For those of you that were with us on the "virtual" tour but didn't have the pleasure of hearing them, I'd like to share some lasting moments and comments from along the trail...
"Uncle Chris, can you see a way across the river in the bottom corner of the map?"
(Pat & Sean trying to ford a river in the San Joaquin valley outside of Sacramento after missing a turn while Chris is having a slice of pizza at Costco.)
"Ow, Ow, Ow, my legs!"
(Both Sean and Pat trying to run across the street in Folsom, NV for dinner on unconditioned legs.)
(Pat's casual, emotionless comment when he realized he was inevitably tipping over at 1 mph and could not unclip his feet from the pedals just before he crashed in the parking lot in Carson City, NV. Lucky for him, he jumped up before we could get a photograph.)
"I'm not ready to quit."
(Sean's resolve when we mentioned that if his dropout (bike part) broke, he could ride in the van that day as we were getting ready to leave the Hite Recreation area at Lake Powell.)
"The Brit's were just here."
(Uncle Chris' jibe at the guys when the elderly British team left Middlegate, NV before Sean and Pat arrived.
"He wouldn't go away"
(Pat and Sean's comment about the talkative guy in the Fallon, NV Wal-Mart parking lot who came over and struck up a biking conversation with them around 9PM and didn't leave until 11:30."
"Well, how hard did you knock? Like this?"
(Scotty's comment as he playfully knuckled Chris in the chest when he asked us how hard we knocked on the door of his trailer when we tried to register at his campground. [Scotty's campground was a little creepy])
"That was hilarious."
(Sean and Pat's response when Uncle Chris told them that he had to use the bathroom six times in one hour after eating something at Bryce Canyon. Not funny!)
"How could he get lost?"
(Chris and Pat after Sean missed a turn in Girard, KS on the way to dinner a half mile away.)
"We're not doing that again"
(Pat's comment the morning after they elected to ride their bikes deep into the night, even until midnight, on the ride to Ash Grove, MO. Bugs, smelly air, and bike-chasing dogs were in abundance.)
"You're lucky I don't throw you out right now!"
(The grumpy camp host's response to Chris' joking comment of "I guess that means no fireworks" when Chris was told it was quiet time as we arrived at Grindstone Campground in Va.)
(Collective scream by all three when lightning flashed and boomed simultaneously nearby the van while we were hunkered down inside at Rough River, MO)
And for those who might be interested, here is a list of our nightly stops along the way:
Day Date End Point Accommodations
0 June 13 Vallejo, CA Vallejo Inn
1 June 14 Winters, CA Super 8 Motel, Dixon, CA
2 June 15 Folsom, CA Wal-Mart Inn
3 June 16 Somerset, CA Indian Grinding Rock State Park, Pine Grove, CA
4 June 17 Bear River, CA Bear River Reservoir Campground
5 June 18 Carson City, CA Comstock Country RV Park
6 June 19 Fallon, NV Wal-Mart Inn
7 June 20 Cold Springs, NV Cold Springs Campground/RV
8 June 21 Bob Scott Summit, NV Bob Scott Campground
9 June 22 Eureka, NV Scotty's RV Park
10 June 23 Ely, NV Ely KOA Campground
11 June 24 Baker, NV Great Basin Nat. Park, Lower Lehman Creek Campground
12 June 25 Milford, UT Lion's Club Charity RV Park
13 June 26 Cedar City, UT Wal-Mart Inn
14 June 27 Panguitch, UT Panguitch KOA Campground
15 June 28 Bryce Canyon, UT Bryce Canyon Campground
16 June 29 Boulder, UT Boulder Grocery/Campground
17 June 30 Hanksville, UT Red Rock Restaurant/Campground
18 July 1 Hite Rec. Area, UT Hite Rec. Area
19 July 2 Blanding, UT Four Corners Inn
20 July 3 Dolores, CO Wal-Mart Inn, Cortez, CO
21 July 4 Telluride, CO Pandora Lane
22 July 5 Montrose, CO Hampton Inn
23 July 6 Gunnison, CO Wal-Mart Inn, Gunnison, CO
