TABR Day 20 & 21: The Finale: AKA "The Human Prune Experiment"
Updated: Nov 10, 2019
This is going to be a long one, so buckle up. I'm rolling the last 400 miles into one final entry, as in my mind it felt like one continuous saga to the finish. I'm also going to ask for a favor. Yes, a small favor. If you've found this blog in anyway useful for your future TABR preparations, or gained any entertainment value out of it, I am working on contributions towards my next adventure which is the American Trail Race. I'd also like to continue to build out the website with more content around ultracyling and bikepacking. I'm learning blogging and content creation take quite a bit of time and energy, but I do enjoy it. If you're so inclined, you can contribute here... and thank you in advance!
Ok, so on to Day 20...
It was an odd sight for sure. A thin line of light peering through a cheap motel blackout curtains. Daylight. Strong Daylight. Shit! I reached for my phone, only to see that is was close to 6am and a notification for a missed alarm from several hours ago. The fatigue had finally surpassed my ability to hear an alarm. I was livid with myself, and was for sure Donncha and Jason had sped past me in my over slumber. The positive? I had a solid 6 hours of sleep in the tank as I packed up quickly in what I hoped was my last hotel room of the race.
I scurried down to the hotel lobby, stopping at the hotel buffet (which was open!) to stuff some scrambled eggs in my belly and a few biscuits in my bike bag. I couldn't believe I had lost a few hours of riding in such a tight racing situation. SPOT trackers were still not acting quite right, but it was a safe bet Donncha had re-passed me and Jason had built up his gap.
I pushed the pace for the first hour. The legs were fresh (as they could be) from all the sleep, and the terrain allowed for a little motoring. Soon enough, a rider came into sight and it was Donncha. He was on the phone chatting, and I was surprised to have caught him that quickly. I assumed that my location probably hadn't been correct, and I was further up the course than I thought.
We talked for a minute. He had been having issues with flats, and was deciding on whether to turn back for more tubes at that point. I didn't have much advice to offer, and was honestly thinking about trying to recover some time from the morning's snafu. I pushed on, hoping to close some miles to Jason. This part of Virginia continued to meander through small towns and rural country side with little traffic. It was amazing riding indeed! I passed through Radford, not willing to stop as I still fumed in frustration. I guzzled a Starbucks double espresso as the route meandered through bike paths. Past Radford it was just more miles of solid, net downhill rollers. This area of Virginia favors a consistent power rider who can ride rollers and stay aero. I was enjoying the road and slowly closing the gap to Jason.
Daleville would be a good place to pick up "first" lunch. I spotted a Subway, parked and hopped inside for a few sandwiches (but not before, once again, putting on my vest to look presentable). Since the race start I had been using a camelbak bladder for most of my hydration needs. Originally it was within an actual camelbak, but I had moved it to the frame bag somewhere around Montana to remove weight from my back, and shifted bulkier yet lighter items into the camelbak. In Kansas, I mailed the camelbak back home with the other cold weather gear. All this is to say that I would have to take the bladder out of the frame bag everytime I wanted to fill it up inside. The quick detach port hadn't been working properly, meaning the bladder and tubing would have to be finagled out of the frame bag every few hours. This was such a nuisance that I was looking forward to being done with. Well, my wish came true a few hundred miles early, as the quick detach port ripped off the bladder itself, making the entire apparatus unusable. Mold had gotten the better of the bladder. Fantastic! Quickly tossing the bladder in the trash in the Subway bathroom, I purchased a squirt bottle style water from the Subway, which would now become my single water bottle for the remaining 300 miles.
Daleville helped fill up the belly for the miles ahead to Lexington, which was the next planned stop. Again, Virginia came through with good roads, reasonable temps and pleasant scenery. Lexington was the last good pit stop before hitting Vesuvius and the Blue Ridge. How about more Subway? Sure! Inside there was a gentlemen and his family having lunch. He recognized me as a racer and we talked for a little bit, discussing the upcoming route and imminent bad weather ahead. We debated strategy for the next stretch and talked about the race in general, but with the looming storms we both knew there was more pressing matters to attend to. Warnings of more storm systems were new steadily coming through the wire, expecting to hit my area in the next 2 hours or so. Folks on the TABR Facebook page were starting to chime in with warnings for Jason, Donncha and myself as well. All racers in front of us had finished, so all eyes were on the pack of us 3 trying to navigate this last bit. 2 hours out would put me right around the approach to Mount Vesuvius and the Blue Ridge Parkway, which I knew wouldn't offer much respite in bad weather conditions. I was sick of riding in the rain, and desperately hoped for some bad forecasting.
