These maps are one of my most valued material possessions. I am working on scanning in all of these cycling routes for the upper and lower peninsula, so everyone can see/use them. I’m interested in seeing how useful they are after 30 years. These maps were sold by the Department of Natural Resources in 1979.
Eugene, OR > Rickreall, OR
Rickreall, OR > Portland, OR
Left Eugene during the USA Track and Field Qualifiers.
A homeless man told me I “looked like a captain of a ship” because I was wearing a cycling cap. (?)
Rode to a tiny town outside of Salem, OR.
The campground was closed to the public because of “Bus Across America”.
Hundreds of tour buses, and retirees.
We slept in the city park behind the campground.
Last night camping.
Woke up the next morning to beautiful weather.
Last day on the trail.
Had to commandeer our own route from Rickreall, OR to Portland, as it was off route.
After consulting an Oregon state road map, we decided to take highway 99 all the way into town, a direct shot.
Turned out to be a great decision.
Rode through vineyards and hazelnut orchards.
Plenty of shoulder.
More and more bike paths as we got into the Portland suburbs.
Green bike lanes.
Enough trees in the city to rival Ann Arbor.
END, riverplace hotel!
miles (on-route): 2,939
miles (on and off-route): 3,090
flats: 5 (geoff), 0 (sarah)(crazy)
states: 8 (illinois, missouri, kansas, colorado, wyoming, montana, idaho, oregon)
mountain ranges: 5 (ozarks, rockies, tetons, bitterroot, cascades)
highest altitude: over 11,500 ft. (hoosier pass, colorado)
money spent: just under $2000 each (not including bikes, gear, or train ticket home) NOTE: this trip could be done for much cheaper if you were to leave a bit later in the season, it is possible to free camp the whole trip if you need to)
motel rooms: 13
times paid for camping: 3
animals we saw: rattlesnake, pronghorn, coyote, red fox, eagle (bald and golden), bison, moose (!), bighorn sheep and tons more.
cheapest cup of coffee: 25 cents in White Bird, Idaho
hours on the train home: 47 and 1/2
White Bird, ID to Riggins, ID
Riggins, ID to Cambridge, ID
Cambridge, ID to Halfway, OR
Halfway, OR to Baker City, OR
Baker City, OR to Prairie City, OR
Prairie City, OR to Mitchell, OR
Mitchell, OR to Redmond, OR
Redmond, OR to McKenzie Bridge, OR
McKenzie Bridge, OR to Eugene, OR
Stuck around Riggins.
A woman who works as an EMT next door to the library insisted that we stay at her house for the night in her guest room.
They had goats.
Rode to Cambridge the next day.
Camped with a guy that is riding the transam, who has also hiked the AT and canoed from the Yukon territory to the arctic circle.
Breakfast with fellow cyclists.
Next day to oregon.
Stopped in halfway, after a 32 mile climb, the hardest of the trip.
Camped outside of the motel in town for five bucks (showers).
Booked it the next day to baker city.
More Mexican food (never enough).
Left the next morning in the rain, before stage one of the elkhorn cycling classic started.
Lots of 3000 dollar wheelsets and shaved legs, pinerello princes on bmw’s, terrible sunglasses.
Rode through the national forest to prairie city.
Coin-op showers and double rainbows.
Prairie city to Mitchell.
The gas station in town had a black bear in a cage named henry.
Paid way too much for a marginal breakfast, but the pancakes WERE cooked in ice cream.
Slept in the city park (where we are most at home).
Next day, 72 miles to Redmond.
Took santiam pass to mckenzie bridge.
Camped in the national forest.
West Yellowstone, MT > Ennis, MT. 73 miles
Ennis, MT > Dillon, MT. 72 miles
Dillon, MT > Wisdom, MT. 70 miles
Wisdom, MT > Hamilton, MT. 74 miles
Hamilton, MT > Powell, ID. 86 mIles
Powell, ID > Syringa, ID. 73 miles
Syringa, ID > White Bird, ID. 62 miles
We left West Yellowstone, cold and sunny.
Flashing road hazard sign reading:
15 CAR-BISON IMPACTS
One time we hit a deer in the upper peninsula of Michigan.
Deer are much smaller than bison.
Geoff’s knee started hurting, thanks to snow and one gear.
Stayed in a motel on the river, away from the building rainclouds.
