Well we made it to Aunt Barb's and Uncle Jerry's Sunday afternoon and have been relaxing and working on the van since. We put new breaks drums and breaks on and a new valve cover gasket in (now I can stop and don't leak oil). Aunt Jean is flying out the 13th and I will likely leave before that. My trip is not over as I will be driving up to Or. I intend to stay there and start research for a month or so before returning home for a month or so. The plan is then to drive and climb across the country with my good friend Erik. In other words the travels do not end and I hope they never do. We are right now working on how many miles we did. Once calculated I will post and post a reflection on the trip. Thanks everyone who followed and kept us in your prayers. I intend to continue to use this as an outlet to document my trips so don't worry there will be more to come, just maybe not as frequently.
Sorry the map is not updating but if you want to see our progress and atcual route go toBike tour map and click next
We did meet up with Jason and Colleen and had a really good evening. They planned to do the angels landing hike in the morning and I asked to join. I wasn't sure how my feet would be but I figured with 'good' shoes(cleats out bike shoes) I would be ok. After running out of the park to get some breakfast and riding the shuttle to the trail head, we headed up the 1,000 some feet and 5.4 mile round trip trail. It was amazing and a ton of fun and my feet were great. It took us a lot less time then we expected and we got back and met Charlie at 1. We said our goodbyes (at the latest I intent to see these 2 for the eclipse in 2017) and hit the road. I had got in contact with Abigail and Aly and the were still in Vegas. After we checked in(long line, 'imperial palace'), got some food ('hash house', huge portions) and took a nap we met them to get some drinks. We headed to to fremont street (old vegas), and to a bar called 'don't tell momma'. The lights in that area are pretty amazing and the bar was real cool (the one bar tender could really sing). While there we got talking to a brit who bought us a round because he thought what we had done was very amazing(he is gonna ride with me if I do the UK). We had a really good time out with the girls and I hope too see them again.
Today we went and checked out the car museum in the hotel (it too was amazing) then hit the road after lunch at margaritaville Tonight we are staying in the san bernadine national forest We got in when it was dark and were lucky to find a sight quickly at our second option (first was full, had a bumpy ride up here) Tomorrow we head to aunt Barb and uncle Jerry's hopefully they are home when we get there(they had a golf torny this weekend).
I must note that Vegas was cool (we did not gamble) but the is no way I could spend time there. I would much rather be out here in the woods.
We hit the road and made it down to bryce canyon after a nice drive through boulder.We watched the sunset at sunset point and I ran most of the navajo trail. We then went and found a camp site and Charlie went to go for a walk up the hill were he ended up talking to Jason and Colleen. That night we went and hung out at their site and Aly and Abigail came over, we had a great time with them. The next morning we got a late start and decided to stay another night. We went and explored the park; I went for a 10ish mile hike (not the best for my feet in water shoes, but beautiful). that night the whole group got together again at our sight and Jason and Colleen supplied smoors. In the morning the sisters headed back to their brothers in Vegas and Jason and Colleen and us headed to Zion. Maybe we will bump in to them again here. We spent the day exploring Zion and did a little hiking but my feet were a little to rough to do the ones I wanted to do (aka suggestions from Abigail and Aly).
Tomorrow we head west to where ever.
Well we decided we had enough of the wind and were looking at our options to get to aunt Barb's. Just down the road from Lyman's was a 84' dodge van for sale. We talked to Lanny and got his price down. It is in great shape and today we got some work done on it as well as split wood for Lyman. We have to wait untill Tuesday to get the van licensed but I have the title and Lanny has my bike because we owe him some more money yet (you can only get so much out of an atm). Tomorrow we will be doing some more work on the van, it is great having Charlie here to teach me and help me fix the van up.
Well we mad it to Lyman's, but not in the traditional way. We started out the day and it was fairly windy and after a bit it got really bad. Soon after we decided to thumb it but it didn't seem to work. We stopped one time and a jeep drove bye before we got anywhere he cam back. Brian was a great guy (brit) who really wanted to help but was full up. We kept on and continued to thumb while riding. I then realized people may not know what we are doing so the next vehicle we stopped and turned toward. They stopped. A nice rv. Larry and Caroline were great and helped us get our bikes in and gave us some cold water. At that point we had done 22 miles but it felt like 100. We then rode with them 25 miles or so to Torrey. They were headed home to st. George which now as we think of it we should have rod with them. We are both tired and need a long break. Charlie is ready to get a rental car or something and just finish it, we may do something of this sort. A few options are in the works, but for now we are at Lyman's and he said we are welcome as long as we need.
You may notice a bit of a change to the pics. My first Picasa sight ran out of room so I started another. The bar across the top is still new photos and the one one the right is all those previous to Utah. I hope it works, I'm not sure. Let me know, thanks.
After 40 miles into the wind we finally made it to hanksville. It's a small little town but we were able to get a decent meal and a shower(first in 4 days). The ride was pretty and we road past one group of self supported riders and a larger group of supported; it is nice to see others that are nearly as crazy as we are. Tomorrow we are headed to torrey some 40 miles and 2,000 feet of climbing. There we will be staying with Lyman.
We had a good night and hit the road by 740. It was mostly down hill now but the wind kept it feeling uphill. We saw lots of amazing sights, buttes, high cliffs, canyons. Before noon we hit Hite national park. We found out Charlie could get a life time national park pass for $10 and he can have guest come in with him, so we saved some dough. We also stopped in the little store ( hours 11-2, we lucked out) and got some lunch. We spent the afternoon there swimming and relaxing in lake Powell. We left there at 4 after filling out bottles and climbed part of the way out of the canyon. We made it another 14 miles and found a decent place to camp. 60 miles today. Tomorrow should be about 40 miles to the first town we have seen in 3 days.
