Monday, May 30, 2011


Saturday night, I was attacked after I put up camp. It was some crazy animal. It had a coat 6 inches thick, pure white. It was howling and growling the entire night at me, and kept shaking the tent like crazy. I wasn't bothered by it until I woke up. It had a bite that got me straight to the bone. It somehow managed to nick my front tire too, which was left outside the tent over night, so the air was super low when I woke up. I didn't see him while I was packing up the tent that morning, but he followed me for a good 15 miles. He wouldn't dang leave me alone. It was pretty stupid. I ended up hitching a ride for about 7 miles in a truck, to get away from him. We turned a corner around a mountain, and he was just gone after that. In the clear and good to go.

I got dropped off at Split Rock Cafe. So far, my favorite cafe of the trip. Miss Kris was my waitress and actually provided good advice for my trip. The route I had sucked pretty bad. There was a 200 mile section with absolutely nothing on it. We deemed that as "unsafe and stupid to ride alone." It turns out I am on the TransAmerican Bike Route right now, so I decided to follow that sucker to Denver. I have about 240 miles left till I reunite with Fletcher.

At the cafe, I got a full stack of pancakes. They were legitimately 13 inches wide, and and inch thick apiece. It came with three. Very few meals I have had on the trip have filled me up after I finished them, but that was a whole lotta pancake in my belly. I spent an extra hour there researching the route and getting dry. I order a couple roast beef sandwiches for the road for Linner...(lunch/dinner). These sandwiches weren't deli meat like I thought. They were thick cuts of roast beef, tons of fixin's, and a couple slices of bacon on each one. I still can't believe how good it was. Thank you Split Rock Cafe for being great, I award you best cafe West of the Continental Divide.

I booked it to Rawlins after I left Jeffrey City (where the cafe was.) It was really flat and I had a ton of tail wind. I did 66 miles in about 4 hours. I got an awesome phone call from Brooke George as she was driving back to Florida. It was really great to catch up with her and see how she is doing.

I am now staying at a KOA campground. I burnt my tongue all the way across the middle of it last night before bed. I forgot that metal gets hot when you heat it, and tried to take a sip of tea out of the pan before it cooled. I am stupid.

4% battery life means I gotta go.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sat- Sorry, no clever or witty title today guys.

Well last night, I found a little tunnel under the road for cattle. The side with the cattle on it was blocked off, so I slept right at the foot of the tunnel. It was a super good guard from the wind and the noise from cars. I had an incredible quiet time and slept like a baby. I woke up to a snow covered tent which was a little upset. I hate being cold when I have been warm all night. So I put on all of winter gear and started breaking down camp. That didn't take long, but I really was super cold. I got on the bike and headed to Farson as fast as I could. I didn't have any breakfast stuff with me, so I just wanted to eat. I munched on a Clif bar for a while as I headed in. I found out that I was a little closer to town than I anticipated, so I actually biked about 100 miles yesterday.

The first (and almost only) building in Farson was the cafe, Mike's. I went in around 10 to grab some breakfast. Hot coffee was a good start, and when I talked to the waitress, I heard it was 28 degrees the night before. That would explain the snow. Mike's was a tad bit over priced in my opinion. The food was great though. I got the "Chef's mess". It is hashbrowns, green peppers, onions, cheese, and ham with three eggs scrambled into it. All in a mess. And then a bunch of sourdough bread to go with it. The waitress was pretty surprised that I ate all of it. She says about one in twenty people can put down the whole thing. (I'll be honest with you, I was so hungry I could have easily eaten half of another, and if I wanted to make myself a little bit queasy, could have put down another whole one, I just didn't have the money for that.) I left to them making a banana creme pie, which is good, because if I stayed another 2 minutes until it was finished, I would have bought a piece. It was gigantic and delicious looking.

I started on the next highway of this leg and did a lot of gradual climbing through deserts. My favorite part of this ride was a group of about 20 or so bob-tailed deer. They ran beside me, on the other side of the fence, for a good 15 miles. About an hour worth of riding. That was pretty sick. I kept on climbing and got to the Continental Divide. This part made my day. I have always wanted to be there, and then it just popped up on me. I thought it would be relatively down hill after that, but I ended up with another hour of climbing after that. I had to go through another pass, which was fun. It wasn't super hard. There was no elevation sign, but I believe it was around 9000 feet above sea level. I don't know why, but I haven't had any trouble breathing up here. So that is a huge blessing. After climbing all day, I finally got some downhills I got to crush. It was a 7% grade for almost 8 miles. That went by in no time at all. Near the tail end of the descent I came over a little ridge, and there was the Red Canyon. My jaw just dropped. It was incredible. I stood there looking at that thing for a good half hour.

I partially wish I wasn't on such a tight deadline for this trip. I definitely get to see a ton. But at points, I wish I didn't have to arrive at SC. I wish I could just go explore on the bike. No where to go, just go. Maybe some other time.

I made it to the next highway and rode about 7 miles. My legs were super dead. I have gone about 85 miles today. I crawled up this hill to set up camp for the night. It is in a little valley between two hills. I am out of view of the road, and on the other side of the tent are the Bridger Wilderness mountains that I have been crawling through all day. It is breathtaking. Freeze dried food for dinner, with a glass of hot peppermint tea. A quite time and time for bed. I can't complain.

It is views like the one I am looking at right now that make me wish I had a few of my boys around, and a pipe of tobacco to enjoy with them. Oh well, good thing I never want to smoke a pipe again after looking at what that crap does to your lungs when I was at the Bodies exhibit in Idaho Falls.

Still wish the boys were here.

Don't you just love...

... When Lucy and Colby let you make breakfast from their fridge, even when they weren't there. Yummy, eggs and peanut butter toast.

...Miss Sherry, the nicest lady ever. I can't wait to visit her again.

...When you fix your bike without breaking something else on it in the process.

...When an 80% chance of snow all day turns out to be blue skies and sunny.

...meeting German solo bikers riding in a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. Good luck Klaus.

...When you expected a hard day, and then day ended up being super easy and flat.

... When more than one of your good friends call you, not to talk about the trip, but just to talk because they miss your voice.

...When a cop pulls you over for going 33 in a 30, and asks you, "why were you speeding, son?"

...When the lady serving you at Subway doubles everything just because you were nice to her, and she still only charges you 5 dollars for the largest sub you've ever had at a Subway.

...when the free Super Gaiter that Sheila gave you from the KLU inventory ends up saving your chapped lips, and doubling as a hat to keep your ears warm at night.

...talking to both sets of grandparents, your parents, and your baby sister.

...when people stop to ask if everything is alright, even though you are only taking a pee break. So awkward.

...when what you thought was a 90 mile day, was actually a 100 mile day.

...when you can't get a smile off your face for the entire day, just because you know how much the Lord has blessed you.

