Monday, October 20, 2014

View of the Stoker

Originally Posted October 19, 2004 by Mags



I began to really feel like we made it not when we put the front wheel in the ocean but yesterday morning at Schooner's Head in Acadia just after the sun rose. The sun sent a white, shiny streak across the water so bright that I could only look at it out of the sides of my eyes. The waves sloshed the rock shore, two seagulls searched for crustaceans in the tidepools and the ocean moved against the earth beneath me and I realized that there really was no land to our east, that we really had come as far east as this bike could take us. I'd thought I would feel a sense of accomplishment once we reached the coast but I didn't really feel that. I felt relieved that we made it and grateful for the stretching beauty of the ocean in front of me. The memories of the trip are visions that slide through our minds when we close our eyes. At dusk a curt rancher in eastern Washington lets us pump water from his well to fill our bottles. Burros crowd a red shack in a field in South Dakota. The fields of Montana are colored yellow and rust as the cool evening dries us. The Iowa farmer talks of homemade ice-cream and the antique farm equipment show- "You should really see one of these!" Jeff, with the broken arm near Pittsburgh says, "Man, all the way from Seattle."

To celebrate this trip with everyone who came along with us we've decided to have an open house at my parent's house- Melanie and Carl Harris in Heber, Utah on Saturday, November 6 from 4-9 pm. Please email us if you can come and we'll send you directions to their house. 

Posted by Mags at 09:04 AM | Comments (2)
 
  
 
Original Comments: View of the Stoker
Well done to both of you!! Very impressive indeed.
If you are looking for lobster dinner on the way to Portland, I suggest Cook's Lobster House on Bailey's Island. Make sure you stop in Freeport.

Enjoy the trip west under the power of the internal combustion engine. Don't get to lazy though. Maybe you can get a trainer to ride while you follow the rails.
Good luck,
Ben
 Posted by Ben and Shannon at October 19, 2004 07:05 PM
 
 
I'm tickled that you made it. Congratulations!!! You will look back on this for the rest of your lives with a sense of accomplishment. Well Done
 Posted by David Johnston at October 20, 2004 01:28 PM
 
 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Journey's End

Originally Posted October 18, 2004 by Chad





BAR HARBOR, MAINE. We arrived at Acadia National Park yesterday. It was cool and sunny. The popular places were crowded. We followed the park loop road to the only sandy beach on the island. We dismounted and carried our bike down the stairs to the water. We asked a Japanese man who was there with his family to take our picture as we wetted our tires. In the first picture I was looking down at a wave coming up to soak our feet. The second picture came out better. Then a park ranger came marching down the steps to us. He told us bikes were not allowed on the beach and ordered us to leave. It ruined the moment.

It's hard to believe our journey is over. We still have to get to the train station in Portland, two hundred miles away, but we have seen the Atlantic Ocean and can pedal no further. When we started this journey we were passive observers, slipping through town after town, often unnoticed. We took little from the towns and left nothing behind.

Then as our journey matured it took on tone and dimension. We slipped into a new frame and grew to be a part of it, related to the people we met and places we saw. From the crazy lady in Tonasket who asked us if we planning on skinny dipping, to the leather-clad bikers of Ringling, to the lycra-clad bikers of Laramie, the Mormons of Nauvoo, the corn- and bean-farmers of Iowa, the Presidential hopeful in Coldwater, the supplement saleswoman in Anita, the Reverends of Pennsylvania, the punkers near Syracuse with whom we witnessed a traffic accident, to everyone who asked us which of us did the most work [They have missed the point of the journey.] to the New Englanders who pretended not to see us, to all the vacationers at the parks who stood and gawked at us and at the same land we were there to see, and to all of you who have been following us along our way. We have all grown into a journey that has stepped beyond its start in the west and finish in the east, beyond the boundaries of this country, beyond the limits of our collective memory. Our jouney is alive and it lives in every one of us. Our legs have turned the pedals and we have seen life.

Posted by Chad at 02:40 PM | Comments (9)
 
 
 
Original Comments: Journey's End 
 
i must admit that i will miss your smallwords updates. beside the endless moments of pleasure reading your travel log (and the hours of procrastination of homework it has provided), your legs turned pedals and you experienced life, and I have enjoyed every glimpse of it that i have seen, and every moment of it that i have vicariously lived as well. watching the land change, watching the people and places morph from one side of the country to the other, reading about the food, observing your outerware change from t-shirts and shorts to jackets and long pants, watching the seattle spring turn to a midwest summer and a new england fall, from coast to coast, congratulations my friends.
Posted by Starr Peterson at October 18, 2004 05:15 PM
 
 
YEAH!! You made it! I just knew you were going to reach the water on Sunday. After keeping the cell phone with me all day and you hadn't called by afternoon I went back to the hotel room and the red light on the phone was blinking and there was your message that you had reached the ocean. We did a little dance right there on the 17th floor. Love, Mom
Posted by shirley at October 18, 2004 09:53 PM
 
 
Hey Harse's you made it!!! I can't believe that Margeret made it. I can just see chad dragging Margeret down the highway just so that you can dip your front tire in the Atlantic ocean. Bad joke but CONGRATULATIONS. Question: why in the heck are you guys going back to Portland? You guys have definitely become RLDS.

Posted by been dip at October 18, 2004 10:39 PM
 
 
Congrats on reaching the opposite coast!
Posted by Woody at October 18, 2004 10:49 PM
 
 
we have been hanging out to see this picture - so amazing what a journey you have taken and how many other people's lives have been enriched by it too. i was telling my dad about you guys last night and now he is keen to do a similar trip when he retires. you're inspiration! living your dream. life should be more free. don't get jobs. come to oz.
Posted by Em at October 19, 2004 02:10 AM
 
 
Chad, you are truly Waltonesque. I'm glad to know there are people like you and Mags in Utah. You both need to come back for your doctoral degrees at UW. It's bliss.
Seriously, congratulations on the completion of your journey. Quite a feat.
Posted by Doug at October 19, 2004 04:26 PM
 
 
You made it "FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA". Congratulations.
Posted by Devin at October 19, 2004 04:46 PM
 
 
That'll do, pig. That'll do.
Posted by benson at October 21, 2004 01:56 PM
 
 
Congratulations!!! I have followed all journal of yours. Very enjoy your words and pictures. What you guys did is really amazing! You are the greatest travelers I ever know in person. Hope to see u in Seattle.
Posted by Gang at October 22, 2004 02:07 PM

Monday, October 13, 2014

Maine!

Originally Posted October 15, 2004 by Chad



We made it. We're in Maine. Our next item of business is to enjoy a lobster dinner somewhere between here and Bar Harbor.

Posted by Chad at 04:49 PM | Comments (5)
 
 
 
Original Comments: Maine!
 
 
yAy!!
Posted by Em at October 16, 2004 01:46 AM
 
 
Amazing. It will be great to hear of your arrival, but I will miss the reports from smallwords and small towns USA. Wouldn't it be fun to bike across Canada!
Posted by Doc at October 16, 2004 11:38 AM
 
 
Oh, you both look so great! The leaves are beautiful. You've made it!!! The tire is in the water...what a team! We are so proud of you--the vision of the possibility of such an adventure, the planning, the physical prowess, the psychological power, the good will of those you met (for the most part). We have continued to pray for your safety and well being and will continue to do so till you're in our midst again... course, we probably won't stop praying for you then either. We love you and that's what parents do.

