Thursday, 8 August 2013

Flashback to day 100 in the USA - Support Man Carlton's view of things

Today is the 2nd anniversary of the completion of the run across the USA. I have been retweeting all of the tweets from that day from myself and others on Twitter today using the #runusa hashtag. All of the amazing memories have been flooding back and you can follow that hastag by clicking here.

I've just been made aware of an email account of events that support man Carlton Fletcher (pictured above) sent during the final day to his friends and colleagues. The text of that email can be seen below.

"I don't know how he managed yesterday. It started so well, meeting in McDonalds for WIFI and coffee. I bought a couple of steaks for him. Nice! Then, being without proper communications became an issue, and I ended up tearing around the countryside looking for him, to find he was where I had been waiting for him 20 mins earlier. 

So I put the steaks on (I should have been sacked for it not being ready), but we are out of propane. So I whip out the BBQ. It lights. It goes out. It wont light again.And being in a church car park, in the middle of a forest, I thought it was for the best. Ham sandwich anyone? 

Then hills! From nowhere, windy twisty hills up and down, and you cant help thinking someone could have put a road along the valley in a straight line? Just when all was lost, we find a steak restaurant. From there it was 3 miles and wait, etc. On the third of which, mark was greeted by flashing police lights, and me standing by the roadside having my license checked. I was sort of on a exit road from the long winding hill road with no waiting areas. But he was cool about it, and was very interested in Mark's story. I can dine on his exploits for days ahead! Right on cue Mark arrives for handshakes with the Police.

The next stop was as scary a place as I have been in my life. Forest road, very few cars, mist, crickets, things moving in bushes. And a pair of headlights in the woods pointing at me. With a slight breeze the lights flickered as if movement. I had my weapon of choice to hand - toilet paper. Thank god when the car (poacher?) drove off. And then Mark arrived to call it a night. 

Turn the engine. Dead. Try again. Dead. Emergency backup starter. Didn't start. Poo the bed. Try again, woohoo, we are cooking on gas. Except we don't have any! Oh, and the spin off is the fridge is powered by propane too, so the ham is now off. Dry bread anyone? 

But wait, we are moving, but the petrol light is on! waaa? When did that happen? We are below empty. Quick make it to Morristown for the night and a 24 hour petrol station (ironically, gas station). Pass one, shut. Another, shut. Supermarket car park. Night night, worry about petrol in the morning. Except I couldn't. Starting at 5 on a Monday morning, nothing will be open. Mark will fail, and it's all my fault. Will he still let me have the hotel room in New York?

No sleep. 4:30, he's up, so I start to drive him back. Engine, starts first time. Petrol, quarter full, no light! Woohoo. I can let it run empty again before worrying. Will see if i can get to Coney Island and see if there is petrol there perhaps!

So he is on his way. Cooked breakfast is 2 bananas that have been cooking in the heat of the RV overnight. 

I smell like roadkill, even with a cold shower yesterday (I told mark I used the last of the propane on a hot shower just to see the look on his face). The consolation is Mark smells worse . I saw roadkill skunk turning up what was left of its nose at him just now. 

So we meet in McDonalds at 7 miles for more coffee and planning. 

Keep following him on Twitter, the number one trended person in UK (i know all the terms) to see him at the finish line 23:59 ETC. Now get back to work everyone. This isn't a sideshow."

Thanks for that Carlton. I look forward to similar events occuring in Australia in a few month's time.