March 8, 2011

Incredible journeys

I just saw the end of a couple of epic journeys last night.

I finished up the book, Without a Paddle: Racing Twelve Hundred Miles Around Florida by Sea Kayak by Warren Richey. From
As far as Warren Richey knew, his life was on course. A reporter with a beautiful wife and talented son, Richey couldn’t imagine how it could be any better....Then his marriage falls apart and he can’t imagine how it could be any worse.
The divorce leaves Richey questioning everything, while struggling to find a way forward. To get his bearings, he enters the first Ultimate Florida Challenge, an all-out twelve-hundred-mile kayak race around Florida.
The race is literally around Florida in any a boat without a engine. Ten participants start out in Tampa, travel south around the Keys, then head north along the east coast. Of course Florida is peninsula not an island. The racers have to paddle upstream on a winding river toward the center of the state, carry their boats overland for 40 miles, and then head downstream on another river to reach the Gulf of Mexico once more.

The author does a nice job describing the challenges he faced racing around the clock, covering 1200 miles in a kayak. The race is a free-for-all of fatigue and sleep deprivation. Along the way, he looks back on his past failures, but spends as much time planning for his future. It sounds like a pretty incredible race and the book does a good job of taking you there.

Then tonight we watched a movie called 10mph. Two friends drop out of the corporate, cubicle life, move to Denver and start a production company. Then they come up with the movie concept - they would ride a Segway across America, from Seattle to Boston.

They run into plenty of obstacles and have to constantly scrounge for cash to pull off the 100 day trip. The movie is an entertaining look at the not only crazy way they decide to cover the 4,000 miles, but the characters and places they see along the way. They end up meeting many great people who support them and take them in. I thought it was great.

"If I had the chance now, I would ask him: Where did you find the strength and courage to keep moving? In many ways it is the obstacles that define the man. How far you walked is not nearly as revealing as how far you crawled." ~ From Without a Paddle.

"...why not live it up, take the risk and do the thing that you're supposed to do."  ~ Hunter and Josh from 10mph

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