It was not down. We actually climbed 3500 feet into a head wind over 48 miles. It was a beautiful ride but tough. We met some great people today. We decided to stop at natural bridges national park and as we got there we met a couple touring on a tandem. Tim and Jeanie (sorry if I got your names wrong again, I'm beat) were great to talk to and we ended up touring the park with them, 9 mile loop. They were doing a loop to the grand canyon. The campground was full and they decided to go in and see if anyone would let them crash. We talked to ranger Ted and he went and got his jeep and let us put our stuff in it while we explored the park. The rangers did tell us a spot out toward the main road, park is 4 miles in, to camp so we decided to go there and get a jump on the day. Our new fiends did get a spot to crash and we did find a good spot to camp.
It was overall a good day and we were able to refresh our water supply. 64 miles today. Tomorrow we will likley be stealth camping some where on the climb out of the canyon.
We will be headed down to the edge of lake Powell this morning and I expect to have no service. It is a 120 some mile stretch with no services so we are gearing up this morning for 2 days. We already rode 10 miles and will be doing almost 80 more to get down to the lake. The next day will be spent climbing back out.
We cleared 3000 miles today after about 2 months of riding. We also made it into Utah. At first we had a lot of plains lands but it is starting to get hilly and canyony. On the rode we met an Aussie, Jose, on the rode and swapped notes. He started in Singapore then flew to LA. We rode 58 miles today ad are in devils canyon park for the night. Tomorrow will likley be a long down hill day.
We had a really enjoyable night and met quite a few more people including 2 other touring cyclist, Kim and later in the evening Nick. Kim is heading home to Buffalo and Nick Philly. They were both great to talk to and share info about the upcoming terrain. It was interesting talking to them being the "experienced" touring cyclist.
We took our time this morning getting ready and left around 1030. By lunch time we hit dolores and stopped at Karla's which was really good, large portions, and cheap. After a little bit longer we made it to the Yoder's. The total today was 53 miles. Tomorrow we head into Utah and a few days of winging it.
Wyndham took us up to telluride in the morning where he was volunteering to set up for a film festival. It saved us 30 miles and a lot of climbing. After getting some breakfast, and talking to some woman for a bit we hit the road. It was a beautiful ride probably the best we have seen. Wyndham had told us about a hot spring outside Rico so we stopped to check it out. When we got there we got talking to a local guy who kinda takes care of it. After a bit we decided to stay and we set up camp. We have had a few visitors all really nice and fun to talk too. I hope it continues....
We did 28 miles today and a bit of climbing, tomorrow will be about 50 to the yoder's in yellow jacket. Sorry there are no new pics my service is not good enough..
Rob made pancakes in the morning that were delicious. But that was the fun for the morning the ride was easy when it came to hills but the wind was brutal. We rode 30 miles and were in Ridgeway by 130. Wyndham had planned to go to the Orvis hot springs and invited us to join after we for some lunch. The hot spring was great exactly what we needed after the 2 days of climbing. We spent a good chunk of time there and when we got back Charlie got Wyndham to give him a Thai message. Tomorrow Wyndham is headed up to telluride so we are going to hitch a ride so we don't need to ride yet another big hill.
Christine left for yoga in the morning and we left soon after to go get breakfast. After a huge breakfast we hit the road slowly, and I soon realized I forgot to get a picture, first one I missed :(. We made progress through some beautiful landscapes but the wind and our stomachs made it slow. Luckily we hit the first large obstacle and were feeling better. We ended up climbing 3 peaks today all with head winds for a total of 3,000 feet of climbing and 65 miles. We got into Rob's house around 430 and had a drink and talked bikes (he has a couple, 7). Robyn, Rob's wife, got home and we had a good dinner and desert. Rob showed me that warmshowers has an Android app now, it is awesome. Tomorrow we have a 'rest' day (30 miles) heading for Ridgeway.
We casually rode 23 miles and 4200 feet to the continental divide today. It think we built it up so much and the sights were so awesome that it really didn't seem that bad. We left around 830 and after about the first 10 miles I departed Charlie but we set up radio connection. I made it too the top at noon thirty and Charlie to my astonishment came in a half hour later. We sat there a bit and had some lunch at the souvineer shop there. As it turns out Charlie went down again scraping his need but nothing worse.
We both got our cold gear on and left for gunnison. It was a nice ride to the bottom and we made good time eventhough we got rained on a bit. We are staying at Christine's tonight and had dinner at mike's to benefit the local trail system. Today I think was one of the best days we have had, there was a lot of everything. In total we did 72 miles today and 4500 feet.
Oh yeah I forgot last night we went to a wood fired pizza place that Charlie said had the best pizza he has ever eaten, so if you get to Salida go to Amicas.
We attempted to go to the cafe across the street from the campground this morning but of was not open so we cooked some freezdried eggs. We got on the road and were making good time but wanted to keep stopping for pictures. There was one spot where a ledge was hanging over the river and Charlie says 'why don't you climb up there' of course I agreed. From the top I got some good pics and Charlie got a good one of me up there.
We stopped at a little place about 10 miles before Salida for lunch and had some good burgers. Tonight we are staying in Evan's backyard, he is currently touring and in ky. We did about 50 miles today. Tomorrow we head over the pass.
We decided it was time we better leave before we get too settled in. We had a great time at the Fox's and we were sad to leave.
Saturday and Sunday Charlie needed to ride but it was too cold and rainy out, so with a treadmill we made him a roller and he worked out to try to get his lungs in shape.
We rode 72 miles today and lost 600 feet of elevation but climbed 3600 ft, figure that one out. It was a very pretty ride and it felt really good to get back on the rode. Tonight we are staying at the starlight campground which has a retro theme and has old campers you can rent, we are just tenting. Tomorrow we head for Salida and the base of the pass.
Monday it ended up raining / snowing all day so we ended up just doing some yoga and relaxing. Tuesday we headed down to Pikes peak through garden of the gods and we rode the cog train to the top of the mountain at 14110 feet. When we got to the top it was fairly cloudy but it cleared off just before our train headed down. We ended up riding 47 miles that day and Charlie struggled a bit ( cold air, altitude). Today we went down to garden of the gods to check it out closer. Before we left we did some yoga on the porch. Charlie really enjoyed the garden and was a lot better today. We rode 46 miles today. We may go camp at elevation tomorrow.
