Saturday, August 16, 2008
Sorry for the long delay--it's like one adventure ended and another one started right away.
The final days of our bike trip took us through Tennessee and Virginia. Virginia was more beautiful than I ever imagined and the riding was excellent, small roads and rolling hills, and would have been extraordinary except for the dogs. The dogs were truly awful. We were barked at, snarled at, chased, and snapped at continuously. It was really scary (so, so scary) at first but then I started thinking about how I was going to get through Virginia because I obviously couldn't quit and the dogs were not going to get any better. So I decided that I was going to be bigger and meaner than those dogs and put them in their place. I figured out pretty quickly that if I told them to get back and hush up in a stern tone of voice they almost always listened. I would holler at them and they would stop chasing and turn around and go away. It was a good practice in being assertive.
Our final stop was Forest, VA at Dave's aunt and uncle's house. Their house is very beautiful and we stayed with them for a few days. Willis was in Aruba when we got there but Shelia took really good care of us. We had about 12 hours of down time before our trip shifted from biking to wedding/family events. It's sort of been like the Olympics, except with no medals--just lots of events.
The first event was David Sr's surprise birthday party where I met a lot of Daltons. They're a really fun group--lots of laughing and joking--my kind of people. The second event was the car ride to Syracuse, 9 hours in the car with Dave's uncles, Willis and Mark. They're funny and Dave got picked on a lot, in a loving sort of way.
When we made it to Syracuse it was time for dinner with the bride and groom (Robert and Kellie), the best man, the Uncles, and Carmen and David Sr. Then Dave and I had a beer Robert and the best man and then I went to bed. Now there's shopping to be done, hair to be cut, a wedding to rehearse, another birthday to celebrate--madness, truly.
I do have some profound, interesting thoughts about the bike trip. There are a lot of things that I've learned about myself, about Dave, and the nature and complexities of relationships. I have a new perspective on America and the American way of life, I've thought a lot about cars, food, freeways, scenery, people, kindness, racism, politics, communications, and television. But I can't articulate my thoughts right now because I have to get my hair done and find a dress to wear to a wedding. Hopefully I'll be able to think of way to share with you (my loyal fans) my thinking around this trip but you'll have to be patient.
In the mean time, I miss Portland so much my heart hurts when I think about it. All of you who live in Portland, especially those of you who are like me and have lived there all your lives, are blessed. Portland is an oasis. Thanks Mom and Dad, for raising me in such an incredible community.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Love you all,
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
who knew that America had antelop. this one is a proghorn variety found in most of wyoming....
This is Dave...waking up in Larry's RV in Boone, CO.....
Not sure where this is....taking a break
Catie and the Irish Lads posing for a pre-meal picture. We made spaghetti + coors. What a great combonation...
Taking a break on the side of the road.....somewhere, USA
Dathai, Smoking + biking, a true Irishman.
Two guys we met in Encampment, Wyoming. Can't remember their names, sorry guys!
This guy ( Can't remember his name either) was hiking the Contenental Divide Trail. He's an inspiration because he biked from England all the way to China...via the middle east. Crazy.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Ok, get out your maps of the US. Put one finger on Fairplay, CO. Now go clear to the Kansas/Missouri border--the southeast corner. We're in Pittsburg, a few miles West of the border. That's a long ways away since our last post!
Dave finally got better, thank goodness. We were going to take it easy but we know that Morgan is at home in Portland, waiting for this update on his fancy new phone and we just couldn't bring ourselves to disappoint him so we started riding like crazy and did 380 miles in 4 days. It was awesome.
We didn't get the tail wind we were hoping for but it was ok. Then something crazy happened. Dave got a flat tire, which really isn't that crazy but when we went to fix the tire it turned out that he had actually WORN HOLES in the tire--not the tube--the actual tire. So we patched it up as best we could but nothing was really working and we were wasting tubes and it was quite evident that what we really needed was a new tire. Eventually, and with a little help we made it to Elaine and Dan's Bicycle Oasis B&B in Bazine, KS where we were planning on the staying the night. It was here that we met two really neat Irishmen name Dathai and Cormac. They had an extra tire which they sold us. I got to pet a calf that was less than day old and Elaine cooked an incredible meal for all of us cyclists.
In the morning we headed out with Dathai and Cormac because they were going east, like us, but not on the TransAm. The four of us all got along so incredibly well and we were having so much fun that Dave and I decided to ditch our route and continue on with the Irish boys. We biked with them for three days, making great food, drinking beer and having so much fun. We got completely soaked one day, the most rain we've seen on this trip. We just had a really good time and we were so sad when we had to part.
Once again Dave and I were on our own, pedaling through Kansas when something terrible happened. No, it wasn't the stomach flu or worn out tires or even bad gas station food. It was the K-BURN!! The K-Burn, you're wondering? What on earth is that? Well, I'll tell you. It's the most awful combination of temperatures in excess of 100 degrees paired with 50% or more humidity. It's basically the worse thing ever. I hate biking in the heat. So, we've been doing what seasoned cyclists call "The Night Rider" which is exactly what it sounds like. We wake up at 1am, eat breakfast and hit the road, covered head to toe in blinking lights and reflective gear. Extreme, I know, but necessary.
That's all for now. We'll upload some images when we get to Clarksville, TN.
Catie + Dave