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2014-04-11_00-54-32_864

DAY 33: Mapleton OR-Florence OR

It has been almost exactly a month since I started peddling from Pueblo CO, destined for the Pacific Ocean. I have traveled for over 2000 miles since leaving Pueblo in June and have finally reached the central coast of Oregon. I have finally completed my journey across the United States by bicycle, which began on the east coast of Virginia and has ended on the west coast of Oregon. This journey has taken me over four thousand miles and spanned two years of my life. Experiencing the United States via bicycle has been such a tremendous honor and privilege. The speed at which one travels on a bicycle allows for this incredible interaction that occurs between the rider and the surrounding environment. This experience has resulted in some of the most raw euphoric of feelings. It has also lead to some very primal fear that makes one contemplate physical safety and wellbeing. But it is these emotional highs and lows that create such an enriching experience that creates a lifetime of stories, memories and lessons that can only be obtained through such a means. I started this trip with four companions and finished alone. Traveling solo for the second half of this trip was a truly new experience that I frankly enjoyed. As much as I wanted friends to initially accompany me, I found that once I started I really came to enjoy the solitude and flexibility of traveling alone. Granted there were many times I wished I had somebody to share a moment with, but there is also this incredible beauty in experiencing a new emotion utterly alone and unaltered by the presence of a companion. It is these experiences and emotions that only exist in my memory and truly belong to me alone. I arrived in Florence Oregon on the 29th of July, a full five days ahead of what I had initially planned. I really don't know why I had arrived so much earlier than what I had anticipated but whatever the reason may be I was pleasantly surprised. The coast was a beautiful sight after spending so much time in the Rockies and Cascades. Oregon was a formidable state to ride through. If I wasn't climbing for many miles, I was dealing with blistering temperatures and battling head winds. The state itself was a scenic surprise. Starting from the east and cycling across to the west allowed me to see a varied geography that I never had considered for a state so well known for the Cascades and coast. To be completely honest I really didn't enjoy much of riding through Oregon until I was at least three days out from the coast. I did get to stay with some incredible families along the way in Oregon. I had a house to stay at in Baker City, a deluxe donation based hostel in Mt. Vernon, a home in Redmond and a home in Eugene. Everyone who put me up was a delight and I am very thankful for their kindness and generosity. Upon Leaving Redmond I was on my way to the McKenzie pass. An intense sustained climb that lasted for over twenty miles but took me to an incredible view of a lava rock sea that spanned for miles in every direction. It was a very lord of the rings type of landscape. My decent down the McKenzie pass lasted for about twenty miles and directed me right into the thick Cascadian forest. The cascades were unlike anything I had ever seen before. The tall dense forest had crazy amounts of old growth covered in moss that is then covered in more old growth. It was awesome to spend a few nights sleeping in the raw essence of it all. I eventually made it to Eugene where i had an incredible family of bicycle tourists put me up for a night. I left Eugene destined for the coast but had decided to prolong my coastal arrival until the next day. So I decided to ride to the small town of Mapleton, which was 14 miles outside of Florence and camped behind the local elementary school. I had an incredibly hard time trying to sleep that night knowing how close I was to reaching the water. I can only compare the anxiousness I felt to the emotions experienced the night before Christmas morning. I could never sleep the night before Christmas. I finally dosed off and woke up before the sun came up. I finished up the last fourteen miles and arrived in Florence before noon. I rode straight to the local bike shop before seeing the water and inquired about obtaining a cardboard bike box that I could pack my bike up in. They said they did and they cost ten dollars. Bogus! This stuff is just trash and you want ten dollars for it. I have never paid for a bike box in my life. Of course I didn’t say any of this but just promptly left their shop and rummaged around through their dumpster until I found a bike box. Eat my shorts 101 bicycle shop. After procuring a bike box and hiding it, I made my way to the water. The fog was still pretty thick on the coast so I really could not see much until I was literally on the beach. I roamed around the beach looking for a good place to photograph and the marine layer burned off. The scenery was spectacular. This coast line was unlike anything I had ever seen before, the Oregon coast appeared very dramatic and unforgiving, though still very enchanting. After making some phone calls and taking photos I went and picked up my bike box and rode over to the local postal shipping store, packaged my bike and shipped it off.  I then picked up my backpack that my mom had shipped to Florence, filled it with the essentials and was now destined for Portland. I successfully migrated my way to Portland a couple days ago and am now in the company of friends who I have not seen in a very long time. Since being in Portlandia I have been on vegan overload. To go for so long without having any vegan accommodations to now having the opportunity to go to a vegan strip club is mind blowing. I think I am actually experiencing a bit of culture shock. Since being in Portland I have also been afforded the opportunity to travel to Seattle Washington where I went and had arguably the world’s best vegan donuts.  Needless to say, I ate five and had two this morning. I will be in Portland for the next week fattening up on vegan delights, attending shows, art openings and zine symposiums. I will be back in San Diego at the end of August and preparing for my first solo art exhibition at Alex Salazar Fine Art, in San Diego, that will be taking place Saturday October 1st. I hope to see you all there; it should be a pretty good time. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me on this trip thus far, especially equipment wise. Special thanks go out to Charlie Kent, Jeremy Nuttal, my brother Andrew and my Dad for so graciously letting me borrow their camping/traveling gear. Thank you to everyone along the way who has opened up their home to me and let me shower and sleep. Thank you to everyone who mailed me a care package in Missoula, hopefully you all have received what I sent you back. Thank you to everyone who reads this blog and has offered up words of encouragement, thank you so much. The rough parts of this trip were always eased when I would recall or see your kind words. I will be contributing to this blog more frequently so check back for new work, exhibition details and updates on my future travels (ie. 2011-2012 Australian Crusty Punk Traveling Bender Extravaganza!) Thank you all for reading. -Adam

