Epilogue

Epilogue

[ Day 447 — Sept 3, 2013 ] I wrote for many reasons—some admirable, some not. I wanted to better understand the trip, both in the moment and in the decades to come. I also wanted to share my story in hopes that it might resonate with others. The adventures of teachers, friends, and family inspired adventures […]

Homecoming

[ Day 30 — July 12, 2012 ] Erin and I got off to a late start that morning, aware that it would be our last together and in no particular rush to say goodbye. My trip was near its end, and there were things I would miss, but on the whole I felt satisfied—and […]

More than OK

[ Day 29 — July 11, 2012 ] Erin and I spent the night at Bodega Dunes, just outside the Bay Area’s northern boundary. We continued south the next morning, following Highway 1 past Tomales Bay and turning onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard at Olema. For me, this marked the transition from what felt familiar […]

At the World’s Edge

At the World’s Edge

[ Day 28 — July 10, 2012 ] Mendocino gave way to Sonoma, and with it came our last day along the North Coast. With only three days left on the road, I tried to savor the experience. Each mile brought me further into familiar territory, but I wanted to retain the traveler’s mindset with […]

The Right Moment

[ Day 27 — July 9, 2012 ] After a big push down the Mendocino Coast, I met up with Erin just before dinner. Though I had enjoyed touring the Lost Coast, I’d grown accustomed to my newfound touring partner and was glad to reconnect with her. The two days apart had done little to […]

Eighty Percent Attitude

[ Day 26 — July 8, 2012 ] I awoke to find the clear overnight skies replaced by a dense mantle of fog. My neighbors were now disembodied voices; crows carried on measured conversation somewhere to the north. The sun was nothing more than a diffused glow, but that wouldn’t be the case where I […]

The Lost Coast

The Lost Coast

[ Day 25 — July 7, 2012 ] Sausage links sizzled as they cooked while pancakes rose to golden perfection nearby. A cheery, middle-aged woman named Barbara presided over the tabletop griddle and hot plate, welcoming sleepy-eyed campers as they wandered into the breakfast tent, lured by the promise of familiar, unpretentious fare. It was […]

Among the Giants

Among the Giants

[ Day 24 — July 6, 2012 ] It was a cold, damp morning at the Mill Creek Campground, and it took some grit to abandon the comforts of tent and sleeping bag. I woke before Erin and Charlie, trying to get a head start on the many tasks that stood between up and out. […]

The Redwood Highway

The Redwood Highway

[ Day 23 — July 5, 2012 ] Erin and I had lunch in Brookings, at a cozy little restaurant with generous portions and friendly service. This was our last town before the California border and also a point of temporary divergence: Erin’s knee had been bothering her, so she decided to catch a bus […]

Independence Day

[ Day 22 — July 4, 2012 ] Erin and I continued riding south, following the 101 as it edged back to the coastline. We rode alone at times, but mostly stayed together, following quiet, tree-lined roads across rolling terrain. The quiet belied our proximity to the ocean; we were just far enough away to […]

Bandon and the Dunes

Bandon and the Dunes

[ Day 21 — July 3, 2012 ] I woke up around seven to find Scott getting the last of his things together. He would tackle a longer, tougher ride than I would that day, and after the 85 miles back to Eugene, he’d hop in a car and drive an additional 280 miles back […]

Children of Coincidence

Children of Coincidence

[ Day 20 — July 2, 2012 ] Scott and I were on our way by 9:15, winding from one neighborhood to the next like twelve-year-olds on a cross-town jaunt. Our Monday-morning escape was mostly uneventful: each quiet neighborhood gave way to another quiet neighborhood, similar in look and feel. I remember few details, with […]

Gravity

[ Days 17 – 19 — June 27 – July 1, 2012 ] Eugene offered a vacation from a vacation: nights in a warm bed and days of easy spectating. I’d paid my admission fee in dollars and sweat, and now the wonders of Track Town were before me like a personal Disneyland. To borrow another metaphor, […]

On to Track Town

[ Day 16 – June 28, 2012 ] I woke to find that my picnic-table-as-sleeping-platform, which in darkness seemed both clever and inconspicuous, was, in daylight, obvious to anyone entering or exiting the park. I might as well have marked my spot with a giant flag. Even then, I doubt my presence would’ve garnered much […]

Deep Blue Lake

Deep Blue Lake

[ Day 15 – June 27, 2012 ] The overnight temperature dipped into the mid-thirties, dashing my plans for a spry, pre-dawn ride up to Rim Village. At about 6,000 feet above sea level, I slept cold and woke late, barely leaving my site before noontime checkout. Once on the saddle, though, the seven miles […]

Alvin, Butte Falls

[ Day 14 – June 26, 2012 ] It was a cold, wet morning in the hills of Jackson County. My ten-mile descent from Little Butte Creek was both literally and figuratively chilling; it didn’t spoil the ride, but it proved that I had not prepared for such weather. I put on all the layers […]