The Kazakhstan winds between our legs…
Middle of Nowhere, Kazakstan to Road to Semey, Kazakstan…
In the morning, we had to get a fire started to thaw out our icicle legs, (though in retrospec, it was probably good to have our muscles iced after our marathon. i knew there was a silver lining!) we made some blueberry, banana oatmeal and then on the road again…. doo doo doooooo.
We had kilometers and kilometers to cover to get to Semey… we needed to push quite hard, but we also had a bunch of dares yet to be completed. Being off the road with a couple treelines for cover at our campsite we decided maybe this would be a good time to do the naked two mile push…
But…. as Josiah was getting undressed a farmer in his big 4x4 SUV came down the road, I’ve never seen Josiah get dressed so quickly. It was quite a feat. Apparently we had camped on the road to his farm… there would be no pushing there. So back on the road again we were. The Kazakh roads were quite interesting to say the least. There were these signs that I had one or two humps side by side, I assume to either mean rough roads or humps or dips in the road. Nevertheless whenever the signs showed up, someone would yell, “Boobs!” There were quite a lot of boobs…
The roads were endless, we also were supposed to pass by a lake, but we didn’t see any.. We found out later that the lake’s source was cut off by the Russian’s further up north and now that lake was almost all dried up. The paper maps and Google maps lake size drastically differed.
We did find a melon stand where we picked up a 5kg melon for us to eat and Josiah to do some exercising with in the car whilst driving. You have to be vigilant in keeping your body active. Josiah and I played a game where he would have to hold the melon out until we would pass by some roadside sign. We did that for a few dozen kilometers… (You’re welcome.. Aunt Debi).
We pushed onwards till about 6:30pm when the sun was just setting. We specifically stopped early to find a spot to do our wonderful dare given to us by the Mangiameli Clan (Josiah’s familia).
The Dare-Bye Bye Baby: Team must push the car 2 miles during the day out in the desert (naked, only wearing shoes)
One guy steers, while others push. Each guy steers for 1/2 mile and pushes the rest of the time.
We pulled off onto this single lane dirt road with tree cover on two sides for an easy escape if necessary. Then proceeded to drive two and a bit miles down the road with everyone looking out the windows with a watchful eye for signs of life. There was none that could be seen. Although Patrick thinks there could have been a farmer out in the field that may or may not had his night ruined or just left in stitches seeing what would happen next…
Before we started we had to figure out the best way to push the fully packed car. We worked our a rotation system. One on each of the car doors, and two in the back. The person on the driver side had the door open and a towel laid out just in case in was necessary to jump in for a quick getaway or a run away car down the ditch. At every 0.25 miles we would rotate around the car, clockwise. Marshal and I would calculate the distance on our GPS watches as we ran. We set up some GoPros.. chest up views of course and stripped down.
Just as the sun was setting, we started to push. Determined to move as quickly. Aiming for under an hour… Maybe a bit too bold… after a brisk 100 m we were pooped. Our initial hesitations turned into labored breaths as our muscles warmed up. I hoped and prayed no one would cramp having done the marathon only a few days prior…
Thankfully no one did for the first 0.25 miles. Rotate! At this point in everyone is quite tired, we need to slow down a bit. A nice slow trot maybe. The 45 horsepower in this car would be no help to us now. We designate the driver side the resting spot if needed.
Rotate! Another 0.25 miles done.
We look down at our watches, we were making good time. We were projected for a sub-30 minute 2 mile! This newly found fact boosted our morale for the seemingly endless push. Marshal would yelled out the distances every so often as we pressed onwards to our goal. The front two people were now also in charge of yelling out where the horse poop was and whether to speed up for the little baby hills in the road.
Rotate! Rotate! Rotate! A mile and a quarter completed. We were in our element. The Jamaican bobsled team couldn’t push with more gusto than us! Feel the rhythm! Feel the right! It bobsled…er car pushing time!
The pores were opening up in full force as the sweat from everywhere was pouring through. There was a slight cross breeze cooling us off but not much. I just wanted this to be over at this point..
Rotate! A mile and a half done!
Woot. We were making excellent time. We definitely could push this car two miles in under 30 minutes. We were determined. Marshal was yelling out different motivational words from Cool Runnings and other movies as we strained and shoved the car into a slow roll.
Rotate! Only one more rotation after this. We would rest up this rotation then give a last hurrah. As if the universe was looking out for us for one last motivator, a truck in the distance honks his horn and waves out the window.. Wait could he see us???!?! He keeps honking his horn in the distance. We do what we always do, smile and wave back. We needed to finish as quick as possible now.
Rotate! The last shove. We went into warp speed mode and ran with the winds of Kazakhstan passing through our legs and inner thighs..
And finished! Time: 29 minutes. 49 seconds. Distance completed: 2 miles.
We made a recover meal of pasta, peas, and mushrooms to refuel our tired muscles. Sleeping in the full moon’s light, as we rested our muscles and camped in another freezing cold area in our hammocks in some tress at the end of our naked push. It was definite less cold for me this night. Protip: Put your sleeping mat underneath you as you rock back and forth in your hammock. You lose less heat as the frigid winds of Kazakhstan blow underneath you.
Anyways we would be off to Semey, hopefully tomorrow…