Clarion, IA to Elkader, IA


  1. Going East today fighting the wind there wasn’t much to laugh about.   At one point I saw a hand drawn sign that said, “Rest Stop, Exit 33”.   I thought this was funny since the county road didn’t really have an exits.   Two miles later I saw the rest stop and exit 33.   Perhaps you needed to be there but it did make me laugh.
  2. Most small towns have memorials commemorating events, soldier, leaders, or other memory pertinent to the town.   This memorial honored fallen warriors.  Just to the right, out of the picture, is a tribute to Vietnam Veterans.    Always gives me pause to realize the many Americans that have fought to protect our freedom.
  3. This is “Mit’s Hamburgers” stand in Elkader.   He has been in Elkader for 20 years selling his fare.   His claim to fame is boiling his onions prior to putting them on his hamburgers.    They kinda’ had a White Castle favor that I found delicious.
  4. Dam in Elkader.    After a long, hot fight against the wind I was very close to jumping off the bridge for a refreshing swim.
  5. Most small towns have memorials commemorating events, soldier, leaders, or other memory pertinent to the town.   This memorial honored fallen warriors.  Just to the right, out of the picture, is a tribute to Vietnam Veterans.    Always gives me pause to realize the many Americans that have fought to protect our freedom.

Alright, Rob Goodwin versus the wind round two (don’t forget I claimed victory yesterday) occurred today.   The winner is in dispute so I will let you be the judge.

Typically I am on the rode accumulating a couple of extra miles about 5:45 am.   This morning the only place that opened early was a Hardee’s that opened at 6:00 a.m.   This is later than I like but I need breakfast.    I was at their door at 5:50.   I was looking hungry at 5:59 and when the guy was still getting the coffee pots working at 6:03 I tapped on the door.   I wasn’t trying to be rude but I needed to go.   He didn’t even look in my direction.    So I left and went to a service station and had chocolate milk and cookies.   Not the breakfast of champions but I was on the road at 6:15.   At 10:00 I stopped at a second Hardees in Hampton and had my breakfast.    This set me behind another half hour.

Here is where the battle royale began.   The morning was heavily clouded with evidence of rain in puddles everywhere.   Once again I escaped the rain.    I wasn’t able to escape the wind.   It hit me for the next 90 miles (my target today was 129 miles).   All through the morning I watched my schedule get further and further in the dumper.   However I remained undaunted and was determined to win round two.

All morning I kept checking the tire.  It looked like it was leaking but every time I checked it seemed okay – until mile 32.   It was low and I filled it back up.   At this point since everything else was fixed the only outstanding possibility was that the rim had an imperfection that would put a hole in the tube over time.    I figured if the tube leaked “real slow” then I could try to address this tonight in my room.    At mile 55 I had to fill up the tube again.   Five miles from this point I passed a motorcycle repair shop.  This shop was on a country road with no commercial enterprises so I dropped in.   I met the nicest couple and they assisted with finding the leak, agreeing that it was probably caused by the rim and then tapes the offending rim imperfection.   Neither one of us was sure the problem was fixed but it is working thus far.   I made two glaring errors.   One, I didn’t get the names of these wonderful people or get a picture of their motorcycle repair shop.  If you guys read this paragraph please send me your names!

At this point I started off again.   It was about 2:00 pm. and I still have 60 miles to go – really behind schedule.

The wind and I continued the battle mile after mile.   It could claim I was making much progress but it couldn’t argue that progress was being made.   I was exhausted at mile 90.   There had been no convenience stores and I was rapidly going through the snacks I carry with me.    Finally the sign I had been waiting for – Maynard, 3 miles.   About a mile out I saw a car with two bikes on a rack turn in front of me.   I wished my bike was on the back of that car (this is a true story).   A mile later I pulled into the convenience/gas station for a quick resupply.   I couldn’t dawdle since I still have 40 miles to go and the way I was going I wouldn’t get to Elkader until 8:00 or 9:00.   At this point a guy (who I learned was Ted) said there is a tornado watch can I give you a lift.    Ted delivered me to Elkander.   When Ted took me to his car I immediately noted that this was the car I had seen a mile up the road.   Ted is another avid bike rider and couldn’t leave a “brother biker” out in the way of a serious storm.   Another hero that entered in my life.   I don’t travel with my phone “active” so I was unaware of the tornado alert although I was monitoring the ominous clouds as I do every day.

So what do you say?   Did the wind win since I got a ride, did I win because the wind couldn’t break me and the tornado watch stopped the match, or was it a draw?

Thought of the Day: “I have a gear for that”

Life is not consistent and the various problems that are encountered daily can’t be handled in the same way with the same tools.  On my bike if the wind is at my back or if I am going downhill I use the gear that will drive me upwards of 25+ MPH.   If I have an uphill (problem) I will down shift and going slower and I navigate the problem with lots of gears in between.    What gears do you have and do you have enough gears to handle the problems that you encounter?   How would you get more gears?

It is 7:30 p..m. and the sky just exploded with rain and thunder – Ted THANKS for the lift!   I would still have 30 minutes to town.

Today I passed the 1000 mile mark on my return trip.   Wisconsin here I come!