...when semi trucks move all the way over to the other lane, and the pocket of air that travels behind them give you an extra little uumph as they pass by.

...the smell of fresh cut grass.

...when your chapped lips are still healing, even though you have lost 4 purchases of Carmax.

... riding bikes. Life.

-yah, me too. Welcome to my day, Friday, May 27.



Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Valley

Oh, Today. Words can't describe how good today was, but I will do my best. I woke up and it was snowing. What a great start. I love the snow. It wasn't a bad snow, just light flurries, which were really pretty. I wrote yesterday's blog, then headed down to the restaurant to find Miss Sherry. She asked if I would go with her to town and I told her sure (I mean, what else was I going to do?) I drove her to the elementary school for a parent teacher conference, and she told me how to get to downtown Jackson. I drove down there and got to see the giant, elk antler arches on the square in downtown, they were so cool. I went to a local coffee/bagel place called Pearl Street Bagels. I ordered an asiago cheese bagel with homemade sun-dried tomato cream cheese, and a cappuccino. Oh my. So so so yummy. And the girl put my order in wrong, so I only payed 3 dollars. I told her it wasn't right, and she told me not to worry about it. I think she liked me. Just kidding. But seriously.

I walked around, went to a couple shops, bought some postcards, then headed back to pick up Miss Sherry from the school. We went to the grocery store to pick up some stuff for the barbeque dinner they have on Thursday nights for the restaurant.

Came back to the Camp Creek, and helped her unload everything. She told me how to get to the parks, and just let me borrow her car to go out and explore. So explore I did. I was gone for four hours. I got lost. Got found. Got out of the car. Got lost on foot. Got to explore a river valley. Got lost again. Got to see wild animals. I mean, seriously, it was really great. I went and did some hiking in the back of Gros Ventre National Forrest. I saw wild buffalo, tons of birds, snow capped mountains. It was so beautiful. I drove around with the windows down, and the music blaring, just enjoy the Kingdom. I really could see myself living out here sometime. Every single time I see the Tetons, the only thing I imagine is climbing them. I know for sure I will be back, just to climb those suckers. That is all I really want to do right now. I know it's not super possible due to my time constraints, but I want to SO bad.

Anyways, I came back to Camp Creek, and did a little hiking in the back yard. There is an elk refuge behind the little mountain behind the buildings that I got to go exploring through. I then came back and asked Miss Sherry if she needed help doing anything preparing for tonight's dinner (they just recently bought Camp Creek Inn and are redoing the restaurant, so are in the process of learning and redoing the meals here.) I ended up getting to serve her by cleaning and straightening for two and a half hours. It was really great. For one, it was awesome to just get to love her and her family by helping out with their new business. For two, I felt like I actually got to do something to deserve all the hospitality she has given me in the last two days.

I finished up and had some rockin' barbeque. They have this stuff called Camp Creek Crunch. It is the desert. Essentially, it is graham cracker, caramel, almond chocolate ice cream, and butterfingers on top. It is super addicting, so I had a huge chunk of that for desert. When Lucy (Colby's wife) came home from work at the hospital, we went and played with her pet chickens. We dug up worms and fed them. It was pretty funny. I then played soccer with one of Miss Sherry's daughters and her friends. That was super hilarious. I just held a cup of tea while running around like a little kid again.

If any guys that read this are interested in being a counselor for Miss Sherry at Camp Living Water out here in Wyoming, let me know immediately. Will Cannon did it a couple of summers ago and loved it. I strongly encourage all you dudes that don't have serious plans yet to consider working out here. You won't be let down, I promise.

Anyways, I also got to go act really awkward to one of the family friends that was in for dinner for her birthday. She just turned sixteen. Miss Sherry convinced me to go to her with a bouquet of flowers and essentially profess my love for her. I didn't really want to. But did anyways. For a high schooler, she was incredibly witty and clever. I was pleasantly surprised she went along with it so well. I know if a creepy bearded guy came up to me with flowers in a restaurant, I might be slightly weirded out. Probably a 9 on a 10 scale of weirdness. But she gave me a hug, and went along right with it. So that was great.

Overall, I didn't need to take today off. I probably should have headed to Denver since it ended up being a nice day. But I just can't get over how blessed I have been with meeting such incredible people. This family is outstanding. I have learned a ton just by being in the presence of them and the Keefe's in the last couple days. I know how I want to treat people when I am in a position to offer hospitality like they have. It has been eyeopening. So thank you both for that. I am bummed I have to leave such a beautiful place and beautiful families, but I do have to get home eventually. Rain or shine. But I am so excited to get on the road again and pedal like never before. Seriously, wait until you see the pictures from today later this year. It is prettier than you can imagine. And the photos don't do them justice. Not even in the slightest.

So bring on the reign!

Up and Up

Yesterday was a great day. A great, great day. I got up at 7 to get ready, and planned to be out the door by 9. Kev left a message saying to me that the first pass I needed to get through into Jackson (there are two) is super dangerous. There is no shoulder, it is really windy, and it is heavily trafficked. So he asked Sheila to drive me North for a while, so I could come up the valley in between those two passes. So we decided to do that. Don't worry, I still did the hard climb.

When we were getting ready to leave, Sheila had made a whole batch of cookies for me, breakfast burritos for breakfast, and packed lunch for us. Seriously, she is one of the kindest people I know. We drove up into that valley and had a little picnic with her granddaughter, right at the foot of the Teton mountains. The weather was 70 degrees and sunny.

I started biking. It was about 20 uneventful miles till I started the climb through the pass. By uneventful, I mean a gorgeous valley ride between two huge mountain ranges only a mile away on both sides. I would stop every now and then to munch on the the leftover steak that Sheila made me take with me. I stopped at the foot of it and repaired my front rear fender. It got bent out of shape pretty bad. I then left, without putting it back on. I just left it on the side of the road. I have no idea why that happened. Now I am a little upset by it, because it is predicted to rain for the next week. IDIOT.

I started the climb for the Teton Pass. I could not get this stupid smile off my face for some reason. I was so excited. The pass is a 10% grade, for 4 miles, up to about 9000 feet (almost). If you don't know what a 10% grade looks like, lift your eyes from your computer and find the nearest wall. Now imagine biking up that, cause that is what it is like. My first two climbing gears were out of wack too, so I didn't even have a climbing gear to work with. It was pretty stupid how hard/ long it took me to climb that. It was unbelievable. Climbing over the top of the ridge to look down into Jackson Hole valley was the most beautiful part of the trip so far.

Going down was one of the worst parts. A 10% grade into really windy hills is super hard to do when your bike is fully loaded and there are cars zipping by you at 50 miles per hour. I never once got to let it out. It was too gravely in the corners, I would have been toast. At the bottom I got a flat. I fixed the flat, rode about 3 miles, and got another flat. Jackson is a super bike friendly area, but seriously, I was pretty mad I got two flats so close to each other. Livid. Clean up the shoulders Jackson.

