March Madness

At 2:00 in the morning there’s a loud authoritative knock at the door. It’s the police. They are investigating an international crime ring, and all indications are that I am at the heart. Or at least near the liver, or the kidney.

It all started about a year ago, when I decided to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail. A few months later my son Brian caught the fever and asked: What if I quit my job and join you? Like all parents concerned about a child giving up a stable and well paying job for some hare-brained idea, I say: Cool!

Not much later, Brian’s girlfriend Brianna also contracts PCT. The CDC quickly gets involved and quarantines us. In an act of un-civil disobedience, I dress as a nurse and ride my bike through highly populated areas. Chaos ensues. A trail which normally supports 300 or so starts a year, is inundated with thousands of requests. For the first time ever, the PCTA is forced to put in place a Mexican border trailhead quote of 50 starts a day! Oh sure, some will say the increase is due to the book Wild, or more recently the Reese Witherspoon movie. But trust me. It’s the bike ride.

68teambracket

PCT Bracket

My close circle of family and friends (or as some people describe it: my dot) quickly snaps into action. They create an illegal betting pool for how long each of us will last on the trail. The interest is overwhelming and catches the attention of the police, who are now standing at my front door.

Although there are only three of us in the competition, most completed brackets do not have us making the final four.  Of the few that do, only the blank spot is picked to make it all the way. Barack Obama completes a bracket, but Hillary hacks into the government website and deletes it, claiming it is actually a personal email.

When I start to fill out my own bracket, Pete Rose pulls me aside to say it is not a good idea. He is not actually against me betting on my own sport, he just thinks hiking the PCT in 2015, with the expected throng of essentially homeless people, is a bad idea.

He may be right, but on April 3rd, 2015 we start walking. Please do not send any messages saying: See you on the 4th. Unless, of course, you mean the 4th of September, in Manning Park, Canada.