from two nights ago) and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with her talking about anything and everything. It was great. Scott met up with an old high school friend (Sage) who lives in Omaha and will be getting married in June. He is currently still hanging out with her and I suspect he is having just as much fun as I had with Kate. This is the first day of the trip in which we have done something that is not related to the trip. I would call it our first ‘normal’ day. Tonight we are headed to the Macaroni Grill for some fantastic Italian food. We will probably meet up with Kate again tonight to hang out as well. Once again, sorry for the delay in posts and I hope everyone continues to stay interested. You have to love spring time…..
5/3/2003 - 8:23 PM - Day 68 - Julian, NE to Union, NE
Today we hit the road around 8:30am, after being dropped off by our host Kate. We said goodbye, but had such a great time with her that we made plans to hang out this weekend. We ran the first 7 miles rather quickly before stopping in Nebraska City for breakfast and a newspaper. We ran much of the rest of our day’s 12 remaining miles. The weather was immaculate, we both felt good, and we had a day off to look forward to. Once to our destination of Union, NE we met with Bruce and Charlotte Lobaugh who had driven down from Omaha to pick us up. At the Lobaugh’s we spent a few hours on the computer and in front of the TV. We had four days worth of journal updates to write in addition to contacting hosts for the next few nights. Tired and wanting to relax, we took a pass on writing the updates, and headed out for dinner. Our first attempt at a restaurant did not go as planned. Despite 7:30pm reservations they could not seat us until around 9pm. The annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder’s Meeting is this weekend in Omaha, and most restaurants were terribly overbooked. It didn’t help that we were trying to eat at one of Warren Buffet’s favorite joints, Gorats Steakhouse. After waiting for an hour we gave up on Gorats and headed to a less crowded steakhouse, Jericho’s. The meal proved worth it’s wait, as our steaks were absolutely perfect. We didn’t finish dinner until after 10pm. Kate Nelson picked us up from the restaurant and we headed out to Omaha. We spent the evening drinking beers in the Old Market section of town. A few of her friends met us and we had a great time. After the bar closed at 1am we got some pie at a late night diner. Our latest bedtime of the trip (3am) was a small price to pay for the fun evening. We’ve made a great friend in Kate and will probably go out with her again tomorrow.
5/3/2003 - 8:20 PM - Day 67 - Brownville, NE to Julian, NE
We woke up this morning and had a delicious breakfast at the local Brownville Restaurant courtesy of the town residents. At breakfast we learned of a 21 mile gravel trail extending north out of Brownville to Nebraska City that ran right along the Missouri River. It appeared that the trail would save us 3 or 4 miles so it was a welcome change. We ran on the trail for the first 12 miles of the day, before turning off to run on route 75. We were a bit pressed for time because Kate Nelson was picking us up at 1pm. About 22 miles were covered before 1pm, which we were pleased with. Once we met with Kate she took us to speak to an after school program in Omaha called Campfire. As the featured event of the day we spoke to about 80 elementary school kids about our adventure. They were a great group who asked some fun questions. We really enjoyed the opportunity to speak with them. The assembly concluded with some relay races that we participated in. After the assembly we went to dinner with our host Kate. She treated us to some delicious local barbeque and beer. We spent the night at Kate’s summer house along the Platte River. Exhausted from a long day of running and kids, we had no problem quickly falling asleep.
5/3/2003 - 8:19 PM - Day 66 - Tarkio, MO to Brownville, NE
We woke up this morning with a great feeling knowing that by the end of the day we would be in Nebraska. We headed out fairly early under the threat of rain. Luckily, it never came and the day actually turned out to be really nice. Once again, it was a short day (16 miles) so it was not going to be very tough on the body. After ~ 10 miles, we came to the town of Rockport. As we headed through town, I (Dave) took us on some back roads that consisted of grass and dirt instead of pavement. Although a little rutted and worn, it was nice to get off of the main roads. Luckily I did not get us lost. We stopped on the edge of town for a while, had lunch, and read the newspaper. After lunch, we had a 6 mile stretch to the bridge that crossed into Nebraska. We covered these miles pretty quickly and easily. As we came off the bridge, we found ourselves in the small historic town of Brownville. It is one of 20 Booktown’s in the world. Basically, every store in town has some collection of books that relates to the type of store it is. WE met up with our host and headed off to our rooms. They put us up in a soon to be bed and breakfast. It was an old house in town that was being remodeled. It was very beautiful. We napped a little for the rest of the day and ten headed off to the local winery about 4:30 pm. We got a tour of the winery and then sat and had a bottle of wine, cheese, summer sausage, and crackers. It was an absolutely beautiful day as we sat outside and took in the small town aura. Around 6:30 pm we headed off to our hosts house to enjoy a good home cooked dinner. About 15 people representing the local businesses were there to talk about how to advertise what their little town had to offer to the surrounding areas. We learned a lot about the history of the town and everything there was to do there and would happily return sometime in the future. We headed off to bed content and ready for a good nights sleep.
5/3/2003 - 8:18 PM - Day 65 - Burlington Junction, MO to Tarkio, MO
Well, it’s been awhile since we had Internet access so we have a lot to update. We woke up after a good night of sleep. Kyle drove us to our starting point and we headed off down the road. We only had about 17 miles to cover so we were not too worried about how fast we were moving. The original plan was to return to Western Missouri State for the night. However, during the run we got a call from the Women’s Legion in Tarkio offering to put us up for the night. We decided to take the offer so as to limit the amount of driving our hosts had to do to pick us up. There were not any towns along the road so we just kept plugging along most of the day. When we arrived in Tarkio we stopped for a nice lunch at Pizza Hut and then met up with our hosts. We spent the rest of the day napping and reading. It was really relaxing. After a little dinner, we came back to the room, watched the Blockbuster hit “Anaconda”, and went to bed.
4/28/2003 - 4:38 PM - Day 64 - Maryville, MO to Burlington Junction, MO
When we finished yesterday's update, we'd yet to secure loding for the night. However, we were at a college (Northwest Missouri State) with an xc/track team, so finding a place to sleep was just a matter of hunting down guys on the team. On the internet we were quickly able to get names and phone #'s for guys on the team, and within 15 minutes we'd met up with the guys who live at the "Track House." While they'd not heard about our journey, they seemed as excited to be hosting us as we were to be staying with them. We both got showered and threw in some laundry. Both of those actions were long overdue. We ordered some pizza for dinner and just sat around chatting about running and college with our hosts. There house is quite a place. For anyone who ever set foot in the left side of MOD 5 during school year '97-98......it kind of looks like that. One difference is that it looks like these guys clean their house regularly. While quite tired, we were enjoying ourselves and even found the energy to have a beer with the guys. I (Scott) turned in for the night around 10:30pm. Dave however headed out with the guys on a water gun raid of some girls. While more raids and mischief were planned for the evening, Dave went to bed after round one. This morning we awoke feeling much better than we have in a few days. Despite a poor weather forecast, the skies looked beautiful and remained that way all day. We covered an easy 18 miles before getting picked up by Kyle Daily and brought back to Maryville. We will be spending tonight and tomorrow night again here at the Track House, as the guys have kindly offered to shuttle us to and from our start/stop points each day. Tonight is a regularly scheduled meeting of the "Beer of the Week Club." We've been invited and of course will attend. It would be rude note to. Bud Ice is the scheduled beer. Tomorrow is another shorter day of just 16-17 miles so we can let our guards down and have some fun tonight. Later....
4/27/2003 - 5:40 PM - Day 63 - Stanberry, MO to Maryville, MO
Well, last night went a lot better than the night before. We both slept much better due to knowing that we had permission to sleep where we were and being just a little more used to sleeping on the hard ground. We woke up early (~5:30 am) and packed up our things. We headed out on the road with about 28 miles to cover. Our bodies were still pretty sore due to the increased miles the last few days combined with sleeping outside on the ground. It was pretty chilly early on but as the sun rose, the air temperature increased quickly. We ran for about a mile to loosen things up and then stopped to stretch. We continued on our way at a slow jog. We were taking some back roads and were very, very, far out in the middle of nowhere. We passed two Amish buggies going the opposite direction and received very puzzled looks. Combined with our stench from three days without a shower and our vagrant looks, I guess we looked pretty puzzling. The hills of Missouri have definitly taken a toll on our legs. There are not any huge hills to contend with just constant up, down, up, down. We haven't seen any flat road in about three days. We slowly arrived in Ravenwood about 16 miles from our starting point. We had received an email that Kim's Kountry Kafe was a great place to eat and that she would be happy to serve us breakfast. As we walked up to the store front, our hopes for real food were dashed. The lights were out and the door was locked. It was no suprise to learn that this was the only eating establishment in town and we would have to continue another 11 miles down the road before we found the next place to eat. After being relativley spunky the first half of the day, our spirits sank as we trudged out of town. The next few miles were in the glaring hot sun and we were both fairly melancholy. We finally arrived in Maryville around 2:00 pm.. The temperature had soared to 86 degrees F with not a cloud in the sky. Sunblock only helps so much. We headed into the local Subway to enjoy good food and for the first time on the trip, air conditioning. We are currently sitting in the Northwest Missouri State Student Union. Luckily we didn't need passwords to get on the computers. We have just contacted some guys on the XC team and will be heading to the track to hopefully find a place to sleep tonight. The extra miles we have covered in the last 4 days have put us a day ahead. We only need to cover 33 miles in the next two days which will be greatly appreciated as we haven't done less than 28 in the last 5 days. Hopefully, we are off to sleep on a comfy coach and enjoy some local cuisine. Congrats Rick on your 30:24 10k.
4/27/2003 - 5:19 PM - Day 62 - Bethany, MO to Stanberry, MO
We awoke yesterday morning having not slept much. Our legs ached, our backs ached and sleeping next to a busy road did not allow us much continual sleep. I (Scott) don't think I slept for more than an hour at a time. We ate a few nutri-grain bars for breakfast while walking down route 136. Once we began running, our legs quickly reminded us of the 31 miles that we ran on Thursday. After about a one hour run, we settled into walking for a while. With no sleeping arrangments for the night, we were in no particular hurry to get anywhere. While walking along 136 a man came running out of his house with two cups and some juice to offer us. He said that he doesn't see too many people travel past on foot, so we must be headed somewhere. We stood on the roadside, sipped the juice, and had a great chat with Ted for nearly 20 minutes. He told us that just 3 miles down the road in New Hampton we'd be able to get a great breakfast or lunch at the Kafe. We thanked him, and set out for the Kafe. Within minutes of arriving at the Kafe, a gentleman told us that his wife recognized us from the newspaper and that they would be paying for our meal. He and his son sat and chatted with us for a while. Before leaving he invited us back to his house for a shower and a nap. Just minutes later, Ted, who we'd met on the roadside, wandered in and joined us for lunch. We chatted it up with Ted and the locals for about an hour before heading down the road. New Hampton , MO definitely tops the list of the friendliest towns we've past through. Another 9 miles down the road we came to Albany, MO. We were promptly greeted at the town line by a taunting of "Homos" out the window of a car. After about 1250 miles of travel we'd received our first meanspirited words. Albany as a town looked pretty rough around the edges, and the introduction we received made us a bit uneasy. So we cautiously went about business as usual, eating a pizza at the local joint. While eating we had some logistical decisions to make about how far we should go for the day's remainder, and how much food/water we'd need to last us 24 hours. We stocked up on sundries at the local Casey's (popular midwest mini-mart) and headed out of town. With about 36 miles to Maryville, MO (where we are now) we wanted to get that number under 30 by day's end. We slowly walked out of Albany under a very warm afternoon sun. Around 5pm we'd covered another 8 miles and decided it was time to call it a day. With no place to sleep we began to brainstorm a bit. I'd been anxious to knock on the door of a random house and ask to sleep in the yard, so that's exactly what we did. Once a welcoming house with a large plush yard was spotted, we knocked on the door, introduced ourselves, and popped the question. We did everything we could to let them know that we would not need anything more than permission to sleep on their yard. The couple living at the house said that we were welcome to do so. We set up a small makeshift camp in the yard, dined on canned tuna fish, did some reading, and climbed into our sleeping bags around 7:30pm. After the long day, I think we were both asleep in about 5 minutes.
4/27/2003 - 5:13 PM - Day 61 - Princeton, MO to Bethany, MO
We woke up after a great nights rest to a breakfast of cheerios. However, there wasn't much 'cheer' as we looked out the window. The rain was coming down pretty hard and the wind was whipping the trees up, down, and all around. More nerves set in when we thought about the fact that we had not made concrete plans for that night in Bethany. As we packed up our cart and headed out onto the road luck was with us again. The rain let up and it wasn't to cold. The wind continued for a little while but pretty soon it was just cloudy skies above and hilly terrain ahead. We were pretty worn out after running 31 miles the day before so we took things pretty slow. The weather continued to cooperate as the skies cleared and the sun came out. As we continued down the road, we received another friendly visit from the state authority. Yes, we were pulled over again and had to give our information. The cop was called by another motorist and was checking out our story. He began by asking for our names, where we were from, and for our social security numbers. As we told him he began writing all of the info down on his hand. He took all of scott's info. When he asked me for mine he got half way through writing Bronfenbrenner and ran out of room so he had to go and get a notepad. You think that would have been the smart thing to do in the first place. Anyway, it made me a little nervous as well that he needed our social security numbers. If he wanted to run a check on us why didn't he just take our liscences? Oh, well, we weren't exactly in the position to piss him off so we obliged. After that he got back in his car and drove away. If my bank account is empty on Monday I know who to blame. After that we just kept on truking until we came to Bethany, MO. As we neared the town there was a plethora of places to eat. As we stood discussing what food we wanted, the Taco Bell door opened and an employee shouted, "Hey, are you the guys running?" We said, "Yes." SHe continued, "Well come on in here, we'll feed ya." So we headed into the Taco Bell and had Spicy Chicken Burritos. The woman behind the register even picked up the bill for us. We sat and talked with her for awhile and then headed on into town. We only had a work number for our contact in Bethany and when we called at roughly 2:00 pm they had already left for the day. There went that lead. So we decided to head into a local bar and try to drum up some support. We headed into the Toot-Toot lounge where we met a ton of really neat people. We talked with two people at the bar. One of them discussed the fact that he was no longer on his mellow pills (to help him kick drinking and doing drugs) because drinking and doing drugs made him mellow anyway and was a lot more fun. We thought this was an interesting way to look at it. Scott shot a couple of rounds of pool with Don. Pretty soon it was 7:00 pm and it looked like we would be spending our first night out. The weather was almost perfect as we headed down the road searching for a place to lay our weary heads. There are not many trees in Missouri and we were a little leary about being in view of any passing people/motorists. However, we eventually found two little trees in a field that blocked us from most of the other surroundings. We set up camp just as the sun was setting and settled down to bed. The only draw back was that we were in some long grass and there were several ticks cralling around. I hate ticks. But, I realized that they were going to be there no matter where we slept so I had to forget about them. This was easier than expected as we both conked out as soon as we lay down. We knew the day of camping out would come eventually and everything, from the weather to the camp, was great. Ahhh, the open road.
