Saturday, June 6, 2009

What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

The Trip that Keeps on Going!

Sonia and Gus get ready for their interview

A year ago today we left on our journey across the United States, picking up the Northern Tier route in Newport, Washington. We once again got to re-live the trip as we were interviewed for the public broadcasting show In Steppe on KWSU (the Washington State University affiliate). If you would like to see the show go to the In Steppe website by clicking here.

Andrew, Gus, and Friedel

. We enjoyed swapping stories over burritos and the best milkshakes in town from the Iceburg Drive In. Their story about traveling through Syria was amazing. Their website is a definite must-read!

Hosting Riders

So, how did these riders find us? Well, as I was doing some last minute research before we left last year I came across a blog of a cross-country cyclist who wrote about a group called Warm Showers. The website helps riders find people who are willing to provide a place to sleep (from yard space for a tent to a bed) and a shower. Many people will also offer either a kitchen to cook or a meal. All provide great company while taking a break from the road. We stayed with three Warm Showers hosts: in Glacier National Park, Williston North Dakota, and Port Colborne Ontario.

The flip side of using the website for finding hosts is to be willing to be a host yourself. What we have enjoyed has been the stories of the road. After Andrew and Friedel left Sonia and I were riding the tandem to school talking about how much our trip meant to us and how we wanted to get back out on the road again!

If you are interested, check out the Warm Showers organization by clicking here. You don't need to be a cyclist to host.

What's Next?

This summer we are going to do some shorter week-long trips as time permits. Gus and I are still trying to figure out the "big one", but that may have to wait a summer or two. And I am still working on the book. I hope to have it finished by the end of summer.

And yet, the trip from last year continues to resonate with people. Many people will ask us how we could have done that, with children especially. The honest truth is, it wasn't that hard. In fact, it was fantastic (even the hard days!). There is nothing special about us. We are not super-cyclists who put in hundreds of miles a week on the bike. What it really took was the realization that we
could do it. I think getting beyond all the "what ifs" and just getting on the bikes is all it takes.

We finally realized that all we really needed to do was "shut up and pedal"!