Bill's Cycle Trip

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The End









Bill and Frank rode into Wickenburg, AZ about noon on March 4. Bill had begun his journey across the USA in St. Augustine, FL on Nov. 28. He has gone clear across this wonderful and beautiful nation alone and also with friends and relatives. I explained earlier why he was ending in AZ after putting his front wheel in the Pacific Ocean. We feel very fortunate not to have had any serious incidents and to have had good weather most of the time. We have met many new friends on this adventure. He did this bike ride to let his grandchildren know life does not end when one grows older. This has been an adventure and now that it is over he wants to do more. S000000 we are planning the next bike adventure.

I have put pictures on today that were taken the last few days of the trip. We were in the desert and in the mountains. One night we camped facing the Colorado River. We stopped for lunch in a small corners type village named Hope. There we met a young man just starting on the same route Bill had just completed, but West to East. His name is Ed Boggess. He had begun in LA as we were beginning in San Diego on Monday and had caught up with us in Hope.

We have some business to attend and then will head to NC through Texas where we will stop to visit David in Austin.

We thank you for all your support, prayers and encouragement. It has been the experience of a lifetime.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Pictures of the Backward Trip







These are pictures mentioned in the writing that you will read next..which I wrote and was unable to post any pictures.

Beginning the Backward Trip

On Monday, Feb. 27 Frank and Bill dipped the front wheel of their bikes in the Pacific Ocean on a beautiful beach in San Diego. That left Betty and me to handle the new motor home. We got along fine and so did the guys. However, something happened that made the Californians very happy and us very sad...RAIN!!! Thank goodness it did not start to rain until later in the day and we picked up the guys and took them back to Cuyamaca State Park and a cozy sleep with rain drops on the roof. It was still raining in the morning. Rather than sit there and use up more time....we are anxious to get home....we drove the bike route until it stopped raining.

Here I would like to interject something facinating about nature that we learned at the Cuyamaca State Park. There is a certain kind of pine tree that the woodpeckers drill holes ...every inch of the tree is a hole! Then these wood peckers get an acorn...long and pointed in shape...force it into a hole and come back later...take out the acorn and eat the worms from the tree that have bored themselves into the acorn!...Everyone wins ...except the worm!! I will put a picture of this, but had to explain it so you would understand this crazy picture! If you look carefully you will see the acorns in the holes!

The guys had a great 56 mile ride on Tues. after we got beyond the rain. We boondocked on BLM land next to the Naval Aerial Gunnery Ranges...which was closed to the public. We were there all by ourselves...miles of sand with mountains in the background. The sun set was so fantastic. It was one of the most memoriable sun sets of the trip.

Wednesday we drove out of the desert and got to Blythe, CA right on the border. It was a beautiful park and right on a river. We went by miles and miles of beautiful farm land that was irrigated. They had bales of straw piles along the sides of the fields to keep the sand from drifting on the fields. We know we saw alfalfa and green onions, but there fields of other crops we could not identify.

Today we did not travel far. We went as far as Quartzite, AZ. So we are back in the mountain time zone. Quartzite is a town that mushrooms to 1,000s of motorhomes in late Jan. and Feb. We are at the end, but there are still lots of motor homes here. You can boon dock out in the desert on BLM lands and people do. You see motor homes on these lands as far as you can see. There are tent businesses to supply these people. We may try to get here for the busy time another year just to experience it. I do not have pictures of this.

So now you are up to date. We plan to get to Phoenix in the next couple of days and then after an appointment for our motor home on Monday, we will head for Texas and home.

(If I can find a picture of the baby panda I will include it on this writing) For some reason I can't get the pictures to post. Will keep trying, but if there are none, I will get them on later.

End of trip is backwards!!!





When Bill planned this trip he contacted an Iowa friend, Frank Smith. Frank is an avid biker and wanted to finish the trip with Bill when we got to Phoenix. However, we were later arriving in AZ than planned and Frank and Betty had plans to go to Mexico for a week. Rather than wait another week Bill and I drove on to San Diego and spent several days there sight seeing. We had a wonderful time. We camped in the Cuyamaca State Campground east of SD. We had met Charlie and Rosie Bolon in Marfa, TX. They are the campground hosts for this campground for February and March. We had a wonderful time going to the Del Coronado Hotel for lunch on Thursday and then to La Jolla to see the seals. Babies are born February through April and there were several babies. On Friday we went to Balboa Park. We rented a car and were able to be independent. On Saturday we took an Old Town Trolley tour of the city. We had done that in St. Augustine before enbarking on this trip and it just felt right to finish our visit to San Diego the same way. We ended this tour with a walk in the famous San Diego zoo and saw the baby panda asleep in a tree.