Day 26: Oxbow OR-Baker City OR

7/19/11: Grangeville ID- Riggins ID: I woke up in the city park of Grangeville on the morning of the 19th around 6:30. I restlessly slept that night worrying about weather or not I would be sprayed by sprinklers in the middle of the night. There were signs posted everywhere warning unsuspecting campers of these sprinklers but the sprinklers were not visible above ground. Selecting a sleeping spot was a gambled. I ended up choosing right and watched sprinklers go off around me but not on me. Me and Vince made breakfast together and schooled each other on places to camp for the upcoming evening. Right before riding away Vince informed me that he was filming for an upcoming feature length film he was collecting footage for and inquired about interviewing me on camera. I obliged, wanting to help out, and answered a few questions while trying to not look like to much of an idiot. Well see when the film is done. Vince and I split ways and I was headed to Riggins. The morning started off very nice with a four mile climb that descended into a ten mile decent down a 7% grade. I was going pretty fast for those ten miles. Once I got to the bottom of the hill I was flagged over to the side of the road by a sheriff’s deputy. I guess I was blocking traffic for a while bombing down the hill. The bike lane was treacherous so I took a lane for a few miles. My safety down that hill was my number one priority not weather or not some one in a car was going to be slightly inconvenienced. I shrugged off the officers request to stay out of the cars lane and didn't say much to him except, "uhhhhh yeah, nope, never will I do that again, I pramise". I got back on my bike and continued riding along the Salmon River inside of a pretty steep canyon. The ride was very hot until about mile 40 when I noticed rain drops falling out of a bright blue clear sky. I had never experienced this before; it was absolutely beautiful, like I was riding my bicycle through a surreal dreamscape. A few miles later I realized that those drops were being blown from a massive storm cloud just beyond a blind turn. Ughhhh my joy quickly transformed into utter disappointment. I quickly scrambled under a bridge to take shelter from the storm. I stayed under that bridge for quite a while watching smiling people raft by me on the river. I was maybe under there for an hour and decided that I would make a break for it during a pause in the weather. I made it to Riggins shortly after and the weather started back again. I decided to take shelter again inside of a screen printing studio for temporary relief until I could figure out where I could set up camp. It turns out that the deputy from earlier that morning was in there moonlighting as a graphic artist. Uhhhhhhhhh. O well he didn't sass me, I don't even think he even recognized me. He ended up giving me a pretty good for camping along the lower salmon. After the weather stopped again I bid farwell and headed to the lower salmon about a quarter mile awhile. The spot along the river was very scenic but not as good as my little slice of heaven I got a few days prior on the Clearwater River. I made dinner and got to bed fairly early that night. 7/20/11: Riggins ID-Council ID. I woke up to gun shots and RV generators on the lower salmon the morning of the 20th. I slowly got my things together that morning and made breakfast. I left the lower salmon around 9:30. I made it back to the road and headed for council. The ride involved a fair amount of climbing with a solid 70 miles ahead of me. The weather was fairly perfect this day.  The sun was out but there was just enough gentle cloud cover to keep me nice and shaded. I made it to new meadows id around two, ate some lunch, made some phone calls and charged my iPod. I hopped back on my bike around three and was off to my final destination. The rest of the ride to council was very nice.  More clouds cleared out, the wind was low and I was feeling pretty good. I rode through a town called tamarack that was characterized by one huge lumber yard that prompted visions of scenes from the kids movie fern gully. It was pretty bad. The lumber yard was appropriately named evergreen forests. Go figure. I made it to council and used a pay phone to call the sheriffs office about camping in the park. They said u can't camp in the park but I can camp behind the old court house. Awesome. I made it to the courthouse and started soaking rice for dinner. After dinner I decided to sleep under the picnic table I had just cooked on. 7/21/11: council id-oxbow or I awoke the morning of the 21st under the picnic table, which turned out to be a great impromptu shelter. I gathered my things and ate a small breakfast. I then headed to the local grocer and bought some produce as well as another loaf of bread. Sourdough. I then started my ride onto Oxbow. I reached the town of Cambridge ID about 20 miles into my ride and decide to bread for brunch. It was eleven. After brunch and some colorful conversations with the locals I was off again. I approached the climb I had anticipated about five miles later and it was so much worse than I could have imagined. The climb wasn't so bad but there were road crews resurfacing the road which meant that for the entire climb I was riding on loose packed gravel, dodging massive trucks, on coming traffic and loose bits of rocks flung at me from car tires. This lasted for around seven miles. It was probably the worst stretch of road I have ridden on. I finally made it to the pass and bombed my way down a road that was in slightly better condition. A lot of lose asphalt. I descended into Hells Canyon and true to its name the temperature rose as I got further into the canyon. The temperature in my best estimates was in the mid 90s. It was hot. The ride though was along a couple of reservoirs and creeks so it was very scenic. I made it to oxbow and accidently passed right by it. Two miles down the road I stopped in a gas station where the attendant confirmed my suspicions and gave me some tips on free camping. I thanked him and made my way back towards oxbow. I ended up finding another riverside camp spot. I settled my things and bathed in the river. It had been about a week of me not washing my hair and it was starting to dread and attach itself to other objects. Like the wicker chair I was seated in earlier. I then made dinner and jumped into my sleeping bag. 7/22/11: Oxbow OR-Baker City OR I woke up in the middle of the night in Oxbow to the sensation of rain falling on my face. I had prepared for bed that night without setting up my tent, thinking the sky looked clear enough. I guess in the middle of the night a storm rolled in and caught me by surprise. I promptly left my sleeping bag and started to set up my tent in the rain. I finally got the tent up and jumped back into my sleeping bag and went back to sleep until the sun rose. I made a small breakfast that morning and set off towards the local convenience to fill my water bottles. The attendant informed me that the temperature was supposed to be over 100 degrees. This was a comforting thought knowing I had 70 miles still ahead of me and it was an up hill day. I climbed my way out of Hells Canyon and took a lunch break in Richland OR before I made the rest of the way into Baker City. The rest of the day was spent going up hill. The temperature didn’t feel as hot as I had anticipated but it was very dry and windy. I finally made it into Baker City around 8:30 and rolled right up to my host’s house where I had a long anticipated sh0wer.

