July - October 2016
  • Day93

    Day 28: Last Day

    October 16, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 57 °F

    I didn't sleep well last night and was up before dawn. I had a cup of coffee ready to watch the sun peak over the mountains; turning the morning beautiful shades of pink and orange. I don't know why I haven't watched a sunrise yet, but I'm glad I got one in.

    Shortly into my ride I came across Walker Lake, a picturesque, emerald oasis in the middle of the desert. Close to 20 miles of my ride today was going around this lake.

    I stopped at Twenty Mile Beach to get some time in by the water, but the shore turned into what could easily have been quicksand. As I was leaving the beach i found a danger sign that had fallen from its post. It was supposed to have told me that I shouldn't have walked along that shore because there were "unexploded munitions". Nice.

    When I got on the other side of the lake, the winds started again. The last 10 miles into Hawthorne were arduous.

    I also started going through military territory. Constant signs telling me danger keep out, this lands belongs to the army. This really creeps me out. Maybe it's because I'm in UFO country :)

    Yes, I have a very overactive imagination.

    Just a few days short of a month, and a few miles shy of 1,000, this amazing trip must come to an end. My daughter and Grandson are coming home! Hillary left Portland today, she's picking me up tomorrow, and we'll finish this trip together( in a car).

    This was the adventure of a lifetime. I am so thankful for the experience. It has been rewarding in ways I never could have imagined. I have met so many wonderful people, and seen much beauty. I feel much more confident in the person that I am and the things that I can accomplish.

    However, I can't wait to pick up where I left off. Not alone, but with my partner in life.
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    Amy Grizzaffi

    What a journey! What stories you will have to tell. Glad you stayed safe, and I know you will enjoy the time with Hillary and the baby. Love ya lots sis!

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  • Day92

    Day 27 : The Desert

    October 15, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌬 66 °F

    I woke up feeling great. It was a beautiful day and there was no wind. The weather was calling for winds up to about 27 miles an hour later that day. I figured I could get in some miles before it started. When it did, it wouldn't be too bad. Nothing like yesterday.

    It was a great decision. The day was perfect.

    I am in the desert now, and it is so beautiful! My 28 mile ride today took me through a valley surrounded by mountains. The traffic was mild, so I was mostly alone.

    I was trying to make it another 15 miles to Walker lake, but the wind started picking up. I found a great spot to camp up a small hill at the base of a mountain. What a view from my tent!

    It's s been a minute since I felt good about this ride. Between being home sick and just tired, I was wondering how much longer I wanted to do this. Today I felt great again and I loved every bit of this day.
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  • Day92

    Day 26 : Brutal Winds

    October 15, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌬 64 °F

    I almost didn't have anything good to say about this day. It started awful. I didn't sleep at all last night I woke up before daylight packed up the tent and got on the road.

    It was windy from the start. It took me about 5 hours to go 17 miles. A little after noon, the wind picked up so hard it was blowing me into the middle of the road.

    I really didn't know what to do, and was starting to panic, when a woman in the truck stopped and asked if I needed a ride into town. Because I am stubborn, and always want to do things on my own, I almost said no. Thankfully I quickly reconsidered. remembering my past regrets of turning down help.

    The instant the bike was loaded up, and I was sitting in the cab of the truck, I was so grateful.

    The woman, Kail, turned out to be a godsend. She invited me to stay in her home in Yerington. Her and her husband Jim were extremely gracious. I liked them instantly. They let me shower, fed me a delicious dinner, and had a room for me to stay in. Since the winds are supposed to continue tomorrow, Jim insisted I stay another day.

    What started as the worst day of my trip, ended up being pretty great. I met some really great people that I hope to stay in contact with. I would love for Ti-pei you meet them.
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  • Day92

    Day 25 :

    October 15, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌬 64 °F

    I had 12 easy miles leaving Reno, then I had to climb 6,826 feet to Geiger summit.These inclines keep getting bigger and bigger.

    In hindsight donuts and chocolate milk were a terrible idea to fuel my ride up that hill.