4/24/2003 - 9:49 PM - Day 60 - Unionville, MO to Princeton, MO
Started the day off on a great foot….we slept in until 8:30, and had a delicious breakfast of Reese’s Cup Pancakes at Pancake City in Kirksville. A darn good breakfast! After a fifty minute ride to Unionville we packed up the jogger and got rolling. As usually we walked the first 2 miles of the day. That was particularly needed today because those pancakes were sitting pretty heavy. Unfortunately from the get-go it was apparent that the weather was not going to cooperate with us. We got running after 2 miles and hammered out the first 14 miles without a break. We were getting rained on steadily and there was some threatening thunder and lightening over our heads. We pulled into Lucerne, MO at 2:01pm, just enough time for the lady at the local diner to turn the “open” sign over to “closed” and not serve us any food. It wasn’t a big deal though, luck isn’t always on our side. Because we were wet and needed a rest we sought refuge at the only other building in town, the post-office. There we rested for a half hour, tried to warm/dry ourselves, and chatted with the office attendant. During that break we decided that we’d make a push to get to Princeton, MO by days end. Princeton was still another 17 miles away, but it is the town we were going to be staying in this evening. Our hosts had offered to pick us up at our scheduled stopping point, but we figured that we could leg out another 8 miles. So we ran 9 miles out of Lucerne to Ravanna, took a ten minute break, and then ran the final 8 into Princeton. By days end we’d covered 33 miles and run the last 31 of it. Considering the very hilly terrain and poor weather, we both feel remarkably good. A bit tired and sore of course, but nothing that a good nights sleep won’t take care of. Once in Princeton we got hot showers (lots of mud to wash off) and sat down to a delicious pasta dinner with our hosts, the King’s. We’d like to be a little more social this evening, but are pretty tired so we’re off to bed now (8:45pm). Tomorrow we plan to get 28 miles down the road to Bethany, MO (what a great name for a town). Getting to Bethany tomorrow will actually put us a day ahead of schedule. We are reminding ourselves though not to get too greedy. By day’s end tomorrow we will have covered 89 miles in three days, having run nearly all of it. Ok, bedtime……
4/23/2003 - 6:24 PM - Day 59 - Downing, MO to Unionville, MO
Woke up to sunshine, warmth, and 28 miles of hilly terrain waiting for us. After another morning of eating breakfast while driving to our start point, we walked the first 2 miles of the day to let things settle a bit. We then ran for an hour, and took a 15 minute break. During the break we hydrated, ate some snacks, and soaked up the sun. We logged another 45 minute run before stopping again. At that break our snack of choice was week-old mashed up oatmeal crème pies. Like their close relative the Twinkie, the crème pie probably has a shelf life of hundreds of years, because these crème pies tasted perfectly fresh. After that break we walked two miles before running another fifty minutes. Eventually we arrived at our final destination of Unionville, MO. There we ate at Subway while waiting for our ride to pick us up. The day’s total was 28 miles. I think we ran 22 of it. Nice weather makes running 22 miles fairly palatable. We feel strong, happy, and lucky. The luck is that we are in the hands of such great hosts again. For three days in a row the Truman State XC/Track team has fed us, entertained us, sheltered us, and shuttled us back and forth from our start and finish points. They are really a great bunch of guys who we’ve had a lot of fun getting to know. If Rick Rountree, or Matt Folk, or anyone else for that matter is reading this, please take note that a Truman State guy, Ben Rosario, will be at Grandma’s Marathon to attempt a OT Qualifier. You guys should link up with him for the race and/or socializing. He’s looking for guys to pace with and will be fun for beers after the race. Our stay here in Kirksville would not be complete without a night out on the town. So tonight we will head out with some guys for $2.00 pitchers of Beast and/or BL and/or BI. That rivals the $2.75 pitchers of Yuengling at Dilly’s in Chambersburg, PA. Although this will be Beast, so you figure out which is a better deal. Currently Brof is monopolizing the TV playing Castlevania on old-school Nintendo. So I’m gonna go boot him off in favor of RC-Pro Am. Later…..
4/22/2003 - 6:45 PM - Day 58 - Memphis, MO to Downing, MO
My complaints about the absence of spring have been heard. Today was sunny with calm winds and just warm enough to make for great running conditions. It definitely made covering the miles fun and easy. We started off from Memphis about 9:30 am and spent the first miles walking off breakfast and discussing the days ahead, figuring out where we would be and when. Some of the talk was about the projected finish date. We are trying to finish on a Saturday so the whole weekend thing comes into play. I (Dave) am pulling for August 2 because of my need to be done to get to grad school. However this would rush things quite a bit over the coming months. Scott is pulling for the 9th which would give us a little more leeway in future days. Either way it is looking like we will finish on one day or the other. After this discussion we began running and covered the next 9 miles pretty quickly. We stopped in a local ice cream store and enjoyed a milk shake. We walked along sipping our shakes and discussing nothing in particular. We finished our run by 1 pm and hopped in the car with our hosts from Truman State University. We came back and watched one of the best movies ever, Spaceballs. As the movie states, “Take only what you need to survive.” To which Scott replies, “It’s my industrial strength hair dryer, and I can’t live without it….!!??” Anyway, after the movie we headed off to practice with the guys to watch the steeplers do quarters over hurdles with some water drills thrown in. The sun was shining bright and it was great to watch some familiar stuff. Now, we are getting ready for a barbeque with the team, with chicken burgers and cheesewurst on the menu. MMMM…..cheesewurst……
4/21/2003 - 10:47 PM - Day 57 - Kahoka, MO to Memphis, MO
Today began with temps in the 40’s, a 20mph headwind, and threatening skies…..it would remain that way all day = no fun. We spent the first 30 minutes of the day walking off breakfast and talking about how this weather was supposed to have been left in Pennsylvania. However, we eventually reminded each other that it could be worse, and it has been worse. We had 25 miles to cover and there was no point getting angry about something we had no control over. We ran in three segments today of one hour, forty-five minutes, and forty minutes. Each segment had about a 10 minute break in between. During our last break of the day a Missouri State trooper pulled up and asked us if there were any outstanding warrants on us. We said “None that we’re aware of.” Just to be sure he ran our licenses through the computer system before letting us go on our way. Must have been a slow day, because we don’t look too threatening. We arrived in Memphis, MO pretty worn out. We’d run 20 miles of today’s 25 total, and the terrain was quite hilly (for the first time since PA). The hills are not as abrupt as our home state’s, but we were up and down for much of the day. In Memphis we easily met up with our hosts, Matt and Eric, who had driven up from Kirkville to get us. Matt and Eric both run for Truman State University, so we were quickly at ease with them. We just talked about running and how their track season is going. Once back here at their place it was more of the same. We were joined by Andy and Scott, two of their teammates. We garbled down some pasta for dinner and DQ for dessert. Well, 21 miles tomorrow. We both feel very strong
4/21/2003 - 10:46 PM - Day 56 - Keokuk, IA to Kahoka, MO
Sunday morning we awoke to dark skies and a chilly breeze. We had breakfast at The Chuckwagon, Keoukuk’s local diner, and discussed the day ahead. As we talked about having no lodging arrangements for that night, the rain came down steadily outside. Neither of us were particularly bothered though, as we seemed to look at the day ahead as a challenge and a blank page yet to be written. As we finished breakfast we were once again blessed, as the rain ceased. Unsure as to how the weather would pan out though, we trash-bagged everything and headed down the road. We walked off breakfast for the first 3 miles; when we crossed into Missouri. At the border we clicked a few quick pictures and began to run. Because the weather threatened to rain all day, we didn’t waste anytime covering the remaining 18 miles. One of our few breaks, turned out to be the best of the trip. As we came up a hill, just 6 miles from our final destination of Kahoka, MO, we noticed a man standing on the roadside next to his pickup truck. He gave us a friendly wave and it was clear that he wanted to chat. We ran to him, he asked what we were doing, and we explained. His name was Linley Lipper, and he explained that he too was a runner. He then asked where we were eating dinner and where we were staying. Our answer was and innocent, yet honest, “We don’t know.” As genuine as anyone could be, Linley quickly replied, “You guys are gonna have a huge Easter dinner with my family and stay at my house.” We couldn’t believe it. We had no place to stay at the days start, and a complete stranger had offered to take us in after about 2 minutes of conversation. With 6 miles still to go, we arranged for Linley to pick us up in town about 45 minutes later. True to his word, Linley was waiting in town. We threw the baby jogger into his truck and headed off for an early dinner on his family farm. Just an hour after meeting him we were dining with his entire extended family at an Easter feast of pork, potatoes, corn, rolls, salad, and many other fixings. After the meal we got a full tour of Linley’s farm, and even got to help feed some of his 100 head of cattle. The remainder of the day was spent chatting about running, hunting, and farming. The hunting and farming were of particular interest to us because neither Dave nor I know much about them. Later in the evening we grilled some burgers, drank some beers, and chatted with a local high school runner who Linley invited over to meet us. When it was time for bed I had a lot of trouble falling asleep. I just couldn’t stop thinking about what a great day it had been, and that when we we’d woken up in the morning we had know idea where we were going to sleep. So not only did I once again have the kindness of strangers (I use that term for lack of a better word) to contemplate, but also the coincidence that landed us in Linley’s care. He was a runner who drove by us and pulled over to chat……I’m starting to not think that these things are coincidental, they are more fate. May it continue to remain on our side! Thanks so much to Linley, and the entire Lipper Family. You are all amazing!
4/21/2003 - 10:45 PM - Day 55 - Carthage, IL to Keokuk, IA
We woke up to an overcast sky but to slightly warmer temperatures. We were able to wear shorts again for the first time since our day to Ipava. There was still a nip to the air and a strong threat of rain but it made for great running conditions. The day would be short as we only covered about 14 miles with the first six being on back country roads away from traffic. We cruised along most of the day with only a little lingering soreness from the day before. As we neared the Mississippi River, the clouds started to darken and we quickened our pace. We crossed near Lock 14, and headed into Iowa. We didn’t spend much time taking in the view as the sky had darkened significantly and we only had 1 mile to go. We headed off the bridge and onto the residential streets. With about a quarter mile to go, the sky’s opened up and the rain came pouring down. We quickly headed into Mike Karre’s (another Armor-Dial person) apartment and avoided the heavy rain once again. We arrived at noon so what else was there to do but play GTA and drink Fat Tire Beer. Although we were in Iowa we were able to enjoy one of Colorado’s finest brews. This summed up the rest of the day, GTA, Fat Tire, and sitting on the couch. We did get a quick tour of the Keokuk area but then returned to the important stuff. Iowa is by far our shortest state as we only have a total of ~6 miles. For this reason, it isn’t really called out on the website. Sorry if anyone was confused….
4/21/2003 - 10:44 PM - Day 54 - Macomb, IL to Carthage, IL
Well it has been awhile since we have been to a computer but we will do our best to recall the last several days. Friday morning was still overcast as it had been for the last several days. Nothing to chilly but cool with just enough wind to be a nuisance. We had to cover 26 miles which was one of our longer days in recent weeks. Thankfully, Scott and I both felt great and we ran along for most of the day. We did different sets of 5 – 10 miles with little rests in between to cover the distance. Being a little chilly, we never rested for long as we didn’t go through any towns of significant size which has become pretty common. When we arrived at Celia Neff’s house in Carthage, we were both still feeling pretty good as our bodies had taken to the day really well and we had managed to out run the approaching storm. The stay brought me back to my working roots. Celia works at Armor-Dial which makes Armor canned meats (ex. the little Vienna sausage thingies). I used to work making Liquid Dial soap (both part of the Dial Corporation) and had visited the Armor plant in the past. So, we talked work a little, much to Scott’s boredom, and we snacked on cheese and crackers. Dinner was a delicious seafood/chicken and pasta. It truly hit the spot after a long day of running. This was our last full day in Illinois……
4/21/2003 - 10:59 AM - Brief Update
Webmaster Wood here... Just got a message from Scott that must have come in when I was on the train this morning. The lack of posts in the last few days is a result of no computer access. The boys report that they have crossed the mightly Mississippi River and are doing well. They are "alive" but anymore I'm not sure of (besides ugly). Computer access should be available tonight. Happy Monday. ~Webmaster Wood
4/17/2003 - 1:56 PM - Day 53 - Ipava, IL to Macomb, IL
Today was a very ho-hum day. After a great breakfast of homemade waffles, we headed out of town. The weather was very hazy and the temperature continued to drop throughout the day from 55 degrees F at the start to 39 degrees F by days end. The wind picked up throughout the day as well providing a steady mist just to make things a little uncomfortable. We stopped at a post office after about 6 miles and I (Dave) mailed some of my cold weather stuff home. It will lighten the load and unless something really bizarre happens with the weather, I will be perfectly fine without it. The rest of the day consisted of a busy road with a very limited shoulder along with not much going on. We both decided that today was probably the most uneventful day of the trip. At the same time that makes the day quite calming and easy. Tomorrow will be our last full day in Illinois and then we will be crossing the Mississippi River. Time to enjoy our rest.....
4/16/2003 - 6:02 PM - Day 52 - Little America, IL to Ipava, IL
We hit the road a bit earlier than normal today (8:30am). Our host, Mike Barnes, joined us for the first 5 miles of our run. Because of an iffy weather forecast and having nn place to sleep this evening, Dave and I were in a hurry to get to our final destination of Ipava, IL. However, Our streak of sleeping under a roof was destined to continue, as Dave’s phone rang at about 10:30am with an offer for lodging this evening. With nasty T-storms predicted for tonight, we gladly accepted. Today we wasted no time (by our standards) and arrived in Ipava around 11:30am, just as the sky darkened and ran began falling. With the weight of finding a place to sleep off of our chests, we had a slow, laid back lunch at a local restaurant. Lunch consisted of “tenderloin sandwiches” and a pitcher of Bud Light. We knew that the beverage we drank was beer, but we weren’t as confident that what we were eating was tenderloin. There was nothing tender about it. In fact, it tasted more like a half thawed chicken patty. I (Scott) asked for my sandwich with everything on it. Dave asked for his plain. The only difference in our sandwiches was that mine came with a brown piece of lettuce. I guess that was “everything!” While eating we kept a close eye on the window. All through lunch there was tremendous rain, lighting, and thunder. Our waitress enlightened us with stories of her house blowing away twice in the last fifteen years from tornadoes. Fortunately there were no tornadoes today! We waited out the storm in the restaurant until about 2pm, and then got back on the road to cover a few more lazy miles before getting picked up. We casually walked until about 3:30pm. We were both extremely sluggish and wanted to take a nap on the roadside, but the ground was soaked from this AM’s storm. After having shaved six miles off of tomorrow’s traveling distance, we met with Bob Bowen of Macomb, IL, our host for this evening. So once again we find our selves in the comfort of strangers. People who we’d never met or spoken to until 6 hours ago have opened up their doors and made us feel at home. Warm showers, cable modem, and a lasagna dinner; what more could a couple of homeless, jobless runners ask for? On an unrelated note, we are working hard to get another update of pictures to Webmaster Wood. We have about 25 days worth, and there are some real classics in the batch to come…..…
4/15/2003 - 7:17 PM - Day 51 - Mapleton, IL to Little America, IL
Today started warm and sunny like yesterday. We headed out a little later than normal and got moving by about 10:00 am. Scott said it best when he said, “Today is the first day I would describe as being hot.” And it was. The temperature rose to about 85 degrees F with sun beating down. We were prepared with sun block and liquids but it still made for tough moving at the end. Today’s excitement came once again from something along the shoulder of the road. After about 3 miles of running, Scott jumped in the air. He had narrowly avoided a 4 foot rattlesnake on the side of the road. It was all stretched out in the sun and not too bothered by us. We whipped out the camera and took some shots as it kept a very careful watchful eye on us. We continued on down the road being a little more watchful than before. Mike Barnes (our host for the evening) drove by us in the middle of the day while working. He stopped to say hi and let us know about the road ahead. We spent most of the day running for about a half hour and then sitting on the side of the road soaking up the sun. Lunch today consisted of oatmeal pies, brownie mash, and an energy bar. Not super healthy, but with the feast that is being prepared for us tonight, it’ll do. As we came through our destination, Little America, we came across a woman with free puppies. She had 7 little puppies running around her feet. They were very adorable and I (Dave) was half tempted to take one if it weren’t for our ‘perilous’ journey ahead. We ended the day along the side of the road, a little tired from the sun but refreshed with how easily we covered the miles. Tomorrow looks like it might be our first night out and we are very excited to see how it goes. Hopefully the snakes will stay away.......
