Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We Didn’t Know What We Were Doing: The Conclusion

Ladies and gentlemen, friends, family, followers of our adventure, we are home, finished, and resting.It was a long journey, and I wish that I were better equipped at this hour to offer insights and lessons learned in such a manner so as to tie off loose ends and rationalize all that has impacted us since we began, but such trips and experiences require more time to sink in, and more time to make sense, and so I am left to merely tell the story of the last few days and hope that sometime soon I will fully grasp how I have changed and what I have seen.
(Entering Quebec on a ferry)

We left off in Levis, Quebec, at a high point on our journey, fresh off of a concert by Paul McCartney and a wonderful experience with our host. In the morning we were treated to a king’s pile of homemade crepes with sugar and syrup, espresso, and fantastic conversation. It was a thoroughly wonderful stop on the route. Then we left Levis.

The road out of town took us northeast along the western border of Maine, near the edge of the St. Lawrence River. We had planned on the next few days being exceedingly easy, as the route followed along with the Jet Stream perfectly, but unfortunately our timing was off, and the northeast was in for days upon days of storms, all of which were accompanied by extremely high winds...Perfectly opposite our direction. We tried to tell ourselves it was alright on the way out of town as that day was originally supposed to be a rest day, so we were making extra progress and setting ourselves up for easy days to come, but by then we had lost our powers of prediction. We labored for 8 hours to put only 60 miles behind us. The rain was awful, and our spirits were worse. We stopped for the night in St. Jean Port Jolie.

We woke up the next morning in a similar scenario, except for the increased rain, and the slightly more intense head wind. We had just 60 km to go until we turned east over the northern tip of the U.S., so we were ready to simply tough it out up to that point, when we could turn out of the wind. It was a long, hard morning, and certainly difficult to stay positive, but we kept our heads up and made the turn east after several hours of laboring. It couldn’t have been timed more perfectly. Right when we made the turn, the clouds almost seemed to part, and the sun came out through a gap in the overcast sky. We enjoyed a short climb and 10 or so miles with what felt almost like a wind advantage, which of course wasn’t, but we had been so abused up to that point that we were willing to take anything we could get, and then the road kicked up towards the heavens with a 6 mile climb. All of the sudden we were going the same speed as we had been in that terrible wind. It was frustrating, but still nice to be battling a slightly different resistance. Then the rain came back. There seemed to be a storm caught in between the peaks of the Appalachians that we had been making out way into for a couple of hours, and pretty soon it was almost dark enough to be night time. Visibility was nil, and the drivers weren’t ready to react to two cyclists, much less be patient with them in such conditions. We found ourselves descending into our stop-town with car and truck horns blaring, dancing over pot-holes every 10 feet, with maybe 50 meters of visibility and, at least in my case, almost no brakes. Scary situation no doubt, but hey, it keeps you focused, eh?

We found a place to stay and supplies at the local grocery store to make a pile of french toast...Which was fantastic. French toast is so good. So good. You should probably discontinue reading for a moment and make some.

The next morning we made our way east again, this time with the Quebec border within striking distance...A valuable mental victory. After several hours in the saddle and, strangely enough, a head wind, we made it to the border of New Brunswick. We were finally into our last provence, and we only had two more days of riding after that. It felt like finishing. We sat down just across the border for some PB and J’s and spent some time reflecting, but mostly pretending that Quebec didn’t exist. It was great to feel optimistic again, and great to be smiling. We soldiered on, putting as much space between us and Quebec as we could. We came through Edmonston, a big checkpoint on the day, and stopped for some beverages and distance calculating. It looked like just 60 miles to go on the day, and then we had a fairly long day the next day, followed by an easy victory ride into the Bay of Fundy. We got back on the road full of excitement.

Then the unthinkable happened. At mile 74, Eric’s
chain snapped. It was one of the worst mechanical issues we could’ve been confronted with. Once it broke, we were left with very few options. We either needed to find a shop and put in a new chain pin, or Eric was going to have to replace the chain and the gears on the back wheel (when you ride on drivetrain for a long time, the chain stretches and wears the gears on the back wheel, so putting on a new chain would’ve made for some really awful riding). Either way, we needed a shop and a way to get to one. It was 5:30 pm. We used my phone to look up bike shops in the area and called a few, but they were all closed.

