You're going on vacation for four months! Really! You are! Umm. NO, you are not. This is not vacation. This is an adventure. You will learn the difference very very soon.
Similarities? Absolutely. Feeling blessed beyond belief, seeing beautiful sights galore, and spending unusual amounts of time with your loved ones, while you don't make an income. Check. Check. Check.
Biking across the country. Vacation? Yes, the sights are unreal. We have spent more time with each other in the past month that we have in, well, maybe ever. We definitely are not going to a 'job' everyday. That all sounds predictable. And secure. This is adventuring...
Adventuring is different. And, in all honesty, better. And harder.
Although I can predict that I will be sitting in the saddle for a large part of my day, that I will be yearning for my eyes to close come nightfall, and that emotions will overflow here and there (and everywhere), we really don't know what is in store for us.
That is THE best part of this trip. We don't know what is in store for us. The kindness that has been bestowed upon us is thrilling and humbling. The encouragement is motivating. And the fear can be exhilarating. Did you hear that? The FEAR exhilarating? Scary shit has happened. Made me want to pee my pants and puke up the cortisol pumping through my body. But we did it. We are here one more day to share it. To live it. Live IT!
And the time is passing fast. The time is flying by! We are already one-third of the way done with our big journey. It's like a ping-pong match in this ole' brain. One minute thinking 'I'm done! I'm throwing my bike off this bridge and watching it bubble it's way down to the bottom of the river", to another moment getting teary eyed thinking about how fast the time is going, and how our real-world lives will soon be here and back to the grind we go. Uggg. Damn mind. Damn emotions.
Really believing that I would be able to fully share this trip with all of you has become falsehood. Yes, we have shared posts and pictures, but that isn't good enough. It's not showed you the ugly parts, the real parts. It's not been able to show you the kind parts, the smiles, the fists out of strangers' car windows saying 'you got this', or
'don't give up now'. Or maybe the pride I have when I witness my kids pedal past me up a steep grade even if they are screaming and crying as the do it. Even. Then.
This trip is reminding me to be better at being me. That there is a lot to improve on. To try harder. To keep going. And as clear as day, it has blasted me in the face that I am one lucky human. Because, damnit, the goodstuff IS the hardstuff.
Let's talk blessings again.
Tuesday May 16th, Ochoco Lake to Spoke'n Hostel. 23.6 miles.
And at the top of the pass, as I called out 'I'm done! I'm not doing this!" but still proceeded to start pedaling into the snow. Hoping for something to save me. Us. And it did. They did. Flashing beams and a warm smile out of the window was Pat from Spoke'n Hostel who was expecting us that evening. They had just saved us from feelings of defeat and given us reprieve from the elements, a ride down the pass, and a promise to bring us back the following day as to not miss any of our dear sweet miles.
The next two days were a treat as we met other cyclists and got some much needed rest. Pat and Jolet were fabuouls hosts and showed us the ways of thoughtful hospitality. How sweet it is to meet folks along the way who make you say 'I wanna be like...'. xoxoxo, Spoke'n Hostel in Mitchell, OR!
And we did get in those missed miles too!
Ochoco Pass to Mitchell, OR 17 miles.
Mitchell, OR to Dayville, OR 42.71 miles
Stopped at the John Day Fossil Bed and Sheep Rock
Reaped the kindness of this church in Dayville where they welcome touring cyclists. This particular weekend they were taking part in the community yard sale, so 'feel free to sleep in the Chapel, just please don't sleep on the pews'. Ashby and Aden chose to cuddle up the the Pulpit. Never done that.
Dayville to Prarie City, 46.02 miles. And a day off. Yay.
Hosted by another Warm Showers, we enjoyed relaxing in this quait town.
Prarie City to Baker CIty, OR 68.11 miles
5,000 feet of climbing!
Baker City - Zero Day.
Baker City to Unity, OR 58 miles
Unity to El Dorado, OR 70 miles
El Dorado to Boise, ID 78 miles
And that brings us to Boise! We are at this point of the Adventure Cycling Association maps as we try and shave off about 250 miles of our total trip with hopes of adding in a bit of flexibitlity, gearing up for bigger mileage in the near future.
Thanks for reading along and being with us in spirit and support.
It might be awhile, but more posts to come! Going to do my best to keep everyone updated!
Facebook posts are a bit more frequent! Find us there, if you wish.
Much love and Aloha from the Ziemer Clan. We are pressing on in this grand adventure and in life!
Jess (Jerry, Aden and Ashby).