I rolled up to Camp Creek Inn. It is owned by Miss Sherry, who owns the camp that Will Cannon worked at a couple summers ago. He talked to one of his friends, Colby, who is the assistant camp director, to get me a place to stay. Sherry put me up in one of the cabins for as long as I want. She also got me some dinner, (taco night at the restaurant). We talked about Will Cannon and how much of a goon he is for about an hour. It was super fun.

I played with some baby chickens that Lucy and Colby bought. I've never played with chickens. Kit, I think we should get chickens for the house next year.

I am going to take another off day today. My legs feel great and I am not really tired, but I am not going to be in Jackson for a while, and would love to explore town. Sherry is letting me borrow their extra car for the day to go. So I will let you know how that goes.

Oh, and it is snowing right now. It is almost June. Good work Jackson, good work.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Day Off/A Day of Awesomeness

I woke up yesterday morning and wrote the previous day's blog post. I didn't really bother to check the weather. Kev did for me before he left for work though. I ended up not biking yesterday at all. It was cold and rainy. They closed the campsites I was going to stay at due to flooding of the Snake River. And there are only two ways into Jackson, WY. One way is closed due to a mud slide, the other was snowing. I said, "Time for a day off."

I hung out at the Keefe's house all morning. Around 11 we ended up leaving to go to a local soup kitchen to serve at for an hour and a halfish. This was awesome. I just got ingredients for more food and cleaned a couple tables. But it was so great getting the opportunity to serve on my day off.

Danielle (the Keefe's daughter) babysat me all day. She took me to Walmart so I could restock on groceries. We also got to go see the Bodies Exhibit at the local museum. I missed going to see it when it was back in Charlotte a couple years ago. That was pretty awesome. It was cool seeing how crazy the body is. If you ever get the chance to go see that exhibit, I HIGHLY recommend it. It is cool.

Danielle, Ryan, and I then went to a local sub place called The Sandwich Tree. 7 Dollars. A sub that was 14 inches long and 4 inches wide (I ordered a 12 inch). Roastbeef, Bacon, Pastrami, Cheese, and a whole assortment of vegetable goodies. That was one of the best subs I have ever had. Ever.

So here is the deal with being in pretty good shape, and in the middle of a very large bike trip. Your metabolism goes through the roof. This is good, because when we got home, they had dinner almost finished. They actually made me a steak dinner. That's crazy. I haven't had a steak dinner in ages. I was blown away. Also, I thought, "you idiot, why did I eat so much. I am an idiot." We sat down about fifteen minutes after I got back.

I had a whole steak, salad, and double helpings of some super delicious green beans.
Thank you so much bike metabolism. I just ate enough for three people in the span of 35 minutes. And I could have eaten desert.

Time to get to Jackson. 104 miles. Two passes. Today.

Let's Rock.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What an awesome day.

So as you know, yesterday wasn't the most eventful of days. It was actually pretty boring. Well today was quite the opposite. To start, I woke up and saw another rain cloud. It was supposed to be 60-70% chances of rain. I packed up the tent and all the gear in about 20 minutes and took off. I am not really sure if I was supposed to check out from the campground. But I didn't. So it doesn't matter anymore.

The riding yesterday was actually equally as uneventful. It was a 70 mile day from Arco to Idaho Falls. I expected to go farther but I was pretty tired, I talked to a bunch of people on the phone, and I GOT A FLAT TIRE. WOOHOO. I was pretty pumped. I have never changed my own tire before with tire irons. I had no idea how to use them. So I just sat down on the side of the road to figure them out. (my fixed gear wheel set is Alexrims, and you can change tires by hand with that brand.) There was a huge HUGE rainstorm ahead of me, so this was just a delay to the inevitable of riding through it and a pretty strong headwind. Anyways. Three cars saw me and pulled over to ask me if I needed help. They were all cool older guys who used to bike, and I got to talk to them all for a little bit of time. But I politely refused as I struggled to remember how change the tire properly. It was a small struggle, but my favorite accomplishment of the trip. I just lifted it in the air and started yelling when I finished. I was so pumped up. I hadn't been paying attention, but when I looked up, rainstorm was gone. It was sunny and I had a tail wind. I don't know how that happened. But it did. So thank you Jesus for that one.

I finished up the ride in pretty good weather. I was about five miles from Idaho Falls, ID. I was getting pumped to get some dinner, when I saw a car about a hundred yards in front of me pulled over with the blinkers on, with a guy on a cell phone waving me over. His name is Kev Keefe. I went over and he asked me where I was headed. I didn't really know the answer to that so I just kind of pointed in the general direction. He asked me if I wanted a yard to put a tent up in for the night and I said sure. He was on the phone with his wife, Sheila. He invited me to their church for dinner for the evening, they were making quilts for kids in other countries. I was like "heck yah, how do I get there?"

I got directions and headed over to the church about 6 miles away. Idaho Falls is aptly named. They also have a waterfall running through the middle of the city like Greenville does. Idaho Falls is not as tall, but the river is a lot lot bigger. So the falls were way wider. I stopped and took some cool pictures of a giant tree lodged in one of the falls.

I got to the church and met Sheila. She had homemade soup with some super-food vegetable that I can't remember the name of, but was SOOO good. I ate four bowls I think. She also had a platter of fruits, veggies, and cheese laid out, which I also pounced on. The food was great. I didn't really get to help make quilts, but I did help carry some materials for them, so I called that helping.

We drove back to the Keefe's house for the night and I was talking to Kev. He works at the I N L out in the desert. But on the side, he and Sheila make these awesome winter hats. They own this company called KLU Mountain Outerwear. Seriously, check these hats out. They are pretty cheap and they are super cool. I am planning on buying one as soon as I am home. You need to as well. Kev makes all his own winter outwear. Which is crazy. I think that is something that I wouldn't mind trying to figure out. The plastic buckle on my stuff sack for my sleeping bag was shattered. He took it off, put a new one on, and resewed it back. I mean, come one, that is awesome.

I ended up joining them in a little devotional time before bed, and got to talk some real talk with Sheila and Danielle (their daughter). That was much needed and great. I really like this family a lot. They have done so much for me in the last 12 hours, it is pretty unreal. Kev even sat me down with a map, and routed me the best way to get to Jackson, due to wind and road problems. So today I am about to bike a little father than planned, but get to roll for 20 miles next to the Teton Mountains. So I can not wait for that.

Kev really wanted to write on my blog, so I just gave him the computer (which explains my last post, that was from him.) He was super pumped about giving me a place to stay. He used to be a road biker too.

