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Quick facts about the trip:

Rode in 14 states.
69 days to ride
4,503 miles.
10 break days.
Avg 76 miles/day.
4 nights in hotels.
4 days of solid rain.
3 days of hard head winds.
12 flat tires.
60 peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.
and a whole lot of fun.

 


The ride has concluded as of August 29th, 2003. During the trip I made online updates about a lot of the experiences I had. I made the updates whenever I had a chance to use a computer (which were few and far between). I tried to make them as exciting as possible. I hope you enjoy!

Online Ride Log:

Date Location Comment
Aug. 29, 2003 San Francisco, CA Completed the trek across this amazing country. Finished the last 3 miles with a man named Woody who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It truly made the ride even more special. More to come soon (please check back soon, I am going to write a conclusion to the trip)....
Aug. 13, 2003 Monticello, UT Had to say goodbye to the Rockies today. I'm real sad to see them go. Colorado has been amazing. After my last journal log, I ended up staying in Salida that night and then the whole next day. It was truly an amazing town and the people I met there were the most amazing part about it. I got hooked up with a free white water rafting ride down Brownís Canyon on the Arkansas River on the last day of high water. That day they cut off most of the water supply from the reservoir above the canyon. I have so many people to thank in Salida. Sarah, youíre an amazing person and Iím so glad you were the first person I ran into in town (Sarahís father Dave also rode across country a few years ago with his son). Thanks for treating me as a friend right away and introducing me to some people in Salida (especially Scotty). Scotty, youíre awesome man. He let me crash on his couch for a couple nights and showed me around town. Not to mention he sat up front with me on the white water rafting ride (we got so soaked). It was such a blast (thanks Andy for being a sweet rafting guide). Later that day Sarah called me up at Scottyís house saying that there was a guy who wanted to talk to me. It was a guy named James (who is also 22 years old) and is cycling from Virginia to San Francisco with his friend Casey (age 23). I rushed over to the music store (that Dave, Sarahís father owned) where the other bikers were hanging out at. We talked and I told them that I would love to ride with them (seeing as I had been traveling alone for 50 days now). They ended up staying at Scottyís house that night after we had a nice round of Frisbee golf in Poncha Springs (5 miles from Salida). James, Casey and I had ridden our bikes there and by the time we were done playing the sun was down and it was really dark. We rode the 5 miles back to Salida in darkness with only the light from Scottyís car headlights. Somewhere along that ride my bike computer (speedometer) fell off. The next day we headed for Monarch Pass (11,300 ft) which is the continental divide. It was a rough start to the day. At breakfast in Salida, James got sick and puked a couple times. Then as we were taking a picture with Scotty, my glass lens from my Ray band sunglasses fell out and broke on the sidewalk. Literally 2 seconds after this (I was still in shock), Caseyís front tire went into a hiss and completely deflated while no one was within 6 feet of it. It was very eerie. I had a feeling that some overwhelming power wanted us to stay in Salida (which wouldnít have been a bad thing cause the town was so cool). Suzy (Sarahís mom) told me the night before ďOnce you Salida in, you canít Salida out.Ē It really seemed true. So Casey fixed his flat tire, I had to shell out $15 for a cheap pair of sunglasses, and James ate some toast to help settle his stomach. We then headed to the Absolute Bike bike shop to pump up tires and have some things checked out. They helped me out by selling me just the face (which I had lost the night before) of the bike computer for $10. I also had to buy a new chain because mine was stretched out and any more riding with it would start to ruin other parts of my bike. After that we headed up the pass. It was 18 miles to the top but the view from the summit was outstanding. And the ride down was even better. What a rush it is traveling down hill for about 10 miles (and not having to peddle unless you just want to go a little faster, which I usually do). That night we stayed in Gunnison at a guy