Five days after defending my Ph.D. dissertation in 2015, I departed Seattle, Washington for Colorado…
I did not take a plane, train, nor an automobile to transport myself halfway across the country. Instead I packed up my panniers with spandex and oatmeal, bolted a rack to the frame of my Fuji Bicycle, and started pedaling in a south-easterly direction.
I rode alone for 15 straight days over 1,103 miles through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming before taking a layover day in Rock Springs.My Dad joined me in Rock Springs and together we rode 235 more miles over the course of four days before reaching our final destination of Steamboat, Colorado.
The entire trip was an INCREDIBLE experience. I covered 1,338 miles of some of America’s most astoundingly beautiful countryside. I met incredibly kind and generous individuals all along my journey. I got lost in the back-woods down country dirt roads. I improvised tire-patches from bike-tubes and duct-tape. I camped in public parks, RV resorts, national forests, and under a bridge. I found moments of transcendent bliss along THE TOUR. I endured mental and physical exhaustion. I learned more than I ever thought was possible, getting a Ph.D. in grit and determination from my progress down the pavement.
I blogged about my touring experiences while I was riding (it’s AMAZING what an iPhoner is capable of in this modern age). The entire saga (from beginning to end) unfolds in these posts:
No official post from Day 6: La Grande, Oregon to Union Creek Campground, Oregon (outside Baker City). I included photos from this day of touring in Day 16‘s recollections