I needed to get moving and try and beat the storm up Mount Vesuvius. Out of Lexington, the roads quickly turned back into country roads. I remember all these small plots of land on the side of the roads that had permanent RVs on them, trying to figure out what was happening there. Were they campsites, or private property? There just enough visual justification in both directions to argue either way. I reached the base of Mount Vesuvius, and with the limited cell service started checking the forecast. The storm cells were right on top of me, rain starting to sprinkle in. Conditions weren't going to get any better, but Vesuvius wasn't really a place to stop. I flagged down a DOT vehicle at the base of the road, which had just come down the from the climb, to see if he could provide any information. Rain was getting heavier, the clouds behind us more grey and ominous. I was interested in any information he might have about services up the road; he mentioned there was an inn up at the top of the climb, but other than that there wasn't much until Afton. I called the Inn, but they were booked for the night. I really didn't want to stop that early anyway, but again it was an option to let the storms pass and avoid another miserable stretch of riding. I hemmed and hawed on what to do, surely wasting time when I needed to be decisive. I definitely didn't want to be caught out in a vicious storm up on the Blue Ridge. I rode over to the convenience store in Vesuvius, just off route. As the sugar from the cold Mountain Dew hit my veins I came to the classic "fuck it" conclusion and decided to venture up the climb. Where I'd land, who knew. Forward progress was beating out personal safety at the moment. I tried to think about what the other riders around me would be doing, and I felt they would have picked the same course of action.
It's always interesting to see how the east coast decided to build roads, and even trails. There's no gradual incline strategy to it, nothing to really reduce the grade and tame it. The road is a direct reflection what the mountain gives; there is no "calming" of it to be had. Harsh, straight up, it is what it is. Mount Vesuvius definitely embodies a lot of that. The skies finally started to open right when the steep stuff began. The rain dumped as I delivered papers to each side of the road. I was running a 50/34T with a 11-32T in the back, and this was one of only a few places where I wished I had just a touch more (Ozarks being the other). Cadence had slowed to about 50, standing up and turning squares, creating my own "west coast" climb profile within these narrow Virginia lanes. Occasionally the back tire would slip on a small oil patch, lurching me forward. A few cars came and went, eyes within their warm, dry interiors having that "that sucks" look in them. Yes, this sucks.
Eventually the steep section of Vesuvius ended, giving way to a continued incline up the Blue Ridge Parkway. The rain had subsided for the moment, the roads and myself though completely drenched.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is really something; miles and miles of beautiful scenery in all directions. Today's views were muddled by dangerous clouds hammering through, and picture opportunities were kept to a minimum.
I had no idea where Jason was, but I knew he had to be either struggling through this or taking shelter somewhere. I figured Donncha might have made the smart move and waited in Lexington. We had made it through so many days and miles with very little adverse weather, just to get hit with massive storms so close to the finish. Sure, we had sub-freezing mornings and scorching hot days, but nothing quite like this.
As I rode along the parkway, I noticed a car slowing down as it approached me. It was Chris Thomas, who instructed me that he would be waiting at the next pull out just up the road. Similar to past occurrences, I really didn't know who this individual was at the time, or what I was to expect when I finally met up with him just up the road. I was doing the math in my head and figuring he was likely a trail angel, and looking to provide support in anyway he could. I met him up the road, in a parking lot completely empty (after all, it was not a good day to be on the parkway), and he offered up several snacks and a cold Pepsi. He was having a hard time tracking any of us in the area as it seems all three of our SPOT trackers were being obstructed by this massive storm. The rain had reduced to a mist, but I was already soaked to the bone and felt like it made sense to continue riding, to keep the body temperature up. Chris offered to drive behind me up until a hot dog stand a few miles up the road, where we would meet up with Gretchen, his wife. The rain was now starting to pick up a little bit; still not heavy but enough to have a continuous spray on everything. It had now been about 5 hours of rain riding. I knew if temperatures dropped at all, it could get really rough. How I wished I had that damn rain jacket!
