Friday, September 4, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
What exactly happened to the East Coast? Dave and I just finished weaving our ways in and out of cars on Manhattan and are sitting in our friend's, Dan Bacon, apartment in the city. I've been very tired as of late which is why the blogs have been lacking and for that I apologize.
Everyone had a great time in DC. We gave a presentation to a lot of Stanford kids at the Stanford in Washington house and then went out on the town with some people. We drove down to the waterfront and met up with Aaron Frankl and Alec Levy, our rowing teammates. It was great to see the guys and cath up with what everyone has been doing this summer.
On Wednesday we got up at 5:30 and were on the road at 6. Dave and I decided to bike from DC to Philly, originally a three day trek, in a single day. We changed up the route a little bit so that we only had 187 miles. It was a long day but my legs felt good after a rest day and I was very happy to roll into Philly.
We spent two days with the Trope family whose daughter, Michal, is one of our good friends from school. Yesterday we hung out in the city for a while and then split ways a bit. I left the group to meet up with a friend from high school, Pat Kneeland, and then go out to dinner with my Uncle and his family. It was a great to catch up with so many people I hadn't seen in a while.
Today we biked just over 100 miles from Philly to NYC. The miles were easy except for going through Newark, NJ. Bad roads, bad drivers, and a bad route. But we are now here and I'm very pleased. We're about to head out to dinner so I have to bounce, but I'll try to put up another good blog or two in the next couple of days. We're almost there!
Fact of the Day
In 20 years of life this is my first time EVER being in New York City. Worcester, my hometown, is only about 4 hours from New York. There are 3 or 4 times when concrete plans for going to the city were established and then fell through. I jokingly told my parents that I had to bike across the country to finally get here. Whouda thunk?
Today's Question: What are the 13 original colonies? (1 point a piece)
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
With just over 10% of the world's population, sub-Saharan Africa is home to 95% of the world's AIDS orphans and 60% of all people infected by HIV. The numbers speak for themselves. This is one of our answers for "Why Africa?". Because a disproportionate amount of people are being affected with HIV in Africa compared to other places in the world.
Answer to yesterday's question: Mt. Mitchell is the largest mountain in the Appalachians. I was going to give KTO 1 point for every foot that Mt. Mitchell rose above sea level, but turns out she isn't that far behind Mrs. Evans (47 points). KTO has joined Nate Rooks in a tie for 2nd with 30 points a piece. Give it a day or two and Mrs. Evans' streak could be over.
Today's Trivia Question: What two famous Confederate generals are buried in Lexington, VA? (5 points a piece)
On August 12 Dave and I will give a presentation about AIDS, Face AIDS, and our ride at St. John's High School starting at 7 PM. Afterwards everyone is invited back to my house for some light snacks, good conversation, and friends. If you will be in the Central Massachusetts area we would love to have to stop by! If you plan on attending, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Before going to dinner at Chris’s house we stopped at the Bass Pro Shop. For all the non-fishermen out there, Bass Pro is the quintessential outdoor shop for all things fishing. The corporation is actually based in Springfield, MO and let me tell you, the outlet is MASSIVE. I won’t begin to describe. Let your imaginations run wild with guns, fishing poles, and lots of camo.
After Bass Pro we headed over to Chris’s house for dinner. Chris and his wife, Robyn, just had their first child, Wyatt, two days ago! Tired, but happy, they welcomed us into their home and we enjoyed a great lasagne dinner with their parents, all four who were proud first-time grandparents.
Having enjoyed a great home cooked meal, it was time to head to the church where we would be sleeping. On the way I was dropped off at a local clinic and had my chest stitches removed. Needless to say I was very happy, except for the fact that it is almost healing too well and I fear that I won’t have as sweet a scar as I imagined.
Today we had an 80-mile day which was prolonged to around 90 after a “scenic tour” Dave and I chose to take….which of course means we got lost. Once we found our way we cruised on and made it all the way to Houston.
As some may know, today was my first day back on the bike in eight days! I was so pumped to finally be riding again, but let me tell you, my legs are feeling it. The past 8 days were just limited activity; I tried to do as little as physically possible! My legs are really sore and tomorrow we have our longest day of the trip: 132 miles!
It’s getting late and I can’t wait to crawl into bed so I will save my perceptions of Missouri until tomorrow. Thanks for reading, and come back tomorrow!
Answer to yesterday’s Trivia: Missouri is the “Show-Me” state. Check back tomorrow for the origin of this nickname.
Today’s Trivia Question: "Wild Bill" Hickok, a daunting figure in Old Western Lore, killed a man in Springfielf, MO in a draw over a small piece of property. What was this article over which the argument was held?
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Hey guys, we finally posted all of our photos online. Click on the link below to check them out. Enjoy!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
- The Lilley Family (10 points)
- Matty Pru (10 points)
- Katie O'Neill (10 points)
Monday, June 29, 2009
In the morning we drove a couple miles back up the road to Kiva’s Koffeehouse. The shop sits overlooking the staircase and serves coffee starting at 8:30. What better way to kick start the day? On the way back down to the starting point we filmed a quick video of the area that we hope to enjoy (check the newest entry). I taped Dave’s ankle, which he’d been resting and icing, and it felt good.
