Quick status (no pictures):
Miracle Go: She’s looking like a teenager and back to her fighting trim. She looks good, feels good, and is willing to carry me (and I am no lightweight) back home. Condition Green.
Me: It is amazing how tired I was and didn’t really know it. Leg muscles were tired and they were willing to continue pedaling but they didn’t really have any power left in them. Yesterday after walking a bit with my wonderful hosts, my legs actually “picked up speed/energy”. Can’t explain it but they communicated that they are ready to go. This occurred because of rest, food, and good company! Condition Green.
Mapping: My experience has been that any plan I have falls apart due to one or another unforeseen circumstance. This has led me to map general land marks and then do a detailed plan for 200 miles which gives me leeway to go longer or shorter as conditions warrant. My general plan is to go to Mequon, WI, Ferndale, MI, Troy, OH and then home. This would be about a 2200 mile trip. My immediate objective is to get to the South of Sante Fe day one (71 miles) and then to Questa, San Luis, or Fort Garland (CO) day 2. This is a bit ambitious but I am thinking that it will be easier riding East in the evenings with the sun and wind at my back. The first couple of days will help me judge if I am correct. Condition Green.
Transportation: The idea and soon to be executed Amtrak plan has me excited for a lot of reasons. Wasn’t really clear what can stay on the bike and what I will have to carry. For this reason I plan to carry everything. I may have a 4 bag limit and for this reason I also have a big bag that can be used to consolidate 2 or 3 things to ensure I stay under the limit. Not excited about being on a train all night and half day on Thursday but the mileage I cut off using the train can be used to go more north and go to states that would not have been considered earlier. Condition Green
Route: My initial route takes me again through New Mexico which gave my navigational skills a run for its money due to wide spaces and towns that didn’t really exist. I am hoping that my increased experience reduces the need to change routes. New Mexico is the only state that I will travel through twice except for Ohio. I expect to add Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan as new states which will give me a total of 15 states visited. Condition Green
Did you know:
Pedaling: Most people think that if you use the bigger rings you can go faster. This is true in the sense that your muscles can be fully engaged to go at your top speed. The problem comes in when your muscles start to tire and you continue to drive them. This can often cause cramps. Often when you feel your muscles tire (like into a wind) you just can’t use strength to keep up your speed. The secret? Go down a gear or two and increase your pedaling cadence. This more fully engages your cardio vascular system which typically has more staying power and can be faster than using your tired muscles.
Deserts (from my observation): There are really a number of animals that live in the desert although I don’t know how to do it. The creatures I saw most in the really arid sections were lizards. In Ohio when you see a lizard or salamander (which I do see by my house on occasion) move but not very fast unless they are threatened. The lizards I saw in the desert are rockish grey color and fast as lightening. I never saw them still they were scared and then they were gone. The rabbits (cotton tail and Jack) were the second most numerous animal I saw. I was told by some of the locals that there are also a number of panthers, feral hogs, and coyotes.
California: Stretches along the Pacific Coast for nearly 900 miles. If you like to see gorgeous sites, the beaches and scenery along this stretch can’t be equaled anywhere.
Amtrak: Serves more than 500 destinations in 46 states and three Canadian provinces operating more than 300 trains daily over 21,300 miles (34,000 km) of track.
Domestic Dependent Nation: As I traveled through the Western states I saw many roadside signs that referred to Indians (indigenous tribes). I looked up what “sovereignty” means. Tribal sovereignty in the United States refers to the inherent authority of indigenous tribes to govern themselves within the borders of the United States of America.
Indian Sovereign Nations: The items above led me to look to see where the Indian Nations are located. The US map below shows the location of the Indian Nations as “white holes” in the map.The map below is a very different map of the US. It’s a map of the US minus the sovereign Indian nations within the continental US. Sort of looks like Swiss Cheese doesn’t it. Some of these areas are much larger than one might expect.