We tried hitchhiking to the nearest town with a shop,
but it wasn’t working at all. We ended up having to get a cab to Grand Falls, short of our day’s goal, and without making any progress or having any guarantee of

In the morning we learned that the shop did not have a chain pin, which of course is crazy, but true, so we looked to be in for a very interesting two days. After hours of intense logistical work, attempted hitchhiking, reluctant taxi and bus rides, we made it to the closest town that had a legitimate bike shop: St. John, which happened to also be our final destination on the Bay of Fundy. So, we were unable to complete the last 180 or so miles of the trip on our own. This was a very, very difficult pill to swallow, after working for 37 days through storms and sickness to stay on schedule for a successful arrival on the east coast.

But strangers, yet again, saved our spirits. On the bus ride into St. John, a woman overheard us calling hotels looking for vacancies and explaining our project, and she offered to host us for the night. Such hospitality is absolutely incredible, and really humbling - I honestly can't say that I would walk up to two smelly strangers and offer them my home for the night. And so we spent a wonderful night with Patti, in her wonderful house downtown, eating supper and dessert with her and sharing travel stories.

We awoke the next morning well rested and well fed, but sad to accept the abrupt end to our ride. Eric managed to use his chainless bike as a scooter, and we did have a chance to wheel around downtown St. John as we were rushing to recollect our bike boxes and gather our bus tickets and plane confirmations to get started on the next part of our journey - The trip home.

And here we are. Home again, unpacked, showered, rested and now restless all over again. It's difficult to find a moment to sit down and really understand what such a defeat among so many little victories really means to us, and it looks like we won't have much time to consider it in the coming days either. Eric is all set to head to Indonesia tomorrow to begin 10 months of English teaching at a school in the city of Sumatra, and I have some big races to get ready for - I suppose the wheels were never meant to stop turning.

3,796 miles in 37 days.

So our trip is over, and we are happy despite the unexpected ending. We have taken solace in reminding ourselves of what we originally set out to do. The goal was and still is just to embrace the changes we inevitably make to our lives and to the lives of others; to seize a summer and make it count. The point was to change, not so much to finish, fix, or complete anything. And change we did, both ourselves and a little part of the world, and maybe a few children's lives. The work isn't done, though our work on the bike may be - at least for a little while.

To all of you reading: we can't thank you enough for everything.

Bon Voyage,
Jason and Eric
p.s. Check up on this blog for updates on our fundraising progress and on the changes happening down in Chacaya. Keep spreading the word, and using your passion to make the changes we need to see, and telling us about it! Comments on this blog are always welcome.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Visual Reflection on the Trip Thus Far

Our Last Day in the Rockies
With Josee Richard, our host in Banff, Alberta. As you can see, something about the mountain air made Jason and I grow several feet overnight...
Jason being pursued by the world`s largest dinosaur statue, in Canada`s Cretaceous Paleontology Capital: Drumheller, AB
Our first night in Saskatchewan
Our first day in Manitoba; past the breaking point of insanity after 5 days in the endless prairies.
A waterfall. Obviously.
What happens to a rear tire after 3,200 miles of touring.
In White River, the birthplace of Winnie-the-Pooh, one of Eric`s favorite stops.
The moustacheo`d Spandex bandito, Jason Haney, on Ahmic Lake, Magnetawan, Ontario.
With the wonderful Candler family! Oh, Magnetawan, how we miss you!
With Eric`s sister, Sara, in Lachute, Quebec!

Biking - and BAKING - for Schools in Guatemala!

So, we have 5 days left in this bike ride, barring any unforseen disaster. This is great news, and to follow it we have some wonderful news about our sister-goal, to raise $20,000 to build a school for Chacaya in Guatamala. The only way we are going to reach this goal is if our supporters spread the word about what we are doing and find creative ways to raise money using their own interests and passions, and I was just sent an extremely inspirational email from a close friend who provides a perfect example of this:
This friend and the youth she works with at her church in Nashville recently held a bake sale to raise money for this Chacaya school, and the bake sale brought in over $300! This is wonderful, wonderful news! They are also planning a yard sale soon, which will surely bring in another significant amount for this project. Absolutely fabulous. Here is a pic of some of the great people involved:

Keep up the wonderful work! This is the most inspirational thing we can hear on a trip like this!

Vive Quebec!

Eric: `The wind. It can be your best friend, or your worst enemy.`
Jason: `Like a woman. A woman that turns out to be a man.`

Bonjour, bonjour!
Yes, we are in Quebec City. To be more specific, we are in the town of Levis, right across the Fleuve Saint-Laurent from the fortified citadul that is Quebec City, one of the only and oldest walled cities in North America, and one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen.

