Monday, August 1, 2011


> 6/30 - 7/5
> We spent these days hanging out in Appleton, WI with Daynes sweet grandma and cousins. Talk about two crazy boys.( we mean the two young ones Billy) Dayne was always busy doing something with them. Either jumping on the tramp, jumping on the tramp with sprinkler below, playing kick ball, baseball, basketball, board games galore, slip n slide, and other crazy things! Being able to spend time with grandma was really the best.  We are so glad we were able to make it here and will cherish the time spent with her! Sitting together in the morning having a bowl of cereal and some quiet time to talk was priceless. The stories and family history she told kept is entertained for hours. Who knew one person could remember so many names of distant and gone family members. We had a great time and really hated that we had to leave, but the road was calling.
> 7/6
> We had an easy 50 miles to get to the ferry at Manitowok, WI. but it was hard to say good bye to the family so we left way late and had to really hustle. About 25 miles out Daynes knees started hurting and we had to stop a couple times to  stretch and loosen up. Being that we were already too late to catch the ferry today, we decided to follow a sign that said "you pick fresh strawberry's." It was a mile ride up  a dirt road but  so worth it. We picked about 3 pounds of melt in your mouth fresh strawberry's, and it only cost us 5 bucks! We  headed to the town just north called Twin Rivers. There is a beautiful state park right on Lake Michigan and we camped there. What we didn't know was that the park is filled with thieves. Ones that steal all your food in the middle of the night and leave the muffin paper placed nicely a foot away from where you are soundly sleeping! I think they were just saying thanks for all the good stuff by making us clean up after them.
> 7/8
> We decided it would be cool to wake up and watch the sun rise over the lake. That would be 4:30 AM  due to the fact that once you cross the lake, the time changes to Eastern. Anyway, it was crazy beautiful and so worth it. The Ferry didn't leave till 12:30 so we hung out at the beach. We rode  the trail that goes for miles through rain forest type vegetation and has  such beautiful views of the vast lake that looks like the ocean its so big. We boarded the Ferry called the Badger and set sail for a 4 hour boat ride, 5 hours if you count the time change. The ship had a theater, two restaurants, gift shop, museum, and many places to sit and enjoy the view. We met a couple of super nice people who all thought we were half crazy but were very interested about the journey. One guy even gave us his number and said if we meet any trouble in Michigan that its only tops 3 hours drive and he would help us anytime. We got ashore at about 8:30 PM and decided we should find our temporary home for the night instead of riding for another hour. We set up camp at a animal pound that had some soft green grass, which should have been a sign not to set up there. First off, after getting eaten by mosquitoes for hours which kept us from being able to stay asleep, we finally set up the tent at 1:30 AM. We were away from the mosquitoes but  it was so hot! we lay on top of our sleeping bags and finally slept. Just three hours later we were awakened by sprinklers hitting the tent and us, so we got a free shower! We quickly moved everything over to a dry patch on the side of a road. After all that were so tired that climbing into wet sleeping bags didn't stop us from falling asleep.
> 7/9
> We quickly learned why you don't set up camp behind a dog pound. At 7AM  the dogs are let out to their outside kennels and they barked at us continuously until we packed and left. Traveling through Michigan was better then we thought. It is super wooded with lot's of pine and other trees. The further inland we got, the better the scenery. The forest goes right down to the lake shore. As we were flying down the road Dayne spotted a phone and had to stop and check it out.The htc google phone was in perfect shape except for the totally cracked screen. But it was a good excuse to stop riding in the crazy heat and humidity for a bit. After taking a short cut off the highway and getting sort of lost, we discovered that two spokes had broken so we had to stop to fix them. It was perfect timing  because it caught the attention of the Ed and Mary. They asked if everything was alright and invited us to stay in their guest loft. Once we arrived at their place, we got a taste of what living in beautiful Michigan would be like. Their summer house sits right on a clear stream with a deck built right next to it. And just a 5 minutes walk takes you to a private lake. They put us up in an awesome loft with at least 6 beds in it to choose from, they have a lot of grand kids we found out. After a refreshing swim in the stream and then a shower we slept like royalty in our own private loft.
> 7/10
> Being so used to the sun waking us up, we had to have a wake up call from Mary. But who can complain when there's biscuits and an amazing bowl of out meal with brown sugar, butter, and raisins all mixed together to make a mouth watering concoction. After breakfast we said our goodbyes and headed for Port Huron on the border of Canada. If we thought the day before was hot we had no freaking idea! The next day was Chars B-day so we had to make it so we could spend that day hanging out on the beaches of Lake Huron. The only problem was that the heat was trying to kill us! It was 95 degrees with 85 percent humidity, oh and little to no wind. Since we are so used to the dry Utah heat, we felt as though we were cooking alive. After a way way too long day we finally made it to Bonnie's house in Port Huron. Char was sick from the day of heat and could barely choke down some food. There is only one thing you need when you've put your body through so much, needles to say we slept very well!
> 7/11
> Today was Chars B day and I  had promised her we wouldn't bike on her birthday. The problem is that is our means of transportation, so we had to, but just enough to get us to a few places. It was a great day. We ate fresh made donuts by the river while watching the giant 1000 ft ships go by. We skipped rocks on Lake Huron, saw the movie Horrible Bosses and laughed our butts off, and we ate at a few awesome local restaurants. The best part though, was  we only biked like 15 miles that day hurray!!
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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wednesday 6/22 - Saturday 6/25