Blair, NE to Clarion, Iowa


  1. A son said I should have more pictures of “me” and that he thought people would like to see me in action.   Here I am doing the post in Clarion, Iowa.   Don’t I look thoughtful?
  2. Sign welcoming me to Clarion, Iowa.   If you look at a map I did 180 miles today.   Well that is not quite true which is explained below.
  3. If you look carefully you will see that MG (Miracle Go) is under the scalpel.   Gene, the doctor at “The Bike Store” in Fort Dodge Iowa is doing his best to give her a “bike lift (face lift for bikes)” .   This is also explained below.

The saga continues and if you remember MG had two flats going into Blair Nebraska and the cause for her recurring “flats” was unknown.

Also, as background information, a bike’s wheel should always be “true”.   That means when it revolves around the axle in should not wobble side to side.  This wastes the pedalers energy and produces a wobble as the bike goes forward.    When a spoke breaks the wheel can no longer be “true” since you now how an odd number of spokes applying unequal forces to the wheel.   Now for the story . . .

When I went to bed last night after replacing both the tire and tube on MG I felt okay.   I couldn’t find anything to puncture the tube on the rim, the tube and tire were new, I completely removed all of the broken spoke, and I had ridden the bike without issue for a couple of miles.   With all that being said, I still didn’t feel completely comfortable because the back wheel has been trouble.

This morning I took off at my usual 6:00 a.m.   I kept looking at the tire and stopped at the 2, 6, and 10 mile points to check tire pressure.   The wheel did have the expected wobble since I was missing a spoke but it was much less that the wobble going into California weeks before and I felt it would get me to Wisconsin.

I went through Missouri Way, Logan and was pulling up a hill in Woodbine when the familiar “pop” broke through the tranquil morning (had 45 miles on my bike at this point).   The pop, upon checking the tire, actually was strong enough to break the tire not just the tube.   While I had a spare tire and tube I was tired of patching the problem.   I needed to get the spoke fixed.    The bike couldn’t even roll at this point since the tire wouldn’t stay on the rim.

I talked to a couple of people in Woodbine and not only was there no bike store in Woodbine, they didn’t think there was a bike store within 100 miles.   Not wanting to retrace my steps to Omaha I started hitch hiking for Fort Dodge about 90 miles away.

This is where hero #1 comes into play.   Jeff was hauling a bulldozer to Minnesota and stopped.   He is an entrepreneur that has many business interests.   He had me lay MG up on the trailer (hated to see her laying on her side and not tied down) stating that she wouldn’t fall and started out.    As we were discussing this and that he decided he could take a side trip to Fort Dodge (even though he had several commitments and was expected to be working till 3:00 a.m. tomorrow morning).   He drove MG and I straight to the only bike store in 100 miles.   How can I ever express my gratitude to this gentlemen?   My expectation was a day or two of hitch hiking at a minimum.

The name of the only bike store within 100 miles and located in Fort Dodge is called “The Bike Store”.   The man in the picture is Gene.    He started working on MG immediately.   He replaced the one spoke I knew about and found another that had come off as well.   He replaced the tire and tube.   I had stretched the chain beyond its tolerance levels (remember the big mountains) and it needed to be replaced.    He then trued the wheel so that it is so straight that you can’t see any “out of alignment” at all.   Lastly he replaced the carriage (gears in the back) since the chain’s elongated state also wore down the carriage.   Bike was back together and ready to go at 2:00 p.m.   I had a choice to stay in Fort Dodge or continue to add some miles.   Adding miles was the decision and we finished the day with 80 miles.   I would consider this a full day.

Thought of the day: If you are on your “bike of life” and not pedaling and steering somewhere then are your really going anywhere?

Navy Pilot Tie In: Many years ago I was a Navy Pilot.   One of the things they teach you is to Aviate, Navigate, and Communicate and in that order.    I think this has a lot of applicability to our lives.   I feel you must:

Aviate: Accomplish all those standard functions to ensure that you can live.   This would include paying the bills, taking the kids here and there, getting the car fixed, getting a house or apartment and making the payments and all other items that just allow you to live on your piece of the earth.

Navigate: This step requires that you know where you’re going and have plans on how to get there.   This would include working for a promotion, moving to a more favored company, figuring out how to impress a man or lady that you might want to get to know better, or any other long range objective.   Remember that if your “long range objective” is to far out there you should have intermediate objectives to measure your progress.

Communication: Last but certainly not the least important.   This is the step that allows you to discuss where you are going and what you want to do with others.   This might be your parents or a trusted friend or mentor.   Ultimately collecting information from others that have been there and done that may have a key piece of information that allows you to confirm the path you’re on and modify your plan accordingly.

In any case some of my ideas are redundant and the intent is to through the ideas in your direction to do with as you think appropriate.

Hoping you took a great day (today) and made it better!

Central City, NE to Blair, NE

No pictures tonight . . . I was talking to a son yesterday and he said I should get some pictures of myself.   In the process of trying to turn the camera’s lens around to take a picture of myself I inadvertently turned on the video component which won’t do.

Tonight to only have my comments but they should be entertaining.

Have you ever had one of “those” days?   Without a doubt this was one of “those” days for me.

Last night I was doing a post in the lobby of a Rodeway Inn.   I was going to submit the post and then find a place to stay within my price range.   While writing the post the weather channel was talking about the severe weather coming with high winds and potential hail.    Being a big chicken I booked a room.

