01 September 2009


So I had plans to do some big farewell post, but I've been missing so many days, a standard update seemed necessary, even though the trip is over.

Washington was still beautiful. I was still in the dry area, but it would soon turn out that there was a lot more diversity in the environment than I'd been exposed to.

Amazing right?

We stopped at a town which had a huge Western theme going on. It was like being on a movie set.

There, we saw that the P2S team had been there just a week earlier. There they are on the picture to the left, and there we are in the picture to the right.

The next day, we left our campground to go back into the beautiful Cascades. There I am to the right.

There was snow along the way!

The road was curvy and surrounded by snowy peaks. It was a fantastic ride, and fast becoming my favorite riding day.

Quite an elevation change; there I am looking down at the road I'd just been on.

Remember the picture two images up? There it is in the background.

The backdrop pretty much made this photo mandatory.

On the way down, I saw the most curious sight ever. It was a bright cyan lake, called Diablo Lake.

After a fantastic descent (where Wade reached 53.3 mph!), I saw beaches right up next to the Lake.

Naturally, I had to go for a quick dip.

The next day, we discovered that the road we'd been riding on was lined with blackberry bushes. They were so tasty.

The day going into Surrey, BC, we made a stop at the border office.

The day into Vancouver, we were all extremely excited.

By the time we were getting close, we all stuck together.

And there's the Pacific!

So I'll save the concluding remarks for my final post, which will come soon. Basically, though, arriving at the destination was awesome, and I want to thank all the people who met us there for all they did. Thank you!

As people started to leave, a few of us decided to go for one last ride around Vancouver together.

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There's Vancouver's Lionsgate Bridge.

And we also got to see some wilderness up in North Vancouver.

One more post left. Bye!

20 August 2009


Hello! Wow writing this in the 30 minute library limit is going to be today's challenge.

Now that I've been in the state of Washington, the terrain has quickly been changing. My days have now consisted of big ascents followed by big descents as I go through the Cascades.

It's also gotten hotter, with the temperature in the Fahrenheit 90's.

Four thousand feet higher, it was a bit painful, but beautiful, and honestly, I like the heat.

The towns now have a Westerny feel to them, with saloon doors and the lot.

To beat the heat this morning, we started out early in the morning, waking at 5.

The ascent was less tough than the climb yesterday, and the cooler air made it a lot more painless.

Jay took pictures of me today! I was very happy. This is me on a descent after a sweltering climb.

The towns are little oases in vast drylands. The mountains were misty in smoke today (and yesterday) as there were reports of forest fires in Canada.

The homestretch into Omak, Washington, where I'm writing now!

Who knew that Washington had deserts...


18 August 2009


Hello from Washington state!

Wow, it's a fantastic feeling to know that I've now arrived at a west coast state. The weather has been beautiful, and the terrain magnificent.

On the ride into Sandpoint, Idaho (and out of two weeks of Montana), the mountains piled around me and the clouds hugged the peaks, making for some breathtaking views.

That day, the ride took me around Lake Koocanusa, and I could peer over to my left to always see the clear waters.

Jocelyn and I were sweep that day, and here we found that some bikers had left their bikes to go on a short hike, so we went to check that out.

There were some water rapids...

...as others had gone out to take a closer look.

We arrive in Idaho!

Northern Idaho had some beautiful mountains. (Kelsey, Lauren)

That night, Sandpoint had a festival with the Spokane Symphony coming to play with a clarinet soloist. They played swing music; it was a pleasant end to a fantastic day.

Today, we rode out of Sandpoint into Chewelah, Washington. There's Jay as he rode on a trail parallel to me.

And there's the Washington state sign!

There was a very big ascent I climbed, called the Flowery Trail Road.

After some 14 miles of climbing, I was just so happy to see that I;d gotten to the top.

So following that picture, I descended to about 1600 feet over 8 miles into Chewelah.

And now, I'm in the Chewelah library relaxing my legs for a bit.

15 August 2009

From Libby, MT


Ah yes, so last time I left, it was about the pretty Whitefish Lake and all.

Today's ride was just as scenic. I got to trace Lake Koocanusa which looked very clear and pretty.

Aside from the lake, I was also surrounded by a lot of beautiful rocks, cliffs, and formations.

Sometimes, I would be way high above the lake (as here), and other times, I would be riding big descents to go just above the water.

I got to ride around this all day. The locals back in Eureka told us the ride would be beautiful.

Luckily, even the weather held up fine.