    After the struggle, I had a nice easy downhill ride into a great little town that never left the 1800's, Virginia city. I wish it would not have been so late in the afternoon, I would have liked to have spent more time there. I definitely would like to go back and stay for a couple of days.

    I had a quick burger at one of the saloons in town, then I headed for six mile Canyon Road. I had to go down a steep hill to get to it, and once there, the road was closed for repaving. I was not going back up that steep hill, so I took my chances.

    The road had been freshly black topped, and evidently just recently finished. The ride through the canyon was completely downhill, and absolutely beautiful. I had it all to myself.

    I should have listened to my instinct and found a place to camp on that road, but instead I pushed a little further to Silver springs. There was supposed to have been a Nevada State Park, but when I got there there was nothing but someone's yard. Darn you Google maps!!!

    I was extremely frustrated. It was getting late in the day and the wind was really picking up. I ended up having to find a spot in an empty lot off the side of the road. Since there's not really any trees I was in the open. First time I've really been scared to camp on my own, and the road noise is terrible. I'm not sleeping much tonight.
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  • Day90

    Day off

    October 13, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 54 °F

    It was so nice to wake up and realize that I didn't have to go anywhere. I got Starbucks, did laundry, walked down the river walk, and Midtown. Reno is actually a nice little city.

    I also booked a flight for Hillary and Avery to come home in early December. I am really excited about that! He is already getting so big. :(

    Not being on a bike for one day was good. A hot shower and a bed to sleep in was great. However, I am ready to get back to the middle of nowhere. Even if that means a shower only once a week, or sleeping on a half inch thick foam mat on the ground. I really love it.

    I finished the night with some gear organizing , and bike maintenance. I'm getting to know my bike, and how to fix stuff, but there's plenty that I need to learn. Hopefully I won't have any major problems I can't figure out. Duct tape fixes everything, right?

    As anxious as I am to get back on the road, I am not looking forward to the over 2,000 miles of elevation I am going to have to climb, in a short distance, first thing in the morning.

    Tomorrow before I leave town, I am going to find some fresh baked donuts to fuel my trek up that hill. Then that will be the last of my indulgent rest in Reno.
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    judy hale

    Glad you are getting some much needed rest

  • Day89

    Day 23

    October 12, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 50 °F

    I didn't sleep well last night. Maybe it was the coyotes howling in the background.

    I woke up to a flat tire. There was no hole in the tube, so I just filled it with air, and kept an eye on it all day. It did fine. I'm not sure what happened.

    The traffic was bad today, but I got lucky and found a road that took me off the highway for about 25 miles. Such a beautiful ride until till I had to climb. I'm getting better at it, but I still don't have to like it.

    I crossed the Nevada state line. Yay! I'm in my third state. As I head east towns will become spaced further apart. I'm a little nervous about that.

    The length of my ride today put me on either side of Reno. I didn't want to try to find a place to camp there, also i hadn't had a shower in almost 5 days I decided to get a room. The cheapest I found was $40 a night at Harrah's. Hard to say no to that, so I got the room for 2 nights. I decided to take a long break. I am relieved of riding all day tomorrow.

    I checked in around 4. Got a room on the 17th floor. I have a pretty nice view.

    The first thing I did was soak in the tub. Then downstairs to find food. My husband convinced me to spoil myself with the all-you-can-eat buffet. A fantastic idea after not having had much real food.

    Tomorrow I will spend the day doing laundry, bike maintenance, and exploring Reno on foot. Can't wait to not ride a bike!
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    judy hale

    good job you should call Philip

  • Day87

    Day 22 :

    October 10, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

    It was a pretty easy day. When I got to Susanville the terrain started to change. I said good bye to green and lush, and hello brown and dry.

    I got a bad case of home sickness today. Wondering why I'm doing what I'm doing. I guess these days are normal, but I haven't been home in 2 months.

