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Two Week Break

Hank – We’ve decided to take a longer break to help rehab my shoulder. We’re hanging out with our very good friends, Barb and Keith Forbes, in Maine until this Saturday. On Saturday we fly home. We’ll be home for 10 days and return to Maine. A couple days after that we’ll hit the road again.

Kathy – Well, we made it across the country! We are at our friends Barb & Keith’s house in Glenburn, Maine relaxing and enjoying time with them.  Happy to have this time with these two outstanding people that we love dearly.

It seems crazy that the first leg of our journey is completed. We left Spokane on May 3rd and finished this portion of the trip on August 27th. Not quite four months on the bikes and we have had an amazing journey thus far. We have seen so many beautiful places and had some really wonderful times with family and friends along the way. We also have meet many new friends. Our Warm Showers hosts (and sometimes total strangers) have opened up their homes to us also, which we are truly grateful for. Everyone has made us feel so welcome.  I must say we have the BEST family and friends!!  We are so thankful for everyone’s thoughts, prayers, support, kind words, encouragement, and overall generosity.  We truly can not thank you all enough.  We are also feeling blessed and thankful for our health and safety during this part of our trip.

We are excited to fly home for ten days to see family and friends as Hank rests his shoulder.  Lucky for us that we will also be in Spokane at the perfect timing to ride in the 11th Annual Spokefest bicycle ride. I have done the past ten and wouldn’t want to miss out on one of these super fun rides.  After our time in Spokane, we look forward to returning to Maine and continuing the second leg of our trip down to Key West, Florida.  For now it’s rest time now, see you in a few weeks!!

Here are some stats from our first leg – Spokane to Maine…

  • Total Miles Cycled: 3,820 miles!
  • Total States Visited: 18 – Flowers planted in all states.
  • Total Days Traveled: 116
  • Longest Travel Day: 65 Miles – June 27, 2018 – Long Pine, Nebraska to O’Neil, Nebraska
  • Shortest Travel Day: 16 Miles – August 19, 2018 – Syracuse, New York – Hank having shoulder pain.
  • Hottest Travel Day: July 12, 2018 – It was 94 degrees, plus the heat index = 103 degrees!  Clear Lake, Iowa to St. Ansgar, Iowa
  • Flat Tires: Kathy – 10, Hank – 0
  • Jars of Peanut Butter Consumed: 3
  • Lodging Days: Camping – 51, Family/Friends – 9, Warm Showers – 13, Hotel – 36, Convent/Church – 3, Strangers opening up their home to us – 4

A couple of notes…

It’s A Slider

Hank – We left the campground at 8:30 and made our way to Rumford. Those 17 miles were fairly flat so we covered them pretty quickly. I found a place called the Deluxe Diner that was open on Sunday so we went there for a late breakfast. I pushed and then pulled on the door and it wouldn’t open. From inside I heard a woman’s voice. “It’s a slider.” I slid the door open and we went inside.

The Deluxe Diner is an old style diner where you sit at the counter shoulder to shoulder with all the customers. Jody and Julie own and run the place. Jodie does most of the cooking. At least she did while we were there. There’s no rush to ordering because Jody is the only cook. This is a great place where you can take your time and meet people. Jody asked where we were from and was excited to hear about our adventure. She took our picture to put on their Facebook page. A couple of times there was a familiar rattle of the door and Jody wouldn’t miss a beat. “It’s a slider.” And then she or Julie would welcome whoever came inside. It looks like when the regulars who order the same thing each time come Julie just writes their name on the ticket and Jody knows what to fix. We found a gem of a diner. When we left we met three gentlemen who had come to town for a memorial for a friend who had passed away. They were originally from Massachusetts but one of them now lives in Redmond, WA. He asked questions about our bikes and they were all interested in our adventure. After chatting with them I gave them a heads up on the sliding door.

The remaining 28 miles to Farmington had a couple of long climbs. They broke us out into some good sweats. The fast descents cooled us off really well. We had a three-mile stretch of construction where parts of the road were not paved. Fortunately, traffic was light all day so it wasn’t that bad. Just a little rough. Right before the second long climb Kathy got a flat tire. Somehow a short piece of wire the size of a nail punched through the sidewall of her back tire. Again, the back tire. That makes 10 flats for Kathy. Still none for me,

Just before arriving at our hotel Kathy spotted an ice cream shop called Dutch Treat. I paid. After enjoying our cold snack we checked into our hotel.

Kathy – Today was a pretty great 45 mile ride!  I beg to differ from my husband, those first 17 miles were not flat…but they were small rollers.  😉  Why can’t all of our rides be like this: small rollers, cool morning temps in the mid 60’s, shady trees covering you as you roll past a river to your right, and mountains that surround you.  It was a pretty sweet beginning to our riding day!

We met some folks from Seattle who told us about an app called Gaia.  Apparently it tells you more accurate elevation than Google Maps for Cycling.  The app works for hiking and cycling.  I am going to try it out.   After our fabulous breakfast that Jody prepared we were off to ride again.  This is where our 1,500 feet of elevation came in. We had some road construction where the roads were really bad with constant bumps, pot holes and loose gravel.  Other times we had fantastic smooth roads with lots of shoulder room.  Surprisingly the elevation was not super hard.  I am not sore at all, even with carrying 75 pound Sadie up them.  It was such a gorgeous day today that the elevation was secondary to enjoying the beautiful scenery.  Feeling content tonight.