Day 22:Lowell ID-Grangerville ID

7/16/11: Missoula MT-Powell ID: I left Missoula on the afternoon of the 16th around 1:30pm. Missoula ended up being a pretty cool college town and a perfect place to rest for three days. My down time in Missoula was spent causing mayhem and destruction. It was exactly what I needed. I stayed with Chynna, a recent University of Missoula grad, who I meet online. Chynna lived in a pink double wide trailer that had a constant rotating cast of students and travelers. This house really reminded me of my last home in Ventura which was really quite comforting and familiar. Upon leaving the house I gave my goodbyes and hugs. Thank you so much Chynna and Page! I was on my way to Idaho. Leaving Missoula the weather was nice and warm. As I got further south west the weather started to cloud up and become dark. Around 5pm the clouds started to sprinkle. I kept riding until I started timing the lightning and thunder as a few miles apart. I was fortunate enough to find shelter in an abandoned house a little ways off the road. I waited out the storm in there for about an hour and continued on my way to Idaho. I finally made it across state lines atop Lolo Pass a little while latter and rejoiced. I cruised down the other side of the pass for about 20 miles and started looking for a camp spot in the woods, which are very dense in idaho. I had no idea. I pulled into the camp spot around 10pm and beded down without dinner. 7/17/11: Powell ID-Lowell ID I woke up the next morning in my personal spot in the woods with my tent drenched. It had apparently rained quite a bit during the night. I gathered my things, made breakfast and was off around 9am. I had ridden about twelve miles when I came across a trail head entrance that lead back to hot springs. I couldn't resist. I off-roaded my loaded bike a mile and half over fallen logs and roots to finally reah the hot springs. When I finally arrived at the springs there was already one naked hippie and his dog in one spring and the rest of the normal trail hikers in their suits in another a few feet away. Following suit with the hippie I disrobed and jumped in. The water felt like a jacuzzi. It felt great to soak in such hot water. The hippies name was Ryan and he had been on the road hitchhiking for about a year and had just returned from the Rainbow Gathering. He was very nice and great to talk to. We had a whole pool to ourselves, managing to repel every passer by with our bare white buns. I spent about an hour in the spring and bid farewell to Ryan. I hiked back to the road and kept on my way to Lowell ID. The ride to Lowel was beautiful. The scenery has changed to thick dense tress. Making me feel like I am close to Oregon. My friend also made and sent me a beach charm that must be working because for the last two days I have been seeing surfboards on top of cars. Another comforting sight. Upon filling up my water bottles in Lowel I was given a pretty good tip for a camp spot about eight miles outside of town on a sandy bank next to a river. So I was off to what seemed like a good option for bedding down for the night. I got to the camp spot on the side of the river and was greeted with my own little slice of heaven. This place was gorgeous. A nice sandy beach right on the waters edge just for me. I set up camp and didn't hesitate to jump in the water. After swimming I beded down for the night and fell asleep to the sound of the river rushing by. 7/18/11: Lowell ID-Grangeville ID I woke up on my little slice of heaven and leisurely made my breakfast while enjoying the view. I really didn't want to leave but I had to. The ride to Grangeville was very nice and scenic despite the road construction and one aggravated driver trying to establish his dominance over the bike lane. The ride up to Grangeville was was long, steep and hot. I finally made it into town and went right to the local library to use the internet. While at the library I meet another touring cyclist, named Vince, who was on his way to New Orleans. Me and Vince left the library once our internet usage was done and headed for the city park to camp for the evening. We reached the park and made dinner. After dinner we were approached by a very enthusiastic young man named Peter who came over to see what was going on. Me, Vince and Peter ended up staying up most of the night chatting until I declared it was my bed time. I bed farewell to Peter and got into bed.