    There were a few people that I meet today that helped boost my spirits. Two woman in the parking lot of a grocery store. An older woman who was so excited that I was doing what I was doing, and a girl named Annie that gave me her number and address if I need a place to stay in Lake Tahoe. I also chatted about my trip with a man named Scott in Janesville. He also have me a phone number to call if I had any problems between there and Reno.

    I have already met so many awesome people who have been so helpful and supportive.

    I rode 55 miles and stopped just outside of Doyle. Finding a place to camp is becoming a little more tricky without the cover of trees. I think I did ok. it's a beautiful view. The sunset was amazing!
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    Amy Grizzaffi

    What an amazing journey so far! Stay safe but have fun sis!

    Adventure mine

    It has been:) Thank you! Love you guys

  • Day86

    Day 21: Accomplishments

    October 9, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 72 °F

    Woke up to a beautiful, but cold day. A mile and a half into my ride, I reached the summit! After the torturous climb the last 2 days, I had done it! That was probably the hardest (physical) thing I've ever had to do.

    The 14 mostly downhill miles into Old Station was easy breezy. There I treated myself to a big breakfast. I deserved it.

    After breakfast I had another glorious moment. I had to go up another 1000 ft. This time i did it without stopping. I didn't even use the last gear. I said a little prayer with Mary Jane, I put on some explosions in the sky, then I put my head down and powered through it. It was an amazing feeling to finally have the strength. I have never been more proud of myself!

    I biked 48 miles and felt great! tomorrow I get to go down hill, then it looks like it's going to be a much easier ride for a couple if days.
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    judy hale

    awsome job

  • Day85

    Day 20 : Still climbing

    October 8, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 64 °F

    Only got about 22 (tough) miles today. I passed 5000 feet a while back. With all the hills and the . . . discomfort, I am surprised I got this far. However, I am almost to the top! I can't believe the peak I'm seeing next to me is the same peak I saw two days ago in the distance.

    This has been insanely hard. I am ready to get over this mountain!!

    I am very close to Lassen Volcanic National Park. To go through it is actually less miles, but a park ranger told me it gets up to almost 10, 000 ft. No thank you. I'll take the extra miles over more elevation any day.

    I'm not coming across any towns now, so I have to watch my water. make sure i have food, and find my own places to sleep.

    I'm unsure what tomorrow is going to be like. I'm pretty high up, but I don't think I start going down until I get to Susanville. About 50 miles away. Probably two days at the rate I'm going.
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  • Day84

    Day 19 :

    October 7, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 63 °F

    I'd like to thank Mary Jane (my bike of course) , excision, and salt water taffy for getting me through this day. It was a tough one

    Had a slow start getting out of Redding. There was bike maintenance, a grocery store stop, and a post office run to mail home some stuff I can live without. I got rid of 8lbs!

    The day was clear and hot. Not a cloud in the sky for shelter, but occasionally I would get a shadow from a tree for shade. At least I remembered sunblock this morning.

    I have been climbing all day. Not even a slow incline, just one hill after another, after another, getting higher and higher.

    Toward the end of my day I was starving. I stopped at the top of the hill to take a water break. Through some trees i saw a Taco Bell sign. Someone had nailed it to their shed. I know I was in the middle of nowhere , but for fraction of a second I was so happy. bizarre.

    A bus blew a tire right in front of me. Pieces of tire flying everywhere. That was really scary!

    I stopped at a fantastic, little shop on the side of the road. I'm not even sure where it was. Kind of in the middle of nowhere. It was a whimsical yard ornament / candy store. I bought some candy to fuel my journey, then stayed for awhile and talked to two pleasant older gentlemen. Bill and Jim.

    Jim offered me to set up my tent out front. I do not know why I didn't take him up on that. Yes I do, its because I thought I needed to go further . About an hour later I was exhausted, and for the first time in 19 days I started chaffing. Boy do i regret that decision. The irony behind this is, since I haven't had this problem I put the chafing cream in the box I sent home today.

    With about 2500 more feet to climb, and some extreme uncomfortableness in my region down below. Tomorrow may be dreadful.
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