Next day we continued north, along the western border of Montana to Dillon.
Starting to see lots of eastbounders.
Rode through two Ghost mining towns.
Spent 9 dollars on candy for novelty’s sake.
Stayed at the KOA campground for too much money, BUT the owner insisted that we have a free bundle of firewood which we went to bed without using.
McDonalds Breakfast found us on our way to Wisdom.
Ate lunch at a picnic table outside of a general store.
Chickens sat on the bench next to us.
Idaho is a free range state.
This means that you can move cattle anywhere, including the state highway.
And they do.
And they did.
We were warned about mosquitos in Wisdom.
Slept in the American Legion park with three eastbounders from Iowa.
Everything in Wisdom (meaning a restaurant and gas station) closed at 5 pm.
Asleep by 7 to the hum of mosquitos caught in the fly of the tent.
On the road early the next day chasing a hot breakfast.
Stopped at the Sula Country Store/Campground/Mini Golf Course/Restaurant/Truck Stop/Fishing Hole for breakfast.
This was the only building in Sula.
6 dollars and 25 cents for a huge breakfast, TOTAL.
We looked desperate.
So sunny all day.
Stopped to fix Geoff’s flat among babbling brooks and snow capped mountain backdrops.
Geoff broke his bike.
Cracked hub cone locknut, means wheel doesn’t move.
Nancy, who lives down the street, gives us a ride 20 miles into Hamilton.
Where there’s virtually the only bike shop in Idaho, on route, aside from a further trek to Missoula.
We decide to get a motel in Hamilton, while the bike is worked on.
Walk 5 miles to Dairy Queen.
Geoff’s bike is fixed, 22 dollars later.
Next day to Powell, Idaho.
More National Forest.
More welcome sunshine.
No cellphone reception for days.
Guerilla camp in the National Forest campground because neither of us has the $8 cash for the Self Service Fee.
Up early to avoid the ranger (and to get to breakfast) at the pricey Loscha Lodge.
Eat with 50+, still-drunk-from-the-night-before, white water rafters.
Chat with the raft guides (my future job).
Pedal from there to Syringa (another rafting town).
May 17 to June 22, is rafting season.
Camp with a gaggle of eastbounders, on the Loscha River.
My oatmeal at breakfast was cooked in apple juice, and tasted bad.
Rode yesterday, through rain/sun to White Bird, ID.
Accidently stayed at the only campground that you have to pay for.
Backtracked 3 miles to eat in town at the Silver Dollar Bar and Restaurant.
Ordered, then realized they only accept cash.
Geoff rode over a literal mountain pass to the only ATM in town (actually out of town).
Made it back in time to eat.
Oregon border in two-ish days.
Portland in ten-ish days.
Dubois, WY to Colter Bay Village (Grand Teton National Park), WY
Colter Bay Village (Grand Teton National Park), WY to West Yellowstone, MT
West Yellowstone, MT
Left Dubois early into building mountains.
Saw a moose just outside of town.
Made it atop our first pass, and ate all the rest of our snacks, preparing for bear country.
The other side of the pass saw construction.
We had to ride a 2 mile section downhill in the back of a construction pilot car pickup with our bikes.
Smooth, down hill ride into Grand Teton National Park.
(12 bucks each, for both of us, that’s one dollar less than a car, not okay)
Stopped just before the rain hit, in Colter Bay Village, a faux national park town.
Sat down for dinner, until we saw the five-star resort prices.
Paid half the price at the tex-mex diner next door, then retired to the hike/bike campsite.
Laid awake half the night worried visualizing bear attacks.
Woke up to rain.
Sat at breakfast indoors for about two hours, watching a movie in the visitor center, and walked through the American Indian Art Museum twice, waiting for the rain to stop.
Left at 10 am, despite the rain.
Made it out of the Tetons, and quickly after, into Yellowstone National Park.
Lots of climbing right at first.
Head high snow drifts line the streets at the higher elevations.
We push on through Yellowstone, heads down.
Make it to lunch, and decide it’s best to make it out of the park by sundown.
GEOTHERMAL POOLS OF BOILING WATER!
MOTORHOMES/TOURBUSES PULLING S.U.V.’s ON MOUTAIN ROADS WITH NO SHOULDER!
Predicted eruption in 45 minutes.
