The Second Attempt: [Part 3 of 3]

THE SKI/CLIMB (part 1):

We grabbed our skis and climbing gear from the car, and headed out to the start point. By the time we actually started climbing it was just after 3:00 AM.

I was so hopeful, because our two skis done after hard bike rides had ended up feeling really great. This one, not at all. We were tired from the start. My legs felt like lead. I was so sleepy that I would close my eyes for four glides, open them for a few minutes, and close them again. I was practically sleeping on my skis. We … Continue reading

The Second Attempt: [Part 2 of 3]

THE BIKE (part 1):

It sort of felt hard to believe we were now about to bike to Mount Hood, but off we headed.

We took off from Hood River to start the climb up. It’s hard to replicate a climb like this, because unless you’re biking up a mountain it’s rare to have so much uphill and so little downhill. We’re talking 7,300ft of climbing over 46 miles. The elevation profile looks like this:

There’s one 1,000ft descent around Mount Hood Meadows, but it’s a bit disheartening because you then have to make up that loss (and more) to … Continue reading

The Second Attempt: [Part 1 of 3]

So, clearly it’s been a few days since we tried this thing again. I didn’t write an entry immediately, mostly because I was sleeping. SO TIRED. And then I didn’t write an entry because the task seemed daunting, and with all the “picnic-ing” I was suddenly I bit behind on the rest of life. And THEN I didn’t write an entry because I was trying to process the whole thing, and felt like it would do well with a little space. FINALLY, I really want to make a video but I haven’t yet. I had some technical difficulties (now resolved) … Continue reading

Second verse, same as the first

We are minutes away from packing up the car to try this all again.

We’ll still have a safety kayaker (hooray!) but we’ll ultimately be self-supporting (still not unsupported though). We’ll be taking two cars, dropping one at Timberline with skis and climbing gear, and one at Hood River with swim and bike gear. Logistically, this makes it a little more challenging/time consuming, but ultimately it doesn’t change much.

I mainly feel better about this second start, since the swim was the biggest unknown. And, well, now we know things. But we’re still not sure if our planned adjustments will … Continue reading

Well. That didn’t go as planned.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

We always knew we might not be able to complete the Picnic in one (or two or five) attempts. Many things need to align to make this happen, including our health, good weather on the river, good weather on the mountain, our fitness level (and lack of injury), a support crew, and a variety of factors we can’t control (mainly to do with other people).

We knew we were toeing the line with a couple of those things on Thursday. I’d been sick … Continue reading

The night before.

Well, hopefully in 24 hours we’ll be pedaling our butts up to Timberline Lodge. For now, we drink tea and prepare. We’re both feeling healthier, though neither of us is totally 100%. However, we’ve taken the past few days off to give ourselves maximum chance at recovery.

Tonight we bought most of the last few items we need, and tomorrow we’ll get a couple more snacks to round it all out.

The bikes have been cleaned and oiled. The food and drink has been prepped. And the gear has been laid out. My pieces alone:


Namely the
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