Even the town I'm staying in tonight (Libby, MT) is surrounded by the mountains.

Here's a video from today I uploaded:

Here's another video I found in my camera of Wade, Nick, Abby, and Jay riding across some flats:

14 August 2009


So I didn't want to go sailing. It was raining, the water was rough, and I definitely hadn't dressed for the weather. Still, at sailing camp, they make you sail, so four of us campers went out on the water in the Puffer. The water kept splashing into me, and we stubbornly kept our boat just floating right off the dock. The wind picked up, and I sat in my puddle on that boat just shivering away.

That's the memory I always think about whenever I feel really cold (often at bus stops in Chicago). I always think about this, saying to myself:
Ted: "Well hey, this isn't as cold as that, right?"
Theo: "No, I guess not but THIS IS STILL FREEZING."

Well yesterday, my little conversation went a bit like:
Ted: "Well hey, this isn't as cold as that, right?"

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

So we head off towards those Rockies.

And these don't count! I could be sitting on a couch for all you know.

Well, I made it into the Rockies, and the climbs were beautiful. Gorgeous mountains all around.

Those Rockies are mammoth, and up close, any given peak is so different from all the rest.

Another picture of yours truly with those beautiful peaks.

The roads seemed to have a surprise at every turn, and though the inclines slowed me down a bit, it only gave me more time to enjoy the scenery.

Hey more bikers! (Jason, Nick)

At the campsite in Saint Mary's, the wind complicated things. (Cydney)

Yeah, we camped out right next to that view.

A few of us took a swim in Lake St. Mary. The water was frigid to the point that once I fully submerged myself, my whole body was numb. It felt awesome after a hot day of climbing. (Physnick, my head)

As the sun began to go down, the mountains looked even more amazing. (Jason, Eileen, Nick)

That night, a few of us laid down to look up at the stars. I had no idea there were so many. I saw 5 shooting stars that night. And a satellite.

The next day was the day I have been most excited about. One, cuz Jay had the camera, and two, the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This picture embodies both :)

As does this one, but note the clouds and the wet ground getting wetter.

There we are in front of an amazing view.

So that story in the beginning. This is what happened. The rain started coming down harder and harder as I climbed higher and higher (and the air around me got colder and colder). Finally, I reached the peak, as I was shivering. There was a little museum there, so I stopped by and put on more clothes. I then went off to descend the mountain. It was frigid. The temperature was in the low forties, the wind was getting at me, and the rain was hitting me all over my underclothed self. There were shuttles going down the mountain, and I'd decided to get on one. It didn't have a bike rack though, so I decided to just go down. The coldest experience of my life. I stopped a couple times. My left foot had gone numb (not just super cold, mind you) and I'd recently read a book about Rulon Gardner who had his feet frostbitten. I was genuinely concerned. I'd even stopped by the road to take off my shoes in the cold rain to warm up my feet. I ended up stuffing some boxers in my left sock, stuffing a handkerchief in my right sock, and wrapping my left (braking) hand with basketball shorts.

I'm gonna go ahead and stop writing about it now, because I can't really express how intense that whole experience was on this library computer with a timelimit. I was thinking about videotaping myself in the cold but I wasn't sure if I'd even be alive to enjoy it later on :D.

Anyway, the descent on the Going-to-the-Sun Road is the most intense experience I've ever had in my life.

The next day, we had a build day. For lunch, Cydney's aunt (Hello, it was so nice to meet you!!) generously catered vastly vast amounts of sandwiches, salad, pasta, desserts, vegetables, hummus, dips, all kinds of things. Sadly, I was so excited about the food I didn't take a picture of it. But there's the aftermath.

There were several groups volunteering that day, including a group of people affiliated with Lewis and Clark College and a group of Care-a-Vanners. I opted to help out at the ReStore, and we moved merchandise to and from the warehouse and the store. (Eileen, Rachel, Jay)

There we are in a truck. (Rachel, Ali, Matt, Jay with a hammer, Jason, Wade, Kat?, Laura?, Eileen, Jeremy, Jocelyn)

This morning, a few of us decided to stop by Whitefish Lake, which is the biggest natural lake west of the Great Lakes (uncited). (Cydney, Nick, Ashley, Laura)

As I'd expected, it was beautiful. Western Montana is beautiful. (Cydney, Jeremy)

Today's ride had some rain and it was cold (Fahrenheit fifties), but I just thought of that ride in Glacier:
Ted: "Well hey, this isn't as cold as that, right?"
Theo: "Nope. Not. At. All."