named Trentís house that I had met in Salida. It was a really great change to ride with some people. Although I think since they had spent so much time together it made them move at a little faster pace. But Iíve been keeping up with them, which is strengthening some of my muscles. James and Casey like to start a little later than Iím used to. They normally start riding between 10 and noon whereas I begin riding around 7 am. Itís a nice change but Iím going to see if I can get them closer to my schedule. The next day we rode from Gunnison to Montrose. As we came down the final mountain into Montrose, the sun was setting. My goodness, it was so beautiful. Iíll always remember that. It was picturesque. From Montrose, James split off to go towards Moab. It was off the route but he was determined to get there. He had to ride over a 50-mile dirt road that went over a massive mountain. Casey and I thought he was crazy but we wished him luck. So Casey and I road from Montrose to Telluride. We rode up the Dallas Divide and on our way down from the top a monsoon type storm hit us. Rain was pouring down and we got soaked. Casey was ahead of me and as a 16-wheeler went passed him he disappeared in the spray. It was a scary sight but as the spray passed he was still there. It was crazy. Halfway down the mountain the rain stopped and within 10 minutes we were completely dry. It was one of the most memorable rides down a mountain because of the intensity of the storm. We made it to the beautiful town a Telluride by 6 pm and where we found out the campgrounds were full because there was going to be a Widespread Panic concert there in a couple days. We headed to a restaurant for some food and a chance of meeting someone who would let us set up tents on their land. We met this lady who said we could setup camp behind our house and she said to get directions from her brother who was also at the restaurant when we wanted to leave. She was on her way out so when we asked her brother where the house was, he said ďIts 2 blocks down with a white fence and a couple construction trucks in front of it. If you canít find it then thatís your fault.Ē So after that strange response we left and searched for the house. It was absolutely nowhere to be found. I donít think the guy wanted us to stay there. And by this time it was really dark and it started to rain. We took cover on a street underneath a tree trying to brainstorm what to do. Luckily a guy named Tom walked by who was meeting some friends who were passing into town. He offered us a place to stay on his floor saying that random people sleep there all the time. To our astonishment the friends that he was meeting were from Arizona and their house had burned down in the wild fires there a few weeks ago, along with the entire town they lived in. I felt so bad for them. Luckily they had left before the fire even started and they took some of their irreplaceable belongings just to be safe (cause there was a danger of a forest fire). From Telluride the next day, we rode over Lizard Head Pass, which was the last mountain pass in the Rockies. It started sinking in that Colorado was coming to an end and our trips were also starting to near completion. Honestly now that Iíve been on the road for 53 days, I am getting so used to this way of life. It has been such an amazing adventure so far that I wish it would not end. But I figure there about 20 days left until I reach San Francisco and there are still many people to meet and many places to see. Now comes the lands of Utah that people describe as some of the most unbelievable and uncanny sights they have ever seen. It should be a nice ride. Oh yeah, we just met up with James again who had made it to Moab, rented a mountain bike for the day, and then today road to Monticello. We honestly did not think we would see him for at least 2 more days. He may be a little nuts, but the man can push himself harder than anyone else Iíve ever met if he puts his mind to it. Weíre heading towards Blanding tonight and then there is a stretch tomorrow of 55 miles with no services and after that there is a stretch of 72 miles without services. Its time to go to the grocery store and stock up cause from what Iíve learned, the desert is not a very forgiving place. Toodaloo folks, until next time. Sorry for the length of this journal entry but there is so much to say about Colorado. I had to leave out a lot of important stuff because I probably could have written 5 times as much about it.