On Sunday we went back to Yuma and picked up Frank and Betty who had been with friends in Mexico. We traveled back on Interstate 8 going through th desert for the 3rd time. Over the weekend there were 1,000s of motor homes with trailers parked...boon docking...in the desert and 1,000s of ATVs scooting all over the dunes on the BLM lands. It was noisy and fascinating. By the time we were going back to CA most of them had gone, but I did take a few pictures.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New Wheels



We are leaving Arizona with a new motor home. We will miss our wonderful Born Free. We went to look at motor homes...just to "kick wheels" and came away realizing what cramped quarters we had for the amount of time we are spending on the road. We put 55,000 miles on that Born Free and we haven't had it 3 yrs yet!

We now abide in a 29' Winnebago Itsaca Sunova. It has 2 slide outs and offers us much more room. We feel comfy and are hoping to travel many many miles in it.

Visiting in Arizona



It is Feb. 22 and we are preparing to leave the wonderful and gorgious state of Arizona. We have had many days of sight seeing and visiting friends and relatives. I just want to share with you some of the memories we carry with us.

In Green Valley we visited Rosie's sorority sister Jo Gatz and her husband, Don. There we had a delightful Sunday aftenoon in the Sabino Canyon. What gorgious scenery. The sky was Carolina blue and contained white puffy clouds. We hiked and had a great time...especially Bill, the goat, Miller. We also took a tour of a Trader Joe's grocery store. What fun.

Upon leaving this area we went to the Titan Missile Museum. It is a very informative museum and we learned a lot. That day we also took in the Kartchner Caverns State Park. These caverns were discovered in the 1970s and kept a secret until they could be presented to the public properly. It is a well done tour and if you have a chance you should go. We stayed in an adjoining RV Park and took a nice hike the next morning.

Next we went to Sierra Vista and visited another sorority sister, Marlynn Senne and her husband Ed. They winter in this area of beauty and took us on a tour of the Coronado National Memorial Hwy. The Monezeuma Canyon Road is one of beauty. We over looked Mexico and tried to see people crossing the border, but could not.

Our next visit was with Bill's cousin Jean Kolp and her husband Bernie. They have been coming to the Tucson area for years and have many friends. We attended a once a month pancake breakfast with them. Then we toured the Pima Air and Space Museum. That is over 200 airplanes on display. Next door and part of a tour is the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. What a sight ...thousands of mothballed aircraft.

We spent an entire day at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a zoo and botonical garden featuring plants and animals of the Sonora Desert. It is winter so there wasn't a lot in bloom. The animals were there. We saw javelinas and many other animals and birds. We watched a Raptor show. They have a wonderful hummingbird house. Topping off that day was dinner with friends of Rosie's from 30 years ago in Minnesota, Roy and Lois Bahnson. What a joy to see each other after all these years and for Bill to have the opportunity to meet them. They are renting a home for 2 months and have a gorgious sunset view. It is hard not to have a sunset or sunrise view in this part of the world.

In the Phoenix area we visited Bill's nephew, Mike Spier and his lively Lab, Blue; Frank and Betty Smith, Bill's friends from Janesville, IA; Patty and Charlie Bryant, Rosie's long time friends from West Virginia. We were hosted by Ralph and Pat Canfield, friends of Frank and Betty's. We have been on the campuses of Arizona State U and the University of Arizona where we visited with Bill's grand nephew Ryan Martinez. I also learned that the name of those wonderful giant cacti is Saguaro. I just love seeing them all over the landscape.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Travels out of New Mexico into Arizona

I have posted pictures from New Mexico with Bill in the snow in the mountains . Then there is a picture of a NM rock/mountain formation. It was so beautiful there, as it is in Arizona. There is another picture of the Cliff dwellings...looking from inside to outside. It was really rugged terain there. I have put on a picture of Lisa and Bill as they are about to go downhill for the last time before Lisa left. The scenery was so gorgious. Bill and I spent one night at an RV park at the Aztec Casino. There is a picture of Bill leaving in the morning. We are currently in a wonderful rugged park above Mesa, AZ called Usery Mountain Regional Park. I took sunset pictures the first night we were here. You can see a sliver of the moon in the upper left of the picture. The tall sorrel (not sure of spelling) cactus are tall against the sunset. We over look the beautiful lights of Mesa each night, but I have not taken a picture yet. We will be here 4 nights.

The route here on Hwy 60 was pretty rough. There was lots of traffic and not much of a shoulder. On Sat. Bill will ride to Tucson and we will spend time in that area of AZ. We will not be continuing on the bike ride until about the 20th of Feb. We are going to explore AZ in the meantime. At this moment he is out on a 7 mile mountain hike. I hiked with him yesterday, but did not like the idea of 7 miles today. We will go on a shorter hike later today. We will go into Mesa tomorrow to do laundry and other chores. Plus we want to explore Mesa. I don't know when I will do another blog, so don't get worried when you see nothing new! We are having a great time. Both of us fell in love with New Mexico. We could move there easily.

