facts about the trip:
Rode in 14 states.
69 days to ride
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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,
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?"
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.
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
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).
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
days and counting until the trip begins! all the way across