Thursday, October 19, 2006

Don't love us and leave us.

We've gotten a lot of comments on our "Mission Accomplished; Phase I" post. Thanks to all who have been keeping up with us, especially to those who've been with us since the begining. I should have been more clear in the last post, because although this is the final destination of Phase I, there is definitly going to be a Phase II. I wanted to clarify for those of you who may have tuned in more recently and aren't privy to all our plans.

We are not done riding. We are taking our mid-day siesta. In February, we will fly to Austin, TX and ride the Gulf Coast, up the East Coast to the Maritime Provinces. We have another six months of riding planned.

The blog will not be inactive for the three months siesta, however. We plan to fill it up with odds and ends, outtakes, and good stuff we didn't have time to put in. There is soooo much other stuff that happened besides what we had time to write up with our hour time limit at the library. So please stay tuned. IT'S FAR FROM OVER!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Phase I: Mission Accomplished

WE MADE IT. SAN FRANCISCO! On October 13, 2006 at ~Noon, PCT, we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge into the city. It completes this leg of our trip. We've cycled upwards of 4700 miles and my knees are feeling a little creeky.

Do we feel proud of ourselves?
Yes of course.

Does it feel good to be done? Yes, of course.

Was it everything you thought it would be? What part?

The final stretch. Was riding into San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge triumphant? Actually, it was slightly anti-climactic. We rode over, I was taking pictures the whole way. We reached the other side and that was that. I tried to get some people to get photo's of us by the bridge, but I felt ackward asking anyone to share in the moment which I felt was pretty personal. Plus, I wanted the photo to be composed just so, and the random tourists I was asking kept placing our figures right in front of the bridge so you couldn't see it. With the onset of digital camera's the new common courtesy after taking a picture for a stranger is to wait until they have viewed it and offer to talk another if they don't like it. But what are you going to say..."You have no sense of composition. Come on, don't place the foreground so it obscures the background, which we want to be a focal point. Get it right with this next shot." No, of course not. I would just smile and say, "looks great, thanks!" I wandered around aimlessly trying to decide what to do, and Ira was getting irritated at me. We had made plans to be at our hosts house in Ashbury Heights at 12:30, we had no idea of how to get there and it looked like we were going to be running late. All of this and I was being wishy-woshy about a picture. Finally we rode away from the bustling crowd along Lincoln Blvd to a better viewpoint to the west of the bridge. We set up our bike-pod (which is how Ira and I shoot almost all of the pics with us together...the bikes are leaned up against each other so they are putting pressure on the other and holding themselves up freestanding) and I was able to set up the shot. I was in a hurry because Ira was feeling antsy and so I couldn't compose a good shot either. Ira's hand is blocking part of the view. Oh well.

How did you celebrate? We toasted on shots of bourbon when we got to our host's house.

That's it? That's it. We have a week to relax in San Fran before we go back to Chicago and that will be celebritory in itself. I guess it hasn't hit in yet, what we have done. The cliche here is true. The journey was the destination. We are done and now the journey of my reminicing over it is about to begin.

you think you want to see me; you've missed me on this trip. Think hard on whether you really want me back because you know I will be one of those obnoxious people who will turn every single converstation and comment around just so I can get the topic over to our trip again. I will be the old lady telling here grandkids the stories over and over and over about how (in shakey voice) I biked from Chicago to San Francisco in 2006, and bicycles weren't as they are now, you actually had to pedal them yourself." Or whatever. All I am saying is a word of warming, please practice hiding your boredom and yawns because when I get back, you will need this skill after having to listen to me for the 3rd straight hour.

Back on topic. The Circumference of the earth is ~24,902 miles. Therefore, we have ridden ~18% of it so far. Not bad.

Here is a map of our final route
If any dialog boxes come up, keep pressing "continue".

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Complete Oregon Coast Slideshow

I have finally got all the good Oregon pics together. It took a while, there were hundreds of them. Here it is.

Oregon Coast Slideshow

Thursday, October 12, 2006

For some reason we're having lousy luck uploading photos, which I realize are the reason most people check our blog.

The coast basicly looks like this. When we get a chance there will be many more pictures of it.

We're still touring the breweries! There are a million of them on the coast. These guys make Scrimshaw, which is great.

Two things: 1) You can see the fog in this picture, it's present every morning and then burns off by early afternoon for a brilliant clear day. 2) We're in Marin County and it's a beautiful place. Fairfax is our location, and it's twenty miles from SF.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ira vs. the Gualala bear

We're in Bodega Bay, two days out of SF! Humbolt and Mendocino counties had enough hills to make us thoroughly miserable, but it looks like smooth sailing now. Sorry, still no pictures.

A bear raided our camp last night and ate all of my granola bars! Somehow, despite the bear on the state flag and every government seal, I managed to convince myself that it was ok to leave the food in my pannier, and the little bastard ate all three of them. I had to lay there in the tent and listen to him snuffling around and chomping on my food, afraid to go out and interfer, risking dismemberment. As soon as he left, I went outside in only my boxer shorts and surveyed the expected carnage. It sounded like he was shredding everything! It turned out he was nice enough to unzip my bag and only eat the food, leaving everything else intact. There were a couple muddy paw-prints on my pannier and one on the container of Gatorade powder that he had unsucessfuly tried to access. I'm glad we're not dealing with any more nature for a while.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

We have entered that fabled land to the west, ruled by Arnold Schwarzenegger and home to more American mythology than any other state in the union.

There is a northern part of California that most Californians don't even realize exists. That's how the guys we met in Del Norte county described their home. It's comfortingly rural up there, and if it wasn't for the ocean it'd feel just like the North Woods of Wisconsin. Anyway, it's been really nice up here and we've been in the Redwood Parks for the last couple of days, but we are tired out, tired of riding, and tired of being on the road. SF is only about a week away but we'd really like to be there now.

This library won't let us upload pictures but soon there'll be some great ones of the North Coast and the Redwoods, as well as our daring and dangerous cliff camping.

See you soon.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What feels like sun and smells like sawdust?

My eyeballs and face are getting fried, due to the trickery of overcast days. Wearing sunglasses and sunblock every day is no fun, and somehow I convinced myself that because it's autum and and cold outside I was safe from the UV rays. Two days in a row, my face is swollen and my eyes feel like too much TV.

This is a couple days ago, when it was sunny. There were seals splashing around in the waves below this cliff.

Oregon seems to think they have too many trees, because they've decided to clear-cut them whenever they get a chance. The hilltops look worse than the top of my head. I can't fault them for making money, but it looks like crap and I can't image that it's great for the watersheds. Be careful, guys! You could end up like the Northern Midwest, which used to be covered by soaring two-hundred-foot White Pines and was completely deforested in the 1800's. Now we have to travel all the way out here just to see big trees.

We met an interesting group of Canadian bicycle tourists yesterday(sorry, no pictures). They are skilled in various aspects of communication arts and are shooting a documentary of their ride from Vancouver to Panama. I hope we will get to see it. They have a blog too.