gratefulsenses: Blog en-us (C) gratefulsenses [email protected] (gratefulsenses) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:52:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:52:00 GMT gratefulsenses: Blog 120 120 leaving...... just kidding

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Fri, 24 Jul 2015 14:15:00 GMT

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Thu, 23 Jul 2015 14:15:00 GMT

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:15:00 GMT
today the day for a century?

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:15:00 GMT
exploring minneapolis

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Sat, 18 Jul 2015 14:15:00 GMT
extra push from the elements

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Tue, 14 Jul 2015 14:15:00 GMT
long day

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Mon, 13 Jul 2015 14:00:00 GMT
night in jail

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Sun, 12 Jul 2015 14:00:00 GMT
direct experence

i am still alive and i am having a blast. this is an absolutely amazing experience. my mind is blown on a daily basis. exploring america by bike. i have noticed that at first, i would go into a place with judgements about what to expect based on where i was. i can't think of time that my judgements would actually be accurate though. time and time again i have been wrong and paying attention to that. at some point it became apparent to me:

America is amazing, if you don't watch the news.

that is very simplified and the people that i have said that to, get what I am trying to say. my judgement from where ever i was living were based on something that i had never directly experienced before. i have been exploring and talking to people directly and i have had a completely different experience. like i said, my mind is blown right now.

idaho was amazing. absolutely amazing. the people. the scenery. everything. every person that i interacted with on a 'professional' level, took ownership of their position. from the hotel worker that returned an envelope full of cash to it's rightful owner to the fast food worker running around to fill an order. they love where they are. i feel like that has kind of been foreign to me lately. it felt different anyway.

sometimes i forget how blessed i actually am. i was having lunch and talking with the young woman who was working. she had moved to lewiston from san diego and was saving up to move to portland. she has always dreamed of living in san francisco or portland. i have the best of both worlds! i don't take that lightly either. i live in the bay area, shared an apartment with a roommate, and my job is to go to school from 9-2. i know some people in the bay area have to work 2,3,4 jobs to live there. they have much less than i and work much harder. i personally don't get it and know that i have it made right now. i also have a place to go back to in portland. i was so glad to be reminded of all that.

i met another amazing man when trying to leave town. we talked for a couple hours about lots of different things. he was explaining to me about owning land that was zoned for farming. as a land owner, his opinion was that farming was one of the largest sources of handouts from the government. it was a long talk and very enlightening. i won't bore everyone with it though. some of his friends showed up that had grown up in michigan and grabbed an atlas to show me around and gave me lots of facts and history.

that man turned me around and told me i should go a different route than i had planned. was i ever glad to have listened to him! i had met 2 other cyclist that had come from that way, from the opposite direction i was going to be going. they said not to go that way because there was no shoulder and truck traffic. i would agree with them about the shoulder issue. the direction they went, had barriers to keep cars from going into the river. i would agree with them if i was headed the other way. there wasn't much of a shoulder going my way either. traffic was light enough to make up for it.


i will work on catching up on the individual days now that I have interweb access again. 

thanks so much for everybody's interest and comments!! please know that it helps keep me going as well!

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Sat, 11 Jul 2015 12:51:51 GMT

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Wed, 08 Jul 2015 13:30:00 GMT
the lodge

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:15:00 GMT
fellow cyclist

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:15:00 GMT
leaving for real

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Sun, 05 Jul 2015 13:15:00 GMT
never mind

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:15:00 GMT
big day

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Wed, 01 Jul 2015 13:15:00 GMT
double rainbow

I left Walla Walla pretty frustrated. I didn't know whether to be angry or just laugh at how silly things have gotten. I am trying to get a Pell Grant disbursed to me by my school. I have been trying to be patient with the employee I have been dealing with and I am sick of being cut off. I am almost certain that she assumes what I am going to say and starts to speak over me. I don't feel like anything I said was being heard. I had had enough.

