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A Great Day To Begin Our Adventure

Hank – I woke up this morning to a bright, sunny day. When I opened the blinds I saw a newspaper sitting on my sidewalk. I don’t subscribe so I don’t know why it showed up, but it sure was nice to have a paper to read during breakfast. Kathy and I spent the morning with Steph, which was great because with her working nights we haven’t seen much of her lately. I repacked by panniers, removing a few items but not enough to make a huge different in the weight. The bags weigh a total of 58 pounds. The bike, toolkit and water in the frame bag, the tent, the collapsible chair, and the ukulele come to 53 pounds. That’s 111 total.
We didn’t leave the house until 3:00pm because our first day is a short day–only about 15 miles to our friends house near Cheney. I must admit there was some trepidation on my part. This will be a huge lifestyle change for us. But I told Kathy we just need to focus on one day at a time. Otherwise we’ll feel so overwhelmed.
Saying goodbye to Step, we cut through West Central, crossed the Monroe Street Bridge and headed to Browne’s Addition. From there we took the Fish Lake Trail and then Cheney-Spokane Road to Spotted Road. We were treated to a great pasta dinner and the fine company of Mike and Patty Gaines whom we’ve known for over 20 years.
My brother-in-law, Gunnar, told us we were so close. All we needed was a Burley trailer carrying a dog to guarantee a best selling book about our adventure. Not being very keen on that, I thought we could adopt a dog for a day everywhere we could and post a picture of them. Today we feature Duchess and Brandy.
Tomorrow we tour Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge and then move on to Rosalia. So far we have overnight arrangements set up for the next four nights at city parks, Warmshowers hosts, and maybe one hotel night.

Kathy – It was simply wonderful to spend the morning with Steph. I miss her already, but know she will do fantastic while we are away. It was a bit harder than I thought leaving Spokane and realizing we will be on our bikes for the next 16 months touring the U.S. Our ride out to Cheney, Wa. was relatively easy and only 18 miles. I thought I would be very excited for our adventures to begin and was surprised to see myself a bit tearful and overwhelmed with thoughts about the trip. I will be fine, just an adjustment in lifestyles. My bike weighs 95 pounds (50 pounds is the bike itself and the water bottles). It is really difficult to go from having everything you ever wanted or needed at your fingertips to limiting all your possessions for the next 16 months into 4 pannier bags while trying to keep the weight down. For now we will ride on and maybe drop a bit more weight from the bags as we learn to live with much less than we are used to. Day 1 done! Overall it was a good day, I am thankful for Hank’s support and our wonderful friends Patty & Mike. ❤

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Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch

Our daughter Stephanie is staying in the house while we’re gone. She’s in school and working at the Sacred Heart hospital emergency department. She didn’t take long to settle in. She bought a new king size mattress for my and Kathy’s bed off Craigslist, took the old mattress outside and took a photo, posted that on Craigslist and it was gone in 2-1/2 hours. No telling what the neighbors thought while that mattress sat outside the front door for that time. Gotta love that resourceful girl.