Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 9

Things are going well. Today, we made it to....Cambridge, Idaho. We left Halfway, Oregon this morning at 5am. It's been so hot recently that we've been trying to wake up before the sun rises and be on the road for a few hours before it gets too hot.

We took a day off in Halfway Oregon after climbing 2000ft. in 7miles in 100 degree heat. Just hung out yesterday, did some laundry, and tried to avoid the heat as much as possible.

Were taking a break from the heat right now, waiting until around 6 or so to bike the 20 miles to Counsel, Idaho for a total of about 80 miles.

We ran into a couple named Steve and ( Can't think of it now, I'll update it later when I remember it) and they're biking from VA to Astoria. Nice couple.

Other than that we're just biking, and trying to settle into a routine of waking up, eating breakfast, and packing everything up. We're about 95% there.

Still don't have any photos to upload because they're public computers. Maybe we'll meet some cool cowboy + cowgirl in Idaho who will let us use their computer to download some images.

It's been hot, dry, and fun. More to come soon.



Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 6

We made it to Baker City, Oregon. We're stopping for today after biking 40 miles with headwinds. I think Catie talked about this is her post.

This trip is harder than I had envisioned, but a lot more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. I feel like I've never seen Oregon, until this past week. Huge expanses of mountains and fields that go on and on and deserts that I didn't even know existed.

In my previous posts I know there are a lot of misspellings. please disregard. My mental capacity for anything other than food, water, or sleep is minimal, so the rest of my posts are likely to be riddled with grammatical errors.

Catie and I slept in a wilderness area last night in one of the national forests. deer going through our campsite. The sound of beavers lurking in the stream nearby. We had heard that bears are a possibility in these parts, so, in the interest of safety and the fact that we were 40 miles from civilization other than hwy 7, we put up a bear bag.

We passed through a ghost town today. It's not even on any map. Kind of cool. Just a bunch of old shacks in an open field. Apparently one person lives there according to a local couple in Austin Junction ( which is nothing more than a saloon and country store).

Met a few other cyclists travelling west, a kid from Richmond, VA and an older gentleman from ....Corvallis, I believe.

Saw something a little sad today. There was a deer on the side of the road that seemed a little skittish, like it was trying to cross the road. We look across the road and there was her baby after getting hit by a vehicle and being eaten by vultures. kind of crazy how we're all out of touch with the "natural" world and how cruel and unrelenting it can seem sometimes in our world of consumer convenience.

Other than that things are going great. The days seem to get easier. my knee still doesn't hurt anymore but both of my achilles tendons are sore.

Why do we go through all this self deprivation of showering and other everyday conveniences? Maybe so we can enjoy them a little more at the end of the day.

More to come soon. Hopefully we can post more photos soon.



Hills, hills, hills

Hello Everyone!
We have decided to stay in Baker City, Oregon for the night. We had a short day with strong head wind so after consuming an incredible amount of Chinese food and listening to the couple beside us bicker we decided it was time for a rest. Plus there is a museum here I want to check out.

We have been climbing a lot of hills. In fact, everyday for the past 5 days we've summited over 4,000 feet. Yesterday, we did it twice. We've biked over Mt. Jefferson, crept over the Santiam Pass, Ochoco Pass I really enjoyed--my kind of hill, gradual and scenic. Keyes Pass was pretty brutal. Yesterday we went over the Dixie Pass and then the Tipton Pass in the Strawberry Mountains (I think) and this morning we woke up and struggled over Sumpter Pass. Reading over what I just wrote, I am feeling really tired and sort of amazed. This first week has been crazy. This is going to sound ridiculous, but this trip is actually a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.

Here are some things I have learned about biking over hills:
1. Hills look a lot bigger when you are looking at them compared to when you're actually biking up them.
2. Eventually, uphills become downhills and downhills are totally incredible and usually worth the climb.
3. Sometimes with hills you just have to put your head down and climb.
4. It is fine if you have to stop every 1/4 of a mile. There's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes when stopping, you notice how far you've come and what an amazing view you can see from 4,000 ft.

We've been biking down a Historical Tour Route that tells the history of this part of Oregon. Maybe it's my love of pioneers resurfacing from the depths of my childhood, or perhaps just because these historical markers are generally frequent and provide a good excuse to stop pedaling uphill ("Dave--I REALLY want to keep inching up this gigantic hill at 4 miles an hour, but look! A historical marker--we have to stop." ) Anyways, I am finding all this Oregon history very interesting. I'm really looking forward to biking through the Nez Perce reservation.