We had a nice ride up to Colorado springs and made it there by 130 after about 55 miles 20 of which were on dirt. We have been enjoying our time with Carly, Joanne, and Glen. Our first day here we went to a bike shop (Criterion) where we got Charlie's bike fixed up, and they only charged us for parts (i guess they were impressed with our trip). Today we have been relaxing and I have done some planning tomorrow we are gonna bike down to the garden of the gods and I am gonna hit up a hash trail. We still need to decide when we will leave.
A guy who was camping just down from us gave us some wood last night then this morning invited us over to use his stove and we got talking. Del and his wife Peggy were really nice and headed the same way we were. We probably could have talked all day but we got on the road around 8. At first we had a head wind but soon the wind calmed and we made good time. At lunch we had a choice to make go 10 miles north or 50 west cutting a day off the trip. We both felt good so we headed west toward Pueblo. It was a slight up hill climb bit we still kept a high average and by 5 we were there and had done 96 miles. Mid way through the day we were finally able to see the mountains. Tomorrow we head up to my Uncle Glen and Aunt Joanne's in the black forest, it will be 60 miles and over 2000 feet of elevation.
We got up and had a good breakfast and took some pictures. We then hit the road saying goodbye to yet another set of new friends. Soon after leaving we noticed a lot of the fields were littered with prairie dogs but I couldn't get a pic. We made good time and were in Lamar by lunch. We called it a day at john Martin state park and dam. Just before getting there we met Dave, on the road, who is biking for his friend. His site is at http://touringfortim.blog.com/ and is fundraising for als.
At the end of the day we did 70 miles. Tomorrow we will have to decide to push to peublo or stop at ordway.
We left the fellowship center around 830 and headed for johnson, which is the long way but we didn't really know better. We made good time and after heading north for 20 some miles we headed southwest. It was a good morning and pretty much every car was giving us a wave. Before making Colorado we kicked up a pheasant (something lost in pa). By lunch we made Walsh and had about 20 miles to go. With a slight head wind we made it to Springfield by 330 and began enjoying our time with Herbert and Delma. We had a nice dinner, played dominos, and shared stories. Tomorrow we head north and west.
Total today was 75 miles
We were only intending to spend one night at the Fast but it quickly turned into 2 days. The first morning we set to leave and we filled up the tires and in the process got holes in 2 valve stems using up our two spare tubes. We decided it was not smart to go with out tubes and it must have been sign we were to stay.
Mary Jane took me to town to get tubes and Charlie ran to Marvin's to borrow his mower (during the day we arrived we worked on Jake's lawn mower because it needed done but we couldn't get it). When we got back Charlie began mowing and I helped Jake out. Later their friend Alejandro came over and him and I built a fence around the garden. We also milked the calfs and fed the bulls.
Later that evening I drew up a political comic that Jake had thought up (ill get it up when I can) and we spent the night talking. They invited is to go to church with them in the morning and we said if it was raining we would but we would need to stay another day (no sense in leaving at noon). Well the morning came and it was raining so we went to Sunday school and the service which were nice and relaxed that afternoon. Later on we went to check the east pasture and we found a cow who had been trying to give birth probably since Saturday night, but the calf was backward (bottom first). We went and got the trailer and tried to load her but had no luck. So we called the vet and he came out and after quite the wrestling match he got the calf out. The calf didn't make it, the chances of saving the calf in that situation are slim but getting it out saves the cow. That evening we worked on the comic some more and heard some more of James poems. The next morning we hit the road. It was raining first thing but by the time we left it was nice. The first 3 miles however were not as nice; the dirtroad (kolechie? Sp) was soft and had some clay in it, enough to build up in my fender and bring me to a stop. I eventually loosened it and spaced it more which allowed me to get out of there. After that we had smooth sailing and made it into Rolla, Ks some 47 miles away. We stopped at the one place in town, Archuletta's Burracos were we sat talking to the owner Joe (it was 130 and we were his only patrons). We road another 18 miles and stopped in Richfield at the united Methodist church and got a hold of the pastor. We are staying in their fellowship center. While here we had 4 visitors who came and BSed with us for a long time. I guess this is what you get in a really small town. Tomorrow we head to Verlan's parents house in Springfield, Co. I still can't believe how great our random meeting in Spearman was. Oh yeah as it turns out Kristi and Tindle's daughter knows/works with sorta, Mary Jane. What a small world, its great.
Our amazing host both needed to go to work around 7 this morning but before that we had some breakfast and said our good byes. We left shortly after they did and began making good time, because the slight wind was in our favor. We soon got to the towns dam and stopped to check it out. After going against the wind for a bit it helped us again. We then were getting close to the Oklahoma line but never came across a sign that said state line but we were greeted by a 40 mph cross wind. After battling that wind for 5 miles or so we got to Hardesty and got some lunch and called Jacob and Mary-Jane. Their friend Marvin ended up picking us up and I am very happy he did because we would have had 10 miles or so into that wind. We got back to their ranch and have been enjoying our time with them.
Sorry I can't publish new pictures currently do to poor service.