4/15/2003 - 7:17 PM - Day 50 - Mapleton, IL - DAY OFF
We woke up yesterday morning to a wonderful day of rest. It was our 50th day and we are ever nearing the 1000 mile mark of our journey. The day was sunny and beautiful, continuing the day off trend for weather. We spent the morning hours going through our email and website trying to organize Missouri and Nebraska. Logistics will start to get tough now as we expect to have less internet access, fewer places to stay, and less civilization to obtain food and water from. As the day went on, I (Dave) got coaxed into going down to the creek with our hosts 3 daughters, AnnaMaria, Olivia, and Ava. We played in the mud and chased some fish for awhile before I decided to get out of the sun. We will have many, many days in the direct sunlight and I decided to stay out of it when possible. Monica Lu took us on a tour through Peoria and showed us Grand View road. It had many mansions lining the street with a beautiful view over Peoria Lake. One of the large mansions was even designed like a castle. Later in the day, Steve Lu let us borrow his car to go buy some shoes at the local running store, Running Central. There was a huge mural of Tim Broe running the Steeplechase on the side of the store, and upon entering, learned that he had once worked there. Philip Lockwood owns the store and is also the race director for the Steam Boat Classic. A big thanks to him and the Illinois Valley Striders for the pair of shoes. After leaving the running store we drove back to our Washington's hosts house (The Riopell’s) to pick up Scott’s cell-phone charger. After 50 days it is only the second item left behind at someone’s house. As we headed back to Peoria, we got a call from Julia Weatherby. She was in town on business and was just calling to see what we were up to. After a wonderful dinner of fettuccine and steaks with the Lu’s, and brownies made by their daughter AnnaMaria, we headed out to a local Irish Pub with Julia to talk and have a good time. We headed home to bed and were looking forward to getting back on the road today. It had been a great day off and we just keep getting stronger and stronger.....
4/14/2003 - 9:40 AM - Day 49 - Beverly Manor, IL to Mapleton, IL
Yesterday we got on the road around 9am, after eating a huge, delicious breakfast of French toast and bacon. It was a another great stay where we were made to feel entirely at home. Thanks so much to the Riopell’s! We had a great time. The weather, again, was beautiful from the get go. Additionally, we only had about 12 miles to cover. So yesterday looked to be a pretty easy day. It did not disappoint. In addition to being easy, it was also rather uneventful. We were only on the road for a nose over 2 hours, and spent the afternoon on the couch watching golf. We are staying with the Lu family in Peoria, IL. They have 3 young daughters who insisted we play outside, rather than watch TV. Perhaps when they’re older they will come to realize the incredible importance of Sunday at the Masters : ) So after golf was over we played with the kids and had a nice dinner outside on the deck. Bedtime was just a tick after 9pm. We both bagged 10 hours of sleep, and today is a “rest” day. Of course, we have lots of errands to run and computer work to tackle, but there will be no exercise today. This rest day is of particular importance because it is the first rest we have taken in which neither of us have any serious ailments that need repairing. So today is just a good general health day. It’s already 70 degrees, so I we’re gonna go have some breakfast on the porch.
4/12/2003 - 7:08 PM - Day 48 - Washington, IL to Beverly Manor, IL
You gotta love the days that are boring and smooth. They leave us well rested and relaxed. After a good nights rest we woke up to a warm sun and the wind at our backs. Today would be one of the best weather days yet. With a huge breakfast of eggs, pancakes and sausage bread in our stomachs and picture perfect weather, we covered the miles pretty quickly. We took a couple quick breaks throughout the day to soak up the sun and take in the water but besides that we just kept chugging along. We had some rough shoulders to traverse as we passed through the busy sections of East Peoria but nothing too bad. The day was over in about 3.5 hours. We have been running a couple extra miles over the last few days so tomorrow will only be about 14 miles followed by a rest day on Monday. Hopefully things keep getting better as we are both healthy, the weather has turned, and the road continues to span out. It is quite a content feeling.....
4/11/2003 - 10:26 PM - Day 47 - Gridley, IL to Washington, IL
After a great rest in the whirlpool and a wonderful Stag evening, Scott and I woke refreshed and ready for the day. Seanan (our dinner host from Forrest) met us in Gridley for the start of the run. He ran the first 14 miles of the day with us. Although we stopped a couple times for some drinking, relieving, and soaking up the wonderful sunshine, we managed to cover the miles pretty quickly. Having Seanan there made the day go by pretty fast. After we left him, we continued on down the road. We sat down to take a quick water and candy bar break. Two cars pulled up and out jumped a bunch of Cheeseheads (people from Wisconsin, and yes they had a cheesehead) known as the Movin’ Shoes (Melanie, Doug, Ann, John, Shirley and Jeff). They were headed to the River to River Relay in Southern Illinois and had decided to hunt us down on the way by. We snapped pictures and talked for awhile. They were great and gave us some excitement towards the end of a long day. Even with all the excitement, we managed to finish up by 1:15 pm. The Riopell’s picked us up and we headed into downtown Washington. A group of people were waiting in the town square to meet us. We got gummy cherry’s in honor of the state cherry festival in May and some Panther t-shirts from Brunk’s sporting goods. We were also asked to sign an American flag for Carter (he’s 5). He is collecting signature’s on the flag and will be hanging it in his room. We got back to the Riopell’s and flicked on the second round of the Master’s. We talked and snoozed the afternoon away watching golf. It was really relaxing and soothing. With tummy’s full of chicken and pasta (my favorite), we will be heading off to bed. We hope for a quick and strong recovery for Bethany and continued warm weather for everyone. Good night.....
4/11/2003 - 10:25 PM - Day 46 - Forrest, IL to Gridley, IL (complete update)
This morning our host Jesse Baird cooked us a great breakfast of pancakes and bacon while we played video games on the X-Box. After inhaling the delicious meal, Jesse drove us back to Forrest, IL so we could get our day started. Because we were not going to meet our next host, Jana Kiefer until 4pm, we had all day to cover 24 miles. The weather looked better than it has in weeks, so we took our good old time. We took 3 or 4 breaks to just lay down in the grass and catch quick cat naps while soaking up the sun. Those moments are particularly enjoyable. We ran into Gridley, IL right at 4pm and easily met up with Jana. She took us back to her house in Bloomington to drop off our bags. We then went to Gold’s Gym to sit in the hot tub. The warm water and jets were quite soothing and relaxing. We had dinner at Jana’s, and were joined by her friend’s Kim and John. Although a bit tired, we then headed out to a local hangout to meet some other members of the Lake Run Club. We had no idea what was in store for us....The bar was an awesome little dive of a place, appropriately named Da Bar. A group of locals, many of them runners, meet at Da Bar on the second Thursday of every month for the “Dead Stag Society.” The purpose of the club, as we saw it, was to hang out with friends, eat food, and drink Stag Beer (only Stag is allowed to be consumed). The Society has met every month since it’s inception in 1989, there are membership dues, and the Society actively makes donations to local charities. We will post Thursday’s meeting minutes on the site so you can get a better feel for what the group is all about. Dave and I were sworn in as the first honorary members in the Society’s 14 year history. We proudly read the oath and chugged down a Stag at the conclusion (picture will be in next photo update). Everyone who met at Da Bar was incredibly friendly and quite interested in our journey. As had been the case on all 47 days of the trip, we were truly made to feel at home. I (Scott) was truly at ease last night and only wished I could have stayed later....but at 10pm we headed out and hit the sack. A return visit to the Dead Stag Society is now at the very top of my list of places I’d like to return upon completion of the run. After all, I’m now a member and my dues were waived last night. I look forward to surprising the group with my return and paying for an entire evening’s worth of Stag. Please take a few moment’s to read the minutes from Thursday’s meeting....it is definitely worth it. So we hit the sack around 10:30pm. My thoughts were with my lovely girlfriend, Bethany, who on Friday morning had knee reconstruction surgery. Thinking of you every step of the way......
4/11/2003 - 3:36 PM - Day 46 - Forrest, IL to Gridley, IL (brief update)
Webmaster Wood here. Got a call from Scott this morning as they were hitting the road. Sunny and 70 today. Good day for a run (what isn't?). Yesterday was reportedly uneventful. 24 miles, great weather, and another great stay with great hosts. They will update more when they have access to a computer again. Day off coming on Monday, so they'll probably have more time to update on other details. Thanks all for your support. Remember to send links to all news stories to firstname.lastname@example.org, and when you send us pictures make sure to say who you are and where they were taken, along with the date and any text you'd like to see with the pics in the gallery. Thanks!
4/9/2003 - 11:11 PM - Day 45 - Gilman, IL to Forrest, IL
Today was a very busy day. This morning we spent a half hour preparing packages to be mailed to all corners of the country for a variety of reasons. Thanks so much to the Grant’s for having more US Postal boxes and tape than the post office itself. Thanks also for a great stay! Once again we had a blast with our hosts and were made to feel completely at home. After our one hour drive to today’s starting point, we were greeted by four local runners who had arranged to join us for part of the day’s journey. These weren’t just any runners though…..Charlie, Bob, John, and Warren are all local, central Illinois farmers, three out of the four are 60+ year’s old, and they all had more energy than the two of us. Their passion for running and life was clear in our conversations. They joined us for the first 11 miles of our run, and had no problem keeping pace…..I should say we were lucky to keep pace with them. I (Scott) surely hope to be that fit and fast at age 60. Thanks guys for the company! We made a mid-day stop for pizza and Gatorade, and continued on after about an hour rest. Our afternoon was spent on a back county road with little traffic. The weather is getting better (50 degrees, sun, and windy), so travel was pretty easy. One of the few cars we did see today came to a halt shortly after passing us. It then reversed and the window came down. Here was the exchange: “Are you guys running across the country or something?” “Yeah we are. How did you know?” “I put two and two together and figured that’s what you were doing. Here’s ten bucks to buys some soda with.” The car then drove away as quickly as it had stopped. Dave and I honestly just shook our heads, put the money away, and kept running. Those moments, and the time spent with our hosts are the true fiber of this trip. Our run is merely an avenue through which people have displayed how amazingly generous and kind the human spirit can be, while neither asking for nor expecting anything in return. Shortly after that encounter we were joined on the run by a friendly golden lab dog. He jogged with us for a mile, and then his neighbor dog joined in (not sure of the breed), another half mile down the road we were joined by a bull dog. All of these dogs were not on leashes, had no owners in sight, and seemed game for a run. So they joined us for the last 3 miles of our day, all the way to our stopping point of Forrest. It was really funny having three dogs run with us into town. It must have looked pretty interesting. They were very friendly dogs though, and easily kept pace with us. At day’s end we were greeted by Jesse Baird, our host for this evening. He drove us to his apartment in Bloomington, where we relaxed for a bit, before heading to his weekly meeting with the Lake Run Club. Dave and I were honored to deliver a 45 minute talk and q/a session to about forty of the club’s members. We just spoke about the run and all of the great people we’ve met along the way. After our talk we headed to dinner at a local Italian place. We were treated to the meal by Seanan Alyasiri, one of the club’s leaders. Thanks so much for the meal, and great conversation. Best of luck in your upcoming ironman! After dinner it was back to Jesse’s for a little R+R. We cooked up and ate and entire pan of brownies – old school style….that is taking the pan out of the oven, getting two spoons, and gorging until the pan is empty. No problem tonight! Entertainment came in the form of X-Box. Jesse has every Atari and Nintendo game ever made (that is not an exaggeration) and over 1500 arcade games programmed into the system. So our choice of games was essentially endless. We’ve played some Double Dribble and Atari tennis, just to name a few. The night got even better though! Jesse’s wife, Kristi, is a massage therapist and gladly put us each on the table for a rub down. Thank you so much Jesse and Kristi for everything. I think that “Thank You” is an incredible misuse of words when trying to show our appreciation for all of the kindness that we’ve received. People are amazing. Oh, we got out first “Run Forest, run!” of the trip today. Amazingly it took 45 days to get number one, but appropriately it happened just outside of Forrest, IL. Good night!
4/8/2003 - 5:45 PM - Day 44 - Eastburn, IL to Gilman, IL
The Orangemen have won the title. Along with erasing our Mad Dog deficit (18 seconds for the record) and the fact that our host last night (Magic) was a lifetime Syracuse fan, we didn’t get much rest. With somewhat sore legs and slight hangovers, we hit the road to cover our 20 miles for the day. Once again, it was cold but once we got running the temperature was not a factor. No, the days pains could not be blamed on mother nature. We both were to blame, and accept reponsibility, for the nagging headaches and heavy legs. We had both recovered by the end of the day but we were still quite tired. Emily Grant, our host, picked us up around 2:00 pm. She had done her reading on the site and contacted our parents for a gift basket. My (Dave) mother had sent Scott and I enough chocolate (for easter) to last the rest of the trip. I eat a lot of chocolate and I was still a little overwhelmed (thanks mom it was terriffic). Along with the chocolate she sent clucking bunnies, two new superballs for my collection, some much needed sunblock, and much, much, more. The Grant's easily continue the streak of great hosts and have made our 'day after' recovery that much easier. Spring has got to be just around teh corner. Right???
