36 marathons down, 99 to go
Here is my summary based on my experience over the past couple of days with catastrophic equipment failure and delays in shipping: To anyone contemplating any kind of adventure like the one I’m on, there are two requirements: a sense of humor and the ability to deal with plans that change, sometimes with plans that change multiple times a day. If you don’t find life’s little hiccups to be funny, or if you have to rigidly stick to a plan, don’t do this!
My last blog post ended with me in San Bernardino passing out in bed around two in the morning after eating IHOP pancakes. I woke up the next morning, stopped by the front office to do the magic that would check me out and check me right back in, and went to find some breakfast at somewhere besides IHOP. While there, I get a message from my sister that Ed has found a new trailer online and that if I want it, they’ll get it, and, as long as I respond really quickly, it will arrive at my motel tomorrow. After I took a look online and saw that it appeared to be very similar to the one I have, I gratefully accepted. That freed me up to relax a bit instead of trying to fix the existing trailer.
Mike drove me to San Bernardino, Mark got me a motel room, Marianne and Ed got met a new running trailer, and Jacque and Sam (my hosts in Redlands) offered me an extra night there but Mark already got the motel room and the motel was the shipping address for the trailer. People jumped all over this to recover and keep me going.
So the plan was to take it easy for the day, then assemble the trailer when it arrived the next day, transfer everything from the old trailer to the new trailer, donate the old trailer to the homeless by putting it on the sidewalk in front of the motel where it would last for about five minutes because this area is swarming with homeless people, and then have Sam or Jacque pick me up and drive me to Redlands since it would be too late to run there after the trailer arrived.
There was only one problem with this plan. I had checked out of the motel and and been sitting in the parking lot with my trailer, looking homeless, waiting for the FedEx truck to show up, when I received a message from my sister that the trailer had just shipped and it would be another day. My sister was more upset about the situation than was I. Since there’s nothing I can do about it, there’s really not much point in getting upset.
I messaged Jacque about what was going on and then went next door and had a 3-dollar happy hour margarita. Sam came and got me, and we headed to their house. Great food, wine, beer, and conversation with Sam, Jacque, and Phyllis (Jacque’s mom). Great breakfast in the morning and then we sat around waiting to hear that the trailer had shown up at the Motel 6 back in San Bernardino. The shipping address wasn’t changed because that would have involved canceling the shipment, etc.
Sam is a veteran, and he is still leading his men when they have problems. We had some very nice conversations regarding the VA, differences in locations, improvements that have been made with Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans vs. Vietnam veterans, and the like.
I had been getting antsy because they had dinner plans for Mother’s Day, and I didn’t want to impact those plans. Just as I got really concerned, we got word that a package had arrived for me at the motel.
The second bright spot in all of this (in addition to the visit with Sam, Jacque, and Phyllis), was that I had apparently made an impression while at the motel. I hadn’t said anything, just walked in the lobby door, when the clerk said, “We have a package for you.” Another clerk came out and asked if I was still running. Interesting…
Went back to the house, assembled the new trailer, transferred everything into it, left the old one with Sam because he’s going to take care of donating it, and Sam drove me to a good starting point for an abbreviated run to Banning.
So here I am, starting my run in the middle of the afternoon and not taking any photographs as I go because I just need to get to Banning. I have a hotel there waiting for me that Nancy got me, and then I’ll be in Banning for two nights.
There are a few hills, but the run is pretty uneventful, and the new trailer is working out well. The front wheel is a little whonky so the steering is a bit odd due to the wheel being slightly tilted off-center, but the handle attachment sure is engineered better!
It’s now dark and I’m running down the sidewalk in Banning, counting the blocks to the hotel, when three police cars turn on their lights and abruptly pull to the curb right next to me. Three officers get out of the cars, and the first one asks me where I’m coming from. The second officer is on her radio, and she then says, “Wrong one. They’re about a mile further.” They? I’ve been mistaken for a group of people? I’ve got a pretty good idea who they’re after because I passed a group of five people in their 20’s that are pushing something a bit ago. A group, young, trailer. Yeah, that would be one of three. With that, they say nothing more, jump back in their cars, and haul ass down the road. Thank you for the welcome!
I get to the hotel, get checked in, have dinner, catch up with people, and get to bed.