   6/22 - After leaving the Calkins and getting out of the crazy floods, we headed strait for Brookings, SD.  Luckily we were out of the never ending rolling evil hills.  Although there is one benefit to hills that one must recognize, once you get to the top, you can stand up and ride down it.  Thirty seconds doesn't seem like a long break, but its just the recovery the sore butt needs.  After many miles of flat roads and wind that was blowing hard enough we were actually riding at a slant, we found a nice baby size lds church lawn to sleep on in the town of Miller, SD.  It was a beautiful sunset, and since we hadn't seen the sun in days, it was a treat to watch it set with a large corn silo in the silhouette.
  6/23 - The next morning we stopped at a nice local grocery store to pick up some breakfast and or donuts.  Because everyone knows that donuts are the best fuel for biking all day, or we just have a weakness for them.  The store owner let us fill up our gallon bottle with delicious filtered water for free.  We gladly accepted this because we drink some strange tasting water I tell you what.  We got a late start but luckily the wind wasn't against us all that much.  This day we decided was the day we were going to break into the triple digits for our miles.  What seemed like an easy task, wore on and on for 6 and 1/2 hours.  After the hills, wind, and a crazy flying crop duster plane which Dayne thought was a large Remote Controled plane, we made it at 103 miles.  Dayne wanted to go the extra 20 miles to Brookings, SD but realized it was almost dark and we were totally spent.  Luckily these small towns have awesome little camp grounds in the city park.  This one had a beautiful pond with some angry geese that were giving us a little gruff for sleeping by them.
  6/24 - Waking up after riding that long and hard isn't really the most pleasant experience.  Everything is sore and moving is way too much of a chore then it should be.  After a nice breakfast of cream of wheat, oatmeal, and a bananna, we headed off towards brookings.  It was only 20 miles but Dayne quickly lost energy and was super hungry.  So we made a stop in Brookings and ate an 'all you can eat' pizza buffet and ate way too much almost feeling sick. We came across another couple Rachel and Brian crossing the country going west. They were staying with some couch surfers and said we could probably take a shower there! So an hour after being there the host quickly talked me into staying for the night and going to Sioux Falls 40 miles south for his friends show.  Then I slowly talked Dayne into agreeing to stay he he. There also happened to be a car show and tons of people everywhere.  We even got to meet up with Martin from Fort Pierre, he was down there for the weekend so it ended up being a really fun night.
   6/25- Today we woke up and walked across the street to Brookings mini farmers market for some just picked strawberries yum! Then walked over to a ma and pa cafe for breakfast and then hit the road. We stopped at a grocery store to pick up some veggies for dinner and inside the store, in the produce section we found something on Dayne. We're guessing at about the border of SD and WI, Dayne recieved his first tick ever, so much fun!!  He wanted to know what the heck was on the back of his neck so I looked, and I don't have much experience with those so I said it looked like some bug that was trying to get in his skin ha ha gross!  So as we were screaming, jumping all around and freaking out I tried to get him to calm down and I took his shirt that was still on him and used it to pick it off.  Dayne starts screaming, "where is it, where is it!?!" So he rips off his shirt, throws it to the ground and starts stomping on it.  And I'm yelling at him to go to the bathroom because people are starring at us as were still in the produce section ha ha ahhh!  When we were finally out of the store and pulling away a really nice lady asked us where we're from and where we're going and said she wished we were staying the night so the local newspaper could do an article on us as they love bicyclists. It made us feel normal again and not like such freaks that we had just looked like in the store. She must have just missed that outragious scene right?  Back on the bike again for another thirty miles or so to find a not so hidden camping spot for the night right off the highway ending close to Springfield.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday June 18th, Sunday 19th