I felt the best way to actually be heard was to write it out in an email. I summed up my main points at the end of the email:

'I want to clarify that I am understanding things correctly: I have to fly back to the Bay Area in order to have a special type of counselor look at the education plan I already have written, re-write the education plan that is already written, all for classes that are already completed?'

I think that this has gotten to a pretty ridiculous point. That is my opinion though. 

Off I go. It was a short ride to the park I was going to camp tonight so I wasn't in a huge hurry. I was laughing. I was also pissed. At some point I was taking out my camera and taking pictures of wheat fields. That is all there was. Wheat on the side of the mountain. Everywhere. 

I had learned about some aspects while in the hot tub at the hotel. A man headed to his land in Idaho was telling me what was going on. Harvest was coming early this year due to dry and hot weather this year. It shouldn't be ready til the 3rd week in July I think I heard. 

It was also interesting to see almost all wheat and then some fields had a couple patches of green, equally mixed etc. The green were weeds. I wonder how they get those out of there? 

I came into the town of Waitsburg and in the field was a camel. How crazy! It was so hot. I rode into the town and looked for a place to eat.  I saw some shade and leaned my bike up against an electrical box. A man came over and was amazed to see someone riding a bike in the heat. We talked a bit about the bike trip, the town, and where to get something to eat. He pointed me to the new sandwich shop where I got a bbq sandwich. 

I had also seen a place to get my haircut and stopped in. The woman was very interested in what I was doing. She also told me a lot about the town as well. She had been there like 30 years I think. She was telling me about the day Mt. St. Helens erupted and how the town was affected. I have noticed that shops in small towns have to have multiple 'hats' on to survive. 

I went down to Lewis and Clark State Park and found my primitive camp sight and jumped in the river to cool off and wash off the itchy hair. Cooked some oatmeal for dinner and looked at the map for the next day. 

How big of a day was I going to have?

40 or 70?

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Wed, 01 Jul 2015 05:30:00 GMT
Oasis in the desert

Oh wait..... Oasis in sweet onion fields

Today was going to be a better day. Flats are done now. Well wishes I guess. It was a nice ride of Hermiston this morning. Mellow and cool compared to the afternoon heat. I made it back to the river and rode along side for a bit. It was early so there was very little traffic. I met up with US 12, which I will be on for awhile now.

I turned off to the old hwy when I was approaching Walla Walla. It was hot by then. I had been grazing all day and was ready for a real meal. 

Out of no where, sprinklers appeared and two angels came out offering water and a cool place to sit and rest. I leaned up my bike and went inside. I hung out for a little bit and went back out to continue toward Walla Walla for something good to eat. I got out to the main road and looked down to see my tire was flat. UGH. I went back and changed the tube. This is when I looked and felt around the whole tire and thought that I had found it and got back on the road. 

I got down the road a bit and broke down again in front of a winery. They had one tree that I eyed to change my tire under. There was a man outside taking down a tent. I got on with getting rid of that tire and pulling out one of the ones I hadn't sent home yet. The man came over and we started talking. He was just cleaning up from his daughters wedding the night before. His family were cyclist and his brother owned the winery that I was broken down at. He took a look at the tire and found a small steel splinter from a truck blow out. Lesson learned. 

He suggested a place to eat lunch and the food was great!!! It was a family run grocery store and restaurant. I was excited to have a chocolate milk and torta! 

I found a hotel with a 24 hr hot tub!!! I took full advantage of that. I still needed another tire and looked up the bike shop. It was Sunday and they were closed. I also had to deal with the people in the Financial Aid office at school in the morning. Mail a package home of stuff that I wasn't using and was extra weight. 


