Sunday, September 27, 2009
PS - I kept a few statistics on my trip each day - click here for the log.
Thanks for visiting my blog!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
My sister Evelyn had a very nice reception for me upon my arrival at her home in Edmonds, WA and in the midst of the celebration, I noticed these posters hanging on her deck. They were prepared by my sister Sharon in South Dakota so that the whole South Dakota gang could help celebrate a very special moment in my life. Sharon had a special party in my honor so these pictures could be taken and thanks to this group effort, I felt as though my whole family was there with me when I completed my adventure. Along with these great posters was a donation collected so that I might enjoy my stay in the Seattle area. Isn't my family great?!!
Friday, July 31, 2009
In all the excitement of the end of my adventure and a rush to get a "wrap up" type video posted, I forgot to post pictures from the last week of my trip. Now it is February 2nd 2010 and I'm finally getting around to posting these forgotten scenes. Riding through the Cascades was some of the most incredible scenery I have ever experienced. Many of the amazing visual moments from this week, and from the entire trip, were captured only by my eyes - I wish I could share them all. I hope you have enjoyed the few that I did capture with my cameras like these from the final week.
Evelyn and Jeff have had a very difficult past two years. Both parents on Jeff’s side recently passed after long battles with cancer. His mother passed a little over a year ago and his father passed just one day before I arrived. Jeff and Evelyn provided intensive care all the way through his Mother Pennie's illness and after she passed his father Jim, who was recently diagnosed himself moved in with them. During the last part of his illness he required intensive care that Evelyn and Jeff again provided without question, and Jim was truly grateful.
My family is fantastic and Evelyn and Jeff are just 2 more examples of “good apples” that just happened to fall a bit farther from the tree. Not so far that I couldn’t visit by bicycle though.
Hills, heat & heavy traffic as I rode the last 68 miles to my sister's place in Edmonds, WA. I MADE IT!!!!8:20 PM Jul 28th from txt
New video posted on blog bikedenbec.blogsspot.com9:01 PM Jul 27th from txt
Rode 44 mi to planned dest. Sedro-Woolley, WA which is over 50 mi North of my sisters house. Oops! LOL Nice hot weather. Camping.7:38 PM Jul 27th from txt
Thankful for perfect weather to cross my last big mtn pass and into the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. Camping Marblemount, WA 80 m9:24 PM Jul 26th from txt
Weather cleared as I crossed 2nd of 4 Mtn passes then got up to 97 then threatening clouds but not much rain. Camping in Okanogan, WA 74 mi8:31 PM Jul 24th from txt
20 miles slowly up (3 hrs) to Sherman Pass then 20 miles down in 20 min - first of 4 big Mtns this week. Camping in Republic WA rain now.6:43 PM Jul 23rd from txt
Rebooted Odo & it is working again. Rode over small Mtn Pass & continued on for 77 mi with temps over 100. Camping Kettel Falls, WA8:59 PM Jul 22nd from txt
Odometer totally not working but maps show I rode 59 mi from Sandpoint, ID to Usk Washington (woo-hoo-hoo!). Nice warm (hot?) day & scenic.9:07 PM Jul 21st from txt
New videos posted on blog bikedenbec.blogspot.com1:12 PM Jul 20th from txt
Rode 25 mi to Sandpoint, ID & got to see Harry Potter movie. Staying with warmshowers host & taking a rest day tomorrow.9:46 PM Jul 19th from txt
I am in Pacific time zone now. Daily updates may be slightly later.9:02 PM Jul 18th from txt
Found I can sleep through party animals just not wild animals. Nice day nearly 100 deg. Rode 85 miles to Clark Fork, Idaho (woo-hoo!) campin9:00 PM Jul 18th from txt
After no sleep last night (bear activity) I stopped a bit early in Plains, MT 50mi. Camping free at fairgrounds w/shower & elec. :)6:38 PM Jul 17th from txt
Stopped @ Adventure Cycling in Missoula for pic & free icecream then rode on to Superior, MT in nice warm 90s. 72 miles camping9:00 PM Jul 16th from txt
Passed 4000 mi. on way to Missoula. MT. camping just south in Lolo as it is cheaper. Nice warm day. 54 mi. Harry Potter will have to wait.7:42 PM Jul 15th from txt
