Thursday, July 30, 2009

California Dreaming

Current location: Blythe, California
Total Distance Traveled: 3363 miles

Still in the desert. Still hating this heat. Yesterday we left early from the fire station and made record time to our next town. We got to a little breakfast restaurant around 10 am, just before it became unbearably hot. Luckily the waitresses there were very nice to us. The place started filling up and before we knew it we were both asleep in the booths. Apparently a few people tried to get us kicked out, but the waitresses said "where would they go?" Nice women!! These hot places in Arizona are all destinations for northerners to come in the wintertime so in the summer everything closes early. They closed at 2 pm. i quickly saw that we were in a dilemma so I started to talk to one of the waitresses and mention that sometimes people will just invite us back to their houses. This girl then said she had a pool! She ended up inviting us back for a swim and her mom made us dinner. The family loved us and we ended up camping out in their backyard.

the common view out here

We woke up at 5 am and started out towards California. We were pretty stoked. The only thing we were slightly worried about was that we had to ride on the interstate today. We have avoided it previously because there were always other roads, but now there was nothing except the interstate. We got on and it turned out to be great. There was a wide open shoulder and the road was recently paved. It was all downhill too so that's always nice. We get to the state line and take millions of pictures. We had some people honking congratulations at us. Sadly, I got a flat tire about 20 feet after the state line, but that's not a big deal.

3360 miles

We made it to a McDonald's at like 11 am and this is where we've been all day. It's currently 8 PM. We're just happy to be in a place that is air conditioned and open until we can leave at night.

The problem with this area is that you can only ride at night or early morning so you don't get much sleep and then you can't do anything in the day except sit inside.

Our plan is to leave McDonald's when it gets dark. I found a pool at a hotel nearby and they don't lock the gate so it's pretty much open to the public so we'll just go sleep on a lawn chair for a little while and then head out.

Three days to go. 229 miles. We'll be arriving at Imperial Beach at about 1 PM pacific time on Sunday, August 2nd.

if you want to see the route we're taking for the rest of the trip just click this link.,+California+to:I-8+W+to:I-8+W+to:I-8+W+to:Old+Hwy+80+to:Imperial+Beach,+California&geocode=%3B%3BFZTF8wEdlaUX-Q%3BFVz78QEdjIUT-Q%3BFRhb8gEdEs8S-Q%3BFSZo8gEd9c4R-Q%3B&hl=en&mra=dpe&via=2,3,4&dirflg=h&sll=32.687931,-115.74234&sspn=0.421865,0.699692&ie=UTF8&ll=32.737039,-116.148148&spn=0.421633,0.699692&z=11

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

the gates of hell

Current Location: Wickenburg, Arizona
Total Distance Traveled: 3250 miles.

The last two days have been interesting. We went from probably having the best bike ride of our lives to one of the worst. We started off in Flagstaff and headed down about 40 miles into Sedona. This was the most breathtaking ride ever. All of a sudden you ride into this canyon which is about 3,000 feet lower and you transition from forest to red rocks. You drop this elevation in about 9 miles. The roads are narrow and two lanes and wind around the mountains. The cool thing was cars can't go much faster than 25 mph so we could actually go faster than cars. It's a sight that I will remember forever.

the road dropping into Sedona

We dropped down then we had to go right back up again and we ended up stopping two nights ago in a town called Jerome. It's a town that's right at the top of a mountain. Apparently it's a big tourist town. This guy on a motorcycle passed by us as we were riding to the top and asked us about our trip. He was pretty impressed and proceeded to buy us a cool beer when we got to the top.

We camped out on a dirt road by and old church and fell asleep instantly. We awoke to MADNESS!! All of a sudden these lights turn on right behind our tent. It's a truck and then he REVS his engine. We're screaming in the tent and yelling swear words. We thought this was the end. Luckily, he was just playing with us and probably was wondering why we were camping out there. We laugh about it now.