[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Mon, 29 Jun 2015 05:30:00 GMT
4 agreements(kind of)


it's a great book! these aren't the real agreements:

While riding the past couple days in the heat, I was really surprised by how well my body held up. Most of the time, while the day is warming up, I haven't realized that the temps have gotten about 100. If I keep on top of four things I do very well. First off is water. Drink even if I am not thirsty. Watch heart rate. I have seen great endurance when I can keep my steady heart rate about 135 bpm. It goes up under stress but I am looking for it to recover quickly back to around 135. By the end of the day, it gets higher and higher doing the same light work. 

Along with heart rate, I am watching cadence. I use my gears to keep my cadence around 85 rpm. That helps keep stress off my knees and legs and also keeps my heart rate low. It isn't always the most efficient gear, and going to keep me going longer. 

The other thing I have on the computer is calories burned. It reminds me to graze on things as I am riding and not wait till it's too late to replace calories. 

I think those 4 things have made it possible to be riding in the heat day after day. Oh and sunscreen. 

I tried again to leave early. I woke up to a flat tire. I can finally talk about my great luck with tires now that my streak has ended. It blows my mind that I have had only one flat in the years of riding my bike on the road. Granted I wasn't always riding when I could be, I still put enough miles on my bikes that I was surprised and never said anything out loud about it. 

I knew better than to leave on the trip with the set of tires that I had on the bike. They were great on everyday roads around the Bay Area and when I get back, I will put them back on a bike for that purpose. They didn't hold up to the torture of riding on the shoulder of a Highway. Or the freshly laid chip seal, except they were in the middle of sealing it. The 'goat head' thorns, or small steel fibers from blown out truck tires. 

Then you get into human error. It was hot!! I was hot standing in the sun. I changed a tire, ran my eyes and hands inside and out, thought maybe it was one spot that something had gone through. Well it wasn't that and I was changing the tube again within minutes. 

I was sick of fighting tires and made the decision to start fresh. I had to detour from my route to do it. 

I was hungry first and in Umatilla, OR. The bike shop was in Hermiston, about 8 miles away. I was passing by a couple and they were commenting about the heat and how crazy I was to be riding my bike and gear out here. I asked where to get some food. They sent me to the High School cafeteria. I was kind of hesitant at first and looked on my phone for another suggestion. Nothing else was much more appealing and decided to give it a shot. 

I was hot and had a light breakfast before leaving the campground. I walked in and they were just about to put everything away. Just in time! They said I could have whatever I wanted. 2 chocolate milks, piece of pizza, sandwich, salad, fruit, and cake! All for $2! It wasn't gourmet food and much better than the stuff on a Navy boat. 

I let things settle out and rode down to the bike shop. I was on a busy 4 lane almost highway. At some point I got up on the curb to look at my map to make sure I hadn't passed my turn off. A truck pulled up and a nice guy hands me my shoe and base layer shirt back. He said they fell off back a little ways. I didn't have my other shoe though. I was a good 5 miles from where I knew I had both shoes and wasn't going to turn back just yet in this heat. 

I rode on to the bike shop and wasn't surprised to find out that they only had one tire in stock that I wanted, in the size I wanted. I took that and then at least I could put my 'backup' puncture resistant tire on the other. 

I got a hotel room to get out of the heat, took the bags off the bike, changed the tires, and then went looking for my shoe. The bike was completely different without all the weight on it!  I was on the other side of the highway from where I would have dropped it and was trying my best to spot it. I went back to the school and turned around. On my way back, I found the shoe!!! Not too far from where I was given back the other one, but at least I found the shoe. A great feeling at the end of the day is taking off the cycling shoes and putting on something comfortable. It would have been a hardship until I replaced the street shoes!

