July 31, 2010 9:13 am Eastern Time
We’re at Logan Airport in Boston right now, where there is free Wi-Fi.
This morning, at 4:26 am, the alarm on Elliot’s iPod went off. We had to get up for our 6:15 am flight. It was just dawning when we reached the airport at 5 am. Returning the rental car was a breeze.
We had a super-smooth flight to Logan Airport in Boston. The 5 passengers were sleepy.
Next stop, Denver.
July 31, 2010 3:03 pm Mountain Time
August 1, 2010 2:09 pm Pacific Time
We’re back home! In a way, returning home was one of the most difficult parts of the trip for me. Our flight was delayed, and we spent 4 hours in Denver Airport. I wasn’t exercising, so wasn’t drinking, and got dehydrated in the altitude. That gave me constipation, and the final half hour of the flight into San Jose was none too steady, making me feel even sicker. At last, I’m well enough again to post this final entry. I will probably be adding statistics over the next week or more.
Miles Traveled: 2062
Days on the road: 42
- Camping (KOA Kabin doesn’t count): 6
- Motels: 36
Times comb used: 0. I told you.
Number of earphones broken: 3. We brought an iPod clone earphone that I got from a flea market for 50 cents. Within days, one side dropped down into the spokes and got torn off. Elliot used the single other side for 4 weeks or so, which was probably better, because he could still hear traffic and conversation. When the remaining side of the earphone finally broke, he bought a new headphone at a discount store. That one broke in a week. He bought another headphone, and that broke in a few days. We were just a few days from the end at that point, so he didn’t get any more earphones or headphones.
Number of Sudoku puzzles solved: 10. This is an estimate. I had printed puzzles 6 to a side, double-sided, and brought 3 sheets, so 36 puzzles. I partly finished one sheet, and did a couple more from local newpapers in restaurants while waiting for our ordered food to arrive. I preferred chatting with locals to doing Sudoku, when there was a choice.
Postcards sent back: about 15.
Number of map errata reported to Adventure Cycling: 12
- Plane travel, including $400 surcharge for bikes:
- Other (food)
- Shipping the bikes back
Flats: Roderick – 7; Elliot – 0.
Flats that were Roderick’s own fault: 7. I had Kevlar tires, but they were more like road tires. Elliot had Gatorskin touring tires. Midway through the trip, I changed tires. The final flat was because I overinflated the tire at a gas station.
Tires used: Roderick – 4; Elliot – 2.
- Toestrap broke
- Toeclip came off
- Handlebar wrap came off (multiple times)
- Handlebar end cap lost
- Bolt holding rack lost
- Head bearing came loose
- Derailleur clicking, needed tightening
- Seat came loose
- Chains rusty after rain
- Derailleur not shifting to some gears, needed adjustment
- Wireless cyclometer flaky, then stopped working
- Wired cyclometer got wet, stopped working until dry
- Sole of cycling shoes came loose
- Helmet mirror snapped off
- Flat tires (7)
Climbing days: 1
Most interesting person met (male): Fred Wilson, at the Corner Motel in Long Lake, NY
Most interesting person met (female): Laura, outside the Ambrose Motel in Cumberland, WI. This was harder to determine. Because of new non-smoking laws, most motels seemed to have resin chairs set up outside the rooms. A common pattern was for someone (male or female) to be sitting on the chairs, and strike up a conversation by asking us about our trip. Camilla in Long Lake, and Mary in Caro were two other examples.
Best Food: Delmonico Steak and Steamed Clams at The Steakhouse in Thendara (Old Forge), says Elliot. I nominate the Gazpacho at the Hardware Cafe in Fair Haven.
Worst Food: Pink Lemonade Drink, from the Family Dollar Store in Caro.
Live animals and birds seen: Whitetail deer, Raccoon, Raven, Rabbit, Field Mouse, Painted Turtle, Snapping Turtle, Buffalo, Cow, Goose, Duck, Chicken, Dog, Cat, Wild Turkey
Types of Roadkill seen: Raccoon, Frog, Seagull, Possum, Porcupine, Snake, Deer, Rabbit, Turtle, Pig, Dog, Cat
Cards handed out: 150 (estimate)
Journal pages used: 84 / 160. The 4.5″ x 6″ notebook from GlyphGuy actually had 80 pages, but I wrote on both sides.
Here the list Elliot and I jointly developed of the best and worst things on the trip:
Best things on the trip
- Meeting interesting people
- Kindness of strangers
- Fruit stands with tree-ripened peaches and nectarines
- Improvement in Elliot’s skin
- Gatorade and other gas-station drinks
- Discovering Wi-Fi in unlikely spots
We had a hard time coming up with the worst part of the trip. In retrospect, everything seems to have had a bright side.
Most difficult things on the trip
- Being away from Merrianne
- Getting lost on a sandy road
- Overpriced accommodations (2 days)
- Black flies
- Rain (1 bad day)
- No vacancies at motels (2 days)
- Heat and humidity (2 days)
Things that surprisingly were not an issue
- Finding Wi-Fi access. It’s abundant. A dial-up modem is completely unnecessary. The iPod Touch was invaluable for locating unencrypted hotspots.
- Finding power outlets. They were plentiful in fast food restaurants, and even outside convenience stores. I think in that region, people plug in their cars in winter while shopping to prevent freezing. The only time our phones went dead was when we forgot to charge them. Thank goodness we carried a spare charged phone battery in a ziploc, it saved us on occasion.
- Getting pictures of people we met. With few exceptions, most were fine with it, some even honored and thrilled to be mentioned on our blog.
- Being too sore to ride. It never happened.
- Riding on major highways like 2. The shoulder was wide.
- Riding late into the day. Our pattern of late starts did not hurt us. It was summer, and the days were long. Besides, it was cooler in the late afternoon, and usually more pleasant riding than at midday. At no time did we need lighting, except for an occasional ride out to dinner or errands at night.
- Cold. Except for that one night in Pulaski when we were soaked, we were never cold. We used our jackets only once during riding, and even then, didn’t really need them, even in rain. I don’t think I’d be brave enough to recommend touring with no jacket, though.
Times Elliot complained: 0