Sorry to have missed your phone call. (We were actually having a Sunday afternoon nap, can you believe it!) Love, Melanie
Posted by Melanie Harris at October 17, 2004 08:18 PM
 
 
Yahoo!!!
Way to go guys.
Enjoy that dinner.
Shannon and Ben
Posted by Shannon Brattebo at October 18, 2004 12:59 PM
 
 
Hi Chad, this is ben member when you reached ohio in the small city of coldwater. I am lisa gagnon son. When you ate at china dragon and slept over at my house well how have you been doing?
Email me back at benrutschilling_999@hotmail.com
Talk To You later
sincerely
Ben Rutschilling
 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hunger

Originally posted October 13, 2004 by Chad



CONWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE. We had just started riding again after our lunch break yesterday when we saw the large missile in the center of Warren, NH. We had to stop and see why it was there. It turned out to be an Atlas Redstone Rocket, the kind they used to launch Alan Shepard [a New Hampshire native] into orbit. Back in the seventies some guy in the army found the abandoned rocket at a base in Alabama and decided to take it to his hometown in New Hampshire as a way of inspiring kids to study science and dream of space travel. It reminds me more of the cold war, but there it stands, right next to the church and the Warren Historical Society.

While we were admiring the redstone, another cyclist rode by. He stopped and told us about a hiker/biker lodge just up the road for Appalachian Trail hikers. We talked for half an hour and then went on our way. We didn’t camp at his suggested spot, but went on a few more miles until we were just west of Lincoln.




This morning as we were passing through Lincoln, Dave, the cyclist we’d met yesterday, drove by in a car and pulled over to talk again. He wanted to know how our night went and suggested we stop somewhere for coffee. We found a deli and had muffins and hot chocolate and listened to his stories of bicycle trips and of Viet Nam. He rode with us for a few miles up Kancamagus pass, “just until it gets steep” he said.

It never really did get steep, but the pass was significant because it is the boundary of the Saco River Watershed, which drains into the Atlantic Ocean in southeast Maine. We’re really close now. We should cross the state line near Fryeburg in about an hour, and then it’s a short ride to the coast. I’m chomping at the bit to get there. It’s like I have this inner hunger to see the Atlantic that is more voracious than my hunger for food. It overpowers the achy legs, sore behind, and cold winds. I want to get there today. But the days are getting so short that we can’t ride as far as we used to. Instead we’ve bought a copy of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving to read to each other when we’re holed-up in the tent.

Posted by Chad at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Smile, New England

Originally Posted October 13, 2004 by Mags


The reaction of New Englanders to us has been quite different from the inhabitants of other states. They don’t give a flying flip. Here’s an example. We stopped at a small country store in Orwell, Vermont to buy a phone card and use a payphone. While we sat on the bench in front of the store about 50 people walked by us. Since it was a Friday night everyone was buying beer or renting videos. Not only did no one say hello, no one even made eye contact with us. It was as if they already knew too much about us and wished they didn’t know anything. At a restaurant full of leaf peepers near Haven, Vermont we got the stare down from a guy sitting near us. Apparently our lycra shorts and bright yellow tops were too jarring compared with the mute colored L.L. Bean clad tourists around us. My ire was up so I stared back until he looked away. The friendliest person we met in Vermont was a guy near Woodstock who said, “I bet you’ve gone a lot of miles today” and then walked off before we could respond. This ain’t the Midwest. The leaves are amazing though- the trees are bright like pieces of construction paper- yellow, orange and red- and I saw one maple with yellow leaves that looked like they’d been tie-dyed in red paint. 

Posted by Mags at 02:01 PM | Comments (2)
 
 
 
 
Original Comments: Smile, New England
 
that is totally in keeping with my new england experiences -- maybe they would be more interested if you were on a pair of segway's instead: http://www.10mph.com/

Posted by benson at October 14, 2004 07:13 PM
 
 
Hi Kids,

With hardwoods as thick as hair on a dog's back that great land is unbelievably gorgeous. But my first hand knowledge kind of thins further east than Pennsylvania. I've been to New York City several times and Palmyra but other than conference attendees and relatives not much interaction with people. Maybe I take that back because of my experience with your brother Aaron when we went shopping for diamonds in down town NY and Aaron conducted a study to see whether a young person go a worse or better deal than an old person. After being taken into a back, only slightly lighted room to talk to "Frankie" in one diamond store I decided the experiment was beyond my comfort zone. They did talk to me but with a real funny accent with eye contact from under the green visor shades. So I'm not sure if I can relate well to your experience of not being greeted and welcomed by those new easterners. Maybe they think you politicing and they are all politiced out. The photos are really welcomed and do a great job of enhancing your narratives. We look forward to the photo of your front bike wheel in the Atlantic Ocean which probably you've already done.

Love, Dad Carl

Posted by Carl Harris at October 15, 2004 02:12 PM
 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall Colors

Originally Posted October 9, 2004 by Chad





WEST LEBANON, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Since leaving Ithaca on Tuesday, we’ve been passing by a lot of places with names that conjure images of other places: Waterloo, Jordan, Russia, Liverpool, Rome, Holland Patent, Verona, Newport, Ohio, Norway and Trenton Falls.




At Rome, New York, we stopped at Fort Stanwix National Monument. It is a British built fort from the 18th century that protected the only portage between the Mohawk River Valley and Wood Creek. It is the only route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes Basin that doesn't require crossing the Appalachian Mountains.

The American colonists took Fort Stanwix in the first years of the Revolution and somehow managed to hold it for the duration. The British held it under siege for three weeks but could not penetrate it. General Burgoyne’s British Army was so demoralized by the failed siege that many deserted and he was forced to surrender his army two months later. The Americans won not by overpowering but by persevering.

We also wanted to stop at Fort Ticonderoga but were disappointed to find that it is privately run and has a hefty entrance fee. Instead we hopped on the ferry across Lake Champlain into Vermont. The ferry operator told us we were three hours behind another cross country cyclist. I don’t think we’ll catch him.

Passing through Adirondack Park, I was expecting it to be something like Yellowstone or the Tetons, with abundant camping and lots of things for the public to do. Instead I found that much of the park, at least what you can see from the road, is privately owned and posted: no trespassing. We had to camp behind the pavilion at the city park in Speculator. I still don’t know why they call the Adirondacks a park at all.

We were fortunate to pass through the Adirondacks mid-week. When we crossed the Green Mountains at Brandon Gap in Vermont it was a Saturday morning and the leaves were at the peak of their fall color. By that afternoon the roads were packed with leaf peepers driving slow and not watching the road. The town of Woodstock, VT is one of the few places on this trip I have been to before. That was about a year ago, after the leaves had fallen from the trees. The town was mostly deserted and I easily found a parking place in the green. This time there was a mile of cars backed up bumper to bumper on both ends of town. Some of you know that my favorite part of riding a bike is zipping past cars stuck in traffic. I just want to laugh at all the people sitting there realizing they should have ridden their bikes too.

