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Florida Coast to Coast - Part I


Welcome back...

Last week we had the old team reunion in Florida for the 10th Annual Coast to Coast race. Mark, Will, Suzanne, and I were the racers, and Rozzi, Danny, Perry, and Candy were there for support. This year's race started on the Gulf coast at Crystal River and covered 214 miles to the Atlantic coast near Daytona Beach.

Our effort was dedicated to the memory of Mark's stepfather Larry Sartory, who kept us all laughing before, during, and after the 2007 race. Larry passed away from lung cancer the following year.

Even getting to the start line was a bit of an excitement. The Coast to Coast has always allowed racers to bring their own boats, and after the debacle in the '07 race, we were determined to have some quality paddling sections. So Suzanne did a bunch of calling around, looking for any place that had good tandem kayaks for rent. Our best option ended up being two 21-foot fiberglass kayaks from Chequamegon Adventure Sports, which were unfortunately 9 hours away in Minocqua, Wisconsin. I drove out to pick them up the Friday before we left, and delivered them to Plymouth for subsequent overland transport to Florida. Mark, Will, and Perry left on Monday morning with the two kayaks and Dave's trailer behind the pickup truck.

Which blew a front axle at 2 AM outside Chattanooga.

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A Gnome Hunters Reunion


Old school style.

So Mark sent me a Facebook message a couple weeks ago:

After all the fun we had at the 2007 Florida C2C, how could I possibly pass that up!? I always knew he wasn't quite ready to retire yet.

Also a little funny that Buck hasn't mentioned it to his usual team (Midwest Mountaineering), yet. Even though they all know. But still, this is not exactly being "disloyal" to a team - a concept which is kind of silly in the first place. The only time that should ever, possibly, be an issue is if you somehow race against your usual teammates.

But still, it's a lot of commitments for me this year - wow. I'm glad that cost is not a problem, like it is for so many people. But I'm going to see if I can avoid some of the time-off issues by flying directly from Florida to Hawai‘i (c'mon, aren't you jealous now!) I can send my gear box and bike back to my parents in Minneapolis, and catch some "recovery" "sleep" on the plane. I was planning to visit Annie in November again, but we'll see if early October works out better, in terms of both total time off, and total airfare.