The next day (Yesterday) was when we realized what we're dealing with. We descended from about 5500 feet and 100 degree weather into the heart of the desert. The gas station right at the top before you dropped down to 2000 feet said that we were entering the "gates of hell." I can't think of a better description. All of a sudden besides a few cactus's life disappeared and it was just dark rocks. The temperature increased by 15 degrees and so we were hit with a 115 degree weather. I literally felt like I was being roasted in an oven. It was so hot!! We persevered and made it to Wickenburg in the heat. I carry about 20 water bottles with me so I'm very hydrated as a much proven method has shown me.

we stayed at a fire station last night and I slept pretty well. We were treated to a good meal and some good company. It's about 4:30 am and we're about to head out to Salome, AZ.

We have 332 miles to go on the journey. It's hard to believe that's it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

headed to the desert

Current Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
Distance Traveled so far: 3091 miles

It's been quite a few days and right now is the first time in a while that I've been able to access the internet. 3 days ago we set out for the Grand Canyon. We really wanted to go there, but it was about 100 miles out of our way. We sucked it up and just said we could do the extra miles. So after about 10 miles we hit this road construction and we don't think any of it and just proceed. The road crews were laying tar and asphalt down on the roads in 103 degree heat. So we bike into it after the cars and the stuff they lay down starts sticking to our tires. After a few minutes I start wondering why we're going slower. I look at my tires and realize that the road is sticking to them and we now have an extra 1/2 inch of crap on them. After a few minutes we just stop because this road stuff is hardening on our tires and starts rubbing against our breaks. We're in a pickle at this point. We're thinking that maybe it's our fate to not get to the grand canyon. We figure we'll just hitchike past this road work (which was 15 miles long) and go back to our original destination.

So we start putting our thumbs out, but that doesn't really work, so I get the bright idea to just start waving my arms like we're in a serious emergency. This does work!! An RV pulls over and they let us in. It was a family from the Netherlands that was inside and they said that they're going to the grand canyon. They're going to the EXACT SAME SPOT that we wanted to go to. They said they'll take us there and we're overjoyed. We throw our bikes into the RV and hop in. This family was so nice. They had two kids that were hilarious and spoke very good English. We watched movies with them and learned about living in the Netherlands. When we got to the Grand Canyon, they said that we could camp in their spot with them and we just set up our hammock and tent next to their RV. Then we went on a hike with them around the rim.

It was BREATHTAKING!! This is a spot that all people should go to. We spent the next morning fixing our bike tires, which was tedious work, but eventually we finished. We biked 77.7 miles to Flagstaff to get back on track. Now we're here and about to leave. We spent yesterrday and today here with a girl that I met off couchsurfing. Her name is Kimmy and she was very generous. We head out to dinner with one of her friends the second we arrived here and they ended up paying for us. It was very sweet. Couchsurfing really is great too because when you go to a town you don't really learn about it or know whats great about it. But this provides you with a local that is more than willing to tell you anything and pretty much invites you into their home while you're there.

We're about to head out to Prescott, Arizona now. About half way we're supposed to bike through a place called Sedona. This is supposed to be one of the prettiest places in the country. If you get a chance google it. After Prescott we'll be hitting the most intense desert the world has ever seen. The heat reaches 120 degrees during the day and we'll be in that until we get close to San Diego. So we think we're going to start riding at night.

We only have 6 days of biking left. We have only 487 miles to go until we reach the Pacific. It's really hard for us to believe.

Oh we finally figured out how we're getting home. Turns out that the cheapest way is taking the train home since we can ship our bikes back for only 20 bucks. We got this pass that is 350 bucks and it takes you to as many places as you want to go as long as your down in 15 days. Flying would have cost way more PLUS you wouldn't have the chance to see all these places. It looks like we'll be getting home around August 20th now.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Current Location: Kayenta, Arizona
Total Distance Traveled: 2934 Miles

So we've been pretty fortunate the last 2 days and nights. We've crossed into Arizona finally and visited the 4 corners. We've had wonderful places to stay which will continue tonight as well. Also, we've had people drive by and stop and talk to us because they saw are article in the newspaper that was in Farmington a few days ago. Our morale is very high.

2 days ago we arrived at the four corners and got a little crazy with our pictures there. People were being quite timid at the center and were just standing on the actual point. We get in there and start lying down on all four states having a good time. After that you should have seen the change in the crowd. All of them got the same picture.

