United States Journal Entries

Willie the Walleye!America was the last country foreign country on our trip, before we returned to Canada for the final stretch towards home.

When we arrived, we weren’t sure we wanted to be there at all. We’d heard terrible things about the attitude of drivers towards cyclists in the United States. We were also bracing for a grilling at customs (having been through Iran, Syria and other unusual places) and we were very torn about the idea of our trip drawing to a close.

We shouldn’t have worried. Everything went smoothly, we were very welcomed by the Americans we met and a few of them even helped us deal with our mixed feelings about coming home.  We also really enjoyed the crazy statues we saw along the way in America. They gave us quite a few fits of giggles!

California Dreaming

Posted on:
9 May 2009

Welcome to America We weren’t even off the plane and we were preparing ourselves for the worst. “What do you think we should put down for this question?” we asked one of the Air New Zealand staff, gazing at the blank space where U.S. customs wanted us to declare all the countries we’d visited before

Bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze

Posted on:
15 May 2009

241km San Francisco to Davis When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day’s sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay’s call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still

Out on the hot, dry plains

Posted on:
22 May 2009

605km Davis to Lakeview It’s a hot, hot day when we set out from Davis. It doesn’t matter that we rise at 5:30am and start out an hour later. Already we can feel the strength of the sun rising to the east and our water bottles, which we froze in Dave and September’s freezer the

Apple Pie in the Desert

Posted on:
1 Jun 2009

566km Lakeview to Pendleton It was the settlement of Wagontire that broke through the heatwaves and created the first bump on the horizon we’d seen since leaving Lakeview for another long and lonely stretch on Route 395. “Please let them have ice cream,” thought Friedel. “And a shower.” “Something cold,” said Andrew. “Anything.” We never

When it all goes wrong….

Posted on:
3 Jun 2009

There’s nothing you want to hear less than a loud crack, followed by the sound of metal shearing off your back rim when you’re going down a steep hill but sure enough, that’s what Andrew heard when we were cruising into Colfax yesterday. “Now what?” we asked ourselves? We’d certainly gotten our money’s worth out

Cool winds

Posted on:
10 Jun 2009

780km Pendleton to Lakeside “Wow. I’ve got a lot of freckles on my arms. Wait. Is that dirt?” – Andrew (after 4 days without a shower) “I’m not whining. I’m just telling you how grumpy I am…. Okay. I’m whining.” – Friedel (after being told by Andrew to stop whining) Washington. Idaho. Montana. We’re pushing

Back in Canada. Eh?

Posted on:
18 Jun 2009

630km Lakeside to Cochrane The Rocky Mountains loom in front of us as we pedal up the western side of Flathead Lake to the tune of a steady stream of jumbo-sized RVs rumbling past. There’s no doubt about it. North Americans like their cars big and their campers even bigger. Motorhomes the size of a

Cycling in the rain

Posted on:
5 Aug 2009

675km Dauphin to Baudette “Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed Nothin’ seems to fit Those raindrops are fallin’ on my head, they keep fallin’ So I just did me some talkin’ to the sun And I said I didn’t like the way

Just Imagine

Posted on:
12 Aug 2009

532km Baudette to Cedar Just imagine: 8 flat tires in one afternoon. And then imagine fixing those punctures on a road without shade, when your patience is already wearing thin after dealing with a broken rim – one that should have lasted much longer than it did – and being rejected from a campground because

I’m a cyclist, get me outta here!

Posted on:
21 Aug 2009

923km Cedar to Garson We’ve heard a lot of bad things about the Trans-Canada Highway through Northern Ontario. Wild truckers. Plenty of traffic. No shoulders. “They’re all true,” says one cyclist we meet in Michigan. “I stuck a hacksaw out the side of my bike to make the cars give me more room. You should

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