We got up about 615 to find our biker pastor friend still at the camp ground, he wanted to leave by 6. Charlie went over and woke him and he was thankful but not concerned about running behind (his to be wife will wait). We got ready fairly quick and hit the road by 730 and luckily the wind was calm, but the sky was pink.
we road through some nice landscapes and over a dam where the water was quite low (lake Meredith) By lunch we made 60 miles and stopped in stinnett for lunch and to make a decision on what to do (get a room here or continue on). We decided to do another 30 miles to Spearman since we both felt good. We got there stopped at the hotel and decided we didn't want to pay their rates so we started to explore our options. It began to look like the lake 10 miles north of town was our best bet and we when to the dollar general got supplys and sat there eating ice cream. Right as we were getting ready to go, Kristi stopped and asked about what we were doing and we got talking. She proceeded to get us permission to camp in the town park but asked if we would come meet her husband who works at the bank right next. We went and met Tindle and were invited to get showers and to join them for dinner. A friend of theirs, Verlan, came over (he travels a lot) and we started swapping stories. We went and got some bbq and took it to go because the storm, oh yeah it started storming, got bad. At this point they invited us to stay and we spent the rest of the night enjoying the conversation. I am again amazed how great people are and how lucky/blest we are. West/pan handle of Texas has been very good to us and I hope to stay in touch with you all.
Tomorrow we have a 'short' ride to Jacob and Mary-Jane's outside of Guymon, Ok. We will be leaving Texas but are taking a lot with us.
We we did have a really good evening. Scott and Lisa were great relax and swap stories and ideas/knowledge with. They decided to take the free limo to the big texan but after reviews and seeing the menue Charlie and I decided not too.
After a bit Charlie went to the desk to get some desert and met biker/pastor Bill. Before Charlie got back Bill came over and I started talking with him. It was funny when Charlie for back since they already met. Bill, 68, is riding is motorcycle to go get married in Oklahoma. He is a great guy and we talked for a long while and prayed with him before we all went to get ready for the evening. Tomorrow we have about 55 miles to another cheep motel and we hope to leave earlier again.
Well today we surpassed 2000 miles. We hit the road at 7:15 and got moving slow with a strong side wind but were steady. The trip was flat except for a canyon that is apparently the 2nd largest in the states. It was a pretty good climb but we took it in stride. Soon after we stopped at a gas station and met some other touring cyclist, they have been riding around Texas since January and have done about 2000 miles as well. We stopped to get some lunch but neither of our cards worked, luckily we had some cash. We called and found out there was a hold put on Texas this morning do to fraud, so it was easy taken care of. We decided then to call it a day at 2 since its 100 out and hit the koa outside of Amerillo, where the couple we met earlier was checking in. They got a cabin and we intend to go visit and get in the cool. I may update this later.
We got up and had some breakfast and picked up a bit. Grant had checked our chains last night and told us they needed replaced, I never realized how much a chain can stretch, so we hit the shop in the morning and he hooked us up. We hit the road about 930 and made plainview by lunch and stopped at
The Nu-griddle cafe which was real cheap, good, and decorated with old cowboy stuff (why didn't I take a pic?). We finished the day in Tulia Texas at a 40 dollar motel that should be atleast 60. In total we road 71 miles today.
Our next place to stay is in guyman ok which will be 2 or 3 days.
We got up and got some pictures before Ty went to school. Jona made some biscuits for breakfast and we went to get some jerky and to see the town with Trey, he also took us to see his cow and bull calf. We ended up leaving around 10 but it was kind of hard too leave. We climbed the hill out of town and hit the flat and had a tail wind so we made it to Lubbock buy noon. We met Grant at the bike shop he works at, then went and got lunch till he got off. We headed back to his place and a bunch of friends came over and we had some steaks and good accompanying grub.
Tomorrow is open ended with the only plan being to head north.
Oh we did about 42 miles.
Ava made some breakfast tacos and wished us the best. We again left a great host. We decided that we would go the 60 some miles to Post instead of the 110 to Lubbock.
It got really hot today but luckily the wind was not so bad. We stopped quite a bit but made good time. The whole way was lined with oil wells and windmills it was kind of unbelievable. Once in post some 67 miles later we stopped at the dollar general and when I got out Charlie was talking to Trey. He offered to let us stay with his family and we could have his basement to sleep in. He has a really nice house an family and we spent the evening relaxing talking, and playing pool. Trey is amazing he even ran out and got us steaks.
Tomorrow we head to Lubbock.
The gathering at Margaret's was a great success. Glenda made some really good enchiladas and almost the whole gang was over again. I was a bad influence for the kids climbing up after them in the tree and doing so barefoot no less but everyone came out ok, but I did need to go up after Jacob and get him down.
That night it decided to rain spontaneously and we had not covered our bikes but luckily we ended up not much worse for the wear. we hit the road got some breakfast then met Glenda, Dale, and some of Vincent's kids on the road so they could give us a send off.
It was really nice what they did for us and so good to see their part of the family and how that as far as they are a way, they are definitely family.
We then headed into the wind and our slowest average we ever did. By lunch we had only done 22 miles and after another 16 we decided to call it a day in a secluded pasture. I went for a walk to high ground to find service and came across a couple month old dead steer. I went on and got a hold of Ava who we were suppose to stay with that evening to tell her we wouldn't make it. I spent the evening working on the horns (I plan to carve something nice in them, maybe make a powder horn). We had a really nice evening there and took our time in the morning since we only had 35 miles to go and the wind had subsided. We got to Colorado city around noon and spent the rest of the day relaxing with Ava. Charlie mowed her yard and she gave him a massage in return (she is a masseuse and a parametic).
Tomorrow we head toward Lubbock which is 110 miles if the wind is kind we will do it all else we will probably camp somewhere.
We rode 61 miles and made it into San Angelo. It was a windy ride but a few times it was to out advantage. With about 20 miles to go Charlie was struggling to keep up and after 2 or so miles he realized his front tire was getting low. Again it was a piece of steel belt. When we got in we stopped at the penny pub where we got some really good steaks and local brews. We got to Christel's pretty early, before they were home, and set out tents up and sprayed them with some water proofing spray. We ran out so I made a run to get more that totaled 4 miles and I raced cars the whole way, Haha. When I got back Stephen stopped in but had to go back to work. We were then able to get our awesome new tires on (schwalbe marathon plus's). As we this everyone started to show up; all the Deller's (my mom is 1 of 15 and her brother Jeff's family is mostly here, it is also large) that are in the area came with their families. It was a little crazy but that's pretty normal and it was a lot of fun and great to see/meet them all. They bbq'd chicken and made a bunch of food to go with, all real good. We decided to stay another day partially because Charlie's care package had not arrived yet (still hasn't). Today we sent some stuff home, found out how nice the new tires feel, and got some more tubes. Tonight the get together is at Margaret's and we will be staying with her tonight.