After we arrived in Teec Nos Pos and stayed in a Navajo chapter house, which is kind of like their administrative building and a community center for their town. We got their and met all the local officials and luckily a lot of the kids were hanging out there when we arrived, so we talked to them about what we were doing and why we were doing it. The people were very hospitable to us and one even brought us spaghetti, sauce, and a pot, so that we could cook in their kitchen. It was nice to have a home cooked meal for once. We hung out with the head of the town (kind of like a mayor) named Roy and he ate with us. We learned quite a bit about the Navajo culture and their future plans for helping their citizens. It was a really good experience.

Yesterday we departed and headed for Kayenta and had one of the best rides ever. We rode through amazing magnificent terrain that was desert, mountainous, and had many canyons. The wind was at our backs so that always makes a ride good as well. We arrived in Kayenta fairly early and we stayed at a HOTEL!!! Our friend Lizzy Solti's parents in Utah arraigned for us to have a hotel here and a hotel tomorrow. These hotels also have pools. It's a life of luxury right now. The thing is I had so much trouble falling asleep in a bed last night!! I slept in my hammock at the community center so that was more normal. A bed is almost too comfortable that it's uncomfortable. It's so strange to me.

2 cool things that happened. One we're at the border of New Mexico and Arizona taking pictures at the Arizona sign when a SUV pulls up and says to us. Are you the guys that were in the paper yesterday? We say yes and they give us some money and wish us luck. Also, yesterday when I'm in the middle of nowhere in the desert, a van pulls up in front of me. I'm a little scared at first because there really is nothing out here, but a guy gets out and he says, "you're the guy in the paper." I say yes, and he hands me a water bottle for the travels. Really nice people out here.

We're about to head to our next town called Tuba City. It's our last town in the Navajo nation. The next day we see the Grand Canyon!

The end is near. 10 days until the Pacific Ocean.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

so I jumped the gun - one last night in New Mexico

So we left Bloomfield, New Mexico yesterday and went to the post office where I picked up a new license, some cookies, sunglasses, and some mail. Thanks to everyone that sent me stuff. It's nice to have an ID again. We headed to Farmington, NM where we had an interview with the paper and afterwards we hung around town for a bit. We pull out for 4 corners, but after about 30 miles we get hit by the CRAZIEST wind storm known to man. The winds were gusting to 45 mph and going right into our path. This was really bad because it's so sandy out here, so all the sand was flying into our faces and down our throats. I was hocking loogies that were filled with dirt!!!!! So we stop at this outdoor carwash to get out of the wind.

I find out that the wind will be going on until midnight so we decide to just stay here and then do a 120 miles today. We ended up asking the house across the street if we could camp in his yard and the guy says sure no problem. He was a hay farmer and we ended up sleeping next to these hay piles that were 20 feet high. Well it gets us out of the wind, but thats when I realize that i'm allergic to tons of hay. It was rough!! I was sneezing all night. Apparently these wind storms are very common after 5 pm. So we're going to try to do all our riding in the mornings now.

So now i'm about 20 miles from the 4 corners and we're inside the Navajo Nation. We're excited to get to a new state. I'll probably update this later today once we're in Kayenta, Arizona for the night.

oh you can read the article at this link:

Monday, July 20, 2009

pulling out of new mexico

Current Location: Bloomfield, New Mexico
Total Distance Traveled: 2786 miles

I'm currently lying in a church. I gave Pastor Jennings a call yesterday morning and he was nice enough to let Wyatt and I stay on a pull out couch in one of the rooms. As soon as we got to town him and his wife Cindy took us out to dinner. They were extremely nice to us. Not only that, this church had a shower!! Our first showers in a little less than a week. I feel like a new man. We're back to our old pace. We went about 95 miles yesterday and went through some beautiful canyons. The roads we biked on were the ones people get scared to drive on. There are no guard rails and right next to the road there are 100-200 foot drops straight down. It was an intense rush to ride through. We've been in Indian Reservations the last day and will be heading into the Navajo nation today.

Before we set out today I have so many packages awaiting me at the post office. I told everyone who wanted to send me stuff to send it here. One of the packages is my new license and the only problem I foresee is that I don't have any photo ID. I just have a print out version of my license. Hopefully they'll understand my dilemma and give me my stuff. I'm especially looking forward to eating Tracy's cookies!!

