I have a bone to pick with all of you out there. You so-called “readers,” “supporters” and “people.” The last post was a good one, a lot of viewers heading this way. That’s awesome. It finally seems like you are telling your barbers and grandparents like I suggested some time ago.
But what hasn’t been pleasing to see is voting rates. Don’t you guys remember Vote or Die? The US Government apparently gave P. Diddy the right to kill anyone who didn’t vote. I would have to assume that it extends beyond just presidential elections. It would have to apply to any and all opportunities one has to vote in order to be fair. So that means get out there and vote for your county coroner. But first vote on my polls. Or else P. Diddy’s gonna getchya. So yeah. Rates have been poor at best and, further, some written-in votes have been unhelpful and feeling-hurty:
I know how unsettling this may be for you, my faithful Dear Readers–I advertise myself as a man of mettle and unwavering, steely resolve. Surely I would not fold to the trifling displays of cowardice as are afforded by Great Internet’s anonymity? Alas, Readers, truth be told I am but a simple, bear-hating boy in a man’s bear-hating world. And sucking is nothing I wish to do.
In other, actually important news…. I have my trip fully planned. Seattle, Washington to Princeton, New Jersey. I won’t list the cities I will be going through on here as that would be exhausting, but here is the route as per Google Maps:
The route is just the cities, so don’t go looking for directions or anything like that. If you know anyone living in or near these destinations who would be willing to put me up for a night, please tell me! All I need is a place to legally pitch my tent.
So the list thing is gonna keep going. Let’s go on to this weeks list:
Six Answers to Questions Everyone is Thinking But No One Wants to Ask:
1). “You Smell Bad.”
So right out of the box, I gotta call you out here, Dear Readers. “You Smell Bad,” is an observation; a statement. Not a question. And don’t act like that isn’t how you phrased it in your heads. We know each other better than that by now.
But hygiene is a big concern during the trip. That’s why I developed a bulletproof method to stem the legions of bacteria from accumulating on my skin and assure hygienic… courtesy. You’re welcome, world. Here I present my system with the worst picture ever taken:
As you can see, here we have a water bottle with a puncture in the top. When filled, I can squeeze this item and replicate precisely* the sensation and quality of an in-home shower. Throw in some camp soap and I’ll be cleaner than I have ever been before!** Now, the above image is only a prototype of my shower system. A meager 16.9 fluid ounces of water will hardly constitute a shower. I’ll probably be upgrading to a liter size bottle because I’m a high roller like that and I prefer the opulence of long, water bottle-powered showers over light-weight traveling. With a separate cap this bottle will double as an additional, albeit soapy, drinking water container.
*Absolutely, 100% nope.
**Distressingly, this is probably true.
2). How/Where Will You Be Sleeping? …Eh? Eh?
Probably the best and most essential gift I was given for this trip was my OR Alpine Bivy Shelter. I plan on pitching that sucker under the stars for the majority of my evenings. I have also been told that a polite couple words around municipalities (town halls, fire/police departments, churches etc.) often result in a lawn to sleep on and some food and water. These are my two primary plans for sleeping. Additionally, I will be relying on the good nature of the locals throughout my trip. Couchsurfing.org and Warmshowers.org are two excellent resources for travelers. They help world-wanderers meet with sympathetic souls to exchange stories, get some food and, most often, find a place to stay for an evening. I am on both so you should look me up and friend me.
Again, if any of you Dear Readers out there have a place or know someone with a place where I could be put up for an evening, please let me know. This could be your living room:
What’s more, with some pillows, blankets and cushions I could throw a pretty sick addition onto that. Swimming pool, loft, a full bath–you name it. Refer to my parents Jan and Gary for reviews. My pillow fort handiwork is years in the making and completely unmatched by any of my loser neighbors who are just jealous anyway.
3). What About When Nature Calls?
The inevitable dilemma of finding a way to relieve oneself while out in Nature. Let’s be honest here, Dear Readers. We have all been there, done that. That precarious moment when you wake up in the morning only to find your roommate is just stepping into the shower, those long runs that were just… a bit… too… long, or when when you’re at Wrigley Field and you conclude it is more hygienic and convenient to leave the stadium, improve the community of Wrigleyville by adding some of your bodily fluids to the sidewalk and then buy another ticket to get back in and watch the Cubs lose. Or just go home. Because you already know how the game is going to end.* The only difference between these situations and myself is that I will toss a trowel and a generous supply of tp into the equation. Because I am classy.**
* If it’s any consolation, Cubs fans, the Sox are terrible, too.
**Refer to Question #1 and/or #4.
4). Nick, How Will You Keep Your Clothes Fresh and Crisp?!