Tomorrow we head for Ava's (couchsurfer) in Colorado city, tx.
After a good nights rest we headed back into llano (we went 2 miles out of our way to camp) and got some breakfast. Soon after leaving town it sounded like a freight train was coming but we couldn't see any thing, then all of the sudden a car came up beside us on the right in the ditch. I figured the person passed out or something but when we got to the car she was looking at her phone and said she just pulled off to look at directions. We should have called the cops but were both just so shocked that we kept riding. I don't know what really happened but am thankful that what could have didn't.
We ended up riding 70 miles today and are staying behind a little store. We called a number on the front and they said it would be fine. We have 59 miles to San Angelo tomorrow.
Ps sorry there arnt any new pics. I have good service but the internet doesn't want to work well. Hopefully tomorrow I will be uploading a bunch.
Well as we went to leave Sunday I decided not to because the storm looked worse but ended up not being too bad. We ended up cleaning Phil's gutters, relaxing, then got recruited to help on a new patio of Phil's friend Rennea. It was their first time doing one and Charlie and I both have installed our share of patios, walkways, etc., so we got them all set up.
Today we got a fairly early start and made about 10 miles before we had issues. We both had some shifting issues, and I got a piece of glass in my tire. By lunch we had climbed some 2,000 feet of hills and rode 33 miles. We are both shocked at the hills we have encountered, who knew Texas was hilly. After another 1,600 feet and 41 miles we made it to Llano were the city campground is a buck a person (and the showers are on par with some of the $25 places). Tomorrow will be open for interpretation but hopefully our luck continues. Wednesday we should be with some of my cousins in San Angelo.
Charlie spent the day relaxing while I went exploring. I didn't track it but I probably did some 15 miles a lot of which was single track mtb trails. I probably shouldn't have but the trails were nice and no apparent harm was done to my bike. I also got to do a little climbing. A nice couple (pic girl belaying guy) let me use some shoes and a harness and attempt the 5.11 they were working on. It was great to get on some rock again. I am still blown away that such a nice crags, trails, and river can be right in town. When I got back we headed for the store and got some steaks, potatoes, and veggies to cook for dinner, and it was good. We were playing leaving tomorrow by ear do to chance of storms but it looks like we should be ok, so I will not be headed out tonight. Time to get a good nights rest and get ready to ride toward San Angelo. I think we will probably end up in llano tomorrow.
Carol set us up with food to cook for breakfast and direction out (she had to leave real early in the morning). Once we hit the road Charlie noticed so.ething wrong with his bike. The spokes had all loosened, which I expected because of how it was laced (just not this fast), so I spent a half hour trueing and properly tensioning his wheel. After all that we were still on the road around 9 and we had a beautiful overcast day. We ended up stopping at a burger joint and saw some other cyclist pass by with a support and a camera vehicle, talk about money and the easylife. As we got closer to Austin I saw a sign saying 24 miles and I told Charlie if there was a 23 we had to stop. There was and now I have a dating profile pic, Haha. We had been seeing old cars all day and when we got into Austin we found out why, there is a car weekend thing and all of congress ave. is pretty much taken over. We found a spot whither a table outside and beer and Charlie sat down while I went for a cruise threw downtown. I got backand we sat there untill later when we could meet up with Phil. I think our bikes drew as much attention as the cars and we talked to at least a dozen people. We met up with Phil and he ran us back to his place which is awesome, hot tub on the roof, and he hooked us up and pretty much gave us free reign. Charlie stayed in and I when for a long walk down 6th street. The primary section is all of your dance club/bands, crowded bars. As you keep going west they get more chill and eventually they become straight hipster. I stopped at 4 places and had a local brew at each. The one place reminded me of the art dance parties at Alfred, it was crazy. I probably walked 6 miles or more last night after we did 74 miles plus my 6 mile downtown stroll. Austin is a nice city and is very bike friendly. We are still working on what we are doing today.
Jim was kind enough to drop us off at Hockley this morning after we had a good breakfast. By noon, despite the strong cross wind, we made it to the blue bell ice cream factory where we had ice cream for lunch. Along the way were lots of beautiful country and we had good roads. We got to Carol's while she was at Spanish lessons but she had gave me instructions on where to go and to make ourselves at home (she thought the time we made was impressive, 60 miles). When she got back we had a really good early supper and she had another lesson tonight. She has a nice bunk room that she lived in while she built her house. Like Perry she does everything and host a lot of people. She has a really nice place including 2 model A's.
Tomorrow we head to Austin and a friend of aunt Anita and uncle Mike's, Phil.
The plan was to meet Jim at a bike shop where with any luck we would get a wheel. It turned out that shop was closed I called another and when we got there they had a wheel but no rotor. I then called around a whole bunch of shops and we had to go into the city. This whole time Jim was giving us a tour of the area. We got to west end bicycles and they had a wheel that would work. We then headed to Jim's and got to working on getting the bike together. Soon after we were done Shirley had a good dinner cooked and we spent the rest of the evening talking and telling stories. Thursday we head to Carol's a warmshowers host.
We left Don's at 8 and were able to make 60 miles by lunch after stopping in China ( we're fast right), with little excitement. As we sat eating (blue snowcone) there was an accident. No one was hurt but both cars were not drivable. The feasco that followed was the best part. The first responders were there in seconds but multiple other police, fire, and ems vehicles from other areas or private co's soon arrived. There was also a mad rush made by the tow trucks. There were at one point 4 ambluances, 2 fire trucks and 6 tow trucks at the scene. This whole time people are cutting threw the gas station parking lot and no one is directing traffic at the intersection. We were just waiting for another accident. Luckily this did not happen and it was cleared up after about and hour and we were ready to hit the road again.