I rolled around a corner and noticed Chris had pulled over to a parking lot. Waiting there was Gretchen, with two hot dogs in hand! We chatted for a quick minute, but with the storms we knew we needed to keep moving. She mentioned Jason had just ridden by without stopping, which in the moment absolutely blew my mind. I was looking for any reason to get out of the rain, and stopping for hot dogs was a pretty damn good one. But I did appreciate the extra hot dog that Jason left behind (thanks Jason!). Gretchen and Chris mentioned the Cookie Lady's House, just up the road, was a good spot to hunker down and wait out the storms. Again, another route specific accommodation that wasn't even on my radar. It sounded like a good plan for the evening, and Gretchen and Chris hopped in the car and I followed them best as possible. We briefly turned onto a main road, which was packed full of traffic, in the pouring rain, to get over to the house. I was so fortunate for their guidance here, as I would have never seen the house, nor would I have really known what to look for.
Only minutes later, we arrived at the house. If you're racing, put this on your radar. The bottom level is dedicated to supporting cyclists passing through on their journey to complete the TransAm Bike Route. Memories and small notes of appreciation abound; it's quite an amazing place. While I didn't want to stop, I was thankful to get a chance to experience such a cool landmark of the route. I know I had certainly missed several.
I laid a few garments out to try, texted friends and family to check in safe and started analyzing weather maps for the next possible gap.
Shortly after I arrived, Victoria Dunham came to the door to introduce herself, and she if she could dry any clothes for me. Victoria is the resident care taker of the Cookie Lady's House, living upstairs and continuing this amazing tradition. She instructed me to the cookies (in the fridge), in which I thoroughly enjoyed! I wished I had more time to enjoy this establishment, but I needed to focus on what was next. I wasn't particularly tired, just mentally drained from bad weather riding. I sat there, constantly refreshing weather maps to figure out when the break might come. It looked like 1 to 2 am was the best estimate for some type of break. More rain after that, but I could likely get down the mountain and into another town. At this point, the goal was just small increments of progress when available. With this information, I figured it was as best a time as any to get a little sleep. Victoria arrived back with dry clothes, and I decided to close my eyes on the couch. (Thank your for the amazing hospitality Victoria!)
Day 21"ish"- The continuation...
About 11 pm, I was startled awake as the door to the house opened. I peered up from the couch to see Donncha being escorted into the house, out of the miserable cold dark rain, by Chris and Gretchen. Donncha was soaked and shaking, looking like he had a rough go of it out on the parkway just as I did, and as I'm sure Jason had. He shuffled to one of the backrooms and laid down on the couch. I laid there for a few minutes, listening to Donncha get settled. I checked my phone and noted that the weather window was no longer there, just continued rain through the night... but I didn't want to sit there any longer; I couldn't really. Donncha had caught up back up but was now likely going to be stationary for at least a few hours. This was my opportunity.
I put my feet on the floor and quietly collected my belongings. My clothes were dry, but would quickly be soaked again once I walked outside. It was a realization that was tough to swallow in the dry and warm comfort of the house. But we were racing, not touring, and Yorktown felt like a stones throw away.
My belongings were all over the house, in front of various fans trying to dry out. As I collected my shoes, Donncha noticed me and we traded a few quiet words, as if someone else was in the house with us. I figured he too would be wrestling with staying long, and soon would be chasing behind me. As I put on my socks I noticed the skin on the soles of my feet were starting to deteriorate from the continued water exposure.
I opened the front door. The stoop was completely flooded, and rain pouring over the awning. It was a steady, hard rain with no signs of letting up anytime soon. With a massive heave of mental energy I rolled my bike out into the night. It was approximately 12:30 am.
Victoria had informed me about road construction just up the road. The roads were not only filled with water but also gravel and debris from the work that was being done. Almost immediately it was a steep and relatively narrow descent. In daylight and good conditions, it probably would have been a magical stretch of road. But in the dark and rain I tensely navigated, feathering brakes and stopping constantly to clear the rain from my lenses. It was difficult to stay warm and so I shivered as the rain once again soaked me through.