Overall, yesterday was one of my favorite days without a doubt. I am pumped to get to Jackson in two days, and my legs feel pretty good.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Idaho Falls Layover

On the way home from work today I stopped to offer this cool guy, Daniel, a place to stay. You see I have always wanted to offer a place of refuge to cross country bikers, I remember when I rode "BikeCentenial 76" back in 1976 and was very grateful for all of the hospitality I received from people as I rode from Norfolk to Ste Genevieve, Mo. So now my wish is fulfilled. I hope to do this more often. Daniel, best wishes for the trip! P.S. Mom and Dad, don't worry, he's in Gods hands.

-Kevin Keefe

Fundraising Opportunity

Hey guys, just a quick question for help from y'all. As I was getting sun burned in the high desert yesterday, I had a quick thought about using this trip as a fundraising technique. The only reason I thought of that is there are a lot more people following this trip than I anticipated. (I was thinking it would be in the 10-15 range, I am off by a lot actually.)

SO, here is the deal. The reason I am biking so long, and so hard, and solo, is to get back to Clemson U. in time to take some of my highschool friends to camp. We go to YL camp in Colorado, on June 29th (yes, we take a bus almost directly along the same route I will be biking along for 4 weeks, greeeat.) This is a life changing opportunity for all of them. Since camps are not really the cheapest of things, I would love for you all to get involved. It is hard to get that kind of money in high school. Since I am not in Clemson to help with fundraising, this could be a super good opportunity to raise it. (Keep in mind none of this money goes to this trip, I have already had this paid for. It also doesn't cover my camp fees, which I have already covered. It goes only to the highschooler's camp costs.)

SOOO. If you feel financially able, or just really want to, I would love for y'all to donate moneys per mile of my trip. The total trip is 3300 miles. So if you donated a penny per mile, that's $33. If you wanted to donate a dollar per mile, that is $3300. That is your choice. (I vote for the dollar/ mile, I am just saying)

If you do want to help, you can send checks to:

Young Life Tri-County
PO Box 512
Anderson , SC 29622-0512

Make them out to Tri-County Young Life.

Make sure in the memo line you write: DW DANIEL HIGHSCHOOL BOYS-CAMP
(that is to make sure that the money you donate goes to the Daniel HS boy's camp funds.) I am pretty sure that all donations are tax deductible.

If you don't want to give, or don't have a job at all (all my friends, I am talking to you) Seriously, just let your parents know about the blog, let you friends and neighbors know about it, your businesses, your churches, anybody. Anything we raise helps. Everything that we can't raise, I have to cover, which isn't a big deal, but this could lift a huge financial burden from my shoulders. (yeah, I am selfish.)

So let people know about it. It seriously means the world to me, and to these highschool friends of mine.

If you have any questions at all, call me or send me a text or email.

Y'all are great people, thanks for listening to my begging. Time to go ride 80 miles. Whoop whoop.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Flat and Fast

Today was super uneventful. Seriously. Super Super Uneventful. I got up at 7:30 and left by 8 o'clock. There was a huge rain cloud moving in and I was just trying to stay ahead of it. It kept going North, when I turned East. So I was good to go.

I got to Fairfield by 10. There was nothing in Fairfield, so I restocked on groceries. I then proceeded to bike 88 miles to Arco, ID. Arco is the first city to be atomically powered. Super exciting there. I am currently staying at a KOA that I got to finally have a hot shower. The roads today were super long, super straight, and super flat. I knocked out around 12o, which is the farthest I have ever done. I am pretty tired right now.

A highlight of my day was riding through Craters of the Moon National Park. This place was crazy. It was probably 15 miles long. It was just these huge mounds and boulders of crazy black lava rock. Apparently, the entire area is old lava rock that came from either a volcano, or just erupted from the Earth's crust (which would make it a volcano technically, right?). I got some sweet photos of it. The Rockies are jutting out on all sides of Arco, and the view is really great. I am excited to get to Jackson, WY though in a couple days so I can have an off day. I am getting tired. I have logged right at 800 miles for the whole trip so far. That is kind of crazy to think about.

Here is a haiku.

"I forgot the rules of haikus.
Why would you go camping in an RV.
Your house is probably nicer, stay there."

Sorry this blogpost sucked, maybe if this trip was interesting or something.

2 days in no man's land

I left the Nelson's house as you probably already know, with my destination being Grandview, ID. That was roughly 74 miles from Caldwell. The first 10 of the ride sucked pretty bad. The road was super narrow, and cars didn't pull off much. I did however ride past a 2 mile long field of solid yellow flowers. It was unbelievable pretty. I took a bunch of photos of that. I slowly started the descent back down to the Snake river. I passed through The Snake Valley Wine region. I should have slowed down to go to a wine tasting but didn't feel like jamming on the breaks while riding roughly 35 mph down a crazy hill. I don't like the thought of that. (I can smell the rubber as I type this.) Overall, the day was just super gradual hills following the Snake river.

I did follow the original Oregon Trail route for 30 something odd miles. That was pretty cool. That have historical markers that are every so often that tell you about what happened in what valley, or which mountains were used to try to find diamonds. I probably stopped at 20 or so of those. They were super cool.

The only exciting thing that happened before Grandview was my farmers tan. After two days of riding shorts and a short sleeve, with long socks and fingerless bike gloves, and a helmet and sunglasses, I am one gnarly looking man. Seriously, I look like a crazy person with this tan. The crazy unkempt hair and beard probably only add to the mystery.
Got to Grandview and asked a cop where the best place to eat in town was. The YBar cafe vs. the MexiGo at the gas station. I decided to not go with the MexiGo. I was thinking MexiNoThankYou. Got a pretty good meal of fried chicken, mashed taters, texas toast, and a salad.
I was going to camp at Trueblood Wildlife Area. Sounds exciting right? It ended up just being a nature preserve for wild birds. I camped on the street side of the TWA, instead of hiking all my stuff over the barbed wire fence (which still doesn't make any sense to me at all, cause birds can't be kept in an area by a 3 line barbed wire fence. Bunch of idiots.

Anyways, talked to my brother on the phone for a little while. He is super excited about his summer job, and is working way harder than any other person I know this summer that isn't selling books. It is pretty crazy. If you know him, shoot him an encouraging text. They mean a lot. (803.431.1958) He would love it.

Around ten o'clock I got this feeling. I wish that the feeling was more cowbell, but it wasn't. I ended up just leaning over my hammock edge and vomiting like a champion. Missed my shoes by a hair. Went back to bed after 5 minutes of the old hurl-fest. Slept like a little baby. It was splendid. Thanks a lot Y Bar Cafe. Oh wait, NOT.

Got up this morning and went to the little local grocery store for food restock. I wish that little stores like that where everywhere. Just three rows of basic needs and groceries. The guy was super cool (huge handlebar mustache), and I think just loved to help me. He was awesome. And he gave me free coffee. Which was also super cool.

