Monday, June 30, 2008

30 Day Review

Am currently in Dillon Montana, 2028 miles into the trip. Started the day with a climb over a couple of 7000 foot passes, then rode through the Big Hole Valley of Montana and ended the day with a couple of passes before Dillon. Long day, great scenery.

The Big Hole Valley was spectacular. It is a 75 mile long, 35 mile wide valley surrounded on all sides by mountains. It was the "summer home" for the Flathead Indians for generations. The Big Hole National Battlefield is located in the valley. The Battlefield is the location that Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians were attacked by the US Army and shortly thereafter they were forced to give up their journey to evade conflict with the US. Approximately 70 years earlier the Nez Perce had been instrumental in helping Lewis and Clark complete their journey across the Mountains of Idaho and had given them horses and food so they would survive the bitter winter of 1805.

Meet two individual riders from the UK within 30 minutes of each other both doing separate cross country rides.

It is June 30th and the first month of the trip is over. Highlights include:

--2028 miles traveled throughout Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Montana.

--Replaced one tire, one wheel and one Bicycle.

--Met over 175 other cross country riders including riders from the Netherlands, the UK and Germany.

--Spent the first 11 days riding in rain and snow. Weather since mid-June has been great.

--Taken over 400 pictures.

--Have ridden approximately 170 hours, consumed and burned approximately 150,000 calories, most of which are carbs, and drank at least 30 gallons of liquids while riding.

--Met some real characters, ate some great food and visited numerous small communities of 500 or less people.

The trip to date has been everything I expected and then some.

Advice for the day--"If you are going to leave, do it while you still have some looks." Quote on the "specials" board at a restaurant in Wisdom Montana.

If you haven't made a pledge or a donation to the Panhandle Alliance for Education, please consider doing so. The ride is to support their early childhood literacy program. I can't think of a better cause than helping our young kids be ready for a life of learning. Remember, our children are our future!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Rocky Mountains

In Missoula Mont., 1836 miles into the trip.

Began the Rocky Mountain portion of the trip yesterday through the rugged mountains of Idaho and crossed over Lolo pass today. Yes, that is a picture of snow at the summit of Lolo pass.

Did you know that Idaho has the most white water rapids in the lower 48 states. Saw numerous rafters and kayakers yesterday on the Clearwater and Lochas Rivers.

Someone forgot to tell the geese they should stay off the road! Two days ago it was the cattle, yesterday geese.

Walked through a stand of old growth cedars today. The tree in the picture above is estimated to be 3000 years old. Absolutely amazing to walk amoung trees ranging in age from 1300 to 3000 years, makes you realize how our short time on Earth really is.

Lots of Lewis and Clark historical sites the last couple of days. Their journey was incredible, at the same time, it has been interesting learning about the Native American cultures and trade that existed for hundreds of years before Lewis and Clark set foot in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains.

Have meet several interesting cross country riders the last couple of days, a couple from the Netherlands yesterday and another couple doing the trip on a tandem bike. If anyone has ever ridden any length of time on a tandem, you know how strong your relationship has to be to endure months of tandem riding!

Taking tomorrow off to enjoy some time with my wife who drove over from Sandpoint, then on the road Sunday heading to West Yellowstone.

Parting question--Did you know that 100 million years ago Idaho was part of the West Coast?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Currently in Kooskia Idaho, small little berg of about 200 people. The one and only motel in town has wireless internet access. Long day today, 123 miles.

Some great scenery and some other interesting photo opportunities. Anyone want to buy a mining claim, note the phone number in the picture for those interested. The area code is 208.

Passed the point of half way between the equator and the North Pole just outside of New Meadows Id. A real highlight of the day!

Had to share the road today with a herd of long-horn cattle.

1674 miles into the trip for those keeping score. Met another rider today who had started in York Penn and one who had started in Minneapolis.

Quote of the day--"If you want to save face, keep the lower part shut". Restaurant sign in Council Id.

All the best.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back In Idaho

Haven't had internet access the last couple of days, camping in Oxbow Oregon and in New Meadows Id last night. Currently in McCall Idaho, off the route taking a rest day, doing laundry, sending excess stuff home, etc. 1552 miles 24 days into the trip for those of you keeping score.