I made it about 90 minutes before I'd had enough. I was off the mountain, but the rain was now relentless. There was nothing left in my will to try and fight it anymore. I rolled through Farmington, scanning the roadside for any type of shelter I could take. On the left hand side of the road was an abandoned gas station, which wouldn't have any patrons anytime soon. A small awning over the front curb was keeping about a 3 foot strip of concrete relatively dry. I decided this was as good of a place as any to stop. Shaking uncontrollably, I pulled out my sleeping bag and laid it on the ground, using a small pair of shorts as a pillow. I crawled in and closed my eyes, hoping for the rain to let up and for warmth to reenter my body....
About 2 hours later, I was awoken by a passing car on the road. The warmth of the down sleeping bag was no longer there. Everything felt cold again. I foggily analyzed my surroundings. The concrete slab I was laying on was no longer dry; the rain had infiltrated the awning and was coming down the side of the building, pooling now around me. I couldn't stay here any longer and I had to get moving again to stay warm. I rolled up the soaked bag and stuffed it back into my seat bag, making a mental note to let it air out once in Yorktown.
It was still dark, but the morning commute into Charlottesville was now picking up. A steady stream of headlights lined the route, paired with limited visibility from the rain and several construction zones. It was far from ideal, especially in my state of mind.
On the east side of Charlottesville, before downtown, I stopped at a gas station that had just opened. Taking cover under a large porch, I proceeded inside for a warm cup of coffee and breakfast sandwiches. The store was too cold to stay in, so I sat outside watching the rain continue and thinking to myself this was absolutely the worst time I've ever had on a bike. Why on earth did I leave the comfort of the house?
The sun was now rising and the rain was dissipating slightly. It was my signal to again get back in the saddle, but now not only did I have the rain to contend with, but the morning traffic of Charlottesville was in full force. As I rode through the downtown streets of Charlottesville, I surveyed the roadsides to see where Jason might have made it to last night. I knew he too was working through this, which provided some distant camaraderie and justification for continued forward motion.
As Charlottesville faded into the distance, so too did the storms. The skies cleared and lent themselves to some calm, yet grey miles, my clothes ever so slightly beginning to dry out.
I felt my phone vibrate, only to receive a message from Jason that he was stopped at a Fire Station around Palmyra, just about 15 miles up the road, due to flooding in the area. Unbelievable. The wrath of these storms was going to foil us in new forms. As I pedaled on towards Jason, I could see just how much rain this storm had produced. We were in the lowlands surrounding the Rivanna river. Curb side ditches were filled to the brim and then some. Dense tree areas surrounding the roads now looked like marshes. I could easily begin to see why roads were closed, and as I came up to Palmyra traffic slowed and orange cones and police cars came into view. I pulled into the fire station, where Jason's bike was leaning outside. A few firefighters were busy on radios working the surrounding area, and I sort of let myself in the house and found Jason. I think we just shook our heads in disbelief when we saw each other, the chaos of the past 18 hours being hard to grasp.
I looked at my GPS- I had traveled 50 miles in 8 hours.
Jason filled me in on the closures in the area, noting that no redirect option had been given. The firefighters had their hands full trying to keep those in the area safe, and I think we felt our needs to keep riding were likely secondary in the moment. It was a good opportunity to check in with those waiting for us in Yorktown. This was not the first time we had to call and inform those waiting for us that we were delayed, yet again.
We had a lot to catch up from the last time we saw each other, and the firehouse did have some nice comfortable leather chairs. We had a good reason to relax; we couldn't ride if we wanted to. We could see Donncha and Stephen both moving though, and eventually the conversation transitioned to figuring out how we continue to move. We went back outside to talk with the firefighters, but it just didn't feel right to interrupt their work so we patiently waited for a break in the action to discuss alternate routes. We weren't getting anywhere with one of the firefighters, until an old seasoned local gave us some intel to skirt around it. We checked maps and found where we could link back up with the course. It seemed doable.... and it was better than sitting around and doing nothing. The rain had stopped, the roads, where not flooded, were clearing too.
We packed up and decided to give it a try. We immediately started going the wrong direction though; luckily the gentlemen had followed us for a minute, honked and redirected us on the right path.