The streets of Woodstock were packed with people. Most were dressed in the latest fall fashions and driving expensive cars with out-of-state license plates. Most surprisingly, people didn’t stop and gawk at our bike like everywhere else in the country. It seemed they were more interested in being noticed themselves then taking notice of us. We bought some fresh apple cider from some kids on the street and were eager to get out of there.

We’re taking a couple of rest days visiting some friends here in West Lebanon before our final push to the ocean. We’ve come over five thousand miles and have just a few hundred more to go.

Posted by Chad at 06:45 AM | Comments (2)
 
Original Comments: Fall Colors
 
We've been having some great fall weather too! It's getting exciting that you're almost there and even more so that you'll soon be home.

Posted by shirley at October 12, 2004 09:03 PM
 
 
 
hey, you guys are starting to blend in with the colours of the leaves! nice!

we've been home for almost a week now, it's good and bad, ivy and mick made up a song about you two not long after we left you, and they STILL sing it!

'chid and migs (ivy accent), on their biiike, with their baags, what a siiiight!' i doubt it will be a chart topper, but i think it's pretty special. let us know when you are back, maybe ivy can sing it down the phone to you.

enjoy the last few hundred miles! i can't believe how far you've ridden - so impressed!
did i tell you my brother got the bronze in the world champs? I know you don't care Chad, but i thought Mags would want to know. downhillers are cool too!

e xx
Posted by eM at October 12, 2004 11:22 PM
 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Extra! Extra!

Originally Published October 5, 2004 by Chad

We have finally made the news! This article about us was in the Coshocton, Ohio Tribune on Sept 28.

Posted by Chad at 09:04 AM | Comments (2)
 
 
Original Comments: Extra! Extra!
 
You guys are famous!! How does it feel? I was pretty excited to see South Dakota mentioned in the article. I'm glad that you found gas for your stove. Ben and I thought we were going to have to send some supplies to a post office in New York or PA. Knowing that you have your bike fixed and a way to cook food now, I'll worry a little less.

Have a great trip through the eastern part of the country! Be safe and if you need anything let us know.

Shannon
Posted by Shannon Brattebo at October 5, 2004 10:02 AM
 
 
chad and mags,

It's been great checking out your web site every couple of days and reading of your adventures. You guys are truly amazing!!! With all of the media attention you're no doubt becoming celebrities destined for familial legends and folklore in a few years. I really wish I could be along for the extreme ride--but I'd only be helpful on the down hill side of the ride--since I've only pedaled my bike a couple of times this summer. I get great delight at your humorous descriptions of the people, food, and cultural diversities that exist our great land. It adds a new demension to my otherwise predictable work-a-day week. I'll be fairly deflated--as you can imagine--when it all comes to an end. Perhaps next summer I could interest you and Mags in navagating the steepest white water river in the world--located in the Himalayas--known as the Dude Cosi. It contains over 80 miles of high intensity continuous rapids--now that would be something to write home to mom about--wouldn't it!! Take Care--Alan

Keep in touch!!!
Posted by alan at October 7, 2004 12:37 AM

Friday, September 26, 2014

Moosewood

Originally Posted October 5, 2004 by Mags

Sunday was an effortless, smooth ride of 100 miles. We rode from Lantz Corner, Pennsylvania to Lawrenceville, PA among hills with leaf colors and near a river for most of the way. It was mostly downhill. In Lantz Corner, a lady that we'd met at the United Methodist chicken and biscuit dinner let us stay at her motel so we felt all rested up. For dinner, we ate at Patty T's in Lawrenceville where they served a delicacy that we thought was unique to Utah- pistachio pudding/marshmallow/pineapple delight. We also had some homemade blueberry pie. We found a pleasant camping spot at the Cowanesque Dam overlook. On Monday we finally found a mechanic, Rich, from Gear-To-Go Tandem Bicycles in Elmira, New York who helped us fix the squeak (knock on wood). It hasn't come back after 35 miles of riding. We reached Ithaca, NY last night and dined at the Moosewood Restaurant (yes, the one that's famous for all those cookbooks). It was good food but we felt the need for a little more protein a.k.a cheese, butter ,cream and turkey. A woman (Charlene) saw us in the Ithaca Commons and offered us a place to stay in a vacant apartment attached to her house. She even set a table and put breakfast food in the fridge. It was so nice to be out of the cold and to take a shower. Ithaca reminds us of a smaller Seattle- lots of hippy types, street waifs and academics all mixed together. It's a fun town. 

Posted by Mags at 09:03 AM | Comments (2)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I Love New York

Originally Posted October 5, 2004 by Chad

ITHACA, NEW YORK. Last night we finally found fuel for our camp stove, even though the trendily dressed clerk at the outdoor store in downtown Ithaca was sure he didn’t have what we were looking for. I bought two canisters this time. Earlier, in Elmira we stopped at Gear-To-Go Tandems where Rich helped us eliminate that annoying screech. If you’re in the market for a tandem, his shop is the place to go. Check out his website here .
Rich at Gear-To-Go Tandems


We ate at the Moosewood restaurant last night, which is the first restaurant we’ve been to in a while that wasn’t all-you-can-eat. I thought it was good, but was disappointed by the small serving sizes. Mags was disappointed because she had such great expectations for it. We both agreed that when you work as hard as we do you need all the grease and fat you can get. She says she still loves the cookbooks. Today we continue north along Lake Cayuga before turning east again to the Adirondacks. The weather report is cool and sunny.


Posted by Chad at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

 Originally Posted October 2, 2004 by Chad



KANE, PENNSYLVANIA. I just ate a breakfast of fifteen pancakes and six sausage links. Last night I had three large helpings of chicken and biscuits with vegetables, then helped Mags finish hers before having two helpings of apple crisp with ice cream. We found all of this food at the Methodist Church’s fall festival. The food was hearty, healthy and abundant. It was a Godsend.

South of here, in Clarion, they were having an Autumn Leaf Festival. There we met a Baptist minister who spent about an hour with me trying unsuccessfully to hunt down some fuel for our stove. While we were at it he introduced me to twenty five or thirty people.

Southwest of Clarion, in Zelienople, we met a man at a bakery who told us he did some cycling too. Moments later we were approached by two little old ladies who said they had heard we were peddling across the country. They had come over to congratulate us and shake our hands. It was sweet.

Everywhere we go we meet interesting and interested people. Our bike piques everybody’s curiosity. Some have told us stories of travels of their own, but most just want to know about our journey. Everybody has the same questions, so I suspect some of you may wonder the same things. So here they are in the order they are usually asked, and with our now well-rehearsed answers:

Where are you from and were are you going?
We started in Seattle, Washington by dipping our back tire in the Pacific Ocean. We're going to Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine to dip our front tire in the Atlantic Ocean.

How far do you go in a day?
It depends on the terrain, the wind and our moods, but we usually go between seventy and one hundred miles each day.

Where do you stay at night?
We usually camp out. We’ve stayed at city parks, state parks, national parks. Sometimes we camp at the side of back roads. Last night we camped behind the Methodist church. Other times we meet people who let us camp in their yard, or even invite us into their home. We have stayed at hotels only five or six times.

How are you getting back?
Amtrak.

How long has it taken you?
Just less than ten weeks to get to Kane, PA.

How did you find the time to do this?
We both just finished graduate school, and don’t have jobs yet.

What will you do when you get back? 
 Look for jobs.