Bike 25 miles in the middle of nowhere desert. Pretty boring ride actually. Probably the most boring so far. But I got to Mountain Home, ID by noonish. When I rolled in, it was one little street. I thought, "Crap, another little town, dangit." (Not that there is anything wrong with little towns, but Grandview was pretty meh. You know?) But on that one little street there were 3 churches and 4 daycares. What the junk? Why were there so many of those things that require people. Kept going straight, dropped a little into a small valley, made a lot more sense to me at that point. Mountain View is on the interstate, and is pretty large. Deceptively large.
I went to Grinde's Diner for lunch. I got the "sink burger- everything on it but the kitchen sink." They weren't lying to me, that's for dang certain. Burger, sour cream, 3 kinds of cheese, pico de gallo, bacon, jalapenos, some buns in there somewhere, fries, chili, grilled onions, and grilled mushrooms. I was a little flabbergasted. That was a lot of food. Add that to the peanuts, chocolate fudge, and marshmallow fluff milk shake, and I was pretty full.
Too full actually. I felt pretty sluggish after I ate all that delicious crap. In no way did that give me sustenance for my riding. I started climbing right out of Mountain Home. Climbed for a really long time. Got to the top of this no view road, turned a corner, saw a sign for "Boise National Park." I said, "this is going to be good." (I knew it was because there were one of those semi/steep gradient signs on the side of the road.) I turned on the camera and crushed that hill. All you could see was a crazy beautiful lake, with snow capped mountains surrounding all sides of it. It was spectacular. The going was pretty flat for a good 10 miles after that. Then I started the toughest climb of my trip so far. It took me 40 minutes or so. But the top was also the highest elevation I have hit so far, 5,500 feetish. I am a couple miles down the road from that right now, sitting in sight of a bunch of 9,000 foot snow capped peaks, while watching a death rain cloud slowly march my way. I have the tent up tonight to make it a little warmer. I saw a fox too a little while ago, which is awesome.

"Somebody poisoned the water hole!"

Friday, May 20, 2011

The infamous Day 8

Yesterday was day 8 of riding. By that point I should have either pushed past the exhaustion block, or given up on the trip. It is supposed to be the hardest day of the trip.... I did over 90 miles. Day 8, how's it feel?

Anyways, I am super excited that on day 8 I felt really good. That night's sleep was crazy. My lean-to that I made with my rainfly in the canyonvalley ended up blowing off in the middle of the night, so it is a REALLY good thing that it didn't end up raining. The moon looked like a giant block of swiss cheese. The weather when I woke up was gorgeous. Probably 50 degrees or so.

The bike ride out of the valley was uneventful. It was super flat and really fast riding. On the only climb out of the canyon, a red truck passed by yelling at me like crazy. It was pretty funny. When I got out of the valley, I only had 12 miles to go until Vale. I know in yesterday's post I said I wouldn't bash headwinds ever again because of what they did for me. But I hate them again. I really do. I averaged 6 mph into that dang wind. It was pretty frustrating. Little tractors kept passing me. I really do hate headwinds with my whole heart again.

Got to Vale, and decided to grab lunch at the local diner/cafe. It was packed so I deemed that a really good sign. It was. I got the special, then spent another 3 dollars on fresh strawberry pie. Best strawberry pie I've ever had. It was a quarter of the pie, and almost 4 inches tall. I still don't believe that. I thought I was going to throw up. In the best possible way, I am sure it would taste mighty fine the second time around. Hahaha. As I was leaving, those guys that honked at me from the red truck came up to me. They were these to grumpy old geezers. We talked for about half an hour. They were hysterical. When they drove past me the first time, they couldn't decided if they wanted to see if I wanted to grab on for the ride up the hill (which I would have appreciated, but thankfully declined). As they were arguing amongst themselves, they didn't come to a conclusion until they were passing me, at which point they just ended up yelling at me out of their windows. This whole time they were talking to me, they were bickering back and forth like crazy. Tom and Franky. Awesome dudes. I want to be crotchety like them when I am older. I can't wait

Decided I would crank out the last 46 miles to Caldwell, ID. These miles went super fast. I crossed over the Snake River into Idaho about 14 miles outside of Vale. That was a huge mile-mark for me. I was pretty pumped. One state out of the way. A few left to go.

The miles were uneventful. They were flat and boring and in the farmland. I got to Caldwell pretty quickly. My only stop after Vale was at a pawn shop advertising "glass bottle sodie pop". I talked to the lady, and upon her recommendation got the Rock and Rye. It is a red cream soda, which is quite incredible really. I feel like I keep rambling about food and the like, but it is awesome trying the local stuff.

Once in Caldwell, I unpleasantly discovered that my dad gave me the wrong directions to the Nelson's house, so that was interesting trying to find a house in a town of 48,000 people. Figured it out though with the help of Mrs. Nelson.

The Nelson's are great people too. They are friends with my Grandparents (the Mayhill's). I think that I am going to adopt them as my tertiary set of grandparents, of the Idahoan descent (even though they are from California, doesn't matter.) They made me dinner, I got a shower, finally did laundry, and had a warm bed to sleep in. Unfortunately for Charnise, Sav, and Nathalie, the shorts that I was wearing at the Childe's house did NOT end up getting washed. CHAR, I REPEAT, I HAVE NOT WASHED THOSE SHORTS YET.. I just want' to make that clear to y'all. Sorry....not.

It has been super fun getting to know them. They are really funny to talk to, and have two crazy dogs. They took me out to a local breakfast place this morning which tops any country fried steak I have had in the South. It was pretty dang good. (once again, more about food, sorry, I am done.)

I getting ready to leave in the next hour or so, I just want to knock out an easy 50-60 miles today to allow for a little recovery time. Can't wait to sleep outside again, nice.

I found out I am still technically in the high desert..... crap that is depressing.

I am sitting in a giant valley. (from May 18)

So I woke up today and the weather was beautiful. I slept in a little bit, which was pretty ice. Finally being dry from the last day was such a good feeling. Nick called me at like 7-something and had questions about camp. I don't think I said a single coherent thing to him. I think I kept asking him what day it was. I still don't know the answer to that. I will have to call him back definitely. Anyways. I got the continental breakfast from the motel, (Katie Kopp, I had non-sugary cereal, which I know you also agree with. haha) It took me almost an hour to repacked all of my gear. I made sure everything was dry, then completely redid the organization of the bags to optimize available space. It worked wonders. I now have tons of room for extra nick-nacks along the trip. I went to the grocery store and talked to a bunch of people bout the trip as I was shopping. I don't think they see a ton of guys in tights pass through Burns, OR. I may be mistaken, but I think that it may have been a dead give-away that something was not normal.

