Today began at 6:30am with a nice cool morning of just under 74* We ate an oatmeal breakfast and headed out of the Lewis & Clark State Park for a fabulous ride with the wind at our backs. We saw a dead mocassin that someone went out of their way to ensure was dead. We also crossed “Dead Frog Lane” while leaving the park. Well, that’s what we called it because there was carnage. It reminded me of what it would be like if sea turtles had to cross a highway to get to the sea. yea, it was that bad.
Now that I’ve depressed you, let me tell you of a guy Suepinda and I met at the park which just goes to show you that leadership training comes in all forms. He had a young man out camping to get him away from home and be out on his own, well, with him and his girlfriend. But the point is that people see the need for young adults to be guided and given the opportunities that they, themselves, won’t get otherwise. Because at this stage in life teens have stopped listening to the expert advice of their parents and outside intervention is of great help.
The youth cyclists are doing fantastic! For the second day they have completed over 70 miles and are staying enthusiastic with lots of energy at the end of the day. Speaking of Jeimy she tells me that she never sweats and is superwoman! I must agree that she is outstanding and is right up their cycling with Bob B.
As usual, Itza says she actually feels great and cannot wait until tomorrow. She’s so excited. She also rides with Bob. But that’s not surprising. Her and Jeimy only held back last year to make sure I didn’t pass out (hahaha).
My daughter Maysa is certainly the rockstar of the group. She was a last minute add on and is having the time of her life! With no training at all she is riding in the middle pack of cyclists and smiling every (hmm… not every step, is it?) rotation of the wheel.
The boys, Mahlique, Kyvon and Damaris are certainly very strong riders. Showing their prowess by catching up with us after they took a rest break at the local Burger King in Souix City, SD.
Sammy rides hard and strong and takes it upon himself to wait for the meanderers (those who take their sweet time). Well, at least that’s what he’s telling us.
Joseph actually accepted Bob’s challenge of a race during the last section of the ride before making camp and, of course, got dusted. But he was proud of the fact that he was brave enough to do so and laughed the whole time.
Khin surprised herself by going over 20 mph during a part of the last leg. During the first ride she was dogging it with the gremlins holding back her wheel. With the wind at her back she was definitely sailing!
Lastly, and I mean lastly. Kate and I are having the time of our lives bringing up the rear and making sure that no one is left behind. Riding on what Itza calls “endless roads” as they went on and on into the horizon as far as you could possibly see and then disappeared into the haze.
I began working today at 1pm so my cycling experiences ended at the Souix City Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. The place where the only person of the entourage of pioneers died. But there are other wild stories that I hope the youth cyclists will tell. I know a little bit of a guy the group met named “uncle Steve” who was with a friend bar hopping on their bikes. Yikes!! He was given my number to call but I didn’t get it.
Tonight we’re sleeping in the actual campsite of Lewis and Clark as camped along the Missouri River at the Lewis and Clark Heritage City Park in Elk Point, SD.
Today we set off at 7:30 for the very first day of tour. I felt pretty well prepared and was proud of myself for getting ready fast and getting on the road. The first half of the day went along better than I expected especially since Iowa is super flat, unlike the hills in NC. You can look out from the road and see miles and miles out because the land is so flat. Iowa also has lots of corn.
Unfortunately, after lunch, things turned to worse as I got a really bad sunburn rash on my legs which was very painful (I have a feeling I will be slathering on that aloe vera a lot), and got extremely cranky from being so tired, and hot. It was easy to compare myself to Aragon fighting to survive on his horse after being flung off a cliff (Lord of the Rings reference anyone?). I might have been a tad dramatic. The breaking point ended with me having a small mental breakdown by the side of the road but luckily was cheered up by Ms. Sue, Kevin, Jeimy, and Khin.
At the end of the day we totaled 72 miles ending Onawa, Iowa. All in all the first day was pretty rough and I am not looking forward to tomorrow, but I do know next week will be easier. Tomorrow me and Maysa plan on taking it slow and taking some awesome shots of the scenery.
– Kate the Great
13 hrs later SnR youth cyclists arrive at the first overnight stay @ camp Trimble! Tomorrow the rest breaks will be shorter!
Everyone’s excited about the upcoming tour. One of the many discussions was the “National Park passport” that Bob has where he gets a stamp for each visit to a National Park. He was happy to say that he will be getting quite a few more on this tour. Suepinda and I decided to get one, as well, to record out visits as we’ve had a few that would have been included that Bob didn’t. That made him laugh as he said Suepinda had better hurry and because we’ve got a lot of ground to make up and he’s not stopping to wait for us.