Did you train for this? 
No, but bikes were our main mode of transportation in Seattle. We each rode over seventy miles each week.

Are you doing this for a cause?
Not really. It has always been a dream of mine to cycle across the country. I think it is the best way to see America. Sometimes I tell people that I’m doing it to raise awareness that the bicycle can often be a better transportation choice than automobiles.

Does a tandem make it easier?
Yes and no. On flats and down hills we can go faster than a single bike, but up hills we are just as slow.

Who does the most work?
[I usually defer this answer to Mags, and she defers back to me. Nobody really knows.]

How much does it all weigh?
I don't know for sure, and would rather not find out. I'd say it's all about one hundred pounds.

Do you carry a gun? [Asked only on Indian reservations]
We carry everything we need.

If I pedaled four thousand miles, would I also look that sexy in spandex pants?
Try it and see baby!

What kind of nutritional supplement do you use?
You can read about that here.


Posted by Chad at 10:06 AM | Comments (4)

Original Comments: Frequently Asked Questions

Chad & Margaret:
Two to three times a week when I catch up on your journey I often wish they made a bicycle built for three. You've definatly had a grand adventure. You picked a great time of year to see the mid-west and eastern states. I bet that the fall colors are beautiful. I have really enjoyed reading about your adventure and living the adventure vicariosly through you. I sure hope you find fuel soon as I'm guessing your both pretty skinny these days. You'll need some warm food and hot cho. God bless the backcountry preacher as he shares his message of alternative transportation modes.

Vincent

Posted by Vincent Genetti at October 2, 2004 10:36 AM
 
I've emailed a copy of the news paper article to your other email address. It was exciting to see it. Love, Mom

Posted by shirley at October 2, 2004 12:34 PM
 
Chad's driveway!

Remember when we were little riding in the car and dad said that " All roads lead to your driveway"? We laughed because you had such a hard time figuring how that could be. With all the roads you've covered now I bet you've figured it out. Love, Devin

Posted by devin at October 2, 2004 01:40 PM
  
I hope you have fun in new york

Posted by kaden at October 3, 2004 03:49 PM
 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Squeaks, Power Plants and Reverends

Originally Posted October 2, 2004 by Mags


 The theme for the last couple of days has been bike squeaks, power plants and Reverends. Since we haven’t written in awhile and a lot went on I’ll provide a short synopsis in bulleted form.
Tuesday, September 28 Spent night in Weirton, West Virginia. Weirton is right on the Ohio River and the valley is filled with huge steel plant apparatus and cloud making stacks. While waiting outside the library a woman (Theresa) asks if we need a place to stay. We spend the night at Theresa’s house, a 100 year old building with a creaky wood staircase and heavy cherry wood doors. It’s a cool, old place and Theresa treats us great- she gives us a dinner of baked beans and franks, cole slaw and fresh tomatoes. The first real, good tasting food in days. We get to take a bath and hang out for the evening. It’s amazing that she’d offer her home and hospitality to us.


Theresa and Robert of Weirton, WV
Wednesday, September 29 Frustrating day due to the constant squeak and grating noise produced by the bike every time we pedal. Chad is going crazy with the noise. We pass through Shippingport, Pennsylvania which has 5 massive cement stacks gushing steam from the First Energy nuclear power plant.


First Energy Power Plant, one of the first nuclear plants in the world
Just outside Shippingport we stop at Charlie’s Kountry Convenience store and ask if there’s any bicycle shops around. Charlie’s wife, Billy, offers to drive us and the back wheel to a bike shop in Ambridge about 15 miles away to get the bearings repacked. Mechanics at bicycle shop puzzled by our problem but mess around a bit and tighten up the cassette. Billy takes us back to our bike near Shippingport when we discover we’ve left a crucial part at the mechanic’s. Billy then drives Chad the 15 miles to the bike shop again to pick up the part. By the time they return Billy’s spent the whole afternoon driving us around! How many people would do that for complete strangers?! Then since it’s too late to get on the road again she and Charlie let us stay in their barn and take a shower in their house. We LOVE showers. We set up our bed in the barn but then a spider the size of my palm heads for our sleeping bags and we pitch our tent outside.


Charlie and Billie in their store

Thursday, September 30 Squeak returns after 10 miles of riding and begins to drive us insane. We reach Clarion, PA where we spend the night camped out behind an Aldi grocery store and next to a cell phone tower. You really can camp just about anywhere if you’re not picky.
Friday, October 1 We wake to a very cold morning- damp, sunny and freezing. Ride into downtown Clarion where the Autumn Leaf Festival fills the entire Main Street. We stop for doughnuts and hot chocolate then Chad searches for a fuel canister for our stove. We have not been able to find one since Illinois. Chad meets Mark, reverend for the Zionlife Church in Clarion. Mark knows everyone and leads Chad on a wild ride through town trying to find the fuel. Several thousands of people are milling around looking at all the crafts and tons of people come up and talk to us. After more than 2 hours of looking around we give up and Reverend Mark and his friend Henry send us off with a prayer and a bag of organic dried fruit and carob balls.


Henry and Reverend Mark of the Zionlife Church

Towards evening we ride into Kane, PA where we find a chicken and biscuit dinner at the Methodist Episcopal church. The dinner’s not supposed to be all you can eat but the Reverend makes an exception for us and personally refills Chad’s plate at least 3 times. They bring us two huge servings of apple crisp with ice-cream and let us camp out behind the church.


Reverend Lake of the First United Methodist Church of Kane, PA

So there you have it- the going ons of the last couple of days. So far the eastern states have treated us very well. Our only problem is that our equipment is starting to break down i.e. the squeak of the bike, our Thermarest (sleeping pad) is growing a tumor and we can’t find stove fuel. But, you’ve got to expect that I guess after more than 4,000 miles. 

Posted by Mags at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Changing Perceptions

Originally Posted Sept. 27, 2004 by Chad


COSHOCTON, OHIO. We have never been to Ohio before, so when we rode into it on Friday we were eager to see how it was different from Indiana. Rather than seeing a difference, we smelled a difference. We were riding past pig farms, chicken farms, dairy farms, dead skunks and anything else that could produce a stench. Our first impression was, in a word, Ohio stinks! We were assaulted by a new noxious, insidious or foul smell every mile.

We were happy to finally reach the town of Coldwater so we decided to stop for dinner in the fresh air. There we met Liz Schriner, who’s husband, Joe, is running for president. You may have heard of him because he also ran in 2000, he’s the Average Joe that is taking "back roads to the white house." Joe came out and shook our hands, but was too busy schmoozing to chat with us. Liz asked us a bunch of questions about our trip, and took notes of our answers. She even took our photo, so I think we’re going to be in Joe’s next book about his 2004 campaign. You can read about his platform at his website: http://www.voteforjoe.com/

In Coldwater we also met a reporter for a small alternative newspaper. She interviewed us while we ate at the Chinese Buffet. When we told her we usually camp out she invited us to sleep at her house. In the morning she made us breakfast and gave us a map of Ohio (which we didn’t have because our original route didn’t take us through Ohio). Our perceptions of Ohio were changing.

Lisa and her sons, Ben and Aaron

On Sunday we went to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in the city of Delaware. We thought it would be a good place to sit and rest but we didn’t realize they do so much standing up and kneeling down during their service. I wonder what religion has the easiest service to sleep through.

