2,000 miles

December 27, 2009 at 9:21 pm 1 comment

Alright, I’m quite terrible at organizing my thoughts and that makes it difficult for me to chronicle the bike trip. 

So instead of trying to change the way my mind works I’m going to present the bike trip in photographs I took.

Facts:It was just me and my friend Rose, we had no backup plan and no sag wagon. We biked 2,000 miles from Bar harbor, ME to Omaha, NE where we had to stop because of medical problems on my part (which I will explain at the end of the post.)   

You’ll notice that there are very few photographs of Illinois, none of Iowa, and none of Indiana or Nebraska. as we progressed, the will to unpack was gone, so I rarely got to my camera. I wasn’t carrying it in my backpack because I was falling a lot and I didn’t want to damage it. 

here goes! 

We started the whole damn thing in Maine. We live in Pennsylvania. My mother rented a van (seeing as neither of us are 21, we couldn’t do it ourselves) and we drove up to Bar Harbor with all of our gear and our bikes. 

the first place we stayed in had a launderette (especially helpful seeing as all of our stuff was wet. yay rain) and a little book nook filled with cheesy romance novels. 

It may be because I’m sheltered and live in a city, but I had never seen a rock shop before (we would see a few more as we traveled) and I thought it was HILARIOUS. Rose was less amused. 

New England (in this case, Maine) is gorgeous even when its been raining for weeks. 

It was always nice on the days it didn’t rain and I could let everything air out, my wind resistance was cut drastically when I didn’t have huge black plastic trash bags attached to my bike. 

another beautiful campground in Maine. 

My bike, as seen through the window of a starbucks before we crossed over into new hampshire.

I wish I had a photo of my legs at the end of the trip, but this was a couple weeks in, and this was before I fell down a couple gravel hills. Yes, it appears that I have freaky giant calves and that is partially because of the angle and partially because I have big freaky man calves. 


A lovely little covered bridge partway up the kancamangus highway in New Hampshire, we stopped here right after I spent about 45minutes listening to a man who lives on the side of the mountain tell me his life story (I would write down what he told me now, but I know I wrote it down right after he told me and when I find my journal I’ll write it down in its entirety in a future post.) 

Halfway up the Kanc we stopped at one of the MANY “rustic” (meaning water pumps and pit toilettes) campgrounds to sleep for the night. I liked this water pump.

Observation deck at the top of the Kanc.

Eating a lunch of half a loaf of bread each on the top of BREAD LOAF MOUNTAIN in vermont, bread loaf was the first of two mountains we had to cross that day, we were headed to the ferry that would cross us over in to Ticonderoga, NY.

Vermont is gorgeous, though a pain to bike through.

view of vermont from the ferry to Ticonderoga, if I remember correctly its $5 for bicyclists if anyone is interested in using it. Lovely crew very nice people, it stops running at 6:30pm I think. 

New York state.

Our humble abode.

So, it rained a lot (if anyone remembers the beginning of last summer, all that rain?) and eventually we threw caution to the wind and ate breakfast in the tent. We probably should have been eaten by bears. Raisins, PB, Oaty bits, delicious.  

Okay, Okay, I know what the sign means; trucks entering from the left. I just liked  how it looked, so matter-of-fact, Trucks. Just Trucks. Heh. 

Cows! I am actually the cow whisperer, every time I rode by them they would moo and run after me. I love cows. 

Even in june, the weather was still chilly in the mornings and evenings. Rose’s sleeping bag had optional arm holes, and unzipped at the bottom so she could wear it while cooking breakfast. This was along the Erie canal trail in NY, there were a couple camp sites along the trail that were free to stay at for bicyclists, we stayed at this one for two nights since it had been raining a lot and we were exhausted. 

Ohio is flat! 

If I had a truck instead of a bicycle, this statue would be mine. 

Obscure Doctor Who reference! If anyone can contextualize this they will win my friendship forever. 

Ohio

This was at a campground near Geneve on the lake, the night before we were biking from the lake area in to Cleveland to stay with my cousin Arthur and his girlfriend overnight. They are incredibly nice people. 

I know these are rain clouds, but I couldn’t help myself. Every time I saw a storm approaching (once we hit tornado alley) I would freak out for fear of tornados ( I saw twister, I know the damage they can do!)

Soup factory, near Defiance, OH. 

This is Illinois, right before we crossed the mississippi in to Iowa. This is where the photos end. 

I’d been having trouble with my back for the whole trip, and with my hands going numb. When we got to Omaha I went straight to the hospital because my back pain was getting bad enough that I couldn’t ride and I was beginning to have trouble gripping the handlebars. What they told me was that I should just rest my back, and it would sort itself out, but that if I ever wanted to use my hands properly again I would have to stop riding immediately and go get an ENG test done on my arms. Seeing as I am an artist by trade, my hands are very important, so with much sadness we packed up and went home. 

What had happened to my hands: 

The myelin sheath that surrounds my ulnar nerve was completely gone and the nerve itself had been severed at my wrist which was causing all the drama. Apparently, it got that bad because of my very high tolerance for pain. I had just kept going when other people would have been in a lot of pain and stopped earlier. 

However, I am happy to report that almost six months after the fact I have re-grown my nerves almost completely and I have full control over my hand muscles. 

I plan on completing the intended trip eventually.

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Entry filed under: Adventures.

3 things I love that are embarrassing. Abandoned greenhouse photography

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Day 22 « Up the folks  |  February 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    […] I was, at that point burnt out on art, sad, and no idea what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew at that point was that I was about to leave on a cross-country bicycle trip. […]

    Reply

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