Saturday: We woke to what would be an ever windy but sunny day. Ah, when the wind is blowing at you it's going to be a greeeeat day. Not!  The rolling hills of wheat are as green as you can get. When I say rolling hills I mean rolling hills of evilness! Its so discouraging to get to the top of a leg burning, brutal hill only to see  yet another one steeper and longer sticking its tongue out at you. Oh and for all those that told us, "oh don't you worry, its flat out there in South Dakota,"  I beg to differ!
After fighting wind, hills, and a few more broken spokes, we decided to take a break at a totally random baseball field out in the middle of nowhere. I mean seriously it was probably 20 miles to the closest town -really strange!
We made some awesome spaghetti in our little stove adding broccoli to replace the meat. We still had a 30 mile trek into the wind and needed the carbs. As we were going up one of the most brutal hills we broke two more spokes. Dayne loves changing spokes! Getting covered in grease and dirt from the road would be any ones dream of course!
We were hooked up with a place to stay that night by cousin Lisa. Thank you Lisa!   Luke and Crystal provided us a well needed shower and cooked awesome home made pizza for us. It was so delicious  Dayne ate almost a whole one to himself. What else is new, right? After pizza, salad, home made cookies and blueberry muffins we were finally full. If you didn't know already, we eat a lot and love it! Haha. Thank you Crystal and Luke for all! Sleeping on a bed was what we needed although we are getting quite accustomed to sleeping on the ground without even our mats. I think this is due to the fact that 6 to 7 hours on a bike can make you so tired anything feels like a feather bed.

Sunday: After eating a healthy delicious bowl of cereal provided courtesy of our awesome hosts , we headed out. This would be  the last sunny day we would see for awhile . Riding through Pierre South Dakota, we saw what the devastation of flooding truly is. The town is situated along the Missouri river (a bad place  to be in a crazy year like this one). Houses have been evacuated and a huge dirt levy built by the national guard surrounds the town. The back tire needed to be "trued" and we needed more spokes so when  we reached the next town with a bike shop we looked for a  couch surfing host. For those not familiar with CS; you make an online account, sharing info. about yourself.  People who offer a "couch" in the town you are in can "accept"  and then you have a place to stay. It might sound sketchy but it is a super great way to meet cool people and avoid the high cost of hotels and such. Gratefully, Martin in Ft. Pierre accepted us, so we headed that way. Right off the bat we were introduced to his family, mom and dad and younger brother. All great people who welcomed us into their home with open arms. After feeding us some awesome roast beef they had just cooked, Martin and his brother Adam took us up to the spillway of the damn. This was totally insane. There are 6 pipes probably about20 ft in diameter, all of them shooting out water with such force it made the ground shake. Since there is so much water they have to let it out the emergency spillway at 160,000 square feet a minute. That's 1.5 times more than Niagara falls! We saw all the flooding and damage caused by it. All these peoples houses empty with sand bags surrounding them not knowing if they will be totally flooded or not.
That night it started to rain. It didn't stop for two whole days and there were tornado warnings too. We stayed with the Calkins for three days! They were so generous and treated us like family. They fed us these amazing meals, shared good conversation and took us around town, like this award winning ice cream place which was absolutely exquisite. We were welcomed to shower, clean our dirty cloths, and they helped us get needed bike parts. Although the weather totally sucked, we are grateful because it gave us the chance to meet some of the funnest, sweetest people one could ever meet. We're so grateful and will never forget this lesson of seeing just how big of hearts people can have. By far one of the biggest lessons learned on this journey.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Monday, June 20, 2011


Jewel Caves

Cruisin through Colorado right after we lost our solar panel :(

Yay first state crossing!

Harney Peak fire lookout, highest point in South Dakota

We got to the peak when the sun was setting, beautiful but had to hike back 4 miles in the dark 

Hill City, we hid in the trees behind us at night, best home away from home ever

The wind never stops blowin out here in South Dakota!