4/7/2003 - 5:00 PM - Day 43 - Goodland, IN to Eastburn, IL
Today began as most days have recently; with a nervous peek out the window upon waking up. This morning’s peek yielded ice covered trees, fog, a light rain, and a temperature hovering around 32. Our pre-run conversation each morning seems to be dominated by the weather. Sure, it is typically a rather generic and bland topic, but when you spend hours a day outside, and spring is weeks late, the morning banter takes on real meaning. Let’s just say there have been lots of four letter words directed towards Mother Nature. Of course our host this evening, Dr. Scott “Magic” Huxtable (Bucknell XC/Track ’97), has already pointed out that when we are roasting like chickens under the summer sun in Central Idaho we will be wishing for this kind of weather. We’ll see! There is always the “It could be worse” side of things. For instance, during morning phone calls to Jon Mull and Webmaster Wood, both of whom work in New York, I learned that the Big Apple is expecting 10’ of snow. So we’re at least glad to be 850 miles west of that! Oh, so after we cursed out Mother Nature, our host, Otie Wood, took Dave and I to breakfast at Janet’s, the popular local diner hangout of Rensselaer, IN. There, we had delicious breakfast and enjoyed lively conversations with many local residents. If I had a nickel for every time we were told, “You guys are crazy for being out there,” I could’ve paid for everyone’s meal. Of course, they were partially right. I can’t say that I had any interest in running 18 miles through today’s mess, and I have begun to believe that perhaps Dave and I are bit nuts for being out there. But being nuts is good. It’s no fun being normal. Normal is vanilla, (nothing against vanilla….I had a vanilla milk shake with lunch today). Ahhh, but something good was bound to happen today. The weather couldn’t completely dampen our spirits. When Otie bid us adieu in Goodland, IN Dave and I began to run, and except for a coke and a leak at McDonald’s, we didn’t stop running until our 18 miles were complete. Having been plagued by aches, pains, bruises, and Mad Dog for all 6 weeks of our trip, today is the first day since day one, yes….day one, that we were capable of running the entire length of the day. It felt great and rather liberating. My body is finally agreeing with me, it finally feels almost normal, and it is finally happy to be running. May my body be happy for another short four months. In addition to both of us feeling great, and not bothered by the weather, we crossed into Illinois today. Four states down and seven to go! So not only were our spirits lifted by our run, but we had this evening to look forward to. We’ve been looking forward to our stay with Hux for weeks now. Somehow, we timed the stay perfectly with the NCAA Title Game. We are all hoops fans, but Hux, born and raised in upstate NY, is a lifelong Syracuse fan. That will make tonight’s game all the more fun to watch. And one other factor will also add to tonight’s festivities…..Dave and I are still in the hole one bottle of Mad Dog. So when the ball tips off tonight at 8:10pm in the Super Dome, our arms will be tipping with it, bringing us back to even par for the trip (for those of you keeping score at home). Well, some poor student here at the University of Illinois probably needs this computer far more than me, so I’m outta here……..
4/6/2003 - 6:00 PM - Day 42 - Reynolds, IN to Goodland, IN
Well, after an enjoyable evening of conversation and Basketball, we hit the sack around 11:30. We woke up this morning to high winds and cold temperatures. A bank sign said 32 degrees F and the wind was whipping. The only thing that saved us today was that the wind was at our back. Besides the cold, we both felt pretty good today. After 4 miles, we met back up with Mike and Rose Lehe, who joined us for the next 6 miles into Wolcott. This is the imposed line where the Great American prairie begins. From here on out it is flat, windy, and basically treeless. We continued on for another 4 miles before taking a break at the intersection with Interstate 65. We had some food, got warm, and made a few calls. We headed back out into the wind which felt even colder than when we stopped. We stayed warm by running a brisk pace thanks to the wind and strolled into Goodland about 3:00 pm. Mark and Otis (part of the Cheyenne Running Club who are hosting us as a group) picked us up and took us in. We are now getting ready to enjoy a nice hamburger dinner with home made ice cream for desert (hand cranked by our host Otis.) Tomorrow we will be crossing into Illinois. Hopefully the weather will get better. At this point we aren't sure if spring will ever come...
4/5/2003 - 5:02 PM - Day 41 - Idaville, IN to Reynolds, IN
We finished yesterday's run in shorts and a tee shirt, we started today's in hat, gloves, and a wind breaker. The wind was blowing a consistent 20-25mph, the air temp was about 30, and snow flurries consistently fell. Quite a change in just 18 hours! We've seen much worse weather on the trip, but today's was particularly bitter because it was on the heels of such a nice day. With my (Scott) left foot feeling much better we covered today's distance rather easily and quickly. We did take a 90 minute break in Monticello, IN for warmth, phone calls, and pizza. Our host this evening, Mike Lehe, met us in Monticello and ran the last 6 miles with us. As always, it was great to have some company. The shoulder of route 24 has narrowed to about nothing which is making travel a bit more dangerous. We just have to be more cautious and road smart. Upon arriving at the Lehe's, Mike gave us a fantastic tour of his family farm. We visited the hog house which holds about 1000 heads, and even got to drive an 18 gear tractor! The tour was far and away the most interesting and intriguing experience of the trip yet. It felt good to have our brains working and abosrobing new information. I have a few books with me that I'm dying to read, but can't find the time or energy to open them. So today's brain exercise on the farm was well needed. We are now relaxing at the Lehe's, drinking Gatorade, eating cookies, and preparing to watch the Final Four games. We're both still giddy from today's farm tour. It was really, really cool! Thanks Mike!
4/4/2003 - 9:59 PM - Day 40 - Richvalley, IN to Idaville, IN
Well, we have stayed with our first major taunter of the trip. After arriving at the Reinhardt's last night, we were told that there was a gift for us but we had to wait until everyone came home. When it was time for the gift to be presented there was motion made towards the refrigerator. We both immediatly thought.....Mad Dog. Our guess was correct as Brian wipped out two 12 oz. bottles of Red Grape Mad Dog. And of course they were of the 18% variety, none of the small time stuff. So, by the time dinner was served, we had bothed 'clugged' (according to 6 year old Quinn) our bottles and were feeling pretty happy and free flowing. The night continued from there as a bunch of runners from the Kokomo running club showed up to have a few drinks and talk running. We woke this morning a little tired but feeling pretty good. There had been heavy heavy rains duing the night, but once daylight broke, there was only a little drizzle. Brian, our host, came out and ran the first ~ 4 miles this morning. The rain was on and off but nothing too drenching. We covered the next 8 miles into Logansport without to much problem. The weather was threatening but remained nice and warm. We picked up the pace once we got into town because the clouds started to look pretty menacing. As we entered a fine mexican restaurant for lunch, el Ranchito's, the clouds burst and buckets of water fell from the sky. Luckily we had made it indoors. After eating, there was a brief dry period, and we made a quick jaunt to the local McDonalds for a warm apple pie. As we sat in Mickey D's, the rain just kept pouring down. Finally we said screw it and threw trashbags over our heads and headed out into the rain. Within 2 minutes, the rain stoppped, the sun came out, and we were back wearing just shorts and T-shirts. The last 8 miles of the day were pretty nice with just a quick spritz of rain at the end. We were picked up by Mrs. Blume and taken back to hot showers and grilled burgers. While waiting for the grilling to be done, more thunderstorms moved in and there was talk on the TV and radio about tornado's touching down. This was bad for several reasons. A few of our hosts had gone out for a run and were still gone as this was being announced and Jonathan F. Mull (Bucknell Bud) was driving north from Indianapolis to say hello. Luckily everyone arrived safely and the only damage was some severly wet clothes. We much enjoyed Mull's company as well as the members of the Vallpo XC team that came down to visit. Now, we are off to bed to have dreams of sunny skies and warm weather. Good night......
4/3/2003 - 4:24 PM - Day 39 - Wabash, IN to Richvalley, IN
After an awesome two days with the Guenin’s it was back on the road this morning. We felt well rested and healed up. We did choose to proceed cautiously though, because the last thing I wanted to do was restrain my foot. The weather quickly warmed to 70 degrees and we spent most of the day in shorts and t-shirts. The day wen rather quickly. Nothing of consequence really happened today. We had to draw our whooping stick on a dog once, but were not forced to strike. Right now we’re at our host family’s house, the Reinhardt’s, in Peru, IN. We’re cleaned up and talking Star Wars with six year old Quinn. He’s is better versed about the original trilogoy than I (Scott) was at age six, which is saying a lot. About a week ago Brian Reinhardt e-mailed us about his left over beer stock from a St.Paddy’s party, so we’re gonna help clean that up later on. I’m dirty and stink. Off to the showers……
4/2/2003 - 5:03 PM - Day 38 - Wabash, IN - DAY OFF
As we went to bed last night, we were sure that there was no way we would sleep past 8/8:30. After all, we had been waking up around 7 for the past 5 weeks. Well, throw in a pitch black basement (don’t worry we weren’t chained there) and the fact that we were pretty worn out and we slept in until 9:15. 11 hours of sleep felt great. As we appeared in the kitchen, Natalie had cooked us French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, and Bacon; yet another great meal. Then came the work part of our day. Yes, this is a ‘rest’ day, but only from the physical aspect of the run. Due to not having computer access every night, and the email problems experienced earlier this week, we were a little behind on email. After two hours working separately on two computers, we are finally a little more organized. The good news of the day came through on email. The University of California, Berkeley has accepted me (Dave) into their Material Science Engineering Ph.D. program. After being denied by Stanford and MIT last week, I wasn’t to hopeful but it seems I am worth something after all. So, I guess I do have some sort of a future when these shenanigans are finally over. Tonight will consist of more computer work and rest. We have patched all three tires, and done our laundry. It will be great to get going again tomorrow and continue our journey…
4/2/2003 - 5:02 PM - Day 37 - Huntington, IN to Wabash, IN
Yesterday we awoke to sunny skies and heavy winds. It was warm, so the wind was more of a distraction than a problem. For breakfast we dined at Nick’s Kitchen in downtown Huntington. The pictures on the wall seemed to indicate that it is a favorite of hometown boy Dan Quayle. Dan wasn’t around for our visit, but while eating we did coincidentally bump into the Newton family. They had arranged for us to stay with Brian Jennings for our night in Huntington. We thanked them for helping with the arrangements, and they insisted on paying our bill. Yet again, a random act of kindness from people we had never met, and may never see again. With our stomachs full, and our hearts warm, we departed Nick’s bound for Wabash, IN. The day before a rest day is always quite tough in my (Scott) opinion. We travel all day knowing that rest is in our near future, and having that in the back of our minds always seems to make the day go a little slower. In addition, I’m nursing a muscle strain in my left foot, so the travel was slow yesterday. We walked most of the way to avoid further aggravating anything. The road we traveled on for the first 12 miles had a huge, smooth shoulder, which eased our task considerably. So while there was lot of traffic, there was no fear of cars coming near us. At about 6 miles though we heard a “Click, click, click,” noise coming from a tire. It was a huge tack that had punctured our back left wheel...the same one we’d flattened about 10 days ago. We pulled out the tack and air rushed out. That tire was killed. So our mechanic, Dave, went to work on replacing the dead tire with a “less dead” tire that we had in storage. We knew that this tire would require a pumping roughly once every 4 miles, but that didn’t prove to be a problem. At 12 miles we decided to turn off and take a side road for the remainder of our day’s journey. This proved to be good and bad. Good in that there were no cars at all, bad in that the few people who drive this road apparently like to drink Mad Dog. Having paid off our first Mad Dog debt on Monday, we managed to spot 1.5 empties (1 x 24oz bottle and 1x12oz bottle) in our first mile on this side road. Frightened at what the next 5 miles might bring, we debated traveling with our eyes closed, but kept them opened and did our best to not look at anything but the road. Our attempts failed….we did not see anymore Mad Dog, but we did see what at first glance we thought were human remains. That was a bit scary. Upon closer, but not too close, examination what we saw was actually horse remains. The femur looked like something Fred Flintstone would gnaw on….it was huge! A long-haired tail and lack of a primate skull is what lead us away from our original theory. After all of that excitement, the day of movement came to an end. We were picked up by our hosts, the Guenin’s, and returned to their house. Last night was spent watching Goldmember, eating a fabulous pasta dinner, shooting free throws on their beautiful indoor basketball court, and of course graciously fraternizing with our hosts. Bed time was about 10pm.
4/2/2003 - 3:43 PM - History, Rules, Regulations, and Description of Weltball
We were so enthralled by Weltball that we feel we should pass on a description of the game so that it may become as common in America’s homes as milk and cookies. A brief history of the game….we were taught by Lewis Butler, a senior XC/Track Runner at Defiance High School in Defiance, OH. Lewis was taught by XC/Track guys on a recruiting trip to his now future college, Hillsdale, in Michigan. Perhaps the Hillsdale guys/gals can fill us in on the game’s lineage beyond them. Materials: ping-pong table, 5-8 players, a paddle for each player, a lot of ping pong balls (they get broken quite often), no shirts allowed. Skin must be bare from the waist up. Description: All players are constantly in motion, rotating around the table, hitting the ball over the net. When player 1 hits the ball over the net successfully, he moves out of the way (counter-clockwise) so the player beyond him can return the ball that will presumably be sent back from the other side of the net. Everyone follows the person ahead of him/her in a simple, rotating, counter-clockwise circle while hitting the ball over the net. When a player hits the ball into the net or out of bounds play stops. The player who hit the ball to the player who messed up, then receives a “free shot.” In a free shot, the player who messed up stands against the table and facing across the net. It is advised, although not required, that this player holds the paddle in front of his/her face, and the free hand in front of another part of the body. The person who hit the shot that lead to the error is positioned on the opposite side of the table. That player then hits the ping-pong ball as hard as they possibly can at the defenseless player on the other side if the table, hoping the ball makes solid contact with bare skin, and leaving a welt. Once again, it is advisable and ethical, although not required, for the person taking the free shot to wait for the other player to cover his/her face and other parts, before taking the free shot. If solid contact with the skin is made, a welt should appear in a matter of seconds and last for up to a week, perhaps longer. I (Scott) am still proudly displaying the welts that I received in last Friday night’s game. That was 5 days ago. I hope that this is an accurate description of the game. Dave and I welcome additional comments from those of you who have been lucky enough to play Weltball or any derivative from of Weltball.