East of Delaware we entered Ohio’s Amish country. Along a little country road I saw a vine of ripe tomatoes and had to stop. There was a table loaded with tomatoes on the front porch. As I approached a couple of dogs started making a ruckus so their owner had to come out to quiet them down. At first I though it was an old man with a shaggy beard and hat, but as he got closer I saw that it was a kid of about 16. I asked if the tomatoes were for sale and he told me that they didn’t sell them on Sundays.
“Mmm…that’s too bad” I said, feeling a little sheepish for asking without realizing I was at an Amish home. “Do you think I could just have some?” I finally asked.

“I guess I could just give you some,” he said with his slight German accent.

That broke the ice a bit and he started asking about our trip. He seemed impressed with the distance we had traveled but he was a still little reserved. I would have loved to talk with him more, because I know so little about his way of life but I just felt uncomfortable there in my skin-tight shorts and lycra shirt, with him in his heavy homemade pants and shirt that covered all the way to his ankles and wrists. I wonder what his perception of us was. He and I were obviously from different worlds. He helped me pick out four delicious tomatoes, I thanked him and we were on our way.

I guess Ohio doesn’t stink after all. Here in Coshocton we've met a few people that have convinced me that it definately doesn't, but for that story you will have to wait.


Posted by Chad at 12:15 PM | Comments (2)
Original Comments: Changing Perceptions 

Diploma arrived in mail today, guess that means your some of the best educated peddlers around. Seems you are moving accross the states fast now and will soon be there.

Posted by shirley at September 28, 2004 09:42 PM
 
That was a great newspaper article about your trip in the Coshocton news. The picture was good too, hope to be able to obtain a copy of the paper.

Posted by Shirley at October 1, 2004 08:12 PM

Monday, September 15, 2014

Where cool was born


 FAIRMOUNT, INDIANA. After crossing Illinois, which made Iowa look mountainous, we spent three days in Urbana. It was good to see our friends from high school and college and our bodies really needed the rest. When we left Urbana we followed county roads most of the way across Indiana. The roads we were on weren’t on the map so we only had a general idea where we were at any given time. It made it a little difficult planning breaks and restocking our supplies.
One of the towns we did happen to go through was Fairmount. When we stopped at the first stoplight we had seen in a hundred miles we heard oldies music and saw classic cars lining the streets. We stopped to look around and found that we were in the town that James Dean grew up in and that they have a festival for him every September. We ended up camping under the water tower and went to the car show the next morning.

The museum in town had a lot of Dean’s stuff, including the motorcycle he owned when he died. There was also a room dedicated to Garfield, because Jim Davis, his creator, was also from Fairmount. That’s how Garfield made it onto the water tower with Dean.


At the car show, called the Annual James Dean Run, there were lots of fifties-era Mercurys like Dean drove in Rebel Without a Cause. We decided to get our pictures taken in front of our favorite cars. Neither of us chose a Mercury, nor the replica of the Porsche Spyder that Dean was driving when he died.





Finally, on our way out of town we stopped at the cemetery where Dean is buried. It’s true, his marker is smeared with lipstick from loving fans. You can also see an unlit cigarette someone left for him.




Friday, September 12, 2014

Cow Psychology

Originally Posted Sept. 23, 2004 by Mags

Our main pleasure as we cross the dull, husked prairie (or, as one sign benevolently described it- “A Friendly Land of Infinite Variety”) is an investigation of America's most beloved and well-fed animal: the cow. Although range cows have been maligned by many as the laziest, fly-infested, chigger-ridden, land eroding, disgustingly bloated maggots ever to trample the earth, we intend to take a more objective approach in identifying their unique traits and psychology. Our field work into cow psychology is conducted in the plains and prairie states of the western and mid-western United States. A typical field experiment proceeds as follows:

Somewhere in the rolling hills of South Dakota, Nebraska or Iowa


We plow wind, our knee caps split with pain. Then they appear as we round a curve. Cows! Brown, black and white cows, all stationary with their heads bowed to the grass. Then the sentry cow lifts her head and looks at us. Her spoon shaped ears stick out on each side of the broad face, her two front legs are stanchioned beneath her torso. The torso stretches outwards and downwards within a huge ribcage. Soon the entire herd of 72 cows is staring at us. We are now 10 feet from the sentry cow separated only by a barbed wire fence. “GITONOUTTAHERE! MOVE IT MOVE IT! GIT-GIT!” The cows start and begin to stand. “GITONOUTTAHERE!” we yell again. We are jubilant. The sentry cow turns and trots up a hill behind the herd. Then all of them are running up the hill. Tremendous bellies of all colors swing from side to side. Cow flesh surges together in herd flight. At the crest of the hill they've all come together, they rub and brush each other as they run. 

Analysis of field experiment:
The first sign of the herd’s intelligence is the detection of the researchers before we speak. It is to their credit that the herd is able to distinguish us (brightly clad pirates on a long bike) from the 18-wheelers that rush past them everyday. The herd’s ability to identify something abnormal such as us suggests that the herd may still perceive danger although their capacity to avoid danger, say, in the shape of a grizzly bear has been greatly reduced by hundreds of years of human selection for massive torso size and small leg diameter. 


The next indication of the cow's intelligence is its ability to distinguish between different words. In early attempts to incite exercise among the herd we would yell the word "maa". In practice it sounds like a twisted, harsh version of "moo". A "maa" shouted in a shrill stacotto only ever illicited a glance from the herd but the phrase "GITONOUTTAHERE" caused a swift, organized stampede in 71% of the trials. 


In conclusion, we suggest that cows are not stupid, stinky beasts but are actually sensitive, community oriented hive organisms that respond well to repeated phrases and high decibel yelling.
Posted by Mags at 02:57 PM | Comments (1)

Original Comments:  Cow Psychology

Your cow story brought back memories of when I was dating Earl. He had spent the summer building a small boat and was eager to try it out on the Jordan River. As we floated down the river we saw a baby calf that had fallen into the water. The distressed mother cow was standing near the washed out bank bellowing for it to climb out. It was obvious there was no way it could get get up over that steep bank. I told Earl that if he could get the boat over to the bank and stable it there with the paddle that I could climb out and help the calf up. I had barely exited the boat when the whole herd that had been grazing not far away came stampeding right towards me. GETOUTOFHERE was exactly what was going through my mind as I almost tipped the boat over trying to get back in. Then I heard Earl say Stop!Look! I turned and watched as the bull or master of the herd came down and got in front of them and they all stood frozen in place. He certainly had control over them and it was obvious that he recognized I was going to help.I climbed out again and took hold of the front legs of the little one and helped it up over the edge. It immediatly ran over to its mother and began nursing and the others returned to their grazeing.