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Sat, 27 Jun 2015 04:51:00 GMT
come and pick cherry's i am willing to turn around and meet anybody in Roosevelt, WA who wants to pick cherry's for a couple days in 105* sun.

i was trying to get peddling earlier than i did. oh well. still need to get the hang of packing up the bags the night before and only things out needed for the morning. it was something like a 60 mile push to crow butte park. people were telling me it was going to get warm so i had 4L of water in bladders and 2 tall bottles on the bike. the goal was a bottle a hour; i try to sip at least every 10 min. (beep from computer) it also reminds me to check my posture and change positions. 

i had to cross the columbia on a narrow 2 lane bridge with no shoulder; what do i do? throw the chain when my hand slipped and threw my barend shifter all the way down. luckily no big rigs were trying to cross and traffic was light due to being early. chain back on and climbing right off the bat into Washington. one state down! that sign was the only shade it seemed the rest of the day. 

i just kept drinking water and peddled down the road. I had no idea that it was above 100* for awhile. it wasn't too bad as long as you were moving. when i stopped to pee was when it became apparent that it was so hot. i was trying to stop about every hour to stand, snack, refill bottles, etc. i think i found another sign, a tree, and the market in Roosevelt for shade.

it was 40 miles into the small town of Roosevelt, WA. my map said there was a restaurant here; their sign said 'Mini Mart.' either way i was hungry and wanted some choc. milk. i walked in and it was both. one side was a restaurant and one side one of those 'camp' style markets with mostly processed foods and camping goods. i was thinking they must of honed in on being the closest store to the campground i was headed to. i got some choc. milk and sat outside to cool down in the shade before getting something from the restaurant. i was out there a good 20-30 min. observing.

3 cars and a big rig running outside. man loading bag after bag of ice. family returning to running car with bags of chips and bottles of soda. young pregnant woman returning to car with a big bag of chips. young kid buying two big bottles of soda, paying with dimes and nickles. white trucker ordering a burger, can of dinner sausages and soda. i get to order a burger and choose to fill up my water bottle from the bathroom sink. Their soda fountain didn't dispense water. ONLY SODA. *slap across the face*

oh yeah!! one thing i mentioned in my mission statement was nutrition. i was thinking it might be about me.    

my goal is not to offend anybody. this is what i am observing and processing internally. you might see the same thing and process it entirely different. it might hurt because not too many people are willing to say it. hell, i am not sure why i am going to.

while enjoying my meal inside the cool building, i got to observe the other side of this town. i was looking at my map, checking my phone and listening to and learning about the town from the 'white' side. not trying to be p.c. here. this is pretty serious to me. right now in town it was cherry season and the native americans were catching fish. oh and -fill in blank- got kicked out of the army and married a woman with 3 children.

so who was on the mini mart side and who was on the restaurant side?

i am going to go out on a limb and compare current corporate advertising to adverting used to promote baby formula over natural breast milk in uneducated parts of south america. i feel like people are almost conditioned to find the best deal and quickest, easiest -fill in blank.-

a mantra i will keep bring up over and over is : think different

not much i say is original and most times can't remember where i heard it

it pisses me off that whole, fresh foods are noticeably more expensive than the thing you can just pop in the microwave. we have to get back to work as quick as possible you know. we need to pay for the stuff that we think we need. 

so back to the very top. i will pick cherry's with you for a couple 8,10,12 hrs days in the 105* sun. that is just the day time. let's live in the communal squallier shack; were we eat, sleep, rest, EVERYTHING. in the same communal room without our own bed or single occupancy room. we just make it work for a couple days. it sounds doable to me. oh and no A/C.

why should i care how they live? i wonder sometimes. they are probably 'illegals' anyway right? i love that argument. they are ruining this country as i search for fresh fruits and vegetables. i am not suggesting this because i think i am better than anyone and i suggest you sit through a college level macro economics course for a term. it was highly informative to me and enlightening. 

 a piece of the cycle: SUPPLY AND DEMAND

why aren't the farmers who demand and pay them persecuted the same as the people who are coming to work? do you want to go do that work? the truth is that some people are unemployed because they are too good to accept some forms of work. 

i know.... i know..... i too believe that the government enables abuses to the social welfare system. more could be done. we have to think different. 