I have the most awkward tan but I am sort of proud of it because anyone who likes riding bikes will be able to identify that I am a cyclist which is why my hands and feet are 10 shades lighter than my arms and legs and other people probably just don't notice (hopefully).

Well, I have to get to the museum before it closes. Dave will probably post something soon.

Love to you all!

NICK--to answer your questions, we update our blog at local libraries or churches. We uploaded the photos at the church in Dayville. We charge our cell phones at restuarants and some campsites that have electricity. Thanks for asking :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 4

Made it to dayville. somewhere in eastern Oregon. Catie and I are doing well and apparently ahead of "schedule" by one day.

Tonight we're staying at a Presbyterian church that helps out bicyclists doing the Trans-America. We met a guy named Bob from North Carolina. Nice guy.

All I can say is that this is not a walk in the park. I consider myself a pretty regular cyclist. I bike around town, to work, etc. however, this is for the faint of heart.

Most things in life are more of a mental battle than a physical one. This trip has been no different. If Catie and I didn't have Virginia always on our mind, it would be quite easy to give up and go home.

Last night we stayed at Ochoco Divide State Park, out in the middle of NO WHERE. There was no water. Luckily a RV camper helped us jerry rig the "dry" faucet and water was flowing. WE still purified it just to be on the safe side. While biking on hwy 26 we see a car maybe once every 15-20 minutes. If you've been to "central Oregon" or "remote sections" of Oregon like I thought I had, try coming FAR out east. 50 to 100 miles between towns that have a population of a couple hundred.

My knee is feeling better, but my Achilles tendon is still very sore. I'm glad to be sleeping in doors tonight even if it will be on the pulpit of a Church, to have a hot shower, and to have clean clothes.

Thats all for now. I hope this finds you all doing well.

until then.



Tuesday, June 24, 2008

don't underestimate the Cascade Mountians


sorry we don't have pictures to share. can't seem to find a computer to download them on. perhaps soon.

what hurts? thanks for asking. only 2 and a half days of biking and the following have some sort of pain involved:

1. Shoulder(s)
2. Knee
3. Back of knee
4. ankle
5. and strangely, the top of my head.

I'm really in high spirits. I talked to my dad this morning and mentioned that it's pretty hard work pedaling over the cascades and he said that it should get better. i think it will too. Catie and I have made it to prineville, in 2.5 days. not bad, i say but it looks like we have a lot more to go.

what have i been seeing? lots of hubcaps, dead decomposing animals and sweeping majestic views of the cascades and central Oregon.

going uphill, is totally worth going down.

that's all for now.

see you soon.

thanks Asta for the tip of the week ( bag balm)

also be sure to check out our video that frank shot of us leaving.

Prineville, Oregon

Dear Everybody,
In my last post I shared a strategy for going up hills. Yesterday I discovered a new trick. Those of you who know Dave well probably know that as a child he was passionate about the Back to the Future trilogy. After a couple of beers Dave may have shared with you that he loved these movies so much that he the recorded them on an audio tape so that his family and friends could enjoy the witty dialog and exciting action of these timeless films whenever there was tape player near by. The end result of listening to Back to the Future I II and III over and over is that Dave has memorized all of the movies almost word for word. So yesterday, as we began climbing the Cascades, Dave began to recite Back to the Future II and it was great. He has the intonation and sound effects down. I could see the movie in my head as he was talking.

I have crossed the Cascades many times before in a car but I don't think I have ever seen the Cascades like this. Biking over mountains means going really, really slow which means you see a lot more than you do in a car. Like noticing when the water on the side of the road starts running the opposite direction (which means you've reached the top.) All through out Symposium this year the idea of asking children to slow down really stood out to. We ask children to take their time and notice what their drawing or sculpting or looking at. I feel like this trip has helped me to do that.

Everything is going great. I'm pretty tired today but we have been biking an awful lot, which might have something to do with the full body exhaustion. Dave is waiting with the bikes so I am going to wrap it up. I'll write more later.

Much love,

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday, and counting

so it's Friday afternoon and i can hardly stand it anymore. i can't concentrate, sleep, or focus on anything other than getting started on our trans America trip.

remember in high school, when the last hour of the day seemed like an eternity? thats kind of how this feels.

i still have a few last minute things to do. haircut. buy groceries. get things for party tomorrow.

thats it for now. the next time i write I'll probably have a week or so behind me, a couple of hundred miles covered, and lots to tell.