"I'm Wolf River Bob, and I'm the Lewis and Clark greeter!"

Dan, Anona, and Wolf River BobW.R.B. looking out at the 5 states : Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and
"You're standing in the state of Confusion"

Trying not to get us lost

Dan and lil' Lonnie

Road Block!

Well, a lot has happened since the last post and it's getting harder to keep track of the days.

We left Watkins Mill on Sunday morning and rode down Highway 92 toward Smithville. We chose to take 92 instead of the planned route because it cut out about 20 miles from the trip. It was Sunday, so the road wasn't as busy as usual. We made pretty good time... stopped at about mile 50 for lunch at a English-pub inspired brewery in touristy Weston, MO. They accidently brought us an extra beer oops... but Dan rallied. We ordered a hefty lunch of fish & chips and a salmon sandwich, with lots of fries. We road 50 more miles that day, across another scary bridge in Atchison, KS, to stop in beautiful White Cloud, Kansas at 8:00.

The White Cloud Marina (which was actually a fish gutting station) was right on the main drag, next to the river, and was where the map suggested we camp. There was an info kiosk about the Lewis and Clark Route and a wooden awning structure that had Lewis and Clark info in it. (There was also a bathroom that was full of dead animals, which we discovered without bike lights.) With the exception of the bathroom, the whole place was clean and seemed like as good a place as any to set up camp. We setup our tent and got ready to take "showers" in the water spigot, when we saw an old man with a walking stick come down the road from town toward us. He hollered "hello!" and we said hi, and he came up and introduced himself. "You guys biking in? Welcome to White Cloud! I'm Wolf River Bob, and I'm the Lewis and Clark greeter." We told him what we were doing, and he nodded and said that he watches from his Lewis and Clark Look-out for travellers, and comes down to welcome them, whether they are coming by car, bike, kayak... Wolf River Bob kind of confirmed that it was alright for us to camp by the marina, and he made us feel really welcome! When he walked away, Dan and I looked at each other, not believing that we had just met this guy. He seemed like a character straight out of some old movie.

In the morning, we were greeted again by Wolf River Bob, who came down to let us sign the guestbook, which he kept in a plastic leaf. The guestbook was full of names from the 1970's on, including a guy who kayaked from New York and was heading to Astoria, Oregon, and a guy who biked around the world. We met Wolf River Bob at his antique shop for a tour of the town before we left. He took us (in his pick-up) to his look-out spot and camp site at the top of a bluff. He had cleared an area for camping and bonfires. He had a barn full of old wagons and wagon parts, and an old sleigh and corn shucker. He told us a little about the homes and buildings in town , which was a little sad because it seems that Bob is the only person who cares enough to keep up with all the repairs and maintenence. We almost wanted to stay and help him chop wood and clear brush to get ready for the towns huge bi-annual flea market that he helps put on. W.R.Bob then took us to his antique shop. It was full of treasures (my grandmother would be appalled) ! He had skillets stacked up outside, wheels of all sorts, western boots, shelves of old bottles, and all sorts of memorabilia. The movie Paper Moon was shot in White Cloud, so Bob had a huge cardboard tribute with pictures of Ryan and Tatum O'Neal pasted to it. He had pictures of all the old western movie stars. We learned that Wolf River Bob himself had lived in California and was an expert at the bullwhip and quickdraw. (He once knocked a cigarette from his buddy's lips with a bullwhip!). Apparently he was an entertainer and worked as the maitre'de at a Hollywood restaurant. Whew...that's a lot about Wolf River Bob... We obviously could have spent all day listening to him talk! What a character!

We finally got back on the trail. We rode about 55 miles to Auburn, Nebraska, where we met up with Dan's cousin Leslie. Oh, it felt so good to see a familiar face and to have a shower and a comfortable bed! Leslie really took care of us too! We cooked up some spaghetti and baked some cookies and just chilled out with a movie (through which I lasted about 20 minutes before falling asleep..). Yesterday we woke up early (Leslie is a teacher and had to leave home at 7:30) and ate pancakes and hit the road again. We spent a couple of hours in road construction, and that slowed us down. For some reason we were pretty tired yesterday. We rode 70 miles to Wilber, NE, where Dan's Grandma picked us up in her pickup. Cheating? No way! See, it was going to be a 2 day trip, but we opted to get a ride for the last 60 miles so that we would be able to spend all day today in York. We sure have been eating well here...!

P.S. We didn't say much about our stay with Mitch in Jeff City. He was a real meat & potatoes kind of guy. Like literally...he cooked us up pork steak and potatoes for dinner. Dan and I split a potato and...a pork chop. I couldn't refuse! Dan was itching to tell Mitch that I was vegetarian (after I was done eating) and finally the truth came out. Mitch had a good laugh, and finally said "that's like having a dyke over and sleeping with her before she goes home!" Oh Mitch...


