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Kat Marriner : January 19th, 2008

In the Beginning

span style=”font-family:trebuchet ms;”Willie started bicycle touring long before email and the internet, before lycra shorts and coolmax t-shirts, before mountain bikes, and long before Kat came into his life. Kat started cycle-touring after meeting Willie when an email in the early days of the world-wide web popped into her mailbox with an old-fashioned phone number for a hostel in /spanst1:country-region style=”font-family: trebuchet ms;” st=”on”st1:place st=”on”Slovenia/st1:place/st1:country-regionspan style=”font-family:trebuchet ms;” where he was spending the night. A phone call that night led to an invitation to join his cycling trip through the Balkans. The rest is history./spanbr /p class=”MsoNormal” style=”font-family: trebuchet ms;” align=”left”That first trip together, we spent many nights snuggled in our little yellow tent. It was a small, no frills; basic starter model tent from REI, but it was home. It was our hamster’s nest chuck full of 10 bicycle bags, 2 thermarests and lust for adventure. That tent and all it symbolized grew into the lyrics for our wedding song composed by Willie’s brother, Jeff.br //pp/pimg id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5157088116818024834″ style=”margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center;” alt=”" src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_nrsmt9LZJ0I/R5GoUZ5TmYI/AAAAAAAAADE/frkVrOtTOJo/s320/yellow+tent.jpg” border=”0″ / p align=”center”span style=”color: rgb(255, 204, 102);font-family:trebuchet ms;” Our little yellow tent in Hungary, 1996/span/pp align=”left”span style=”font-family:trebuchet ms;”The four-month Balkans trip from st1:city st=”on”Budapest/st1:city to st1:city st=”on”Athens/st1:city in 1996 led to st1:place st=”on”st1:country-region st=”on”Cuba/st1:country-region/st1:place in 1998. After Bush took office in 2001, we decided it was time to learn more about the Deep South of the st1:place st=”on”st1:country-region st=”on”US/st1:country-region/st1:place and pedaled three months through the region. A three-month trip to st1:country-region st=”on”Turkey/st1:country-region in 2003 coincided with the st1:country-region st=”on”US/st1:country-region troops entering st1:city st=”on”Baghdad/st1:city, and in 2005/6 we toured st1:country-region st=”on”Thailand/st1:country-region and st1:place st=”on”st1:country-region st=”on”Laos/st1:country-region/st1:place for nearly four months. All told, together we’ve pedaled span style=”font-style: italic;”lots/span of miles, and still love to snuggle. Our tent is now gray, and come to think of it, so are we.br //span/pdiv style=”text-align: center;”a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_nrsmt9LZJ0I/R5GgI55TmWI/AAAAAAAAACA/x45SpyafZ-E/s1600-h/Fruitstall+camping+in+Laos.jpg”img id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5157079123156506978″ style=”margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; cursor: pointer; text-align: center;” alt=”" src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_nrsmt9LZJ0I/R5GgI55TmWI/AAAAAAAAACA/x45SpyafZ-E/s400/Fruitstall+camping+in+Laos.jpg” border=”0″ //aspan style=”color: rgb(255, 204, 102);”Our little gray tent at a fruitstall “campsite” in Laos, 2006/spanbr //divbr /span style=”font-family:trebuchet ms;”This blog won’t be much about the miles on the bicycle, but about the people and experience along the way. It’s about life on the road, and maybe it won’t be so different than an ordinary life taking place in an extraordinary experience/spanspan style=”font-weight: bold;font-family:trebuchet ms;” ./spanspan style=”font-weight: bold;font-family:trebuchet ms;font-size:100%;” br /br //span

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