Friday, September 9, 2011

2 weeks in.

I don't think I have ever been home sick before, but the first two weeks of this ride had me wrestling with my emotions as the hills and weather pounded me into the ground. So far I have done about 760 miles with 33000 feet of climbing in the past 15 days, rode through 2 tropical storms, and lost 10 pounds.

I shipped the bike to Fort Kent Maine. The bike is 25.8 pounds and my pack weight is 28 pounds without food or water.

It was a honor to speak to some of the freshman class and staff of the University of Maine in Fort Kent. The students are so full of energy for the coming year, and they have so many ideas and goals for what they want to accomplish. It was great to share with them my first ride across the US with all the hardships I faced while never letting go of my goal.

Fort Kent sits in the St. John Valley. A place where a lot of people's first language is French.

In Presque Isle Maine, I was lucky to catch one good day of weather for the balloon festival. The highlight was watching the kids run around inside an old balloon. The shape and color of the space it created was truly inspiring.

On my third day, Irene finally made land fall in Maine. At first this was no big deal as the warm air and rain, was pleasant to ride in. But in the afternoon the rain stopped and the winds picked up. By late in the day I was fighting to keep the bike going straight while crawling across the ground at 4.7 miles per hour. But when the storm passed, it sucked away the humidity and clouds and for the next three days the weather was perfect.

I got my first flat tire on a new rails-to-trails along the coast of Maine. It was a beautiful ride void of any major hills. The path went way off into the back woods, through wildlife areas, and far away from the hands of civilization. The only down side was the dirt and gravel, which made the going slow and rough.

The Bucksport Bridge. At 42 stories, I think it is the tallest structure in Maine.

The original Ft. Knox.

I spoke at St. Michaels in Augusta Maine. They donated $100 to the American Heart Association!

Camping in New Hampshire. Live free or die.

In Vermont I came across the destruction of Irene. Vermont can be so beautiful. Roads that wind through trees, with emerald green seas of ferns flowing across the ground. Giant slabs of slate stacked like stairs with water flowing down like a backyard fountain and the water sparkling like a chandelier. But then I came upon homes ripped apart, people digging their belongings out of the mud, down power lines, children using their toy dump trucks to shovel mud, and more destruction than I would like to remember.

Now the roads get flat and hopefully a calm Fall will welcome me to the next section of my trip, the great lakes.

"Know who you are, Know who you want to be, and Follow your dreams..."
-Antonio Figureida

Location:Albany, NY

1 comment:

  1. You're awesome Chris! keep it up and ride away from those hurricanes.