4/2/2003 - 10:39 AM - It looks like Berkeley!!!!!11112233
Brof is Bay Area bound after the run. Grad school will never be the same! Phd in material science coming up. Oh boy!!!!! Start consuming in honor!!!!1123.....Scott
4/1/2003 - 8:28 PM - Quick Update from Dave and Scott
We've safely arrived in Wabash, IN. We are tired but comfy. Tomorrow is a day of rest so we promise a complete update of the past 3 days, our thoughts on the first 1/4 of the journey, what we expect in the future, and any ramblings that are in our heads. Please check out the "Gallery" as there is another batch of pictures we've taken along the road. There is also anohter large batch of articles in the "In the News" section. We are being plauged by e-mail problems and Dave's voicemail is having troubles too. Glad we paid our first Mad Dog debt yesterday because we saw 1.5 empties today. Back in the hole. Oh well.......Scott
4/1/2003 - 10:26 AM - Day 36 - Magley, IN to Huntington, IN
Webmaster Wood checking in here on this cold New Jersey morning. Weather is better in Indiana according to Brof who just called me from the windy road. Yesterday they didn't have access to a computer, so here's a short report before they have one tonight. Yesterday was slow going as they walked for most of the 29 miles. Scott's leg is hurting right now so they are going to take a day off in Wabash. The best news to report is that they each killed a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20, thus paying the debt for the bottle that was found on the side of the road. Not much else to report. We expect a full report in the next couple of days on what's been going on out there. There are new stories posted in the news section (or there will be today). Check that out. -- Webmaster Wood
3/30/2003 - 8:56 PM - Day 35 - Van Wert, OH to Magley, IN
Sorry, but this will be brief. We just opened our e-mail account and had 50 new messages. Most of them dated back to a week ago and we just recieved them. We have no idea what the problem was. Apologies to those of you who have written us in the last 8 days and not heard back. Thanks to Kyle Minnich and his family for a great stay in Van Wert, OH! Today was cold when we woke up. Sun was out but so was the wind. My foot was bothering me (Scott) a lot so it was slow going today. We did cross into Indiana so that was a pick me up. 29 miles total today. Longest yet. Great big delicious dinner at our hosts this eveing.....The McHenry's of Craigvill, IN. Back to e-mail issues......Scott and Dave
3/29/2003 - 8:24 PM - Day 34 - Kalida, OH to Van Wert, OH
After an active evening of Bond and Welt Ball (description at a later date) at the Butler residence, Scott and I were ready to go. Or so we thought. Today’s weather was once again, pretty miserable. It was 30 degrees F today with winds of 15-20 mph. After 2 weeks of nice weather, this kind of shocked our bodies. Many of the original pains, which have slowly gone away in the last few weeks, came back with a vengeance as our muscles tightened and our hands froze. The wide open plains of Ohio didn’t make things any easier. There were no trees to slow the wind or hillsides to hide behind; just the wind, cold, and mile after mile. Today was another one of those days in which there was little talking, with much concentration on putting one foot in front of the other. The weather looks a little better tomorrow but still cold and windy. This will be a real test, as we will be covering close to 30 miles. However, it’s just another challenge that we are excited to face. After all, after tomorrow, we will have three states down…
3/29/2003 - 8:20 PM - Congratulations are in order...
I would like to congratulate my twin brother Eric Bronfenbrenner on his engagement to Caryn Lee. They are an awesome couple and I am glad she will be joining our family. I love you guys...Dave
3/28/2003 - 3:40 PM - Day 33 - Ottawa, OH to Kalida, OH
Last night’s stay with the Aronson’s in Ottawa was truly a great time. We were made to feel at home from the moment we arrived at their doorstep. There was lots of fun playing with the kids – Troy, Jarrod, and Anna. We were brave enough, or perhaps stupid is a better word, to play on the back yard trampoline for a while. No injuries as a result, but the possibility certainly existed. This morning at breakfast Troy told his mother (Lori) that he wanted to run across the United States. We hope that if we have any influence upon the children we meet it is to go to college first, and worry about the rest later. Troy is just five years old though, so he has some time to figure things out. For dinner last night I had déjà vu…..wings and beer on a Thursday. My body was very well adapted to that meal on Thursdays, thanks to Barnaby’s in Ardmore. So last night at Legends was a treat. Lori Aronson’s friend and training partner, Wanda, joined us for dinner as well. Wanda and Lori are preparing for a ½ marathon in May, and for the Chicago Marathon in October. We certainly hope to meet up with them for a post race cold one in the Windy City. This morning we had a high calorie breakfast, made the two-day rental of GTA a worthwhile one, and then hit the road about 9:15am. Lori and Anna, along with Murphy and Bob (the two dogs) joined us for the first ½ mile stroll down Chippewa Road, and then we were off for another day on the road. Because of some minor aches and pains, we used to as an active rest day. We made the mileage shorter (16ish) and did not rush at all. We did a fair amount of walking today, which as we discovered would have been almost inevitable. The wind on the plains was reminiscent of the Vegas Marathon. Gusts were up to forty mph, and the breeze was a steady twenty-five the entire way. So even the times that we did run today, we weren’t going much faster than a brisk walking pace. While our eyes have grown accustomed to seeing primarily dead animals on the roadside, Dave did manage to spot a snake today. We watched it slither around for a few minutes before growing bored, and continuing on. Our hosts for this evening, the Butler’s of Defiance, Ohio, picked us up around 1:30pm. We just finished running some errands and are now taking it easy. Plans for tonight are a cook out and a trip to the local Elks Club. Once again people we’ve known for just over an hour are treating us as family. It never stops amazing us. Thanks again to the Aronson’s for last night and this morning! We really had a blast!
3/27/2003 - 3:08 PM - Day 32 - Findlay, OH to Ottawa, OH
We started the day a little worn out from the past two days. Nothing was hurting, just an overall sense of fatigue. We were able to find a nice back road for about 3/4 of the run today so we didn't have to put up with much traffic. Today was pretty laid back as we ran a little slower than usual and just took in the open countryside. Scott's IT band was the best it has been the whole trip. This is great as it continues to heal even though we continue to cover the miles. Muscle wise, I am feeling pretty good with the only nuisance coming from being a little lethargic. Even with the relaxed pace today, we arrived at our host’s house in Ottawa at 2:00 pm. We received a very warm welcome, as Lori seemed to have done a lot of research. She had many of the foods that we previously mentioned in our log as well as renting Grand Theft Auto for the Playstation. It's a great atmosphere as I just finished reading a Blue's Clues picture book with her daughter Anna and her boys are out jumping on the trampoline. After a little stretching and a good nights rest, Scott and I will be raring to go...
3/26/2003 - 7:56 PM - Day 31 - Tiffin, OH to Findlay, OH
Well, this is attempt number two….as the computer just crashed on me while I was on the last sentence of this update. I guess I should’ve saved it the first time around. Anyhow, Webmaster Wood could not have done a better job relaying the details of yesterday. Thanks again to our Tiffin, OH hosts Scott Fry and the Croy’s. Best of luck for continued improvement and success with the track team! We began today with another large breakfast at McDonalds. Our legs felt good and the weather looked promising. Both factors proved helpful as we had 26-27 miles looming over our heads….the longest day yet. The day was run in 3-4 mile spurts. We’d cover that distance, and then plop down on a lawn for 15-20 minutes and catch some rays. With the weather in the low 60’s, a light breeze, and all sunshine we no longer feel as rushed as when the weather was frigidly cold. As we rolled into Findlay, OH this afternoon the day did not seem to have been much of a chore. With a few hours to kill, we hit up the local Pizza Palace for a pizza, water, and a pitcher of Bud. Our host, Katie Gwirtz, picked us up around 5pm and drove us to her house, where we were treated to another delicious meal. Having covered 26ish miles today we are a little tired, but no worse for the wear. Our original schedule of taking one day off for every nine on the road is now on hold, as our bodies are feeling stronger with each passing day. Just 21 miles tomorrow. The weather looks OK. It should be fun. After all, we always say to each other, “Consider the alternative!”
3/26/2003 - 9:34 AM - Day 30 - Plymouth, OH to Tiffin, OH
Webmaster Wood checking in for the boys who did not have access to a computer last night. I just spoke to Scott and they are out on the road now for another long day (about 26). Yesterday was originally planned to be about 31 miles, but they got some extra miles in the day before and ran about 25 instead (wimps). They started out on a really busy road with lots of truck traffic but were luckily able to find a country road that ran along the same route for most of the day on which they ran about 17 and only saw one car the whole time. Scott said they were pretty beat by the end of the day after two long days in a row (back to back, one after the other). Mother Nature was on their side as it was beautiful for the whole day and started to rain right when they finished, rained all night, and is great again today. They stayed with the track coaches from Tiffin University and would like to thank them for their hospitality and for some excellent food. The baby jogger has a slow leak in one tire, so they have to pump is up about twice a day. Looking for a bike store in the next town to remedy that. I now return to my cubicle... wishing I was out there too. One month down. ~Webmaster Wood
3/24/2003 - 3:56 PM - Day 29 - Ashland, OH to Plymouth, OH
We woke up to a cool but sunny morning. It turned out to be a great weather day as the temperature soared into the low 70's and the sun was shining bright. We got a ride from our wonderful hosts, the Ashland XC team, and headed off down the road. It was a very busy traffic day and we did not have much of a shoulder to work with. We ran most of the day, with a few stops to take in the sun. Today was the first really flat day. We could look for miles in any direction and not see any change in elevation. We better get used to it, as this will be our view for the next 1500 miles or so. We are thankful to not be climbing up and down all day as this should make for some nice flat running. Thanks to a late call yesterday from Katie Gwirtz, we have a great home to stay in tonight. The shower was great and the beds look super comfortable. We hope to rest well tonight, as the next two days will be longer than average but luckily nice and flat. We hope everyone is enjoying the first week of spring as much as we are...
3/23/2003 - 5:20 PM - Day 28 - Wooster, OH to Ashland, OH
Last night was our best night’s sleep in about 3 weeks. We each bagged 10+ hours, which were all well needed. After a McDonald’s breakfast we hit the road about 9am. The weather was overcast and in the 40’s all day, but never threatening. We really moseyed along quite slowly this AM because had not yet secured lodging for tonight. We were preparing to spend the night out, so we were in no rush to cover the day’s intended 20 miles. However, as has been the case for the last 4 weeks, someone was looking after us, and the phone rang. It was some guys from Ashland University’s XC Team offering us a place for tonight. We gladly accepted the offer and arranged a meeting point with them for later in the day. The entire day was spent on country farm roads. We weren’t bothered at all by cars, and the terrain gently rolled. Nothing terribly exciting happened really. Although, we did have the trip’s first sighting of an empty bottle of MD 20/20. We’ve each pledged to drink a bottle of Mad Dog for every empty of it we see on the roadside. So now we each owe one. We’ll let you know when it is consumed. Now we are taking it easy and watching the tournament in a plush campus apartment at Ashland University. This is far and away the nicest campus housing I’ve ever seen in my life. The place is fully furnished by the university with leather couches and armchairs! Only those of you who have lived in a MOD at Bucknell can truly appreciate the absurdity of this situation. Thankfully the MOD’s weren’t like this. If they were, our damage bill at year’s end would’ve rivaled the tuition bill. Well, we don’t have any plans for tonight. Just eat a lot and get some rest……
3/23/2003 - 4:39 PM - Day 27 - Clinton, OH to Wooster, OH
Sorry for the delay yesterday. We did not have access to a computer and our wonderful Webmaster was taking a much needed vacation. We started the day feeling a little tight as we had run basically the whole way yesterday. After talking with our hosts last night, we decided to take a back road that would cut about 10 miles from our route. This caused us to be on one road the entire day; a nice back country road with almost no traffic and a nice flat smooth surface. We ran here and there and spent most of the day moving at a relaxed pace. There was a brief period of rain but it only lasted about 5 minutes. At the end of the day, Todd Fach picked us up and took us to a bar to relax. It was great as we ate good bar food, drank 20 oz. Labatt’s, and talked running. After a few hours, Todd took us to the house of his former coach at Wooster College. Jim and Sally Bean were great hosts. They had beds waiting and we went to bed earlier than we had in about 3 weeks; ~ 8:00 pm. This was much needed rest and felt great. We just keep pluggin’ away…
3/21/2003 - 6:19 PM - Day 26 - Lakemore, OH to Clinton, OH
Well, rain was in the forecast and rain is what we got. Unlike a week ago, however, the air temperature remained right around 50 so it wasn’t too bad (perfect half tight weather…yeah Shea). We started the day with a breakfast of Eggo’s and Froot Loops and headed out the door with Pat Gurin, our host. As we hopped out of the car, the rain let up and we were able to put the baby jogger together without getting wet. Pat ran with us for the first ~9 miles. We were on back roads, then strip malls and heavy traffic, and then back roads again. We were running about 8 min/mile pace and feeling pretty strong. Soon after Pat left (I hope you made it home okay), it started to rain again; nothing that really soaked us but just enough to be a nuisance. We tried stopping for lunch in the town of Manchester. Scott opened the door to the only ‘restaurant’ in town and quickly closed the door and said, “Nope.” We were definitely out in the middle of nowhere and two skinny guys wearing half tights and pushing a baby jogger would not have been welcome in this place. It’s true that nothing would have happened, probably, but we were not going to take the chance. After a quick stop to down some energy bars, we continued on our way. We encountered this same experience two other times during the day. We probably could have eaten at the restaurants but weren’t real comfortable doing so. Yes, we realize that as we get further and further west, it will be necessary to do so, but we will approach that when it is necessary, and today, it wasn’t. We arrived in Clinton earlier than expected as we ran most of the day. Since there wasn’t any real place to stop, we headed out of town at a slow walk. We plodded along for a couple of miles until Billy and Jason (our hosts) arrived and picked us up. We ended the day not too wet but not completely dry either. Neither of us really got cold though and that is the important part. We continue to run more, at a faster pace, and still feel better at the end of the day. With continued stretching, good weather, and great hosts, our bodies will only get stronger…...
3/20/2003 - 6:28 PM - Day 25 - Deerfield, OH to Lakemore, OH
In my (Scott’s) opinion the first day of the NCAA Tournament is the best day of the year. It gets me more excited now, than I was as a youngster on X-Mas Eve. My brackets already have more losses than I’d like to admit, especially after just 6 games complete….but that’s OK, there are many games yet to be played. With a day full of basketball to look forward to, covering 23 miles this morning seemed a mere formality. I had no plans of stopping for any reason. Granted, my travel companion is not nearly the sports fan that I am, but he understood the importance of finishing early today. It’s March Madness baby, the legs couldn’t possibly hurt on a day like today! And so down the road we headed at 9am, fueled by Dunkin Donuts for the first time since Day 10. That was especially nice. The weather looked promising and the terrain looked flat. Both would prove true, as the temperature hovered around 60, and the road neither dipped nor rose all day. Over the last two days we’ve had a number of people honk car horns and wave as they drove by. We weren’t sure if Ohioians were more friendly or if we were being recognized from the newspaper and TV coverage that we received in Youngstown. Today provided our answer and the most touching moment of our trip thusfar. About 8 miles into this mornings run a car drove by, the horn honked, and the people waved. Five minutes later Dave and I were in the middle of a conversation about why people have been honking at us, when the car approached us from the opposite direction. It pulled up next to us on the shoulder, the window rolled down, and a lady enthusiastically asked us if we were the guys from TV who are running across the country. We said that we were. Her hand then came out the window holding some money. She handed it to us and said, "This is for your mission and your dream. God Bless. God Bless. God Bless." We got out a pair of quick thanks you’s and the car was gone. It came as quickly as it left, and the moment lasted no longer than 15 seconds. As the car drove, off Dave and I stood their stunned at what had just happened. There was nothing we could say. We don’t know who the people were, where they came from, where they are going, and we never will. But for those 15 seconds their was an incredible human connection that we feel that truly cannot be described. In just the first 25 days people have reached out to us in ways that we never expected. Each day for us brings promise of a new adventure and discovery. It is really uplifting and makes the hurt in my legs feel not so bad. After that encounter the day drifted rather quickly. The 23 miles today really were quite easy. We were in the car of our host and headed for a TV by 1:30pm. We’ve drank beers and watched hoops with our host, Patrick Gurin for the last few hours. Pat, a fellow Patriot Leaguer, ran track and XC at Lehigh University. As a result, we’ve had lots to talk about…..tons of friends in common and lots of stories to share. We’re headed out to dinner shortly and for sure I will be up until the last buzzer sounds tonight. Great day! With so much going on overseas the human spirit is truly alive in the this country! So is March Madness, I gotta go! Thanks to all of you for helping make this trip possible!