what about the corporations that have exploited local, family farms and businesses? the banks that took advantage of capitalizing on the 'American Dream.' everyone wants to be able to own the house with the white picket fence and have 2.75 kids right? why not just sign on the doted line and trust what you are being told? 'oh did we forget to tell you that in 5 years your house payment will double, triple, quad.?' oops sorry and thanks for the bail out.....'

as you can tell i am frustrated. it is so much bigger than just coming to the US 'illegally' or if you pay taxes or not. guess who else doesn't pay taxes? i wonder why people fight so hard against something that effects them so very little? 

back to the distractions at hand though. so and so married a woman with 3 kids. i have 20 more miles to peddle to the campground.

my body had already setup camp by the time i started to pedal again. it was hot; and no sooner did i run into freshly laid chip seal. except they hadn't fully sealed it yet so there was loose rock everywhere. besides doing a number on my tires i think, it was flying around every which way from cars and trucks. it was a good 5-7 miles of this before reaching the turn off for the campground. 

there was shade!! i was expecting a desert like setting and all the shaded spots were occupied. i had a couple different people offer me a place to set up my tent. i choose a spot right by the bathrooms; still drinking water and didn't think about the spot lights that would come on at night.

i jumped in the river and cooled off for a bit before rinsing some clothes and making dinner. the shade was so nice after spending the day in the hot sun. i do some yoga and decompress. thoughts come and go. don't let them stick and control the rest of the day. while some of the above is passionate, i can detatch from it as well and not let it control my life.

experence. the. fear.  

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Thu, 25 Jun 2015 17:30:00 GMT
STFU first off, i am having a blast!!!! i hurt, i get frustrated, -fill in blank-, etc. it is all worth it and all part of life. 

i am excited to share with others MY journey. MY JOURNEY......... i was worring about keeping up on this website, like i owed it to someone. that i had deadlines and things. the joke is on me. this is my journey. and i am excited to share it!!!!

with that said........ a lot has been coming up when talking with others that are doing simular things. i am not the first person to ride a bicycle across country. i am not the youngest or oldest who has ever done it. many people have done it faster, further, more extreme than i. hats off!! much respect. i wanted to take a day off and worried about my schedule. or the fact that somebody was reading about MY journey and saying to themselves, 'He will never make it at this pace." 

the only thing i can tell you for sure is that my GOAL is Maine. it might take more than this summer. i don't know. i think i can make it. the thing i know for sure is that i don't want to miss my immediate surroundings b/c all i can see is Maine. i am going to listen to and respect my body. it doesn't make sense to me to be able to say 'i rode a bike coast to coast; my hand was numb for months after it though, etc.'

the couple i met my first night were asking me if they should get a hotel at the head of the PCT. they thought it would take away from the story. many people were offering advice because they had just seen the movie 'wild.' does it matter you slept one night in a hotel before hiking the whole state of oregon? i say stfu. it might change the story if you accepted a ride? stfu. i don't know the future. i am not against adapting to my surroundings. i have found much more peace in life when I am able to let go of rigid thoughts or plans and problem solve as things appear.

sometimes i appear aloof. that is not the case at all. i am just trying to observe before doing something i can't take back.

i am so so excited about everything! everything! everything! i hope you can get some excitement and joy out of MY journey as well. above was more for me to remind myself to go at it as i see fit. SLOW DOWN. don't ruin your body.

so much i do seems like a robot. i rush to here to get that done, rush back there, missing so much. experience the day in front of me and not dwell on past or future.