Aug. 07, 2003 Salida, CO Woohoo Mountains!!! Let me tell you, it is awesome to see more things that are taller than my head than just houses. I am deep in the heart of Colorado right now surrounded (360 degrees) by the Rocky Mountains. The scenery is so beautiful right now that when I ride, I just pedal with no care about how fast I am going. I don't want to rush through this part of the trip. As the saying goes, "This is God's country."A few days ago when I got into Colorado I met a couple cyclists heading for New Jersey that told me to stop by Gillian Hoggard's house in Ordway, CO. So I decided to make Ordway my final destination for the day. I met Gillian and her son Dayle at there house. Right from the start I could tell that they were awesome people. They were from New Zealand (I thought they said Norway for a while, ha) and loved to have cyclists stop in. They had 2 horses, 2 dogs, a duck, and maybe even some more animals but I didn't see them. We hung out and watched a couple movies at night. Dayle's friend Scooby took me and Dayle out for a off road adventure in his new Jeep Wrangler. I was pretty sure that the off-roading would result in a few broken bones but somehow I made it out all right (just covered in mud). They fixed me dinner and then we had breakfast the next day. If your ever traveling through Ordway, contact me and I'll give you their address. I'm sure they'd love to have you. You'll have a few good laughs to say the least. Then I continued to Pueblo Colorado where I met my brother Mark, step sister Jill, and niece Emily. It was so great seeing family. I hadn't seen anyone that I knew for 27 days. We hung out, partied a little and went canoeing down the Arkansas river. Then I continued on to ride over the Wet Mountains (9300 elevation at my highest point). It was 18 miles of going up hill but I did it (it wasn't easy though). I slept last night in Sugar Cliff, CO and this morning continued on. Now I am traveling up towards Monarch Pass which is going to be the highest elevation of my entire trip (at 11,350 feet). Its going to be a bear of a hill but I'm going to make it halfway up tonight and then finish it off tomorrow. That downhill part is going to be something to remember. Well, I'm getting kicked off this library computer so tata tata for now. Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore! Hi Billy and Mary.
Aug. 01, 2003 Scott City, KS I am in Scott City, KS where I'm going to stay in a hostel at the athletic club tonight. There's a pool and hot tub for me to relax in a heal some bones. I actually had a little spill earlier today when I tried to make a U-turn when I was moving to fast (I saw something that I wanted to take a picture of). As I was falling down I leaped over the bike, tucked, and rolled. I got up and brushed myself off and realized that I didn't even get a scratch. Tuck and roll, just remember that info when you find yourself in a situation where your flying through the air over hard ground. Tomorrow I'm going to be getting into Colorado! and a new time zone. I'll be 2 hours behind all you easterners out there. The night I made my last update (July 26th), I got invited over to dinner by a guy and his son that I met at the Girard Town Park. Zack was about 26 (I think) and works with computers, so it was nice to meet someone with some shared experiences. His son Max who is turning 5 this week was really interested in my adventure. I went over to their house where I met Zack's wife, Jodi, and ate some of her amazing home cooking. I got to play around with there other kids Molly and Mitch who were really cute (and energetic, haha). Zack and Jodi had a couple friends over (Jon and Lisa) and we all hung out and ended up having some great conversations over a few beers. A late night pizza was also involved. It was a lot of fun and a great break break from my ride-sleep routine. They let me sleep on their pullout couch and I even was lucky enough to get a home cooked breakfast in the morning. Zack told me about a great park (crawford State Park) to go to that was about 15 miles away from Girard and just a couple miles off my route. He warned me that it was the last park with a real nice lake to swim in until somewhere in Colorado. So, as my rear end still needed a little more recovery, and the fact that it was supposed to reach 105 degrees with the heat intensity, I decided to take another day off and enjoy