3/19/2003 - 9:56 PM - Day 24 - Poland, OH to Deerfield, OH
Feeling great again. We started the day with a great breakfast of pancakes, sausages, and chocolate cake…and then another piece of chocolate cake. RJ happily dropped us off at the running store, even though it made him 2 hours late for school. Don’t worry, he had it covered. Matt Folk met us this morning and ran the first ~ 4 miles with us. We both felt good running but the traffic made things a little difficult. The shoulder finally opened up about 6 miles into the run and we were able to run pretty free. The wind was at our backs today as well which may have been the first time all trip. We ran most of the day today so there wasn’t too much going on. We did come across what we thought may have been an albino raccoon. It kind of looked like a white/tan dog but it had little button ears and paws like a raccoon, with a big bushy tail. We filmed it and will be sending it off to the experts at a later date. We are now staying with the Mount Union XC team and enjoying old school Nintendo. No game is better than the original Super Mario Brothers. Not even Grand Theft Auto. Well, that’s about it. Right foot, left foot, right foot, right foot…D’Oh……….
3/18/2003 - 8:03 PM - Scott's pictures now up!!!
Hey, the pictures that I took from the first 12 days are now on the site. Hopefully we can get them updated with our commentary. The most fun we've had with the camera is taking pictures of the signs that we see. All of them have had some sort of obvious or hidden meaning. They're each worth a thousand words I guess......Scott
3/18/2003 - 7:37 PM - Day 23 - New Wilmington, PA to Poland, OH
And the good weather continues.......The sun remained somewhat overcast today but it was still over 60 degrees F. Not much happened in the first several miles today. We ran the first 7 miles of the day to the Ohio border. This was a great milestone being that we finished off our home state. There are now 9 states to go. We will not pass through a state as long as PA until Nebraska. Once passing the Ohio border, we turned onto a pretty busy road with 2 lanes of traffic, strip malls, and no shoulder. We hadn't had road trouble like this since the first couple of days in New Jersey. It was kind of a pain. We were able to spend some time searching the many stores for a new tube for our baby jogger. Once again we came up empty handed. The leak was still slow, so it did not cause too many problems. After 17 miles we came to the Second Sole running store in Boardman, OH. RJ Holmes, our host for the evening works at the store so we stopped in to pick up new shoes and socks. The guys at the store were great and helped us with everything we needed. RJ picked us up and we swung by a bicycle shop. We picked up a spare tube and a small pump so the baby jogger is like new; for now. We then went back to RJ's place where we stretched, relaxed, and watched a movie. Later, the local news showed up and we were interviewed by TV folks for the first time. When they left, we played some basketball including a quick game of PIG. Yes, unbelievably, we are both feeling good enough to shoot around. As the game ended, we were called to dinner. RJ's parents had cooked a tremendous meal of Shish-Ka-Bob, Lasagne, and Chocolate Strawberries. It was wonderful. We now sit here with stomachs full and hopes high as we both feel the best we have felt since day 1. The great weather will subside slightly tomorrow as it is supposed to rain and drop into the 50's. However, this is still better than any weather in the previous three weeks so it shouldn't slow us down a bit. We are now sitting watching the tournament, sipping beers, and there may even be a little Grand Theft Auto later tonight. Oh how great it is to be feeling good and running strong......
3/17/2003 - 8:14 PM - Day 22 - Grove City, PA to New Wilmington, PA
Still feeling good today as the day’s weather was the best yet. It got up to almost 76 degrees F. I have heard that we are currently having better weather than southern California. What a difference four days makes. Last week we were freezing wearing two pairs of pants and multiple layers and today we were wearing shorts and t-shirts. The day started off with one big problem...a flat tire on the baby jogger. We had not noticed it at the end of yesterday when we went to bed but there it was this morning. Upon inspection, the tire seemed to have a slow leak so we were in luck. We carried to a gas station and filled it with air. There were outlet malls four miles down the road and we hoped that we could find a new tube for the tire. After a quick stop at a diner, we headed down the road. Unfortunately, the outlet malls proved to be a bust. Not only could we not find a tube for the jogger, but we didn't find anything worthwhile in the nike or adidas outlet stores. Frustrated from a wasted 45 minutes we headed back out on the road. The leak in the tire was slower than expected and we continued to roll on smoothly. The skydiving place we had heard about was only by appointment so nothing exciting there. The rest of the day consisted of passing through many Amish villages. We even got to see an Amish school house with roughly 8 year old kids playing some sort of tag game. It was pretty interesting. We covered the first 14 miles in just about 3 hours including the stop at the diner and the outlet mall. This was encouraging because we were moving at a faster pace than we had been in the cold weeks prior. We actually reached our destination by about 12:30 pm. We stopped, had lunch, re-filled the jogger tire, and decided to continue. We covered another 6 miles before the Smaltz family arrived and picked us up. We had a great dinner with even better company and conversation. Once again we continue to feel better and better physically as the days go on. We are covering more miles, at a faster pace, and feeling better at the end of the day. We ar excited as tomorrow we cross into Ohio...2 states down......
3/16/2003 - 7:36 PM - Day 21 - Emlenton, PA to Grove City, PA
This AM we hit the road at around nine and were joined by Paul Wittreich for the first few miles. Paul is a veteran of transcontinental biking and had some great words of advice about life on the road. We had a great time trading stories about all of our experiences. Paul also kindly gave us a copy of his book Tandem Bicycling America. We look forward to reading it. Thanks Paul! Not only were we blessed this morning with company, but Mother Nature really smiled at us. The sun was out all day, and the temperature probably reached 75 degrees. That made the day seem much easier. Also, with many of our aches and pains now healed, we ran most of today’s 23 miles. That was a huge confidence builder. The warm weather certainly helped keep our muscles and joints stay loose. Upon arriving at Grove City College we met our hosts and got comfortable. A friend of ours, Jim Welsh, then picked us up and took us out for a late lunch. He’d driven up from Pittsburgh with his fiancée Shannon, and friends Amy and Aaron, to lend an afternoon of support. It never gets old seeing friendly faces. We had a great meal, but everyone ate too much. With heavy stomachs we said our farewells, and headed back to the dorms at GCC. With my foot in a bag of ice and Dave inhaling a Fast Break Candy Bar, we just watched the NCAA Tourney Selection show (of the men’s variety). We’re a bit disappointed that Pitt got a #2 cede. #1 would’ve been nice. Later this evening we have a meeting with Pittsburgh Post Gazette columnist, Mount Lebo Alum, Dan Gigler. He’ll be interviewing us for a possible article in the paper. Tomorrow looks to be a shorter mileage day as we head to New Wilmington, PA. Along our route there is a sky diving school. If it’s open, a stop may very well be made. FTP!!!!1112.
3/16/2003 - 7:34 PM - Day 20 - Emlenton, PA - DAY OFF
Yesterday’s day off was the best thing that has happened to me (Scott) yet. It was great to be at the Bloom’s house in Oil City and to have Bethany visiting. We did a lot of eating, TV watching, and icing/heating of our sore spots. There was a trip to Walmart for a heating pad and some oatmeal cream pies. Matt purchased some soymeal hotdogs. I would never go near such a thing, but somehow got roped into eating a raw one on the car ride home. Dave wisely avoided them. I got down about half of it, threw the rest out the window, and nearly puked out the window AS WELL. Raw dogs of that variety are not recommended. In the afternoon we spent a few hours at Mr.Bloom’s office updating the website and slugging through e-mails. The evening was quiet. We ate dinner out, and got to bed relatively early.
3/15/2003 - 3:13 PM - Day 19 - Clarion, PA to Emlenton, PA
Yesterday AM we hit the road around eight. We’d slept on a hardwood floor so we weren’t terribly rested, but the weather looked great, it was Friday, and we had a day off to look forward to. After 4 miles we grabbed some breakfast at a diner. Nothing too memorable or great….just breakfast sandwiches and cinnamon rolls. We did the next 16 miles with a few quick stops to sit on a log and drink some water. The terrain was rolling and the weather was the best we’ve had. It was 60 degrees and sunny. For the first time on the adventure, neither of us wore gloves. That was a great feeling…especially having been just 24 hours removed from nearly freezing off our fingers. Much of the day was spent discussing the love that Pennsylvania’s motorists have for Busch Beer. In the last 200 miles I don’t think that we’ve gone more than a quarter mile without seeing a discarded can, and occasional forty, of Busch. Sure, there are other beers on the roadside, but Busch is far and away the most common. Last night was spent in Oil City, PA with my childhood friends the Blooms. Lasagne and salad for dinner. Played some Trivial Pursuit, and drank some beers. I’m blessed to have my lovely girlfriend Bethany with me this weekend. So, so nice to see her. Today is a rest day, and Brof and I will hit the road tomorrow. Sorry to rush this…..Scott
3/13/2003 - 2:23 PM - Day 18 - Brookville, PA to Clarion, PA
HEAVY RAIN...33 degrees F. Weather doesn't get much worse than this. After a night of drinking and playing cards till 11 pm, we were not really prepared for this. The first 3-4 miles of the trip were actually quite pleasant. Just about then Scott uttered the words, "This may be the warmest weather we have had yet." With that, the temperature dropped about 15 degrees F and the skies opened. Within 2 miles we were drenched and cold. Unfortunately we still had 10 miles to go. When it was cold and blustery last week we could hide inside gas stations and restaurants to get warm. Today we were soaked through and there would be no getting warm until we were finished and in the shower. In an attempt to distract ourselves from how cold and wet we were we actually resorted to recalling New Kids on the Block lyrics. Yes, we had become quite delusional. We debated stopping with about 3 miles to go to try to warm something up but we were worried that once we stopped we wouldn't be able to start again. Eventually, we arrived at Clarion University and had warm showers waiting. The thawing out process was almost as painful as being out in the rain and cold. Now we are preparing for a kegger as we, coincidentally, are staying at the track house and, being Thursday, claiming must ensue. Good news, they have Grand Theft Auto. Because we arrived early in the afternoon, we will watch hoops and probably catch a nap before go time...
