Thursday, May 3, 2007
The Great Chaco Challenge of 2007
Well, the gauntlet has been thrown . . . metaphorically at least. I don't know anyone who owns a gauntlet, but if my brother, Mark Everett, did have a gauntlet, he would have thrown it, thereby initiating the Great Chaco Challenge of 2007.
Why Chaco Sandals Barely Leave My Feet
To back up. The Chaco sandal is the greatest single piece of travel footwear ever created on the face of the planet, and I say this having previously been a wearer of the Teva. Unlike the Teva sandal, Chacos feature vibram soles that can handle the toughest terrain, and the absence of velcro make them ideal companions for river activities. My Chacos have carried me through crowds of tourists in Europe, through flooded rivers in tropical rains in Mexico, through dusty streets in Tanzania, and to Everest. Megan and I wore them almost exclusively throughout Africa, and I can imagine no better travel shoe.
Why I had to take the bait
That said, a side-effect of extensive wearing of Chacos is the Chaco sandal tan. And, a side-effect of that phenomenon is that the tan provides yet another means for sibling rivalry to take flight. Specifically, Mark Everett sent me a random email last week stating:
"I hereby bet you the amount of $20 of who can achieve the best chaco tan by Sept 1 at 12 noon. I started mine this weekend and I can already see the outlines of greatness. I am no where near your level, but I aim to destroy you.
Do you accept??"
I assumed Mark Everett wrote the email and followed it with this facial expression:
Normally, I would ignore this email as a random product of an extremely well-developed imagination by a very creative fellow (after all, I think Mark Everett's main goal in life is to obtain some sort of machine to record his dreams to DVD . . .). So, I'm used to getting random emails of this sort . . . but I also have lost nearly every bet I've made with Mark Everett in the past two years . . . in this email, I saw my chance at redemption. Nay, I saw my chance at victory!
So, the competition is on. My plan is to randomly chronicle our progress on this blog over the coming months. On September 1 (or thereabouts if the date proves to be impossible), I will post photos of our final product. At that point, readers will have several days to vote on which tan has achieved the highest level of greatness.
Let the competition begin!
Here we are at the beginning of a battle. The first photo shows my feet, and Mark Everett's are second . . . and no, I don't mind that I have an amazing head start.