After a long ride we finally reached the wonderful home of my bother and sister-in-law, Brad and Jen, in Indiana. Our first stop on the tour. It was that final stop of a not-so-grueling, but long, trip across NC, WV, KY and then Indiana.
Normally a quick 10.5 hr journey it expanded to 13 because each stop became a joyous visit to the restroom, coffee shop and snack counter. I don’t think we want to continue having lengthy stops like this or we’ll never make it to our destination to start cycling. hehehe
My mother-in-law had cooked a good Thai noodle dish for the crew and Brad grilled chicken legs to round out the meal.
After dinner we sang “Happy Birthday” to newcomer youth cyclist, Sammy. Afterward the girls dropped out of sight with my nieces to play “Just Dance III” and the boys went off to play a round of basketball with my nephew, Dillon, while I played with the very little ones a game of cat and mouse.
To round out the night we collected music to play on the van’s MP3 player. We’re ready to roll in the morning.
We begin this summer’s westward tour on June 22, 2012 leaving Chapel Hill for Council Bluffs, Iowa. Once there we’ll be following the Lewis & Clark Trail to Bismarck, ND before heading southwest toward the Black Hills to pick up the Buffalo Soldiers’ 1896 bicycle route .
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the “Corps of Discovery Expedition” (1804–1806), was the first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific coast undertaken by the United States. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, it was led by two Virginia-born veterans of Indian wars in the Ohio Valley, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
Buffalo Soldiers originally were members of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed on September 21, 1866 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
The nickname was said to have been given to the “Negro Cavalry” by the Native American tribes they fought; the term eventually became synonymous with all of the African-American regiments formed in 1866:
▪ 9th Cavalry Regiment
▪ 10th Cavalry Regiment
▪ 24th Infantry Regiment
▪ 25th Infantry Regiment
Spoke ‘n Revolutions Youth Cyclists are proud to commemorate the role that the Buffalo Soldiers played in the early stages of America and to remember the good and the “not so good”. Noting that Black people have been leaders in American endeavors even before the creation of the country. Aligning culturally relavant history to youth cyclists and the community that follows their journeys.
We will also pay homage to York, the first black man to cross the continent north of Mexico and who also played a meaningful role in our young nation’s first exploration of the American West. He faithfully performed his share of the duties required of every member in order for the expedition to reach the Pacific and return*. He had his own rifle. He was a full member of the expedition.
This is pretty close to what we will be doing this summer. The only possible route change will be in week 3. We are trying to figure out how to get from Bismarck to Billings. The route I mapped out below is one I made up so we could have an opportunity to head south west and hit the Bad Lands. Going this route also gives us more time on the Buffalo Soldier route. This, however, adds a few extra days to the total trip. If we don’t head southwest we will just cut directly west from Bismarck to Billings and pick up the Buffalo Soldier route there. We will still hit Theodore Roosevelt National Park .
6/22 – Drive 12 hours to Bloomington, IN – stay @ home of Brad & Jenn Trimble
6/23 – Drive 6 hours to Council Bluffs, IA
6/23 – Lewis & Clark Monument Park & Western Historic Trails Center-Council Bluffs,IA
6/24 – 1st day full ride to Lewis & Clark State Park to spend the night – Onawa, Iowa
6/25 – Day 2 ride past Winnebago and Omaha Indian Reservations thru to Sioux City to Elk Point, SD for the night
6/26 – Day 3 ride past Spirit Mound, Lewis & Clark Lake Regional Visitor Center, Santee Indian Reservation to Niobrara, NE State Park for the night
6/27 – Day 4 cycle to Fairfax, SD for the night
6/28 – Day 5 cycle to Snake Creek Recreation Area for the night
6/29 – Day 6 cycle pass/thru Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation to Fort Thompson, SD for the night
6/30 – Day 7 cycle thru Lower Brule Sioux Indian Reservation, thru Fort Pierre National Grassland to Fort Pierre for the night
7/1 – Cycle to Akaska, SD for the night
7/2 – Cycle past Cheyenne River Indian Reservation and Standing Rock Indian
Reservation to Pollock, SD for the night (visit Pocasse National Wildlife Refuge)
7/3 – Cycle thru Sunburst Lake National Wildlife Refuge to Emmons Co. ND, near Fort Rice for the night
7/4 – Cycle to Bismarck, ND arrive early. Visit Fort Lincoln State Park stay the night to celebrate 4th of July.