That's what you call WAY too much water in the lake, tons of flooding in Pierre, SD.
Right when we were taking off, so naive...haha

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Friday June 10th

We ate breakfast in a interesting biker/fisherman bar where there were hundreds of one dollar bills taped everywhere with peoples names on them. After that we made the 30 mile journey to Casper Wyoming in quick time.While riding down the street in town we were approached by a super nice couple, John and Mary O'connor. They offered us a shower and place to stay if we wanted. We hadn't showered in days so the thoughts of getting the dirt and sweat off sounded quite pleasant. After the lovely  showers they fed us an awesome lunch while telling of their own adventures out on the road. We couldn't have been happier hanging out with these two super nice and giving people! Sadly their daughter was at a school camp and we never got to meet her. John took Dayne to get a new tire which was welll needed. The old one was getting quite warn down. Being that they were so generous and fun we decided to rest that day and stay the night. Also we rode to the Cheap Seats theater and saw Fast Five, good thing we didn't pay much for those tickets! Haha. We were offered a nice bed but decided the tramp sounded more fun since it was so clear out.
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June 13th, 16th, 17th

Monday: We woke up in the Inn and went down for a continental breakfast which was oh so much better than our usual fare of granola bars and penut butter. We decided we would stay in the Black Hills and check out the scenery for a day or two more. We saw Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Jewel Cave, and hiked Harney Peak. It's the highest point in all of South Dakota, which has an amazing view of 5 states! We stayed in Hill City every night storing our trailer in the Inn we stayed at  the first night, but after that we camped within walking distance in the woods. The whole stay was amazing and we highly recommend your next summer adventure to be there!

Thursday:  We headed out, sad to leave but ready to get back in the saddle. Okay we weren't ready for the pain~  but there's some things you just can't change, and that saddle pain does not go away until you get off the bike again. We made it to Rapid City, hungry and tired from all the hill climbs. We found a super good mexican grill and refueled. Dayne asked a nice BestBuy worker who was on his lunch break if he was going to finish the rest of his chips and dip, and ate it happily when he said it was no problem. We had the wind at our backs and headed across the flat grasslands. After riding in rain for a couple hours we decided to stop and found a nice field that seemed free of cows and other livestock, pitched the tent and were soon fast asleep.

Friday:  Waking with the sun at 630 AM  we made breakfast, which consisted of instant oatmeal we snatched from our continental breakfasts days earlier and granola bars. We made it to Badlands national park in great time with the wind at our backs. At a gas station right outside of the park we met Sitting Bear and Anthony Braveheart, two very nice, very drunk Native Americans. They were very adamant that we get a picture with the two of them and then  we said goodbye as they drove away, luckily in the opposite direction we were headed! The drive through the park was awesome, There are tons of crazy dirt hills much like Goblin Valley in Utah. We rode until sunset which was at 8:15, which is really early for this time of year, Later we heard it was due to the fact we were just miles from the time zone change. The problem with setting up camp so late is that you can't tell for sure if there is livestock about.  We wondered if we would wake to cows or horses sniffing us out  whether they might clumsily walk over the tent in the night. Luckily it was livestock free and we slept like rocks.
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday 6/11

Saturday 6-11-11:

Woke up from a nice slumber on the tramp at the Oconner`s house. They were so generous they even had bowls ready for some nutritious and delicious cereal. After our sad goodbye and a quick picture we headed north towards Wright, Wyoming. It was a 91 mile trip and we wanted to get an early start.

Along the frontage road we met two biker men that we rode with for about 5 miles. They had some good advice about the terrain and warned us that about 20 miles ahead toward Wright there were serious storms, and to watch out. At the time we didn't think too much about their warning which we came to find out we probably should have.

After riding in rain, hail and crazy winds our tire blew out, hurray! Instead of patching it we sat down with the tarp over us and planned on waiting it out. Out of nowhere we had two saviors come asking us if we needed a ride.  While riding the 4 milesin to the town, they told us there was a tornado warning in effect in that area till 11pm that night.

Our saviors, Vern and Kay Bennett, are some of the most generous sweet people on Earth! Dayne and Vern worked on the bike for a couple of hours, because the three spare  that we brought all seemed to have holes in them! One was a brand new tube from a bike shop in Draper, I choose not to name, that when pumped up burst because it was total junk! The others were older and had split from being folded for so long, I guess. Vern gave us tools and batteries that we were in need of, which we are so so so grateful for! Kay fried us up an amazing chicken and rice dinner that we devoured ever so happily. Seeing that it was late and wet outside they had us sleep in a spare bed, ah it did feel nice!

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