So we arrived in Levis at 6:45pm after a heartbreaking day of potholes and headwind for 128 miles, and by 8pm we were showered, fed and situated at our couchsurfers`place. From Levis`shore, we could feel the pulsating energy emanating from the city: this year marks the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, and every night this year, a huge celebration goes down in the Place d`Arms. Tonight was a special treat: Paul McCartney was playing the city a birthday concert!

We watched the sun set on the glowing city as we crossed the river via ferry and made our way up the winding, snaking cobblestone streets to the centre-ville. Quebec City was a madhouse. We followed the noise until we came upong Paul McCartney`s audience, and right as we approached Paul came out on stage and began his set, and the Canadians went CRAZY. I`ve never seen so many people in one place before. We stood and watched the concert for a while, then strolled down the Rue Principale and observed the city life with some live Paul McCartney as a background soundtrack. Eric ate a McFlurry. It was beautiful.

After another beautiful ferry ride back to Levis, we met up with our couchsurfer, got to know eachother and played music together; this fabulous woman (who is making us crepes as we speak, bless her, bless her) we are staying with is an expert accordionist. The music was grand! A beautiful night`s rest followed, and we are currently prepping ourselves to get out into the headwind again. Only 5 days of riding left. 5 days.
- E

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Greetings from Quebec!!!

We`ve made it to our second to last province. We are about to start out day 3 of our riding days in Quebec. Today, we go from Sorel-Tracy, right on the Ste. Laurent River, to Quebec City, a beautiful walled city currently celebrating its 400th anniversary; I`m sure we will have some stories to tell about our time there.

Since we last updated the blog, we`ve had some utterly amazing days, and some hard days. It seems like there is no in between on this trip - either you have a tailwind, the sun is out and the birds are chirping, or it rains all day and the wind keeps pushing you into traffic.

Our accounts of the past 5 days must be brief, because we gotta hit the road!

Day 28: North Bay to Magnetawan, 65 miles. A supreme headwind did its darndest to keep us from the serenity and beauty of Ahmic Lake and the hospitality of the wonderful people in Magnetawan, but our willpower - and Jason`s spot-on pace-setting - overcame the gods of wind, and we ended up having the most wonderful night of our trip thus far with the Candler family. I``m talking bathing in the lake, glorious glorious dinner with all the fixins, a _beautiful_ sunset (it made Eric`s top 10 list!), a beautiful night`s sleep, fantastic morning coffee on the dock, and a hearty breakfast with Ricky and his parents. Absolutely perfect, we had the hardest of times leaving.

Day 29: Magnetawan to Whitney, 110 miles. We left Magnetawan on a enthusiastic high, rode through the beautiful-but-hilly Algonquin Provincial Park, and ended up in Whitney, a small town renowned for its hospitality.

Day 30: Whitney to Arnprior, 110 miles. Today, we leaped off the Canadian shield and came just to the Quebec-Ontario Border. Another good tailwind, a beautiful sunny day, beautiful country side. Quality Inn and Suites was nice enough to put us up for the night, and the rest was very much appreciated.

Day 31: Arnprior to Montebello, 80 miles. Our planned distance for the day was much more ambitious than our achieved distance, due to 2 factors: all-day Wind, and Gatineau. The second we crossed the ferry into Quebec, we were unable to hide anymore: we were dumb Americans who didn`t know a lick of French. Well, Jason had prepared a little and could make it through a transaction with a gas station attendant, but Eric froze up like a deer in headlights and embarassed himself consistently throughout the day. Unable to ask directions and only able to guess at the meaning of road signs, we blundered our way through the insanely long city of Gatineau in a torrential downpour, dodging puddles that were concealing cavernous potholes as city-traffic regarded our existence with indifference, and sometimes malice. It literally took us 2.5 hours to get through that darn city, and convinced us to stop in Montebello for the night. While the low mileage was disappointing, we were delighted that we had managed to reach our filthiest point of the trip this day.