[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Wed, 24 Jun 2015 16:36:00 GMT
take the high road

i keep wondering if i am on track........ and then something appears in front of me to answer the question. enjoy the moment in front of you. slow down! easy to say.

the campground was less than 20 miles away so i wasn't in a huge rush to get peddling this morning. the one thing i wasn't looking forward to again was getting on the freeway for another 10 miles or so. least favorite part of the trip so far and it was uneventful.

leaving the dalles to get on the freeway, joe citizen cop pulls up beside me and starts lecturing me. *i try not to put my life in danger anymore. i certainly don't put my life in anybody else's hands. i don't willy nilly blow through stop signs while riding my bike.* so it's still pretty early on a weekday and not much traffic on the backroads to the freeway. i have a loaded bike that takes a little effort to get going from a stop. add a hill to the equation, and it gets even harder. so i am climbing up a hill and in the middle of it is a stop sign. as i approach the 4 way, i look all around and there are 3 stop signs between myself and a car. i continue to pedal. no danger to anybody.  

well that car had citizen cop in it. i didn't think anything of it. i am just observing my surroundings and getting comfortable in the cockpit. i was adjusting my mirror and noticed a car was behind me and wouldn't go around. some people are afraid to pass and it makes me nervous when a car is hanging out right behind me. i hug the curb a little more. nothing. won't pass. ugh. i go another block with the car following me and then pull off in a driveway and stop, expecting the car to keep going. it didn't.

this man starts telling me everything i have done wrong for the last half mile. *shut up miguel. you don't have to say anything. great job!* just to let everyone know, i should have gotten a ticket for running the stop sign and impeding traffic. impeding traffic because i 'left the bike lane 3 times.' count it. 3. i am sure i did to avoid something. whatever. it sure seemed like i ruined this guys day. i have been a shit head like that before; made sure the other person knew they had done something wrong; even having done the same thing hours before im sure.

something to think about for an hour while peddling down the freeway........

i love my life when i don't always have to be 'right.' and i am not perfect! i did something wrong that was seemingly minor to me; it was a big deal to someone else. was it an over reaction? it seemed like it to me. maybe the guys kid was hit by a cyclist who ran a stop sign? i don't need to know why this was such a huge deal. I just need to have compassion and empathy for this person. nothing more, nothing less.  bottom line is i was wrong.

i got off the freeway onto a country road parallel to the freeway. it is so much more peaceful and enjoyable. it was another couple miles to deschutes river state park. i was excited to be close to the water tonight. i was riding the loop, looking at which site I wanted, and noticed a huge moving truck. as i got closer i could see a nice camp kitchen setup. 4 industrial propane griddles, food warmers,  everything. they saw my bike and flagged me down.

they were the caterer's for an Adventure Cycling Ass. fully supported tour. the food smelled great. we bsed a bit and let each other know what was going on. i am using the Adventure Cycle maps for this trip. only a couple days into a 3 month trip. they started over 20 years ago; cooking a meal here and there and fell in love with the community. now it's like 6-10 full tours a year, all over the western states. they told me dinner was at 6 and check in with the girls down at the group site. sweet!!

i was greeted with 2 huge smiles and "oh, a real tourist" ???? they were unloading riders luggage from a uhaul and wanted to know everything. they reiterated to setup anywhere in the group area and dinner was at 6 and breakfast at 7. sweet. one of the women had done P2P and wanted to know more about my rando bag from swift industries. soon cyclist on nice, LIGHT road bikes started to show up from the days ride.

what a neat setup. for a while i was trying to figure out how to tour on my carbon fiber 'race' bike. this is how you do it. pay a little money for sherpas. here is their routine: repack your large duffel bag with clothes, tent, whatever else you brought and set next to uhaul. coffee at 6.30. breakfast at 7. start riding when you are ready. map of the day's ride all planned out. chaser vehicles with bike racks. bike mechanic on crew. lunch packed for you. most days are 50 miles. one 80 mile day. reach camp and locate your duffel. shower. setup. etc. eat dinner. 'map meeting' for next days ride. more or less you just need to worry about riding. this is awesome!

i got to talking with one man that had done 4-5 of these tours. he said the food was the best so far. i had gotten some fresh food i had to cook so i was a bit bummed.

we each have our own way of doing things, and the most important thing is that you are doing it!

running into the ACA group was great and i got nothing done i wanted to. it was great talking bikes, life, bikes, touring, etc. i wanted to work on my website the last couple nights and got to my stopping point exhausted and needing to do the life supporting things like shower, eat, tune up bike, eat, eat, etc.

went to sleep listening to the river and looking at half moon and stars!! decided to wake up to a day of rest!!