After rain delay yesterday, left Jackson Hot Springs, over pass & out of Big Hole Valley then on to warmer Darby, MT. Camping 75 mi.8:35 PM Jul 14th from txt
7/12 climbed over 2 mountain passes & into Jackson, MT camping $10 w/use of hot springs. New Timers Fest & free food!!! 51m - no cell srv.5:43 PM Jul 14th from txt
Strong storms and big wind continue from yesterday afternoon. Was planning a rest day in Missoula but decided to take it here in Jackson, MT6:38 PM Jul 13th from web
No cell srv. here in Jackson, MT - today's message will be delayed until I get into service area. Camping behind hot spring lodge free food!6:05 PM Jul 12th from web
Very nice day for planned short ride to Dillon, MT & camping. Meeting a lot of other bikers. Tomorrow up again with cell srv not likley. 28m3:53 PM Jul 11th from txt
New videos posted on blog - bikedenbec.blogspot.com10:26 AM Jul 11th from txt
Nice warmer day - climbed to over 7000 ft then down and continued to Twin Bridges, MT. Camping in free camp for bicyclists 56 miles7:09 PM Jul 10th from txt
Morning temps in 30s last 3 days & storms with hail I managed to avoid. Rode 74 miles to Cameron, Montanna (woo-hoo!). Camping8:50 PM Jul 9th from txt
7/8 expected to leave park today but bad weather didn't allow. 28 miles in strong gusty wind. Camping at Madison in Yellowstone. No cell srv12:41 PM Jul 9th from txt
A good climb to 8400 ft & a long day of dodging RVs but very scenic. Camping in Yellowstone at Canyon Village. 44miles8:03 PM Jul 7th from txt
Rode 50 m to east ent. of Yellowstone - 27 m uphil to next campground, camping not allowed (bears), staying in cabin out of budget see blog9:11 PM Jul 6th from web
Great weather for 59 miles of very desolate plains between Greybull & Cody, WY camping at nice campground in Cody.6:25 PM Jul 5th from txt
New weekly video posted on blog bikedenbec.blogspot.com10:31 AM Jul 5th from txt
Left the top of Big Horn Mtns. & 20 mi down in a much nicer day. Continued on to Greybull, WY where I'll enjoy the rest of the 4th. 46 mi.6:25 PM Jul 4th from txt
20 mi up & then 2 mi down in cold pouring rain & thunder before I stopped at a church camp that welcome me in - still raining - staying here6:45 PM Jul 3rd from web
Mix bag of weather today but not terrible. Rode 62 mi & camping at foot of Bighorn Mountains in Dayton, WY. Tomorrow . . . . Up6:59 PM Jul 2nd from txt
Sprinkles as I left the comfortable home of Doris & Buzz then good riding weather for 71 desolate miles to Clearmont, WY. Camping city park6:09 PM Jul 1st from txt
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Let me introduce my Spokes to Paula Lund. I met Paula on Warmshowers.org, but I suspect if I hadn’t contacted her first, she would have chased me down and offered a place to stay as she does so many other bicycle tourists. I really enjoyed my stay with Paula and her pets (kids were at Yellowstone with Dad), she was a very gracious host and a fun person too. Who else would have me out on the side of a mountain way past sunset picking huckleberries for the first time in my life? Mother Nature shines on Paula’s yard with food of all kinds growing in her garden and orchard. I enjoyed picking raspberries and cherries and grazing on snow peas and other delights. Circumstances allowed me only hours notice before my arrival – yet I felt like I had known Paula for years. I suspect I will keep in touch with her long after my trip is completed and I’m sure Paula’s adventurous personality will bring her to my home in South Florida one day soon.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I spent this week riding along the west edge of Montana. I left Dillon, MT and climbed into the "Big Hole" which is a circular flat valley high up and surrounded by mountains. The scenery was incredible but the weather was not perfect. I ended up spending an unplanned rest day in Jackson, Hot Springs which isn't a bad place to spend some time. Then, as I climbed back out of the Big Hole, I crossed the Continental Divide which means I should be half way there - right? And that it's all downhill now - right?? Well, false on both counts but not in a bad way. Here is this weeks review.