So I took off, the first 22 miles sucked. They were in a straight line toward the huge mountain range. The crazy raining from the previous days flooded the fields and overtook a couple roads, so I had to make a few detours. With 20 mph headwinds, I was getting pretty mad at the day, when I noticed that the crazy headwinds were actually blowing the insane rainstorm in front of me to the South. At this point I said to myself, I said, "thank you headwinds." I will never bash on headwinds again. They blew 4 storms out of my way during the whole day before I ever got wet. Didn't get rained on once. So nice. I thought today wouldn't be that much climbing, but I climbed for a good hour or so right out of the farmland area of Burns. Elevation 4842 feet. What I saw next blew my mind. This valley 14 miles wide, with crazy rivers and rainstorms over the top of it lay before me. I was pretty speechless. It was the prettiest thing I have seen on the trip so far. Again, I couldn't bomb the hill down into the valley (which was 3 miles long), because of the headwinds, but so worth it. That extended view as I went down was incredible. But the bad part about that quick descent was on the other side of the valley, of course, another climb. That one took me an hour and a half.

The good part though is that was the last climb I had for a while. The last 15 miles to Jarthura was a bomb. I did it in 30 minutes. That averages close to 30 mph. It was sick.

Jarthura was great. A man named Jim was sitting outside the only establishment in town, The Oasis Cafe. WE talked for a good 20 minutes about God, the weather, the old reservation down the road, and the cherries he was selling. The were pretty dang good. The Oasis Cafe is INSANE good. It is the only stop for 60 miles in either direction, so the food is super good. I had a bison burger, (which I have never had) that made my face melt. Fresh cut Idaho potato french fries on the rest of the plate. I thought I was going to explode I was so full. 6 bucks. Still can't believe that. OH! and Miss April, my waitress/owner of the cafe, gave me a free bowl of soup for an appetizer. I will definitely come back and visit them someday. I already know I will. They were nice people. Super nice.

Once I found out that the rest of the way to Vale followed a river, and was mostly downhill/flat, I decided to take off for another 20 miles. The weather is great right now. I am sitting in a pair of shorts and T on the side of this huge mountain/valley. ON the opposite side of the road from me is the beautiful river, and the entire wall of the valley is radiating orange from the sunset. The clouds are purple and pink. This is one of the best campsites I have ever made. It actually is the best campsite I've ever made, looking around again. It is stunning right here.

Today I named my legs while riding. The right one's name is Barney. The left one is Leg-olas. (Lord of the Rings? anyone? anyone?)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Amphitheater

So a lot happened in the last two days. I left Bend, OR a little later than anticipated, because of hanging out with Jack and getting my stuff together. I ended up leaving right after 12 o'clock. The high desert was not what I expected. I'll be honest, I don't know what I expected really, but what I rode through was definitely not what I thought of. Well they were calling for rainstorms. Any person with eyes could have seen there was supposed to be rain. I don't really know what happened. I had a 60 mile day planned, and riding it out in the rain sounded terrriiibbllle. Here is the deal with the high desert. Once, you climb the initial 4 mile climb up to the plateau, the only thing up there is little brush plants and mountains in the far, far distance. If you have never been in a truly flat area, you don't understand what a rain storm looks like in this description.

Let me paint you a picture.
You are on a road. The road stretches as far as you can see forward, and as far as you can see backwards. There are no turns. There are no buildings. There are random mountains in the distance and that is it. Because of this, you can also see every single cloud in every single direction. Kinda scary sounding? no? Now imagine turning around and there is a cloud that is almost literally black. This cloud starts on the ground and shoots up as high as you can see. It goes on infinitely to both sides. It is a giant wall of greys and blacks. You can see where the rain is an opaque sheet falling from the clouds. Now you goal is to outrun this cloud. You only have one direction to outrun it. Forward. Forward into a cloud almost equally impressive, with the same amount of waterfall falling from it. All you want is to not get rained on so you pray that it doesn't. You pray like crazy for 4 straight hours that it doesn't hit you.

You catch up to the cloud in front of you. The cloud splits a 10 minutes ride away from you. The ground is still wet from downpour, there are still puddles flooding the side of the road. The right split disappears. The left side split drifts further North. You never get wet. You bike another hour. Turn around, the giant wall of death rain is now following the other cloud to the North. All you can see is a sky that could end all skies. A blue deeper than any body of water. Snow capped mountains within miles on both sides of where you are standing.

I talked to a guy named Tone (short for atonement). He called it The Amphitheater. Everything is magnified. Everything is bigger. It is beautiful. It is aptly named.
The sunset looked like a wall of fire. The death cloud was back-lit in reds, oranges, and yellows that would put a Clemson sunset to shame. I read some Psalms out loud. Shouted them too. Such a beautiful thing. There is no reverb to any noise you make, no echos. Every sound is swallowed up. It was intimidating and incredible.

O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise,
of you enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8

That was only a picture that my feeble attempts at writing could produce. Words couldn't describe it. I set up my hammock and rain-fly in an empty horse fence on the side of the road. The stars looked like powdered sugar. No ambient light in 60 miles in any direction. The only thing brighter than the stars was the moon, the size of a bowling ball.

So I had a great nights sleep. Until I woke up. I woke up to 30 degrees and snowing. That was miserable. I should have slept in the tent. Everything I owned was pretty wet. I started biking the 70 miles for the day. It stayed around 35 degrees all day. It rained. It snowed. It hailed. It was pretty miserable. I tried to hitch a ride several times, but I don't think the beard was helping me much, cause no one stopped. So I gutted it out, (while contemplating what life without fingers would look like) and made it to a truck stop about 25 miles from Burns, OR. I took a two hour hiatus from biking and drank a couple hot chocolates, took a nap, got a little dry. I got my dad to get me a hotel for the night in Burns. If I had camped tonight, I would have frozen to death, everything was so wet. As soon as I left the truckstop, of course the weather was beautiful. It was giant blue skies and huge puffy white clouds (blueberry skies and marshmallow clouds). The weather here is so jacked up. Anyways. I am now sitting in my hotel room with my entire trip draped on anything I could hook it on, with the heater set on the inferno setting. I am tired, but feel great.

Life is lukewarm. Crank dat heat up.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My legs. I can't find my legs.

Yesterday was probably the hardest thing I have ever done physically. Originally the plan was to bike around 60 miles and stop in La Pine, OR.