Posted by Shirley Harris at September 24, 2004 10:49 PM
 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dog's Country

Originally Posted Sept. 22, 2004 by Mags


 We’re lucky that we didn’t get some chunks of flesh taken out of our thighs during our first morning in Indiana. During the first hour’s ride about 10 dogs from 10 separate houses aggressively pursued us. At one place a vicious little brown dog took after us, we spurted off and then just as the brown dog was giving up another dog from the neighboring house ran after us. The good thing about being chased by dogs is that you go fast without really thinking about it- you’re so worried about those slicing white teeth latching on to your Achilles tendon. The only leash laws in Indiana must decree that all dogs go unleashed because almost every house had a dog and almost every dog was loose and feisty. I got so paranoid that I put some pepper spray in my pocket in case we couldn’t get away fast enough. All the dogs in Ohio have been quite friendly- most are locked up and the ones that aren’t just want to play. Just before we reached Fairmount, Indiana we met Helmut and Josie on one of the small country roads. Helmut is a very friendly guy who saw us riding down the road and called out at us to come back. Helmut came to America in 1960 and worked as a skilled tradesman for General Electric in several states. His wife, Josie is from Chicago and they’ve lived in Indiana for several years. It was fun to talk with them- they gave us some water and some cookies (Helmut said that was his good deed for the year) and we headed out towards Fairmount. Anyways, we’re now in Ohio, which is quite stinky in the flat areas- lots of pig and poultry farms. The smell is a combination of toejam, fermented dirt and sweaty socks. It makes Chad smell like a strawberry pie. 

Original Comments: Dog's Country
Strawberry pie? Somehow I doubt that.
I was delivering Matheson for Governor literature several weeks ago in the Orem area. I walked up a driveway and suddenly faced a charging, frothing, black lab. I nearly wet myself. Fortunately, the homeowner was in the garage and called off the fearsome animal. I thanked him and handed him the literature. I think he wished he hadn't saved my life. Maybe dogs are meant to protect us from unwanted mail.

Posted by Doc at September 28, 2004 08:14 AM
 
As I read about the dogs I couldn't help but think of your (Margaret) fated attempt to walk poor Emma last year. I could just imagine Emma's yaps piercing the neighborhood after you rang the doorbell to see if anyone was home, and her continued hair-bristling growling that was meant to keep intruders away as you peered through the back door. Little did she know that it was you, a tired grad student longing merely to stretch your desk-cramped legs with the excuse of a locked up furry creature needing love and leg stretching as motive to put off that thesis yet a little longer. She sorely missed out that day. Maybe these dogs were really just wanting a little exercise too?
I don't know how many people out there are following this trip. . .but these pages have kept me entertained all summer, and continue to be a good excuse to put off all of my homework just a little longer :)
p.s. just got back to Seattle, and in case you were wondering, it is still rainy.

Posted by Starr at September 30, 2004 01:00 AM
 
That was a great article and photo in the newspaper. I was only able to read the first page as it was continued on page 4A and somehow I can't figure out how to make this computer find that page as of now. Love, Mom

Posted by shirley at October 1, 2004 08:37 PM

Monday, September 8, 2014

Though hard to you this journey may appear

Originally Published Sept. 18, 2004 by Chad

For the past few days we have been following the Mormon trail. That is the route the Mormon pioneers, including some of my ancestors, followed across the prairie that eventually led them to the valley of the Great Salt Lake. They followed the trail to flee persecution. We too were persecuted a few times by teenagers in cars heckling us as they drove by.

In truth, however, we didn’t really follow any trail. We followed the “Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail Auto Tour Route.” We hoped we would see historical markers—you know, the brown signs at the sides of highways that nobody ever stops to read—along the way, but there weren’t many of those. There were occasional signs indicating we were crossing the actual trail the pioneers followed, but the cornfields there looked just like the cornfields everywhere else. I think once the trail went through a field of soybeans. That was interesting.

Just east of Fort Madison, Iowa we crossed a toll bridge (free for bicycles) over the Mississippi River, and then turned south for nine miles to Nauvoo, Illinois. Nauvoo is a city built on previously unwanted swamplands that was the epicenter of Mormondom from 1839 to 1846. In its heyday it had nearly fifteen thousand inhabitants and rivaled Chicago in size.

Mormons, or Latter-day Saints, as we prefer to be called, came from all over the U.S. and Europe to settle in Nauvoo. They were building their Zion where they could prosper and worship freely. But while the city flourished, tension between the Mormons and other residents turned to violence. When Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet and leader, was killed by a mob in 1844 the Mormons knew they must move west again.

Now one hundred fifty eight yeas later, the Mormons are back in Nauvoo again. They have turned most of what remains of the old city into something of a Mormon Disneyland. The buildings have been restored, there are wagon rides for kids of all ages, and demonstrations by blacksmiths, bakers, carpenters, rope makers and candlestick makers, all done by unpaid volunteers. Everyone should go there at least once, and it’s all free.

Although much of the history of the place seemed to be glossed over with LDS positivism, Nauvoo has been so well restored that it is impossible to not get a sense of the hardships those pioneers went through to build their city, and the even greater trauma of leaving it all behind.

There were two highlights of my visit to Nauvoo. First was the raccoon that chewed through our panniers and stole all of our food when we camped at Nauvoo State Park. You might say that gave me a sense of the persecution and later the starvation the pioneers endured.

The second highlight came from the land and records building. There I looked up my great-great-great grandfather and learned where in town he had owned land. We went to the lot and discovered a home still there. It looked like an old home, but I’m not sure if it is really his home. I should have knocked on the door to ask the current occupants.



Seeing the lot where one of my ancestors had lived and labored to build the city of Nauvoo, then learning about the trials he and his fellow believers went through, brought him to life for me in a way I’ve never before felt. I will be forever grateful that he and his family moved west so I could grow up among the mountains of Utah instead of the desolate and often boring Midwest. Its endless cornfields and endless winds were sometimes too much to bear.

I wonder what my great-great-great grandfather would have to say if he saw the way I live today. Would he choose to travel by bicycle instead of Ox and wagon? I don’t know, but he would probably chide me for imagining heckling from teenagers as persecution.

Posted by Chad at 09:00 AM | Comments (4)
 
 
Original Comments: Though hard to you this journey may appear
 
I enjoyed reading that you were able to visit David Cluffs land and seeing the pictures of it you sent to my regular email address. I think you should put that picture of you standing in front of the house on this website. Who knows maybe one of our distant relatives may see it and be able to identify whether it is the original house.
Posted by shirley at September 20, 2004 10:20 PM
 
OK, it's there now.

Posted by Chad at September 21, 2004 07:44 AM
 
--News of Twins—They are about ready to come home—maybe tomorrow the 23rd
--Maggie’s allergies—Your staples of cheese and bread may be making your allergies worse. Check your email for additional info from me
--Nauvoo relatives of Margaret’s—Husband and wife Enoch Perham Rollins and Sophia Philbrook. Came with 7 of their children to Nauvoo 6 weeks after the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred. They were very disappointed not to have been able to meet him. According to a family history “Enoch spent a great deal of time working on the Temple. Was ordained into the 8th Quorum of Seventies. His trade of wheelwright and carpenter was very much needed in the wagon shops where he helped the brethren with their outfits to come west.” Two of their children died in Nauvoo, and their last child Charles Drowne Rollins was born in Nauvoo. Charles is Margaret’s great-great-great-?grandfather on the Harris side. On the Fox side of the family Henry Allen Beal and his parent John and Ann Deacon Beal, Myron Nathan Crandall and Tryphena Bisbee were married in Nauvoo.
Love, Melanie