3/12/2003 - 4:08 PM - Day 17 - Salem, PA to Brookville, PA
We woke up nice and early this morning as we had 24 miles to cover and the threat of rain. One look outside told us cold…cold…cold. Once again our eyes deceived us, as it was actually quite pleasant outside (30 degrees F). A quick breakfast of bacon and eggs and we were on the road. Today’s terrain was very rolling as we spent most of the day either going up or coming down. Thankfully, there was nothing to steep and we were able to take the rolls in stride. After about 8 miles, it started to rain. Nothing to hard but we were definitely getting wet. The rain went as quickly as it came and actually warmed things up a bit. When we stopped for lunch in Reynoldsville after 12 miles, the temperature was up to 38 degrees F and the sun was shining. Lunch was Sticky buns and Chicken Fingers at Fat Man’s and hit the spot. WE gathered our energy and headed out for the second half of the day. There was basically 12 bare miles between Reynoldsville and Brookville with not much going on. The weather continued to get better and our legs continued to get sorer. However, as we climbed through Brookville to our ending point, we realized that this is the best we had felt at the end of a very long, and hilly day. Yes, the aches and pains are still there, but we are definitely getting stronger. The great weather looks to be continuing tomorrow and through the weekend, and hopefully for the rest of the trip. Steaks and beers tonight as we head out on the town in historic Brookville…
3/12/2003 - 3:58 PM - Day 16 - Clearfiled, PA to Salem, PA (complete update)
The weather was much better today than yesterday. I (Scott) was glad to be alive all day and never wished I were dead. The day started with a 5 mile climb out of Clearfield. Better to get the big climbs out of the way early. The road flattened out for about 5 or 6 miles after the climb. We stumbled upon the Over the Mountain Restaurant and decided we should stop for lunch. How could we resist?…..the sign out side advertised next months appearance of “The Good Old Boys.” This gave me a chuckle as I thought about the band of that name in one of my favorite movies ‘The Blues Brothers.” Inside, our waitress, Sprite, insisted we have sloppy joes because “They are the bomb. They completely kick ass.” How could we say no? Along with the sandwiches we ordered up our first midday beers of the trip. This was a classic country bar and we couldn’t have left without downing at least one cold brew. While we ate we did an interview with a local reporter and listened to our waitress and bartender strum their guitars to the jukebox music. The words to the song went something like this….”I’m gonna go bar hoppin, there ain’t no stopping.” As much as we wanted to stay all day, it would’ve been rude to show up at our host family’s house all claimed. It also would’ve made our last 6 miles a bit tough. So we stopped after one beer and hit the road. On the way down the mountain we were stopped by police for the first time. An officer rolled down his window and exclaimed, “You guys CAN’T be from around here!” We explained what we were doing. He got a good laugh and wished us luck. As we jogged away I commented to Dave, “That will probably be the first, last and only time in my life I tell a cop that I’m jobless and homeless…and have the cop react with laughter.” The last 5 or 6 miles were pretty easy after that. Our hosts in Luthersburg last night were great. Warm food, warm beds, and smiling faces. Those three things have been a common thread so far, and it never ever gets old or less appreciated…
3/11/2003 - 9:06 PM - Day 16 - Clearfield, PA to Salem, PA (brief update)
Webmaster Wood reporting... Talked to Scott today after they had reached their host's house. It was a short talk, they will have a computer and check in tomorrow with the many details of an interesting day. They had some good stories to which I could not do justice, so I'll wait for them to weigh in. 17 miles today and the weather was better than yesterday. They actually ran most of the way and felt pretty good. I will let them make a full report tomorrow. Some pictures from days 1-12 are on the way. Check the Gallery soon. T-shirts are in the design phase. Watch for info. How my grammer? -- Webmaster Wood
3/10/2003 - 7:22 PM - Day 15 - Philipsburg, PA to Clearfield, PA
We woke up this morning and flicked on the weather channel. We were quite put out when we heard the weatherman describe the day as being an “Arctic Assault.” As we would soon learn, he was right on. The wind was blowing like yesterday but the air temperature was around 15-20 degrees F (about 10 degrees F colder) leaving the wind chill hovering around 0 degrees F for most of the day. No matter how fast we moved or how hard we worked, we could not get warm. The wind was taking all our body heat as soon as we produced it. This caused our muscles to feel tight all day. Think about how stiff you are on a cold day and then imagine spending 5-6 hours in it, moving constantly. We have both re-aggravated a couple sore spots due to forcing frozen muscles into motion. As we stopped for lunch after about 12 miles, Scott uttered the words, “I’d rather be dead than be this cold.” As we came into Clearfield, I was somehow able to open my frozen fist and give the Marsh’s a call to come get us. The warm car was a great repute from the driving wind and bitter cold. We are both pretty tired from the day as our bodies had to do a lot of extra work to keep us warm. Luckily, the plea that was posted at the end of the day yesterday, about needing a place to stay in DuBois, was answered. Once again the wonderful BUXC alumni came through and have found us a place to stay. You guys are great and I don’t think we could have gotten this far without you. Teamwork has always been the best approach and thanks to Coach G it’s still going strong today. In the long run, through all our complaining about the weather, we are still very excited to be doing this and wouldn’t give it up for anything. It’s really not that bad out here…….Dave and Scott
3/9/2003 - 7:17 PM - Day 14 - State College, PA to Philipsburg, PA
Webmaster Wood checking in from blustery NJ... apparently not as blustery as PA was today around the State College - Philipsburgs area though. Just got a call from Scott. Here's how it went down today: The boys covered ~23 miles today. The temp was a balmy 30 degrees the whole time and the wind was howling at 35 mph. Scott said they were very, very cold. They also faced what turned out to be a 6 mile climb from miles 12-18 over a mountain. It was pretty much a crappy day in terms of weather and overall conditions, but our heros kept a positive outlook and just laughed it off with an occassional "this sucks" under their breath. Tonight they are staying with Bucknell XC alum Terry Shea's parents and would like to thank them for their hospitality. Scott wanted Terry to know they were having a blast looking through his old scrapbooks. Back on the road in the morning! Good night - Webmaster Wood
3/8/2003 - 6:49 PM - Day 13 - Millheim, PA to State College, PA
Having spent the night at Matt Bloom's, a friend of mine (Scott) since the age of six, we chowed on Fruity Pebbles Cereal for breakfast. Fruity Pebbles are what Matt and I have eaten for breakfast, when together, for the last 15 years. The weather gods smiled upon Dave and I as we began our journey this morning. It was 25 degrees and sunny at day break, and quickly warmed to the mid 40's. The sun was out all day, helping our farmer's tans get all the more pronounced. We saw two interesting pieces of roadkill today....a weasel and a bobcat. Neither of us had ever seen those animals dead on the side of a road. We paused for casual observation, but the baby jogger grew restless, so we quickly resumed our day's journey. We also passed a cattle auction today. There was some debate about spending our money on a steer and a saddle, but we decided that steers fall into the support vehicle category. Instead we bought cheeseburgers, and pressed on. After the cheeseburgers, we stopped for candy bars. After candy bars, we stopped for Taco Bell. That was all before arriving at Bob Chandler's in State College. Once at Chandler’s we ate a full box of Ritz Peanut Butter Sandwiches, some Snicker's Ice Cream Bars, and a Dominoes Meat Lovers Pizza.....all the while slugging Gatorade, Miller Light, and playing Grand Theft Auto. Yes, that R rated video game has crept back into our free time. A word to anyone hosting us down the road....if you have Grand Theft Auto you should put it away. If you don't, you may never see us during our stay. We're headed off to a Mardis Gras party now. Word on the street is that there will be plenty of food, a hot tub, and a massage therapist on hand. Not sure what those things have to do with Mardis Gras, but I don't really care either. I will seek all three. Well, it's obvious by now that we are eating a lot. We've had long discussions about whether or not we are eating so much because our bodies are demanding the food, or if we are making a conscious effort to eat everything we can stuff in our pie holes. I guess if we finish the journey weighing more than we did at the start, our question will be answered. Oh, back to the run today. Well, we did a lot of walking actually. Dave is nearly 100%, but I'm still struggling with some aches and pains. It's growing quite frustrating, but it's still early and I think (hope) that my body will come around. Thanks to Jim Carney and Jayson Jackson for joining us for a few pedestrian miles at the end of the day. Also, thanks to the ladies who offered to cook us dinner because we are "The guys running across America." Yes, they actually recognized us because they'd seen the website. Pretty funny if you ask me. Even funnier is that Dave turned down their offer before I could get in a word edgewise. I guess a meat lovers pizza at Chandler’s sounded more appealing to him. Oh well, his loss. Off to the party.......Scott (Dave too)
3/7/2003 - 3:49 PM - Day 12 - Laurelton, PA to Millheim, PA
As we woke up this morning the sun was shining. Unlike yesterday, the weather was looking good however a quick glance at the outside temperature gauge showed 1.7 degrees F. Yes, another very, very cold day. Thankfully, the air was calm and the sun was shining bright so the cold was not much of a hindrance. We started the day with a nice climb out of Laurelton and into the mountains. The views were great as the sky was clear and the trees were covered with snow. Even the traffic behaved itself for the first couple hours allowing us to relax. Our biggest problem of the day was the pull on the baby jogger. It consistently pulled right, not much, but just enough to be a pain in the butt. We couldn't spend too much time adjusting it because every time we stopped we would get cold quickly. We eventually worked it out somewhat but will be adjusting more tonight. Millheim was our first and only stop of the day enjoying a wonderful feast of OIPS Chicken Parm subs. Since we both felt good we went on for another 4 miles or so just to make tomorrow a little shorter. Due to the sun and snow, we are both sporting wonderful farmer tans on our face, as if we didn't look sketchy enough. So as you can see, not much happened today. The night should bring a little more fun as we both feel pretty good and will be looking forward to downing some forties........Scott and Dave
3/6/2003 - 9:05 PM - Day 11 - Lewisburg, PA to Laurelton, PA
We woke up this morning and realized one major mistake we made on our rest day.....not watching the weather channel. Neither of us were expecting what was going on outside. Scott pulled back the drapes this morning and uttered, "Well, this is interesting. It's snowing." I of course responded, "It is." Not to be deterred we started our day by feasting on the same exact breakfast as yesterday. (You can never get to much Double D). We packed up our new Baby Jogger (Props to Creighton for the loner, it was great.) and headed out the door. The first 6 miles of our journey was on the roads that Scott and I (as well as most other BUXC Alumni) have run thousands of times. Out through the tunnel, around the golf course, past Turtle Creeks, and out Pheasant Ridge. Up to this point the snow was in the back of our minds. However, as we left familiar territory, we realized how hard the wind was blowing and how fast the snow was accumulating. Just a few miles into the run our faces were already caked with snow. On the back roads, the snow quickly accumulated to about 5-6 inches and made pushing the baby jogger very, very difficult. As we trudged down Pheasant Ridge, we saw an Amish horse drawn buggy approach (common for this area). I whipped out the camera to get some footage while Scott was talking on his cell phone. As they approached, they slowed and asked us if we needed any help. Surprised, we shook our heads no and they continued on down the road. It was an interesting clash of culture as the Amish (who mostly don't even condone electricity) talked with a guy on a cell phone and a guy with a digital video camera. We wonder what they were thinking as they drove on down the road. After 9 miles and a warming lunch, the snow pretty much stopped and we were left to deal with the accumulation and traffic. To this point we had been on back roads, but no longer. We were pushing our buggy through the plowed, heavy, thick snow that had once been the shoulder of the road. Luckily we managed to escape with only one major spraying of crappy slush by a big truck. As we came into Laurelton, the sun was out and it was actually a pretty nice day. Margaret Moyer greeted us with a warm shower and friendly meal. The Knight Family came to dinner as well and made it that much more pleasurable. So, despite the rough weather, today was actually a very encouraging day. Scott and I both feel quite refreshed after our day off and only covering 18 miles today. We both thought of today as an active rest. Hopefully our bodies will continue to get used to the toils of the road. We know our journey will only get better from here......Dave and Scott
3/5/2003 - 9:12 PM - Day 10 - Lewisburg, PA - DAY OFF
Day off.....damn that felt good. The adventures of the first 9 days have been great, but today was especially refreshing. We both got to sleep in until 9am. Our breakfast selection was Dunkin Donuts of course. We are making a point to eat more than we "normally" would. So we each packed away a breakfast sandwich, three donuts, a muffin, and a coffee. Well, no coffee for Dave. The BUXCism "Eat a donut, run like a donut" was not applicable today, as there would be no running. After breakfast we spent about 2 hours on the computer reading the message board and answering e-mails. Thanks to all of you for your continued support. We've said that a million times already and will say it a million more. We have truly been overwhelmed by the support. This afternoon we spent a couple of hours reviewing camera footage that we shot in the first week of our trip. The gentleman who is funding the filming of our trip was with us to give pointers on what we've done well, and what we could do better. After that it was off to the fieldhouse for another ice bath. We fraternized with the team, and froze the aches of our legs away for about a half hour. Dave was particularly excited today because the steeplechasers had their first one-mile-over-hurdles workout of the season. As scary as it seems, he probably could’ve joined them and done just fine. For dinner we ordered Chinese delivery back to the Stucco Palace. Stucco Palace is the long standing, impervious to law enforcement, mecca of BUXC off campus houses. It is where we sleep upon all returns to Bucknell. This stop has been no exception. We dined on General Tso's and Labbatts, while playing a fulfilling game of Grand Theft Auto on Playstation. As sick and twisted as that game is, we both find it mildly amusing. Anyways, while we had a busy day, it was relaxing and there is no other place we would rather have spent it. Our legs are as patched and as healed as they can be after 24 hours of rest. Tomorrow will be a nice way to ease back into life on the road. We have an "easy" 18 to Laurelton, PA. We'll leave the fieldhouse at about 9am and head through the tunnel, past the golf course, and out Pheasant Ridge Road. We've logged more miles in our lives on those roads than any other. They hold a very special place in the hearts of all BUXC Alums. All of you, and of course Coach, will be on our minds as we coast along past Crossroads, EPR, White House, and eventually onto Route 45 where the road will lead us in one direction......west.
3/4/2003 - 9:09 PM - Day 9 - Elysburg, PA to Lewisburg, PA
All of our thanks to webmaster wood for posting updates in our absence from technology. The last few days have really been something else. Wood mentioned how cold it was yesterday morning and I have to say it again.....it was REALLY COLD yesterday morning. The second I stepped outside I called him to get the temperature. It was 7 below zero wind-chill. That's not a fun way to start the day. In addition to damage to my anatomy (have recovered) yesterday did a number on our legs. Endless hills through the coal region of PA. Very interesting scenery and towns though. Even saw a sign for 24 hour a day Venetian blind repair....will post a picture of it. Anyways.....we got started this morning by throwing 3 Krispee Kremes and a Gatorade down the hatch. The weather was not nearly as cold as yesterday and we had a two day stay at Bucknell on the horizon. We made it to Danville, PA without much trouble, quickly downed some grub from Wendy's for lunch, and got moving again. The day was beautiful and we were both getting very anxious knowing that we'd be surrounded by friends and familiar faces by day's end. Jim Knight (Knightman) BUXC class of '80 joined us for the last 6 miles of today's trek. By that time (mile 20) it had become a trek. The excitement of getting to Bucknell had begun to wear off a bit (at least for me - Scott), and the reality of how sore I was set in. All I could think about was icing my legs. Appropriately, we arrived at the Bucknell Fieldhouse at 4pm.....just in time for practice. We kindly declined the offers to run with the team, sat down on the mat, and went to work on our legs. It was very soothing to do something so familiar. The experience of icing my legs on the mat while watching the team run a workout and the baseball team hit balls in the cage made me realize that things at Bucknell are just as they always were. That in itself was quite therapeutic. However, Dave and I got to experience the new luxuries of Bucknell athletes. We were invited to use the warm and cold whirlpools in the new training room. Dave chose the warm pool, and I chose the cold one. Yesterday morning's -7 temperature had more than prepared me for the shock of a cold whirlpool. It felt great. After getting a shower we took the familiar stroll up the hill the Bostwick Cafeteria. While Bostwick has been remodeled since we graduated, some things in the caf really NEVER change. First, the XC/Track teams still sit in the same place, and secondly the cafeteria staff still unwisely puts out cardboard cut outs for decoration. Yes, tonight Elvis, the king himself, made his first and last appearance in Bostwick Cafeteria. After the shatter of a full caf tray hitting the ground someone uttered the appropriate words "Elvis has just left the building." Some things really never change. Well, tomorrow is a well needed day off. We will sleep in, and spend the day relaxing. Probably spend a lot of time in front of a computer or playing Grand Theft Auto at the Stucco Palace. Bucknell - Man we love this place......Scott (with Dave)
3/4/2003 - 10:08 AM - Day 8 - Mahanoy City, PA to Elysburg, PA