We're heading west into Arizona and will hit the 4 corners of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. I'm thinking of all the clever poses I can do so that I have a part of my body in each state. Apparently where we are going to end up today...Teec Nos desolate. So we're going to have to bring double the water, in case we don't see a place to pick up more water until the next day.

The other day, we stopped at a restaurant in Chama, New Mexico called Fosters. We're all excited to eat since its the first town we've seen in 7o miles. We get our computers out because they have wireless and we're hanging out. We eat TWO main courses each and after an hour we're told that we need to leave. What a horrible place, we bought more food than any other customer and probably would have ate a 3rd meal and they kick us out because we've been their too long. If you're ever in this area, do not go to this place.

Arizona = 13th out of 14th state!! the end is near

Saturday, July 18, 2009

last climbing day of the trip - reached new mexico

Current Location: Dulce, NM
Total Distance Traveled: 2685 miles

We've taken it a little slower the last two days since we're ahead of schedule and since we're in pretty high elevation. The last two days we've probably gone only about 90 to a 100 miles. We needed it. Yesterday we slept for 12 hours. I went to bed at 8 pm and woke up at 8 am. I don't remember the last time i've slept that long. The beauty of yesterday's sleep was that it got down to about 35 degrees so i could snuggle deep into my sleeping bag and sleep like a baby.

Today was the hardest ride of our lives. We rode from Antonito, Colorado to Dulce, New Mexico and we knew we were going to climb. We started at 7890 feet and off we went. It was pretty flat for about 20 miles then it was uphill for the hardest 7 miles i've ridden. We went up a 7 to 8 percent grade averaging about 5 to 7 mph. The views became magnificent. We went from desert to a forest. slowly but surely we made it to the top which was 10,230 feet. We took a lot of pictures at the top and we felt like beasts.

We descended down the mountain at speeds of 25-30 mph for 11 miles into New Mexico. This is our 12th state. Only 2 to go.

Funny thing happened yesterday. I was in a fast food restaurant and I went into the bathroom to change into my bike clothes. I thought about it and decided I really needed a shower. So I take my shirt off and start putting water into my hair and on my chest. I get soap from the dispenser and put it in my hair and start washing my body. I make a little mohawk with the soap, when this elderly man walks in. He just stares at me wondering why this half naked guy is taking the closest thing to a shower that he can in the fast food bathroom. I just smile and say I have no alternatives. He laughs and laughs. I smelled a lot better after that shower though.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

what a day

Current Location: Alamosa, Colorado
Total Distance Traveled: 2584 miles

So we had probably one of the best days of our whole trip today. We were a little nervous to see what the climb up the mountain would be like. We didn't know if we could handle it. Well we could. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't as hard as we were expecting. We climbed about 3000 feet over 30 miles and once we reached the top we celebrated. We took some pictures and then started our trip down the other side into the San Luis Valley. This was the most beautiful sight i've seen. The valley is about 7500 to 800o feet high and it is surrounded by mountains on either side. I just looked it up and apparently it's the highest valley in the world. It's so amazing to just be in the middle of this paradise. Once we got over to the other side we would cruise through the valley at around 25 mph because it was always slightly downhill from the La Veta pass to Alamosa.

We realized that we want to go even higher and luckily we saw that right before we reach New Mexico we'll hit an elevation of about 10,300 feet. That should be pretty epic.

at La Veta Pass

A funny thing that happened today is we went to get some lunch at this diner and we were sitting in one end of the diner. People started coming in and they looked at us and just went to the complete opposite end. Eventually we realized we stink. This was confirmed when a group of 7 people came and sat next to us. Then after 2 minutes they got up and went and sat at the other end of the restaurant. We were laughing pretty hard at this.

We're about to go squat in some woods. Should be an adventure.

climbing the peaks

Current Location: Walsenburg, Colorado
Distance Traveled so far: 2508 miles

We arrived in Walsenburg last night around 10:30 pm and immediately tried to find some food. Yesterday was the first day where we went from our starting point to our ending point with absolutely no towns in between. Luckily we carried about 10 bottles of water and enough food so it wasn't a big deal. That's going to be more common as the days go on. The scary part of the ride was that we had two storms about 20 miles away on both sides of us. All we could do is keep going and hope they didn't start coming at us. It was a little scary to see lightning strike on either side of you. The awesome part was that we some sweet rainbows and it cleared up just in time to see a beautiful colorado sunset.

