It was only the second day into our trip and we didn’t have the battle scars to prove much of anything. Just three scrawny kids, obviously brothers, riding bikes rescued from Goodwill. Of course people wouldn’t believe us.
We fell asleep to the patter of rain which had mercifully held off long enough for us to discover that our untested camp stove didn’t work. We got dinner at the gas station instead and then headed back down the road and into some woods where our tent was. Three teenage boys in a two person dome tent would take some getting used to, but for the moment, we were sufficiently exhausted.
When we got back to the gas station the next morning one brother started doing Tai Chi in the middle of the parking lot while the other washed up in the bathroom around the back of the snack shop. I ate two Hostess fruit pies, staving off any chance of a caloric deficit with breakfast alone.
That’s when we got that question for the first time, “You guys are biking where?” We explained that we had started in Atlantic City, NJ – yesterday actually –but we were headed to the Pacific Ocean. Maybe our own incredulity was what inspired a lack of confidence. But it had to have been our otherwise absolute appearance of earnestness that made up their minds. “You are definitely smoking something. Well, good luck!”