Day 17: Hamilton MT-Missoula MT

7/5/11: I woke up the morning of the 5th in Lander WY to a small town reeling from the previous day of hedonistic debauchery. Firework confetti and empty alcohol containers blanketed the streets. I never thought in a land with so much of an over reach of authority would a celebration like the day before be permitted. I walked outside after I woke up and started to contribute to the clean up effort with the rest of the neighborhood. I decided I was going to take a day off in Lander and run some errands, work on my bike and rest my legs. After the fourth Lander regressed into small town mode and went back to business as usual. Outside of the events the day before Lander was very charming. I got to bed early that night. My day was to start at six the next morning. 7/6/11: Lander WY- Duboise WY. This was first day of my tour that I had woken up early. It felt great to feel like I was getting a jump on the day rather than playing catch up. I ate a big breakfast and said my goodbyes to the Primroses. I kept my goodbyes short knowing I had 80+ miles ahead of me. The wind was down and the sun was low when I started peddling. It felt great. I was about 20 miles outside Lander when I noticed a familiar vehicle pull into the bike lane ahead of me. It was Paul, my host for the last two days, carrying my shoes that I had forgotten underneath his coffee table. After a good laugh and more good byes I was on my way. I reached the Wind River Indian Reservation shortly after receiving my shoes. Paul had informed me the day before that the Wind River reservation is one of the most depressed reservations in the country. And it showed. It was quite surreal to be taking part in festivities celebrating the fourth just the day before, to now riding my bicycle through-one of the most depressed reservations in the United States. To be celebrating the birth of one nation while simultaneously celebrating the death and extermination of another. Making my way out of the reservation I meet back up with Kyle, the other cyclist heading to Oregon. We finished riding to Dillon WY together. We rolled into Dillon around four and found out our best camping situation would be twelve miles outside of town. The camp spot was right off the road but very rural. We set up camp and spent the rest of the evening guessing what those strange growling noises from behind the ridge could be.. Before we went to bed we hung our food in the trees, hopefully out of reach for bears. We woke up the next morning to a beautiful sun rise in one of the most gorgeous camp spots I have ever been to. 11/7/11: Dillon WY-Colter Bay WY. Me and kyle woke up pretty early knowing we had a massive climb ahead of us. The Tejon Pass. The elevation gain being over nine thousand feet. It took kyle and I about three hours to summit the pass, but the view of the Teton mountain range was worth it. We broke for lunch at the top and made some pb&j sandwiches. Before we made the decent Kyle asked if I wanted a hit of acid for the ride down. I declined and encouraged him to do the same. His mind was made up and licked a spot of LSD off of his hand. He tried to explain that he would be fine and it was weak acid. His riding on the decent exemplified differently. He was all over the place swerving into the on coming lanes and then back again hooting and hollering. All I could do was laugh, keep my distance and just hope he didn't crash. We were a few miles into the decent when we were stopped by construction workers who had the whole two lane highway under construction. They insisted we put our bikes in the back of the pilot truck, that was guiding cars down the mountain. The ride lasted all of three miles. We got out of the truck at the bottom of the mountain and made our way to the Grad Teton National Park. Upon reaching the park me and Kyle split ways. We said our good byes and vowed to meet back up in Portland. At the entrance to the Grand Teton National Park I was greeted with a sign that stated that admission to the park was 12 dollars if entering by bicycle. I did not quite agree with that so I just rode through, passing up the long line of cars waiting to pay their tolls. No one said anything and I didn't get chased. The park itself was stunning. Maybe even more beautiful than Yellowstone. The Tetons in general were very impressive. The park was kind of outrageous though with all the people rubbernecking in their vehicles as well as stopping to approach wild animals with their cameras. By far the most dangerous animals in the park were the humans. I made it to the Colter Bay campground around mid afternoon, set up camp, put all my food in bear boxes and passed out. 7/8/11: Colter Bay WY-Old Faithful WY: I woke up the next morning packed up, ate and left around ten. That night I did not have any bear trouble but a squirrel did get into some of my food and compromise a bag of trail mix and a loaf of bread. So I threw them away filled up my water bottles and was on my way to Yellowstone. The riding again this day was gorgeous with the thick green trees and bright blue sky enclosed around me. Upon reaching the entrance to Yellowstone I was again greeted with another sign stating bicycles pay 12 dollars for admittance. Bogus! So I took my lesson from my last experience and applied it to my then current circumstance. Riding through Yellowstone was an absolute treat. The ride its self wasn't even very hard but incredibly scenic. One major problem though was there was no bike path. After a couple hours of hugging the narrow strip of asphalt between the cars and the edge of the road, I decided cars be damned im taking a lane. No one really seemed to mind my decision. Everyone just politely went around me without honking, it was great. I felt safer and had plenty of more room. I arrived in Grant Village, 20 miles from my projected destination around two. I was feeling great and ahead of schedule. So I decided to take an extended lunch break, make some phone calls and answer some emails. This decision proved to not be wise. Upon my exit from Grant Village I was shocked at how the sky had transformed from clear bright blue to thick black clouds. It looked bad, so I hustled all my things together and raced back to the road in hopes of beating whatever was about to come down on me. It didn't work. I rode right into this massive storm. And it was bad. Heavy rain, hail, and lightning strikes descended upon me like a curse from the heavens. I was soaked and all my exposed skin had turned bright red from the striking hail. After about 15 miles of this I managed to find a little shelter and hunkered down until the storm passed. After waiting about a half an hour I continued my descent into old faithful where I went straight away to a bathroom and changed out of my freezing drenched clothes. I later made my way to my host's house, dropped of my things and proceeded to stroll around the gyzers in Yellowstone until the sun went down. That night I had no trouble getting to sleep. 