Barbara Duggar, Class of 1965 "Kewpie of the Month July 2007" shipping bikes to Washington

Barbara and her husband, Dave Curtis (Class of 1963) "Kewpie of the Month May & June 2006"
began their bike trek July 5, 2007 on the Northern Tier Route across the United States starting in
Anacortes, Washington and finishing in Freeport, Maine. (4099 miles - July 5 - September 30)
This was Barb's third bike trip across the USA and Dave's first and followed this event! The trek began!
Latest Upate from Dave or from Barb & Pictures - "Back Home!"
(August 10, 2007)(Slide Show completed October 13, 2007)
In 2006 Dave spent 198 days, from March to October hiking the 2,175 mile, Appalacian Trail.
Dave & Barb are now hiking the PCT from Mexico to Canada in 2008

Tue 9/25/2007 5:53 PM
Just when you get an email like BJ's earlier today, you get one like mine tonight.  This comes to you from 1/4 of the way across VT.  Ok so I'm in East Middlebury about 25 miles from NY.  I could not say better things about the fun riding, the beauty, the drivers of New York.  Let me compare a little.  In New York, they put up signs twice that said Rough Road.  Hey those roads were standard in Michigan and they are much better than VT.  So far, as soon as we got off the ferry (yes for the forth time on this trip we had to use a ferry to cross a body of water.  Costs were $25, $25, $1 and $2 (at least VT is cheap), the roads no longer have any shoulders and I think they were paved in 1759 the same year the ferry was put in that we crossed.  New York roads almost always had shoulders, sometimes only 18" (I'd kill for that here), sometimes 12'.  Almost every road was smooth and well maintained.  They made our MO roads look pretty bad.  Next is the beauty.  I know from the AT that VT is beautiful.  However, they haven't started fall color yet.  I'm told that it is two weeks away.  If we live, we will be out of VT on Thursday, Friday latest.  New York was aflame in the best fall color I have ever seen in the Adirondacks.  Anyway, if VT had great color, who could see it.  You are too busy dodging all the cracks, pot holes and raised patches to look up and see anything.  Finally, there are the drivers.  NY does play second fiddle to Ontario and maybe equal to Wisconsin to considerate drivers.  VT is vying with Michigan for drivers unwilling to give you an inch on shoulderless roads.  Sometimes, I really am sympathetic because of the curves and hills they come up on us quickly.  Well, the day started nice.  Tomorrow we face one of the biggest climbs in the east.  We will do a 12% grade (BJ's biker friends will understand that) for a 2000' elevation change.  If that isn't bad enough, think about going down the other side with the lousy pavement, no shoulders and drivers.  Prayers are needed.

So have you got the idea that I am having a bad day.  My brand new tire and tube went flat just outside Middlebury.  Then in Middlebury, I went down for the first time since I was a kid.  Blood is currently going down my left leg from the knee to the ankle.  I have a nice case of road rash on my left elbow.  And both hands hurt so that I cannot grip the handlebars.  We are in a motel for tonight.  If we can do as we plan tomorrow, we will be almost out of VT by tomorrow night and in a warm showers home.  Oh, we are on our last map set.  We have 2 more states after VT.  There are only 376 miles of trail to go.

A few personal messages.  Terri J. did you run out of gas?  Tell me the Cubs aren't going to be in the playoffs instead of the Cardinals.  Matt, MU is now 10-0 when I am out on my adventures.  Should I never come home?  Susan, Thanks.  We are on it.  Dave O.  If you can have only one win, boy did you get it right.  Val and Michael thank you.  The Methodists in two small towns in NY thank you very much.  Pam M.  You and the boys are awesome, thank you.  Dan, thank you for the knee update.  I assume the other issue is ancient history?  Take care.  Basically, we are well and close to the end (one way or another).

Mon 9/10/2007 12:30 PM
Well, Michigan is now over. It was longer than I expected.  The highlights
were a state of opposites.  Sometimes there was NO TRAFFIC.  This state had
4 great bike trails that were 14, 49, 33.5, and 7.5 miles long.  The first
two were of material like the KATY trail, a fine crushed rock and fairly
easy to ride on, if just a little slowing.  The last two were asphalt paved.
  What heaven!  The rest of the ride was loaded with HEAVY TRAFFIC.  It
takes away from the fun as you are always on the alert and the noise gets
you down.  Next the drivers in Michigan were as a whole the worst of any
state so far.  They think that they should stay in their lane, even if there
is no traffic in sight and the road is straight as an arrow.  They drive
fast and seem frustrated you might cause them to slow for just a second.
HOWEVER, the people were very nice.  We had great help from Cindy in Ray’s
Bike Shop in Midland in finding a neat motel on the campus of Northwoods
University.  Pastor Lisa let us tent on the grounds of Zion United Methodist
Church in Capac.  The custodian, Ray, unlocked a door to the church to let
us use the bathroom.  His son, Gage, age 9, put up our tent.  A young man at
a convenience store got us permission to spend the night in the old city
park in Fairview.  He knows the only cop in that small town.  We got to
violate the 10:30 park closing time.  Michigan people were over-all very
nice.  The country was beautiful from the flat, flat, flat (biker heaven)
farm fields to the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, plus many other
lakes.  In a few minutes we will leave the US for about a week as we enter
Canada and pedal the north shore of Lake Erie.  We exit at Niagara Falls.
We’ll spend some time there and then are going to my cousin Valerie and her
husband Michael.  He is the guy many of you were praying for last year
during my hike.  He is doing well.  We have just a little over 1000 miles
left and over 3000 done.  Prayers are needed for our friend Glenda as her
husband Jerry did not get a liver transplant in time and he passed away this
week.  Take care and until we reenter the US.

Wed 8/29/2007 11:58 AM
Celebration Time:  We just crossed into the Eastern Time Zone.  That is the
final Time Zone.  We just ended map 9 of 13 maps.  This afternoon we begin
map 10.  These are the Adventure Cycling maps that guide us on this journey.
  Yesterday we passed the 2500 miles ridden mark.  We guess the total at
about 4000+.  We completed vacation 2 of the trip in Wisconsin which was a
beautiful state to ride in with some of the most considerate drivers who
have passed us.  We spent 5 days with the Wayne and Lesley Sauls family.
Two great rest and errand days at their home in Eau Claire and the rest at
Wayne’s mother’s lake home on Long Lake.  Disco, you would be jealous.  They
have paddle boat, canoe, kayaks, pontoon boat, sail boat and ski boat.  I
may have missed one or two.  We had a great time ducking the bad weather and
I had a great time playing with their 2 neat daughters Maggie and Carly.  It
took me back to the AT and my time with the Fenn family and the 3 great
boys.  Things have gone fairly well on the ride as we have been ducking in
and out of rain along the way.  Mainly we have missed the worst of the rain,
Last night we were trying to reach a campground just past Hardwood, MI when
big dark clouds and thunder were approaching from behind.  We considered
(well I did) ducking into the woods and stealth camping to be dry from the
rain.  BJ did not like the sites I mentioned.  She alertly pulled off the
road at the town of Foster City (no population listed).  It only had 3
buildings:  A restaurant that served Swedish waffles 7 days a week, but was
closed.  A bunk house with capacity of 8 (great except the door was locked
and it said to call some number, but we had no cell phone connection here).
A home that appeared to be part of the other two.   This home had lights on
and cars in the driveway.  However, no one would answer the door.  The storm
got closer.  Back on the bikes.  We pedaled less than ½ a mile down the road
when we saw a large picnic shelter to the left of the road.  We went there.
This was a big shelter.  I would guess at least 50x100 feet.  We put up our
tent and settled in for dinner and a “sit”.  For those that don’t know this
is a prayer technique fostered by Father Thomas Keating, a Benedictine monk
from Snowmass, CO.  Half way through a 20 minute sit the storm began.
Tremendous wind.  Hard driving rain.  Our tent was loaded with foam
mattresses, sleeping backs, journals and other misc. stuff.  The wind moved
the tent.  Water from the hill behind began to invade the floor.  Sitting in
the center of the Shelter, we were getting rained on.  Well, one end and the
north corner had walls.  We moved everything to the corner and were able to
stay dry.  What a storm!  Does this sound like “Trail Magic”?  Are the folks
who owned this shelter anonymous “Trail Angels”?  Oh, the shelter sat on the
grounds of St. Joseph Catholic Church.  Take care.  Until next time.