the park. Wow, it was great. I swam about 10 times that day and then setup a tent for the night. The only downfall to the park was the ginormous (yes this is a made up word but fitting to describe these) spiders that seemed to own the territory. One even traveled with my tent to surprise me the next night as I set it up. I got a really great picture of black one with some yellow lightning bolts along its back. A funny thing happened in Eureka Kansas. Well, if you don't know there is a company called Eureka that makes tents. I used to have one (it was pretty good). Now I have a North Face tent and during my night in Eureka there was a storm. And wouldn't you know it my tent pole ended up breaking. I should have known something like that would happen. So now my tent is a little deformed (still works though) but a new pole is on the way. I should get it when I meet my half brother in Pueblo Colorado. The next day I made it to Newton Kansas which is right above Wichita. I had contacted Carreen Simmons from the Alzheimer's Association in Wichita before hand. She setup an interview for me to be in the Wichita Eagle Newspaper and wanted to take me out to dinner. She surprised me with info that if I wanted to enjoy a nice bed, a room with A/C, a hot shower, and a TV, the Newton Day's Inn would give me a complimentary room. I jumped on it!!! Oh it was nice. Thank you so much Marcia (also works at the Alzheimer's Assoc.) for setting it up. So I've got a little news about the trip: I AM OFFICIALLY OVER HALF WAY! and THE TOTAL AMOUNT RAISED BY THE TRIP SO FAR IS $2000! (it might be more now). I found out that Kansas is flatter than a pancake. Believe me, they've done a study on it. Also, many people know that Kansas is home of the largest ball of yarn. But did you know that Kansas is also home of the 3rd largest ball of yarn (ha), and it was strung by a person at the state mental institution. Funny, but I wonder where the largest one came from. Yesterday I rode 70 miles fighting some strong wind for 50 of those miles. It was harder than riding up a mountain. I actually saw tumble weed tumbling toward me down the road. And I got caught in a freak storm along the way. Got some great pictures of the storm clouds moving in. The lightning was spectacular too although I couldn't capture it on my camera. It filled the entire sky with every crack. I was talking with a man and his wife at the Cactus Restaurant in Ness City last night. He said, "if you don't like the weather in Kansas....wait a couple minutes." I'm going to miss the good hearted people in Kansas. Hopefully they'll be the same in the upcoming states.
Jul. 26, 2003 Girard, KS Taking a rest day to heal some wounds from riding for so many days. Yes, my tush hurts and needs some healing. I know this is funny but really, this is one of the major things I've got to worry about. I mean I sit a lot. I wish I was in a town that had a little more to do but I have 2 choices, hang out in the library or go swimming in the public park pool. Actually, its not bad at all. Its going to be a very restful day. The main reason for my sore rearend is that 2 days ago I rode 112 miles from Hartville Missouri to Golden City Missouri. It was a tough ride through the huge hills of western Missouri but I wanted to get into flatter ground so I could start cruising. In Golden City I stayed in a Bike Hostel that was setup specifically for riders passing through the town. It was a great place. $9 for the whole place (bathroom, full kitchen, laundry, and a bed. Can't beat that! Another cyclist named Jeremy who was 23 also stayed at the hostel for the night. It was fun hanging out with him and talking about the ride and some of our experiences. He also gave me some info about what lies on the road ahead of me. Yesterday (after waking up in the bike hostel) I ran into a married couple (Bill and Gerry Myers) riding across country who had also ridden exactly 112 miles the day before. Cool coincidence. Then I got into Kansas (my 10th state of the trip). I am 35 miles short of being halfway through the trip. A real nice thing about Kansas is that they let cyclists camp out in the town parks for free. Also, most town parks have public pools too which helps out in the heart of the summer. Its supposed to be hot the next week or so (90's and maybe some 100's). So I'm glad to see these pools cause I'm going to do a lot of swimming to stay cool.