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:36:00 GMT
fantastic voyage

remember that whole breakfast thing...... i limped into cascade locks for another real breakfast and some coffee. i wasn't looking forward to getting on the freeway. i talked with a man that had hosted a cyclist 'many years ago,' while he was making a cross country trip. he got a letter a couple months later, telling him that he made it and thanking him for the place to stay.

i am lucky. i had to decide between a laptop or tablet. a dslr or mirrorless camera. lighter weight gear. INTERNET!!!! Cell Phone! a wealth of knowledge others have documented and shared. a route with maps that many other people have followed. better roads. more compassion for cyclists.

the first 15 or 20 miles were on a multi-use path up to cascade locks. the 6 level of stairs sucked!! even with a wheel groove it wasn't fun. next time i would take a couple of the bags off to get down. after breakfast i rode through the rest of cascade locks on 30 as far as i could and then onto 84, the freeway.

i am grateful that it isn't too often and even one exit is enough. i think in my head, 'one exit isn't too bad.' then i break it down to about 10 miles; still not too bad. break it down even further to more than an hr and i started to antsy. the noise is what really gets to me the most. so down 84 i roll, tail wind pushing and trucks pulling. again, work smart and not hard. took advantage of my surroundings and got some assistance!

got off off 84 in hood river and stopped at the safeway. one thing i forgot to do before leaving was grind my coffee. pretty big mistake. i also got some fruit and bread. i made a sandwich and rested outside. it was halfway and only noonish.

outside of hood river i climbed up to the old columbia river highway that has been converted to a multiuse path now. rode through some old tunnels. momentum down the hill. and then back up a hill. I stopped toward the top of the final climb and made a sandwich. the winds were blowing and most of the day was spent looking over to the columbia and seeing wind/kite surfers and the barges coming down the river.

i had planned to stay the night somewhere in the dalles. my intention was eat, sleep, update website, relax, etc. I barely ate before falling asleep. i am behind and working hard to catch up. working out all the kinks. 

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Mon, 22 Jun 2015 16:36:00 GMT
going on a bike ride

never underestimate the importance of a huge breakfast!

it was great to take a little extra time to prep, visit, relax, etc. in seattle and portland before i left on the journey. very grateful for ka for the hospitality and support offered throughout the week! a week wasn't enough time to pay complete attention to all i wish i could have.

i was worried that i was going to have a hard time sleeping. all week i was excited about what was going on. old friends, bike trip, portland, bike trip. writing this several days after leaving, that hasn't been the case at all. it has been hard to stay awake now.

i planned a pretty casual first day. it ended up being 41 miles i think to ainsworth state park. i wasn't in a huge rush to get going and got stuff hooked on the bike over coffee and a huge breakfast. eggs, potatoes, peppers, bacon, toast, juice.

man, let all that settle; 
we are off. leaving my neighborhood in portland, down 33rd to marine drive. past rodgers marine where i used to work. jets taking off. tugs. boats. trucks. cars. trains across the river; bikes. boots. shoes. feet. we are all just trying to get somewhere. got to do something. my friend rode with me out of town up to vista house. he was excited to be out riding a new road bike.

the bike isn't nibble. could have gone with the smaller rando bag. 3 days food is a good rule of thumb. plenty of water. look at weather. 
the ride out of portland, up to 84, is a calm multi-use trail along the columbia river. you then start to follow 30 and climb into corbett and up to vista house with a spectacular view of the river and the entrance to the gorge.

leaving vista house was a steep downhill that i took full advantage of. when i can, it helps to use the momentum! gentle rollers past a couple waterfalls. multnomah falls. traffic jam, even for the bike. 40 miles to ainsworth state park.

yes it was different fully loaded. my left knee hurt again. i found the hike/bike site. past a little casita. a couple that were about to hike the pch through oregon were set up. it was nice to swap preparation stories.

i played a bit with my camera and tuned up the bike. looked at the map and planned the next day. distance and elevation to the dalles didn't look like too much of a push. organize and pack bags for the morning. left a light breakfast on top and planned to stop in cascade locks before getting on the freeway. 

