Tuesday, December 21, 2010


What I've learned so far:

1) Move forward. Find a way. There's no point in whining about anything.
2) No matter what, you can!
3) Remain in the moment, plan for the future.
4) Don't live in the future.
it's not here yet.
it probably won't turn out how you hoped anyway.
even if things don't turn out as planned, the joy is in the process.

I was glad to leave Baker City. It was concrete, motels, junk yards and unhappy folks at dinners. There was minor climbing and the land soon leveled out. We slow pedaled across land that was harsh and dry, but not so much so to eliminate greenery. We passed ranches, cattle, cabins, rivers and canyons. We passed horses grazing in windswept grass being fed by the steady mist of irrigation.

We rolled downhill, following a river gorge, stopping to look at the vast, open land. Appearing hills soon altered the landscape once again thus limiting the view. With the town of Oxbow ahead, Idaho is near. From what I've been told, if I can handle the mountains so far, I should be O.K. One day at a time is all I can handle. The rest is too overwhelming.

Rock on!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


We woke in Baker City to more cold and rain. Immediately out of town we began an 8 mile, 2700 foot climb. The fog, yet untouched by sun, layered the earth with an ominous tone. The climbing was slow and rhythmic which lent for time to hear rain clicking on my helmet. My breathing was slow, healthy and alive. It felt so good to once again live so well, so healthy, so deeply! I rode with gratitude and heart felt joy.

The fog soon gave way to the suns rays shining across the valley floor. I descended hills with stinging sleet. A Blue Herring flew from the surrounding pines, silently gliding above. I saw a fox chased by dogs. I watched a cow leap a ditch and stand hillside protecting her calves. I witnessed deer and elk running across the valley floor, cutting through grass with such athletic grace you couldn't help but get off the bike and watch in stunned amazement.

The day was filled with the spectacular.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


It rained today, all day. Heavy rain and light rain. We rode from Coburg, around Eugene, to McKenzie Pass.

Initially I thought I'd write about the riding. As I sit and think, my thoughts are led to the people I have seen along the way. I got a glimpse of America today. A good America. An America that I am beginning for the first time to truly love. The waitress at the dinner this morning had a tooth ache, she kept working. A truck driver across from us had a recently shaved head. A scar along the side of his skull, I'm assuming, was from a recent surgery. He got in his truck and drove. He went to work! I'm beginning to see an America that does have standards. It's an America based on being an individual, working when you don't want to work, and striving for a good life.

It rained today, all day. Heavy rain and light rain. Yet, I look back and see a country, my country, as a spectacular place to be.


Like my cancer treatment, the ride across America is dealing with the day to day unknown. It means dealing with the moment, the next city, and not the entire 4200 miles.

I'm filled with uncertainty, but I'm hoping for a good outcome. I feel well, better than I thought.

We left Salom 70 some odd miles ago. I write from camp in Colburg. The ride started with hard climbs which soon flattened to a steady 12-15 mile per hour pace. I cannot begin to describe the beauty of the area. It is one of rich farm land with greenery and distant mountain peaks. The silence is disconcerting yet liberating. I'm tired, I'm scared, I'm free. We're headed for McKenzie Pass in the morning.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Today was day 1. Pacific City to Salem, Oregon. We did 78 miles with steep climbs that seemed endless to my Texas legs. I was one of the slowest, but given my recent health situation I really don't care. Well, that's not true. I'm scared as hell about being last! Either way, the climbs were a struggle and I have concerns about slowing the group. I have concerns about how I will feel tomorrow. The ride, from what I understand, will be 55 miles. Very tolerable, then again, today was supposed to be 65.

We woke to 50 degrees and rain. As we drove to the coast the sky turned blue and clouds drifted away. The Gods, it seemed, smiled on us as we dipped a tire in the Pacific and began our journey to the Atlantic. We stopped at Otto's, ate a burger the size of a face and hash browns to match. The surrounding town surrendered to the deep green of the mountains while the mountains surrendered to fog. Everything seemed just as it should be in this part of the world.

The beauty of that which is natural seems to transform people. It crawls inside of them opening chambers for peace. There is an ease here, a feel unlike the city where the natural world is secondary to the artificial world of buildings, controlled temperature, and technology. Nature brings order. People seem to assist rather than resist one another.

Tomorrow is the second day. Good grief, how embarrassing to not have the stuff to make it.

Monday, December 6, 2010



"Be kind and merciful. Let no one come to you without coming away better and happier."
-Mother Teresa

I'm wiped out! Last night the flight from Houston was delayed a couple of hours. I arrived in Portland around 3:00 a.m. Pacific time. I write from the corner of the hotel room bed. Before me lies a tattered bike box with shifter cables in similar condition. Anyway, my mind is still on teaching and the daily routine with Adriana. It might sound odd, but I'm not even into this thing yet and I already miss her. I wonder what it will be like to not share a morning coffee with her for the next 50 something days and hearing about her day. I'm just so tired from work and travel I'm questioning everything. Tomorrow I ride! I'm scared! I'm everything! Who do I actually think I am to hop on a bike after cancer treatment and ride across the United States?

I don't know what I'm getting into. I suppose I'm living on hope for the next couple of months. Now that I think about it, hope was the very thing I so desperatally needed for cancer treatment. Now wouldn't be a good time to let go of it.

During the course of the trip I wish to express myself with the awareness that I am in the middle of something special. It is a special time in my life. I'm overwhelmed by the support of my family and friends. I'm overwhelmed by the opportunity to rediscover peace while I pedal.