For any of you out there who use synthetic clothing for athletics, you probably know that once they start to smell, they smell forever. No matter what. Well, unless you buy that special, expensive synthetic material detergent, but let’s not kid ourselves here: I won’t be rolling with the Win Sport detergent train until I’m eating caviar for breakfast everyday and paying someone to open doors for me. And if I could afford that, I’d also be paying people to run ahead of my bike and pull me along. I’m just not there yet, guys.
My entire wardrobe for Disaster March is synthetic. The material breathes, is warm if necessary, dries quickly and is extremely lightweight. It will also be stinky as sin. But I have yet another airtight method to combat olfactory offensiveness:
So you see it all on the bag: Just add some soap, set the sucker to Large Load, Cold Cold water and Regular Wash Cycle and you’re ready to go. Fortunately my clothes will dry quickly in the sun so I won’t have to lug a dryer around.
5). How Will You Not Starve To Death?
Another excellent gift I was given for this trip is a portable camp stove. So I will have hot “food” throughout the adventure. The only concern there is whether I will be able to cook anything worth eating. I’ll be burning thousands of calories everyday so it’ll be important to pack something in whenever I have the opportunity. Therefore lightweight, calorie-dense foods with little or zero prep time are the name of the game. I have a few recipes for the stove which will come later, but in the meantime I will outline my eating strategy for when I am on-the-go and don’t have time to cook.
Eating Strategy, Disaster March 2012:
-Eat Peanut Butter
Relatively lightweight, enormously calorie-dense, nutritionally sufficient and, of course, delicious. Peanut butter is awesome and I am considering setting up a church in tribute to it. The know-it-all reader might pipe up here with an asinine comment along the lines of “But Nick, a diet of pure peanut butter won’t satiate you or keep your body functioning properly!” or maybe, “Nick, peanut butter can’t possibly be the focus of an entire religious movement!” Regarding the latter: Good point. The inherent dissent between rival peanut butter factions (Crunchy, Smooth, Honey Roasted etc.) would bring the world to the brink of destruction. And regarding the former: Right. Like you would know, kid. Who is doing the blogging here? Look:
Peanut butter is all you need to survive.
Where did you just read that last sentence? Oh… Was it on the goddamn Internet?! Then that makes it right, doesn’t it? Thought so. Internet is never wrong. Besides, all touring bikes come set up for easy peanut butter consumption:
What the hell else would these things be used for? And, as an added bonus, this diet might entirely eliminate the problem presented by Question #3. Win-win? You’re goddamn right it is. Peanut Butter for life! (Pounds heart with fist)
6). What About the Elephant in the Room? Or, Well, the Elephant that Would be in the Room if Bears Hadn’t Already Eaten It?
I taste delicious. I know this because every summer mosquitoes flock to me and because I might have… you know… tested the waters once or twice myself. (What? Yeah, that’s some Edgar Allen Poe, Fall of the House of Usher shit right there. Dark stuff.) So bears have been a concern for me from the get-go. With my pure peanut butter diet I can only imagine I’m doubly delicious. Every murderous bear in the country is going to be on my trail as I gallivant my nougaty-outside, peanut buttery-inside across the US. So I need to be prepared. Prepared to defend my candy bar-esque self.
Some people have made comments to the effect that I am over-hyping the bear problem. That aggressive encounters with the creatures are few and far between and, further, they are usually a result of human error rather than the animals’ nature. I wish I could believe that, Dear Readers, but these are just lies promulgated by those masquerading bears Stephen Colbert mentioned in the above link. We have to be ready. I have to be ready. Because bears have been reading this blog. And they are getting ready for me:
This image rattles me to the bone. It was terrifying (though not surprising) enough that their murderous tendencies drove bears to learn to read for the sake of following my blog. But this? This is a combination of motor skills and cognitive understanding hitherto unseen in bearity (bearitude?). Now, what we have here is a standard steel frame, quill stem comfort bicycle. Dated, but certainly functional. Even more unsettling is the fender/rear rack combination. Clearly bears wish to look presentable during and after riding. This indicates self-awareness and self-respect–two telltale signs of cultural development. And culture means organization. So, where are they riding as an organized group? I can’t be sure, but that rack should allow them to haul their precious cargoes of (I can only assume) human flesh and honey quite a good distance. My guess is bears are assembling an armada of elite assassin bicycle-bears for the sake of getting me. I know what they are and what they are becoming, and they don’t want me telling the rest of the world.
So how do I fight this Elite Assassin Bicycle-Bear Armada? Well, frankly, I can’t. Even the US army allows these machines of mayhem and carnage to roam freely. Why? Complete and utter stalemate. You thought the Cold War was a terrifying arms race? Open your eyes, man! Since I can’t fight back against these creatures, I’ve decided to take myself out of the equation should it ever come to that. I’ll always keep a cyanide capsule on my person and a cliff nearby. I might go down, but I won’t give the bears the satisfaction of taking me down themselves.
That’s all this time, Dear Readers. I’ll talk to you all soon.