Jul. 23, 2003 Houston, MO I am almost in the center of Missouri. I just got through the Ozark Mountain Region and they were tough ones. I didn't know that Missouri even had mountains but they definitely do and they are STEEP! I think the Adirondacks may have been a little tougher because they were steep and tall but the Missouri mountains are plentiful. Every time you get down one there is another right in your face that you need to go up. The state is very beautiful and luckily for me the temps have been cool for the last few days (never getting above 80, that's SWEET!). Yesterday I got up to 51.3 miles per hour coming down one of the hills. That's freakin fast! Fastest I've ever gone on a bike. Don't worry everyone, I was in control (at least it felt like it anyway). Ha. Well I am about 2 days from getting into Kansas which should be about the halfway point of the trip. Tomorrow I am going to hit the 2000 mile mark. Yesterday I ran into 8 other cross country cyclists. Unfortunately all of them were heading the opposite direction as me. It was real nice to talk with them and find out what lies ahead of me. It sounds like I should be able to fly through Kansas pretty quickly because there are no mountains. Since my last update, I've continued to have some phenomenal experiences. I stayed in the town of Turkey Run Indiana where I got to take a cayak trip down Sugar Creek at Sugar Valley Canoe Trips. That place is awesome and I recommend it to anyone who wants to go to a nice area to camp, canoe, and enjoy the outdoors. I met the Wahls there who stayed at the same campsite that was owned by the canoeing company. The campsite was great with a Jimmy Buffett kind of theme (had a ping pong and pool table too). In Illinois I got hit by a nice thunderstorm which delayed my ride a little. I ended up laying out in the town park on a picnic table under a shelter. People kept pulling up to see if I was dead or not. That night I made it to Rend Lake where I met Dave, Amy, Eric and Kelly at the campsite. I got to play with their dog Matty who was a Yellow Lab puppy. It was awesome (reminded me of my two chocolate labs at home). Eric told me to check out the 17th Street BBQ in Murphysboro as I passed by. Well I got there and instantly started talking with a man named Roger. He was hilarious, what a jokester. He ended up getting me a full rack of ribs, a sweat potato, some baked beans, and a few drinks. That dinner was amazing. I didn't know it til then but the 17th St. Bar and Grill has won the world's best barbeque award a few times in recent years. It definitely lived up to the award. Roger ended up letting me stay on some property that he owned right on the Mississippi river. So that night I slept out on the sand bar right on the river. I got to see some huge tugboats go down the river and all. The only problem was about a half mile of mud getting to the river. The next day it took me an hour cleaning up my bike so it was rideable again. But I'm real glad I got a chance to sleep on the river. It was something to remember. July 20th I stayed in my first hotel on the entire trip. It was at a truck stop in Ozora Missouri and only cost $31 but I really needed it. It was such a hot and muggy day and I was getting some homesick feelings that I needed something to rejuvenate me. A nice rest in a bed with the AC cranked did the trick. It got me up at at them and ready to face the rest of the trip. I've been taking some great pictures and can't wait to put them up to show everyone. I think that may have to wait until I get to Colorado where I may have a little rest at my half brother's house. Well, the road is calling me and I must listen. Later ya'all! And Missouri divers, "Please accept the fact that bicyclists are on the road too."
Jul. 15, 2003 Crafordsville, IN The storm has passed and now the humidity is almost unbearable. So I stopped in to this Library to cool off and put a quick note in about something that happened in Ohio. On the day that I passed through Cleveland and got picked up by the Arsenault family, there was a tornado that went through Huron, Lorain, and I think Lakewood too. I would have been right in the think of it if I had not popped in to a library just east of Cleveland to rest and update the web site. So I guess the internet saved me a lot of distress and possibly my life. How bout that? Well anyways, I as I rode through those areas a few hours after the tornado went through, I saw the damage that it had caused. Tons of trees had fallen down and branches were all over the place. It was a close call. Well, just thought I would tell you all about that. Now its back to the heat.
