Dave Kennedy, Cliff Duke, and I began driving to Yorktown, Virginia, on April 26th, a 3,000-mile journey. We went straight through rotating drivers every three hours. The big deal on this part of our adventure was the tongue on my home-built trailer was too light and bent so that the front was dragging on the road. With several attempts to fix it we finally got it fixed permanently and good by a metal Fab shop on the day that was supposed to be the first day of bicycle riding. So our official first day was riding in the truck with the bicycles in the trailer to our scheduled campground.
The first 9 days of riding we were in Virginia, which will be best remembered for the Appalachian Mountains and the “rollers,” that is hill after hill after hill that was 10 to 15 percent incline that were “killers” to climb all day. Virginia and the mountains were beautiful and the people we’re extremely friendly. The third day is the day Cliff ran into a mailbox because he got sunscreen in his eyes and Kathy then ran over him and wrecked as well. Someone saw them and called 911 and before long there were three emt rigs and two police cars looking for the bicycle wreck! Cliff and Kathy were fine but the bike needed some work.
Day 11 through 16, we were in Kentucky. The memorable thing about Kentucky we’re all the dogs that chased us, and Kathy spraying me with pepper spray accidentally as she was trying to get a dog. I think the State sport in Kentucky is watching your dog chase bicycle riders. Kentucky was also the State where I was in 3 different shops trying to get the pedal on my bike fixed. The positive highlight in Kentucky was having lunch with Laverne Purdy and staying overnight at James Barlow’s house, both who used to attend JBC before moving.
We were in Illinois only three days, days 17 through 19. The main thing about Illinois was that it rained every day, every day was a plus 80 mile day, and had lots of hills, so I was totally bushed every night.
Day 20 through 24 we were in Missouri. Missouri is the State with the Ozarks and if anything could be worse riding because of the hills, the number and the steepness, than the Appalachians it is the Ozarks. Also we had very loud thunder and lightning storms 3 out of the four nights we were in this State.
Next was Kansas, nice flat Kansas. It seemed like we were never going to get out of Kansas, but we were only in it for seven days. But the wind blew hard most of those days and for most of those days it was in the wrong direction, a major head wind that wrings the energy out of you.
Colorado was the beginning of the Rockies, deer, elk, and antelope. We were in Colorado eight days, day 32 through day 40, one day longer than Kansas. Colorado was lots of climbing. Not the up and down kind we experienced at the beginning of the trip, but a 6 percent incline all day long. We went over a number of passes over 9,000 feet and one that was close to 11,000 feet. Now, that will make you pant, for sure. Colorado was very beautiful riding with lots I snow-covered mountains.
Day 41 through 46 was Wyoming. Almost every day while riding we saw probably a hundred antelope, and many were very close. Wyoming was also the State with Yellowstone but it was raining so hard that they closed Yellowstone down because of severe flooding. But even with the rain and wind Wyoming is incredibly beautiful.
Next was Montana on days 47 through 51. Montana was another very beautiful State with mountains, rivers, lakes, and trees.
Idaho was days 52 through 56 and I left the group to go fishing on the Snake River for catfish. The fishing was so poor I should have stayed and finished the trip which ends tomorrow June 28th.
We slept at private campgrounds, state campgrounds, city parks, people’s houses, and churches. It was an awesome adventure and I am so glad that we did it. I have now been in every State in the United States on my bike except for Hawaii.