We don’t really have 45 minutes.
At least I saw the hole.
The rain picks up near the end (as it always seems to).
We make it into West Yellowstone, Montana.
Another state, another motel.
Too cold to hold the pen to sign for my credit card.
Woke up this morning to 3 inches of snow.
“Alaska” at the IMAX theater, and a date with the laundromat.
We are slated to be in Portland, Oregon no later than June 26.
Welcome to Lander, unless you’re a hiker.
Rawlins, WY to Sweetwater Station, WY
Sweetwater Station, WY to Lander, WY
Lander, WY to Dubois, WY
Rest day in Rawlins,
Left town, 10 miles out, stared down more building rainclouds.
Waited out the rain in the library.
Asked by a woman on the street if she could interview us for the local Rawlins newspaper.
Next day, dodged rainclouds to Sweetwater Station.
Slept at the Mormon Handcart Historical Site, literal feet from the Oregon Trail.
Second half of the day felt like riding through a cloud.
Pronghorn pace “car”.
Left at 6 am the next morning, cold and wet, to get to Lander.
No town, means no breakfast.
40 miles later, pizza buffet.
Our chains sound like the hinges on a haunted house door.
Got some park lube at a bike shop in town.
One of the employees is also riding the transam single speed, starting in a few weeks.
Camped behind a motel in town, with hot tub (this was our first time paying for camping the entire trip, 10 bucks each).
FREE CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST means vending machine donuts and watery coffee.
Last day before the Tetons/Yellowstone took us to Dubois, a small resort town.
Camped for 22 dollars, blah.
Met a couple girls riding the transam westbound.
Last year they hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Canada to Mexico.
First day we saw sun in Wyoming, no lie.
Cup of coffee at the gas station in town: 25 cents.
We have a record.
Pueblo, CO to Florence, CO
Left Pueblo in the rain.
After stopping by a bike shop in town for some new brake pads and a couple extra tubes.
Got our first taste of the Rockies right outside of Florence.
Stayed at the city park.
Cheese enchiladas and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Asleep before the sun.
Florence, CO to Fairplay, CO
On the road before 7:30 am.
Climbed all day.
Crossed Current Creek Pass (elev. 9,500) approaching Hoosier Pass.
The last 20 miles left us caught in a rainstorm.
Then snow/ lightning storm, complete with a snow-bow.
We limped into Fairplay (elev. 10,000 ft) at 9:30 pm, after almost 14 hours on the bike.
Western Inn Motel.
The hot tub closed at 9 pm.
The owner gave us the keys.
Coffee and Twizzlers.
Fairplay, CO to Silverthorne, CO
Left after a weak continental breakfast to attack the Hoosier Pass (continental divide).
This is the highest point on our whole trip.
Air is thin.
I’ve almost used a whole tube of chapstick.
I blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-altitude.
In the last four miles of the pass I maintained 2.5 mph, out of the saddle.
Most people walk faster than 2.5 mph.
Crossed the pass amidst snow flurries.
The other side of the pass took us through resort towns like Breckenridge, where everything was closed for “mudd season”.
Silverthorne, CO to Hot Sulphur Springs, CO
Continued our decsent.
Rainclouds litter the sky and always seem to follow us.
Mountains on one side, rapids on the other.
Got to Hot Sulphur Springs to find that a ragged resort “owns” all the naturally geothermic hot pools.
We instead froze in our tent for free next to the train tracks.
Asleep by 6 pm.
Becoming the norm.
Hot Sulphur Springs, CO to Walden, CO
Mountains beginning to break up.
Mexican combination plate lunch.
20 miles, no shoulder.
Welcome to Walden, Colorado’s home of the moose sighting.
Dangerously tall swingsets.
Walden, CO to Rawlins, WY
Planned to do 70ish miles today.
Crossed the border early.
First 20 miles in just over an hour.
Wyoming looks like Colorado and Kansas combined.
Hills plus wind.
Be careful what you wish for.
Got into Saratoga, WY, our original stopping point for today.
Visited their natural hot pool.
I made it ankle deep.
With no good promise of accomodations we decided to push on to Rawlins, 41 miles away.
We made great time for the first half, then flipped the map to find that the second half had us on the interstate.
Thanks adventure cycling.
The rain starts.
The wind starts.