The road was busy but other then a few idiots we had no issues. On lady told us to get on the sidewalk but I'm not sure where that was, I guess there are invisible sidewalks in Houston.
We got in and talked with Jim untill sue got home. Sue made a good dinner and we got to relax a bit with them and their friend Jill. Again we have been blessed with great host. In total we road 88 miles today.
Tomorrow we are meeting up with another Jim and hopefully getting Charlie a new wheel, it may be an interesting day.
We got a very early start this morning and were making good time untill my tire decided to pick up some steel wire. After 20 minutes we were back on the road and soon after we were in Texas and being greeted by a yell from a guy in a ten gallon hat. By 1230 we were close to Beaumont and realized we needed to get on the interstate for a few miles to cross the river. The speed limit was 75 and luckily the shoulder was large but it was still quite a rush. We stopped at a bike shop and got some tubes (they didn't have good tires or a wheel). We then headed toward Don's and stopped halfway there at a deli where we killed time, ordered tires, and figured out tomorrow. When we got to Don's he was still at work so we did some work on our bikes. We are now in good shape and did 71 miles today. It has been nice catching up with Don tonight.
Tomorrow will be 90 ish miles to Jim and Sue's.
We took our time this morning and went to the the only place open for breakfast(see pics). We then headed for a campground outside of Ragley, La. We had a very nice ride untill I saw Charlie's wheel wobbleing again. We stopped and found another broken spoke. It took us a half hour but we got it fixed. It is now however time to get a new wheel; I will be calling shops in Houston tomorrow. We arrived at our destination around 2:30 but wernt sure. A guy was pulling out and told us what to do. The guy who runs Judie Claire's campground, Wilson, is 88 and is quite the character. He told us there is no charge for bikers.
After relaxing a few hours we went hunting for food to no prevail, 6 miles with no bags. In total we did 57 miles today. Tomorrow we head to my buddy Don's place in Beaumont, tx.
Oh yeah and Charlie's shoulder is much better today; Don will look at it tomorrow and let us know if there is any serious damage.
Well overall we were able to enjoy our day and have reflected on how good our trip has been and how everyone's prayers must be helping.
We got up and went to breakfast with George and parted ways. If you want to see a well written blog see geosaga.net , George is a journalist.
I decided to take a "shorter" route that turned out to be dirt roads. We got tired of it and took a 10 mile extra to avoid 5 miles of dirt.
While on that loop I almost hit a turtle and hit the breaks Charlie didn't get to the breaks fast enough hit my bag and went down. He dislocated his shoulder, a nice guy stopped and gave us a ride to the nearest convince store. There I called Neal and Donny and got the best way to fix it explained to me. We took care of it and Charlie decided he was good to ride.
There were lots crawfish farms and the pic is of the boat they use.
We ended up doing 71 miles and are at lake view park. We ended up talking to some of the kids who work here and their friends, and relaxed with them a lot of the evening. The place is packed but nice. We also met a guy from Colorado, we may visit. A kid came and tried to give us money that his dad said to give us (we must look poor, haha), nice people. Tomorrow we head down 190 to another camp ground.
Perry made us sweet potatoes and pancakes for breakfast, both were awesome. We then got talking about all the work they have done on the property, which is all very well done. Because I sewed my own bags and tent Perry showed and had me sew on her awesome pfaff machine. Then we finally hit the road at 10, leaving yet another awesome host(Perry and Lep). They have already had 30 some cyclist this year and have a group of 50 coming next week (they are really amazing).
George did not join us as he was not quite ready to go.
We crossed multiple bridges including one across the Mississippi and road threw loads of small crawfish lakes. While along a lot of that, there was a strong head wind that really slowed us down but we still completed our 55 miles by about 3. George got in around 5 and had taken a slightly different route, 60ish miles, and left at about 11. I was happy to see him and to see that the front panniers we rigged up for him held up. We will be parting ways with him tomorrow as we will be heading south of the adventure cycling route.
Today started off good with a lot of continental breakfast waffles, and continued in that trend minus a flat and the discovery of broken spokes.
We had a mix of road conditions from newly paved to the type that will eat your bike if your not carefull, but we did 50 miles before 3 and we even started late. Right before lunch we found that my tire was going flat and found a small piece of wire in it.
It was decided that we must have seen over 1000 Baptist churches so far and we kind of wish we had a counter.
When we got to Perry and Lep's they showed us around and I asked about some tools to fix Charlie's wobely back wheel. Perry happens to have a trueing stand which once set up made me realize the problem was much worse, but we had extra spokes and in no time it was right as rain.
They built their own house from salvaged wood and it is awesome. As we road in another tourist road in, George, who just went and visited the big easy. He had not had front bags on his bike, which can be quite had on it, so Perry hooked him up and we spent the evening riging the rack and the bags on the bike (nothing ever fits right). We will be riding out with George tomorrow and will likely spend the next 2 days with him untill we diverge from the adventure cycling route.
Two nights ago (the night under the bandstand) neither of us got much sleep because of a bad thunderstorm that lasted all night. That day we rode 56 miles to Bogue Chitto state park. It was a fairly nice day and we even went for a swim in the river. That evening, last night, things changed; from nice to ugly real quick. The storm was worse then the previous and we were just in our tents. I didn't know it untill morning but Charlie was fighting with a leaky tent, mine was leaking too but not near as bad, the rain was just that intense I don't think any tent would keep you completely dry. When we got up it was still raining but we needed to do something. After making some calls we went to the bath house and found the wash room was free. We got on drying things right away. By 11 we and our gear were fairly dry but we were very tired. The rain had subsided but it was still very cloudy and I made the decision to head to Amite and get a hotel room, so we can get some rest. We rode 27 miles today, ate a good dinner, and are relaxing in a room that for our normal is expensive. Hopefully we get the sleep we need and feel good tomorrow. Tomorrow we head to Perry's (warmshowers host) outside of Jackson, LA.