The next morning the weather channel was again forecasting gloom and doom and their statements were backed up by lightening that was flashing all around me – even though Central City was still dry.   I ate breakfast and had a decision to make.   I could wait at the hotel until 9:00 a.m. when the percent chance of rain would fall from 60% to 20% or I could head out.   It wasn’t terribly cold and I figured the storms were moving East so if I got wet at least I would be pushed in the right direction – sucker!

Today’s 116 mile right quickly became a battle of wills.   I was bound and determined to make  Blair, NE and the wind was determined to blow in my face, directly, until I gave up.   Typically the winds or road will shift several times to give me a rest.   Today was different since all 116 miles were to the East and the wind continued to come from that direction.   The 11.5 MPH average over the 10 hours was punishing and I stopped at an extra store or two for my orange juice and chocolate milk energy boosts.   By noon I was 20 miles behind my typical benchmarks.

Imagine how excited I was at 3:00 p.m. when the wind did start to abate a bit.    I didn’t have the energy to make up any time but I was able to push my speed up by a mile or two.    Then disaster (this is a bit of an overstatement).    MG’s  (Miracle Go) back tire started to go flat 3 miles shy of Blair.   Tired, hot, and ready to rest meant nothing when the tire went flat.   I took the back wheel off and checked the tire.   There was no object in the tire so I figured that I hit a sharp rock that caused the tube to tear.    I replaced the tube and continued to Blair.   There was a nice big beautiful hit that was taking me quickly toward Blair when I heard a sharp pop and again the tire when flat.   The tire still didn’t have any foreign objects embedded in it so I figured the bad spoke (if I didn’t tell you about this earlier, I discovered a bad spoke yesterday.   It wasn’t broken but it also wasn’t doing its job) was puncturing the tube when it took any stress.   I cut out the spoke but left the tip in the rim since it no longer had any pressure on it.  I again replaced the tube and again enjoyed the downhill when, you guessed it, the second and final tube went flat.   I couldn’t use the tube repair kit I had since the hole was more of a slice.   As embarrassing as this is to say, I walked and hitchhiked toward Blair (so much for the downhill that I wanted to enjoy).

Stopped at a car dealership and found out that Blair has no bike store so I was on my own.   I continued to walk to a Walmart.   I bought a new tire and a new tube.   I took out the spoke end from the rim and reassembled everything.   I had MG in Walmart’s lobby doing all the “fixing”.   It was amazing how the little kids coming in with their parents kept asking about “what the crazy man in the corner was doing”?

I can say that the bike was able to take me to a Rodeway Inn about a mile away and there I stopped for the night.   I was still hot, tired, and ready to rest.   I am hopeful that the bike is fixed but I will need some miles under my belt before I will have such confidence.  If this doesn’t work I don’t know what else to try and will have to navigate to the closest bike store which may be in Omaha.    Wish me luck!

This was a long day.     I tried to think deep thoughts but typically all thoughts came back to holding my body and bike together to make it to Blair.

One thought did come to mind with respect to the Bike/Life analogy.   You know that you are on a good bike/life/path when you:

  1. Wake up in the morning and the first thing you think about is the sunrise.   If you get up grumpy you are not on the right path.
  2. Wake up next to someone or something you love (pets count).   If you don’t this isn’t an indicator that you don’t have a good life but means you are probably still searching for a missing piece to your life.
  3. You are energized to do things that provide meaning.
  4. You have a list of things that you want to get done full well knowing you can’t get everything done in 1 day.   You are okay with this because you always have tomorrow.
  5. You pay yourself first (good food, good sleep, and exercise sometime during the day) to ensure you have the energy to do great things.
  6. When you review your day you have made the world a better, more happy place.
  7. You made at least one person important to you smile at least once.
  8. You try to “Pay it Forward” at least once a week.
  9. You go to bed each night knowing you have done your best.

A further thought.   At birth everyone is given their own bike or life.   It is unique to that person in that it can be different colors, bigger, smaller, more sporty, more expensive (face it because of DNA, environment, and nature we are going to be different).   The thing that people forget is once you’ve accepted your bike as yours (parents have to turn you loose sometime) you can customize it to your hearts content.    Yes you may be limited in the short run but goals and hard work can change it to be the most beautiful bike in the world.    My realization?   It seems that many people forget this fact and quite trying to improve.

And remember . . . every mile you do today is one less mile you have to do tomorrow!









Alma, NE to Central City, NE


  1. Welcome sign to Central City Nebraska.  The city has everything except a cheap place to stay.   One place wouldn’t take a credit card but the price was right.   The other would take anything but the price was too steep.   There are storms in the area so tonight’s place of residence may be interesting.
  2. The Central City Fire Station was open so I took these pictures while looking for someone in charge.
  3. Another picture of the neat Central City antique fire truck.   When I couldn’t find anyone at this fire station I went to the older station.   By the time I got back to the first station it was locked up.
  4. My wife, Jill, is in South Carolina visiting son and grand children.   How I wish I was able to join this merry group!
  5. Most of the towns I have stopped in have a “neighborhood” restaurant filled with antiques and personality.   This is “The Station” at Alma.