Mon 8/20/2007 10:50 AM
So what is it like riding almost every day from coast to coast?  We are
rarely on major highways.  So far, we have never been on an Interstate.  In
Minnesota (we are now in Wisconsin), we were almost exclusively on County
roads.  This takes us from one very small town to another.  It is very
different from hiking the AT as we are always in contact with people.  Even
on the most remote roads, some vehicle passes us within 5 minutes.  We see
farmhouses almost constantly.  They may be far ahead, but you can see one.
We do not see many wild mammals.  We do see many birds.  Most of the mammals
that we see are road kill or domestic animals such as horses, cows or dogs.
I prefer sighting live animals.  Over-whelmingly, the people we meet are
very friendly and very curious about us.  Daily we dine in some small town
café.  Other patrons or staff are constantly asking us questions about how
far we have come or what it is like.  Here are three short tales of
encounters in Minnesota on the road.
Swanville – Fire Alarm Tower.  As we road into the tiny town of Swanville,
we had to stop.  A Swanville Street that Teed into our road met the county
road we were riding on.  Crossing our road was a forklift carrying a tower
(something made of steel and looking like something made with an erector
set) that might have been 20’ tall.  BJ and I stopped to chuckle at their
dilemma.  In the path of the forklift was a power/telephone line with the
lowest wire being only 14’ high.  There was one driver and one man on the
ground guiding.  They stopped, set the tower down on the road and scratched
their heads.  BJ took a photo.  I walked over and asked if I could be of any
assistance.  Now this is stupid.  I do not know how to operate a forklift
and this was not really any of my business.  About this time, a couple of
fellows driving pickup trucks stopped.  Discussion followed.  The next thing
you know we are tipping the tower over so that it falls on the forklift.  I
keep thinking that this thing is so heavy if we make a mistake, it could
crush any one of us.  Once the top of the tower is on the lift, five of us
pick up the bottom of the tower (it was heavy, but one of these guys looked
like he could carry it by himself) and we and the lift carried the tower
under the wires, behind the building (it was the town’s new fire station)
and we set up their alarm tower.  They thanked me.  We climbed on our bikes
and were on our way.  It felt good.
Dalbo – Free Apples.  That is what the sign in front of the farmhouse said.
BJ pulled off the road and down the driveway.  Out of the house came Don
Olson.  He shared several Macintosh apples from the trees in his yard with
us and then gave us eight more to take down the road for our snack breaks
(we stop about once each hour and snack on something).  Don was fascinated
with people cycling from coast to coast.  BJ gave him information on how to
attract more cyclists to his home.  He likes us.  He has previously had some
take refuge in his home during a storm or allow them to camp in his yard.
It was a delightful visit.
Grandy – Ice Water.  Like the prior two towns, you will find them on a Rand
McNally Road Atlas, but you will not find their population in the back,
because they are that small.  When BJ and I reached Grandy we were anxious
for lunch in a café that our map said would exist in this town.  We were to
go through the town.  Then we would turn on a state highway as we leave
town.  Well, we were almost through the town and had not seen any business.
I did see a woman working in her lovely garden.  I stopped and she gave me
directions to the café.  As I started to leave, a fellow came charging out
of a barn behind the house on a 4-wheeler.  He rode up to me.  He stopped.
He held out an ice-cold bottle of water for me.  Then asked if my
“girlfriend” would like one too.  He sped up the road to BJ and gave her one
too.  As I reached them, he introduced himself as Bob Taylor.  He said that
he lived in that house and that if we needed anything at all, he was anxious
to help.  What we are finding is that this country is loaded with nice
people.  I met them on the AT.  I am meeting them now.
We are now in Dresser, WI on the bikes.  I am sending this from Eau Claire,
WI.  We are in the home of Lesley and Wayne Sauls.  Lesley used to live just
down the street from us when she was growing up in Warrensburg.  Her mother
who now lives in San Diego remains one of BJ’s best friends.  They continue
to send lengthy cassette tapes back and forth about what is going on in
their lives.  By the way, we need prayers for a liver for Glenda’s husband
Jerry.  This is critical.  Anyway the weather in this area is now very cool
(yesterday’s high was 62), it is raining, and the wind is blowing in our
face.  Lesley rescued us yesterday (we had planned this visit and one more
on the trip).  We attended their block party (I love potlucks and we are in
Wisconsin so there were beer soaked brats, yum).  They have two awesome
little girls age four and six.  I am taken back to my memories of the three
awesome Fenn boys in MA last year.  We will take a few days to visit and
then be back on the bikes.  BJ continues to get stronger each day.  She is
seeing someone about her injuries while we are in this town.  Until the next

Mon 8/13/2007 11:48 AM
As Old Drum sped 18 mph down County Road 81 just outside of Fargo, ND, he
heard the crash of metal hitting concrete behind him following by the sound
of “Oomph.”  Drum slammed on his brakes and dropped his bike.  Behind him
about 30 years lay BJ and her bicycle occupying the entire right lane.  Drum
ran back to her and paused only briefly to say, “Don’t move (of course she
did, she never listens to him).”  He ran up the road frantically waving his
arms so that the oncoming car would not run over BJ.  The car slowed and two
older ladies peered curiously as they drove past the scene without stopping
or offering any help.  Drum ran back to BJ and again told her not to move,
but she just groaned and began to unwrap her right leg from the bike.  Drum
pulled the bike away asked her where she hurt and unsnapped her helmet (it
was broken in three places).  Before the next car approached Drum picked up
the pieces to her helmet, one water bottle and her lipstick.  Again he asked
he to stay still, but she did not.  She rolled to a crawling position.  Then
she proceeded to begin a weird crawling/rolling off the road while Drum
tried to wave the upcoming pickup truck around her.  This truck instead
pulled off the road, stopped and the driver offered assistance and/or a ride
to town.  By this time BJ stood up walked over to the truck, put her hand on
the drivers arm and said, “that is so nice, but we’re just fine.  I’ll ride
to town.”  At that time, Drum went to her bike to see if it could even be
ridden.  The truck went on.  Drum and BJ spend the next few minutes making
adjustments to the brake and gear shifters and to the handlebars.  They then
tested to see if the wheels would turn.  They did.  BJ complained of pain
very high on her chest on the left side.  Drum looked, but saw nothing.
They got on their bikes and rode 10 miles to the warm showers home of Moneer
Al-Rafiti (he did the Southern Tier 2 years ago).  BJ has road rash in
several places.  The worst is on her left shoulder where she is missing some
hide.  She is bruised on her left knee, left leg, left elbow and left arm.
She cannot lift much.  She cannot raise her left arm above her left shoulder
without considerable pain.  That was on Saturday.  She slept most of the
rest of the day.  Sunday, we went to Church, had coffee at Starbucks, lunch
at McDonalds and got the bike repaired in Morehead, MN (just a few blocks
from Moneer’s home).  We did just 14 miles and spent the night in Dilworth,
MN.  Today is our 41st Anniversary so we are taking another easy day.  Did
20 miles and quit at 9 a.m.  She is feeling better each day.  She is one
tough woman.  Still doing the prayers for Connie, Jim, Novella, Gail, Dan,
Melissa, Jerry, and now adding Barb (not mine, but another good friend from
home).  A note for Pam:  I did ND with NO FLAT tires.  For those who entered
the contest, the miles are beginning to mount.  This state is the ½ point.
Word is no shoulder, little traffic and beautiful scenery are ahead.  Thanks
for all the encouragement.  Oh, it was a deep crack running parallel with
the direction of bike that got BJ.

Wed 8/8/2007 2:50 PM
Greetings from Old Drum from the banks of Devils Lake in Minnewaukan, ND.
It has been a great couple of days since we left Williston, ND.  We have now
gone 1640 miles.  If weather, health, bikes co-operate we should leave ND on
Saturday.  We less than 200 miles from Morehead, Minnesota.  Most of the
cycling this week has been against the wind (ugh!).  It rained while we were
eating in a café 2 days ago.  Stopped before we came out, but the road which
was in a construction zone as they were building a new 2 lanes for 20 miles
to make highway 2 dual.  Therefore, we biked in mud.  You should have seen
us and our bikes as we road into Minot.  Last night in Rugby, the wind blew
so hard that the tent just laid over on BJ.  The noise was something else.
It even drowned out the passing trains that were about 100 yards away.  This
afternoon we rode in the rain, but the predicted headwind turned around and
we had a tail wind so we arrived hours earlier than planned.  YES IT IS
Thought I would share what a typical day is like on the Northern Tier.  We
are up about 1 hour before dawn.  Today that meant 5 a.m.  It takes us about
1 hour to eat breakfast (cold food like cereal, muffins, fresh fruit or
bagels), take down the tent, pack our panniers (saddlebags that hold your
stuff), dress and get underway just as it is getting light out (before
sunrise).  Some days there is a convenience store stop for such things as
toilet, Starbucks Double Shot (BJ’s, not me), juice, snack or air (for tires
not us).Then it is get on the bikes and peddle down the road (BJ is usually
ahead now as Old Drum thighs are having a rebellion and want to go back to
bed).  About 55 minutes later we stop, get off the bikes, stretch, drink
water and eat a snack (apples, bananas, plums, granola bars, bagels, peanut
butter sandwiches – these get old after a while).   Then it is back on and
peddle (Old Drum is now usually up with BJ).  This scene is repeated all day
until we reach the daily destination (by the way, I am usually ahead of BJ
in the afternoon).  The exceptions are stops to take pictures, read
historical signs, go to museums, and go to diners, cafes or restaurants.
The time of day dictates what is eaten.  Today it was 3 pancakes the size of
a large dinner plate and two sausage patties for Old Drum and the 3 pancakes
the same size plus one egg over-easy for BJ.  Sometimes one of us has
breakfast while the other has lunch.  That we had breakfast earlier does not
matter.  Like the AT, I eat like a pig out here.  However, bike 60 miles or
more every day and you can eat whatever you want.  When we reach a town,
there is often a trip to the library so we can read your emails to us and if
we have time, send a new one to you.  There is a trip to some place to eat
or to a grocery store to get something we will eat at our campsite.  There
is the trip to the campsite, putting up the tent, sleeping bags, etc.  We
share about the day everyday and journal separately everyday.  Then it is
time for bed (usually 8 p.m. give or take and hour either way).  Sleep next
because tomorrow we do it all over again.
North Dakota is beautiful.  I had no idea.  We have enjoyed our time here.
Now for a few private messages.  Tom, thank you for the load of your
youngest daughter.  Katie is such a delight.  We thoroughly enjoyed dinner
with her and catching up not only on what has been going on in her life, but
Mike and Jenny too.  Disco, keep up those pool laps.  Maybe I’ll take you
with me on the PCT next year.  Melissa, thank you.  Connie, Jim and Novella,
I’ve got you in my prayers.  There is someone else, but I’m having a senior
moment now so I’ll quit.
Fri 8/3/2007 10:38 AM

This is coming to you from Williston ND.  We have been blessed with a couple
of cooler (by comparrison) days.  It is my first visit to ND and it is
BEAUTIFUL!!!  Of course, we have only done a few miles of it so far, but
wonderful.  We were hosted last evening by Doug and Anna Hoffman wo are not
themselves cyclists, but still belong to "Warm Showers" and welcomed us very
hospitably to their unique home (it is adobe style with lots of glass block
windows and was once a corner grocery).  We put our tent down in their
lovely and artistic garden and watched as bees, butterflies, and finches
enjoy the flowers.  They fed us a wonderful meal of fresh garden vegetables
and grilled pork chops!!!  We slept very well.

We are very near the Missouri River and it looks just as muddy up here!
And, there is a wind factor out here to consider.  To all those who tell me
it is best to travel west to east because of "prevailing winds" being from
that directioin I would say that may be true at 10,000 feet, but six feet
from the ground it ain't necessarily so.  There are many forces that
determine the wind direction and speed at ground level......topography,
temperature, cloud cover, sunlight, season, and thermal dynamics beyond my
comprehension.  The wind blows where it will and sometimes out on the
prairie seems to be swirling and coming from all directions at once.  A tail
wind is awesome, a headwind an obstacle to cheerful cycling.

About insects:  We had a discussion about which is more annoying, mosquitos
or biting flies:  The mosquitos swarm around, sing in your ear, carry bird
flu, and leave a welt that itches.  The biting flies zoom in, take a bite,
and zoom off, but the bite hurts and you don't feel it coming!

