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TravelingAn earlier post I alluded to some of my feelings running a marathon, running the Victoria Marathon in British Columbia, Canada, and some of the motivation in running this Marathon.  In this entry as I continue to document my first marathon, I want to talk about the trials and tribulations I faced to reach the starting line.

After securing a flight out of DC and having everything packed, I was excited at how quick and smooth everything was going. I should have known this was just the calm before the storm.  As I settled into my flight, I got to Oregon with little issue enjoying some extra space on the flight and finishing some training.

I was excited to land at #PDX one of the better airports in America. Upon landing I quickly grabbed a local beer from the #RogueGuy Brewpub enjoying a sampler. The sampler was happy hour priced and there was free #wifi.  Who could ask for anything more, since my friend was going to pick me up after work, I decided maybe its time to go get my bag and then settle in to finish some work while I wait for him.  Luck would have it, my bag was already off the conveyor belt waiting for me.

My luck got even better, the airport had a soft opening for their indoor food truck court including #PokPok with their mix of Thai, Korean, and south Asian street food. As I started to do some work it dawned on me I’m headed to Canada and that requires now a passport. I realized I didn’t pack my passport and now panic washed over me. How the hell to I plan this, spend this money, and travel so far and forget my freaking passport. Worst part how do I get it, at this point I prepared how to tell my friend, I won’t be going with him. I started looking at hotels, rental car options, etc.

This happened once before when I was dating someone and we were headed to Canada. However, in that instance we were driving, and it just caused us to loose a couple of hours, nothing like the case I had created.  I just started to think what the heck, how am I so stupid. On top of that, my manager had announced to everyone I was running a marathon and in the process all were excited for me. How would I face them, how would I face my Oregon friends?  This time there was no one to console and say its okay, like there was for my girlfriend when she forgot her passport.

I then said I need to figure something out, I started scouring the web, calling customs officials from San Francisco up through the Canada. The one thing I learned, its no problem getting into Canada, the problem is getting back into the US at which point I need to claim asylum as a citizen of the United States.  I was like okay thats not to bad, I can make a go of this route. Then the other shoe dropped it can only be done by foot and would require a car entry and the one thing about the Pacific Northwest, driving can equal an add another 4 hours of travel versus a boat.  I was hosed all over again, at this point I texted my ex-gf just saying how stupid I felt, and she said some soothing things helping me think more clearly.

I realized I could fed-ex the passport, and half the concierge let someone in. After identifying a fed-ex office, and fighting with my inept building management everything was in place, save for the #Transporter (my sister). I called, I facebooked, I texted, I emailed, I gchattted, with no luck. A new emotion swept over me, frustration. It turns out she had misplaced her phone at 7pm EST she was able to reach me and said okay what do I need to do and a sense of relief appeared, I told her, said no cost is a concern I ‘ll pay her back, and I’ll wait until she calls to say its successful.

(“All this took about 2 hours)

At this point my friend showed up, who I told my predicament and he said okay. As i prepared to meet his new dog, his gf, and find a spot to sleep and eat, my sister’s adventure began.  She ran a mile to my apartment, argued with the front desk, got a key, and finally got my passport. At this point she ran another mile to the fed-ex office who promptly told her we can’t do this time frame. She asked who can and was told it would be the airport across town, which closes at 10pm and at this point it was 930pm. She got in a cabbie, explaining the situation, and the driver was sympathetic to our plight. He raced across town, possibly breaking speeding laws to get her to FedEx at 955pm on the dot. She was able to get the package filled and shipped before the 10pm deadline.

The package arrived the next morning at 745am sharp! I was ready to enter Canada. Now the matter of getting there, this became a new adventure. With a patient friend, an indecisive gf, and a weary traveler. We drove through actual sasquatch country of Washington State, the Olympic Peninsula.  We suffered many set backs during this trip, a sick passenger, lack of food, over heating, rain and finally got to our ferry just in the nick of time. Once on the boat we suffered some of the same issues while driving, rain, motion sickness, and food shortage. It was my own version of the Oregon Trail. Once in Canada the crush of humanity for the race caused lack of suitable eating establishments, and mis printed directions tried to derail our trip, but with some guile we were able to final reach our destination. This amazing house booked by another friend with our own bedrooms! We had finally arrived after a two day ordeal similar to foraging for our own buffaloes and fashioning our own harnesses.

Part 3 The Race!! COming soon