David had an eye doc app this morning so we waited for him to get back to see if he would be up to riding out with us, but sadly his eyes were still pretty sensitive to wind. We started riding along the coast and pretty quickly came across some deep drifts making us have to get off and back on our bikes. Once of the coast we had a good tailwind and started making good time. We stopped and a grocery since there wasn't going to be any large towns to stop at and believe it or not they had Lebanon bologna. By lunch we did 30 miles. We ended up relaxing there untill 3 (got there at noon thirty) and in that time we talked to 2 great people. The first one an older guy a bit younger then Charlie (I say older guy because of the shape he is in, Charlie is still young) that forced me to take 5 bucks from him and said he would keep us in his prayers. The second was Tripp who was gearing up for a tour like ours when a driver on the phone ran a stop sign and hit him. He now has a leg an inch shorter then the other but is still working and hoping to do a tour, and I believe he will end up out doing what he would have done (you could see it in his eyes). He was great to talk to and I think could be an eyeopener/inspiration for a lot of people.
At the end of the day we rode 65 miles and were caught in the rain looking for a place to stay. We ended up paying 10 bucks to stay in the bandstand at a redneck rv park.
Tomorrow we get our mail resupply pickup.
Well not for long. We got up early and hit the road hoping to catch the 9:30 ferry, we arrived at 9:25 after 21 miles of riding. As it turned out it did not matter because only one ferry was running and it wouldn't be back untill 10:00. In the mean time we sat at the dock and got talking to a couple who were down from Ohio who are cyclist. Eventually the ferry arrived and we were off. While aboard I talked to David, who we are staying with tonight, because he said he might meet us and ride in with us, but he just had vision correction surgery and was not up to it yet. I actually got hooked up with David through his gf Jessi who will be doing her first cross country tour this summer as well.
The highlight of the sights were some off shore oil rigs and nice water ways while going over some large bridges.
When we got into Biloxi, Ms, we relaxed for a bit and then headed out for dinner at the fillin station (had some raw oysters and met some other friends).
In total we did 92 miles today and will be doing a short day up to de soto national forest tomorrow.
We spent the morning sitting in our cheap room waiting for the rain to clear. When it got close we headed to cj's where we got some great stuffed French toast. The weather got very nice and we saw some great sites. We made it to the starting point for the hash. It was an a to b trail and luckily some one had a bike rack so we could get them to the on-in and because of his knees they took Charlie to the end of trail so he wouldn't have to do it. The trail was full of shiggy and swamps that I never would have gone threw otherwise. They had crawdads for afters and were caming for the night. Because we plan on getting up early Meredith and Al invited us over, so we didn't have to stay up. There we met Amy and relaxed the night away.
Thanks Andy and Mark for trying to find us places to stay. I hope I get to hash with that group again.
We did about 31 miles today and trail was around 4.
After riding into Pensacola and getting some food we started to figure out what we were gonna do for tonight. I got a hold of the local Hash House of Harriers (look it up - good time) and they worked on finding a spot. To kill some time we went to McGuire's Irish pub. When we left we both hit the head and accidentally when in the ladies room because the sign said men with and arrow pointing that way. I should have took a pic sorry.
After killing some more time at the pier and searching the local area we ended up at a budget hotel (none of the hashers were are in town tonight.
Tomorrow we will be joining the gulf shore HHH for trail (Charlie won't be doing trail) and camping. And the following day we will again be winging it.
We made it down to Debbie and Ray's after 76 miles running beside trains all day. Nothing really exciting or of note occurred on the ride other then the fact that it was another hot day and some of Charlie's stuff fell off his bike right as we were getting in (thanks to a kid yelling at us we were able to retrieve it). Debbie made us a really good supper and convinced us to spend the day and go to the beach with them.
We went to Henderson state park beach and the sand and water was just amazing. Apparently when it is less windy the water is even better.
I have yet to figure out the next few days and we may end up winging it.
77 miles of scorching sun brought us in and out of Alabama and to Falling Water state park in Florida. We got a good start this morning but were soon derailed by a train, that was hooking up to more cars, blocking the only route for us to get into Alabama (we didn't time it but it must have been 45 minutes). Shortly after that I got a nose bleed ( allergy induced). The rest of the day was hot miles until we got to the park. The ranger ( from Ohio) after saying we were from Pa said Amish I see. Then he told us how he just got done doing a burn and some of it was still smuldering. He also warned us it was spring break and if we head south to the beach we won't be able to stay on our bikes....
Off to Crestview tomorrow to meet Debbie and Ray.
After saying good bye to our new friends this morning we headed for Kolomoki Mounds State historic park(not far from where Mollie is from).
We did really well getting going, only taking an hour to cook, eat, and pack up, so we hit the rode before 9 and the morning was beautiful. By lunch time we had done 50 miles and tried stopping at a rodeside stand that advertised a ton of stuff but had almost none of it, so we had to ride 10 more miles to town. We got to the park at 5 and have been relaxing since. Today we totaled 88 miles.
I have no service here so this may be put up tomorrow and tomorrow we will be winging it seeing as our next place to stay is over 120 miles away.
We rode into Cordele this morning to get some supplies and the map I left at Denny's (turns out they threw it out so space phone it is). Then we checked out the park, found/fixed the 5 holes in my sleeping pad, totaled our miles(444 this week) and money, and relaxed. All the other people around us had left but one new group came in. As we were discussing dinner a boy came over and said his mom wondered if we would join them for dinner. We proceeded to meet Mollie and her kids. We spent most of the rest of the evening with them including smorz which I quickly went and got after dinner. I hope they enjoy the rest of their spring break. We did around 28 miles today after all our messing around.
Through rain, wind, and hills we made our first 100 mile day!