Once we arrived in Walsenburg we tried to ask the locals for a place to camp and they send us to their baseball fields. We think that would work out just fine. We get there and are just about to set up the hammock and tent when three cops come by and flash their lights at us. Apparently camping is not allowed. So he tells us to go to a state park 4 miles down the road. I was skeptical because I've never heard of a park letting you in this late. Usually they close around 10 at the latest.

So we head off towards the park and they must have been scared we weren't going to head that way because after about 2 miles the same cop passes by us and then as soon as he sees us turns around. I guess we looked DANGEROUS on our bikes. We get there and guess what the park was closed!! It had a gate up blocking any cars from getting in, but the thing is we are not cars, we ride bikes. So we just bike on in around the gate and find a nice spot in some bushes. We made sure that we were completely hidden from the outside world.

We fall asleep instantly. This morning I woke up to beauty. We had biked the last 20 miles yesterday at night so we had just seen the mountains from afar and rode into them at night. So when I woke up it was so amazing to be inside them. I was not expecting it!!

This morning, we met up with the local reporter and had an interview. It will be our seventh newspaper we've been in. All of the reporters we met with made sure they got our address and will mail back some copies to our houses. Now its time to get to business.

Today is the day we climb to historic heights. We will be going uphill all the way to Alamosa, Colorado. We will go through the Lavita pass which hits 9400 feet. Depending on how our bodies hold up we might alter the route slightly. It adds 9 miles to the overall total, but we would then go through some other passes. One of which would hit 11,000 feet. I can only imagine how that would feel on our bodies and how pretty it would be up there.

We're now on the homestretch we crossed 2500 miles last night and have less than a 1000 to go. We can hardly believe that we'll be done in 2 and a half weeks.

2508 miles

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry potter and day off

Current Location: La Junta, Colorado
Total distance traveled: 2433 miles

So I was wrong about the elevation. La Junta is only at 4500 feet. TODAY when we ride off to Walsenberg, Colorado we'll start our climb. We'll hit 7500 feet. Then the next day we're going to cross a pass that reaches 9400 feet. We're very excited to get to these heights and see if our body is able to survive.

We had a wonderful 2 days hanging out with Jerry and Meredith in La Junta. They were the perfect hosts. They fed us and took us around town. we met Meredith's father who even made us some homemade energy bars. I probably showered 8 times in 2 days. I was so excited just to be in a house. Wyatt and I were in the local newspaper here and it comes out today. They had a little teaser about us yesterday on the front cover as well.

6th newspaper we've been in

We spent the day at the pool which had the nicest waterslide. It was really nice to relax and just take it easy. The highlight definitely was seeing Harry Potter at midnight. I'm a huge harry potter fan and was very excited to finally see the movie. It's sad to leave our new home, but we've realized that we can't get too attached to one area ever.

Thank you Jerry and Meredith for the hospitality and we'll see you soon!!

We're off to our next town. We have an interview with the paper there as well which will be our 7th paper so far.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mountain Time

Current Location: Lamar, Colorado
Total Distance Traveled: 2355 miles

So we crossed the border into Colorado last night. We were thrilled to be in a new state, we've been in Kansas for over 400 miles and it's a nice change. As soon as we got to the border we saw that the Colorado sign was huge and we climbed about 8 feet off the ground to stand next to it. We get to the first town inside Colorado, when powerful crosswinds start blowing. We stop at a gas station and find out there is a tornado warning for the area. We figure this a good time to stop and we hang out and wait for the storm to blow over. We also realized that we're now in a new time zone. So we're now two hours earlier than the east coast.

We find a nice park to sleep out, and I was able to put up my hammock. I slept like a baby because it was the first night the temperature got down into the sixties. It's been so hot lately during the day and night.

This morning we headed off towards La Junta, Colorado where we have a place all set up to stay through a church there. The pastor set us up with a family in her church. We stopped in Lamar today because we had an interview with the Lamar Ledger, the local newspaper, and now I'm writing all this while I'm eating McDonald's.

We are going to start climbing some serious mountains today. We started the day at 3100 feet and by the end of the day should hit 7800 feet. It'll be a nice change of scenery.

