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Field notes from my tour across the USA

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Field notes from my tour across the USA

Old 07-21-19, 10:41 AM
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Wow, just WOW!

Congratulations on an epic journey, you are a blessed Man!

And Thanks for posting this!
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Old 07-21-19, 11:35 AM
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Very cool. Thanks, and well done!
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Old 07-21-19, 11:51 AM
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I see a recumbent rider in the background of this photo. Did you see many?
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Old 07-21-19, 12:25 PM
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Very enjoyable and inspiring, thanks!
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Old 07-21-19, 01:16 PM
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Great travelogue. It reminded me that I really want to get back to my touring roots sometime and do a major tour again...perhaps after I retire in a couple of years. I'm curious whether you intentionally decided to set off alone. I've done that in the past but vastly prefer having travel companions to share experiences with.

I'm also a bit surprised by all the bad weather you encountered, given that you did the trip during late spring - early summer.
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Old 07-21-19, 01:45 PM
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Amazing. I'm so glad you were able to experience that. And others through your writing.
Thank you very much for sharing the trip with us.
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Old 07-21-19, 01:58 PM
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Matt, being one of the privledged few that received your roughly weekly field notes, it was fun to reread them again in the Readers Digest version. There are many superlatives to describe your trip, I think "soul filling" may be the best way I can think of to describe what you did.

When I realized you were probably going to be back home before the 20th, @Andy_K and I knew there was no way we could not go to the annual Bob's Big Bike Shoe to see you.



Not sure why I'm cackling like a maniac in this photo from this weekend, or maybe I do...
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Old 07-21-19, 04:40 PM
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What a great trip! I can only imagine the memories you have from it. The pictures are a wonderful hint of that.
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Old 07-21-19, 05:17 PM
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What an incredible read. I really enjoyed the idea of you looking for your childhood house and the nostalgia of riding through that area of Pueblo.

I think you really lucked out and just missed alot of bad flooding across the Mississippi and Missouri?
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Old 07-21-19, 08:20 PM
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Thanks for posting. Wonderful adventure.
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Old 07-21-19, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie

Not sure why I'm cackling like a maniac in this photo from this weekend, or maybe I do...
Oh....you do :-)
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Old 07-21-19, 09:05 PM
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I typed and deleted a couple replies, the words just didn't seem sufficient. Amazing trip, thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-21-19, 09:06 PM
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This is quite inspiring.

Thank you for sharing this here.
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Old 07-21-19, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain
I think you really lucked out and just missed alot of bad flooding across the Mississippi and Missouri?
Yea, I know that! I was very lucky. I did have a number of detours because of flooding/washouts on the C&O Towpath and in Kansas
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Old 07-21-19, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by davester
I'm curious whether you intentionally decided to set off alone. I've done that in the past but vastly prefer having travel companions to share experiences with.

I'm also a bit surprised by all the bad weather you encountered, given that you did the trip during late spring - early summer.
I didn't know anyone who was able to do this and I don't mind riding alone. It certainly would be nicer to have companions and I ended up with some by the time I got to Wyoming.

All accounts I heard said spring was unusually bad in the Midwest this year. It kind of sucked but it didn't ruin my time.
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Old 07-21-19, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
I see a recumbent rider in the background of this photo. Did you see many?
Not sure what photo you're referring to. I did see one or two along the way
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Old 07-21-19, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I'm sorry we weren't able to cross paths in North Bend or along the Yakima River!
That would have been cool, Neil. I had too many weather delays early on to even have a chance to see you guys. Maybe next year I can come out with @gugie and ride in your neck of the woods.

Or, if you fly out this way, perhaps a tour of the San Juan and Gulf Islands in the PNW?
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Old 07-21-19, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by northbend
That would have been cool, Neil. I had too many weather delays early on to even have a chance to see you guys. Maybe next year I can come out with @gugie and ride in your neck of the woods.

Or, if you fly out this way, perhaps a tour of the San Juan and Gulf Islands in the PNW?
Matt, I may have mentioned that to you last weekend, it's on our radar! Since you're the "local", I'd lean on you for a route. There's more than one BF'er that's very interested in doing a PNW 2020 tour. Check the weather back east and in the midwest, we have a lot to of relatively mild weather to offer and great places to ride to boot!
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Old 07-21-19, 11:54 PM
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@northbend - your “hobo chalet” on Field note day 3. To the right way in the back is someone riding a recumbent.
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Old 07-22-19, 12:07 AM
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Man, this is so great. Thanks for sharing. Hope to do this one day and this is some encouragement, for sure.
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Old 07-22-19, 01:19 AM
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Fantastic! Thanks for sharing. Great photos! I especially like the old store with the old truck, the man in front of the tattoo parlor, and the water tower with red VW, but the lanscapes are excellent too.

What's a good light travel camera? RX10?
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Old 07-22-19, 01:21 AM
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So awesome! Congratulations and thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-22-19, 01:37 AM
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What a wonderful piece. I'm so glad you shared it. Your writing really captured the essence of bike riding, especially the kindness of strangers.
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Old 07-22-19, 11:51 AM
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Wow, what a great trip, and an equally great write up and photo story. Thanks so much for sharing.

Pretty brave of you to do the trip from east to west.
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Old 07-22-19, 07:46 PM
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Great story! I don't know if you are aware of this but the 1967 movie "In the Heat of the Night" with Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger was filmed in Randolph Co. Il. around Chester and Sparta, IL. Sparta, MS. in the movie was actually Sparta, IL. The Chester Bridge is shown in the opening scenes of the movie IIRC. The gorund water in that part of the state has a lot of sulphur in it and it was hard to drill a well and get water without it so water hauling was a booming business. Tanker trucks would fill up from coin operated hydrants fed by clean wells, usually located near a towns water tower and haul it to people in rural areas and pumped into storage tanks. My Uncle was one of these water haulers and hauled water to the movie set while they were there.

Originally Posted by northbend
Field Note 7
I finally crossed the Mississippi today! It seemed like a big milestone after days of fear and loathing about the weather and flooding that were always looming on the western horizon in Missouri.


The one bridge that cyclists can use to cross for many miles is located at Chester, IL.
I reached Chester before the violent storm hit that evening and checked into a hotel for the night.
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