Rest Day!

Today, which is apparently Saturday, (we thought we were a day faster) we take our first rest day! Yesterday we rode about 70 miles, starting in Higginsville and ending up in Watkins Mill State Park, which is just to the west of Lawson. The hills got really steep yesterday, as we rode away from the river. I'm really looking forward to putting some easier gears on once we get to Nebraska.

Yesterday we spent almost 8 hours in the saddle. We got a late start, around noon, and thought about just asking a farmer if we could set up camp in a field. We kept riding though, and made it to the state park just before sunset! It felt so good to be done for the day. As we were unpacking, a guy pulled up to our site to say hi. It was Craig, who we had met on the Katy Trail just a few days back! He said he lives near Lawson and was just camping there for the night with his kids. He invited us over for dinner and even brought us a few things from town. Such a nice guy!

Resting feels reeeeal nice. Slept in late, did the laundry, took long showers, and rode into town WITHOUT the trailer to get some food (chinese buffet was such a bad call) and go to the library. Tonight, hopefully we can get a fire going and be ready to get an early start tomorrow. Times running out on the computer so i'll leave it at that. Talk to you soon!


wow...so much has happened since our last post! it's hard to keep up...

Well, we got out of Jeff City safely (thank you Mr. guy who passed by the library who told me about the bike lane!). Let's see... we made it to Arrow Rock State Park that night and cooked up some dinner and hit the hay. About an hour after we climbed into the tent it started raining. An hour after that we noticed that the ceiling of the tent was starting to drip...then it slowly saturated with water...then our feet were drowned in a pool of water...the thunder started... It rained for half the night and we were soaked. Believe it or not, but our 15 year old tent was no longer waterproof! Somehow we slept a little, and woke up to sunny skies...and NO food. Apparently the raccoons also like red lentils and brown rice. And oatmeal. And soy protein. (I'm an idiot!)

Back on the road... we were finally off the mushy-when-wet Katy Trail and headed to Higginsville, MO. Dan paid me back for leaving the food out and bringing a crappy tent by taking a wrong turn, which he tried to correct by turning down a hilly gravel road. Somehow he redeemed himself when the gravel road spilled us back out on the main highway that we were supposed to have taken. We didn't lose much time, and pulled up at Buck's Country Mart in Higginsville with time enough to eat a whole watermelon and more before we found our camp site. The "campground" was in the fairgrounds/park. Roz, Lonnie, and Little Lonnie met us at the camp site and brought us our new (bigger & better & drier!) tent. I'd never been happier to see them!!!!!!! We set up camp and grilled veggies and cooked split peas for dinner. After dinner we walked across the park to the Sonic for ice cream. Little Lonnie worked so hard to drink his creamy grape slushy through the straw...so cute! We slept well and woke up and had a long leisurely breakfast (delicious eggs, Lonnie!). A park district guy came up to us and offered to open the city pool so we could take some showers. People are so nice! We had a great time hanging out with Rozzy and the Lonnies :-) Pictures are coming later...


The day a butterfly crashed Dan:

Yep, it was a swallowtail with evil intentions. Maybe he was just playing...

I'm in this library in Jeff City and I think I really smell. I should type fast and go outside to relieve people of this stench. Sorry public computer users!

So yes, today we learned to NEVER GO INTO A CITY! We got a later start than we had wanted, but we were making good time. We decided to take the "Jefferson City option" at around 2, with the intention of filling out bottles and getting a bite. Oops. The bridge was scary. I've had a horrible bridge experience in Coos Bay, Oregon, and I did not want to relive it. This bridge had three lanes though, so it was safe to ride across I guess.. While I was outside waiting for Dan while he updated the blog, I made conversation with a library patron, who informed me that there is a bike lane on the other side of the bridge. Now I am no longer dreading tomorrow morning!

If we didn't detour to Jefferson City, Dan's saddle would have been saggy and he might have had some problems, so it's a good thing we came by and learned a thing or two from Mark at the bike shop. After our lunch, we were heading out of the city when I saw a park on my right. Some cyclists were congregating so we turned into the parking lot and struck up a conversation with Sandy and Mitch, who offered us a place to stay. He mentioned BBQ and hot showers, and even says we have to be out of the house by 7 when he goes to work in the morning. Perfect! We are waiting for him at the library now.

Everyone is really nice so far. Some guy leaned out his window in the middle of Jeff City and asked us if we needed help finding someplace. Dan and I just need to practice our routine of setting up and taking down camp, and we'll be all set. It's fun.

