United States of America · 38 Days · 38 Moments · February 2017

Brian and Yvonne biking south.

16 March 2017

400 bike miles and 14 days sleeping under the night sky in the Big Bend country is nearing an end. The Sunset Limited pulls into Alpine shortly to carry us deliberately back to Arizona. Baseball and family await. The Chihuahuan desert is capable of changing perspectives. Peace to all.

11 March 2017

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too." Goethe

7 March 2017

Big Bend backcountry excruciatingly breathtaking! 50 wandering miles of gravel, sand, washboard and other unforgiving terrain....all to ourselves. Smiling and repeating my daily mantra, "Gracis a Dios".

3 March 2017

Made it to Terlingua! A stone's throw from the Park. La Kiva restaurant is nice enough to let us camp on their property, down by Terlingua creek, free of charge. They know we will be eating at their restaurant soon. Primitive camping is our theme, complete with 2 folding chairs again. The sky is vast and the feel of this place is easy. Perfect place to layover.

2 March 2017

A tailwind pushed us 20 miles before stopping for a gourmet lunch on the side of the road. Then we fought a steady headwind for 10 more before we called it a day. The campsite was called Jackass. Primitive, but the folks sold cold beer, let us borrow folding chairs, and provided warm showers in the morning. The sunrise alone was worth celebrating.

1 March 2017

After a late start and a quick flat repair we managed to get 28 miles down the road. Rolled into our campsite for the night - a designated roadside Picnic Area with lenient restrictions: $1.00 fine for camping. The law never caught up with us. Our dollar is safe.

28 February 2017

Texas lawn ornaments. And our new friends from Anchorage who stayed in the Lost Alaskan RV Park next to us. They are headed to Big Bend in their sweet van, and volunteered to make a water drop for us while in the park. Alaskans taking care of Alaskans.
RV parks are our friendly places. Warm showers, campsites and places to regroup. Going off the grid for awhile. Godspeed.

27 February 2017

Morning brought us a spectacular sunrise and a clearer head. Our conductor was making his rounds when we stopped him and explained our dilemma. He applied common sense to the equation and resolved our problem immediately. "You have a couple of bikes and you want to get off at Alpine? When we get to Tucson, bring your bikes to this car. There's room. No problem." If in doubt, ask the conductor. Amtrak comes through. Rio Grande still on. Smiles all around.
The train is rolling East now. Circumstance has forced us to buy a ticket to Tucson, storing our bikes in the official Sunset Limited Baggage Car. Tucson is a manned station capable of unloading bicycles from a baggage car. Alpine is not manned. Thus no access to bikes. Looks like we are going to Tucson. There's gotta be some stellar biking around there - right? Modify and adapt. Still - the whole baggage car debacle doesn't add up. But it feels good to be moving, with or without a plan, and the train is cozy. We have until sunrise to plot a new course.
Don't like the answer to your question? Keep asking until you receive the reply you like. EVERYONE told us repeatedly before boarding the train in LA that we could NOT take our bikes to Alpine, Texas (gateway to Big Bend National Park). Hummmm...... That sort of muddles our whole plan. What do we do now? Ticket to Tucson? I guess that could be cool. But letting go of Big Bend? Can't..... quite...... do....... it....... Not yet anyway. So we kept asking. Hoping. All the while looking at maps trying to formulate a plan B and plan C, just in case.

24 February 2017

This is a Journey (Jorni). So many unexpected twists and lovely experiences. I awoke to THIS! Soon we will deboard in Tucson. Our plans are evolving due to some train restrictions.

22 February 2017

West Texas bound. Amtrak to Alpine in search of wide open spaces and lonely roads.

19 February 2017

Family Tour 2017
Chasing citrus blossoms.

16 February 2017

Family Tour 2017 Laughter, love, and endless storytelling. Our family - our core. Brian's every brother and sister on the West Coast hugged and kissed. Our hearts are full.
Buses with bike racks. Yes!

14 February 2017

Mission San Miguel stole our hearts. While in Paso Robles we were struggling to find ANYWHERE to camp. Looking at our map Brian noticed San Miguel, 10 miles up the road, and randomly called the Mercantile store located there. He described our difficulty finding a place to pitch our tent and Mike, the owner of the store, not knowing us from Adam, says, "I got a yard. You can put your tent up there." The kindness of strangers. Our new friend Mike and his wife Mickie have hearts of gold, not to mention a rad truck, and a great patio to watch the sunset from. The little pueblo of San Miguel has chosen a noble path in acquiring land and helping many of the local workers build a home for their family through sweat equity and lending them money. We were so moved by the couple working on their house after working a full day elsewhere. Seems so logical. Uplifting.

13 February 2017

Pedaling back roads through wine country is incredible. Finding a place to camp? Tricky. Paso Robles bound.
A good night's sleep on the side of the road.

12 February 2017

They call this hill "the wall". I called it a few other things.... See the truck midway down? That's Brian stopping to drink a beer with a couple of locals who were enjoying the view. Yeah, he's a badass.
The Santa Lucia coastal range has been gifted with a drought busting gully washing flower blooming green hills a growing gift. Lluvia! Yvonne and I are soaking in all its glory.

11 February 2017

After our first 25 mile day we were expecting to camp when Brian's long lost friend Jim Pitton and his wife Helen who live in Cambria said, "Stay with us". Life's unexpected pleasures. Ain't no roughin' it tonight. Thank you Jim and Helen!
Leaving my sweet sweet sisters. Heading north up the coast. Murray our guide through Morro Bay.
Day 1 of multi day trip! San Luis Obispo to Paso Robles via HWY 1, Santa Rosa Creek Rd and Peachy Canyon Rd. Yeah!
New recruit!

10 February 2017

Training ride through vineyards.

9 February 2017

Theme #2 materializing: local breweries and wineries.

8 February 2017

Beginning to establish trip themes. Family ranks at the top.
Road trip to the beach from San Luis Obispo. Room to breathe.
Loving the central coast with Bethie. So awesome to recuperate after 27 hour train ride. Worth it! Peace. BJC

7 February 2017

State capital. Go River Cats.
Plenty of water. For now.
Traveling the way that makes us feel calm. Amtrak. 5 hour delay due to weather. Snow in the So. Oregon mountains and flooding in NorCal. Read or write? Choices.

6 February 2017

Leaving Jerry and Phyllis in Eugene. Amtrak south. Parts unknown.