Spent the last couple of days riding through Hell's Canyon and following the Snake River or it tributaries. Incredible scenery and little traffic. Very quiet and peaceful.

Upcoming three days will be some of the most remote scenic areas of Idaho. Hope to be in Missoula Mont. late Friday or Saturday afternoon.

Off to explore the McCall area!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Eastern Oregon

Am currently in Baker City Oregon. Will begin one of the least populated portions of the trip tomorrow on my way through Idaho to Missoula Mont. Unlikely to have internet access for the next several days.

Three mountain passes today, none to difficult, just a lot of climbing. Rained this afternoon.

Lots of bicyclists in Baker City. It is the Elkhorn Classic this weekend in Baker City, a four stage bicycle race and there are the same 50+ bicyclists with the America by Bicycle tour that have been riding the route I am on. They will be heading South to Boise tomorrow and I will be off to Missoula. Ultimately, we could meet again as we are both headed to Jackson Wy.

The only internet access I have tonight is a computer in a motel lobby, thus no pictures to post.

Ride on!

Friday, June 20, 2008


In John Day Oregon this evening, 1370 miles into the ride. Stayed at a Hostel in Mitchell Oregon last night, didn't have cellular service, much less internet access. A number of cross country riders at the hostel as well as several different couples from Europe traveling throughout the U.S. Interesting discussions over dinner and beers from the local general store.

The landscape has changed from the wet rain forest of the coast and Western Cascades to a dry high desert mountain plateau. Temps were in the 90's today, it was great! Stopped at the John
Day national fossil center and learned about Central Oregon being one of the best fossil hunting areas in the world. 45+ million years ago, the entire area was a lush, tropical area. Several major climate changes (including global warming) and shifting earth crusts have resulted in the current environment.

Have been over two passes the last two days with three more tomorrow on my way to Baker City. Took some great pictures of the mountains around the Bend Oregon area yesterday morning.

Lot of cross country riders on the route, some on their own, some small supported groups and 2 large supported groups of about 50 riders each.

Thanks to several people who gave me good luck items to take along on the trip. I have decided I am truly blessed. I escaped a major accident on Sunday unhurt, found a great new replacement bike and today I lost my glasses out of my bag while I was taking a picture. Someone in one of the large cycling groups found them and I recovered them this evening.

Thought for the day--"Stay focused on the road ahead".

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Great Day in the Cascades

Great day today. Weather was sunny, wind was generally at my back and I got some great pictures. Had a wonderful dinner this evening with a former business associate and his family who live in Bend Oregon. Had the best sourdough chocolate cake and vanilla bean ice cream desert! Good thing I rode about 90 miles today with a mountain pass for a climb.

Ever wonder where green eggs come from? Now you know, they are sold at a little farm outside of Eugene Oregon. Not sure if they also sell ham to go with the green eggs.

Couldn't resist getting a picture of the shoes on the power line. Picture with all the rock is actually from an old lava flow. Took this very near the summit of Santium Pass in the Cascades.

Lastly, the new bike is working great. About the same performance of the old bike, maybe a little heavier.

For those of you keeping score for the Panhandle Alliance and their fundraising efforts, I am now about 1128 miles into the trip. That would equate to $11.28 for those of you who pledged a penny a mile. For those who haven't pledged, please do so, the cause is great and what better thing to do than help our young children get ready for school.

For those of you who wonder what I do or think about for 7-10 hours a day on the bike, I spend most of the time watching for glass on the road in the next 20-30 feet in front of my bike to avoid flat tires!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On the Road Again

Kudos to Troy at Santiam Bicycle Shop in Salem Oregon. Troy, one of the shop owners, found me a terrific touring bike and spent the entire day Monday until 8:00 pm putting it together so I could get back on the road. Left Salem this morning and am currently in Eugene Oregon, approximately 1020 miles into the trip. Other than being a little sore, all the old body parts functioned well today.

Weather has been nice and sunny, temps in the mid to high 60's. Had a beautiful ride through Oregon farm country today. Tomorrow I start with a 4000-4500 climb and then will be into the central part of Oregon which appears to be pretty sparsely populated.