Posted by Melanie Harris at September 22, 2004 09:19 AM
 
Dear Ones,
Better to be attacked by racoon than bear but too bad if you had to replace your bike furniture. That equipment is probably hard to come by in the small towns around Nauvoo.
I got into your "connections" and thought about architecture and vocal music. When we were in Wales I noted that many older homes looked alot like those in Nauvoo and again in some pioneer town of Utah. Many of our ancestors came from Wales. In addition, I bought a CD of Wales choir music and it sounded so much like the Tab Choir. When wondering at times who we are (the Polynesians for example seem to have a firm grip on who they are) seeing the stream of architecture and hearing the patterns of music gave me a clearer sense of who I am.
Thinking of twins - Natasha, Nikia and myself moved the crib (dissembled and reattached) from Natasha's room to Logan and Glory's bedroom then fixed it all up with new mattress and covers for Chantell and Jadira. It would have been fun to be there when they arrived home today (if it happened).
Love, Dad Carl
Posted by Carl Harris at September 22, 2004 08:47 PM
 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Centerville, Iowa

Originally Posted Sept. 13, 2004 by Mags

The good news is the winds have finally stopped! The bad news is that the rains began this morning. Last night it blew ferociously the whole night. The wind combined with the itchy, sweaty, sticky conditions produced by the excessive humidity, lack of showers and everpresent bugs created a very restless non-sleep filled night. However, we hope to find a shower tonight and we're making better time due to the lack of winds. The rain is a bit chilly but a relief from the stuffiness. We plan to be in Nauvoo by tomorrow. Stopped at Garden Grove, IA this morning where the Mormons established a settlement in 1846 on their way west. They had several buildings and it was a nice pit stop for future migrants. They're kicking me off the computer- so bye for now.
Posted by Mags at 01:51 PM | Comments (4)
 

Original Comments: Centerville, Iowa
 
Dear Margaret and Chad,

I'm sorry you're having to deal with so many irritations all at once but I guess it by contrasts that we come appreciate when things are really good. Are you going to stay at the Nauvoo State Park Campground? That was the place we stayed at for several days back when our larger Harris family gathered there. That was when Bret Goodwin went with us and he and Addie kind of had eyes for each other. There is another nice campground just walking distance south of town run by the Reorganized LDS that we stayed at a couple of years ago when we had the latest large Harris Reunion. Two years ago this coming November we had our annual siblings (me and my siblings and spouces) get together in Nauvoo. We stayed in the White House bed and breakfast. Just a couple of blocks east of the temple. In August of 1969 Mom, Heidi, Logan, and I stayed at a little motel on the south side of the road as you enter Nauvoo from the east. It is still there and brought back memories when we saw it a couple of years ago because the night we stayed there the water in the parking lot was up to the hub caps on our little Econoline Ford Van because of a downpour. Natasha's birthday this Saturday. Love, Dad
Posted by Carl Harris at September 16, 2004 06:36 AM
 
Chad & Mags:

I'm watching your trip with a lot of interest. It's incredible to see how far you have gone. There's a couple from our ward serving a mission in Nauvoo (Monte & Shirley Holt). If you're still in Nauvoo try to look them up - I'm sure they are good for a free meal. Tell them you know me - my son is actually house sitting for them while they are on their mission
Best and Warmest Regards

Posted by David Johnston at September 17, 2004 09:56 AM
 
We met you when Bob & Joyce Gillman visited your folks in July. Your journey makes fascinating reading. We did visit Rapid city some years ago on a tour of the USA - we saw Mount Rushmore from a tiny helicopter.We think our trip in the hire car was more comfortable than your bike ride. Good luck on the rest of your journey.
Janet, Ron & Chris in Culcheth, Northwest England.

Posted by Janet, Ron & Chris Davies at September 18, 2004 07:44 AM
 
Hi Chad and Mags,
I just got my own email address so I can write to you now and you can write me. I'll be followig your website more closely now I hope. Take care.
Posted by devin at September 19, 2004 10:48 PM
 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pyramid scams

Originally Posted September 13, 2004 by Chad

ANITA, IOWA. I am tired of all this wind. It saps our strength and motivation faster than any mountain ever did. Today we crossed Interstate 80 and continued three miles south to Anita, where we stopped for a break from the wind and the sun at the Anita Café. It’s right downtown. I ordered a turtle sundae and Mags got a strawberry milkshake. While we were waiting for our ice cream we were approached by a woman from another table. I knew we were in trouble as soon as I saw she was wearing a name badge.

She used the same ice breaker that everyone else uses when they want to talk to us; she asked us where we were from and where we were going. She said she had seen us riding into town. When we told her that we were going across the country she said she was doing the same thing, in fact she was going all the way to a conference Salt Lake City.

She asked us what sort of nutritional supplement we use to help us ride. “We stop for ice cream.” I said. She either didn’t think that was funny or she was nervous because she went right on with her sales pitch. What I should have done is tell her what I had for breakfast that morning at the Chatterbox Café in Audubon:

3 scrambled eggs
4 slices of bacon
2 pieces of toast with jelly
A pile of hashed browns
A “short” stack of pancakes that the waitress warned me were the size of hub caps

I didn’t have room or need for any supplements after eating all of that. But Elizabeth continued telling us that athletes around the world are flocking to their supplements, including the Canadian and U.S. speed skating teams. She also said that it was a great business opportunity for us because we could tell people about it along our ride, then collect a commission each time somebody bought something. Her partner, who by this time had come over to back up Elizabeth, said “It’s the business strategy of the 21st century”.

Hoping to get a free sample, I asked if they had some sort of sports drink. Elizabeth said yes and ran out to her minivan, which was covered with stickers advertising their miracle health supplements, and came back with a couple pamphlets but no free sample. They said they only had enough for themselves on their trip. I guess it does take a lot of energy to drive a minivan down I-80 all the way to Salt Lake, so I can forgive them for not having a sample for me, but how do they ever expect to make a sale if potential customers can’t sample the product?

In all honesty, I find the whole thing a little offensive. We have ridden our bike over three thousand miles and a couple of pudgy retirees from Canada tell us that we need some sort of supplement to give us energy and heal our bodies. Lewis and Clark made it across the continent without supplements, so did Dominguez and Escalante, and the Mormons, the Forty-niners, and Simon Fraser. The pony express riders made the trip in about ten days. None of them even had paved roads to travel on.

And finally, why is the conference in Salt Lake City? What is it with Utah and multi level marketing? There is a new miracle health tonic that creates a stir there every few years: Nu Skin, Melaleuca, Tahitian Noni Juice, Usana. I asked my father-in-law about that once and he said it’s because so many Mormons are in need of extra cash and because the Latter-day Saint Church is set up such that there is a lot of networking. I hope he’s right, because I always thought it was because there were so many suckers among us.

I too have a program that will restore your energy and heal your body. It’s called exercise. I just need to design a multi-level business plan and I can make millions. Will you invite me into your home so I can tell you more about it?