24 July 7 Coaldale, CO Bear RV Park, CO
25 July 8 Colorado Springs, CO The Hardman's
26 July 9 Sugar City, CO Sugar City City Park
27 July 10 Eads, CO Eads City Park
28 July 11 Tribune, KS Tribune City Park
29 July 12 Dighton, KS Dighton City Park
30 July 13 La Cross,KS La Crosse, CIty Park
31 July 14 Nickerson, KS Nickerson City Park
32 July 15 Cassoday, KS Cassoday City Park
33 July 16 Toronto, KS Toronto Lake State Park
34 July 17 Girard, KS Winston City Park
35 July 18 Ash Grove, MO Ash Grove City Park
36 July 19 Hartville, MO Hartville City Park
37 July 20 Houston, MO Houston Motel
38 July 21 Eminence, MO Riverfront RV Park
39 July 22 St. Louis, MO Motel 6
40 July 23 Farmington, MO Wal-Mart Inn
41 July 24 Murphysboro, IL Lake Murphysboro State Park
42 July 25 Galconda, IL Rauchfuss Hill Campground
43 July 26 Sebree, KY First Baptist Church
44 July 27 Rough River, KY Rough River State Park
45 July 28 Sonora, KY Pilot Truck Stop
46 July 29 Springfield, KY Idle Hour City Park
47 July 30 Lexington, KY Homewood Suites
48 July 31 Buckhorn, KY Buckhorn Lake State Park
49 August 1 Pippa Passes, KY Shopping Center
50 August 2 Council, VA Council City Park
51 August 3 Koonarock, VA Grindstone Campground
52 August 4 Radford, VA City Park
53 August 5 Troutville, VA Camp Bethel
54 August 6 Waynesboro, VA (Afton) Wal-Mart Inn
55 August 7 Mineral, VA Anna Lake Campground
56 August 8 Williamsburg, VA Motel 6
Farewell to all and thank you for the comments.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Miles Completed Today: 13
Total Miles Completed: 3770
Miles To Go: 0
They did it! Fifty-six hard days of riding and the dynamic duo cycled into Yorktown just before noon today, thirteen miles from Williamsburg on the Colonial Parkway. It was another terribly muggy day, but that didn't dampen their spirits, and they rode the length without even filling their water bottles. After arriving they "cooled" off in the not so refreshing waters of Chesapeake Bay for awhile before heading indoors for victory lunch with two other groups that paralleled Pat & Sean's ride across the country; the "California team" of Dave and Zach, and Josh the lone rider from Utah.
Perseverance pays off and they never gave up, not in that river before Sacramento, not climbing the Sierras, not in the heat of Nevada and Lake Powell, not riding up the Continental Divide, not after a late night bug-ridden, dog chased night in Missouri, not in Kentucky or western Virginia on those foggy, steep, curving downhills or the blistering 132 mile ride into Williamsburg. Never say never. Congratulations!
Today's Internet courtesy of the Heritage Inn in Fredricksburg, Va.
Posted by Chris at 8:37 PM
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Miles Completed Today: 132
Total Miles Completed: 3757
Miles To Go: 23
Our NOAA weather radios last night said there was a heat advisory for today from 1-8 PM, so at the crack of dawn the guys were up and on the road at 6:15 AM. Before sunrise! We even have photos to prove it. They will ride northeast on Route 522 and then cut southeasterly toward Ashland, Va. and Glendale, Va., today's target destination, weather permitting.
Last night we camped at Lake Anna a few miles off the trail, but once again it was an entertaining place. This one had thirty cats. They were quiet at night, so we can't complain.
If all goes well, we should roll into Yorktown sometime tomorrow for the finale! It's hard to believe we are that close, and it seems like we just left San Francisco not too long ago. The guys have really appreciated all the comments, and even though they didn't always get to read them on their own, I always tell them about who said what--especially those mysterious anonymous inputs.