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Sun, 21 Jun 2015 07:11:00 GMT
Updated Route Info.

I decided to base my route off a couple of the Adventure Cycling Route Maps. I will be using these as a guideline and might wander off track a bit. Use the link above to get to my profile and then click on routes. The ones that start with ACA are the routes for this trip. There is only one missing as of right now. 

[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Fri, 19 Jun 2015 17:31:49 GMT


i have been searching for the 'perfect' idea on how to start this thing and just end up getting nothing started.……


"But our trip was different. It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country—but only for those with true grit. And we were chock full of that."-HsT, FLLV


bare with me while i get more comfortable and ideas flowing to the inter webs. two-ish years ago when i started to play around with the idea of moving from portland to the bay area, i would have never guessed that i would be willing to express myself in this way. moving away from a rock solid community that i had built to a 'foreign country' was culture shock for me. the goal of this trip is maine to be one of the first people in the u.s. to see the sunrise! how i get there has yet been fully mapped out. that is what i am excited about!


here is where i want to start…… COMMUNITY!!!! can we still find it? i know that it is still there, it's just harder to find the roots and allow it to grow stronger. i believe that as a society, we must be adapting to our ever changing environment and still i want to fight certain aspects of this change. i don't want to digitize communication. there are becoming less and less reasons for humans to interact with one another and i would like to see that trend in the other way. one idea. in portland I had a good friend that enjoyed running and i liked to cycle. it worked out well because we both got to do something different and it was really enjoyable to be outdoors more often. by adding more exercise, i had to be more mindful of my nutrition. this has been the hardest part of getting more serious about cycling for me. i didn't have any consistent eating habits and times. i love thai food and got an amazing cookbook and wok and experimented with meals that i could cook in batches and have ready so there was no excuse not to eat. another obstacle was adjusting my mind to realistic portions. so after all that, i started to brainstorm about a 'food sustainability' idea around a cross country bike trip that i have wanted to do forever. second and third idea. i have traveled a bit in se asia and love that most food that is available is from a fresh outdoor market. it isn't a fad that happens once a week that we choose to call a "farmers market." i want to meet local family farmers, community farmers, that have a tie to their community and aren't there to exploit and then ditch when the numbers don't crunch out. 


after playing with many different ideas of morphing all these interest together, a professor pointed out that i had enough going on and maybe just focus on me personally and the availability of fresh foods, costs, consistency, etc. in the places that i pass through and to still tie in the community part as well. that is where i am at. i have been researching different ways to post things from the road and trying different things out and have settled on this for the most part. i will have a bike computer that will map my route as i go and i will be posting the days map and stats, interesting updates, pics, comments, thoughts, jokes, music; not really sure yet. expect something on a regular basis though. i had a blast doing this down HWY 1 to Los Angeles. i was amazed at what caught my attention as i would peddle for about 6 hrs a day. for the most part i had my phone on mute and no tech. distractions. i followed a hydraulic leak from farm equipment for at least 30 min. through watsonville. took note of different road pavement surfaces to ask my friend about that works in the industry. a bunch of conversations on the side of the road with strangers, a couple of them for hrs. it was amazing! my idea with this website is to hopefully create its own community as well. to come check in on the map, read, comment about the area i'm in with suggestions of what not to miss, etc. 


i absolutely appreciate the support so many people have sent my way! Please also check out the Photography tab.

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[email protected] (gratefulsenses) Fri, 19 Jun 2015 16:59:39 GMT