Got some great pictures today; however, don't have access to the net other than through a public computer in a hotel lobby and I can't down load from my camera.

Thanks to everyone who called yesterday and today inquiring about my condition after the accident. It is great to know so many people are following my trip and the concern that has been expressed.

May the wind be at your back!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Oregon Coast

Some awesome scenery the last couple of days along the Oregon coast. Great weather today, sunny from early in the morning until the late afternoon. 950 miles into the trip.

Today started out great, unfortunately, after about 60 miles a Westbound car decided to turn into me while I was going Eastbound on the shoulder of the highway about 30 miles West of Salem Oregon. I hit the car broadside on the passenger side and went flying over the car from the impact. As you can see the bike didn't fair too well and I am afraid the frame is a total loss. Got a ride into Salem and hoping to find a new bike tomorrow. Fortunately for me, I am all in one piece, a little sore, nothing broken other than the bike.

That is not snow in the above picture, it is sand as in sand dunes!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Recovery Day

.Spent the day in Astoria taking in the History of the oldest U.S. settlement West of the Miss. Toured the Columbia River Maritime Museum this morning. Lots of history regarding the shipping and fishing industry on the Columbia River System. As an added bonus, I toured the U.S. Coast Guard Tall Ship the Barque Eagle which was moored in Astoria this weekend. It was a WWII "war prize" that the U.S. acquired from Germany. The Germans built the ship in 1936. Today it is used as a training ship for the Coast Guard. The ship travels all over the world and happened to be in Astoria for the weekend. All men and women who attend the Coast Guard Academy sail at one time or another on the ship.

Tonight, at the suggestion of Dave Gunter, I attended the graduation ceremonies of Clatsop Community College. The reason for attending is to get a chance to see the restored Liberty Theatre. The Liberty is much like the Panida and is a grand old place. Thanks to Dave for the recommendation.

Much of original Astoria was built over the river for easy access to the water. The picture above is of old remaining pilings.

Had to replace the rear wheel of my bike today.

Off to the Oregon Coast tomorrow morning heading to Eugene before heading East to Idaho and Montana.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

At last, the Sun!!!!!!!!!

There is a sun!!! After 11 days of riding mostly in cloudy rainy conditions the sun finally came out as I was leaving Washington this morning. Short day today from Cathlamet Wa to Astoria Oregon. Arrived in Astoria at about noon and immediately went to Fort Clatsop, the winter resting place of Lewis and Clark in from November 1805 through March 1806. Fascinating to walk in the area that was first explored by Lewis and Clark over 200 years ago.

Astoria has an amazing amount of history that I hope to take in tomorrow. It is the oldest U.S. settlement West of the Rocky Mountains, founded in 1811 by John Jacob Astor who sent fur traders to establish a trading post. It is a city of 10,000 located on the Columbia River, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. The area was first visited by Capt. Robert Gray in 1792.

Took lots of pictures today, some of which are posted above. Note the bird in the upper left of the photo of the Columbia River as I was entering Astoria.

Last Couple of Days in Washington

The last couple of days continued the pattern of wet rainy weather. Crossed the Hood Canal Turesday, a 1 and 1/2 narrow bridge with high wind gusts. Spent yesterday cycling through logging and hilly farm country. While the ride down the 16% grade was a fun 1/2 mile, the ride to get to the top was one of the toughest I have ever done. From a climbing perspective yesterday was every bit as tough as a day in the Northern Cascades.

Stayed in a great B&B last night in Cathlamet Wa.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A bit of History

Rode approximately 90 miles today. Crossed the Hood Channel, a 1 and 1/2 mile floating bridge, narrow and windy! First 60 miles were very hilly with a strong headwind. Last 30 miles were through farm country with a tailwind.

Am staying at the Olympic Club Hotel in Centralia, Wa. tonight. The hotel was built in 1908 and was famous for its gambling, revenue agent raids during prohibition and a bandit's bravado. My room was the favorite of Jack Sicutto, an alleged famous Northwestern bootlegger and a fight promoter during the 1930's. Not sure how I will sleep tonight as my room is over the stage for the band which is rocking like crazy!

Another cold, wet day. Weather is supposed to turn tomorrow and be warmer and dry.