As I rode out of the Big Hole, I recorded 20 minutes of downhill that I am posting basically unedited. There is no music with it so it may not be terribly exciting, but it was fun and I hope you might enjoy riding with me. It is posted in 2 parts.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Here is video #1
Don't miss video #2
Bonus! another unedited video of a traumatic trip through a narrow tunnel I wasn't expecting outside Cody, WY. When I saw the tunnel approaching I quickly mounted the "Larry Cam" and I didn't do too good of a job. The camera is mostly showing the ceiling of the tunnel but I wanted to post it anyway for my my own memories. It may not be dramatic to you but I was shaking when I got out - there was no shoulder, it was dark - despite the lights - and I was worried one of those huge bus type campers was going to go through at the same time. It was also slightly uphill. I made it through and I was thankful.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
I started my journey over the Big Horn Mountains today full of anticipation and curiosity if I could even do it. It was a (very) slow but steady 20 miles up into the shrouded mountain top and I was doing pretty well (I thought) even as the chill started to set in. Then came the rain. At first it wasn't too bad and I put on my rain gear and warm clothes and continued up the road. As I passed a van pulled over in the fog I noticed the driver leaning out taking pictures. He stopped me and said he was a biker as well and knew it would be hard to get a picture of myself climbing a mountain so he took down my email address and said he will send me some (I'll post them if he does). David was driving with his two young daughters and he invited me into the van to warm up for a bit - a welcome invitation I could not refuse. We had a nice chat for a while before I had to continue my assent, the peak of which he said wasn't far.
No sooner had I started the down side of the mountain when the real rain started along with some lightning and thunder - plus it was very cold. It wasn't long before I was soaked through and chilled to the bone. I didn't get but a couple miles down before I realized I needed to stop or I could be facing a dangerous situation. Just then I saw the sign for Camp Bethel. I rode in as a pickup truck followed me in - it was a gentleman who worked there (Mark Boyles) who said I could warm up in the dining hall. There I met the manager of the camp who also offered me a hot shower while I waited out the storm. I didn't realize how cold I actually was until I tried to determine the temperature of the shower and couldn't tell how warm it actually was. Feeling much better after the shower, I waited some more for the storm to pass while I fixed myself a sandwich from my soaked gear. But the storm didn't let up and I was offered to stay the night - another offer I couldn't refuse. I was also invited to join the small crew (the camp itself was not in session this week) for a birthday dinner for one of the employees. After a nice meal the manager and his wife & kids (Matt & Sheri Tremain, Braxton, & Savannah in the picture above) invited me for a drive to look for moose. We drove for quite a scenic while before we did see several moose and also deer, elk and antelope. They had binoculars so the view was fantastic.
I was offered to sleep anywhere - even an empty cabin (which were very cool) but I decided to stay in the dining room as all my gear was spread out to dry. I can assure you I will sleep much better here than I would have in a wet tent at 40 degrees. Oh, and even though there is no cell service in this area, they do have wi-fi!