Something really amazing happened when I got to McDonald's. I was just getting my computer out of my bag when a man started talking to me about the trip. He then said he had NF and I heard his story about being diagnosed when he was a young kid. He said his son had it as well, but they both were surviving with no major problems. He was so thankful for what we were doing. If you read this sir, it was a pleasure talking to you.

More to report when we get to La Junta

2322 miles = Colorado border

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Garden City madness

Current Location: Garden City, Kansas
Distance traveled: approximately 2300 miles

So we arrived in Garden City at about 8:30 PM and this was by far our best ride of the trip. We made 105 miles in 5 and a half hours. For the first time this trip we had tailwinds that made us fly. At one point we were cruising at 30 mph and even got up to 35 mph all on flat ground. We get there and the two places we're told we can camp out at turn out to be inadequate. This is a city and we've heard stories that you shouldn't be in the southwestern part. Well it's getting late and the 2nd park we checked out is in the southwestern part. All of a sudden we see a family of 8 people sitting out front of their house and we ask if we can camp out in their backyard. they say that we can and even pull out some mattresses for us to put our tent on so that we can have a comfortable sleep. We don't think anything about this being a bad part of town and eventually just fall asleep. This morning we get up go to McDonalds and get to talking with some of the locals. They asked us what we did last night and we told them we camped out over on 4th street by the zoo. they were beyond shocked. they told us that the gangs in the area live over there and they dont even head to that part of town. We were pretty shocked, but we really didn't feel threatened at all. Maybe we were just lucky.

fooling around in kansas

We're about to head off in a bit and we'll ride into Colorado today, which will be a nice change. We're ready to see some sweet mountains and do some climbing. This flat ground is getting to us. We go a whole day and the scenery is the exact same thing. It makes you think you havent gone anywhere.

I have to admit Kansas has been good to us though. We've been in three newspapers here and had a legitimate place to sleep every night.

we're starting to get a little sad that the trip is going to end soon. We're starting to contemplate whether we should just keep going and go around the world. We figure at our current pace we can make it in 8 months......

Saturday, July 11, 2009

supplies for the trip

So we're just hanging out in a town called Jetmore, Kansas where we had an interview with the local paper here. We'll be in it in a few days. We're about halfway done for the day so we have about 45 more miles to our final destination for the night which will be garden city, Kansas.

This trip has shown me that I really don't need that much stuff to survive. Once I got used to the fact that I wouldn't shower too often it's been easy going. It turns out that girls still are interested in us even if we smell!!

So on the back of my bike I have two blue bags that are on my rack on the back of my bike and one bag that attaches to my handlebars and in them I carry:

  1. one Carolina t shirt
  2. one pair of shorts
  3. two pairs of bike shorts
  4. two bike jerseys
  5. one sweatshirt
  6. one rainjacket
  7. one fleece
  8. one pair of flip flops
  9. one pair of bike shoes
no socks or underwear!

  1. laptop
  2. 3 ipods
  3. blackberry
  4. batteries
  5. various chargers that all charge into my computer
  6. digitial camera
  7. video camera
  1. toothbrush
  2. toothpaste
  3. deoderant
other stuff
  1. sleeping bag
  2. hammock
  3. bug net that covers head
  4. hammock straps
  5. 7 water bottles
  6. helmet
  7. 3 pairs of sunglasses
  8. notebook
  9. flashlight
  10. bike lights for riding at night
  11. bike pump
That's about it. Wyatt has roughly the same stuff, but he carries the tent while I carry the bike pump. All in all it's about 30 to 35 pounds of added weight.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Current Location: Larned, Kansas
distance Traveled to date: approximately 2140 miles

Kansas has been quite good to us. We met up with Emily Moffitt in the small town of Mcpherson, Kansas yesterday. She's the girl that organized a place to stay for Wyatt and I 3 nights in a row. Tonight will actually be are first night in Kansas where we have to fend for ourselves. Well Emily like her friends treated her right. She even opened the car door for us, which made us feel quite special. She organized her local paper to do an interview on our trip and apparently we're on the front page of today's issue. At her house, which is a farm, I met the family who taught me pretty much all I need to know about farming on a 1,000 acres. I know all about the harvest and what type of irrigation system is needed for what terrain. I'm ready to be a farmer. Wyatt was overjoyed that there was a 4 wheeler there and he played on that for a while.