Then, two days ago we went through several miles that had swarms of
beautiful little yellow butterflies perching on purple Hebe
bloosoms.....(purple? gold?  GO KEWPIES!)  and they were delightful to

We had a "small world" episode in Malta.  We were keeping cool in the
library and I struck up a convesation with another cyclist (west bound) from
Hollland.  A woman about my age overheard some of it and after he went on
his way asked us some questions avbout our endeavor.  When we are asked
where we are from I usually reply, "The Kansas City area," but this was not
enough information and she asked further, so when I told her "Warrensburg,"
she s told me she had nine brothers and one of them had lived in Warrensburg
until he retired from the University and lived on West South St........His
name?  Jim Sylwester.  Of course, we know Jim and Kathy (she passed away
last winter) and their sons Kevin and Bradley.  Kevin and Matt were in the
same class from first grade, graduated togehter and remain friends, and will
be together at Tom Adam' wedding tomorrow in Jefferson City.  I was Kevin's
Den Mother in Cubs.  So, we got an invitation for ice cream and to meet the
rest of her family and see pictures of Kevin's brand new baby boy.

She also insisted that while in Malta we must visit one of their attractions
and I am so glad we did!  This part of the country being an old ocean bottom
and acted upon by glaciers and other phenomena is prime dinosaur
bone/remains county.  In Malta is a Palentologists' Field Station where
research is being conducted upon one of the world's most unuisual finds.
Dubbed "Leonardo" is a young dinosaur unearthed in 2000 (see Newsweek mag
from sometime in that year) that rather than fossilized was mummified by
whatever circumstances ended his life.  The remains still have skin, stomach
contents (28 species of plants) and internal organs for research.  They are
doing MRI and CAT scans, have determined that it has a "craw" full of rocks
for grinding which indicates more related to birds than stuff.  In the labratory the guide taught us
how the diggers tell bone from rock.  They put their tounge on it  (YUCK???)
and if they get a mouth full of sand it is a rock.  If the tounge sticks to
it, it is bone.  I never knew that!

We have decided to take a rest day before heading to Minot.   There are some
scenic wonders we'd like to visit south of here so are debating about
whether to explore now or come back sometime with a car

Old Drum

Fri 8/3/2007 10:23 AM
For many years science has wondered about many mysteries.  Among those are
the origin of the universe, which came first the chicken or the egg, and of
course why did the dinosaurs go extinct.  Old Drum has now discovered the
answer to one of these great mysteries.  I know why the dinosaurs are
extinct.  Did you know that Montana is the location of one of the major
areas in the world for the discovery of dinosaur bones?   In fact Old Drum
and BJ had the opportunity to wish a “dinosaur field station” in Malta, MT
this past week.  There we watched dinosaur experts work on piecing bones
back together.  We heard their guesses as to the specific cause of death of
a dinosaur.  We viewed several major finds, including Leonardo the duck
billed young dinosaur who was discovered mummified near Malta.  He is one of
only two mummified dinosaurs found in the world and he is by far the most
intact as 90% of his body remains.  He is a major clue to speculation that
most dinosaurs were not related to our current reptiles, but to our current
birds.  For example, he has no scales.  His hide is smooth under his chin.
He has a craw.  They are preparing to give him a CAT scan and an MRI to
determine if he has a 2 or 4 chamber heart.  They suspect 4 and that he was
warm blooded.

Now enough of that information.  Did you know that Indians used to stampede
the buffalo over cliffs in Montana to kill them and use everything for the
Indians’ existence?

It is with those above facts and one more personally observed bit of
information that brought me to the absolute conclusion that DINOSAURS WENT
EXTINCT BECAUSE OF A MASS SUICIDE.  Yes, the all ran to those cliffs that
the Indians used to kill buffalo and jumped off.  Why you ask?   Well, if
you had to put up with the mosquitos here, you would jump too.  For my AT
hiking family, New Jersey was nothing compared to this area.  One fellow
reported that a band of mosquitos attacked his pickup truck and tried to
break the windows to get at him.  Folks, I’ve heard they are big in
Minnesota.  I’ve been in the Everglades when they completely covered a tent
so that it seemed night time in daylight.  But nothing compares to the
quantity and ferocity of the Montana mosquitos from Chinook to Glasgow.  The
dinosaurs just couldn’t take it anymore and jumped.  There you have a
scientific mystery solved.

We are tired.  We are resting now in Williston, North Dakota.  We traveled
500 miles this past week.  With the exception of one day, we never had a
tail wind.  Most of the time the wind was either in our face or across or it
was still.  Some days were mostly up.  Some days were more down.  We faced
no huge climbs, but we did climb a lot.  The prairie is beautiful in its own
way.  We have seen some strange sights.  We think we saw pelicans.  Can that
be so?  We saw a small bird with a long neck, like a heron only very small,
sitting on a telephone line.  We’ve seen lots of cattle and horses, a few
mule deer, a jack rabbit and lots of road kill.  We’ve been on several
different Indian reservations.  We have been to some very friendly towns,
some very poor beaten down towns, and some scary towns.  We have seen the
puzzling.  I thought it was odd on a prior Montana visit to see the
combination business “Grandma’s Family Dining and Casino”, “Beer, Gas, Milk
and Casino.  This time I add to the list the business that was labeled
“Broasted Chicken and Laundromat.”  My favorite was “Winery and Truck Wash.”
  You don’t get that combination business in Missouri very much.

I love your notes of support.  Let me know if you need any prayers.  I have
time.  For the number cruchers, we are in state 4 of 11 plus one Canadian
Provence.  We are slightly more that 1/3 done now at 1400 miles.  Last I
have a contest for you.  I have now gone 310 miles without a flat tire.  No
entry fee nor prize money here, but see who can guess the closest to the
mileage between my last flat tire and my next one.  Hint:  don’t guess less
than 310, I’ve already done that.

Take care,
Old Drum

Mon 7/30/2007 4:24 PM
Here are some more photos for the web site.  Thanks for everything.  I
really look forward to seeing you guys this fall.
Old Drum
David Curtis
Appalachia Trail
Through Hiker 2006f
View these mpegs:
Dave's behind
Watchin' The River Flow

Sat 7/28/2007 9:31 PMJust a brief note.  You heard from me yesterday, but the motel we are at
tonight lets the patrons use the internet.  Early this morning, BJ said to
me that sometimes there is a rainbow.  You must stop and look at it.
Sometimes the wind is at your back.  You must bike on.  We left our campsite
in the city park of Shelby, MT at 6:30 a.m.  At 10 a.m. we stopped at a
little café for brunch (oatmeal for BJ, burger for me).  When we came out
there was a tailwind.  We had discussed either a 60 or a 69 or a 75 mile day
depending on how we felt after doing 75 yesterday.  We rode to 1:30 and were
at the 75 mile point.  We stopped for some iced tea (it was so good).
Decided you cannot stop with that wind.  Tonight we are in Harve, MT after
106.87 miles.  We did all that by 4:30 p.m. with two meal stops and
repairing another David flat tire.  How is that for a big day?   Well, that
is nothing.  The big news is that our eldest daughter, Melissa is now 18
weeks pregnant with what now seems to be a very healthy little girl.  She is
due in early January.  We are all a little nervous because we lost the last
two attempts.  However, we were alerted to problems very early in both of
those situation.  This time all looks very good.  Keep us in your prayers.
I AM AS EXCITED AS LOW GEAR.  Sorry, non-AT hikers you won’t get that, but
my hiking family will.
Fri 7/27/2007 5:23 PM

How wonderful can life be?  In the midst of a wonderful adventure, we
stopped and took a vacation.  We arrived at Glacier National Park around
Noon on Monday.  It was a beautiful ride to get to the park and then Wow!
They had a bike trail in the Apgar area that led through fern covered woods
floors.  On the morning we left.  We encountered 5 deer in that area
including Momma and two fawns.  It was glorious.  It was spectacular.  This
was our second National Park on this journey.  If you don’t get to these
wonders, then plan on it.  Glacier is very special.  We only did small hikes
because our footgear is for biking, not hiking.  It still was grand.  Well,
we left the park this morning (Friday).  It was great.

As to details on the trip, today is our longest ride yet (74 and we aren’t
through yet).  We are now on our third adventure cycling map set of 11 or
12.  We are now over 900 miles and will pass 1000 tomorrow.  We are now out
of the mountains.  We went over Marias Pass yesterday.  That is our last
western pass.  We won’t have any passes in the east.  They call them
notches.  On the AT, I learned that down south they are gaps.  They are all
the same.  Marias Pass is also our only cross of the Continental Divide.  We
are now out of timber country for a long time.  It is just flat or rolling
prairie country now.  This brings a new element to me, WIND.

I thought I had hit wind in Washington, but not like the last two days.
We’ve had it in our face (pedal hard down hill and hit only 7 mph).  We’ve
had it across us (this afternoon).  Wow! Just try to hold yourself steady so
you don’t fall over.  We’ve had it at our back.  This morning I hit 43 mph
on a long slight downhill with the wind at my back.  It is scary, but it is

Just a few personal notes.  Tom F, composting is nothing out here like it is
in the Burg.  Disco, how were the numbers?  Taryn, Parker and Trey, I love
you.  Mapman and Robin, I am still thinking about you being in the
Wilderness.  Wow!  Dow, get back up there.  My retirement depends on you.
Pam, I changed another flat today.  BJ and I are starting to get like a
NASCAR pit crew.  We are just making those short rest breaks.  Susan T, way
to go on raising money for the scholarship.  $8000 now.  Any MPRA folks want
to join in?
Take care all,
Old Drum

Monday, 2007-07-23 - 3:18 PM
I’m getting just a bit unnerved here about the Northwest preoccupation with
DEATH.  As we rode through Washington, they post big billboards declaring
how many deer have been killed on the roads by automobiles during the last
12 months.  The last total I read was over 15,000.  Now that is a big number
for just one state.  I think we kill far less than that in Missouri during
all our deer hunting seasons put together (could someone from SNR confirm
that).  Well, you cannot imagine how much road kill one passes.  I don’t
notice as much via car as I do on a bike.  The aroma is so much more
prominent on bike.  Well now, I get to Montana.  Every mile there seems to
be a steel pole about 3 feet high that has a white cross on top of the pole.
  This is the special program of some guy from the Whitefish area (that is
where we are today taking a zero).  He has the whole state marked every
place that someone has died via a car accident.  Now I hope most of those
weren’t riding bikes, but it does cause one to think (glad I got that broken
rear view mirror replaced).  That brings us to riding conditions.  Sometimes
(not much) were are bike paths.  These are great.  No cars to worry about,
only an occasional biker passing by.  Next there are roads that are remote.
These have hardly any traffic.  Most of the drivers give you plenty of room
as they pass.  Next is the very busy state or US highway with wide
shoulders.  These roads are a bit unnerving because of their speed in
passing, but I really do feel secure on those shoulders.  Finally, there are
roads like Montana 93 (that was yesterday).  First, there are the logging
trucks (the worst are pulling a second trailer).  They don’t slow down.
They don’t move over much.  And they seem to suck you to the middle of the
road with the vacuum as you pass.  Next are the big trucks, but they aren’t
nearly as bad as the big RV’s.  You only hope that it is an experienced
driver and not someone who is renting the rig and driving it for the first
time.  Finally, there is the issue of the shoulder.  WHAT SHOULDER!!!!!
Montana 93 had NO SHOULDER.  Oh, I exaggerate.  Half the time they have 6 to
12 “.  However, the other half of the time they have a white stripe painted
on the edge.  That drops immediately off 6” to loose sand and gravel on no
pavement.  Sometimes you are on the edge of a steep hill or cliff.   Some of
the drivers seem to think you have no business there and they take the
middle of the lane.  Get the picture.