Our spirits were high that we could hopefully skirt around this river and continue on towards Yorktown. Just figure out this one small detour and you're in the clear. Not long there after, a sudden burst sounded out of my back wheel. Tire sealant started spraying with every tire rotation. With all the challenges of the past day, a flat tire was just par for the course. I had one tube left, and as I took the back wheel off I hoped to myself that this would be my last mechanical. As I removed the thru axle, the derailleur hanger along with the derailleur felt right off the bike. I sat there stunned for a moment, instantly thinking my race was over. Both Jason and I looked at it a little harder, puzzled at what had just happened. Apparently the hanger bolt had loosened and fallen out at some point, and the derailleur was only being held on by the thru axle and frame design. We changed the tire, and shimmied the hanger back into location. Tightening the thru axle, it surprisingly stayed in place. We both kind of laughed a little and felt like we got off easy, although this definitely loomed on my mind as we continued to ride.
We were able to find our way around the first obstacle, which I think was only a 5 mile detour or so. We were back on route and a positive outlook was beginning to shape back up for us.
Not soon after though, another flooded section of the course (pictured below) challenged our fortitude. It's hard to to tell in the picture, but the water was moving so aggressively; so strong that we didn't feel comfortable riding or even walking across it. It was an immediate consensus between the two of us that we needed to find another way. Again the phones came out to see what options were available in the area. Everything was low lying, and it was difficult to judge what would be any better than this. Guesses were had, and really neither one of us could provide any better information than the other. It was important to keep moving though, as flooded areas were changing rapidly.
A little bit of luck was with us and we were able to sneak past this detour with only a slight reroute. We were moving again.
Thoughts of the race completion were now starting to become a reality. I was also thinking about how Jason and I were going to end this out. Would we finish together? Would we start pushing pace and see if someone could be dropped? With all the road closures, I suspect something like that would have been futile anyway. If either one of us created a gap, it would likely be thwarted with a closed road. Besides, the camaraderie was greatly appreciated in these moments. Jason was a strong rider and a good companion for this section. He helped keep the pace up and also made the miles fly by. We worked a long stretch from here with no issues- no road closures, no mechanical, and modest weather. I remember we stopped at a gas station to fuel up- it's always interesting seeing what other racers gravitate to for food. Jason and I did agree on one thing though- Hunt Brother's Pizza. I think we were standing in line to pay for our pizza and Jason brought up a proposal to finish the race out together. A small amount of relief definitely came over me. Hell yes. The racing was over between the two of us- it was now just a race against mother nature, and to stay ahead of Donncha and Stephen.
We kept moving, keeping a pulse on the next wave of storms that was expected to roll in in the early evening. It had our attention and prodded us with a sense of urgency. Our trackers still were having issues, but it was apparent to dot watchers and family that we were at least riding in each other's vicinity.
We stopped somewhere (I honestly have no idea what town it was!) for what had to have been the worst Mexican meal I had this entire trip. But it didn't matter, it was one of our final sit down meals of the race, and it wasn't raining in the restaurant.
We had to keep moving. By now, we were receiving texts and messages about the next set of storms- another strong system barreling into our area. Time was of the essence. We motored on, pushing through each town and working to avoid many more stops. Through Ashland, Prince Purple was waiting for us. No time to stop though, "trying to beat the storms!" we yelled as we passed by.
I think we stopped again about Mechanicsville for what was close to our last store stop. The realization that our gas station patronage was almost over brought a tear to my eye (kidding!). At this point, town names didn't matter. Distance between stops didn't matter. We were watching a line on a GPS and watching a line of storms on the radar. Services were everywhere, and with that came a steady stream of eastern Virginia traffic. We rode single file, with good distance between us, and kept the pace high. There was no saving legs for the next day. We were determined to hit Yorktown tonight, making tomorrow a definitive rest day. We could burn any of our last matches to push it in.
I think just a few miles outside of Mechanicsville, we noticed a car on the side of the road waving us down. We were trying to not stop; every minute counted against these storms. It was Thijs Ligt though! Apparently he had stayed in the US, and was hanging out to help usher us in (such a cool dude!). He had some bad news to share though; more road closures in the area due to flooding, again on our route. He encouraged us to check out an alternate route, and began to show us options on a map. Jason and I were both fried mentally, and our comprehension skills were a little low at the time. We heeded Thijs' warning, thanked him and put the pedals back to the grind....
Why we didn't fully listen to his advice, I'm not sure. I honestly think with the limited brain power and urgency to finish, we were in a "we'll cross that bridge when we get to it" mentality. Sure enough, we hit a closed road due to flooding. We attempted to push west, and find another southern road to get us across the flooded area. Every option though would be closed for the next 10 miles, forcing us to examine maps every several minutes to see if we could find another option through the labyrinth of high water. Further west we went, further off course, hoping to see a road without barricades. We were both getting frustrated; anxious to get to Yorktown, get off these damn bike and celebrate with friends and family.