Tomorrow we will probably go back to the Katy Trail rather than continue on the road option, because the local cyclists tell us that the road is pretty twisty and there is no shoulder. At night we hope to meet Roz and the Lonnies somewhere. Should be a good time!

first post on the road!

We're in the Jefferson City Library right now, waiting for our new friend Mitch to get back from his group ride.

Everything is 3 times harder when you're carrying all your gear. Of course, I underestimated how fast we'd be able to go. Yesterday, we did the first 30 miles in about 3 hours. After eating lunch, we ran into a HUGE thunderstorm...and it lasted the rest of the afternoon. We really wanted to make it as far as possible on the first day so we road through it the whole way. Only 66 miles in on the first day we decided to call it quits. The rain had made the Katy trail so much harder to ride. Found a campsite a couple miles off the trail and settled in for our first night. Somehow we picked a spot in the park that wasn't actually a campsite...oops. No one came by and said anything though, and our first night camping ended up being free! don't tell...

Today was a much later start than we planned on. We wanted to be on the road by 8, but it ended up being closer to 10! We really need to get our packing up routine down... The day went pretty well, nothing to interesting happened except for a few fallen trees we had to climb over. Oh, I did almost crash after getting hit by a butterfly! That thing tried to kill me, I swear!

Finally, we made it into Jefferson City. We had to go over the highway bridge, which was crazy! There were no shoulders, so we went as hard as we could to get over. The first turn after the bridge we ran into a bike shop. The guy there was so great! He gave me all kinds of tips on how to care for our Brooks saddles and even took the time to tension it for me. We hung out there for a while and then took off to get something to eat. By this time we'd been in the city for about 2 hours already. There's no camping around and our only options were hotel or pitching a tent in a farmer's field. We opted for the farmers field, can't hotel it on the SECOND day! As we headed out of the city, we passed a park and noticed a bunch of cyclists getting ready to leave on a ride. Decided to stop by and chat, see if they new of a good place to stay. A couple sentences in and Mitch offered his place for us to stay the night. Warm showers and a bed tonight! Off earlier tomorrow hopefully. Time to relieve Anona of her bike guarding duty!

Here are some pictures Dad took the first day. Ciao!


This is actually happening!

The last day at Champaign Cycle... I'll miss this place for sure. It's such a weird feeling to be leaving for good. Thanks to everyone here who have made the last 4 and a half years so great! Keep us posted on how things are going and feel free to come ride with us in Portland! Much love to you all

Packing is done! I was up till midnight overhauling/packing the 5 bikes we're shipping out after we get there. Replacing chains and brake pads really adds up! We also have a lot more stuff to ship than I thought we would, but were able to stuff most of it in with the bikes. Tonight, the parents are having a little send off party, then it's late to bed and early up to hit the water park in St. Louis. Anona's parents are meeting up with us afterwards and we'll have our last goodbyes.

Can't wait to get on the road...the preparing for this is the worst part. We'll update as soon as we hit the first library!

last day at the shop

wooooooooooo :*-( tear..

We are having fun setting up a trek 520 as a display bike. It makes my measly two cage mounts look pathetic with THREE bottle cages (but my Fuji has spoke holders on the stay).

Tomorrow we head to St.Louis to hang out with the fam and to get a good night sleep before we set out Monday morning on the trail. We've been going out a lot the last few days with friends and staying up late so it'll be good to rejuvenate before we start the trip... I think we'll go to a water park. Go figure..

My friends Kiona and Doman are in town and last night we went to C-Street and got funky fresh with the awful dj. Tonight there's another going away party at Dan's parents house. Yesterday John A. brought (root)beer and pretzels to the shop and we kicked back on a modified porch. We've been spoiled :-) it's a lot of fun. I'm way way way excited for the trip, for just getting the chance to ride my bike all day, and for living in Portland too. It's a bit sad to leave all the friends I've made in Champaign, but they'll visit!




a note for the faint of heart:  smelling the chamois is optional.  

(that's not a guarantee that I will withhold judgement.)


This is our blog!


Well, actually it's more like unpacking.  We got rid of the majority of our stuff last week when we moved out of the Shire, but now we are left with the task of whittling our pile down to the necessities, which we'll stuff in our panniers and BOB.  

I broke the handles off our spatula and my toothbrush to save weight (and more room for outrageous quantities of Heed!).

We've still got more to do...  it's a bit overwhelming.  I keep going back and forth on whether or not I need a rack bag, and at the moment I think it might be a good idea.  

Now we've been sidetracked by the "Roast of Joan Rivers"...  ohh the posh life at Susan's condo...