Jul. 15, 2003 Frankfort, IN Well, little did I know how nice a place Indiana and Ohio are. I've met some amazing and wonderful people there. The Arsenault family in Loraine Ohio took me in for the night and cleaned me up. They had seen me on the news earlier in the day which clued them in to what I was doing. Then in Fremont I met Troy Bliss who set me up with a place to stay on the county Fair Grounds. He also go me in to see Terminator 3 for free. I couldn't believe it. Fremont is a wonderful place with some really nice people. Billy's restaurant far beats Whitey's (ha, they're owned by brother and sister). From Fremont I got to Defiance Ohio where I saw the after effects of 12 to 15 inches of rain that the states around the area have seen. The rivers where flooded along with much of the farmland. I spent the night in Independence State Park which was actually closed because of the flooding. It was a little scary because the water level was so high next to the park and there was a chance of rain that night. But all was well. I stopped into a Bob Evans for breakfast where I met a young man who worked there whose grandmother also had Alzheimer's. We talked a good deal and then he gave me a map to all the Bob Evan's around the US (so I wont go hungry in the mornings). He also covered my breakfast which was real nice of him. From Defiance I made it into Indiana. 90 miles that day to Huntington. All the camp grounds were flooded and most of the dams in the area were backed up (almost to the point of busting). The towns around the area were very nervous. Luckily I ran into a Farmhouse owned by the Farboroughs (sorry if I butchered the last name, I don't have my notebook with me). They showed me all around the town and I got to see their friend take off in a hot air balloon. It was real cool. Then Anthony (the son) showed me some of the vehicles that he works with in the town quarry. These trucks were massive. The wheels were about 13 feet tall. I've seen a discovery channel special about them. He let me climb into one and sit in the drivers seat. I got some great pictures from it. The family fed me a farm chicken and in the morning I had my first farm fresh eggs for breakfast. Very tasty! I did a century yesterday (100 miles in one day) and got to Frankfort where they police department let me set a tent up in the town park. I slept right next to an animal area which had some kangaroo like animals, goats, birds, and I think it was a wolf (but it might have been a large fox). Anyways it was a beautiful park. This morning I stopped into a diner for breakfast right as it started raining cats and dogs. The thunder and lightning was spectacular. I stayed inside for 2 hours sipping coffee until the storm passed. Well I'm gonna get back on the road now. I started my trip 24 days ago and have ridden 20 of those days. I have gone 1350 miles and averaged around 70 miles per day. The last 5 days however I have averaged around 90 miles per day. I hope to keep this up while the ground is flat but if I run into a great place I will stop an enjoy it. The towns I have passed through and experienced are what has made this trip special so far.
Jul. 10, 2003 Eastlake, OH 20 miles east of Cleveland. Just had a chance to stop in quick to tell where I am. Everything has been going excellent lately. The weather has been a little shaky with some rain at night. But yesterday and today the wind seem to be helping me out a little so I am planning I doing some serious mileage today. I'm at around 1000 miles right now and finally the land has smoothed out. So until I reach Colorado (weather permitting) I should be cruising along fast. I appeared in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and on the Rochester Channel 10 News as I was passing through. I may appear in a newspaper and/or on the television news in Cleveland Ohio later today. I should be meeting up with a member of the Cleveland Alzheimer's Association too. Well, it looks like the weather just changed and now its raining. Guess I'm going to have to throw on the rain gear. I've taken some beautiful pictures since I put the last set up. I'm not sure when I will have a chance to put them online but I'll try to do it asap. This is the first time I've used a computer in 8 days or so. I hope to put up some more journal entries sometime soon also. Let the peddling continue!
Jul. 03, 2003 Pultneyville, NY Journal entry from July 1st - Today I finished up the Trek from Fulton, NY to Pultneyville, NY. It was 52 miles which brings my total miles on the trip up to around 590 miles. I had taken 2 days off to see my friend on leave from the Navy and get some things done. I realized today that I just couldn't spend another minute on the bicycle seat I was using. My tush was just hurting way to much. I went up to the bike shop in Pittsford and got a Terry touring saddle. It looks like its going to be a much more comfortable ride from now on, but only time will tell. I'm going to be taking July 2nd off in order to make another flag to carry behind my bike. I realized that it is very necessary to have it for many reasons. One is that it helps spread awareness about Alzheimer's and what I am doing, and secondly it protects me and my equipment that is getting me across the country. Also I am spending July 2nd talking to about 4 reporters that are going to help publicize the event in the greater Rochester area. July 3rd I will be back on the road and hopefully reach Spencerport, NY. By July 5th, I plan to be in Niagra Falls.