After we left Mcpherson this morning, we started our trek to Larned. It's completely flat out there and hot. It's been hitting the high 90s everyday for the past week. We're eating lunch when I decide to just start contacting newspapers on the route for today. I call 5 up and it worked out really well. We had one guy do a little story and take some pictures of us when we got to Larned and we're meeting up with a guy tomorrow in another town. So we're pretty much just trying to find every newspaper along our route now.

We have a sweet camping spot tonight in a nice park. I'm sleeping in my hammock since this park contains the only trees for at least 50 miles. It's definitely a nice feeling to be way past half way now. The end of the trip is definitely in sight.

2000 mile mark. some point in Kansas

stickers of states we've biked through

If anyone is wondering why i wear the same Carolina t shirt in every picture it's because it is the only shirt i brought. I'll actually provide a list of all the things we brought with us to survive on this journey in the next posting. It'll be a short list.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

the train from hell - earthquake strikes

Total Distance Traveled: 1880 miles
Total distance traveled in the last 24 hours: 175 miles

Well quite a bit has happened since David dropped us off in Monroe City, Missouri at 4 pm on July 5th. We picked up our bikes that we had left there and realized that we had to ride about 245 miles to Lawrence, Kansas in 36 hours to be back on schedule. Child’s play we said to each other. David rode about 30 miles down the road with us, which was fun because we had some nice drafting for a while and could make sweet bike formations. After David leaves Wyatt and I are exhausted since we really didn’t sleep at all while we were in Chicago, so we get to a small town and lean our bikes against a small church right on the main road. We lie down on the ground and fall asleep. I wake up an hour later and I’m cold so I get into my sleeping bag. It’s still light outside and we’re sleeping next to a church like hoboes right where hundreds of cars pass by and look at us. We wake up refreshed around 8 pm and start back off on our journey. We go another 40 miles and get to another small town around 11 pm. We’re dead tired and know we need to sleep. So we ride to the outskirts and try to find a nice place to camp.

This is where the worst night of our lives occurs. We have a lot of trouble finding adequate bushes to camouflage our tent when we see something that is beside the train tracks and about 30 feet from the highway. We head up there and put our tent up behind some bushes about 15 feet from the train tracks. We didn’t think a train would go by since we’ve been on this road all day and had yet to see a train. How wrong we were.

About an hour later we wake up to what sounds and feels like the biggest earthquake known to man. The ground is shaking and Wyatt and I our screaming when we realize a train is coming by. It lasts for about 10 minutes and it feels like our world has gone upside down. We eventually fall back asleep, when a few hours later TWO TRAINS come by in opposite directions and the earthquake has become a 9.0 on the Richter scale. Wyatt and I again wake up screaming and then in all the commotion we head butt each other since we can’t see anything and so now not only are we in the worst earthquake in history in the state of Missouri, we now have throbbing headaches. Word of advice never sleep anywhere near train tracks.

We wake up at dawn and are sad to realize we still have about 175 miles to go since we only went 70 miles the night before. This is where we learn what our bodies are made of. We have turned into machines. We slowly cross the 100 mile mark around 5 pm. We enter Kansas City, Missouri and get lost in the ghetto and still we continue. By the way the people were very nice there. Then tragedy strikes as we are on the outskirts of the city around 9 pm. I’m fishing through my bag and I realize my wallet is lost. All day looking at directions and the wallet fell out of my bag! I’m screwed, but I try to take it in stride and realize I can’t do anything about it in the dark still about 50 miles away from Lawrence, Kansas. I’m now without any form of ID more than halfway across the country.

We arrive at our final destination in Lawrence after riding about 50 miles in the dark, which was okay, we now prefer riding at night since the heat during the day is getting ridiculous and will only get worse. The only thing we’re sad about besides the wallet going missing is that we didn’t see a welcome to Kansas sign, so we’ll have to take a picture of one when we leave Kansas.

We arrive at Karly and Valisha’s house in Lawrence at 2 am and we’re welcomed with hot showers, beds, and Valisha’s Lasagna specialty. She was being modest, but it was delicious. I sleep with Karly’s dog Presley, who is quite the cuddler.