Oh, well.  We are fine, enjoying this beautiful country and having a great
time.  We did 360 miles the last 6 days as our legs are getting stronger.
We are now over 740 total.  Tomorrow we should be in Glacier National Park
and plan to spend some time there.  Now a few quick personal notes.
Melissa, great call yesterday.  John Cunningham.  Pam, a flat per state.
Trickster and What are you crazy pulling dogs!!!!  Thank you Charley.
Thanks to all for the messages of support.


cycling motto:  "I may be slow, but I don't quit."

Thursday 2007-07-19 12:50 AM
Each day BJ and I name the day in our journals.  Yesterday was named Dog
Days.  Here is the story.  This was the day of encounters with dogs.  First
there was the house just outside of Collville, WA.  There were at least 20
Pit Bull each chained to its own dog house.  Any one of those dogs was
enough to finish me off for good.  The chains appeared to be log chains and
I wasn’t quite sure that they were strong enough.  Needless to say.  We both
got extra training at pedaling at the highest of gears.
A little later we passed through our first Indian Reservation.  I don’t know
if it a cultural distinction or just coincidence, but none of their dogs
were either penned or on leashes.  For most they just barked or slept on
their porches.  However, 3 very large black dogs came charging at us.  Old
Drum went into his well-known bear tactic and yelled at the first snarling
charging dog to approach him.  “Get back in your yard,” he yelled and two
lowered their tails and went cowering back to the yard.  BJ used her water
bottle on the third dog and he also joined the others.
The final attack came when two mixed breed dogs came charging down a steep
driveway at Old Drum and BJ as they were off their bikes taking a snack
break.  This surprise attack came before speedy cycling or yelling could
help.  The first dog leaped right on BJ.  Even today she is still damp from
all the licking and tail wagging he gave her.
Well it is a dog’s life on the bike trail.  Today we crossed our first state
line into Idaho.  Shortly thereafter we crossed back into Washington (so the
trail curves).  Minutes later we left Washington for the final time and took
our photos at the Welcome to Idaho sign.  Today was a 70+ mile day for the
first time.  We are healthy, still speaking and looking forward to tomorrows
Old Drum
Received from Dave: Mon 7/16/2007 4:13 PM

Just a quick note from Colville, WA.  We are through with the Washington passes.  One climb out of this town for about 20 miles (but not nearly as steep as the passes) and then things go relatively flat through about ½ of Idaho.  Montana will be up and down, but not with the climbs like WA. Our last climb was a real trip.  First I misread the map and thought a 10 mile section was an 18.  Therefore we did 15 miles of 3-4 mile per hour climb and were shocked to be at the top 8 miles early.  HOWEVER, 6 miles into the climb we hit a 16 mile stretch of road construction.  Most of the entire downhill steep part of the descent was in roto-milled road.  Think riding down a waffle.  It was Shake, Rattle and Roll.  What a trip.  Time limited on computers so I’ll quit now.
Old Drum
Received from Dave: Wed 7/14/2007 4:23 PM

Greetings from Republic, WA,
BJ and I are getting stronger.  It is still very hot.  Each day is over 100. Yesterday the weather was a Red Warning. That means we were having a thunder storm with lightning and thunder, but no rain.  It is 2 p.m. on Saturday and we have already completed the 4th of our 5 big climbs in WA. Tomorrow we will climb the last pass.  Sherman Pass is the highest pass in the State.  It is really exciting to do the downhills.  I have never experienced anything like coasting at these speeds for so many miles.  Today it was a 14 mile coast.  When the cross winds blow, it is tough to just maintain controll. I have had some mechanical problems. I fell the other day (first road rash) and broke my rearview mirror off.  I have also had 3 flats in less than 24 hours.  BJ and I tried our best to repair the tube, but our efforts never seemed to hold very long.  Jan (a new friend from Holland who is riding from Anacortes to Calgary) fixed my flat last night and so far so good.  I have to make it 50 more miles to a bike shop for a new tube.  Jan and his wife are riding together.  He did the Trans Am the same year BJ (1999) did.  They never met, but at times were only a week apart.  For my AT friends, he stayed in Damascus and met Model T.  My library time is up.
Blessing to you all,
Old Drum
Received from Dave: Wed 7/11/2007 5:33 PM

Dear Friends,
This comes to you from Twisp, WA.  My prior longest bike ride was 35 miles. I now have 210 miles so far.  That is not that big of a deal, but when we climbed over Washington Pass it was a 44 mile day.  It took us 12 hours to bike the first 35 miles and then 20 minutes to bike the next 7 miles.  Why are the down hills over so fast?  Trail magic exists out here as well as the AT.  We were hosted in Anacortes, WA by Art and Lexie Shotwell in their lovely home before we had our first real day on last Friday July 6.  We did
the traditional dip in Pugent Sound on the 5th and then rode to their home 3 miles away.  Art even joined us for the first 15 miles on a gorgeous morning.  Lots of lush green.  Farms growing potatoes in bloom with snow capped Mount Baker in the background.  Life had been camping each night until a motel (SHOWER) last night in Winthrop.  We are calling today a NERO (AT term for nearly zero miles on the trail).  We moved today to the home of Scot Domergue who is taking us to a local pub for jazz tonight.  This is
different from hiking.  I think it may get easier, but for now climbing desert mountains in 95-100 degree heat at 3 mph is tough.  People are very nice.  Motorcyclists stopped and gave us water on our climb over Mount Washington (the first climb is the biggest on the trip).  A park employee in Rockport gave us air for a tire.  A real estate office in Winthrop let us send and receive a fax.  Pray for us to handle this heat.

Don’t forget to see photos and get notes you
may have missed from Charley Blackmore’s Hickman Kewpie Alum website.

Wed 10/3/2007 10:06 AM
We crossed the Connecticut River into New Hampshire that was mostly two days of cliimbing, but pleasurable with smooth pavement and plenty of shoulder and beautiful views of colorful foilage.  We crossed the AT near South Kinsman and David had memories to share (again!) about his time in the area.  This was the mountain where he had the fall last year.  (When he reported the fall in Middlebury his AT friend "Little Wing" told him he needs to get a new schict!  loved it!)

On to Maine.  The Adventure Cycling route was mostly a repeat of Vermont, only steeper!  At the visitors center we acquired a state road map and a cycling suitability map.  We decided that we would research our own route on roads with shoulders!!!!!!!!!  We also decided that we've already been to Bar Harbor and that since there are many seaport towns with salt water lapping at the shore, we would make it the closest one.  That was Freeport.  So on Sunday morning we turned south on a lovely road with good pavement and shoulder.

About 9:30 am we stopped at a convenience store for a snack and break.  As we were leaving David said something to me about being careful where I rode as I would not want to get a flat.  I assumed he meant that since we were nearing the end of the journey, I would like to keep the record where it stands.  If you will recall, I had my first flat on this bicycle (which I estimate has about 25,000 miles on it) in Minot ND.  We headed on down the road and in a couple of blocks came to a United Methodist Church with 10:00 a.m. services so we stopped to worship.  An hour later when we came out and as I started to ride I noticed my back tire felt funny.  I looked down, and IT WAS FLAT!!!!!!   The name of the town???   MINOT, Maine!!!!  Go figure.

On Sunday evening September 30 we rode into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in Casco Bay near Freeport, ME.  The ride is done.  From Sea to Shining Sea and the end is always bittersweet for me.  I don't want to end and I can't wait to be home.

Trail Magic/Trail Angel ::  When we were in Washington we encountered Steve and Marcia Fuller on their tandem heading in the oppostite direction.  We visited by the side of the road for maybe fifteen minutes.  I gave them our card.  A few weeks later came an e-mail from Steve telling me they lived in Maine near the trail and would be a resource for us when we got that far.  We had been in contact.  Steve drove all the way from his home to Freeport to be our 'High Five" welcoming committee.  He took us to dinner to celebrate and listened and shared as we began processing the expereince.

The next day (Monday) we rode into Portland and began making the arrangements to get the bikes, gear, and us back to the 'burg.  Preparing for re-entry..................bjc

Wed 10/3/2007 9:26 AM
I last wrote from the library at Ticonderoga NY just as we were to ferry into Vermont.  The ferry at that location has been in operation since 1759!  We crossed Lake Champlain into Vermont about 1:30 p.m. on September 25 from the awesome Adirondacks of New York.

Most of you will have read David's report written a few hours later.  Let's just say he had a mini-meltdown!  He had a tough afternoon.  The riding conditions in Vermont were a difficult adjustment after New York.  The roads that led away from the ferry had not seen much change since 1759!  They are paved, but not well maintained.  They are narrow, no shoulder, and full of the one thing that crushes the spirit out of cycling quicker than anything -- VEHICLE TRAFFIC!  He had a flat.  In Brockton NY he had bought a new tire, liner, and tube and was hoping to finish the trip without another one.  (We've lost count of his total number)  Then, as we were near the campus of Middlebury College, he took a spill that tore the skin off his knee and elbow.  He came close to being ready to rent a car!  The good news is that usually when one is ready to quit there is no car rental place by the side of the road.

