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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