I am so thankful for all these fine folks for helping out a stranger on a bicycle in a time of need. I feel very blessed.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Arrived at my sister Doris' in Gillette, WY (yeah!) & will take tomorrow as rest day. I'll be heading for the mountains on Wed. 34 miles.about 23 hours ago from txt
Week 9 videos are posted on blog bikedenbec.blogspot.com7:58 AM Jun 29th from txt
Much better weather as I rode into Wyoming (woo-hoo!). Camping in Moocroft, WY 65 miles5:48 PM Jun 28th from txt
Cold wind gusting to 35mph - had to peddle down hill & nearly blown off road. Very scenic tho. Staying with HS friend in Speafish, SD 45mi4:46 PM Jun 27th from txt
A beautiful leisurly 36 miles on the Mickleson Trail. Camping in Rochford, SD cell phone dead zone - not sure if this will go out.10:24 AM Jun 27th from txt
Camping in cell phone dead zone, Rochfort, SD - oddly have a wi-fi connection. Regular update should get sent when I get in a coverage area7:53 PM Jun 26th from web
A hot difficult but very scenic 39 mi in the Black Hills of SD. Keystone, Mt. Rushmore & Crazy Horse monument. Camping near Crazy Horse6:07 PM Jun 25th from txt
Nice warm day with somewhat favorable winds. Rode I-90 into Rapid City & staying at warmshowers.org host in very nice home & good food! 60m6:37 PM Jun 24th from txt
Hwy 44 to Rapid City was under const. So I took a leisurly scenic tour of Badlands then camping in Wall, SD. 32mi. Passed 3000 mi on bike!4:29 PM Jun 23rd from txt
Set short goal - strong headwinds made 50 mi an all day event but not too bad. Camping in beautiful Badlands Natl. Park. Worth the effort!5:31 PM Jun 22nd from txt
Brother inlaw Dan took me to Vivian SD for planned late start @ 2pm. 44 miles in great weather - camping in 1880 Town, SD Mountain time zone5:01 PM Jun 21st from txt
40 mi of 15mph tailwind zoom! Then 14mi of 20mph headwind grrr. Brother inlaw picked me up in Vivian, SD to Pierre with Mom until Sunday.5:15 PM Jun 18th from txt
Perfect riding till afternoon then dodged a few storms. Arrived in Winner, South Dakota & prolly stay at Motel to avoid weather.5:11 PM Jun 17th from txt
Nice warm sunny day! Cowboy trail was a bit soft from rain last night & slight head wind - chose pavement Camping in Stuart, NE 74 miles4:36 PM Jun 16th from txt
Gloomy day to start then some sun & good tail wind. Left pavement in Norfolk in favor of Cowboy Rail Trail. Camping Neligh, NE 85 miles5:22 PM Jun 15th from txt
I'm rolling again! Left early from sister's home near Lincoln. Good weather & roads got me 80 miles before 4pm. Camping in Columbus, NE $31:51 PM Jun 14th from txt
Week 5 Video is posted on my Blog bikedenbec.blogspot.com. Trip should resume on Thurs. 6/11 unless we stay in SD for Mom's Birthday on 6/1210:15 AM Jun 5th from txt
Arrived at my sister Karen's near Lincoln, NE (62m)& will go to reunion with her this weekend. Daily updates will resume on Sun or Mon.2:52 PM Jun 1st from web
Good tailwind pushed me into Nebraska & 74 miles before 5pm . Took a dip in the Tecumseh City pool & hopfully I'll find a place to camp here5:00 PM May 31st from web
Road finally flattened out this afternoon replaced by fairly strong prairie headwind. Legs said stop in White Cloud Kansas camping free 56 m6:37 PM May 30th from txt
Much better weather - constant ups & downs - not bad. Camp full but offer free spot not far & can shower. Weston MO. 83m Kansas over river5:57 PM May 29th from txt
Gloomy chilly day with hills & headwind. Next campground is too far so early stop @ Henrietta, MO 44 miles. Hopefully sun tomorrow.2:59 PM May 28th from txt
Back on normal roads. Daily flat, headwind & hills left me just short of goal. Good folks @ Blackburn MO let me camp in park free. 77 Mi5:25 PM May 27th from txt
Week 4 video & pics posted on blog bikedenbec.blogspot.com1:41 PM May 27th from txt
I met Fred and Sherry through the Warmshowers.org website. They are avid cyclists and have done many tours across the country. They were fantastic hosts with a great Mexican dinner, margaritas (yum!) a nice place to rest my head and route advice. They had already hosted two other groups of bicyclists that week but I was still treated like family. I really enjoyed meeting these two new friends! Of course they always have a place to rest in Ft. Lauderdale too!
It was great to see a high school friend of mine while passing through Spearfish, SD. Billie Jo, her husband Todd (already at work), son Jacksyn and daughter Janesa (out of town at EMT camp) gave me a great spaghetti dinner, laundry, shopping, a comfy bed (thanks Janesa!) and sent me off the next day with a big breakfast that got me well into Wyoming.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I mean no disrespect to the rest of my family by singling out these two - but I'd bet the rest of my family would agree that my sister Sharon and her husband Ron are "Salt of the Earth" type people.