Jul. 03, 2003 Fulton, NY Journal entry from June 28th - Well, I was truly lucky to run into those women. I sat and talked with Sylvia the night before as I pigged out on food. She let me take a shower and then made me some delicious strawberry shortcake. She let me sleep in her screened in gazebo next to her ponds. I put a picture up on the picture page that shows her back yard. It was extraordinary. In the morning I woke up and went into her house to thank her for the hospitality she had shown me. She had breakfast waiting for me on the table. I really couldn't believe it. Its very nice to know that there are still people like Sylvia and her sister in this world. I thanked her as much as I could and then said goodbye to start my day out. I figure I had 230 miles to go to get to Pultneyville (my parents town). But I didn't travel that day as fast as I wanted to go. By 7pm I had only gotten 80 miles done and I wanted to call it a day. I think the previous days 100 miles was taking its toll on me. I called up my dad who was thinking about camping out with me. We eventually decided that it might just be better to take a break and sleep at home. So I stopped in Fulton to take a day or 2 off to rest up and get some things done. This also gave me a chance to see one of my best friends who was on leave from the Navy. I hadn't seen him for along time and now he was a Veteran.
Jul. 03, 2003 Boonville, NY Journal entry from June 27th - I pushed all day long to get as close to my parents house as possible. 98 miles isn't to bad for a days ride with all that gear. I was determined to get out of the Adirondacks, not because of the hills, but because of the bugs. Apparently this is prime time for black flies, and they got me good. Every time I stopped to cool off, fill up water, or anything, instantly at least a few hundred flies would surround me. They'd go for my hair, my scalp, my eyes, down my shirt, or just bite my exposed arms and legs. I've never experienced insects so viscous. Even when I was riding they would attack me. I looked down at my legs in the middle of the day and there were at least 20 drops of blood coming out. I think I stopped a total of 2 times b/c of the bugs. Once to rest indoors in a gas station and the other time to call my parents. Well, I got a hold of my dad and little did I know how worried my parents had been. Since I didn't talk to them the entire day before, they thought something had happened to me. The called some of my friends to see if they had heard from me and left a few dozen messages on my phone. Little did they know that there was no cell phone reception and I did not see a payphone the entire day before. Well, I will try not to let this happen again. I know they worry about me a lot on a trip like this. Well, back to the story. Nearing the end of the day, I was planning on camping in Boonville NY. Near Port Leyden, I came across my first type of harassment. Some kid was honking at me in his car when I was as far over to the side of the road as possible (and there were no other cars in sight). Then he later returned revving his engine behind me. Then he passed me and then came at me from in front and swerved to fake hitting me. It was real scary and caused me to make a wrong turn. I ended up 10 miles out of the way and had to take a different road into Boonville. But there I ran into some people who caused me to forget about this unpleasantness. I asked a woman sitting on her porch if she knew how to get to a campsite and where the nearest fast food (I know, I was starving, it just sounded good by now) restaurant was. Her neighbor (Booty) ended up coming out to talk to me too. She was an energetic lady who seemed eager to help me. She thought that I could stay at her sisters' house down the road. She called her up and before I knew it I was riding a half mile down the road loaded up with frozen chicken nuggets, corn dogs, and a whole package of Oreos to eat at her sister, Sylvia's, house.
Jul. 02, 2003 Newcomb, NY Journal entry from June 26th - What can I say about today? HOT & FREAKIN HILLY! I guess I should stop complaining about the hills and just accept it. I mean, the Adirondacks is full of them. Well, the day started with the mother of all climbs leaving Ticonderoga. A few miles after the top of the mountain I reached Eagle Lake. It was beautiful there. There were cliffs and all sorts of nice cabins. The water was crystal clear and at a very refreshing temperature. Since it was already 85 degrees at 8 am, I decided to go in for a dip and cool off. I continued on the trek through the mountains and reached a town called Paradox where I took a break at the general store. I had a nice long talk with the owner and his friend/neighbor. The owner turned out to have owned a bike store in the past and he was very interested in my equipment. After sitting a while I decided to head out into the sun again. It wasn't getting any cooler. I went up through Blue Ridge which was all uphill for about 17 miles. In the middle of the climb, I found these awesome waterfalls and went for another swim. I met some guys there that couldn't believe I was biking in the heat. Actually, no one I met that day could believe it. I then pushed on for another 20 miles up and down the mountains in the heart of the Adirondacks. I didn't see a person, car, or house for at least 20 miles. It was a strange feeling. I finally got to a campsite in the town of New Comb right as the owners where closing up. They gave me a nice place to set up my tent for about $12. I took a nice shower and relaxed. I had never seen a shower that took quarters before. It reminded me of the pay toilets that I had seen in Italy. Also, this was the first day that I had absolutely no contact with any of my family or friends. It was kind of strange but that's what happens when there's no cell phone reception. "Can you hear me now?" "NO!"