Day 32: Montebello to Sorel-Tracy. 113 miles. THIS was what a riding day in Quebec was supposed to be like. Beautiful cumulus clouds in the sky, rolling, wild fields alongside the highway, gorgeous small towns with large, ancient church steeples standing out on the horizon, and old men on horse-driven carriages slowing down traffic. It was almost too perfect to be real, but Eric`s sore butt reminded him consistently of the actuality of the experience. A ferry ride over the river landed us back on the south side of the Ste. Laurent River, and into the town of Sorel-Tracy. But the highlight of the day: Meeting Eric`s sister, Sara, in Lachute for breakfast! Another wonderful familiar face, Sara brought gifts of Skittles and shaving razors, and a really nice breakfast in which we caught up and regailed her with stories from our bike travels. Our delightful visit with Sara set us on an enthusiastic pace towards Sorel.

Gotta hit the road! Another update with come from Quebec City!

PS For you French Speakers out there, looking for a laugh: we have done you the courtesy of translating a selection of this blog entry into French using one of those awful online translating tools! Here we go:
Le jour 32 : Montebello à Sorel-Tracy. 113 miles. CECI était ce qu'un jour voyageant dans Québec a été supposé pour être comme. Le beau cumulus brouille dans le ciel, roulant, les champs sauvages à côté de la route, les petites villes magnifiques avec les clochers d'église grands et anciens se tenant d'hors à l'horizon, et vieil homme sur les attelages cheval-conduits ralentissant la circulation. C'était presque trop parfait pour être vrai, mais Eric`s le bout endolori l'a rappelé régulièrement de la réalité de l'expérience. Une excursion en ferry sur la rivière a atterri nous soutient sur le côté du sud du Ste. La Rivière de Laurent, et dans la ville de Sorel-Tracy. Mais l'essentiel du jour : La soeur d'Eric`s de réunion, Sara, dans Lachute pour le petit déjeuner ! Un autre visage familier merveilleux, Sara a amené des cadeaux de rasoirs de Quilles et rasage, et un petit déjeuner vraiment agréable dans lequel nous avons pris en haut et regailed elle avec les histoires de nos voyages de vélo. Notre visite charmante avec la série de Sara nous sur un rhythme enthousiaste vers Sorel.

Gotta a frappé la route ! Une autre mise à jour avec est venu de la ville de québec !``

PPS. Now, for you English speakers looking for a laugh, we have taken that awful translation, and used the same online service to translate it BACK to English. Here we Go!:
``The day 32: Montebello to sorel-tracy. 113 miles. THIS was what a day traveling in Quebec was supposed to be as. The beautiful cumulus jumbles in the sky, rolling, the wild fields next to the road, the small magnificent cities with the steeples of big and old churches being held of out to the horizon, and old man on the harnesses horse drive slowing down the circulation. It was almost too perfect to be true, but Eric`s boils it painful recalled it uniformly reality of the experience. An excursion in ferry on the river landed supports us on the side of the south of the Ste. The River of Laurent, and in the sorel-tracy city. But the bulk of the day: The sister of Eric`s of meeting, Sara, in Lachute for the breakfast! Another wonderful familiar face, Sara brought gifts of razors of Candlepins and rasage, and a really pleasant breakfast in which took us in top and regailed she with the histories of our trips of bicycle. Our visit charming with the series of Sara we on a rhythme enthusiast towards Sorel.

Gotta hit the road! Another updated with came from the city of Quebec!


Monday, July 14, 2008

Getting off the saddle in North Bay

Hello, friends and family!
Yes, we are alive and on schedule, although there have been some close calls in the last several days when we were out of contact. So now that we have emerged from radio darkness on the far side of the moon, I'll tell you all what has been happening, and I will discuss a rather long streak of bad luck that was out of this world.
I can't believe that we have been out of contact on this thing since Dryden! Do you know how far we've traveled since then? Do you know how much we've changed? That was 8 whole days ago! 875 miles! I don't even remember being the person I was way back in Dryden. Here's how it all played out:

I woke up that morning with a fever, which was great, and we left our fantastic hosts' home rather late, having been sucked into the drama unfolding that morning on the roads of the Tour de France, but not so late that we were doomed from the start, and headed east to begin our pursuit of the Quebec border in earnest. The roads were nice enough. At that time, we were just beginning to feel the undulations of the toes of the foothills of the Canadian Shield, a now weathered, ancient mountain range in east/central Canada that may well be the oldest in the world, and the rolling hills and twisting roads were extremely refreshing having recently come out of the long, tiresome plains of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and western Alberta. We had a light headwind, which is never fun, but we just kept chipping away at the distance and tried to stay motivated. One of the things that you learn on a trip like this is that when looking at a map, a name and a dot on the map does not necessarily mean civilization...Especially not in Ontario. When we left Dryden, we unknowingly dove into vast nothingness. It was really tough to find water along the route, which all you bike riders know is rather a bad thing, and it can be a real downer to ride that far and not even have the option of a stop for a snack. We were basically depressed by the end of the trip, and Eric had to shoulder a lot of the work on the ride after my sickness had drained me of strength. It began to rain in the afternoon and we made the decision to camp as soon as we had the option which, according to the map, was a place called English River, which was a closed motel, a closed store/restaurant, and a lot of construction workers hanging out and frying the day's catch of fish. We set up nonetheless and got some sleep after 95 or so miles.
One of our only signs of life in that area! Thunder Bay is an inexplicably large city of 500,000 people tucked into the northwest corner of Lake Superior, 115 miles southeast of our campsite in English River. We rode 30 miles in the morning to the next little town, where a restaurant was available, and we ate breakfast and brushed our teeth and took stock of what needed to be done. I was still sick, and we were both pretty tired. We were going to have to deal with a crosswind on the southbound portion of the route, and a strong one at that, but we were going to turn east into Thunder Bay with about 15 miles to go, so we were excited about having the tailwind for that. Around the corner where we made that left-hander to the east was a place called Kakabeka Falls, an extremely impressive waterfall, which was quite a sight for tired eyes. We spent a little bit of time there appreciating the falls, then headed into town where we set up for the night with a couch-surfer.
This is where civilization and hope disappears. Rossport was a long ways off down a road that undulated rather intensely all along the water's edge, and into a very strong heawind. It took all day. Allllll day. Sore butts, people. I was a little bit healthier after having rested well in the Bay, but a full recovery was going to be made impossible by upcoming conditions. Eric did a great job sharing the workload in the wind with my weakened self, and he did so quietly while he was dealing with his increasingly burdened hind-quarters. Tough kid. We camped again in Rossport, and by the evening's end a cold front had moved in. In the middle of the night a storm announced its presence, and the rain started coming down, abusing the things that we hadn't water-proofed. It made for a cold, sad morning. But hey! We were camped right on the shores of the lake and before the storm painted the world grey, it was a beautiful sight! That was good stuff.
125ish miles! Its fine to do 125 miles in one day. No problem. But after those two previous days, and after the distances we had covered prior to this day, and with the now consistent headwind, it was tough! There was really only one place that we could stop for food along the route as well, a place called Marathon, which was right near the mid-point. We ate breakfast 20km down the road from Rossport at a neighboring town called Schrieber, and then we headed out. The rolling hills were starting to get bigger now. The road between Schrieber and Marathon was all hills and no rest. Stupid 75 pound bikes. The scenery was gorgeous though. Lakes everywhere. Wildlife. Not a soul in sight. It was perfect when we could focus on it. We made it to Marathon, the only place we could stop for food, and ate at the one restaurant by the highway (Marathon is actually 5km off the highway, a distance we weren't willing to add to the schedule). The food was low in quality and quantity, and high in price. Lame. After the pseudo-snack we headed out on a 55 mile push to our destination with nothing in between. It was tough, but it seemed to go faster than I thought it would, which was nice. We were in White River by sunset. It was extremely cold that night, the coldest its been yet, and our camping gear was still wet from Rossport, so camping was not an option, and the two motels in town were both completely full! We went to a burger place to eat and think things over, and the next thing we knew the manager was going for a drive to find a couple he knew with a cabin that they would rent out for the night. The town was so small that he had finished his search in 10 minutes, and they pulled up to the restaurant right behind him. We followed them up the road to their cabin and got set up. There was even a heating vent right in the hallway floor for us to lay the tent on. We got a good night's rest, and we got to dry out all of our stuff. It doesn't get much better. Oh wait, yes it does. White River is the original home of Winnie the Pooh! How you ask? Wasn't A. A. Milne from London, England, you say? Well yes, Mr. Milne and his son Christopher Robin Milne were from London, but before Winnie became the beloved character of so many a children's story, he was a real bear. An enlisted man in the Canadian army had purchased a young black bear in White River and named the bear Winnie, in honor of his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. When he shipped off over seas during the war, the bear was given to the London zoo on loan. Five years later, the loan was made permanent, and Winnie the bear became a favorite attraction for many visitors to the zoo, including Milne and his son. There you have it. White River's claim to fame. Needless to say, Eric was freaking out.