Summary: This morning I was up early (which is typical) and left at 5:15 to go to a cafe that was confirmed to open at 5:30.   I saw lightening in the distance and Weather Underground said rain was going to hit all around me at 7:00 p.m.    I suspected the lightening was not coming my way.   It was already muggy and I started sweating immediately.   It seemed like a good day in that the sun would be behind clouds most of the day and as long as I was able to get  bed by 7:00 p.m. I should stay dry.   The cafe was open right on time and I started out on my bike at 6:00 a.m.   I did 127 miles from Alma to Central City.   Five of these miles was going back and forth looking for a hotel and somewhere to submit today’s post.  At the time of this writing I am sitting at a Rodeway Inn to get the post done and then will go find somewhere to sleep the night.

This has been a terrific week (one week again tonight I was boarding a train).    I averaged 112 miles per day and this was hampered by my first day of 63 miles, low due to being on the train till 1:00 p.m.   The time is really flying although while on the bike the time drags by with me thinking about various things.

Systems Continued: It dawned on me that the greatest systems ever created are the “bodies” of all living things whether optimized for thinking (humans), flying (birds), or swimming (fish).   The human body does miraculous things when it gets food, sleep, and exercise.   I find it incredible that the body automatically does those things that we don’t want to think about like breathing or making the heart beat.   You look at the athletes that break records,  the thinkers (Steven Hawkins) that push science past all reasonable limits, and those that perform herculean tasks when faced with adversity.   Bottom line, are you getting the most bang for your buck?   It just takes the right food, amount of sleep, and a little exercise and you too could be a super human.

For me, I find it amazing that my body can drive a bike for mile after mile.   I don’t really know a lot about nutrition so I just throw food down my throat.   The body figures out what it needs and repairs the muscles and stores the food where it will be needed the next day.   Thus far there have been no cramps and no major problems.  How the body can do this is beyond me.    Since I don’t ride in the dark I am getting more sleep than I ever have and exercise at this point is no problem.

The Bike of Life:  Today as I was riding my bike I thought of an analogy that makes sense.   Let’s pretend that when we are born we are given a bike that represents our life.   In the early years you will have people that show you how to ride the bike, take care of the bike and make sure you make good decisions regarding the bike.   At some point the bike becomes yours and from that point on whatever the bike does is your responsibility.

Stay with me as I jump to my bike ride today . . . I am heading toward Wisconsin – that is my goal.   The path I’ve chosen goes North a little bit and then East a little bit.   My “ah ha” moment was that when going North the wind was at my back and the pedaling was easy while every time I turned East the pedaling was difficult because of the wind.

Here comes my conclusion, I realized that life is very much like my ride to Wisconsin.   I could, since I am totally and wholly responsible for my bike, change my objective and just head North.   My pedaling would be easier, a new destination would be reached, and I wouldn’t have to struggle – life would be grand.   Or I could go straight East and fight the wind every step of the way – life would be no fun.   My path is a mixture of both and gets me to the destination that is right for me.   My life will neither be easy or overly hard.  It is going where I want it to go.

Bottom line is we are all on a bike and we are in charge of it.   We have others that help us on our way and provide advice that we can ponder but the journey is ours (and let’s be honest we usually have a trusted adviser that is on our tandem bike).   Be wise in your life’s objective and don’t stop till it is acquired!

The Greatest Evil: One last thought is that over my lifetime there is nothing that I hate remembering more than those times where a thoughtless word or unthinking action on my part “hurt” someone else.   In my defense, and it is a weak defense indeed, the hurt that I caused was due to immaturity or a since belief that I was doing the right thing.   When I am back home (and I can barely wait for that day) one of the things I will do is contact people and try to make up for my actions.   Life is way to short to have misunderstandings in the way of a glorious life.

Sorry for the long diatribes and heavy thoughts.  As an explanation the heat and humidity got to me!

Wonderful day to one and all!

Oakley, KS to Alma, NE


  1. Love going to a new state.   While I am still a week away from Wisconsin (a little over 700 miles away) a new state means I am closer.   I liked this picture since it shows both me leaving Kansas and arriving in Nebraska (background sign).
  2. The store that has taken over the West, South, and North based on my travels is any store with “dollar” in it.   Last night in Oakley I bought a book. breakfast (cereal so I could eat and leave), some chocolate milk, and cookie snacks for the road.   It really is a nice store for cheap replenishment.
  3. The “Welcome to Alma” sign means much more than a location.   Anytime I do over 100 miles a number of my body parts are requesting a rest.   When I see the final destination sign I see food, shelter and time to stand up.
  4. This is a picture taken as I was leaving Oakley this morning.    The morning was a touch cold but the sunrise with a couple of clouds hanging close by was fun to be a part of.   The road really wasn’t as dark as this picture indicates.

Summary: Today’s 122 mile ride took me to my twelfth  state which is Nebraska.   I can tell I am getting close to the Mid-West given things are green, hot, humid, and there are bugs of all things.   I got used to “no bugs” in California where everyone has screen doors but they don’t use them since no bugs exist.   It would be fun to acquire some of California’s features in the Mid-West.

Thoughts for the Day:

  1. I was thinking on today’s ride which isn’t necessarily a good thing.   We are all part of many systems and contribute in many ways.   When you think about it most of us are involved with the following systems:
  • Family
  • Work
  • Friends
  • Outside Interests and Activities

Do you understand how important you are?

