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Changing Things Up

Kathy – Hank and I have been talking about our trip. We have been at this for ten months now and we are both getting tired. Our days consist of riding 5-8 hours, then figuring out our lodging, meals and water, hygiene, and the next days travel route. At the end of our day before we sleep we write the blog posts. Living on the road is more than a full-time job, it is physically demanding, and our bodies and minds are tiring.

On our days off from riding we are often walking or riding our bikes to see sites or museums, then writing blog post and planning next days rides and lodging, etc. Our days off are also filled with lots of activities so we are not resting enough. Simply stating, we are on the go so much that we are not taking enough down time just to be still.

Although we love meeting great people and seeing all the beautiful sites that come with our travels, we both miss our family and friends back home. We miss all the celebrations, the simple conversations, the silly times, the laughter and all the good fun times with family and friends.

We miss all the comforts of home too. I’m not sure if we will ever take for granted waking up everyday in the same bed, the warmth of a home, cooking and eating meals around our kitchen table, having our possessions in the same spot day after day, and the comforts of safety that you feel as you close the doors to your home each night. Although we love cycling, on occasion we miss having a car to make travel easier and faster than on a loaded down bike. We have limited clothing with us now to help reduce the weight on the bikes. It sounds crazy, but sometimes I (not Hank 😊) even miss wearing my nice clothes that sit in the closet back home.

When we started our journey we only had two goals in mind:

1. Be Safe 2. Have Fun.

Well, we are staying safe, but we are not having as much fun. This could be related to just being physically exhausted at times. Regardless, we need to change things up and enjoy this time rather than plug on and possibly be miserable. We have nothing to prove to anyone.

We have talked about calling it good and stopping, but we still would like to complete the 50 state quest. Right now we plan to continue with cycling in all 50 states but we are going to be changing things up and getting rental cars more often to reduce the wear and tear on our 62 and 57 year old bodies. We want this journey to include more fun and less work.

So as I write this post Hank is traveling two hours away on a Greyhound bus to Midland, Texas to pick up a rental car. We have no set plans other than to drop it off a week from now in Phoenix, Arizona. We are going to rest our bodies, go wherever we want, and have some fun. We may or may not blog.

The only plan we have is sometime this coming week we will ride our bikes somewhere in New Mexico. We will start riding again sometime next week from Phoenix, Arizona and head towards San Diego, California. Looking forward to resting and having fun with my sweetie this next week.

A couple of notes… 

If you would like to view older blog entries please click on the months below:

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • January 2019
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
  • If you would like to see our current location click here:  Current Locationwhere you can see our daily travels.
  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
  • If you would like to “follow” our blog, please click here: Home Page  and look in the bottom right corner on your computer where you will see a “+Follow” link (If you are viewing our blog on your cell phone, the location may vary depending on cell phones.  Please look around to find this area).  Once you click on the “+Follow” link, just enter your email address there (only we can see it) and then go to your personal email to accept the ‘follow request email’ that you will receive. Once this is done, anytime we write a new blog post you will automatically get an email letting you know so you can read it at your leisure. Another option is to bookmark our site and view when you like:  www.HankandKathyGreer.com

Fort Stockton, Texas

Hank – We intended to wake early to get a head start on the winds. This being the first time I’ve camped at a rest area, I woke early many times thanks to all of the truckers coming and going. And the one idling half the night didn’t help either. So I was already awake at five.

After tea and oatmeal we packed up and hit the road. Mary, who works at the rest area, wished us good luck. (We met Mary last night when we arrived.) The sky was just starting to brighten. We turned our lights on but only needed them for about a half hour.

The winds were light and we made pretty good time until around 9:30. Then the west wind picked up and slowed us down. An hour later the wind became much stronger and we were crawling. Our progress was sure but slow. Along the way I had my thumb out while we were rolling. We had a hotel reservation in Fort Stockton, 50 miles away, and we didn’t want to miss out on that.  I also had my thumb out when we stopped. I had my eye out for pickup trucks with empty beds. One truck did stop but it was a crew who did roadside assistance. Even if they had room they couldn’t give us a ride to Fort Stockton.

During what turned out to be our last break an RV and a car stopped. It turned out to be Jim, who we met the night before at the rest area, and his wife, Claudia. They were kind enough to haul us and our gear the remaining 24 miles to Fort Stockton. Jim is retired Army. They live in Alaska but have been avoiding the harsh winter’s by traveling around the country. They are super nice people. I didn’t want to inconvenience them further by having them drop us off at the hotel so we pulled over right after the off ramp.

We had about a mile to go to the hotel and it was all into the wind. It took us almost 20 minutes to ride that last mile. Whew!

The evening was mainly relaxing. This Best Western is the best one I’ve ever stayed at. Snacks are out for guests all day. They have sandwiches, soup, and salad out at dinner time in the bar. And they have a bar!

Tomorrow we have more high winds from the west. We are reevaluating our plans. Stay tuned.

Kathy – We decided to get an early start because the temps were going to get up to 82 degrees by the afternoon (finally warmth again) and the current sustained head winds are 15-20 mph with 35-40 mph gusts.

So off we went slowly with headwinds, but not too bad in the beginning. After 14 miles things took a turn for the worst. The headwinds and gust became very severe. At times both Hank and I struggled to keep our bikes upright with all the winds. We would be riding in flat surfaces and only going 4-5 mph because the headwinds were so strong and we had really poor shoulder areas. It took us 4.5 hours of fighting the winds just to get in 27 miles. We both had enough of the winds.

Hank had his thumb out to hitch a ride because we knew the winds were only going to continue to get stronger throughout the day making our ride even more difficult.  I’m not a fan of hitchhiking but we were both being challenged extensively today with our ride.  We are SO thankful for Jim and Claudia stopping to pick us up.  They are really wonderful people that we could have talked with for hours.  Unfortunately after only 30 minutes we had to say our goodbyes. We so appreciate the kindness of strangers.  Maybe some day Jim and Claudia will stop by Spokane so we can visit with them more.  In the meantime, Thank you for helping us out today! I also have to say the RV lifestyle seems to be much easier than the cycling lifestyle.  Working on talking Hank into purchasing a small RV once we return to Spokane in September.

This is day six of riding.  We have had a few tough days so we are relaxing this evening in the hotel.  Looking at our plans moving forward since the headwinds are supposed to be even stronger tomorrow.  More to come…

A couple of notes… 

If you would like to view older blog entries please click on the months below:

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • January 2019
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
  • If you would like to see our current location click here:  Current Locationwhere you can see our daily travels.
  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
  • If you would like to “follow” our blog, please click here: Home Page  and look in the bottom right corner on your computer where you will see a “+Follow” link (If you are viewing our blog on your cell phone, the location may vary depending on cell phones.  Please look around to find this area).  Once you click on the “+Follow” link, just enter your email address there (only we can see it) and then go to your personal email to accept the ‘follow request email’ that you will receive. Once this is done, anytime we write a new blog post you will automatically get an email letting you know so you can read it at your leisure. Another option is to bookmark our site and view when you like:  www.HankandKathyGreer.com