Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fairplay, CO

I'm not sure if Dave and I would make it in a small town. So far today we've done two loads of laundry, napped, gone grocery shopping, played Dogopoly, visited the library twice, relaxed at the hotel and toured this small town and it's only 2:30pm. The only thing left to do is eat fudge (which Dave can't eat because he's restricted to applesauce, crackers, and rice) and shop for antiques.

We're taking a day off and sleeping at The Hand Hotel which is very charming. We're staying in the Miner's Room, decorated with burlap sacks and rusty tin cups. The woman who makes breakfast called the fritata she was serving a breakfast casserole. It has been raining all day long which makes it even nicer to not be biking or sleeping outside.

Today is our one month anniversary of being on the road and this is exciting except we're not quite halfway. We're almost halfway, but just not quite. We've been talking and this is what we've decided. The most important part of this trip for us is riding and having a lot of fun while doing it. We want to see the country and meet people, but we both agree that it needs to feel good and not stressful. We're going to bike as much as we can and get as far as we can and however far that is will be just fine. It's all about the journey, not the destination. And really, when you think about, riding a bike over not only the Cascade Mountain range but also the Rockies--that's awesome and I feel pretty darn good about it.

Thanks for all your supportive and encouraging feedback! Dave is feeling better and keeping food in his stomach. Go Dave! Hopefully we'll be on the road tomorrow.
Much love,

Monday, July 21, 2008


Yep. I got really sick. I've never felt so awful in my life. In fact, I think it would be less painful to die than to go what I went through. Diarrhea and Vomiting at the same time, Sweating, Freezing, Body Aches, Nausea, Disorientation, and Being Dizzy.

Anyway you slice it, it was tough, and I'm still not fully recovered.

On the good side. Catie and I saw a Moose last night.

I'll post pictures soon. My camera's acting funny.

Guess who else got the stomach flu in Wyoming? That's right! Dave did too. We're all about the solidarity on this trip. We spent an extra day in Riverside, Wyoming so Dave could be near a bathroom and have a place to sleep. It's been a few days and we're on the road again but we're taking it slow, taking time to recuperate. So we finally made it out of Wyoming and now we're in beautiful Colorado.

Colorado is very hot but incredibly beautiful. Last night we camped on the Western slope on Willow Creek Pass at about 9,000 feet. I washed my bike clothes in the river because they were getting kind of smelly. By the time I went to bed the bike clothes hadn't dried so I hung them on a line. When we woke up in the morning my spandex were actually frozen. FROZEN. Not frosty, not cold, but frozen.

Tomorrow or the next day we'll summit Hosier Pass which is our final big climb and then sweet, lovely, flat Kansas! Hosier is 11,000 feet. It's the highest pass on the trail. About a month ago I don't think I could possibly imagine being excited about biking over an 11,000 foot mountain but right now I'm really looking forward to it. Maybe it's that's legendary descent waiting for us on the other side that's so inspiring...

Love to you all! Looking forward to seeing Portland soon.
Yours truly,


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hello from Wyoming

Despite the incredibly gross past few days I've had (stomach flu and bike riding are a bad combination) we have managed to persevere and continue on! We've made it to Rawlins, WY. We're camping on the side of the interstate at an RV park that is made mostly of gravel but they have showers, laundry and a cyclist discount so we couldn't be happier. Getting here was an amazing feat involving winds that almost knocked us off the side of the road, diarrhea in the desert (I won't bore you with the details), the creepiest cafe I've ever seen, and a very kind man who came to our aid at the foot of a huge hill. I think (I hope) food is finally agreeing to stay in my stomach and the Colorado border is looming large. Sometimes super tough days are great because they all end eventually.

I have to go so Dave can shower but thank you for all your encouraging posts! I'll see you in August.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sick in Lander Wyoming

Hello Everyone.

So we are still in Lander Wyoming. It's Monday around 9:30 am. We're normally on the road by now with 40 or so miles behind us but Catie is not feeling well. She was up all night last night very sick to her stomach and with horrible headache. We've decided after talking to Frank this morning that it's probably some sort of a stomach flu. We're just going to take it easy to day and try and bike about 40 miles or so to a little town between here and Larimie. We're a little behind schedule, but I'm confident everything will work out for the best. Thank you all for you posts, comments, and words of encouragement. They definitely keep us motivated to finish this trip.



Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Favorite Part...

Hey Everybody.
Abigail asked me what my favorite part of the trip has been so far and I've thought and thought about it and I think it's the amazing people we've met. People have been so incredibly generous and kind in ways that I never could have imagined.
In Jackson, Montana at the hot springs we met Shana and Tye from Idaho who were traveling with their two daughters. Five or six days later, we were creeping up a big hill in Yellowstone and Tye and Shana spotted us from their car. They were going the opposite direction and turned around to give us cold water and words of encouragement.
Then we met Cait in West Yellowstone, a place void of anything good. We saw her come around the corner on her Surly Crosscheck with her t-rex tattoo and we knew she was someone we should probably talk to. As it turns out, she's from Portland and bike messenger. It was so nice to talk to someone from Portland, which when you're in West Yellowstone, seems like worlds away.
Terry, a retired police officer from Colorado picked us up when we were stranded on the side of the road in Wyoming with a flat tire, out of patches and spare tubes. He drove us all the way to Lander.
In Lander we met Ben who has been so very kind to us. Not only did he let us camp in his yard and cook in his kitchen, he's been a great friend. Thanks, Ben! We think you're great--come visit us in Portland!
And then there's all those people in Montana who wave and give thumbs up and then young woman who shouted from the window of her car as we were climbing up some ridiculously high pass, "you're almost to the top!"