Another long one, and again with the headwind, only this time the hills were officially the Canadian Shield, so they were getting bigger. The first half of the trip was between White River and a town called Wawa, with virtually nothing in between, and the same can be said for the road between Wawa and Agawa Bay. Up and down we went all the way into Wawa, where we stopped for lunch and picked up so camping food for that night. Once we had stocked up, we shoved off and headed south through Lake Superior Provencial Park, a 50 or so mile stretch that ended with a campground at Agawa Bay. The ride was again very time consuming, and finishing that type of a day is all a matter of patience, and for Eric a matter of lasting longer than his butt. Which he was able to do. We arrived in Agawa in the early evening hours, and our campground was right on the lake again, only this time we had made it all the way around to the eastern shores. The lake was beautifully serene, and the sunset was spectacular. The Lake Superior area has been one of the most breathtaking regions we have been to...It would have been so much better if it didn't have its own weather system, bent on destruction. That night it rained. Only a little bit compared to out night in Rossport, but this time there was a lot of thunder and lightning. That sort of noise makes for interesting attepts at sleeping. It had passed when we woke up though, and we prepared ourselves for the day at hand.
The ride out of Lake Superior Provencial Park took us farther south to our next big sign of civilization in the Soo, as it is called around here (Sault is pronounced Soo, so don't act like a tourist and strut around these parts saying, "Salt."). It was another headwind day, and one of the worst ones yet at that, and the hills were still quite intense. All of the obstacles ended up cutting the day short, as we had planned on riding into Thessalon, about 30 miles past the Soo, but ended up stopping in the city and making up the mileage the next day. Getting to the city was pretty great. We ate at a Boston Pizza again, which you can never get enough of, and set up in a Super 8 motel. Good food. Good rest. Good stop.
We woke up refreshed, and finally with a tailwind! And it couldnt have come a day sooner, as we had a 150 mile day lined up. We got out of town in a timely manner and started knocking off the miles and a very healthy pace. I was finally starting to feel better, and it ended up being a great day with some fantastic scenery. The farther east we went, the more the hills calmed down, and the faster the ride moved forward. When all was said and done it was 8:15 pm, the sun was out, we were done with the 150, and we had averaged 19 mph. Pretty good with heavy bikes and tired legs. Spirits were up again! Eric's butt was hurting, but other than that it was all thumbs up.
120 miles!! That's right....270 miles in two days. And another tailwind, though this time it was a bit of a crosswind as well, so we didnt move quite as fast as the day before. The roads were supremely treacherous. Trucks whipping by. Gravel shoulder. Thermal cracks in the pavement every 10 feet. Oh man, it was a balancing act. Sometimes trucks like to assert themselves and remind lowly bike riders how awesome they are in their gigantic rigs by forcing us off the road or by shooting dangerous gaps between us and oncoming traffic, but we made it through the gauntlet unscathed, albeit a little shaken up. The last 20 miles were wet! The rain started coming down hard as we approached North Bay, and we arrived at our host's house last night looking like cold, drowned rats. She must've been so pleased to see us in such close proximity to her clean house. She was very nice about it though, and we got warm showers and a great dinner before bed, so the day finished itself off very comfortably. Now we have a semi-rest day as we head south for aboot 65 miles to Magnetawan, were we will be staying with some friends before we turn east again tomorrow. Better get started!

We hope that you all are doing well, and we miss you a great deal. Take care!

- Jason

PS (this is Eric's transcription of a conversation we had as we waited at a traffic light, about to turn east, out of the 7-day headwind between Thunder Bay and Sault-Ste. Marie. It's pretty typical of most of our dialogue on this trip:)

Eric: Oh, man, that tailwind is so close, I can taste it. I can taste it!
Jason: I'm not sure you can taste tailwind.
E: No, you can, and it tastes great.
J (sticking out his tongue to test): Oh yeah, I guess you can. Mm. Delicious.
E: I told you so. It's like butter. Butter, baby.
J: I'd say it's more like water.
E: OK, sure, it's like water. Watahhhh. Mmmm.

Jason doesn't say anything.

E: That's the kind of conversation we should put on the blog.
J: What is?
E: That conversation.
J: Which one?
E: The one about tailwind, and how it tastes.
J: Oh. You mean this one?
E: Yeah, I guess we are still having it, eh?