7/9/11: Old Faithful WY-Ennis MT. That morning I packed my things and headed outside to cook oatmeal around 7:30. I needed to start my day early, I had 90 miles ahead of me. So I start up my stove to heat oatmeal and my whole stove apparatus catches on fire. The stoves fuel line had sprung a leak and there was fire and melted residue everywhere. I put out the fire and inspected the stove closer and came to the conclusion it was trashed. Great, no stove, no oatmeal, no hot food. I then spend the next two hours making phone calls and doing research on my phone. I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to wait, and forgo hot food, until I get to Missoula to purchase a new stove. I don't end up leaving Old Faithful until around 10:30. As soon as i started riding, i wasn’t even 15 miles into my ride and spoke breaks on my rear wheel. This was a bummer but not a compromising tragedy. I brought with me all the tools and parts needed to solve this problem but again I am still eating up a bunch of time not riding. I replace the spoke, true up the wheel and once again I am on the road. I finally reach the Montana border and rejoice. I made it to Ennis later that day on a fantastic tail wind just as the sun was setting. I promptly spoke to some of the local bar flys about free camping in the area and they suggested that I just sleep for free at the private campground down the street just as long as I am up early enough to dodge the permit check in the morning. So I made my way to the campground and just put down my sleeping bag and matte so I could have a quick get away in the morning. I woke up the next morning around five and got out of there with out hassle. I was then on my way to Dillon MT. 7/10/11 Ennis MT- Dillon MT. I got out of the campground quite early and made my oatmeal just outside of a gas station where I had been using their facilities to change and clean up. I was then on the road by around seven. The ride in the morning was very nice with the sun low, sky’s clear and wind low. By the afternoon the weather had changed to dark clouds and a formidable head wind. It also didn't help that the last 30 miles of the day were all slightly uphill. This was the worst, going slightly uphill into a head wind. In those last miles each peddle stroke was struggle I finally made it to Dillon right before the sky could really open up and drench me. I then treated my self to some lemon sorbet and bagel chips from the safeway. For some reason that's all I could think about was lemon sorbet and bagel chips all day. While snacking I called my host Eve for the evening and she directed me to her house where I took a nice long shower. Eve made me a nice vegan dinner that night, maybe the best meal I have had on the trip besides the vegan curry in Lander(Thank you sooooo much ladies!). We stayed up till around eleven chatting then went to bed. I woke up the next morning to Eve once again making me oatmeal and coffee. She was so nice. I was on the road at around seven that morning and the clouds were ominous and waiting for me. 7/11/11: Dillon MT-Wisdom MT. I started out that morning with a little rain but nothing to get all covered up about. The clouds seemed to be ahead of me and getting farther away. This was a great development considering I had two major passes to get over first thing in the morning. I had reached the trough of the first climb when I meet another tourist who was decked out, bike and all, in American flag gear. He was quite the site, I didn't get a photo of him but he got one of me. He also informed me that the town I was destined to stay that wanted 30 dollars to pitch a tent. I almost didn't believe him. I then reached the town of  Jackson, my planned destination, a few hours later and found out he wasn't lying. I don't even know what to say about that....I did use the post office in Jackson to mail back home my busted stove. I decided that I was going to ride an extra 16 miles to the town of Wisdom where there was confirmed free camping. The whole ride to wisdom was slightly down hill with a tail wind, very pleasant. I mad it to the free campground around five. It felt good sticking it to Jackson. 30 bucks, who knows what they are high on. Anyways, the mosquitoes were pretty bad at the campground but there was a small out building that was screened off and contained two picnic tables. That was to be the place I was to sleep for the night. Mosquito free shelter without having to set up my tent. WINING! I did my usual routine and was about to bed down for the night when a large pick up truck pulled up in front of the building. A man got out of the truck, comes into the space and greets me. He then proceeds to tell me he has a very drunk afghan war veteran in his truck that needed a place to sleep. Hinting that he would be sleeping with me in the out building, he regales me of how nice and non violent he is but just very drunk. This was kind of unsettling but I had no authority to say other wise so I greeted the drunkard, named Jeff, and proceeded to get into bed. All Jeff had was a bag of letters or notes and a day old piece of pizza wrapped in tin foil. Through out the night he would come in and out of consciousness, shuffle through his papers and munch on his pizza. The next morning when he sobered up he told me he was going to hitch to Washington. I gave him some maps and my blessing. He was actually quite nice but, we did meet under very odd circumstances. I didn't see him on the road later that day so he must have gotten a ride. 7/12/11 Wisdom MT-Hamilton MT. I left Wisdom bright and early. The sun was out the clouds were clear and the wind was down. Absolutely gorgeous beginning of my day. To make the day even better I had a four mile climb over Chief Joseph pass that then descended 13 miles. I think maybe the longest decent I have ever ridden. It was great fun listing to blistering fast music in my ear phones while flying down the side of this mountain reaching speeds of over 40 mph in some areas. It gives me goosebumps to even recall that feeling. That decent took me into the town of Sula MT where I decided to break for lunch. While eating my pb&j sandwich I was approached by another bicycle tourist who appeared to be teetering on the edge of bicycle vagrant with a touch of mental disability, riding a what looked to be a stolen mountain bike. His name was Jim and his rear shifting cable had snapped and he was in need of a new cable. He asked if I had one to sell him and I said I did but he could just have it. I asked if he knew how to instal the cable I had just given him and he assured me he did and walked away leaving me to finish my lunch. Right before I was to get on my bike and make my way down the rest of the mountain Jim approached me again and started asking inquiring question of how to instal a new cable. It became clear he did not know what he was doing. But I didn't feel compelled to help him because the sky had turned very dark once again and was looking like it was about to open up. I wanted to get off the mountain before that happened. So I said my goodbye to Jim again and made my way down the hill. Upon descending the hill I was over come with an enormous sense of guilt for not helping this guy out. So I asked my self WWJD, what would Jesus do? I though Jesus would make him repent his sins and proclaim him as his lord and savior. Wow, I thought, that wouldn't be very nice at all. So I decided that helping Jim replace his cable would be much more helpful. So I turned around, started climbing the hill and b-lined it straight for Jim who was already one tall can deep and just about to start another  but thankfully he had not even attempted the repair. The fix took me all of three to five minutes to do. He said the repair would have taken him hours and I believed him seeing as he was getting progressively more inebriated. I said goodbye again and he thanked me and asked I wanted to smoke some weed. I declined and finished my ride into Hamilton where I had a house set up for the evening. 7/13/11: Hamilton MT-Missoula MT. That night I stayed with Terry and Carl Tignor. They are a couple who just open up their home to touring cyclists out of pure generosity. Its terry’s hope to one day to turn her backyard into an actual hostel. That morning Terry made me vegan pancakes, took my photo and sent me on my way. The ride to Missoula was only forty miles that day but almost all of it was directly into a head wind. I thought I was going to catch a break only riding forty miles. Boy was I wrong. I got into Missoula around three and hung around downtown until my host, Chynna, called me confirming she was off work. I finally made it over to Chynna's house which turns out to be a double wide pink trailer home. It is beautiful. Although some in the neighborhood consider it an eyesore. The atmosphere of the house really reminds me of my previous home in Ventura. I am very excited to be spending three days here. P.S. Thank you to all my friends and family who sent me notes and vegan care packages. The gesture really means a lot. The sense of familiarity upon receiving your letters is very comforting. I love you guys! Thank you all so much <3<3<3

