OFFICIAL STATS Total Miles: 1,644.29 Total Elevation: 73,162.7 ft Total Time on Bike: 149 hours 25 minutes 19 seconds Total Estimated Calories: 72,168 Total Flats: 1 Total License Plates: 7 w/ 1 catch & release Utah.
When I first brought up doing another trip like my Pacific Coast trip to Megan, she said go for it. I would have the time available after nursing school was over and before I take the NCLEX and begin my job in October. Things worked out strangely as we decided to travel back to Oregon to see the Avett Brothers and Lake Street Dive in Bend. Bend is 29 miles off route of the TransAmerica Trail. Megan would be working in DC in September and another concert she’s been dying to see was Glen Hansard. He was coming to Oklahoma City while she was in DC, but he would be playing Denver a few days later. With tickets purchased to both concerts, things were in motion.
I didn’t really know if I would follow through so I posted about it. I had to tell others. I needed the pressure, otherwise I’d get on the flight back to OKC from Portland with Megan and just say things didn’t work out. I did very few training rides. I only purchased a few additional items that I didn’t have on my other trip. I didn’t spend enough money to call it s loss if I didn’t go. Even as I packed the bike and on the way to the airport for our vacation, I was still unsure.
The first few days of the trip were hard. Not physically. Mentally. The first day I was a disaster. Sick to my stomach and not eating. I’m thankful I found a James in Dayville to ride with as I started out on my trip. He made things tremendously easier. When we separated in Missoula, I was mentally capable now to go solo. The remainder of the trip, I was solo.
You have a lot of time to think about things when spending so much time on a bicycle by yourself. You remember saying goodbye on day one. You remember the landscapes, the scenery, the wind and peaceful times and the stressful ones. The times where you’re alone and having trouble finding camp. The times where you reach 46.5mph on a bicycle and you know if something goes wrong, it’s going horrifically wrong. The beers you have with friends and the beers you have with strangers. The times where you yell at passing cars because they’re being assholes and the times where people give you a thumbs up, a peace sign, or stick their heads out of the window to yell “awesome trip, good luck.” You remember each time you cross a state line. When you waited out Old Faithful long enough to be faithful and the time when you roll around a corner to lay eyes upon the Tetons for the very first time. You remember when you have your first flat. Each time you perform bike maintenance. Each ramen breakfast and each time you knew you heard a bear. You remember the river/creek/lake/sink showers and each scrape, bruise, bloody sock, painful mornings, sore butts. When you are back in the tree line after days and days of Wyoming wind. You remember the endless climbs and each pass that greets you with a downhill. When seeing mountains off in the distance. You remember the excitement that finishing a ride like this brings.
Meeting cyclists along the way going all directions on so many different routes was incredible and to see. How far they have gone or wanted to go was inspiring for my own trip. I will always remember the details of this trip but what sticks out the most in my memory are the people I met along the way and the ones that supported me from afar. Each comment I received encouraging me to keep going and inquiring about my day’s events was special. Knowing others were enjoying reading about my journey and following along made me want to keep posting and writing about my experiences. Being able to bring Megan along with me on this trip was by far the most exciting. On the pacific coast, WiFi and cell service were far more difficult to come by than this time around. I don’t know if it’s the 5 years difference or if the coast was that much harder to provide service, but I was able to speak to Megan daily and only a few nights were there ever without either WiFi or cell service. I’m thankful for that and I’m thankful for Megan who encouraged me along the way, supporting me on this trip and the last 17 months. Our relationship has grown.
I’m excited that I accomplished this journey , surpassing my last tour by 400 miles. I was able to see many parts of the country that I haven’t seen and was able to do so all on a bicycle. I know I’ll remember more as the days go by but for now, thank you to everyone who followed along, my friends and family for their support and thank you to my friends at home who helped out while I was away.
And now to relearn nursing school.