The next day I had my meltdown.  We left East Middlebury headed for South Strafford fifty eight miles of difficult road.  The plan was to stay with "Warm Showers" hosts Barb and Wally Smith at their home.  (Very interesting cyclists, by the way.  Wrote a book on Cycling Cuba and are on their way to New Zealand in December).  We had all the usual Vermont difficulties plus unseasonably warm/humid weather and a huge climb late in the day with a 12% grade.  About half way up our hostess happened by on her way to her grandson's soccer match telling us to make ourselves at home and she'd be home later.  I asked if she would take our panniers with her so we could continue climbing without the load.  Good idea, right?  Well ......she was barely out of sight when the sky clouded up and a heavy, hard rain began to fall.  She had our rain gear in her car and we were soaked in no time!  I could not see five feet in front of my wheel, my glasses and mirror steamed up, the pavement was still rough, the traffic still coming!  And, the temperature plummeted, so I went from sweating to freezing in about 10 minutes.  We managed to reach the top and there was one of those signs with a semi headed downhill and it said 13% grade down.  By the time I reached the Smith's door I was humming that great Charles Wesley hymn, "And Are We Yet Alive."

But, as a veteran of two other long tours, I know this is part of the process.  I know before I leave home that there will be obstacles.  I know it will require great discipline to continue and I also know that the joys make it worthwhile!!!!!!!   What I have learned is that as one covers external geography one is dealing with internal geography all the while. I know that it is in overcoming the obstacles that the experience becomes meaningful and rich.

Eleanor Roosevelt "Do something every day that scares you."

Her husband  "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself"

Helen Keller 'Life is either a great adventure or nothing at all"

me "Real life is one little step outside where you are comfortable"

Tue 9/25/2007 10:51 AM
This is coming to you from Ticonderoga NY.  We have enjoyed the Sdirondacks, the Erie Canal tow path for ninty miles, and Nigara falls.  What a wonderful fall!!!!!

A few words on terrain:::   From about twenty miles west of Fargo until we left the Erie Canal at Palmyra NY we were on essentially flat ground.  That was maybe 1400 miles!  I only used the 'granny gear' a half dozen times!  But, things are different now.  We have elevation charts and will cllimb Sugar Loaf Mountain on Wednesday if all goes as planned.

A few words on water:::  We are traveling near water most of the days.  Along Lake Erie, the Nigara River, then the canal, then Lake Ontario, then MOose River..........It is that way for most of the route.  Last week the "Fulton Chain of Lakes" in Adirondack Park.  Today it is Lake Champlain.  We learned that the Adirondack Park is the largest State Park in the world.  Any three National parks would fit into it with land to spare.  This was a surprise to us!  Yellowstone is pretty big.  Imaging putting two more with it!

Now for a report on my recent nightmare.  In my dream we were riding along and a large log truck hit David.  As I was craddling his dying body by the side of the road, I thought of the un-reconciled bank statements that are piling up (four accounts x four months = 16!!!)  Then, I flashed to a scene of me sitting in front of a computer upon which was an
Excell spreadsheet that was completely blank.  Piles of boxes of receipts, bills, and unopened mail from Waddell and Reed were all around me.  I then realized I was in Paula Elliot's office and she was sitting across the desk waiting for me to fill in the spread sheet so she coud do our taxes.  Then, I flashed back to the side of the highway and began yelling at the truck driver who had hit David, "It should have been me!!!  It should have been me!!!  How could you kill him????  NO!  NO!  NO!"  And then I woke up.  I reached out to be sure he was still breathing and I am riding behind him the rest of the way to Bar Harbor!  bjc

Sun 9/16/2007 11:51 AM
FROM BARBARA  September 15, 2007
My last communication was from Michigan.  Since then we have crossed the St Clair River by ferry into Ontario and enjoyed several incredibly beautiful days of cycling along the shore of Lake Erie.  I am amazed at the shades of blue in the waters.  St Clair, which flows from Lake Huron, is the color of the water in the water rides at Silver Dollar City and Six flags!

The shoreline is much less developed than I had anticpated.  The first half was more truck farms and orchards full of ripening produce.  The terrain is flat and the riding pure joy.  We have been blessed with delightful weather.

The second half of the route in Ontario put us on a very quiet road with the lake lapping the shoreline about fifty feet to our right and cottages on the left.  The cottages line up facing the water, the next one cuter than the last.  The gardens are full of flowers and, for the majority, the maintenance carefully done.  We came into Fort Erie on a paved Rails to Trails path called The Friendship Trail and it was ....well, cycling heaven!

We have enjoyed a brief visit with David's cousin Valerie and her husband Michael.  They have been most generous in allowing us to "re-group" by using their washing machine, recieving some mail, and taking us to a discount store for some supplies not readily available at the convenience stores usually available in the very small towns.

We are looking forward to our first visit to Niagra Falls and to the adventures ahead as we cycle New York.  A young touring cyclist named Will that we met two days ago suggested we would be pleasantly surprised by the riding conditions there.

Mon 9/10/2007 12:55 PM
Hello from Marine City Michigan.  We have been in Michigan for what seems
like a very long time -- but, we leave today and go into Ontario.  After our
time in Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City, we rode south to hook up with the
Adventrue Cycling Lake Erie Connector.  Being 'off the map' presented us
with interesting options.  Essentially we chose a road called "Old 27."  We
were in Gaylord, Harrison, and picked the route up at Clare.

In Midland we enjoyed the "Tridge," a 'bridge' that goes in three directions
where two rivers join and designed for walkers.  Midland was the
flower-i-est small town I have ever seen.  Victoria BC had a lot of flowers,
but Midland, wow!  Pots and planters everywhere.  A visual feast.  I wonder
if Midwest Living Magazine has ever done a feature?

Also, we expereinced their Saturday morning Farmer's market.  I only
remember being in two other markets that were as exciting and
sensory.....Phoenix AZ ( a much larger city) and once when a friend and I
went off of the beaten path and wandered into a part of Jerusalem not full
of tourists.  INCREDIBLE!!!!  And, I had the same feeling in Midland.  The
colors were spectacular and artfully combined.  Bushels of tomatoes; peppers
of yellow, red and green; eggplant, potato heaps, bright orange carrots,
herbs, baked goods, and the flowers.................piles of cut flowers of
every description and color.  And, the peaches!!  They smelled wonderful.
Plus, the smell of dill and basil, earth, yeast, all mingled together.  It
was WON-DER-FUL!!!!

Who could not be happy in the presence of such bountiful beauty?

I hated leaving. We ate a delicious Amish made cinnamon roll and tucked some
peaches and vegetables in our panniers for later and off we rode.  Some
September I hope to come back.

Tue 9/4/2007 3:53 PM

Barbara's version of the Barrell incident:

We were nearing the end of several miles of construction. We were on the
part where the new asphalt had been laid and smoothed, but no lines had been
painted.  I was on the 8 foot shoulder that was as smooth as silk and so new
no one had had time to break a beer bottle on it.  Construction barrels were
there about every fifty feet to separate the shoulder from the traffic lane
and I was feeling rather secure.   I had just crossed a little bridge and
was going up a short hill.  I had noticed a sign that promised an
outfitter's store at the top and to the right and since we are looking for a
fuel cannister for the jet boil, I thought David might like to stop so I was
going very slowly and watching for him in my rear view mirror.  Just as I
glanced down at the map which I carry on my handle bars I felt the sudden
"clunk" then "wobble, clunk" and was quite surprised to look up just as the
barrell toppled and I struggled to keep the bike upright making a quick
decision to peddle rather than disconnect from my peddles.  The good news is
that I did not fall over and instead the barrell did.  The bad news is that
there were two men sitting on a porch who saw the whole thing and were
laughing their heads off!!!!
And, I was rather aggravated with myself as I had made a vow to pay better
attention to the road after that nasty incident in Fargo.

We are spending yet another day in Mackinaw City as it poured rain all day.
It is a lovely place if a bit "touristy".  We came in Saturday morning at
sunrise along miles of beach -- need I say BEAUTIFUL???  We spent two nights
in very crowded campgrounds before we decided to get a motel for some peace
and quiet.  It was then that we discovered that the motel rates (even on the
beach front places) are so inexpensive we should have been here the whole
time.  I guess since Michigan's economy is so depressed it is reflected in
the prices here.  We spent Sunday on the Island and enjoyed the entire
expereince, including a ferry ride that was like a ride at an amusement park
since the water was so whipped by the wind.  Cars not allowed at all.  Just
horses and bikes.  We rode the perimeter, had a delightful  lunch.  But, too
many peoiple.  Earlier in the day we worshipped at St Ignace UMC and it was
a very unique experience.  The sanctuary was filled to capacity, but only
about forty were members and the rest visitors.  The music was awesome and
the singing glorious.  bjc

Wed 8/29/2007 12:03 PM
We are in Escanaba Michigan this morning.

Last year when David was hiking the AT he was in need of respite in MA and
was rescued by the daughter of a friend (Anne Fetherman) and her family.
Alice, Chip, and their boys took really good care of him and then put him
back out on the trail all rested, cleaned up, well fed, and restored.  He
says it made all the difference.

Well, this journey has also been blessed with such hospitality.  Lesley and
Wayne Sauls and their girls (of Eau Claire, WI) took us in during a wet and
rainy spell and gave us five days of pampering.  We were welcomed to both
their home and to their lake house at Round Lake where we enjoyed various
boating adventures between rain drops.  Lesley fed us vegetables, fruit, and
whole grains and we played Scrabble and Mexican Train.  I was able to do a
bit of re-stock of some items one cannot find in convenience stores.
David’s cousin Judy from Oconomowac drove 7 hours round trip to have
breakfast with us.  I was able to make an appointment for some acupuncture
so my neck moves full range again and we slept really well!  It was a really
good time and a good rest from August 18 through the morning of August 24.
It was really HARD to leave on that morning!!!!!!

I have benefited from Lesley’s hospitality before as Lesley and her Mom (my
friend Glenda) were the ones to meet Pam and me at Dog Beach in San Diego in
March of 2004.  Lesley had rented a truck to move our bicycles and took
video tape of our arrival.  I will always be grateful for their presence on
the beach to celebrate with us and can still see Glenda, who had come from
work, standing in the surf in her business suit and heels.