Day 8: Jeffery City Wy-Lander Wy

7/3/11: Once again I left Rawlins Wyoming way later than I should have. Noon. A night of chatting with my host as well as heavy internet use did not put me in bed until around two-ish. My host for that evening, a Mr. Rick Heys, turned out to be almost uncomfortably nice with his hospitality. Giving me his bed for the night and having himself sleep on a blow up mattress in the kitchen. No matter how hard I tried to persuade him to let me sleep on the floor Rick insisted that i take his bed. I really didn't fight him to hard on the matter seeing as I was pretty sore from the milage that day. Rick, as it turns out is in the process of making his house into a cyclist hostel of sorts for two wheel tramps on the Trans-am. In Ricks estimation he will have his house remodeled and upgraded in two years time. When it is done it might just be the best place to stay on the route, which is saying a lot because it is located in Rawlins Wy. With the wave of my hand I left Ricks house and was en-route to Jeffery City Wy, which was 63 miles away. Before I could get on the highway though I had to make it to a market for supplies. Upon riding though Rawlins for the first time in the light, on my way to the super market, I was quite surprised with the scene. Rawlins appeared as though it was existing somewhere between The American Dream and The Thunderdome. Multiple neighborhoods that I rode though (because I got lost en-route to the super market) had houses with white picket fences, fresh cut green grass and over sized american flags mixed with rows of dilapidated trailers that could double as meth labs adorned with ICP (Insane Clown Posse) decorations. All of this is situated around the state penitentiary. It was truly a magnificent sight. Finally after rubber necking and shopping I was on the road to Jeffery City, a ghost town that evokes visions of the Hills Have Eyes, more on that latter. The ride to Jeffery City through the barren lanscape was hot and windy. With very few spots for water. The road also did not fair much better. The bike lane was uneven and pot marked. Every inch ridden was a struggle. When I approached the 45 mile mark I rolled into a gas station in the province of Muddy Gap. I can't say it is a town because it wasn't. Muddy Gap was a gas station. I promptly rolled in, dismounted my bike, and proceed to sit on the ground underneath the shade of an out building. This is where I ate my lunch in a state of delirium. After eating and resting, I was about to get back on my bike when an old dirty RV camper came speeding into the station blasting Freebird. I had to stay and see who stepped out. It turns out the driver of the camper was an elderly hippie by the name of Bridget in search of flower children and good Gaunga. At least that what she said she was looking for. Once again I didn't have any drugs so I must have been a flower child. We had a very pleasant conversation lifting my sprits for the day. I was off once again to Jeffery City. By this time it was much latter in the afternoon and the sun had set a bit and the wind had died down some. A few hours later I was rolling into my destination, without a place to sleep, around sunset. I walked in into the only open establishment, The Spit Rock Cafe, and sat at the bar. There were two older woman sitting on Facebook with an already drunk bartender, Byron, tending to the patrons. Byron was a burnt, bloated, mosquito bitten town drunk who volunteered his time at the cafe as the bartender. He turned out to be a big movie buff. We sat for about an hour and spoke about David Lynch films over a box of french fries. It was around eleven when Byron suggested that we get drunk and watch Sligblade at his house. I had no other options so I was off to the bartenders house. The place he lives turned out to be an abandoned gas station/mechanic shop that he was squatting in with his girlfriend and her daughter. It was a pretty cool arrangement that also doubled as his pottery/painting studio. He made me a Canadian Lord Calvert, water and ice that I sipped, smiled, thanked him, and put on his coffee table. He put on Slingblade, which was his favorite movie of all time, recited the parts he knew and passed out. I fell asleep shortly there after. Sligblade was ok. At least what I saw of it. I woke up the next morning around 7:30, vaguely disoriented. When I gathered my things I stepped outside into the swarm.

11/4/11: The amount mosquitos outside Byrons house were unlike anything I had ever experienced. Breathing with your mouth open meant inhaling mosquitos. I had to load my belongings on my bike in stages. I did not even get a chance to eat breakfast that morning. I was off in a flash from Jeffery City./INTERMISSION/Jeffery City, was a boom town based around uranium mining during the height of The Cold War. After The Cold War the demand for uranium plummeted and consequently tanked the towns economy. The mine shutdown in the late seventies and within three years of the towns closure 95% of the towns inhabitants had vacated. Leaving behind a vast array of abandoned dwellings. /INTERMISSION OVER/. Without breakfast I was suffering on the road not having fuel to propel me forward. I would try and stop occasionally but to no avail. Every chance I stopped to break I would get swarmed by mosquitos. It was not for a while that I finally realized that I had been carrying the same mosquitos with me from Jeffery City. They would just hang out on my bike out of the wind. Then when I would stop they would strike. I ended up getting rid of all of them while riding but accruing more at a rest stop by a river. I meet another fellow tourist at the rest stop and decided we would ride the rest of the way to Lander Wy together. The rest of the ride to Lander was downhill underneath cloud cover.Very nice. Once reaching town me and my new friend Kyle split ways. Lander Wy did not disappoint. Lander was Nucking Futs.The three long days I pushed to get to Lander on the Fourth was well worth it. The law in Lander for the Fourth of July is... well there is no law. The town turns into a virtual war zone on acid. For this one day within city limits you are allowed to have open containers in public as well as light off whatever fireworks you posses. For twenty four hours all you hear are the explosions of massive fireworks, sirens, electric guitars,dogs barking and children crying. I literally could not hold a conversation outside with the person next to me because of the immense noise. My host for the night were Paul and Kathryn Primrose. They also for the night were hosting another cyclist on his way to Brooklyn via a bicycle he fabricated himself. I dont even know how to explain it. Photos are below. Anyways Paul and Kathryn did not disappoint, directing me to the nearest fireworks stand where I spent 50 dollars on items that are very illegal in California. The rest of the day was spent barbecuing, partying, lighting off fireworks, riding bicycles and lighting off fireworks while riding bicycles. This was a virtual dream come true. From sunset until midnight there was not an inch of sky that was not covered with explosions in the sky. My host and friends had our modest fireworks but the neighbors next-door on either side were lighting off fireworks that one usually needs a permit to own. And thats how it was in every neighborhood. It was beyond awesome. The carnage from all the firework confetti littered every square inch of the city. At midnight the laws went back into effect and only the brave lit off the rest of their stash. This was the best fourth I have ever had. Having never really giving much consideration to the holiday before. I went to bed that night with the biggest smile on my face feeling liberated with Bruce Springsteen on the Ipod, blasting Born In The USA. As I drifted to sleep all I could think was America...Fuck Yeah.