I figure out my wallet situation and it turns out I can have a debit card sent to me by tomorrow, but I won’t have an ID for a while because it takes 10 business days in the state of North Carolina to process my request and send it out to where I am. So I won’t receive it until I walk into a post office in Bloomfield, New Mexico. I’m truly off the grid right now.

The next day is our rest day and we head off to KU and see the campus and all the sports complexes there. We had a sweet tour and after headed to the beach about 15 minutes away. The girls proceeded to bury me in the sand and turned me into a sandy monster. The girls are nothing but nice and generous to us. They take care of us, cook for us, take us out to eat, and Valisha even sewed for me! It’ll be sad to go since we know we’re heading back into the wild. Thank you ladies!

In front of Allen Fieldhouse house at KU

We’ll be in Kansas for a long time and we’re a little scared about what we’re going to see. Apparently western Kansas is a scary sight compared with the east. We’re off to find out if the legends are true. I have a feeling we'll survive.

Only 25 days until we plunge into the Pacific Ocean!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

insane few days

So I know I haven't reported about our travels in a few days, but it's been pretty hectic. My cousin David Strosberg gave me a call on july 2nd and told us that he would pick us up in his plane and fly us over to Chicago so we can hang out there on the 3rd and 4th. Wyatt and I were pretty excited to get to a city and also fly in the small plane. We realized that we had to go pretty far west so that we didn't lose any time. So what we did was bike 175 miles in 20 hours so that when we go back to where we left in Missouri we wouldn't be behind our schedule. That was some of the most intense riding we've ever done. We rode through the night and cross the Mississippi River on one of the narrowest bridges i've been on. It got a little scary when a semi came behind us before we were halfway across. Our lives flashed before our eyes, but thank goodness the driver saw all our strobe lights on our bike and just went slow behind us. Also, Wyatt almost got hit by a deer as he was riding. It gets a little crazy in the midwest!

We arrived in Missouri in a very small town and stopped at a gas station. This small town apparently didn't have much of a night life because when we got to the gas station, there was about 20 drunk kids just hanging out. I started talking to this one really nice girl who asked about what we were doing. Before I knew what was happening, she had all her drunk friends donating money. It was really sweet. We slept for about 2 hours in someones yard, then biked to the airport where we met David Strosberg. David is a great guy who biked with us a bit then flew us back to Chicago.

In Chicago, David let us stay in his awesome apartment downtown and then we just explored. I saw an old friend that goes to Northwestern and then some friends that we met at the beach in North Carolina. It was nice to walk around the city. There is one thing that we have found out though...our bodies are not meant for walking. We get sore from walking a few miles, but we can bike hundreds of miles. It's about 6:30 am and we're about to head back on the plane to MIssouri, then continue our bike trip from where we left off.

We have a pretty hectic 2 days ahead of us before we get to Kansas. It could get a little brutal and I think some nightriding will be necessary. Halfway point is sometime today or tomorrow! I'll report in again in Kansas!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Current Location: Mt. Pulaski, Illinois
Distance traveled today: 78 miles
Total Distance Traveled: 1454 miles

Cool fact: Abe Lincoln practiced law in Mt. Pulaski before he became president.

Yesterday was our rest day and we spent the entire day at this restaurant in Paxton, Illinois. We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner there. It was total relaxation. We mingled with the locals all day and ended up meeting this nice guy that let us stay with his family. His son races cars and he took me to their shop where I saw 4 race cars. I got into one that was 750 horsepower and when you revved the engine it was a pretty crazy adrenaline rush. Probably the loudest thing i have ever heard.

We got up earlier than usual today and rode 78 miles to Mt. Pulaski very quickly. It was 71 degrees outside today so it was perfect for riding and we had one of our best averages ever since the wind was very faint. Way back in April I emailed a church in this town and they offered us a place to stay. At the time I thought it would be a small room, but it turns out we're in a massive room and have the whole church building to ourselves. There's enough room in here to run laps and apparently they have concerts and put on plays here. It's really awesome. We've been running around enjoying ourselves and made a huge spaghetti dinner in the kitchen. We are about to perform a play on the stage. over and out.

Our home for the night