My “coast to coast biking” system is:

  • I am the brains of the operation (wife would argue) and chief pedaling
  • Miracle Go is responsible for mechanical advantage and carrying supplies
  • Environment includes roads, cars, trucks, animals and objects on road
  • Nature who can throw heat, rain, humidity, smoke or even rock slides at us

Each component has a job to do and without all of these factors acting in concert with one another we wouldn’t get very far.

Think about the systems of which you are a part.   The love you show your kids and relatives, the wisdom that you provide to others based on your hard learned lessons, the example you provide to your grandchildren, the review and advice you provide to co-workers are all values that you provide to the systems to which you belong.

Far too often we feel bad about ourselves because we didn’t do something right or can’t help someone out of a problem.   This can sometimes cause us to doubt our own worth.   If you ever get in this spiral stop a moment and think of the value YOU provide to the many systems to which you belong.   This reflection will clearly show that YOU are needed and without YOU the system might come crashing down and if not surely be less efficient.

2.  When I was in Louisville recuperating from my initial three days of 100 miles each, a cousin said, “remember, I’am the one that said 70 miles a day should be your target”.   I listened to his advice both the first time and the second time  this was mentioned.   I wrongly thought that I would adjust to the 100 mile days since I could ride 60 on a regular basis.   I now realize this was wrong thinking.   I would also say that my cousin’s advice while initially correct would have been wrong for me.   I wonder how often we let other people limit us.  If we realize that we are unique people each with their own talents and abilities then we can never say with certainty what we can do.

My lesson?   Take advice and put it in my back pocket for reference.   If I could do it again.   I would start with 70 miles days and gradually build the mileage up to a level where I am comfortable.   I am glad I didn’t limit myself to 70 miles!   Don’t let others limit you!

Heading into the Alma business district for dinner.    Not sure where I will stop but they do have a Subway!

Best wishes from the wonderful state of Nebraska!


Eads, CO to Oakley (as in Annie), KS


  1. This is a picture of the John Wallace Museum.   As I have biked across the West and now mid-West I have seen many, many signs for museums with very few cars in the parking lot.   My feeling is history buffs have lots of information in little museums just waiting for their attention.   If you look carefully you will find a Bison sculpture.
  2. Many of the roads I traveled have been “Scenic By-Ways” through no overt action on my part.   I just kind of end up on them.   If you aren’t in a hurry I would strongly recommend you find the state’s scenic by-way and travel down the “path less traveled”.   Gives a great sense of what the area looks like when there aren’t a lot of people rearranging everything.
  3. Yes indeed, I am now in my 11th state on this journey which is Kansas.   Previous states include Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, New Mexico (twice), Arizona (twice), California, and Colorado.
  4. Eastern Colorado looked exactly like I would expect Kansas to look.   The heavy earth browns of the desert have given way to the greens of fields, pastures and prairies.   This is a picture of Kansas and their lush fields.

Summary:  Well the wind has won.   I have decided I can’t figure out what it’s going to do so my philosophy now is to go with the flow.   Wherever the wind is I will pedal through it and should it get to my back I will fly – “nuff” said.   Today was a mixture of wind and sun.   My goal was 130 miles to Oakley Kansas (287 N to Kit Carson and then 40 E the rest of the way) which was done at 128 miles according to my device.   The transition from CO to KS was smooth with no real noticeable difference.   Both have rolling hills and a lot of greenery and open lands.   The one difference I noticed from the West other than all the “brown” around was fences.   In the fence I biked through thousands of acres of land.   All of it had a fence up which must have taken many, many hours to set up and countless hours since to ensure they were in good repair.   In Kansas I noticed some of the farms didn’t have fences.   You might think this is a minor difference and maybe you’re right but it really looked strange to me.   Again, my 128 miles today isn’t by choice.   The cities are arranged so that I either have to stop at around 80 miles or continue to 130 or so.   My stopping point must have a place to sleep, WiFi, place for dinner and a place for breakfast that is opens around 5:00 or 6:00 p.m.   It would also be nice to have a place to do laundry but that is pretty rare these days.

Tonight’s stop is at a “cheap” Knights Inn in Oakley.   Visited the Dollar Store next store for Chocolate Milk (for now), Orange Juice (for tonight and breakfast), two types of cereal and milk (also for breakfast).   Decided to have breakfast in my room since I didn’t see any fast food places.    The McDs and Subway have deserted this part of the world.   I have only seen one Subway in the last 400 miles.