I guess the advice I would give is to be really nice to your friends’

We have not had a tailwind since Havre MT.  Now that we are near the lakes
we are told that wind direction depends upon what is happening over the

On Monday was David's birthday.  We rode into Nelma late in the afternoon.
It had rained in the morning and we had gotten a very late start from
Boulder Junction.  We found lodging at Santa's Motel so David got a shower
for his birthday!  It was very nice and right next door to a restaurant that
featured $1.50 burgers on Monday.  Life is good.

Well, Tuesday dawned with a storm, but we only delayed about an hour and
left in the rain.  We called it "Moose Weather" as it was foggy and
drizzling, but warm.  It cleared off in about and hour and we rode all day
quite comfortably until..........about 4:30 p.m. just as we were three miles
from our destination campground in Hardwood the sky truned dark and we had
just enough time to scoot into the rather large picnic shelter at St
Joseph's Catholic Church in Foster City.  It had walls on two sides and the
roof did not leak.  We just stayed put all safe and dry.  "City" is way too
generous a word for this town which consists of two churches and a
restaurant which was closed!

We have traveled through several towns that claim “Capital” status.  Bloomer
WI is the “Rope Jump Capital of the World.”  Mercer claims to be the “Loon
Capital.”  Glidden is the “Black Bear Capital.”  In Glidden there is a
trophy bear stuffed and in a display case downtown that weighed a record 675
pounds.  That is the only bear we are sure we spotted, though there was a
moment just outside a town dump that I think I saw one way ahead crossing
the road.  We have not seen Elk or Moose.  We see deer almost every day.
Sand Hill cranes, an assortment of coyote, fox, and other creatures keep it
interesting.  Also, the air really does smell heavily of evergreen – just
like those little scented trees people hang in their cars.

Our next challenge is to manage the Labor Day holiday which will no doubt
bring traffic to the area.  We will be in and around Mackinaw City and will
take the ferry to Mackinac Island.

Mon 8/13/2007 12:01 PM


Hello from Minnesota.  Today is our 41st wedding anniversary.  We bought new
shirts that match!  The only other time we ever did this was at the "Field
of Dreams" in Iowa.

Boy, it sure has been an eventful few days and I want to tell you all about
it if the librarian will allow me the time!

This is a GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS Minot:

First we go back to Minot.  The GOOD NEWS is that we had dinner with Katy
Fitzpatrick.  Katy is a delightful young woman who graduated from
Warrensburg High School soon after Elizabeth (class of '91).  The connection
is that Katy's brother Mike (who we learned now sports "PhD." after his name
and uis a professor) and Matt were on the same wrestling team at WHS.
Elizabeth, David, Katy, and her mom Joan were all avid "Boosters" of the
wrestlers and worked tournaments together.  Katy's parents let us know that
she was in Minot and put us in touch.  It was wonderful to see her.

Now the Minot BAD NEWS.  I purchased my green Cannondale T700 touring bike
(its name is Kairos) in 1999.  I am on my third coast to coast ride and have
used it for several thousand miles of daily riding.  I estimate it has
20,000 miles on it.  It came with Continental top touring 2000 tires and I
am on my fourth or fifth set and was unhappy to learn when I bought the last
ones that they are discontinued!  I had my first ever flat tire on this bike
on Minot's version of Noland road about 4:00 p.m. on August 6.  I was riding
along about 20 mph and hit something on the pavement and poof!  --it was

    GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS           Fargo:

GOOD NEWS --On Thursday morning leaving Binford we met three delightful
young men touring west from Boston/NewYork to Anacortes.  They were making a
documentary about the expereince and we are on tape as we visited.  I
introduced myself, "HI!  I'm Barbara" and David said, "Hi!  I'm Old Drum"
and the first young man said, "Hey I met you on the AT last year when I was
section hiking just south of MT Mouselocke at a watering spot!"  They then
reminisced about the AT days.  What a small world.  Look on their web site
for pictures --

On Saturday on our way into Fargo we met Dom and Amie who were from New
Jersey riding to celebrate their honeymoon to Portland, OR.  They mentioned
the three young men that they had heard about and hoped to catch up with.
(side note:  we have met other touring cyclists almost every day.  Maybe
even more than I met on the Trans Am in 1999)

We continued on our way to Fargo that morning.  We had arranged a "Warm
Showers" stay with a college student who is a member and had done the
Southern Tier a year ago.  Get this:  he had planned to spend most of the
weekend in Minneapolis so he put his keys in a hiding place, gave us
directions to his apartment with instructions to "make ourselves at home."
And, we did, but that was later.

Just a few miles out of Fargo on county road 81 we were sailing along
glorioulsy in the sunshine about 18 mph with a tailwind on flat, straight,
paved road.  I was right behind David and enjoying the scenery.

THE BAD NEWS --  I "took a header" as they say in cycling circles.  Like I
said, the last thing I remember, I was enjoying the scenery so I did not see
the split in the pavement that was about three inches wide, three inches
deep and 2 feet long, but it caught my front wheel and I was thrown over the
handle bars.  The next thing I knew David was trying to take off my helmet,
telling me to stay down, (I didn't), and waving traffic around where my bike
and I were sprawled across the lane.  OUCH!!!!

THE GOOD NEWS:  I must have inherited my 'bouncing' ability from my mom.
When she was 87 (in 2004) she was in a rush to get to a hair appointment and
fell down half a flight of stairs and broke -- her thumb!  It took longer
for the skin to heal than the bone and she was playing the piano again in
about eight weeks.  Then, not too long after that she was on a step stool to
get something off her closet shelf and pulled the entire chest of drawers
over emptying all the drawers and the contents.  She did need some help
getting out from under that one and putting all the stuff back, but she was

THE BAD NEWS I guess I was unconscious for a minute or so (my helmet had
three cracks in it) and with the wind knocked out of me it took a bit of
effort to get on my feet, but I did.  I landed mostly on my left side.
There is a goose egg on my left knee and some road rash, a bruise  on the
top and the bottom of my left arm just below the elbow, a bruise on my left
hip, some road rash in two places on my left shoulder, and my shoulder and
neck a bit sore.  But, even though a really nice man stopped to offer us a
ride, since the bike was rideable, we rode on to the "Warm Showers" lodging.
  I took a nap.  David went to the store and we fixed dinner.  Then, I took
a bath, put ice on all the broken places, took some OTC painkillers and
slept for 14 hours.  On Sunday we took a rest day.

THE GOOD NEWS    I'm alive and able to go on!

We decided to go to the bike shop to have the bike gone over.

BAD NEWS -- In the fall I scratched up the new Zora gear shifters that Sam
had installed right before we left home -- by the way Sam, I LOVE them, they
work beautifully, and you are 'the man' when it comes to making my bike

Otherwise, the bike came through OK.  It needed to have a couple of spokes
trued and a couple of other adjustments, but basically OK.

As we were on our way into the bike shop parking lot a young woman
(helmetless) rode up and said, "Hey, I just saw your picture on the web just
this morning!"  Her name is Jewell.  She is a college student and a waitress
at a cafe in downtown Fargo (metro area 200,000 population) and had met the
three young men when she waited on them a few days before.  They had given
her their card so she looked them up on the web and found!  So, she
went to the bike shop with us and we visited.  After hearing my story about
my fall, she also bought a helmet!!!!  Who knows, that may save her life

MORE GOOD NEWS   While we were in the bike shop, our "Warm Showers" host and
his girlfriend Emma called and arranged to meet us there.  How kind!  Not
only was he generous to allow two complete strangers stay in his home, but
wanted to meet us before we left the area.  And, what a delightful couple!
We had a wonderful visit at the bike shop before David and I bid them all
farewell and headed east into Minnesota.

Shortly before we hit cooperstown we saw cross country cyclists Barbara and Dave Curtis. They are on their way to Bar Harbor. We had a great time talking with them on the side of the road. Dave mentioned he thru hiked the AT last summer and used the name 'The Old Drum' I stared at him for a few minutes and then remembered meeting him last summer in the mountains of New Hampshire when I was out backpacking on the AT last year. We had talked about cycling the transam and I remember he mentioned his wife had ridden cross country twice before. What a small world. Anyways they gave us lots of great advice about the road up ahead. Seeing them really made us excited about riding through North Dakota. They had nothing but great things to say, which is what we really needed to hear. (From: Friday August 10, 2007


Wed 8/8/2007 2:38 PM
Last night we camped at the County Fairgrounds in Rugby, the geographic
center of North America.  A wind storm came up in the night and from 11 pm
to 1:00 a.m. our little tent was whipped around.  It is amazingly flexible
and resisient!  Needless to say we were not sleeping soundly during that!
Good thing we went to sleep at eight and had had a nap.

We rode 62 miles this overcast morning from Rugby to Lake Minnewaukan.  Then
ONLY possible place for services along this low traffic route of rolling
fields of Spring wheat, sunflowers, corn, and clover dotted with little
glacial lakes (filled iwth ducks and wading birds) was Esmond where we had
pancakes about 10:30 a.m.

The last two hours we were in a gentle rain, but with an unpredicted
tailwind.  I realized something about my preference for travel at such a
slow pace immersed in the environ.  Just as we were passing a huge field of
maturing corn -- acres and acres --for the first time I noticed the musical
sound of the rain as it fell onto the leaves of the corn plants.  If I had
been in a car I would never have heard this delightful sound.  I love being
immersed in the air and color of a place and having the time to notice
little details.  Yesterday it was Damsel and Dragon flies, the day before
grasshoppers.  I enjoy the wildflowers at the edge of the highway and
observing the heliantropic choreography of a field of sunflowers.  Also,
seeing new species of birds.....still can't get over Pelicans in North
Dakota!  I want it in front of me, in back of me, to my right, to my left,
over me and under me!  If I was only to see it from a car window, I'd just
as soon watch a travel video on TV from my loveseat at 319 West Gay St.  I
take off my shoes and socks at some point each day and put my feet on the
bare ground.  Sleeping in the tent also puts me in close contact with the
ground of a place.  I like spotting a water tower ten miles out and looking
forward to entering the little town.

I am so grateful to Benjamin Franklin for the concept of the public lending
library and the opportunity to visit and enjoy the hospitality of them all
along the route.  Some are large, beautifully designed, professionally
spiffy; some feel like stepping into someone's personal living room, but
almost without fail the people staffing them are eager to share information,
resources, help, advice.  LOVE IT!!!!!

