Karhu Originals Tour, Day 3: Bad Luck Bears; Wejo Criticizes Joe Moore’s Parking Skills
Running shoes parked …
DALLAS, Tex. – Thursday’s job was simple: Drive the trailer, aka The Airstream, aka The Bearstream, to Luke’s Locker, a running specialty store 20 miles from where we are camped. There we’d set up in the parking lot to entice those picking up race bibs for the 13.1 Dallas half marathon on Saturday to come inside and learn all about the legendary Finnish running brand that . . . etc.
We should have known from the omen we received earlier in the day, the inability to find a single western shirt in two area thrift stores, that things were not going to go as planned.
Checking the inside of the Bearstream…
Driving to the shop, everything was fine: the Airstream was clean and finally ant-free, we did not hit anything, and Joe Moore, who was driving with the Airstream attached for the first time (he joined the tour on Monday), said that it wasn’t bad at all.
You see, before his collegiate career at Kansas State and before he qualified for the 2012 Olympic team trials marathon, Joe was a cattleman’s son in Kansas, which meant occasionally transporting livestock via tractor-trailer.
“With cows, you can feel them moving around,” he said as we drove. “This is nothing like that.”
He was confident that he would have no trouble negotiating an Airstream. He scoffed at it. And if he was driving forward, he was perfect.
the Bear is in the Bearstream…
Parking, however, was a different matter.
The Luke’s Locker parking lot is the most violent, aggressive parking lot I have ever seen, and I got to see it up close for four hours today. There were cars zipping around cars, cars slamming on brakes for mothers and their children, and cars stealing other cars parking spots, the whole tangle soundtracked by horn blasts.
In this cacophony was Joe, who had not tried to park a trailer since there was beef in it.
“Why’s he doing that. He’s coming in too sharp,” said Weldon Johnson, aka Wejo, cofounder of Letsrun.com.
Ah, the Bearstream, the Karhu Airstream, it’s ant free!
I always forget that Wejo lives in Texas, specifically Fort Worth, which is a 45-minute drive from Dallas. He just so happened to be picking up his bib for the five-miler on Saturday, and standing under the store’s awning, we had front-row seats to observe the whole mess.
(FYI: I will be racing Wejo in the five-miler on Saturday while wearing a bear costume.)
(But more on that later.)
Joe forwarded and reversed for 20 minutes, trying unsuccessfully to park the Airstream in five spots, all the while cursing out the window at car horns. (“What the [expletive] am I supposed to do with that,” and, “Are you [very bad expletive] kidding me.”)
In the end, Joe did get the Airstream in the spaces, cockeyed but out of traffic, and Wejo got in to take an abbreviated tour before he had to rescue his dog, which he’d left in his car.
After the ant culling, re loading the Bearstream…
(He–Wejo, not the dog–requested we use the vintage Karhu lady as the thumbnail for the story. Read into that what you will.)
Later that evening, Joe, Jyrki, and I ran with a fun run group, and then after the real fun began, which consisted of drinking beer.
We’re back at the campsite now; Joe again had difficulty parking the Airstream, and, when detached, it started rolling toward the lake despite parking blocks under the tires. “I almost pissed myself,” he said. He and Jyrki have prepared to abandon ship during the night if it should suddenly break free of its moorings.
Jyrki will probably drive tomorrow. He seems to have better luck.