Finally we found a path down to New Market Rd, which would put us back on the Virginia Capital Trail. It was clear, and we were close to being back on course. In total, this detour alone was close to 15 miles.
Our GPS chirped to notify us we were back on course, a relieving sound in this trying time. Again, we increased the pace as we weren't in the clear yet; another massive storm cell was still barreling up behind us.
Not but a few miles on the Capital Trail, luck again showed no favor to us. A large "pop!" was the sound I remember, bringing Jason to a stop. Another flat, or so we thought. Almost laughable luck for us at this time. Jason proceeded to begin working on the flat, and I took the opportunity to keep family updated on our progress. We were getting close, only about 50 miles out from the monument. I checked in with Jason on his repair; not only had he blown a tube, but blew a sidewall on his tire. Luckily, he had a spare tire with him and we were able to get ourselves back on the road. At this point, we were just shaking our heads with the string of events that was taking place. There were strong forces at play, working hard to keep us from the finish.
It was late afternoon and the storms had provided a beautiful array of colors on the horizon. The lush greenery along the Capital Trail, and the seclusion from cars helped relax the stress....for the moment.
Now only 40 miles out, we were making progress! But as we rode along the bike path, we could hear the rumble of thunder in the distance. It was growing closer, and a light rain was changing to heavy, with winds picking up. We were in a section of the trail that didn't have a lot of services or buildings, and I began to get nervous about getting caught out here in another vicious storm. We spotted an old Victorian house on the left side of the road, and made a beeline for it's large porch. Not moments after we took shelter, an aggressive storm system barreled in, pummeling the roads yet again with massive amounts of rain and lightning cracking ever so close to our location. We were relieved to have found this shelter. We think this was some type of small AirBnB establishment, but there was no one in the front area of the house. We just sat under the porch, ate what little food we had left, and tried to charge a few electronics. Cell service was again spotty, but we did our best to update those close. Our arrival time would again be pushed out. All we could do is shake our heads and laugh at this point. 35 miles left to end this saga, and we were at the mercy of mother nature.
The rain subsided and the rumble of thunder drifted into the distance. We ventured back out, and crossed our fingers that this would be the last of the storms. So much rain had just hit what was already a heavily saturated area. The Capitol trail was completely flooded, forcing us to ride on the road. Dusk was closing in, and Jason's rear light had died somewhere in this fiasco. He road in the front, and I took the rear to provide some visibility to cars.
We made one final stop for a commemorative chocolate milk and ice cream bar. Spirits were increasing as we felt we could make it in before the next storm came through.
It was quite dark now, our lights giving off the only light around. At times, we were riding through consistent stretches of standing water. Slowly street lights and old buildings began to trickle into the periphery. This was historic Williamsburg; the road quality below us beginning to show signs of historic significance. There was some type of event happening, which was just ending as we rolled through. Past downtown Williamsburg, we road on what felt like a wide promenade, with no lane markers to tell us if we were riding on the correct side of the road. A constant stream of headlights, departing that same event, whizzed passed us. It was an endless road, with endless cars. I'm sure we were only on this road for 30 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. We were riding as hard as we could and I began to take on an out of body sensation, likely due to a mixture of an oncoming bonk and elation for the finish that was finally going to arrive.
The cars disappeared as we pedaled the final few miles into Yorktown. We knew we were close, and took a moment to share our appreciation for each other in that moment. Jason was an exceptional competitor whom challenged me to push beyond my perceived limits for the past 15 days. But he had also became a good friend in the process. A juxtaposition for sure- I had wanted to stay away from him for weeks, but also appreciated the company when he inevitably caught me.
We could now see the monument, and a small group of people began to cheer as our headlights came into view. This was it, the final few pedal strokes of a monumental undertaking. Almost immediately, I was engulfed in a downpour of emotions. Those closest to me were there to share in such a special moment. We cried, we laughed, and we all shared one last rain storm together.
As quickly as it started, the journey was now complete. The transition back to "regular" life would soon begin. The physical recovery process would take close to 6 months. It was well worth it though. This was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
Thanks for listening.