Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Part 2

Hi, I'm experimenting on transporting the pictures to my blog with the new Picasa2 program I downloaded and it's pretty nice. Now I have to learn to use it.

I'm settling back in to the groove of being home. Man, is there a lot to do! The temperature has cooled off and it's good riding weather. All I have to do is now is put the bent back together, so I guess I'll be riding the Merlin, my road bike, until I get the bent built.

I'm glad I did the second part. It had the steepest hills and the most back roads that weren't marked and that made for some very interesting scenarios as I tried to figure the best route and decision. I asked people where the heck I was, but I always knew approximately where I was and wasn't worried about getting lost.

I was going to go to Chesapeak Bay, but with the traffic I was experiencing I felt it was too dangerous to go there, so when I hit the bike trail I went south.

Two months is a long time to be gone from your wife and your home, but this trip was definitely worth it once. I'll still be going on trips, but they just won't be as long. I never lost anything until I got home and then I lost several things, which after I found where Ann had hidden them, I retrieved them. ;>) I swear I don't remember putting them where I found them.

People have asked me my favorite moment and worst moment. I don't think I can pick a favorite moment, but when Bill Nix stopped and offered me his bunk house for the night and I ended up spending two nights there because of weather and the owner of Thienmans Sports Bar gave me a bandanna and bought me lunch, it makes you feel good about people's generosity and good hearts. Seeing Dave and Pat, whom I haven't seen in quite a few years was really nice, and the Spiral Highway to get to Moscow was fun, as was the downhill later.

The low point would have to be the traffic from West Virginia to Virginia. The bike routes would have been better to take as they choose the less busy highways and I didn't know squat about the route I picked from Marietta on. It worked out well and I'm so glad I did the trip and that Ann was so encouraging, even though she worked really hard to hold down the fort and keep all the plants alive.

I ended up with 4140 miles and averaged 68.66 miles a day at an average of 11.2 mph. I never weighed the BOB, but when I got to Marietta I weighed it at Dick and Mona's house and it weighted 52 pounds, with 40 pounds of that being my gear, which kind of surprised me as it felt heavier than that on the hills! I even had a few more clothes on the second part. I thought that was pretty good for as long as I was gone and being solo. So I had 7 rest days and that seemed to be enough. My greatest concern going in to the trip was lightning on the prairies, but storms weren't an issue as it was fairly dry to very dry through that area.

The Skyland Fire caused some concern as I really didn't want to ride in smoke so when that cleared overnight in Cut Bank that concern drifted away as well. I got to ride Going to the Sun Road in Glacier Park again and that is so beautiful a ride I'd ride it a few more times with no complaints. The ride from Corbett, Oregon down to Multnomah Falls was beautiful.

The scenery was superb and every part of the country had it's own beauty, but Idaho and western Montana were the prettiest with Oregon right up there. That's all for now. Hope you enjoyed the blog. Paul Possum, but not an angry one.
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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Falls Church, VA

Howdy! Well the trip is over and I just finished a couple shots of tequila in celebration! Bill Cook came out and met me on the Old Dominion Bike Trail and escorted me in to his house as I never would have found him had I tried to find it on my own.

I left Winchester, Virginia this morning and the traffic was heavy and they don't want road hogging bikes on their roads which might impede them a few seconds of precious commuting time. One truck forced me off the road and this was done intentionally as I was on the shoulder and he just eased on over onto the shoulder and then after I was off the road he nonchalantly pulled back over. What an $*@#(%@), but hey, I'm still alive and the trip was a complete success as far as I'm concerned. It was a great ride and the best way to see the country. You just have to watch Bruce around drunken Indians who want him to punch me in the face!

I rode sixty some miles today and will give the final stats when I get home Monday or Tuesday. It's going to seem strange to be back in the car going fast! When I got home the first time I told Ann after the first time that I drove the truck that I thought 35 mph was pretty fast! It didn't take long to adjust. ;>)

So hope you all enjoyed the blog and I'll be finishing it up with the final stats and then some final thoughts as well. And when is the party up north? Later dudes and dudettes! Peace and love Paul

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Winchester, VA

After camping in a churchyard last night, Paul started this morning about 7 am on his last day in the mountains - 75 miles of climb and descent with a total 3,479 ft. of climbing. Although it was a beautiful ride, he was not happy with the WV drivers - they have not been bike friendly. But he continues to find that the staff at the Dairy Queens along the way give him good information (where the library is, which local restaurant has the best meals, location of motels/campsites, etc.) once he has his ice cream fix! At a much lower altitude now, he will just contend with rolling hills tomorrow. Actually he will only have about 20 more miles of road before he hits the Old Dominion Bike Trail which will take him to his final destination in Falls Church, VA. If there is time and the weather holds, he's hoping to tour Washington, DC by bike before I pick him up Friday evening. Ann

Monday, October 1, 2007

Parsons, VBGV


I'm at the library waiting for the fog to burn off. It's foggy and cold and I have a long climb ahead of me this morning, but am anxious to get started as I plan on about 70 miles today, but that is proving difficult in these mountains. It's looking better outside so this may be shorter than anticipated. I'm definitely in the mountains and the riding is beautiful, but I wish West Virginia would mark their back roads better....or at least mark them. There were several times yesterday when I had to stop someone and ask them where the heck I was, but hey, it all worked out and I had a good idea where I was and I was correct.

Tom, the WV map I tore out of your book has paid off greatly. You'd be proud of me for the back roads I've been riding. The roads have been pretty good, but there are no services along the way and the towns may be no larger than a house or two and you have to really look to see that it's a town. It's a very pretty area and the riding is good. Ann told me to take my time as she can't come get me until Friday so that was the main incentive to just ride and explore.

I ran in to three college kids from New York that are heading to San Francisco. I think they are starting a bit late, but that's their choice. I told them they may hit snow in Kansas and Colorado, but they're young. They've had quite a bit of mechanical problems so hopefully that will stop and they can have as much fun as I am.

It looks like it's about time to head up the hill so later as I need to go hook up the trailer and start climbing. Paul