Sunday, August 06, 2006

Epilogue

I stayed in a bar/hotel in Eureka on Day 43, then headed back to Whitefish on the highway in the morning of the 3rd. My Amtrak train left at 7 AM.

The train is worth noting. First, I didn’t bring enough food, and the stuff (food would be too generous) in the café is worse than anything yet (and I ate some bad stuff along the way). Think vending machine sandwiches that have been in there awhile.

But the story worth telling is about this fellow I ran into known as “Connecticut.” Connecticut was this older, well dressed, vaguely Morgan Freeman looking fellow who said he was going to Connecticut to do “security” for the Coast Guard. He started talking to me, asking what I thought of the Coast Guard (I said I didn’t really have an opinion about the Coast Guard). That was the most rational thing he said all night. From there he was off, rambling on about how “we’re all in prison… subject to federal regulation… don’t talk unless you know what I’m talking about.” The guy sitting next to me, another young guy from Florida named Jerry, started yelling “Connecticut” at him every time he came by, and Connecticut started saying that Jerry was like Jim Carrey, even though Jerry looked perhaps least like Jim Carrey of anyone I know.

But by evening everything had calmed down. Connecticut was in his seat, about eight rows behind me, writing furiously in his notebook, and Jerry was up in the front of the train somewhere. I dozed off at some point, and woke up to this tremendous scuffling and yelling. I looked around, and here two cops were hauling Connecticut off the train in handcuffs. Connecticut is yelling about the FBI and whatever else comes into his head. It blew my mind – it was 3 AM, I had just woken up, and I thought for sure I was dreaming. My only regret was that Jerry hadn’t been there to see the whole thing.

So anyway, Connecticut got hauled off to jail in Detroit Lakes, MN, which is smack in the center of nowhere. I wonder what ever happened to him. (The conductor said he had been “touching people” on the train, including two little girls who were passengers. “People don’t like that,” she said. So I suspect Connecticut won’t be getting to Connecticut anytime soon.)

Right away when I got back I got thrown right back into work, working on a trial case that I’d done a bunch of work on for the firm I’ve been working at for the last year or so. All of a sudden I was putting tons of miles on the car, wearing a shirt and tie, and sitting at a desk all day. I literally didn't ride a bike for two weeks after I got back.

I’m also trying to figure out what to do about this whole biking thing. My little brother and I are floating the idea of racing RAAM as a two man relay team next year, and I may start racing road races or maybe some endurance stuff. Before this, I did a lot of miles, mostly on the road bike, but never raced or had any particular training goals. I just liked to ride. But now I think I do want to ride with some sort of purpose in mind, whether it’s a big race like RAAM or maybe a series of shorter things next summer.

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