Grab Bag:

  1. Animals:
    • Saw my first badger out in the wild this morning.   He was on the other side of the road and when he heard me he was startled.   He immediately crouched down and kind of flattened himself.   When he evaluated the threat (I wasn’t going to mess with him) he raised back up and retreated to the vegetation.
    • Saw my second Road Runner on this trip.   I got a good look this times since he didn’t seem to mind me riding past.   He was running here and there looking for breakfast.   From the Lathrop State Park I learned they are great hunters and one of their favorite foods is snake.   I also learned that they are so quick they will also catch hummingbirds on occasion.
    • At the Lathrop State Park and again last night as I was walking through the grass there were hundreds of crickets (or grasshoppers as I don’t know the difference) hopping around.   I don’t know what makes their numbers so high but I am guessing they help the birds with their meals.
    • As I was riding on 40 E today I saw flying grasshoppers for part of the ride.   They would fly by spreading and flapping orangeish wings.   As they flew they would also emit clicking sounds.    It was fun watching them do their thing.
    • Another “by the road” animal in Eastern Colorado were the ants.   They would build they anthills right up against the road.   Either the road provided some extra heat or provided a place that they could put their tunnels underneath.
  2. You’ve heard me babble about the wind just about every day.   Today I had a philosophical revelation.   The wind is a part of the universe.   I can curse it, love it, ignore it and it really doesn’t make any difference since the wind just is.   I liken it to life.   Life has many different parameters most of which we can’t change.   We rant and rave when things don’t go our way but isn’t that a bit ridiculous.   We need to accept life and all those parameters it throws at us (that we can’t change) and control those areas within our power to make the path that we want.   This is a lot like riding my bike.   When I get on it in the morning I don’t know what is in the towns that I will be passing and am completely clueless about the wind.   I load up with water and snacks and set out.   Whatever the wind does and whatever towns have rest stops I take advantage of and if things are going my way I keep going to the tide shifts in my direction.   Bottom line, enjoy the gifts that life provides and make accommodations when the times aren’t so good.

Rants and Raves:

  1. Rave: Motels that are “nice” but don’t charge you and arm and a leg.
  2. Rant: Hate motels that give you a good price and let you find out when you get to your room that WiFi isn’t included.
  3. Rant: State parks that charge $28 for 1 night of tent camping.   Seems pretty steep when you are only going to be on the ground for 10 hours and have no services provided.
  4. Rant: State parks that charge you $28 for the night and when you go to the showers find out that you need to pay $.50 for 4 minutes of shower water.   At a minimum they should give you tokens for 1 shower.
  5. Rave: Truck drivers that give a friendly honk when they are getting ready to pass you or when they are coming your way and wave.    It gives me the feeling that they are looking after their “little” brother.
  6. Rave: Motels that are pricey and can’t lower their price but then through in dinner and drinks with no charge.
  7. Rave: People that see me going into or out of a motel doors and hold the doors to help.
  8. Rave: Motels that understand what I am trying to do and drop the price accordingly.
  9. Rant: People that come up behind me and as they are passing yell or honk their horns.   Haven’t had this happen much but it sure disrupts my internal tranquility.








Walsenburg, CO (Lathrop State Park) to Eads, CO


Well a couple of notables:

  1. Today MG and I completed 3000 miles on our trip.   This is 2590 from the trip out plus the total on the way back 412 equals the current trip total of 3002 miles.
  2. Today MG and I also completed our longest 1 day route.   We completed 147.11 miles.   Trust that this wasn’t necessarily the primary plan.


  1. While at Lothrop State Park I had some time to kill and went to the Ranger station.   They had a fox and bobcat (pictures #1 and #4) on display.   They looked really lifelike.   They had a number of other displays with animal questions and a mural done by a Walt Disney animator about Walsenburg.    State Parks are kinda’ cool.   If you ever get the opportunity you should check them out.
  2. The lonely sign here was placed frequently and say something like, ‘No Snowplowing from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.   I have no clue why such a sign is needed.  Couldn’t they say “Only Snowplow During the Day”.    Any ideas why a sign is needed at all?
  3. Rocky Ford Sonics:   So leaving Lothrop State Park I knew I had to go about 72 miles to Rocky Ford to get breakfast.   The only place between me and Rocky Ford was a 7-11.   The 7-11 was 3 miles away.   I traveled to the 7-11 and got a snack that consisted of two Hostess Chocolate Cup Cakes and two Chocolate Milks.   Together that was about a 600 calorie breakfast which equates to about 100 calories for every 10 miles.