Those are just the people who come to mind right now. We've met so many. So I think that's my favorite part of the trip so far.

That's all for now!

Day 21 ( I think) - Lander, Wyoming

Hello All.

I know it's been a while. We've been through some remote areas. We're currently in Lander, Wyoming. Very nice place. We're taking the day off here.

The time has been going by very quickly. Can't believe we'll be starting our 4th week tomorrow. We're a little behind schedule but we're almost out of the Rockies, and bear country.

Haven't been sleeping well at night because everywhere there are warnings about grizzly bears. They have metal containers to put EVERYTHING in. The towns all have huge metal trashcans that are bear proof. Kind of unnerving when you're in the middle of nowhere and you hear the tent rustle in the middle of the night. All I can say is that it's nice to be sleeping indoors tonight.

Last night when we got into lander we met the manager of the bike shop, Ben. He invited us to stay in his backyard and use his shower and place to cook our food. What a great guy.

I haven't been feeling all that great recently. I think I haven't been eating very healthy. I think eating all these processed foods is making me not feel so well. Let's just say stomach problems to keep it simple. I really can't wait to get back to Portland and eat good, wholesome, unprocessed food, which is so hard to find on the road.

Catie and I slept above 8500 ft. the other night about 10 miles from the summit of Togotee pass and nearly froze. We subsequently found out that it had gotten down to 24 degrees. Thanks dad for the 20 degree sleeping bag. It was just enough to knock the chill off. I definitely wouldn't say I was warm though.

We've both been drinking lots of coffee in the morning. It's been really, really cold in Wyoming.

Yellowstone was a joke. Very expensive for everything. $12 per biker to ride through the park, $6.5o to camp, and $2 for 6 minutes in a hot shower and food marked up 20% or more. I'm sure that we didn't get to see the "real" Yellowstone, but mostly all we saw were RV's and people who we're not really friendly. We've seen more wildlife ( dead + alive) outside of Yellowstone than we did inside.

I think that's all for now. Please see the pictures below to see what kind of fun we've been having. All I can say is that this is such an educational experience. I've learned and am continuing to learn so much about people, America and it's history, and the landscape every day. This is the sort of thing you can't get anywhere else. I've traveled around a lot in the world, including America but never like this. This has truly been an amazing experience. I want to see the rest of the world by bike. You see, learn and meet so many more great people.

That's all for now. More to come later.




Somewhere in Montana.
Montana. For sure. The clouds + sky there are amazing. I can see why they call it big sky country.

Catie getting upset with the mosquito's.
Eating soup at a park somewhere in Montana while we take a lunch break.
Side of the road in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming with an unrepairable flat tire waiting for someone to help us make it to lander. We were able to keep our spirits up.


Camping in Ben's Backyard in Lander Wyoming. What a great guy!

On our way toward the Togwotee Pass.
Wyoming I think.
Togwotee Pass. 9,658 feet of total climbing on bicycles. The air is really thin up here.
This is one of the many, amazing views of the Tetons.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Day 16

No photos this time. Batteries ran out and plus my camera is a bit busted.

90+ miles for the past few days. We'll be out of Montana tomorrow. Meeting more cyclists.

Biked 93 miles the day before yesterday and got eaten alive by the mosquito's near Jackson Montana. It was for a good cause because at the end of our long day we had a soak in the natural hot springs, cold beer and a shower awaiting us, all for only $10 each.

Dillon Montana is no good. Don't go there. Weird place. Ran into a real "Montanian" in Alder who told us about how Dillon is monitored by the government with secret surveillance equipment made in Palo Alto California and how we didn't really land on the moon. Two other local cyclists from Bozeman said that we're not meeting people from Montana unless they're paranoid and have conspiracy theories.

I love Montana!

Dear Everyone,
Wow--it's been awhile since I posted something. While I'm riding I think of all these fun, clever things to write about but by the time I reach a computer I'm usually too tired to remember what I was going to say.
As soon as we crossed the Idaho/Montana border people started waving and smiling and giving thumbs up. It's a super biker friendly state. Two nights ago we happened upon Jackson, Montana, population 38. They have a hotspring and lodge there. It was an incredibly magical place and the perfect way to end the day. As soon as we walked in the door to the lodge, this couple called out to us, "hey! you made it!" they had passed us on the way in on their motorcycle. We had a nice long soak in the hot springs and met this really nice family from Idaho. Overall, an excellent day.