Thanks to Mike and Melissa for a great dinner in Anacortes on Saturday. Good to catch up with an old friend.

Having trouble uploading any pictures today, will have to wait until the next day I have an internet connection.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


afe, in historic Port Hadlock Wa overlooking the Sound. At the rate I am going I am gaining weight.
Left Anacortes this afternoon after getting a new computer (odometer) for my bike. Began heading South toward Astoria, Oregon, the winter resting point for Lewis and Clark. Enjoying history, I can't wait to get to Astoria. Weather was cool today, no rain. Short ride of approximately 50 miles and now about 530 miles into the ride. For those of you who pledged a penny a mile to PAFE that is $5.30.

Just had a great meal at AJAX cafe in historic Port Hadlock Wa. overlooking boats on the Sound, listening to a great piano player. I happened upon the place simply by chance. Turns out it is rated as one of the best places in the entire region. Had a wonderful discussion with the owner about the challenges of running a great restaurant in a small community. At the rate I am going I will actually gain weight. Too many great little restaurants.

Tremendous amount of history in the area, ranging from the Spanish explorers to Lewis and Clark.

Got a great view of the water at Deception Pass (above).

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Week in review

Rain, snow, temperatures in the 30's and 40's, it doesn't get any better!

Have had a great time other than the weather. Twisp Wa. is a smaller version of Sandpoint. Spent Wednesday evening at the local brew pub listening to a great jazz group eating Thai food. Did my first century ride of the trip on Thursday, climbing two passes riding the entire day in rain and snow. Had probably the best warm shower of my life after not being able to feel my fingers and riding for almost 11 hours. Stayed at a restored hotel/B&B built in the mid-1800's. It was the last stop for miners going into the Cascades to seek their fortune. Made it to Anacortes yesterday and am planning on spending today and tomorrow touring the area, taking the ferry to the San Juan Islands, meeting a friend from Tacoma and having the bike tuned. Already have gone through one tire from hitting a beer on the highway. Didn't see the beer crossing sign on the highway until it was too late. In reality, I didn't have enough pressure in my rear tire which combined with the weight of my gear caused the tire to go bad.

Have meet some great people along the way, many with ties or knowledge of Sandpoint. Came across 20-25 people heading East on the Northern Tier route on their way to Maine. On Monday I start down the Pacific Coast route to Astoria Oregon.

Congratulations to Aidan Feuer for being the youngest rider to ride in the Panhandle Alliance's fund raiser from Sandpoint to Newport last Sunday. Aidan is 8 years old and rode the 36 miles in the rain on his mountain bike. His determination and courage should admired by all. No more excuses from anyone who say they can't ride or raise money for PAFE's early childhood literacy program!!!!!

Quotes for the day--"They call it a rain forest for a reason"; from Terry at the Methow Inn in Twisp Wa. "Two of life's best comforts, good food and a hug"; painted on the wall of the Calico Cupboard.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Twisp Washington

Made it over three passes yesterday and today. Mostly cloudy, overcast and rainy. The sun is actually shining this afternoon, more rain expected tomorrow. One more pass to go before heading to the Pacific. The old legs are doing well, knees on the other hand are sore after all the climbing the last two days.

I'm staying at a wonderful old hotel in Twisp that has been turned into a B&B. A little nicer than the Junction Inn I stayed at last night.

Nice picture of Mel's Drive-In. Not much in North Central Washington as you can tell from the landspace, actually one of the many back country roads I have been on. It was taken right before the climb up Loup Loup Pass.

Off to find some pasta tonight.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm in Kettle Falls Wa., approximately 150 miles from the start. Cold and wet weather yesterday and today. Hoping for sunshine tomorrow.

Took several great pictures today including the one on the right. Still learning how to use blogger and transfer pictures from my camera.

Found a great little organic food store today with wifi access to the internet. I even figured out how to access it!!!

Thanks to everyone who rode with me to Newport Wa. Over $800 was raised for the Panhandle Alliance for Education's early childhood literacy program. Over $10,000 has been pledged for the program and we are just beginning the fundraising efforts. Thanks to everyone for the support. The children will be very appreciative.

Plan to tackle two passes tomorrow and about 90 miles.