  1. Today was one for the books.   My desire was to go a little over 100 miles.   I knew there were 4 cities out there whose endpoint destinations would have started around 100 miles and end at Eads which was 147.   Never in my wildest imaginations would I have imaged I’d be sitting here writing in Eads to you.   The other 3 cities just didn’t exist.   The closest was Sugar City at 100 miles that had only a Cafe but no other services.   I passed it by thinking I need to have breakfast close by seeking Arlington and Haswell.    Arlington was a park that a bike rider coming West was settling into and Haswell had 1 store that closes on Friday afternoon and doesn’t open again till Monday – no help.   In Haswell I started talking to a construction worker would was tearing down the “no longer operational” hotel.   He confirmed that the only thing to do was to proceed to Eads.   I was out of water and he handed me his last bottle of water – again an unexpected act of kindness.   The 21 miles to Eads (I was already dead tired and ready to crash) was long.   While the wind wasn’t in my face it also wasn’t pushing me along.   With about 7 miles to go I spoke to Myriah (remember the wind?) and asked her to give me a break.   At mile 5 the wind did indeed shift and I went from 11 or so miles an hour to 18!   I am not a superstitious dude but whatever happened I am taking it.   Wait the story isn’t over.  I get into Eads and nothing.   I go down main street and find a closed liquor store, an inn that is no longer in service, a restaurant that is out of business, and little else.   I am now in a quandary and turn around thinking of my next play.   A flashing sign and a “Cobblestone Hotel” off main street – saved.   Shower, dinner, post, and to bed.
  2. Today I was on 160 East and was supposed to stay on 160 East until it turned into 10 East.   Pretty simple steps and after picking up my 7-11 breakfast started today’s journey.   About a mile down from the 7-11 there is a big sign that says go right for 160.   I follow it another 3 miles when 160 merges with I-25 S.   I have been around the block.   I knew that if I followed this route I would be going southeast and giving up ground gained over the last couple of days.   I retraced my steps to Walsenburg.   Sure enough where I made the right there was a little 10 East sign below the 160 East sign (apparently you could go left or right at this point even though only the right direction was advertised).   Moral of this story is don’t trust signs and pay attention to your gut.
  3. You may be curious how I get up in the morning so here is a typical morning.   I go to bed at 8:30 or 9:00 when it is still light because I don’t have anything to do (finished my last book is Costilla).   In Costilla I went to bed without a shirt or socks and froze.   Ever time the wind blew it would find a way in by my head and I’d shiver.   So now, if it is cold, I will wear an undershirt and socks.   The rest of the clothes that I will  wearing the next day is in the sleeping bag with me to stay warm.   I will wake up 2 or 3 times to look at my watch.   When it gets to be around 5:00 a.m. I will poke my head out to look for the sun.   I try be ready to go when the sun is radiating enough light for me to see the road and for the cars to see me.   I don’t use my tent when I am under any kind of roof.   While in the sleeping bag I get fully clothed and put on a windbreaker.   I then pack in order, my sleeping bag, my pad, and the tarp loading each on the big when packed.   My objective is then to go to a McD that is close, eat two breakfast sandwiches, 2 chocolate milks, brush my teeth and be on the road by about 6:00 a.m.   How is that for boring.
  4. For some excitement . . . I am riding down 10 E which I was on for most of the day.   A truck had passed me and was about 1/2 mile ahead when he swerved into the other lane alerting me that something was up.   I see cows (or horses, I wasn’t sure) on the side of the road.   A motorcycle comes up the other side and scares what I now know is a cow into crossing the road.   Looking ahead I see a bull (it had two horns but I wasn’t sure it was a bull) facing me with a defiant stance with some calves behind.   Now this is a situation I hadn’t expected and was sure what to do.   All of a sudden I hear a voice that says, “What would John Wayne do”?   Instantly I reacted but kicking MG (Miracle Go) up a mile or two and shouted, “Yahoo, let’s go”.   You see I figured it was time for a round up.   The cows all headed back to the gate they came through and I passed on by.   For the record, if that bull had come for me I would have been out of there John Wayne or no.
  5. This morning I was in my wake up phase deciding if I should get up or not.   I stuck my head out and said “naw” another 15 minutes.   I stuck my head back in the sleeping bag and head a bird tweeting away.   I listened to this really loud bird and thought “what the heck”?   Turns out he was on a pole in my campsite about 5 feet away.   Why he thought I needed waking up I will never know.
  6. Wasn’t looking forward to this morning’s run.   I knew I had 70+ miles before breakfast and that isn’t any fun.   One of my lessons is that to enjoy life you sometimes just have to get out there to see what is going to happen.   This morning the 10 E road and the wind was at my back.   The roads were straight as arrows and the hills were the gently rolling kind . . . and I know how to ride gently rolling roads.   MG and I did over 70 miles in 5 hours with a 16.5 mph average.   It felt good to be moving and making tracks.

Sorry for being overlong on this.   Sometimes I have time and stories and other times my mind is blank.   Hope you were able to find something of interest and I think tomorrow will find me in Kansas or very close to it.   I continue to use Colorado (as I used New Mexico and will use Kansas) to climb North to make an easterly approach to Wisconsin.

Sweet dreams to all!

Costilla, NM to Walsenburg, CO


  1. This are some of the mountains that were in front of me this morning.   I eventually climbed to 9413 feet at the La Veta Summit in Colorado.   The climb was long and tedious but the downhill was 4 miles long and paid me back.   The “wind” dividend doesn’t seem to be paying me back yet.   It was in my face most of the morning as I was climbing up the mountains/mesas but did seem to be more at my back when I crested the mountain.
  2. Yesterday, as you know, I missed posting.    There was a fire at Eagle’s Nest that interrupted burnt the cell tower into a “non-working” status.    This morning I stopped at the Old West Cafe in Fort Garland where I saw this poster about riding with Pancho Villa.   Any takers?
  3. This is a picture of last night’s “nest” at Costilla.   The night was interesting for a couple of reasons.   First I was on a porch.   What I didn’t realize was that the porch had a night light that was on all night.   That could have been a problem but wasn’t since I was tired and cold and in the sleeping back nothing seems to bother me.   I did think about snakes since I wasn’t in the tent.   My thoughts were that a snake would have to cross the cold desert floor to get at my body heat that he didn’t know was there – discounted that fear.   Since this wasn’t a sanctioned location you never know who might stop by and tell you to move on.   While this didn’t happen a guy in a truck went by and said “hi”.   Why he came back there I will never know since there isn’t a lot back there.   While I was laying down in the sleeping bag two dogs came to within 20 feet of me.   We startled each other with neither of us knowing the protocol of the situation.   While thoughts of wild dogs dancing in my head the dogs decided that humans should be feared and left never to be seen again.
  4.  I was 1.7 miles west of Colorado and found this sign bright and early.    It was cold and I was trying to get my hands warm.   Bottom line is that I continue N/E.

