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In July 2001, Kropp was in Seattle to deliver presentation on the Everest trip. Eruç wouldn't have missed it for the world. Kropp described his preparation, the route, the anguish of cycling across miles of monotonous Russian countryside, and the climb up the world's tallest mountain. It was painful, and it was beautiful. It was life lived exponentially, beyond the ordinary means of the common man. If experience wasn't life, then life wasn't truly experienced.

Eruç was captivated. After the presentation, he asked Kropp several questions about his human-powered experience. Kropp was an energetic man himself, and the two of them hit it off immediately. As they chatted, Eruç revealed his plan to journey around the world on human power. Kropp was intrigued, and he encouraged Eruç to follow through. "When are you leaving?" Kropp asked. Eruç hesitated briefly. For the first time, his dream was embraced instead of questioned. "Right after I met Goran I was energized," Eruç said.

Erden Eruç and the ocean-going shell that will carry him on the second leg of his journey. Eruç will row from Miami to Ecuador via the Panama Canal to scale his next peak, Argentina's Mount Aconcagua

Kropp gave him newfound inspiration. The two talked about kayaking the Siberian shores and climbing mountains together. In the days and months that followed, Eruç and Kropp kept in touch, eventually setting their sights on climbing Frenchman Coulee in the eastern part of Washington. It would be the first time they climbed together. Although Eruç didn't know it at the time, the climb would cement his commitment to his human-powered journey.

The rest, unfortunately, is history.

Monday, September 30, 2002. day that Eruç will always remember, even though he has tried many times to forget. It was mid-morning, and Eruç and two friends were waiting for Kropp in the parking lot at Frenchman Coulee.
"We waited until about 10:20 and I asked Richard (Murphy) and Marcus (Hysert) to get started on their climbing, and that I would wait for Goran few more minutes," Eruç recalled. "We agreed that I would join them by the Sunshine Wall area."
Twenty minutes later, Goran arrived, tearing into the parking lot in obvious haste. As he got out of his car, he apologized profusely. He had been conducting an interview with Outside magazine for feature on an upcoming adventure, and time had gone over.
Eruç smiled and said no problem. The walls were waiting. The two set out, climbing the rest of the morning and into the afternoon. Throughout the day, Kropp and rc talked about the next adventures on their agendas. Kropp had told Outside that he was planning on tracing the North American borders in 2003.

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