Pictures of New Mexico and Arizona






Monday, January 30, 2006

Pictures of entering Arizona



Hellow to Arizona and Bye to Lisa

Bill and Lisa got a real good up hill climb in yesterday and then down the other side. They ended up with wind in their faces so even had to pedal on the steep down hill! We crossed over in AZ after dark on Sat. night, so went back and took pictures Sun. a.m. and then proceeded up and down a steep mountain before meeting Frank and Betty Smith, Iowa friends who winter in Phoenix area. They were nice enough to come and get Lisa and take her to the Phoenix airport and her flight home today. We really enjoyed her being with us. Now Bill is biking alone again.
We spent the night in an RV Park near Safford, AZ...way east in the Gila Mountains.

Saturday, January 28, 2006






I have found the pictures, so I will post them. The first one is of Bill on the upclimb. I do not know if I will be able to write about them after I post them but I am intending to post pictues of the scenery. Notice the snow on the taller mountains.
The three of us at the Gila National Forest sign and Katie and Kevin at the Continental Divide sign. Will now post pictures of the cliff dwelings.

Mountain biking

We are in Silver City, NM. Bill and Lisa have gone on ahead and I am to write a blog. Bill put lots of pictures of the last 2 days on the computer, but do you think I can find them? Plus he does not answer his cell phone...so no pictures today. When you do get to see them, you are in for a treat.

On Wed. they left the campground at Cabello Lake in a misty rainy situation. But the day did get better. They had a climb of 2,000 feet that day and did very well. The last 1000 was done in about 8 miles. We visited a bed and breakfast, Black Range Lodge, in Kingston, NM because Kevin and Katie were chilling out there. There are 15 people who live in Kingston! This couple are running this bed and breakfast, but the main thing they are doing is building houses from straw bales! We went on a tour. It was very interesting. They have radiant heat in the floors. She is an author and has written several books concerning this subject. If you want to know more about this type of construction go to: www.strawbalecentral.com

There had been snow in the mountains and there were several snowplows passing us. On Thurs. all four rode together. It was to be the biggest climb of the week. The total rise on Thurs. was 3,0000. We crossed over the Continental Divide twice. Took pictures at one. The views were spectacalular. We stayed in a National Forest Service Campground and had electricity but the water froze. With our Golden Age Pass it was 3.50 to camp!!!

On Fri. all of us jumped in the motor home and drove to the Gila Cliff Dwellings further into the mountains. What an experience! We were there early and thus pretty much alone and had the undivided attention of the volunteer guide. These people lived in caves centuries ago much like the Tarahumaran Indians do in Mexico to this day! We have good pictures. The drive there was so pretty. We took lots of scenery pictures.

After that side trip we parted ways with Kevin and Katie and we drove on into Silver City. It is about 10,000 population. Lisa and I did some shopping while Bill took care of some business. We had a wonderful restaurant meal. We even were able to walk to the restaurant about 7 blocks away.

I have had a hard time the last two days. First I must not have latched the door to the microwave and the glass plate fell out and broke in to many slivery pieces. Thus I had a giant clean up. Now we are looking for another plate. Also, I once again drove off with out getting in the door mat. This is the 2nd one on this trip, but #5 since buying this motor home! Worst of all I cooked bacon and eggs for everyone on Thurs. a.m. and had a new too large skillet that we have used before but I guess the length of time kept the heat trapped and the knobs on the two burner stove melted. It was lots of fun trying to turn off the gas. But my man rose to the occasion! We can still use one burner, but have ordered a new stove to be delivered to friends in AZ.

We probably will not have cell or internet service for a few days. Tomorrow will be the last day Lisa will be with us. She is flying out of Phoenix on Monday. Friends, Frank and Betty Smith, are coming to join us tomorrow and will take her on to Phoenix on Sun late. We have really enjoyed having her with us. I was relieved someone was with Bill on these kind of roads and Bill was glad to have Lisa!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Lisa and beginning New Mexico

We picked up Lisa at the El Paso airport on Monday evening. There is a picture of Bill and Lisa leaving the RV park on Tues. a.m. The terrain was pretty flat all day. It was cool, but sunny and soon they were shedding some of their layers. They went over the Rio Grande River, of which there is a picture...pretty dry. They went by cotton and pepper fields. There is a picture of the pepper field. I took a picture of the New Mexico State Line sign, which you will find on the blog of pictures. It is not as nice as the one on the Interstate would be, I'm sure. We also went through a lot of "horse country". These were little ranches with fences and a lot of horses. It was a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains.

I also have a picture of Lisa and the sunset and mountains and lake in our beautiful Caballo State Park that we stayed in. This is gorgious country. Some of the cactus are beginning to bloom. I have never seen the desert in bloom. Maybe this year. Oh, we saw a jack rabbit, but did not get a picture of it. I hope to get one on this trip. Their ears are huge, as are their feet.

Lisa and beginning New Mexico pictures