New Mexico and Colorado continue to vex me.   I stopped today with 81 miles because after Walsenburg there is another 60 miles to the next city.   I have to calculate getting breakfast and dinner and can’t be too far in between and still get sustenance.    Hoping that I soon reach areas where decent size cities and towns are about every 30 miles or so.

Currently I am staying at a state park (Lathop I think) just west of Walsenburg.   I stopped figuring it was the cheapest place to stop and since all state parks have showers.   What I found out is that I can shower if I pay $.50 for 4 minutes of water.   Forgive me but this is ridiculous and should be covered by the $28 1 night fee.

The scenery is beautiful and they do have a park ranger talking about snakes tonight.

Working on tomorrow’s route now and hope to have a clear idea of where I am headed.

Wishing you my best!

Santa Fe, NM to Costilla, NM


  1. Northern New Mexico is beautiful.   Full of trees, hills, mesas, and winding roads.   They even have water activities!
  2. Last night I spent the night on the porch of a out of service community center in Costilla, NM about 2 miles south of the Colorado boarder.
  3. Passed many National Forests on my journey.   The small sign warns of a high risk of firs again pointing to an extended drought in many areas.
  4. The sign into Questa where I planned on spending the night.   A fire in Eagle’s Nest put the cell tower out of service so after two grilled cheeses and a Coke I continued another 20 miles to Costilla.   Didn’t help the Cell problem.
  5. An example of road/scenery is Northern New Mexico.

Well New Mexico tried to capture me again.   I stopped in Questa expecting to check in with folks and get my post done.   Found out that the cellular tower was down and few WiFi access points were available.   The services were sparse and nothing would be open in the morning to get me going.   I decided to go to Costilla about 20 miles up the road where I would be closer to a place to get breakfast.

Costilla had little more than a store where I bought some chocolate milk and a bag of miniature donuts for breakfast.   The lady there told me of an abandoned community center .25 miles away where I made my camp for the evening.   It was still early so I ended up finishing a book I was reading.    The elevation was 7770 and I was a little worried about the cold.    My sleeping bag was up to the task and the approximated high 40 degree temperatures weren’t too bad after my hands warmed up.

I am now sitting in the “Old West Cafe” in Fort Garland with a population of about 420.   I wasn’t able to get today’s route down so I will be doing that now.

Wishing you all a spectacular day and trust that I will be eagerly moving East toward more populated areas and out of the mountains as quickly as I can.


Amtrack, CA to Santa Fe, NM


  1. Returning home via a northern route.   This is a picture of New Mexico heading to Santa Fe.   Much more green, many more hills, and looks more inviting than the plain desert to the south.
  2. The Amtrak boarded about an hour and a half late.   Instead of getting on at 6:45 it was more like 8:30.   When I woke up the next morning we were pulling into a station.   Took me awhile to figure out we had arrived in Flagstaff, AZ.
  3. This is the #4 Train Southwest Chief that I boarded.   It arrived after numerous announcements that it woud be only 10 minutes more.
  4. Picture looking out the window while moving.   Can’t tell from the picture but the scenery from the train was really nice.    All the way West I would look at the trains pass me.   It was “different” being on the train and watching the world from that perspective.
  5. This is a picture between cars.   It was simple passing from coach to coach.   There were coach cars, obeservation cars, dining cars, restrooms underneath each coach car and a sign that said if you don’t have a sleeping car ticket don’t proceed past this point.
  6. Finally off the train and back on the rode.   My old friend route 66 met me and let me out of Albuquerque.

Today was a day of terribly powerful temptations.   It started when we realized that the train I was on to Albuquerque continued to Chicago.   All I had to do is oversleep and I would wake up in my back yard.

I was told that once I landed in Albuquerque all I had to do if find the bus station.   The bus station had a bus that goes from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.

As I was going through Albuquerque a number of motels offered a daily price of $29.99.   While I was fully refreshed the price was right and I could have spent some time collecting supplies.

Well I didn’t oversleep, get on the bus, or stop at a motel in Albuquerque and made 62 miles and will soon be looking for a place to sleep.   I expected to be full of energy when I started this morning moving like a lightening bolt.   Reality did not fulfill this expectation.   First I had to put Miracle Go back together.   She couldn’t carry her bags on the train which meant I needed to do so.   I carried her 4 saddle bags, my helmet, and the handlebar bag as soon as I could get off the train to the baggage car.   I picked MG up and put her together – boy she looks good clean.   I started riding and had no trouble finding route 66 out of town.   However the bike felt extremely heavy and slow.   I think my legs thought the trip was finished and refused to engage.   The first 20 miles were tough especially since I started at 1:00 pm by which time we usually have 70 miles behind us.   After the 20 miles we started cooking.

Lots of hills but the ascents seemed to be always balanced by nice long descents.   I also started to get the North East bound benefit.   Sometimes while going uphill the wind helped push – YES!

The best part of the day was when someone asked where I was going and after a momentary thought I happily replied, “I am going home to Ohio!”