About our route.  If you have looked at the web page that Charley Balckmore
so generously manages you will see the official Northern Tier Route.  What
you need to know is that instead of going south of the Great Lakes through
Chicago and Ohio, we elected to purchase maps from two other map sets and
travel from Minneapolis north east through Wisconsin, cross the northern
penninsula of Michigan, come south at Macinaw Island and go across Michigan
to Port Huron.  We will enter Ontario and peddle the northern shore of Lake
Erie coming to Niagra Falls on the Canadian side, enter New York and pick up
the NOrthern Tier Route again there.

Fri 8/3/2007 10:35 AM
This is coming to you from Williston ND.  We have been blessed with a couple
of cooler (by comparrison) days.  It is my first visit to ND and it is
BEAUTIFUL!!!  Of course, we have only done a few miles of it so far, but
wonderful.  We were hosted last evening by Doug and Anna Hoffman wo are not
themselves cyclists, but still belong to "Warm Showers" and welcomed us very
hospitably to their unique home (it is adobe style with lots of glass block
windows and was once a corner grocery).  We put our tent down in their
lovely and artistic garden and watched as bees, butterflies, and finches
enjoy the flowers.  They fed us a wonderful meal of fresh garden vegetables
and grilled pork chops!!!  We slept very well.

We are very near the Missouri River and it looks just as muddy up here!
And, there is a wind factor out here to consider.  To all those who tell me
it is best to travel west to east because of "prevailing winds" being from
that directioin I would say that may be true at 10,000 feet, but six feet
from the ground it ain't necessarily so.  There are many forces that
determine the wind direction and speed at ground level......topography,
temperature, cloud cover, sunlight, season, and thermal dynamics beyond my
comprehension.  The wind blows where it will and sometimes out on the
prairie seems to be swirling and coming from all directions at once.  A tail
wind is awesome, a headwind an obstacle to cheerful cycling.

About insects:  We had a discussion about which is more annoying, mosquitos
or biting flies:  The mosquitos swarm around, sing in your ear, carry bird
flu, and leave a welt that itches.  The biting flies zoom in, take a bite,
and zoom off, but the bite hurts and you don't feel it coming!

Then, two days ago we went through several miles that had swarms of
beautiful little yellow butterflies perching on purple Hebe
bloosoms.....(purple? gold?  GO KEWPIES!)  and they were delightful to

We had a "small world" episode in Malta.  We were keeping cool in the
library and I struck up a convesation with another cyclist (west bound) from
Hollland.  A woman about my age overheard some of it and after he went on
his way asked us some questions avbout our endeavor.  When we are asked
where we are from I usually reply, "The Kansas City area," but this was not
enough information and she asked further, so when I told her "Warrensburg,"
she s told me she had nine brothers and one of them had lived in Warrensburg
until he retired from the University and lived on West South St........His
name?  Jim Sylwester.  Of course, we know Jim and Kathy (she passed away
last winter) and their sons Kevin and Bradley.  Kevin and Matt were in the
same class from first grade, graduated togehter and remain friends, and will
be together at Tom Adam' wedding tomorrow in Jefferson City.  I was Kevin's
Den Mother in Cubs.  So, we got an invitation for ice cream and to meet the
rest of her family and see pictures of Kevin's brand new baby boy.

She also insisted that while in Malta we must visit one of their attractions
and I am so glad we did!  This part of the country being an old ocean bottom
and acted upon by glaciers and other phenomena is prime dinosaur
bone/remains county.  In Malta is a Palentologists' Field Station where
research is being conducted upon one of the world's most unuisual finds.
Dubbed "Leonardo" is a young dinosaur unearthed in 2000 (see Newsweek mag
from sometime in that year) that rather than fossilized was mummified by
whatever circumstances ended his life.  The remains still have skin, stomach
contents (28 species of plants) and internal organs for research.  They are
doing MRI and CAT scans, have determined that it has a "craw" full of rocks
for grinding which indicates more related to birds than stuff.  In the labratory the guide taught us
how the diggers tell bone from rock.  They put their tounge on it  (YUCK???)
and if they get a mouth full of sand it is a rock.  If the tounge sticks to
it, it is bone.  I never knew that!

We have decided to take a rest day before heading to Minot.   There are some
scenic wonders we'd like to visit south of here so are debating about
whether to explore now or come back sometime with a car.

Mon 7/30/2007 3:50 PM
We are in Malta MT.  Got here about noon from Chinook.  Left
about 6 am and
made good time as it was overcast which made it cooler.  We took
time for a
meal in Dodson.  While in the restaurant we heard two persons
discussing the
possibility of it being 104 or 105 degrees today so decided 68
miles would
be enough and Malta became our destination.  Then, as we rode
into Malta an
east wind came up for the last three miles -- the kind that
makes you put
your head down and nose to the white line and kills your knees.
time to stop.

The landscape out here is the kind that makes you long for a
crossroad so
there will be a "Stop" sign -- that means (except at high noon)
there will
be a spot of shade!!!

Last night we camped in the city park in Chinook.  I never
thought to ask
the pool hours.  Turns out they open at six pm and close at
nine.  I was SO
glad when that blaring radio was finally turned off!

It was a lovely little park with grass that would make a lawn
person proud
-- like a lush green carpet.  One of the lessons about camping
in the west
is NEVER put a tent down on green grass.  If the grass is green
I guarantee
there are sprinklers!  I learned this in Idaho in 1999.  One
morning I woke
up in the wee dark hours and needed to use the ladies room.  I
crawled out
of my bivy tent and just as I stood up pst - pst - pst PSALSH! I
got a full
dose of very cold water right in my face.  That is something one
does not
forget!  So, we were on the crisp brown fringes, but still
managed to get a
few sprinkles this morning just before the alarm was set to go

Fri 7/27/2007 5:20 PM
Our last communication was on Monday from Whitefish.  On Tuesday we rode
into Glacier National Park.  What a has been on my 'list' for
years and never in my wildest imagination did I think I would get to cycle
to it.  Now, having expereinced it I must add it to my list of "every person
MUST see" places along with the Grand Canyon (for perspective
and humility) and Yellowstone (the ICU of nature's healing places).  We
stayed two nights at Apgar campground.  They have paved cycling paths
connecting everything we needed.

There is basically only one road through this huge park on the American side
and it goes over Logan Pass.  It is called "Going to the Sun Road" and was
built between 1918 and 1930 when cars were fewer and smaller.
It is an engineering marvel.  It is curvy and narrow and clings to the side
of a  steep glacial mountain for 12 miles.  Cyclists are prohibited from
using it between 11 and 4 every day and the ticket is $75.00. (we met a guy
who  decided to try it during the forbidden period)

Fortunately for us, three weeks ago when it was opened for the season, a
free shuttle service was also begun to try to reduce the traffic....the lot
at the top is often full even with the service.  This gave us a chance to
get a look at it before attempting to cycle it.  After seeing it, we decided
definitely to take the St Marias Alternate ruoute.  We enjoyed shuttling to
the pass twice.  Took a hike.  Enjoyed the scenery. Indescribable and unlike
anything I have ever seen before in the mountain department.  Beautiful.
So, yesterday we cycled from West Glacier to East Glacier on the alternate.
It was a very good ride through "The Great Bear Wilderness'
(don't panic, Mom, no bears appeared).  And, today to Shelby MT about 75

The minute we left East Glacier this morning everything dramatically
changed.  We are now in the rolling prairie hills of cattle and wheat -- saw
a grain elevator in the first 10 miles -- with the trees and beautiful hues
of the mountains rapidly disappearing in my rear view mirror.
We began cycling this am at 6 and had a perfect morning -- slightly
overcast, cool,  tailwind, wide shoulder, smooth pavement, flat or downhill,
little traffic.
It did not last.  First, the wind turned around, then we lost our cloud
cover, the pavement turned to new chip and seal with little round pebbles,
the shoulder narrowed eventually to about 12", and before we were done had
to go through three construction zones with flagmen!!!!!  We changed out
David's back tube by the side of the road because it made a funny noise that
sounded like a blow-out.  And, it got hot!  But the first couple of hours
were awesome and we were still in Shelby by 3:15 p.m.

At East Glacier we stayed in our first Hostel of the trip.  Have no idea
where we will be tonight yet.  Shelby has lots of options.

We've had Huckleberry ice cream, pie, and shakes........a lot like

One of these days I am going to figure out how to get some pictures attached
to my messages.

Mon 7/23/2007 4:54 PM
Hello is a 'zero' day in Whitefish Montana.  At
least for once we are someplace you might have heard of.
This comes with tourist population, noise, and traffic, but
also means a cell phone connection and food options beyond
convenience stores.

We are lodged in a campground that is more designed for motor
homes than tents, but has clean and will lit facilities.  We are grateful.

So many communities in the west have made accommodations for
cyclists.  Bike lanes abound and most bridges have accommodations for
pedestrians and cyclists.

We also had a very positive experience at the bike shop here.
David had some issues that we think they were able to resolve efficiently
and inexpensively.  He has now had three flats -- one in each state.
The Idaho puncture was severe enough to require a boot (this has nothing
to do with footwear).   I am so grateful for all the programs and sharing
of advice and experience from my buddies in the Warrensburg Bicycle Club over
the years. I have learned so much from them!  We were able to successfully
repair it and have only used one "phone a friend" on the trip so far.
(thanks, Tom!)

I have decided that if God has a color, it is green.  It is almost impossible to
describe to you the incredible experience of the environment one has at
four MPH in such a remote and lovely place of trees and mountains and rivers
and lakes.  Oh, and wildflowers. There are aboutfourteen different varieties
of evergreens, plus aspen, birch, and on and on. We were along the
Kootenai River for a couple of days.  I had never heard of it before and it is
fabulous.  We camped on its banks at River Bend Campground and watched
a helicopter that had a bucket attached make trip after trip to lower the bucket
into the water and scoop it up to carry over the mountain and dump on a
forest fire.  The river water color is a deep teal.

Once, day before yesterday, we paused early in the morning just to catch our
breath on the road above Koocanusa Lake and (except for our breathing) was
absolutely silent.  Not a sound!  Not a sound!  For several minutes and we
just stood there in awe until finally a fly buzzed by us.  It is glorious!

I am so grateful also for all the libraries that are hospitable to us.  They
mostly are lovely, busy, interesting places that give one a feel for the
communities they serve.  I am purchasing a paperback for fifty cents that I
cannot pass up.  Joseph Chilton Pearce's The Crack In The Cosmic Egg.  I
have read two more recent of his books so will try his earlier work.  It
should be worth the weight!  I'll let you know.

And, remember, you can keep track of us at this web site.......


