Hank – Well, it turns out that bike touring in the winter months is a challenge everywhere in the country except for maybe Florida. This morning I saw we had strong headwinds in the forecast for the next three days. If we were eastbound we’d be deliriously happy. Kathy and I talked over our plans and decided to do a one-way rental to our friends in El Cajon, California, Kevin and Miriam. We have many friends and family to visit in California and a number of places we’d like to visit. Given the severe winter the country has had we’re going to skip the high mountains. So we’re getting off the bikes for a couple of weeks to allow for that. We’re renting a van to do all this running around, hopefully have our children join us in Las Vegas for a couple of days, and we’ll pick back up in Pueblo, Colorado. I’m kind of bummed out about doing all this driving but as my brother Sam told me, “You made the rules. You can change them at any time.” True, but I don’t have to like it no matter how necessary it might be.
Kathy – Okay, I was totally ready to conquer 8,000 feet of climbing over the next three days. We planned to ride through a mountain pass on our way to San Diego, California. However, the weather has interfered with our plans once again. We were in a hotel in El Centro up early and ready for a long day of climbing. Suddenly, I asked Hank if he checked the weather for the next few days of riding. We normally monitor the weather daily but haven’t the past few days. He checked, not only do we have thunderstorms in the forecast for our three days of climbing in the mountains but we also have wind warnings. There are sustained headwinds 25 – 35 mph, and wind gust at 55 – 65 mph for the next three days.
Since we are in the middle of the California desert our options are to stay put in this hotel for three days (or more, depending on the weather) or get a rental car and move on. We opted for a cheap rental truck. Must say, I’m a little bummed…really. I planned to conquer those mountains. Regardless, we drove the 100 miles to our friends Kevin and Miriam’s house in El Cajon, California. We will spend a few days with them.
Because of the cold weather north of us we have spent hours and hours mulling over our future plans to finish up riding in all the states. We have made our way around the outer United States but now we need to ride in those middle states. It is still pretty cold for riding bikes in most of them right now. Also the late winter storms have left a lot of snow in Utah and Colorado which makes cycling difficult. So our plans are to visit family and friends in California via a rental van. Then possibly meet up with the kids in Las Vegas to get some hiking in. Finally, driving through Utah and part of Colorado before picking up riding again in Pueblo, Colorado in two weeks. Maybe it will warm up in the next week or so there. While in Nevada and Utah we will break out the bikes at some point to ride in those states. We will ride in Colorado from Pueblo into Kansas. From Kansas we will reevaluate the weather as we try to finish up: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. Once we finish these states we will only have Alaska and Hawaii left. Winter months have made it a little harder to ride even down south with cold, thunderstorms and severe winds. Our plans have changed on occasion because of it and no doubt they may change again…stay tuned 😊
Back to today….It was so great to see Kevin and Miriam. They gave us a warm welcome and Mrriam cooked a super delicious meal of meatballs and vegetable soup (I forgot the official name of the soup). We spent the evening chatting nonstop and playing a card game with them. They have made us feel very welcome at their place. We had a crazy start to our day, but an absolutely wonderful evening finished it off. Thankful.
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