So, I woke up around 7 and went to a McDonald's for breakfast and internet. Got all my stuff packed and headed off on my day. I took highway 58 up Willamette Pass, then took a cutoff towards 97N (to Bend). Well it turns out that the road up to Willamette is uphill the entire way. I am not talking uphill part of the way. I am talking there were literally no downhills for 4000 feet of climbing and 25 miles of riding. I had to do this method near the last 3 miles of the uphill where I would bike for 5 minutes, then take a break for 2-3 minutes. It took me almost an hour to bike up it. It was so dang pretty though. I got to pass snow banked waterfalls that dropped hundreds of feet. I got to bike past little hidden mountain lakes that would just pop up as you rounded corners. It was crazy. As I was biking up that last section, it started to snow. I am not talking about little sissy snow. I am talking flakes the size of quarters. Flying down so fast you couldn't see 40 feet in front of you. It was crrrazy. Well I got to the summit, which might have been the most exhausting thing I have ever done. Started going down, and decided against it. The turns were too sharp and I definitely would have got merked if I tried. So I hitched a ride with a truck for the 4 or 5 mile descent. The couple that drove me down was Megan and Danavian (or something like that). They were awesome. Super nice. They actually were from the Pigeon Forge area in Tennessee.

The weather was beautiful after we left the blizzard. I got these little candies at the gas station. They are the old time Anise candies. SO addicting. I took this road called the Crescent Cutoff, or something like that. It was long slopey downhills for 14 miles. Such a relief after so much climbing.

So I got to 97 N and started biking to La Pine, which was the original goal. I biked that 17 miler in a little over an hour. I didn't really feel like stopping there (it was pretty small). So I got the number for the YL area director in Bend and gave him a call. Then biked another 32 miles up to Bend. He gave me the number of this leader named Jack that I could stay with.

Jack is awesome. They stay in this sick house overlooking Bend and the mountains, (they only pay 150 for rent which doesn't make sense.) But he made me a sick pasta dinner last night. I got a bed to crash on. Woke up this morning and took me to an awesome coffee place. I had the best cappuccino I've ever had. I think that west coast coffee places should move out east. Just saying.

So yah, level 2 of the trip was the Cascade Mountain range. Finished that sucker in a day.
Boom Roasted.

Level 3 is the High Desert. Bring it on High Desert. You ain't got nothing on me.

My legs feel like jello, but look like tree trunks.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Flyin Solo

We had some impending news as of two days ago. It turns out that Fletcher had hurt his knee during the first two days of riding. He ended up having to go to the doctor on Friday. The doctor had good news and bad news. Good news: the knee isn't severely injured but (bad news here) he had to take 9-14 days off the trip. Without those 9-14 days there is no way the trip would be finished. So after an off day of hanging out with our OSU friends and playing disc golf, I decided to carry on with the trip by myself.

So, before you go all freakout mode and yell at me about it not being safe, here is my argument against you.
1.) It isn't as safe as riding with a partner, you are right in that.
2.) We changed the route so I am riding safer roads that have a good amount of cellphone service and are trafficked enough.
3.) I don't care that you don't think it's not safe, you don't have to do it.
4.) I met a girl who did it solo. (no offense to girls, obvi, but inherent risk of danger is obviously more imminent with a solo girl rider.)
5.) I still don't care that you don't think its safe.

So with that said, here is the blog from yesterday.

I left Corvallis yesterday at 9:30 for Eugene, OR. We changed the route, as I said, to make it a little safer and easier to travel. It was 40 something miles of long gradual uphill. If you are curious, this is my least favorite road type. I was strugs the last 5 miles. But Eugene was cool. I remembered that is where Hayward field is (where Steve Prefontaine used to through down back in the early 70's). So I took a couple mile detour and headed over to see it. There was a masters track meet going on. I talked to this guy, Mark, about running and my trip. He was super cool. He gave me directions to get to highway 58. Turns out that you are legally allowed to ride on the INTERSTATES in Oregon. What an awesome state. I got onto I-5 and found a small group of people riding from work. So I hopped in behind them. They have a little section on the far side of the shoulder that is used for bikes that they keep clear.

Highway 58 might be my new favorite highway in the US. It was long gradual uphills winding from the foothills up into the mountains. The entire time you are next to either Dexter Lake or a whitewater river. The mountains here aren't quite the rockies, but they are much more severe in steepness compared to the apps. Dexter reminded me a lot of Lake Burton out in Clayton, GA. It is one of the prettiest places I have seen in a long while. I can't wait to see more of these mountains today.

For dinner I went to a local Mexican restaurant in Oakridge, OR. I put down an entire fajita's meal and two baskets of chips. Ravenous was an understatement.

There weren't any campgrounds in Oakridge, so by the time I was finished with dinner, I just wanted to go to bed. I found a hill by a railroad track and posted up at the top of that with the hammock and rainfly. I thought that I would be cold at night, but I ended up being way overheated. I slept on top of my bag for most of the night.

This morning, legs are pretty sore. I biked around 90 miles yesterday. I didn't realize how far that was until I got finished. Today I am looking to just get out of Willamette National Forrest. After that it should be a breeze.

Let's Ride....(that's for you Pete L.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Pacific Ocean.

Well I have already lost track of time. I feel like the date doesn't matter at all. Yesterday morning was our first ride heading east. We woke up and Amy made us cinnamon raisin french toast and sausage. I put down a ton of that, a couple glasses of orange juice, a cup of coffee, two cliff bars, and a huge chunk of brownie for breakfast. (I have been eating more than normal humans do, it's pretty funny seeing how much I have been throwing down.) But they went to work while Fletcher and I got our trip stuff packed. Having warm and dry socks and gloves after freezing to death in the rain was a great great perk to staying in a house. I would have quit if it rained again. Well, maybe not.

We rode over the bay bridge and headed down to Historic Nye Beach. The entire coast of Oregon seems to be on a giant cliff over the ocean, so I rode down a super steep trail. Bike tire in the Pacific Ocean.... Check. Sand in my shoes.... Check. The sand on the west coast makes me equally mad as the sand on the east coast, so if you are traveling to the beaches here in hopes of better sand, don't. It is a waste of time. It is all the same, it is all annoying.

We started back on a beautiful sunny day with a full belly through the Oregon Coast Mountain Range. There was a huge amount of construction on the road starting at mile 15 or so. I think people didn't want to have to bother with it, so took other routes, because we didn't see very many cars for almost 2 hours. So it was a beautiful quiet mountain road. It was a good ride. We rode a little faster yesterday. Overall for the day we averaged 10 mph including stops. So that is pretty good time. I am happy with the rate we rode.

Got back to Corvallis really tired. We called Janae and we ended up going out to play disc golf with a bunch of her friends. She had to go to work, so she wasn't even there. It was pretty funny. It was Ben, Brandon, Tristan, Bryan, Sam, Taylor, and Charlotte. I am terrible at disc golf now. But the course out here was really good. Everyone drinks a ton of beer when they play. That made me laugh even harder, because as the game went on, people cared less about how they were doing. By the last hole they were like, "let's just leave."

For dinner we went to American Dream Pizza, a little campus hole in the wall pizza place. I got the classic pepperoni and sausage calzone by recommendation of the waitress. Except for the Emerald Kettle in Pike's Market, Seattle, this was the best calzone I have ever had. It was so good.