Day 6: S. Platt River Camp WY-Rawlins WY

6/30/11: I left the town of Breckenridge CO on the morning of the 30th way later than I wanted to. I had been up all night chatting with my then host Danny and his roomate Nate. I did not get to sleep till four. Despite getting to sleep at four, I woke up at a resonable hour to start packing, but that process was constantly being inturupted and prolonged becasue I was doing what I had been doing the night before. Chatting it up with my host. I finally bid farwell to Danny and Breckenridge around noon. No problem right? WRONG! As soon as i got on my bike I read a text message from my uncle warning me about some weather that might come my way. Meh...It was sprinkling a little bit but nothing to worry about. As I make my way down the mountain the weather starts to worrsen. First, just a little wind with a drizzle, then a lot of wind and buckets of rain, then what seemed like hurricane force wind, hail and lightning strikes. I end up taking refuge under a park bench over hang when I counted the lightning and thunder as seconds apart. I waited for around 20 minutes and the storm had finally passed. I then bundled up at this point with all my rain gear and full face cycling beanie. It was cold. Real cold. I got back on the road and started decending into the town of Frisco CO as the rain picked back up. Frisco CO proved to be incredibly frusterating seeing as I lost an hour and a half trying to fiure out which bike path to take out of town. I became very disorianted. When I had finally figured out where I was and where I needed to go it was two o'clock and I had not even covered 20 miles. I continue the decend into the town of Silverton CO where I bought a sandwhich as well as had two 14 year old kids ask if I could sell them weed. I guess it looks like im hauling drugs around in those panniers. I then continued to decend into Kremling CO as the sun was out and the wind was down. That all changed within an hour. Upon my furthered decent the sky turned as black as I have ever seen it and unleashed winds upon me that compramised my ability to controll my bike. The cold, wind and rain was in full effect trying to hold me back. 50 miles into the wetest coldest ride of my life my chain also decides to break....it was really unbelevible how much was going against me. It took some time but I fixed my chain and I was off on the last 40 miles of the day. It did not rain anymore after my chain broke but approximitly 10 miles out side of Hot Sulpher Springs CO my chain did break again, and again I fixed it. I rolled into Hot Sulpher Springs at around 9:30 to then find out the camp spot I was planning on staying at were flooded out. Fortunatly Jim at the Ute motel took pittly on me and gave me a room at a crazy discount, $30.00. Even though i didnt feel right about staying in a motel, getting a  room ened up being a pretty good choice. I was able to replace the the broken links in my chain properly as well as dry my belongins. 83 miles down, day four was finally over. 7/1/11: Hot Sulpher Springs CO-S. Platt River Campground WY If the day before was the Ying this day was the Yang. When I woke up at the motel the sun was out the wind was down and there were barley any clouds in the sky. This days ride was so enjoyable infact, I rode and extra 30 miles more than I had planned. In an attempt to make Lander Wy on the 4th. The milage for that day was around 100. This day I had climbed the continental divide again as well as crossed into state lines. It wasnt all sunshine and roses though, the mosquitos were in full force nibbling on me on every climb as well as when I would stop to take a break. By the days end Colorado was over. I eneded up sharing a bueatiful campground that night with a large group of people and two dogs who were going to be  rafting the Platt river the next day. That night we had a campfire and stayed up talking. I can not recall the familys name but they were all very nice. It was very nice that evening to have someone to talk to at the end of the day. The next morning we shook hands and parted ways. 7/2/11: S. Platt River Camp WY-Rawlins WY The mornig of this ride started out perfect. The sun was out and I felt a variable wind coming from the south ready to push me across Wyoming. The ride was great for about 30 miles then the wind picked up and was directed right at me. I battled the sun and the wind across the barren Wyoming plains for about 30 miles. I finally made it to Saratoga Wy where I took a significant break infront 0f a gas station convienent store. Upon leaving Saratoga the wind was still bearing down on me. There were two storm systems I could see to the east and west of the highway. I peddeled my way up and out of Saratoa as fast as I could with the wind in my face in an attempt to beat the storms. As soon as I made it to the top of my first gradual climb out of Saratoga the road shiffted more to the east and the furious wind that was impeading my progross was now at my back. From Saratoga to Walcott Wy I rode on the most epic tail wind I have experienced. I keept a 22 mph average for at least 17 miles. It felt great. Itfelt like I was finally being rewarded for the days earlier struggles. Upon reaching Walcott like a bat out of hell my route changed again once again I was heading right back against the wind. In fact when I reached Walcott the wind was blowing directly from the west at 18mph. I looked at the forcast on my phone and the weather didnt look like it was going to improve. High wind, rain, flooding, lightnig, thunder, the whole nine yards. I decided to wait out the storm for an hour snd then make a break for Rawlins Wy. I took shelter under an over pass and proceeded to wait.  I waited for an hour and a half and the weather eneded up clearing up very nice so i decided to try and ride to Rawlins. 83 miles later I arrived in Rawlins around 9:30 at Rick Heys house, my host for the evening. Next destination Jeffery City Wy. UPDATE: I will be spending three nights in Missoula Montana. If you wish to send me a care package or a friendly note please send them to Adam Jahnke 838 Locust St Missoula, Montana, 59802 Make sure all packages, letters and notes are sent well ahead of time. I should be getting there on July 13th and staying through the 16th or 17th.