Dave and I at the top of the nameless 9,600 foot summit.
Today was another long day. The first 23 miles were all up hill and culminated in a 9,600 peak. From the top it was 18 miles downhill into Torrey where we broke for snacks. After some ice cream that was a little too good, our bikes were back on the road and we started pedaling. Caineville, our next stop, was 30 miles away. I was ready to put my head down and just do the work, but the Capitol Reef National Park had other plans.
As our descent from the mountain continued we plunged into the massive stone structures of the Capitol Reef National Park. Our route mirrored the Fremont River which cuts in and out of massive stone structures. Some were over 1,000 feet in height. As I zoomed along the road these monuments reminded me of massive medieval fortresses. The cast off boulders that littered the base of each looked like the remnants of a past era. Unfit for the majesty of the plateau, the boulders were thrown down, yet even in their lowliness they added a certain mystique to the overwhelming awe of the mountain from which it had fallen.
We reached Caineville around 6:15. The funny thing about Caineville is that is actually has nothing in it. With no place to sleep we were forced to move on to the next town, Hanksville, 19 miles up the road. This time there were no sites to draw my attention away from the task at hand; I put my head down, shut off my brain, and rolled into Hanksville around 7.
It’s now the late evening and we are all exhausted. Fortunately, tomorrow is only a 50 mile ride (thanks to the 19 miles we cut out from Caineville to Hanksville). We’ll be at the Hite Recreation Area next to Lake Powell for two days. The rest day is much needed, and will hopefully be filled with hiking, swimming, and kayaking. But now it’s time for a shower (we’ve been without showers for three days and smell pretty gross) and a good night’s sleep. Thanks for reading!
The following day was not the best of the ride. Seven miles in Dave and I pulled over into a rest stop. Dave’s Achilles heel was hurting him a lot and had been getting progressively worse over the past four days. We concluded that rest was the best option so a phone call to Lauren brought the Sprinter to Dave and I continued on alone. The next 8 miles were pretty tough. There was a steady grade and my legs hadn’t quite recovered from the climb out of Cedar City. Eight miles in though I managed to generate some good foot speed, shifted up gears, and hit a groove all the way to the 7,777 foot summit. The rest of the 20 miles to our first meeting point were downhill or relatively flat and I cruised.
After a quick break, Lauren decided to join me on the second leg of the trip. It was supposed to be a 31-miler with a 1,500 gradual gain, so we felt pretty good for the first 8 miles. All of a sudden, we turned a corner and saw a winding road as steep as anything I’d climbed before. 1 mile (and a lot of time) later, we reached the top and rolled on down into Escalante.
Just to throw another loop into our plans, everything in Escalante was closed. With no place to stay I jumped back on my bike and started to pedal the 14 miles to the next nearest campground, a little station next to the Escalante River. This turned out to be one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dim day.
A small climb brought us to the an overlook of the Grand Staircase National Monument. In the 1880’s the geoligist Captain Clarence E Dutton referred to the region as “a grand staircase of sequential cliffs and terraces” and the name stuck. It is an impressive sight to behold. Mountains, valleys, canyons, cliffs, and plains all blend together making it difficult to distinguish one from the other. The colors- greens, oranges, and reds- can’t be found anywhere else in the world. After whipping my bike, probably a little too fast (sorry Mom!), around the downhill corners into the canyon I met the Sprinter at the campground.
The campground, as aforementioned, is next to the Escalante River. The river gently flows in and out of the red rock which surrounds in. Dave, Lauren, and I happily jumped in and followed the water upstream. It was a refreshing end to a long day and all our spirits were raised.
The invitation was very welcome. Since mapping out the trip, Dave and I referred to this mountain as “THE BIG CLIMB”. Starting around 6,000 feet, the road follows Cedar Canyon for 17 miles or so and climbs all the way up to 9,900. On our elevation charts it was a daunting figure indeed.
We got to the shop, pumped our tires, and headed over to the group gathered by the door. Waiting for us were three members of the Color Country Cycling Club: Tim, whom we’d met at the shop, Craig, and Chanda. After introductions were made we hit the road and started the climb.
To make a long story short, it was a long, difficult climb. Tim’s computer registered the grade at 16% at one point (it felt like 45% in my legs!). But what a view! About 2 miles from the top there was an overlook of Zion National Park which boasts a marvelous canyon. I glanced over my shoulder as I passed, but didn’t stop; Craig had made a big push a couple miles back and I was, unsuccessfully, trying to catch him.
At the top we gathered for some photos (Craig was long gone by this point so we have no photographic documentation on him….what a climber!). Here’s one of me, Chanda, and Tim.
Dave and I strolled about the upper edges of the canyon for 30 minutes or so before continuing onward. Thankfully, our stop was only 30 miles away, and all downhill! We coasted into Panguitch around 1:00 PM. Little did we know that serendipity would have us pass through this town of little more than 1,000 on the biggest night of the year.
Panguitch hosts an annual hot air balloon show and it so happened that it was to take place the very evening we were there. Main St. was shut down and massive balloons were brought in. As the light faded over the western hills the operators unleashed their propane tanks into the balloons, whose lights reflected off the buildings on the street. They were, essentially, gigantic lanterns providing light for the town.