The day started on a really good note, after Mac took us for breakfast, we went to the post office and miraculously Charlie's card was there. We then set off and quickly had 20 miles in, but after a few more it started to rain, we continued to ride Shortly it turned into a downpour and we ducked under a carport where a man and his pickup were asking if it was ok to come in as we roled up. It was his prebuilt/contracting shop and he had to help a customer before we got his name or a picture. The rain slowed so we continued and it continued for the next 5 or more miles. Eventually the sky's cleared and we were greeted with heavy winds and rolling hills much bigger then anything we had seen thus far. For quite awhile we had our doubts but continued to push. We eventually made it to Cordele and the Denny's Mac told us about were we stoped for supper. The next 10 miles to Georgia Veterans state park were really enjoyable, nice roads, no wind, and riding into the sunset.
This kind of day is one of the reasons why I wanted to do this trip and it feels great.
We left pretty late this morning after getting breakfast at Mrs. Rogers and letting our tents dry out. We biked down to Reidsville and stoped at the state park where there was a nice little lake. It said to not feed the gaters but we didn't see any. After relaxing for an hour we headed to Vidalia when 6 miles out it rained again. The rain stopped and soon after Mac stopped us and talked to us to discuss our plans for the evening (at this point we were less then 3 miles out and I had told him we were gonna stop at the post office). Once we got to Mac's we found out how awesome of a guy he is (for example he has a special bike so the he can take a blind friend for rides).
Tomorrow will be played by ear as we need to get Charlie's package (his credit card he left at Julie's) and we may get a big storm.
Total 38 mi.
Well today we made it into Georgia, and got pretty far into it for that matter. In total we made it 90 miles today; leaving us with a mere 30 to get to the next stop (a cyclist named Mac I contacted through warm showers).
Today was quite eventful, getting wet multiple times and drenched once. With the power of the space phone we were able to know when to push through and when to wait so we wouldn't get rained on as much. We did however get caught in a storm outside of Guyton, Ga but I spotted a pavilion soon after it started where we waited it out, and cooked lunch, and modified my saddle (it was rubbing me the wrong way). Multiple times it was drizzling but that felt good and we just rode in it.
Tonight we are camping in the lawn of the united Methodist church in Claxton. We met Shelby doing some outside work and he hooked us up. After we got dinner at a place he suggested he came back in his 73' Cutless and we talked for a bit and he gave us the combo to the church so we can use the bathroom.
Tomorrow the plan is to take an easy day and to carbload.
We got a fairly early start around 9 and were feeling good, when midway through the morning Charlie got off the rode and went down. Luckily nothing serious only a few brush burns from the "00 grit" road. We stopped for lunch at a little burger joint in Walterboro then got caught in rain and hid out under an apartment stoop. As it turned out we had gone the wrong way and had to take a connecting road to get back on track. We figure we wouldn't have had a place to hide had we gone the right way, things happen for a reason. We rode till about 430 (66 miles) and decided to get a room in a cheap motel as it was only 20 bucks more then a camp site. We plan to head out early tomorrow and get 80ish miles in.
After searching our route, finding places to stay, and calling home my phone had little to no charge. This ment no track and no GPS till the sun helped me out, Charlie's basic cadence meter still worked. We made it 20ish miles then the GPS was back up. We worked our way down 17 and hit some construction that made the traffic dangerous so with the GPS back we detoured on some side streets and made it down to Mt. Pleasant and went out on the pier under the bridge. There we had lunch and got talking to some Canadian's from Montreal who had flown down and brought their folding bicycles (Charlie liked the bikes). We then went into Charleston and stoped at a bike shop then headed up to Sam and Julie's house where we are spending the night and they took us out for dinner and gave us a tour of the air base. On total we did somewhere around 54 miles.
After packing up our gear, we left Myrtle beach and great host(thanks Dianne and Nevin), and rode 70 miles south.
Already we met some really nice people. At lunch time we stopped in Georgetown at a little warf and got talking to some, let's call them, 'water hippies' and they let us use the beautiful bathroom in their dilapidated fishing shack (I am not being sarcastic it was nice, they said it was just redone and we should have seen it before). Later we stopped at a back country convince store and reflilled our bottles were again we talked to some nice people.
We found a good place to camp tonight in Francis Marion (swamp fox) National forest. Tomorrow we head to a friend of Charlie's outside of Charleston.
I did put up some pics.
After a week of testing things out and riding we are starting to feel pretty good. If all goes well we will hit the road Monday morning heading toward Charleston.
We left home last Saturday morning after having to mess around to get my bike on the roof rack (stand up racks don't work when the bike has a front rack on). After an uneventful drive we got to Myrtle beach; we go to park and Jean yells stop right as Charlie's handle bars scrape the ceiling of the parking garage (yep I was driving). Luckly no serious damage was done.
Sunday we rode 29 miles and after Charlie's quads hurt pretty bad and I realized we never properly adjusted his seat. So the next couple of days after soaks in the ocean and hot tubs, and more riding his legs feel good again. Our rides were as follows: 48, 18, rest, 40, 55, and today 24 miles.
We checked out of our place this morning and said good by to my mom and aunt Jean, but of course before that I went to add air to my rear tire and the presta valve stem got a hole at the base. We are now staying with Charlie's sister and her husband untill we leave. While we are here I am going to drill my rims out so I can use regular schrader valves; I am tired of the issues I have had with the small presta ones.
We have had a very nice stay in this area and have enjoyed the beaches, we both are excited to hot the rode.
I will get a few pictures up on the Picasa site but you need to remind me...
Tomorrow morning we are hitting the road driving down to merytle beach SC where we will spend a week riding and making sure we have everything we need. My uncle Charlie who is 69 has never been a huge cyclist but has road a lot in the last year. We have never road together so there may be some learning this coming week. hopefully we have a good easy week before the true riding begins. :)
Also I altered the map so that I can upload my tracks as I ride. Currently the map shows a linear route that gives the general outline of the trip.