7/5 – Cycle from Bismarck, ND to Dickinson, ND, stay the night
7/6 – Spend the day in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
7/7 – Cycle from Belfield, ND to Bowman Haley Lake to spend the night
7/8 – Cycle from Bowman Haley Lake to Belle Fourche, SD to stay the night
7/9 – Spend the day by van traveling to Black Hills National Forest, Custer State Park, and Badlands National Park. Drive to Moorcroft, WY (Buffalo Soldier Route)
7/10 – Cycle from Moorcraft, WY (75 miles) then drive to Sheridan, WY for the night
7/11- Cycle from Sheridan, WY (50 miles) then drive to Billings, MT for the night
7/12 – Drive to Big Timber, Spend night in Tetons
7/13 – Spend day in Tetons & Head to east side of Yellowstone National Park
7/14 – Spend day in west side Yellowstone National Park drive to Bozeman, MT
7/15 – Cycle from Bozeman, MT to Twin Bridges, MT (leave Buffalo Soldier route in Three Forks, MT)
7/16 – Cycle from Twin Bridges, MT to Grant, MT
7/17 – Cycle from Grant, MT to North Fork, ID (visit Sacajawea Interpretive Center)
7/18 – Cycle from North Fork, ID to Hamilton, MT
7/19 – Cycle from Hamilton, MT to Missoula, MT (Missoula is where Buffalo Soldier
Route began and intersects with Lewis and Clark, visit Adventure Cycling Headquarters)
7/20- Cycle from Missoula, MT to Lowell, MT
7/21 – Cycle from Lowell, MT to Ferdinand, ID (Nez Perce Indian Reservation)
7/22 – Cycle from Ferdinand, ID to Pomeroy, WA (possible visit to Nez Perce National Historic Park)
7/23 – Cycle from Pomeroy, WA to Touchet, WA
7/24 Cycle from Touchet, WA to North Roosevelt, WA
7/25 – 7/26 -Cycle from North Roosevelt, WA to Portland, OR (pass Celilo Falls Overlook, Beacon Rock State Park, and Fort Rock Campsite)
7/27- Cycle from Portland, OR to West Port, OR (visit Fort Clatsop National Memorial & Salt Works Camp)
7/28 -Cycle from West Port, OR to Seaside, OR
37 days total, 30 days cycling, Over 2000 total miles cycled
This concludes the first leg of our summer tour. These dates are approximate wherever possible, we will move the dates up if we can ride more on days that are flatter. Our goal is to reach Seaside, OR by 7/28. If our financial situation allows us to continue on next we will travel from……
Seaside, OR we will continue south towards San Francisco (another 840 miles) then drive east another 160 miles to reach Yosemite. We hope to ride an additional 10 days down the Pacific Coast Trail to reach San Fran on the 7th. Spend a full day/evening in San Fran then drive to Yosemite on the 9th of August. Stay in Yosemite the 9th and 10th. Drive back to NC beginning on the 11th. We should reach Chapel Hill, NC on the sometime on the 13th.
***This section of the tour is optional as it is meant to be more relaxed, fun, and carefree. If you would like your teen to continue on they may do so. If not, you will need to purchase a ticket for them to return to North Carolina leaving out of Portland on the 26th of July in the evening or on the 27th in the morning. If they can cycle a bit longer you may also consider purchasing a ticket out of San Francisco for 8/7 in the evening or anytime on 8/8.
7/29 – Pacific Coast Trail, Seaside, OR to EE Wilson Game Area (Monmoth, CA)
7/30 – Cycle from EE Wilson Game Area Monmoth, CA to Cottage Grove, OR
7/31 – Cycle from Cottage Grove, OR to Myrtle Creek, OR
8/1 – Cycle from Myrtle Creek, OR to Medford, OR
8/2 – Cycle from Medford, OR to Crescent City, CA
8/3 – Cycle from Crescent City, CA to Arcata, CA (stop in Redwood National Park)
8/4 – Cycle from Arcata, CA to Humbolt Redwoods State Park in Honeydew, CA
8/5 – Cycle from Honeydew, CA to Westport, CA
8/6 – Cycle from Westport, CA to Gualala, CA
8/7 – Cycle from Gualala, CA to Pt. Reyes Station, CA
8/8 – Cycle from Pt. Reyes Station, CA to San Francisco, CA (spend day/night)
8/9 – Drive to Yosemite National Park, CA
8/9 – 8/10 Spend in Yosemite National Park, CA
8/11 – 8/13 Drive back to NC
15 additonal days, 10 extra days of cycling, additional 840 miles
Final Total: 52 total days, 40 days of cycling, approximately 2900 miles cycled!!!!!