I wanted to take a moment in my blog to recognize these two for all the things they do - not only for our family but for all those around them. Many times in past years, Ron has gone out of his way to drive hundreds of miles to pick me up after canceled flights or other issues. There is never a complaint or even a second thought - he just drops everything and helps. Sharon is the same way. My favorite part of a trip to South Dakota, besides seeing Mom, is staying at their home. If you look up the word "hospitality" in the dictionary - their picture should be there. You will always leave their beautifuf home well rested, well fed and properly "watered" (ie beer!).
If a family emergency presents itself, Ron and Sharon are there. When Mom fell and broke her leg last month and Medicare said she couldn't stay in recovery, nobody had to ask if she could stay with Ron and Sharon. They retrofitted their entire house to make it possible for Mom to get around in a wheel chair. And they see to it that she is well cared for and that the bills are correct and questions answered from the Doctor's office.
For me personally, not only do they let me stay with them, take me to the airport at the crack of dawn, provide fantastic meals, let me borrow their car when I need to drive to my home town, pay for things even when I protest, and now even support my bicycle adventure with a generous donation, they do all this without question and without expecting anything in return.
It is rare to find people of this caliber - and I am so happy and proud that they are my family.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Also, thank you to my sister Evelyn who donated Larry's new shoes!
I didn't take a whole lot of pictures and videos this week because ...... well.... it all looks a bit the same in the Great Plains. Still it is beautiful country and I enjoyed my ride.
Thankfully, my sister Karen was able to get out of the shift she was scheduled for on Friday and we were able to stay in South Dakota for Mom's Birthday on June 12th. We had a party for her with all her children and other friends of the family. It was a nice day that concluded with a campfire in the fire pit. The next day Karen and I drove back to Lincoln, NE with her two daughters and I continued my trek across the Great Plains on Sunday.
Monday, June 08, 2009
I wasn't expecting too much from the reunion because our family on my Mother's side hasn't been together, outside too many funerals, for over 20 years. But the local cousins did an incredible job of organizing, preparing and putting on a fantastic day. We had around 150 people there with lots of good food and entertainment including a wonderful picture slide show with over 500 pictures from the past that ran throughout the day. Mom is from a family of 10 children and our extended family has grown a lot through the years. We took time for each family to update us on which sibling they belonged to and what they are doing in their lives. I'm usually taking lots of pictures during these type of events but since I saw many flash bulbs going off, I decided to just sit back and absorb all the information which I very much enjoyed. I'll collect pictures via Internet when I get back home. Mom has improved a lot but still can't put any weight on her leg so she was unable to attend the reunion, but thanks to the picture slide show that my cousin Dianne put on DVD for me, I was able to show her all the pictures when I got back to Pierre. She very much enjoyed seeing them! The reunion took place in Mobridge, SD by the way.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Charming Herman, MOWeston, MOInteresting house along the road
Wolf River Bob - A life long adventurist and resident of White Cloud, KS. He showed me many historic pictures and a guest book signed by hundreds of bicycle tourists from as far back as 1984 who camped for free in the White Cloud City Park. We also spent some time driving around what would appear to be a simple little town on the decline. Through Bob's memories and hopes of reviving a historic treasure, I got a whole new view of White Cloud. Some day I believe one of those bicycle tourists who spent time in White Cloud will return to help restore the town to its former glory.
I've got a week to recover before I start rolling again and there is some good food in Nebraska and South Dakota!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I had a lot of video footage this week so I decided to put the pictures directly into the blog instead of including them in the video review. I think it might actually be better that way. Once again there were a lot of wonderful things to see so I’ll just post some of my favorites.
It looks like I may not make it all the way to Pierre, SD in time for my family reunion on June 6th, but I should be able to get to Lincoln, NE where my sister Karen lives and ride to the reunion with her and her girls. Then I’ll ride back to NE and continue my journey from there. I still plan to spend some time in South Dakota visiting family and helping take care of Mom for a while, who is doing better by the way. She is currently out of the hospital and staying with my sister Sharon during her recovery. My sister Ann is also close by and continues to help as well.
I apologize for the delay on these videos but they require electricity and wi-fi to produce and post which have been lacking in the campgrounds. I’ll always post them at my first opportunity. And now here is week 4 in review.
Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area
A rest stop in LBL Rec Area
Unusual amount of cemetaries at LBL Rec Area