Day 3: Current Creek CO-Breckenridge CO

6/27/11: I woke up well before my alarm was set to go off on the morning of my departure. Anxiousness had gotten the best of me that night and had not allowed me very much rest. The plan for the day was to leave around seven to get into Pueblo around eight and start riding around eight thirty, nine. That plan never happend. I did wake up at seven but I did not get packed and prepared to leave until around ten. Maybe subconsciously I was stalling knowing how much climbing laid ahead of me. So around ten my bike, myself, grandma, grandma, their two dogs, and their chicken piled into the cab of my grandfathers pickup truck and headed south down to Pueblo. We arrived in Pueblo around eleven, where I promptly took my bike into the local bicycle shop to get a new chain installed because the day before my original chain had snapped during testing procedurs in my grandmothers driveway. After finishing up at the bicycle shop I said all my goodbyes to my grandparents and their animals. They left and I was finally alone with all of my gear scattered about the sidewalk next to the bike shop. I loaded all my bags onto my bike and synched everything down. It was now noon. I was finally ready. I mounted my bike and was off to Canon City. The majority of the ride to Canon City was not bad. Very mild rolling terrain that cut through country that was gradually becoming more dramatic. The overall ride was very pleasant with one semi marginal climb. I arrived in Canon City around the late afternoon and started scouting for places to camp. Upon further inspection of the town I was informed that camping was not allowed in the city park. Major bummer. I then attempted to call around to a few different camp sites listed on my maps. Mavericks RV park looked good so I rode on down to check it out. Mavericks RV park was a trailer park that permanent residents lived in and camping was apparently available in these residents backyard. This was not a good situation. The surveyed scene appeared very depressing, as I witnessed an eviction taking place. Mavericks RV park was a scene straight out of a Harmony Korine movie. I wasn't about to pay five dollars to get robbed. Needless to say I split. I found another camping/RV park down the road that seemed like a better option. I started setting up my tent on a semi grassy patch underneath a tree next to an empty picknick table. I was the only tent in a sea of RVs. I would soon come to find out my strung out neighbors did not accept my encampment. The conversation went as follows: ME,"Howdy" THEM,"What are u doing?", ME, "Im setting up camp", THEM "You cant set up there", ME,"Why not", THEM," Because thats our picknick table" ME,"O well, I noticed you guys already have a table and this spot is empty, I just need some place to cook" THEM,"Well we have been here for four months, you can go camp over there (pointing across the dirt lot to another grassy patch next to a reservoir). I moved. I set up camp next to the reservoir and made my dinner for the evening. The rest of the night was spent observing the inhabitants of the RV park. 11/28/11: I woke up at six the next morning, packed, ate breakfast and gladly left the tweaker den around eight. My destination for the day was the Current Creek Hostel. The entire 35 mile day was all up hill. From Canon City to the hostel I had gained a lot of altitude and was starting to feel it. I reached the hostel around three and meet Warren the owner of the Current Creek Hostel. Warren is one of the coolest people I have meet on tour so far. He is 61 year old hippie through and through that has operated this little hostel in the middle of the mountains since 1976. He has a pretty primitive set up but he likes to call it low-tech. Thats how he likes it. Im into it. So I pay my ten dollars and he opens the Badger Hole. I end up falling asleep around four and sleeping until nine. Upon waking up I was asleep with in the hour and slept on though the night. 11/29/11: I woke up the next morning and leisurely prepared for the upcoming day knowing I had to summit the Continental Divide, the highest point on my route standing at 11,542 ft. It was to be another climbing day on my way to Breckenridge. Warren was not around to say goodbye to in the morning so I left a note thanking him and I was off. The ride as a whole was longer than both previous days but the climbing was much more gradual. I ate in the two mountain towns of Harstsel and Fairlplay. Preparing yet for the Hoosier Summit. Once arriving at Fairplay CO I contacted Danny through the Warmshowers website and set up housing for the night in Breckenridge. After eating second lunch in Fairplay I was off again. There was one more town reached before the accent. That was the town of Alma. I did not plan on stoping there, just pushing through. But upon enter Alma I meet Satan in the flesh. He was assuming the look of a middle aged white guy driving a pick-up truck offering me a ride to the top of the pass. I declined his offer, although tempting, I wanted to earn my right at the top of the mountain. After declining Satans offer I spent two hours riding up to the top of Hoosier Pass. It was truly exhilarating upon reaching the top. After a photo op I started the decent to Breckenridge and to Dannys house. The rest of the evening was spent playing a board game with Danny and his roommates as well as cooking dinner. Now it is bed time. Goodnight.

Day 1: Pueblo CO-Canon City CO.

  Tomorrow marks the first day of my continued travels across the United States via bicycle. Two summers ago I started this journey across the United States from the east coast of Virginia and cycled as far as Pueblo CO. Upon my arrival in Pueblo, I was greeted with the harsh reality that I did not have enough money or time to continue onto my destination, San Francisco. With my head down and my bike boxed I flew back to San Diego, leaving my three other companions behind, feeling defeated and disheartened. After two months of cycling through the Appalachians, Ozarks and the plains of Kansas and eastern Colorado.  I found myself back in San Diego around early August and proceeded to pass the time preparing for the upcoming fall semester at Channel Islands. Upon my departure from the trail I had promised myself that I would return someday and finish what I had started. So here I am two summers later starting exactly where I had left off in Pueblo but this time I am alone. I have decided that instead of cycling on through to San Francisco, I am going to finish in Florence Oregon, continuing onto the original Transamerica route. The plan is to initially head north from Pueblo on my way to Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and finally Oregon. This is not the most direct way to get to Oregon, but it quite possibly may be the most scenic. I will be seeing the beauty of the Rockies and Cascades all in one trip. Hopefully the weather will hold out for me in the mountains and snow/ rain will be a non issue. My fingers are crossed. Since Thursday I have been staying in the evangelical capitol of the United States, Colorado Springs with my Grandparents preparing for tomorrow and abroad. On Friday I visited a Whole Foods and snagged as much Vegan friendly food as I could fit into my two rear panniers (it’s actually quite a lot),  in anticipation of sparse dietary accommodations. I also have been packing, building/tuning my bike and gathering any forgotten items left in San Diego. Tomorrow morning my grandfather will drop me and my bike off in Pueblo and leave me to ride to Canon City CO, where I think I will be sleeping in the city park. I will make my next post, updating my progress, the next time I find myself sitting in front of a computer or if I ever find cell phone reception. Tomorrow is my first day. Onwards to Canon City! -Adam

My bike without gear.The basion at night.