Average speed of 14 becomes 4.
Out of the saddle to stay moving.
Walk the bikes.
Exit the interstate at Sinclair, WY, the home of Sinclair Oil Refineries.
We roll up to the truck stop adjacent the interstate, lit by the glow of the refinery under the storm choked sky.
Too dark to read the map, I ask a few people with pickup trucks if thery’re heading towards Rawlins, our last 9 miles.
We press on.
115 miles later, we’re leaving puddle footprints in the Days Inn lobby.
This trip is 100 percent about patience, and mine has a headwind.
Left Dighton, KS.
73 miles to Tribune, KS.
Stayed at the city park, which had boiling hot showers, but better than nothing.
Shared the city park with five conversion vans of high schoolers that are running across kansas, one mile at a time.
Breakfast at the only restaraunt in town, the chatterbox cafe.
Coffee on the menu was 47 cents.
A man who we later found out was named willy chatted with us about the American northwest.
He left with a simple “see ya”.
We stood to leave about ten minutes later, and were told by our waitress that our breakfast was already paid for.
(I’m sorry for how I talked about you Kansas and your high wind advisories).
15 more miles and we cross the border into Colorado.
Shortly after, a serious change in landscape.
Still barren, but rugged.
Ended in Eads, CO after 60 miles.
Woke up at 11:30 pm to preteens in the city park daring each other to touch our tent.
One replied to his friend “I don’t want to die!”.
Awake with a wet tent.
Destroyed a breakfast buffet at the only restaurant in town.
Slowly but surely we did 93 miles to Boone, CO.
Arrived as the sun was setting.
The day saw a serious encounter, two feet from a rattlesnake.
Also, we saw baby foxes, cacti, prairie dogs, and more coyotes (who aren’t particularly afraid of humans).
En route, a ten mile stretch of the road was a freight train parking grounds/graveyard which offered something to look at other than scrub brush and dust.
Graffiti from San francisco, Detroit and Chicago.
(those were the only artists I recognized)
Tent not even 100 feet from the train tracks.
Trains are loud.
Tents aren’t soundproof.
In the morning, sticky, salty and dirty we made the short 21 mile ride into pueblo, CO (pop. 102,000).
Veggie breakfast burrito, orange juice, and an americano at the daily grind cafe.
All before 9 am.
Swam in the city pool (with waterslide) for 2 dollars.
Stayed at the travelers inn motel.
Dirty and dirt cheap.
30 bucks a night.
Today, rest day.
More city pool.
Hoosier pass, continental divide, elevation 11,500 feet.
Two days from now.
More pics when we can stop at a library and upload some!
“High Wind Advisory” for the past three days.
Trade hills for wind.
I want to trade back.
Visited Fort Larned National Historic site.
Bought a Golden illustrated Field Guide to “North American Indian Art” in the gift shop for 5 dollars.
Four days of sunscreen, dirt, and sweat make up my second skin.
My sleeping bag is full of dead skin.
I got blown off the road yesterday (literally) when a cattle truck passed.
A break every ten miles has become a break every two miles.
Second flat of the trip.
Goodbye Kansas in two days.
The past four days:
Cassoday, KS – Nickerson, KS
Nickerson, KS – Larned, KS
Larned, KS – Ness City, KS
Ness City, KS – Dighton, KS
City pools open after memorial day, making this my new favorite holiday.
Cheers from the land of windy wheat lakes.
NOTE: new pics are uploaded on the flickr!
Rest day spent in Pittsburg, KS.
19 more confirmed tornados within 60 miles.
Motel was a good idea.
Mexican combination plates.
Slept in (until 8 am).
Rode Pittsburg to Chanute, KS.
Flat 60 miles.
Slept in the park “campground”.
Left before 7 the next morning to attack our first century of the trip.
Made it 65 miles.
30 mph headwinds.
Screaming doesn’t help.
Warned by people on highway 54 of another bad storm on it’s way.
Eureka High School’s mascot is “the tornados”.
1 comfirmed tornado touchdown a few miles west.
Good excuse for another hotel room.
Sunburn and hot showers.
Complimentary in-room coffee.
More headwinds today.
Only got 38 miles in.
The prairie chicken capital of the world.
Met matt from Pittsburg, Penn., riding the western express trail from Virginia to San Francisco.
Big day tomorrow.