Jul. 25, 2003 Shoreham, VT Rode from Burlington Vermont to the Vermont/New York border near Ticonderoga. This was my roughest day so far, mainly because I had some problems. The sun was more brutal than I had experienced on the trip so far and the humidity felt up there around 90 percent. Stopped for a swim in Bristol Vermont to cool off. Going from Bristol to Middlebury I ran into some heavy traffic. On top of the sun beating down on me, it caused me to run off the road into the gravel. I tried to swerve back onto the road to avoid a barrier but there was a 2 inch rise in the blacktop. It caught my tire and sent me flying along with my bike. I landed on the front wheel, my little finger into the spokes. It messed it up pretty bad but luckily didn't break it. Its been swollen and black & blue now for a few days. On the brighter side, my bike didn't get hurt to bad at all. A few minor readjustments and it was back in action. I took off to try and catch the ferry into New York. As my luck was going, I got to the ferry around 6:45 and it stopped running at 6pm. On top of that, in the final stretch to the ferry, my flag must have blown off the flagpole. The day was not going well at all and it was leaving me feeling really cruddy. The nearest campsite was across the lake in New York. But then I ran into a farmer who was moving his cows across the road. He said I could camp in one of his fields for the night. I set up camp, went down to the lake to wash up and caught a pretty nice sunset. Then on my way back to the tent, I came across a turtle that was laying its eggs in a dirt road. I was glad that the day had come to an end.
Jun. 24, 2003 Burlington, VT Wow, what a day yesterday was, The day before was amazingly beautiful. I road through the White Mountain National Forest and saw some wonderful sights. I took a bunch of pictures along the way to capture the scenery. Unfortunately, I realized that I was having a problem with my bottom bracket on my bike. This was something I would have to get fixed before it was to late. It rained a little bit but it was more soothing than irritating. But yesterday it was completely clear skies with some intense sweltering heat. I made it 80 miles of huge hills from the edge of the White Mountain National Forest to Montpelier Vermont. I was about to pass out and fall over but I really wanted to make it to Burlington (42 miles further) cause I had a free place to stay. I snacked a little, powered myself up mentally and decided to push on. It was hard because I was already so sore but I wanted to be there so bad. I pulled in to my buddies house in Burlington at 8:30 PM with a big steak dinner waiting for me and a nice cold beer. It was a perfect end to a hard day. I decided to take today off to recoup from the ride yesterday and to get my bike fixed. Also, I enjoyed swimming in Lake Champlain and seeing some good friends. Tomorrow morning I will push on to New York.
Jun. 22, 2003 Fryeburg, ME Made it about 60 miles the first day. Started in Fort Williams located in South Portland Maine. Dipped my tire in the Atlantic and then headed out starting at 1:30. Camped out on the Saco River at a canoe and cayak launching area. It was a beautiful day yesterday. The perfect start to the trip. I took a few pics that I hope to put online relatively soon. The people I have met have been so nice to me. Two people have already paid for my breakfast each day. I couldn't believe it. Today I'm going to be going through the White Mountain National Forest. Its going to be hilly but I'll just have to pace myself. Well, help me pray for no rain (or at least not much cause it sure looks like its going to poor).
Jun. 20, 2003 Portland, ME The last few days have been busy as ever but everything has finally come together. Tomorrow is the day, the start of the adventure! My friend/roommate, Colin, is driving me to the Atlantic Ocean at Portland Maine in the morning. In about 2 months I will be at the Pacific by means of no fuel except my own. Its going to be an amazing ride. Thanks for supporting me and Alzheimer's research!
Jun. 15, 2003 Burlington, VT 5 days and counting until the trip begins! all the way across baby!