I went home and passed out. What a good day.

Bring it on Cascade Mountain Range.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Negative Miles

Our first day was nuts. Yesterday, we went out to this coffee place and met our new friends Janae and Charlotte. This coffee place was awesome. They are on OSU campus and just have good coffee.. Supercheap too.

Anyways, they invited us to play disc golf with them and some friends tonight after we come back through Corvallis.

So, it was our first day of riding, and we decided to bike to the coast to dip the tires. As soon as we got our bikes fully loaded in the garage, it started raining. Which was pretty funny when we were in the garage. But as soon as we went out into I was thinking it might as well have been snowing. So we got going. 30 feet from the driveway was our first stop. hahahha. I had to cut a spare ziptie that was tangled in my wheel.

We made good time. Yesterday was a 55 mile ride through the beautiful Coastal Range in Oregon. Even though it was raining, the mountains were unbelievable. Fog just floating in between valleys on one side, 18 wheelers full of logs going by at 60 mph on the other side. It was awesome. In Blodgett, (smallest town ever), we met some really cool people. They were all really excited about where our trip was going to take us, and were giving us advice about the road we were taking and where the construction problems were happening.

By the way, I don't know how this happened, but it did. We started in Corvallis, elevation roughly 100 feet about sea level. We ended in Newport, elevation 0 feet. If that is the elevation change, THEN HOW THE HECK DID WE BIKE UP HILL THE ENTIRE TRIP. Seriously, it was ridiculous. I think we biked down hill for a total of 14 minutes, then biked up hill for 6 hours. That was miserable. But we averaged about 9 miles per hour which wasn't that bad. For some reason I had to pee every 10 minutes, which was weird. I drank a ton of water I guess.

When we got within 3 miles of Newport the sun came out. It was the happiest part of my trip so far. After being frozen all day, and not being able to feel my feet or hands, sun was a good thing.

A bad thing happened too I forgot to mention. I got in wreck yesterday (mom I am fine. Just a bruised shin and thumb, scraped shoulder, and tore apart my rain jacket.) We were biking and I hit the brakes really hard, at 9 or 10 mph our so. I forgot to tighten one part of my handlebar set and they just went to the right and I lost control and crashed. That kind of sucked. But it is what it is. I was more mad than anything. Then I thought, at least this didn't happen when I was biking 36 mph a little while ago.

The Chapman family are the nicest people I have met. They were so accommodating. They made us grilled salmon, corn, potatoes, bread, salad, and brownies and icecream. Such a great meal at the end of a hard day. It was incredible. They even let us crash on there spare beds upstairs. I am glad we met them. The world would be a better place if they were as nice as Amy and John. I think they are making us breakfast right now downstairs.

Jesus is letting us do big things on this trip. It is going to be hard, but I can't wait to see what it looks like. I will let you know when I do.

I am a hipster.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The night of day 0.

Well, a lot happened in the span of yesterday aftnoon.

Fletcher's flight got to the airport 45 minutes early somehow. That is remarkable since he was only flying from Denver. Pilot had a lead foot I guess (do planes have gas pedals?). So we went outside to wait for our shuttle that arrived in an hour. Fletcher had a cloth frisbee so we were obnoxiously playing with that in front of a ton of people sitting on the benches. In the first hour here, we already accomplished what the main point of the trip is supposed to be. Our goal for this trip is to go and meet people. To love them like Jesus did and talk to them. So we met a lady named Amy Chapman (if your reading this today Amy, hello.) We sat next to her on the 2 hour bus ride to Corvallis. We talked to Amy about our trip and got to know her. Amy lives in Newport, OR, where we are going to be biking today. She invited us over for our first meal of the trip. She and her husband John are making a fresh Salmon Barbeque for us for our first meal. ARE YOU KIDDING?! That's crazy.

First, I love salmon so much.
Second, Southern Hospitality lives in Oregon apparently, so that is so sick.

So when we were talking to Amy, we also started talking to another lady named Lulu. She offered to call her daughter who lives in Sisters, OR to see if she will put us up for the night in a couple of days. At this rate we won't have to camp at all. Which would be kinda nice for fresh meals the entire trip.

So we got to Fletcher's Aunt Charlotte's house. (Does anyone know how to do punctuation/ownership for the previous sentence correctly. I am stumped) We found out my bike hadn't arrived yet. Well crap, that sucks. That is what I thought at least. We found the tracking number, looked on the website, no stinkin clue where that bike was. Seriously we called 4 or 5 numbers and got nothing. We heard they may make stops until 6 o'clock. So we waited starting at 5:30. Sure enough, right before 6, bike arrived. I have never been so excited. I freaked out enough that the FedEx guy didn't really know what to do. We took the bikes out. Decided to put them together later, then rolled out to dinner. (We had a gift card for a pretty good pasta place from Aunt Charlotte.)

Again, we start meeting people. Our server was Janae. She was a junior/senior at OSU. She was pretty funny. I am curious what her thoughts were on us, since all we talked about was biking. We were in a weeeeird mood. Anyways, we invited her to go for a bike ride with us after she got off work. We didn't end up going on account of the time zone difference. I was passed out just walking around at 9:30 at night. Way past my bedtime. But we are going to the local bike shop to meet up with her this morning, and when we come back through Corvallis in 2 days, we are going to grab coffee with her and a group of friends.

west coast coffee places> east coast coffee places.

Got home. Put the bike together. I couldn't get the brakes to work very well. They still don't. I will hopefully figure them out. (don't read that last line Mom).

Guys. My first day was awesome. This trip is going to be crazy. We leave for our first ride in 4-5 hours. I am glad you are reading this. Send me texts or phone calls or anything really. I'll keep in touch. Can't wait to hear what you are doing with your summers as well.

Go love people.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

That lady stole my window seat.

Dang it.

Day 0

Day zero.

I really am really tired. 5 hours of sleep, and up at five o'clock is not the way to go. Stupid life choices. Benj brought me to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I love little airports in the morning, because there are no lines and everyone is so happy. I talked to the security guy about my hair for a good five minutes. It is looking crazy this morning, and he saw the picture of my from back when it was 11 inches. That made me laugh. Also, they took my bag off the belt and said they had to run a "liquid test". For those of you that have never seen the "liquid test," it was him taking my bag and rubbing what looked like a baby wipe all over the plastic clips. If that was a security threat to an airplane, then ok, do it. But to me it looked like he just wiped baby bottom cleaner all over my bag handles. That ain't cool airport man.

But seriously, this is about to get super crazy in 5 minutes. My gate is being called next. I am about to step on a plane to Portland. I am about to bike across the country. Dang.

I am about to sleep for a whole plane trip. Word.