Wed 7/18/2007 11:08 PM
HEY!  Today we crossed our first state line and rode off the first of 12
maps.  We are in Sandpoint ID.  It is a very noisy little tourist town.  We
went to the bike shop and had a bite at Arby's.  Today we did 70 miles!  We
mailed the first map to is done.

We had planned to camp here, but the camp ground was $38.00 to put down one
very small tent.  (We ususally pay between 7 and 12 and many time it is free
for cyclists.)  So, we decided that a motel would not be much more and
afforded us all the advantages I wrote about in Colville.  Oh, and I 've
thought of a couple more.......some motels include breakfast and there is
one more very gratifying thing one can do in a motel room:!!!!!

Please note:   I decided to put my phone on 'vacation' since D. and I are
together all the time and can only get a signal once in a while anyway.  If
you need tp talk, please call his cell number 660-238-2624.  It is a local
call in Warresnburg area.

cycling motto:  "I may be slow, but I don't quit."

Mon 7/16/2007 4:55 PM
Hello to all!!  We are taking our first “Zero” day in Colville on July 16.
That means one day that we do not get on the bike at all.  We walked to the
grocery sotre and the library.  We left Anacortes on July 5 so have had ten
days of cycling, though there were a couple of really short days in Winthorp
and Twisp.  I am writing to you from the Colville Public library which is
rather full in the middle of the day.  The vibes are of very intense
concentration and focused attention.

Our mileage so far is 380.  That is only an average of 38 miles per day
which seasoned cyclists might think wimpy.   Trust me when I say that it is
satisfactory.  If one considers that it is Old Drum’s first tour, we have
climbed 5 mountain passes, endured truly record heat, and are at the
beginning of the journey just “getting our legs,” it works for me.

We are staying at a little mom and pop motel here in Colville.  It is old
and the room is small, but it is clean and the hospitality toward cyclists
is warm.  This is our third time to stay in a motel as we camp most of the
time.  Here is how we get the most of a motel room when touring:  Take a
shower that includes a shampoo.  Put conditioner on your hair that has been
smushed eight hours per day in dry desert air under your helmet, but do not
rinse.  Then fill the tub and get out your “Scotch Brite.”  Take a bath and
really scrub to get off all the road dust that is mixed with sun block and
sweat, drain the tub, rinse it, and re-fill with the hottest water endurable
for a luxurious soak of road weary muscles.  Stay in the hot water a long
time.  Then rinse your well-conditioned hair.  Dry off and put on your
“going to dinner” tee shirt and shorts. Fill the tub again, adding laundry
detergent and throw in all cycling clothes beginning with the lighter colors
first.  Wash and rinse and wring your laundry.  On the desert it will dry in
less than an hour hung on the lawn chair outside.  If your room has a
microwave and fridge go to the closest grocery store and get dinner,
breakfast, and snacks for the next day on the road.  Fix dinner.  Tonight we
will have frozen Lasagne and carrots.  Breakfast was OJ, Raisin Bran. Lunch
was potato salad and baked beans.  Snacks are apples, bananas, and granola
bars.  (We do try to maintain a good diet so have salads at each restaurant)
  Get a restful night’s sleep in air conditioned comfort in a real bed.
What a treat!

I love cycling in the west!!!!!!  The sky is big, the views spectacular,
dogs are with their owners, and the flora and fauna unfamiliar enough that I
take notice……of course at 4 mph on sees things differently.  On Wednesday we
should be in Sandpoint ID… our first map segment and across our first
state line.

Hope all is well with you………

Subject: Republic Washington
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2007 15:58:19 -0500

This morning we crossed over Wauconda Pass at 11:55 a.m.  We left Tonasket
at 5:30 a.m. hoping to beat this incredible heat (15-20 degrees above
normal!).  It worked.  We got to Republic around 1:oo p.m. and it was
actually a good ride.  The grades were less steep than the two earlier
passes.  We have one more in the Cascades -- Sherman Pass.

In Tonasket we were dealing with some tube issues on David's bike.  He had a
flat the day before in Omak.  I patched it -- three separate times -- but
could not get it to hold.  It was our last tube and we are 100 miles from
the next bike shop.  Naturally hardware stores and farm supply places do not
carry the type we need.  But, the good news is that a trail angel appeared
in the form of Jan (pronounced Yawn) from Holland cycling from Anacortes to
Calgary, British Columbia ( I think) with his wife or friend Jet (Pronounced
"Yet").  I was using the self stick quick patches.  He had the more old
fashioned ones that use rubber cement.  It worked and we managed well today
and believe we will make the bike shop.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 5:59 PM
from BJC

Wow!  It sure is hot here today.    We have been taking a rest day in Winthrop
and Twisp.  I am so glad that I joined "Warm Showers," an Internet cyclists hosting
group, as we have been very hospitably welcomed by other members.

Last Sunday we were on the road from Rockport toward Newhalem.
Traffic was heavy as it was a weekend following the 4th.  We were on a very
quiet back road for the morning, but the afternoon on Hwy 20, a main road
from the National Park and lots of vacationers were headed home.  (ask me
sometime about the 'near death experience' I had in the tunnel).  David was
riding far enough ahead of me that he could not hear me calling as we
passed a turn that I thought we should be making right before a bridge over the
Skagit River.  Our destination was the very last campground before a sixty five
mile stretch with absolutely no services and, frankly, I was exhausted from
the heat, hills, and traffic,  so I did not want to miss it. Once I caught up with
him, we turned around and went back down the road.  It turned out that it was
not the destination campground, but one not even on the maps. We just happened
upon it, right there when we needed it.  It was right on the river, had ten spaces,
a vacancy, a very clean state of the art out house (complete with a full Purell
dispenser!).  That, my friends, is trail magic!!!!!! Next we inquired of a family camping
there about water.  We were out. We carry purification equipment, but would rather
not use it if at all possible.  There was not running water at the campground.
However, the campers  were going home the next morning and had two gallons to
spare so gave it to us!  Those, my freinds, are trail angels!!!!! It happens all the time.
Every need is met beyond our expectation. David's cycling has impressed me.
He learned a lot on the trail. If you would have told me ten years ago that we would
be doing this trip together I would have fallen over laughing.

More later, bjc

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Dear Friends,

   It is time for the next adventure.  I think this will be easier, if only because I know I have an “I won’t quit attitude now.”  When BJ met me at the base of Mount Katahdin in Maine, I told her that I now wanted to bicycle with her across America (for those who don’t know BJ, she has done this twice.  In 1999 she biked from Yorktown, VA to Florence, OR.  In 2004, she biked with a good friend of hers, Pam Culbertson, from St. Augustine, FL to San Diego, CA).  She was somewhat skeptical, but now seems to be excited for something easy.  For the last 5 weeks, we have removed the back walls of our 100 + year old home in a battle of water and carpenter ants.  We did all the labor to put it back and we are tired.  So naturally a 4300 mile bike ride seems like a little rest.  On June 25 we are heading to Portland, OR to visit an aunt of mine.  We then move on to Seattle to visit a cousin that I spent a lot of time with when I was growing up.  Finally, we go to Puyallup (sp?) to visit a long time friend from years ago in Warrensburg who has remained very close to us.  He will take us to Anacortis (sp?), WA shortly after July 4 where we will head east to Bar Harbor, ME.

  I may have bored you to death on the hike.  If I was interesting at all, I cannot promise that my account of this adventure will be as interesting.  I intend to send emails like I did last year.  If you want to get them, do nothing.  If you don’t, hit reply and say TAKE ME OFF THAT LIST.  You won’t hurt my feelings.  This trip may also have a website to follow things as well.

  Finally, last year I took pledges from my fellow park and recreation professionals on the miles I would make on the AT.  Since I made it all the way (I told them I thought I’d quit in 30 miles), I raised over $2000 in scholarships for recreation majors at my almamater, University of Missouri.  We gave 2 $1000 scholarships this spring and had a little left over to go to my next effort.

  PLEASE, NO PRESSURE.  NO ONE NEEDS TO DO THIS.  However, I am taking pledges on this trip.  The mileage is unknown, but it should be over 4000 and under 5000.  I have two passions.  One is those recreation students at Mizzou.  The other is Habitat for Humanity in Johnson County (that is where I live).  If you want to support either of those causes, let me know the amount of your pledge.  One penny means $40 to $50.  I will take fractions of pennies too.  For my park and recreation friends, this scholarship is being named for my friend Randy Vessel who is retiring this summer.  He has meant so much to that department.  I have over $3000 in pledges on the Vessel scholarship so far if I make it all the way.  NO ONE NEEDS TO DO THIS.

   Take care.  The next group email will come from the trail some time after July 4.

Dave Curtis

OK, we are back in Warrensburg and real life now.  Both of us came through this healthy, trimmer or maintained that hiking trim.  I want to thank all of you who followed us, who prayed for us and for some of you who did stuff for us to keep us out there like Melissa, Charlie, Paula, Matt, Stuart, Lynda, Rob, Val, Michael, Wayne, Leslie, Carly and Maggie (I’m not sure I did all my spellings right.  Go ahead and correct me.).  I talked with David Vaught the Acting Chair of the MU department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.  A letter will be coming from him telling you who to make the check out to and where to mail it.  That is if you pledged at the annual MPRA conference last winter.  For those who pledged straight to me via email, David Vaught does not know of your pledge, but I do.  I will send you an email before the week is out on where to send your money.  Some of you did the student scholarships at MU and some did Johnson County Missouri Habitat for Humanity.  If someone did not pledge, but would like to (PLEASE, no pressure, it is OK if you do not.  I love you all either way.) let me know.  We covered 4099 miles.  At 1 cent per mile, that is $40.99.  I’ll take fractions of a penny or multiple pennies.  If you can’t figure the amount, let me know and I’ll compute it for you.  Again thank you for your care and support of us as we made this journey.

Next year??  Maybe I will hike the Pacific Crest Trail or maybe join Little Wing where she left off on the AT in New Hampshire.  That would mean Maine, the Mahoosuc Notch, the 100 mile Wilderness, Wildcat Cliff and Mount Katahdin again.  That was hard, but oh so beautiful.  BJ and I are also talking of riding our bikes in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in the next year or two.  Xenon, I would love to see you and meet Nancy.

Love to all,
Old Drum and BJ

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Northern Tier Route - Adventure Cycling Association

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We are underway. Here we are at the traditional dipping of our tires in Puget Sound at Anacortes, WA on July 5, 2007.

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