Today's Internet courtesy of Panera Bread in Glen Allen, Va.
UPDATE: Well there's nothing like a challenge to motivate, and that's what the guys got today when they ran into the "California Team" (Zach and Dave), a team they first met way out west in Nevada that is riding unsupported. We have leapfrogged with them ever since and the guys surely didn't want to let the other team get to the finish before them, so they all rode together today all the way to Williamsburg. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-TWO MILES, if I read the map correctly! That leaves a cake walk of about twenty miles tomorrow for the finale!
Update courtesy of the Williamsburg Public Library in Williamsburg, Va.
Posted by Chris at 4:50 AM
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Miles Completed Today: 67
Total Miles Completed: 3625
Miles To Go: 165
The end is in sight! Well, not literally, but today is the last day in the mountains as we descend from the Blue Ridge parkway, drive through the University of Virgina campus in Charlottesville, on to Monticello, and then to Mineral, Va. That would leave about another 140 miles to go, so a Thursday finish in two more days is most likely. There was talk of making the last day a 100 mile plus ride, but we'll see. The weather is still sticky, humid and hot, and once we get near the Tidewater region of southeast Virgina, it will probably get worse.
Today's Internet courtesy of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville, Va.
Posted by Chris at 9:03 AM
Monday, August 6, 2007
Miles Completed Today: 84
Total Miles Completed: 3568
Miles To Go: 232
Oh what a joy to sleep in a van. You would never think someone would be so happy to sleep in a van, but when the alternative is a tent on the ground with no fans, it's not so bad after all.
Today, the road heads northeast on County Road 640 and criss-crosses Interstate 81 a few times en route to historic Lexington where Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson had homes and where Virginia Military Institute and Washington & Lee University are located. From Lexington it's on to Vesuvius, Va. and then, time permitting, toward Charlottesville.
If all goes smoothly, we should reach the finish line Thursday or Friday!
Today's Internet courtesy of the Rockbridge Regional Library in Lexington, Va.
Update: The guys made it all the way to Afton, Va., where they hoped to meet the famous "Cookie Lady" who welcomes cross country cyclists and bakes them cookies. She has cycling memorabilia all the way back to 1976 when the "bikecetennial" started this cross country cycling craze. We had heard about her all the way out in Utah or Colorade from westbound riders. Unfortunately, she's not been doing well lately, and we could not see her, but the guys planned to ride by her house tomorrow and get a photo of it.
Posted by Chris at 10:35 AM
Miles Completed Today: 72
Total Miles Completed: 3484
Miles To Go: 316
Today was the second day of self supported riding through the Blue Ridge Mountains of western/central Virgina. More twisting mountain riding on a very humid day, but they found a little oasis at the end of the day at Camp Bethel campground with a pool, hot showers, and even a free dinner. Chris joined up with the guys later in the evening after chasing some "wanna-be SAG dogs" out of the van in Charlotte.
Posted by Chris at 10:25 AM
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Miles Completed Today: 77
Total Miles Completed: 3412
Miles To Go: 388
Grindstone Campground near Mt. Rogers in western Virgina was the campsite last night after an evening ride on the Virgina Creeper Trail, a converted railroad track that is now a bike path outside Abington and Damascus, Va. Portions of the path are shared with the Appalachian Trail as it winds through the mountains. Today, the duo rode to just a few miles west of Christiansburg coming in with a total of 77 miles for the day.
Update: This was a solo, self-supported day for Pat & Sean as the SAG detoured to Charlotte, NC to visit relatives for the day and spend the night. So they pulled the bike trailer and camped on their own in a park near Radford, VA. Funny thing is they got up and were on the road by 9:00 AM the next day. Hmmm, maybe self-supported is the way to go since sleeping in while in a tent just isn't that fun?
Posted by Chris at 8:06 PM