We've been biking a lot these past few days. Yesterday we biked 95 miles from Jackson to Alder. Who knew that I could bike 95 miles in just one day? I feel pretty great about it. It wasn't easy, I had a little break down but we persevered because I realized that even if it was getting dark and even if I was so, so tired, I was still going to make it.

Now we're in Ennis, Montana, just for lunch and checking e-mail. It's a cute little town with an old western theme. The ride in was great because it was this big hill at first followed by 10 miles of down hill. So satisfying. The hills just don't seem as big as they used to. I suppose I shouldn't hold my breath because Colorado is still looming.

Well, I think that's all for now. We're on our way towards Western Yellowstone. We should be in Wyoming by tomorrow! Hope everyone is well.
Love to you all,

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Laughing. About something. That happens a lot on this trip.

View from the dashboard.
Welcome to Montana. Big Sky Country.

White Bird Pass, out of White Bird, Idaho 4,000 and some odd number of feet up. You can't see the town but it's the little green area in the valley.

Day 14

We made it to Montana yesterday after a grueling 100 mile ride through the clearwater national wilderness. 66 miles of nothing....nothing.

People in Montana are really nice, they honk, and wave and yell things about how cool we are. It's a really nice welcome coming from Idaho where everyone is kind of unfriendly towards cyclists. We're staying right now in Hamilton, about 50 miles South of Missoula.

Things are going well. Our bodies are working out all the kinks and getting stronger and we're able to bike longer, faster, and harder without the exhaustion that would overtake us in our first week. I'm noticing that we're climbing hills much faster than we were our first few days.

The main obstacles recently have been the mosquitoes , ants and getting enough calories, but thanks to Fast Food America, it's gotten easier.

We've noticed that we can rack up a few thousand calories in one meal with eggs, meat, and pancakes and bike 3-4 hours without being hungry but we still don't feel as "clean". it's hard to describe unless you've been vegan. We're definitely aware that we're not eating as healthy, but we try to eat a fresh fruit or vegetables every day like a pepper, avocado, banana, apple, orange, cucumber....anything fresh. We've been eating candy bars, Dairy Queen's Blizzards, BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs...all the gross stuff that tastes OH SO GOOD. Fat and Sugar are key. We'll usually go through an entire box of Oreo's in a Day. Crazy. I know.

Let's see. What Else? We've seen a lot of things on the road. We saw a HUGE dead moose. A car in a river. Live Elk. Lots and Lots of Deer and Cows.

We met a couple the other day biking from Texas who were from Minnesota. They WERE vegan as well before they starting biking. They made it about 2 weeks without any animal products. Hats off to them. We were done after about 8 days. It's kind of comforting to know we're not sellouts.

I think that's all for now. I hope everyone is well and there will for sure be more to come soon. I'll probably have some better stories to tell on the next post. There's so much inflow of information to the brain that it's hard to sort everything out.

More soon.



Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Staying Strong in Eastern Oregon

I broke my vegan diet. This photo shows me right after I ate the poor little pig and chicken egg that gave their lives so I could be strong and not wither away.
I look pretty happy right? Yes. I was happy because I've been starving on most of this trip and I was finally full. It's only because I have a freakish metabolism. If I were normal I think I could do this trip vegan. I haven't weighed myself but I'm sure I've lost at least 10lbs. Catie said I was beginning to look gaunt and thin. So, I rationalized it this way. It would take about 10 orders of hash browns to get the same amount of calories as was in one breakfast special of a pancake, 2 strips of bacon, and two eggs and several cups of coffee.
But don' t you think for a minute that I won't be vegan the moment I step back in Portland.
I'm only planning on eating bacon and eggs. Bacon, because it's so good and exactly how I remember it tasting. And eggs, well, because they're usually served with bacon and it's cheaper to order them together than al la carte.
Catie and I survived a vicious windstorm the other night. I thought we were going to blow away. I read in the paper today that the Storm had winds of 50mph. Jeez. no wonder I couldn't sleep. It still didn't keep us from biking 80 miles the next day.
That's all for now.
Thanks for the comments chad + caleb.
More to come soon.

Caleb...This ones for you!

Never thought I'd drink this stuff, but it gave me the energy + the jitters to pedal out out hells canyon
Hey Everybody!
We're still in Idaho, still battling the heat but things are great. We're having an incredible time. We climbed this huge hill today that went up and up. There were no cars but as we were creeping so so slowly up the switchbacks we met a real live cowboy and guess what he was herding? COWS. I think that's the closest I've been to a cow since Jen was at OSU.

We're in this funny little cafe in a town called Stites. It's like a tornado picked it up out of Portland and dropped in the rural Idaho. We're just waiting for the weather to cool off a little before heading on to our final destination.

Here are some other important things I wanted to let you all know:
1. I got pooped on by a BARN OWL. That's a once in a lifetime sort of thing, you know?
2. My legs are getting very, very strong.
3. I have a really awkward tan.
4. I ate bacon today--yes sir, I am that hungry.

I think that's all and my time is almost up but I just wanted to let you know that I am doing well and having a pretty great time.