Original Comments: Pyramid scams
 
Chad,

Would you come to my home and tell me about your exercise plan? How about next week? Hah.
Doc

Posted by Doc at September 13, 2004 03:42 PM
 
Hi Chad and Margaret,

I laughed all the way through this impassioned narration of the supplement encounter because it is so typical in today's "take control of your own health" culture. You know though, the Chinese have been at this game for nearly 5,000 years. I can't count the number of times in China that Chinese have said to me as I was eating particular part of a cow's intestine that it would be good for some part of my body. But maybe there is some truth to it. I know during my 30 months in Samoa as a 20-21 year old that those missionaries, Palagi and Samoan alike, who took the "missionary vitamins" every day did not get boils and those who did not, especially when they were living on breadfruit, got boils (I never had one in the whole time). Then there is one doctor who told me all supplements do is produce expensive urin. Hey, its easy to really get into this topic. Thanks for the laughs. Carl


Posted by Carl Harris at September 14, 2004 07:05 AM
 
 
Just currious, what do you weigh Chad?

Posted by Funk at September 14, 2004 11:01 AM
 
 
Funk, I think I weigh about twelve and a half stones.

Posted by Chad at September 15, 2004 01:25 PM

Friday, August 29, 2014

Straight roads

Originally Posted September 11, 2004 by Chad

SIOUX CITY, IOWA. When we rode down out of the Black Hills into Rapid City last week a chapter of our journey came to an end. That was the last of the mountains we will see for over a thousand miles. I know that the rest of South Dakota is not really flat, and Iowa has its Loess Hills, but there will be no more mountain passes to test our mettle on the way up and our nerves on the way down. Up till now, our route has been dictated by rivers and mountains. We’ve followed the Skagit, Methow, Pend Orielle, Columbia, Clark’s Fork, Yellowstone, Snake, Salt, and Bear rivers. We’ve ridden in the drainage basins of the Columbia, Saskatchewan, Colorado and Mississippi rivers, draining water to the four corners of our continent. We’ve also ridden in the Great Basin, which drains to nowhere. The passes separating these basins were milestones because they are boundaries of climate, geography and lifestyle. They were a challenge to climb that was always rewarded with an exhilarating descent on the other side.

Now we have come to the part of the country where the roads do not follow the rivers. They run straight instead. East and West, North and South. In the west man has adapted to suit the land, but here the land has been adapted to suit man. In the west settlements were islands in a sea of wilderness, here it is the natural areas that are the islands in a ocean of cultivated fields.

We hoped to make our way across these plains quickly and with as little effort as possible by riding the prevailing west winds. However the prevailing winds have not prevailed thus far. We have learned that here the wind assumes the role of the mountains in slowing our progress. It has been blowing hard from the south all week. My shoulders ache every night from fighting against it day in and day out. We are hoping and praying for a change.

Yesterday we pedaled our three thousandth mile just outside of Niobrara, Nebraska. I bought Mags a cake as a reward. Today we continue east from Sioux CIty over the Loess Hills and into America's corn land, I mean heartland.



Original Comments: Straight roads
Dear Chad,

One thing I've appreciated about our entries has been the vocabulary and related geographical, geological, and sociological details that you've troubled yourself to insert. To me it implies your grasp and interest in the big picture of the land the those who inhabit it including the "wild" inhabitants. This entry was particularly fascinating on this point. Probably bikers have a feel like no other group that has crossed the land because you've gone slow enough to notice the small variations but fast enough that you recognize patterns. While I've understood a prime reason for this trip was to free yourselves from the rigors of formal schooling the trip seems in many ways to be continuation of your scholarship but in some ways much deeper.

I feel for your struggle against the wind. Just recently I was riding my bike back to Big Pole from down town Heber and was dealing with a strong wind in my face and side. It really was hampering my progress. Out of the blue here comes Melanie in her car and I take a ride. Had she not come I was contemplating getting off the bike and walking. Makes me think of the task faced by the early handcart pioneers that faced into the prevailing winds you were hoping for as they waded through sand and brush and snow pulling rickety carts loaded with several hundred pounds of food and shelter.

We do also pray for the wind at your backs and all other good things.
 
Love, Carl

Posted by Carl Harris at September 13, 2004 05:43 AM

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Digging for Prairie Dogs

Originally Posted September 11, 2004 by Mags

Have you ever been so tired that you felt sick? Well, that's how I felt last night as we rode into Sioux City, Iowa. We've bucked the winds of the prairie all week- instead of blowing from the west to the east they blew from the south to the north. The strong cross-wind put a serious damper on any thoughts of a 200 mile day. And we thought it would be easy going once we hit the heartland. Anyways, there is one benefit of the strong winds: pungent odors emerging from Captain Cookie are whisked away before reaching my nose. The highway that we took across Nebraska overlaps some of the camping spots of Lewis and Clark along the Missouri River. At one spot they tried to catch a prairie dog by digging down its hole but after shoveling dirt down 6 feet they gave up. Instead they poured water down another hole and pushed the prairie dog out that way. On Friday we passed by the area where Private George Shannon (one of Lewis and Clark's men) got lost for 17 days. He was almost dead before he got reconnected with the Corps of Discovery. 

Comments: Digging for Prairie Dogs
Dear Margaret,

You've seen a lot of evidence related to the passing of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery. Seems you and Chad are a smalleer corps of discovery finding out many new things about the land and all that goes on in connection with the land but also discovering new things about yourselves.

The tiredness has got to me complicated by the alergies. Mom said you were talking on the phone as you soaked in the tub in your first motel since leaving Provo. Well you certainly deserve the motel stop. I sincerely hope your can recuperate sufficiently that the riding can be a pleasure along with a supreme effort.

Our ward's Western Picnic which Mom and I and other members of our ward missionary committee were in charge of turned out to be a wonderful success last Saturday, September 11th. George Korologos's lamb cooked on a spit was done in the Greek Festival tradition and even his father, a life time Greek Orthodox practitioner, said the picnic was more fun than a Greek Festival. George is one of our recent convert baptisms helped through the conversion process by Lew Chappell who preceeded me as ward mission leader. We had about 25 Dutch Oven dishes with a huge variety of foods including some bread that I cooked. There were games for kids and adults including two of the "western" blow up slides, a calf roping station where kids could sit on saddles and rope a wooden animal, rodeo events with stick horses, and lots of other games that our own grandkids loved too. We also had line dancing that Mom and I participated in led by the young women and their leaders. The high light for me was putting up the large handcart pioneer family painting (40 X 30 feet) and our large American flag. The flag was significant because Mom, our MC, lead us in singing the National Anthem, invited a young man to lead us in the pledge and then called on me to lead the gathering in prayer of thanksgiving and tribute to those whose lives are now in harms way and those whose lives have been taken because of political strife. It was a moving experience in part because a number of our non member neighbors were present. It was a moment of sharing deep commitments and feelings. Like some have said there is much more to celebrate that we hold in common than those differences which divide us. Any way the event ended on a high note of Dutch oven coblers and icecream.
I saw the twins last night. There were laying face to face in their hospital setting with all the tubes that sustain them with food and oxegen and also monitor their vital signs. There continues to be progress but it is slow, Glory and Logan are working so hard to help them survive and while it is very taxing they are encouraged. The nurse was really neat with Natasha and Matthew. She let them use the stethscope to listen to the babies hearts and their own. Natasha wants to be a doctor or a nurse.
We congratulate you on your 3,000th mile. We continue to pray for your health, safety, enjoyment, and for the wind to be at your backs.

 Love, Dad

Posted by Carl Harris at September 13, 2004 06:12 AM