Webmaster Wood reporting.... Received a call from Dave last night at about 7:30, but this is the first chance I've had to post (super-sized Fear Factor and I had to work on my taxes)... I mentioned in the last post that they called me in the morning yesterday and were completely freezing. Shortly after I talked to them they stopped at about 4 miles into the run and took shelter from the wind in a gas station (Scott swore his nuts were going to fall off). After warming up a bit, they set out again and found that the wind had died down a bit. The rest of the run took them through many different small coal mining towns. At one point, a man in a pickup pulled over next to them and gruffly asked what the hell they were doing with a baby out in the middle of nowhere. They explained the truth (probably would have been better to say it was a baby) and went on their way. Another person asked them if they were pushing a "dead body". Dave said there were many hills, and they probably did 3 separate 1000 vertical climbs during the run. The max elevation was 1700 and the lowest was 400. They stopped for lunch and then a couple of other times to get warmed up. At about 2:00 yesterday they called me to look up the number of their host in their mail account. Sue Ann Williams hosted them last night in her beautiful country home and gave them a great dinner. I am waiting to hear from them today for the big arrival at Bucknell! They will definitely have access to computers at Bucknell so you will be hearing from them shortly. Baby stroller was finally shipped yesterday. Somehow someone is going to get it to them. -- Webmaster Wood
3/3/2003 - 10:55 AM - Morning Update
Most of what I posted last night is correct. Scott called me from the road this morning about an hour ago. They are FREEZING, but they are alive. Check the weather for where they are - it's -7 degrees! More to come later. -- Webmaster Wood
3/2/2003 - 9:50 PM - Day 7 - Snyders, PA to Mahanoy City, PA
Webmaster Update: Got a call from Scott tonight, but I missed it so he left a message (incidently I was having birthday cake with "TubeSteak", the other webmaster). When I called back both Dave and Scott's phones were off. Here's what I gathered: They ran 25 miles today to reach Mahanoy City, PA. The morning started with 34 degree weather -- and pouring rain. Scott said that after two miserable miles, the rain stopped and the weather was actually decent. The baby jogger didn't make it this weekend as you've heard before (we're checking on that), but apparently some nice man from Allentown called them up and provided them with his to use for the day. Once we get details on that he will most definitely make the credits! [Note: this turned out to be Creighton Faust and he is now in the credits -- thanks!] Anyway, so they said that sometimes it is hard to use the jogger, but the benefits definitely outweigh the negatives, so it's probably here to stay for the rest of the journey. They pushed the packs with it so they wouldn't have to carry them. They are now staying with someone in Mahanoy City, but I didn't get a name. They said that they do not have access to a computer and probably won't for tomorrow night either, so you'll be hearing from me as I get updates on the phone. The message was garbled so I didn't catch too much else. I'll update if there is more when I talk to Scott in the morning. To keep you busy, I added a few things to the Gallery this weekend, so check that out. Traffic on the site continues to be insane... thanks for that. We might have to resort to cyber-begging soon so if you like the site and want to keep getting updates, we might ask you for a few bucks. We'll keep you posted on that. I've seen suggestions on the message board that people would buy t-shirts if we made them. We also thought about shot glasses. So, if you think this is a good idea and you would buy such things, give us a shoutout at email@example.com. Good night... - Webmaster Wood
3/1/2003 - 6:30 PM - Day 6 - Allentown, PA to Snyders, PA
Upon waking up we both felt rested and ready to go. We started running about 9am and were joined by Bucknell Alums Joe Cresko and Lori Scott about 3 miles into our trek. It was great to have a couple friends join us for a portion of the day. The time that they ran with us went by rather quickly and allowed us to easily forget any/aches and pains that were bothering us. Once they turned we continued on down route 309. There was a lot of traffic and the road shoulder was extremely uneven. This quickly aggravated my (Scott) knee pains and Dave's ankle pain. In addition, today's surroundings were not particularly scenic. By the time that our day ended we'd long since past the point of wanting to be finished. Dave's brother Eric picked us up and returned us to Allentown for the evening. We've iced our aches and had a large pasta dinner. Unfortunately the baby jogger that was ordered on Thursday afternoon for overnight delivery has not yet arrived. We were REALLY looking forward to having it for tomorrow's run, and are quite angry that it is currently in parts unknown. So I guess tomorrow we forge on with the packs on our backs. We are starting to discuss the possibility of taking a day off once we arrive at Bucknell on Tuesday. If we do, it will be well earned and well needed. The best description of today is BLAH! 21.5 miles, achy, tired, ready for bed....Scott and Dave
2/28/2003 - 9:34 PM - Day 5 - Bucksville, PA - Allentown, PA
After a wonderful night up in the hills of eastern PA we headed out into the morning. Luckily the weather shifted out to sea and we only saw about an inch of snow. The temperature was up as well (mid 30's). Today would be a long day (27 miles) and the fact that the snow had stayed away put us in good spirits. The first six miles took us up, down, and around the back hills of PA. It was a beautiful beginning for the journey. We stopped in a small diner as we came down out of the woods and enjoyed breakfast. To our surprise our wonderful hosts from last night (the Carroll's) had called ahead and picked up the tab. We talked to several people in the diner. As we were leaving, a woman came up to us and said she tried to buy us breakfast and since that was already done, she gave us 'lunch money' for later in the day. It was a very generous offer that we humbly accepted. The next 8 miles were along a very busy road with basically no shoulder. It was pretty bothersome but we were able to keep our minds busy in conversation. We spent most of the journey today recounting our entire running careers at Bucknell. We started from the beginning of freshman year and went through to the end of cross-country senior year. We'll try to get to the last two seasons tomorrow. This made for a very nostalgic day with a lot of good and bad races remembered. AS we neared the end with our legs heavy and our feet sore, my brother came riding up on his bike. This made the last three miles of our trek quite enjoyable as we told him of our happenings so far. We were also pushed to the finish by knowing that we would be staying at my (Dave’s) parents’ house. As we walked up the final hill to my house, my Mom joined us as well and it was a happy reunion. Having left here five days earlier, we couldn't believe we were back already. When we finished, we took a glass of water and jumped into the car to go visit the Runner's World headquarters in Emmaus. We sat and talked with a bunch of the staff members while munching on much appreciated donuts. They kindly gave us a couple of gels and some running socks including the now infamous Paula Radcliff compression running socks. Dave and/or Scott will be modeling them along with their half tights in a town to be named at a later date. Ladies, you won’t want to miss it............Dave and Scott
2/27/2003 - 5:11 PM - Scott's thoughts so far
Well, the first four days and first state are complete. It has truly been a physical, emotional, and mental roller coaster ride already! I need to give special thanks to our hosts thus far. You have all been a tremendous help! Because of you I am actually two pounds HEAVIER than I was upon Monday morning’s departure. The first day was the first day….we weren’t sure what was going on. We spent a lot of time dodging cars and jumping into snow banks. At days end I couldn’t believe how sore and tired I was. Days two and three were spent in both rural and urban settings. We were still dodging cars, but also had two cross two streams and a flooded canal. After finishing our journey yesterday I was really whipped. I couldn’t believe that we’d only been traveling for three days. However, this morning I awoke to fresh legs and a very positive feeling. It must have been the bowl of Lucky Charms. Reading all of the messages and e-mails last night really gave me an emotional boost. You are all responsible for that. Those who say that we inspire them are the one’s inspiring us. Today was the best day yet! We had few pains and covered the distance easily. A big pick me up was the crossing of the Delaware River into PA. Jersey is the smallest state we will traverse, but today was a victory nonetheless. About two miles into PA we’d begun to climb into the mountains. A lady came out of her house and hollered up the road to us “Hey you guys! I’m heading out to the store, but have left the door open. There is plenty of food in the fridge. Feel free to make yourselves at home.” We had no idea who she was, but the offer warmed our hearts and is a reflection of what I feel this trip has been all about. Right now I’m happy and healthy and eating Double Stuff Oreo’s. Bethany, I wish dearly that I could be with you tomorrow. You’ll do fine. The roommate firm of Santanocita, Osborn, and Osborn….your messages have been great. Keep them coming. Scaccia, I hope your finger is OK. Keep it out of wing sauce……Sehon
2/27/2003 - 4:20 PM - Dave's thoughts so far
Well, everything is going pretty well. My pains have subsided for now, and I just feel a general soreness in my legs. My body seems to like getting started early in the morning (9:00 am) and having most of the day (after 2:00 pm) to sit around and recover. We have still been walking quite a bit to avoid any seriousness injury. To remedy this problem, yesterday we decided to get a baby jogger. We had talked about using one early on in the planning process but decided that it would be too cumbersome. Now, as we struggle with the weight of our packs, we have come back to the idea and should have one in our possession in the next couple of days thanks to the quick actions of Rick and Ledge. Today was a real boost to the spirits and I finally feel like I am in the groove. We have made it through the first couple days and as time passes, I think everything will feel more and more like a routine. Tomorrow we travel to Allentown, which is where my parents live. It will be a nice place to relax. Currently my only fear is the threat of 4-8 inches of snow tonight. Our current resting place is up in the mountains and it might be tough traveling on narrow snow covered roads. However there is really no sense in worrying since we will be forging on no matter what. Thanks again for everyone's support......Dave
2/27/2003 - 4:20 PM - Day 4 - Flemington, NJ to Bucksville, PA
What a difference a day makes. As we went to bed last night both Scott and I seemed a little down. It had been a cold day and very tiring. However, thanks to the hospitality of our hosts, we had plenty of food, water, and ice to heal the wounds. As we set off today we both felt very energized. Most of the soreness and pain had dissipated during the night and we felt refreshed. The other nice part about today was that we only had to cover 15 miles. This was still far, but not as taxing as the days before. After the first 9 miles today we arrived in the quaint town of Frenchtown, right on the Delaware River where we would be crossing from New Jersey into Pennsylvania. We stopped there in a nice little cafe and had lunch. As we crossed the bridge into PA (luckily this was not flooded as the canal bridge had been two days ago), we had a semi feeling of elation having completed our first of eleven states. Although it is much shorter than any other it is still a feeling of accomplishment. We proceeded to climb straight up for the rest of the day causing some aches and pains to return but nothing as bad as the day before. The Carroll's greeted us with open arms and a finishing tape stretched across the front of their driveway. We broke through the tape and are now enjoying good food, warm showers, and wonderful conversation. Frank Carroll was one of the original Bucknell Alums of whom Scott and I have heard many stories. It is an honor to stay in his home as we are being treated like kings.....Scott and Dave
2/27/2003 - 3:53 PM - Thanks to everyone
First off, the messages and emails we have been receiving from everyone have been very uplifting. Some people have said we are inspiring them; however, we are being equally inspired every time we read the message board. Thank you everyone for watching, and keep the contacts coming.....Scott and Dave
2/26/2003 - 7:44 PM - Day 3 - Belle Mead, NJ to Flemington, NJ
The best part about today was the navigation. Finally, we were able to follow certain roads for more than a mile. This enabled us to put the GPS away and just push on. The problem with today was the lack of places to stop for drinks, food, etc. We covered 19.5 miles without taking in any food and water which at the time didn't seem to be a problem but now that we are done we are realizing how dehydrated we actually are. The only time we stopped today was when Ben and Sarah Madavoy came out to see us. They pulled up in their car and spoke with us for about 15 minutes. It was a nice break in the day. Throughout the day we struggled with keeping our hands warm, as it didn't get much above 20 degrees Fahrenheit. But as long as we were moving it wasn't too much of a hassle. Russ gratefully picked us up along route 12 and has given us a nice warm place to sleep for the night. Because we got off early this morning we have had a lot of time to sit and recover. Once again we have been supplied with terrific food and tremendous hospitality. We have not checked the forecast but have heard rumors that it will be snowing on our journey tomorrow. Oh well, its better than rain. As far as equipment goes, the packs have proven to be more cumbersome than expected. Physically carrying them hasn't bothered us in places like back and shoulders but it has changed the way in which our legs carry our bodies. Scott has been experiencing extra stress in his knees and Dave in the ankles. For know we will push on with a little more walking than anticipated, but we are looking at other ways of carrying our equipment such as push carts. The body definitely seems to have a negative response when you instantaneously add 14 pounds. Keep watching and we will keep the updates coming........Scott and Dave
2/26/2003 - 7:28 PM - Day 2 - Old Bridge, NJ to Belle Mead, NJ
Sorry for the delay in updates everybody we were unable to get to the Internet last night. Well, we have learned a lot in the last 48 hours. The biggest surprise is that New Jersey is not entirely paved; there are some rural parts. Tuesday morning we woke up well rested and well fed thanks to the Coston family. We had had a big breakfast so we started off walking to make sure everything was fully digested. To our dismay we learned that all roads in New Jersey run north/south causing many 'wasted' miles. To avoid this we put the GPS to the test. Twice on Tuesday we took the way of the crow and turned into the woods to do some 'trail' running. After crossing two streams (with only one foot getting soaked) and the New Jersey commuter rail line (which I am sure was illegal), we found ourselves right on target and having saved 2-3 miles. The rest of the day was a mixture of running and walking as we tried to stay hydrated and well fed. As we neared the canal several miles north of Princeton, we found out that the bridge we were trying to cross was closed to cars. Upon approaching the bridge we found out why. The 2 feet of snow that had fallen a week ago had now melted and flooded our path. The next bridge was 5 miles up and back so that was out of the question. We pulled up our pant legs and waded across giving a good icing to our tired feet. This made the last 2 miles a little more difficult than planned but it was well worth the time. We arrived at the Boudreau family residence wet and tired, but thankfully, we were greeted with open arms. With three little ones running around they still managed to serve us a terrific meal, fix our beds, and do our laundry. It was greatly appreciated after covering 23 miles. After a good nights sleep we woke up to pancakes made by Jack (3rd grader) and our laundry neatly folded outside of our door. Without hospitality like this I don't know how we would have made it out the door........Dave and Scott
2/26/2003 - 10:57 AM - Short Update
Webmaster Wood here. I just spoke to Scott and Dave on the phone. They are on the way to Flemington, NJ. They didn't have a computer last night to post a message. They said it's hard work and they are sore but they sound determined. They were shocked to learn of all the hits this site has gotten in the past few days. Thank you all for that! Thanks to the family who hosted them last night (I didn't get the name). It's very cold out there and they are feeling it but pressing on. They promise first-hand updates as soon as they can find an internet connection. Dave said, "It's pretty rural out here..." Good job guys! The world is watching...
2/24/2003 - 10:21 PM - Day 1 - Sea Bright, NJ to Old Bridge, NJ
Well, we've logged our first 19.3 miles of the run. Launched from the ocean this AM with barefeet in the snow and icy Atlantic water. Our feet turned blue and we spent the next 20 minutes in the car with the heater on high. The roads that we ran on today had much more traffic than we anticpated. In addition sidewalks were not cleared of snow so we ran mostly on the road shoulder. Spent lots of time dodging cars and jupming into snow drifts. Our joints are a bit sore, but we'll loosen up and get used to the pounding (i hope). The family that we are with tonight has been great. Full lasagne dinner, dessert, pictures with the kids and grandkids. Truly amazed at the reception given to complete strangers. We can sleep in and there will be a warm b-fast tomorrow. You can do our host family a favor and check out radioads.com. On the road....Scott and Dave
2/23/2003 - 2:41 PM - Just a few hours left.......
Well, the going away party is over and all we have left is tying up a few loose ends. The party went well with some heavy drinking, naked sledding, and a little puking. Only one person had to go to the hospital (bone chip in the knee). Luckily Scott and I escaped relatively unscathed and in a somewhat coherent state. Weather wise, it is cold and rainy today, however, we are confident that by tomorrow, and for the rest of the trip, it will be in the mid 70's and sunny........
2/20/2003 - 2:04 PM - Dave's Ass-Tek (Pontiac) gets T-Boned
If you are wondering why we have answered few e-mails in the last 24 hours the reasons are two-fold. 1) I am still working my full time job and desperately trying to juggle finishing things up, and manage stuff for the run. 2) I just got off the phone with Dave. Some clown ran a red light and T-boned Dave's much fabled Pontiac Ass-Tek. Dave is fine. However, early reports are the battleship may be a totalled......which is probably music to Rick Rountree's ears. So while Dave was going to spend all day answering e-mails and giving interviews, he's dealing instead with car insurance and mourning the loss of his most prized possession. More to come......Scott
2/20/2003 - 9:21 AM - Documentary to be filmed about our story!
A producer from a major network and a producer from a major cable station will be independently funding a documentary to be produced about our run. Early details are we will have a digital camcorder with us for the entire run to film daily, and professional crew will meet us intermittently throughout the course of our journey to get better quality footage. Filming begins at Bronfenbrenner's house on Saturday! More details to come. -Scott
2/20/2003 - 9:15 AM - T-Minus 4 Days
This will be short, and off the top of my (Scott) head. The responses we've received in the last 3 days has truly been overwhelming. With all of the help that has been offered so far we'd say there is a chance we could actually GAIN weight on this run. Really, it has been a bit overwhelming trying to manage the e-mails and phone calls.....we wouldn't want it any other way! If you've e-mailed us about lodging support or an interview, we PROMISE that you will hear from us in the next week. thank you all so much. Keep spreading the word to anyone and everyone. Very Graciously......Scott and Dave