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SLC to Denver. Epilogue. Day 11: Boulder to Denver

I reserved a spot on the most environmentally correct shuttle (this is Boulder ) to the airport.  I got there early; even walking on the pavement in my bike shoes carrying all my stuff. Since I had some time, I went to the Super Cuts and got my hair cut to reenter civilization.  Then with a bit of time left, I went to the Goodwill a couple of doors down. I ended up buying a Colorado University T-shirt that said ARTS in big letters over the right upper chest. Underneath, in smaller letters, it said Addiction Recovery Treatment Services. Thanks CU.

When I was leaving there, I saw the sun catch a tiny glitter stuck in the crack of the sidewalk. I bent down to examine it and found a small golden Guadalupe charm. I happily rescued it.

When the shuttle guy finally got there he was upset that the lady on the phone had made me walk. They all made a fuss about it because the girls work from home and this girl had it wrong. They were so upset with her, I made sure I couldn’t remember her name. They gave me the trip for free.

In the shuttle shack, they had a small stack of give away books. I took John Steinbeck’s “The Pearl”. Reading that on the plane trip home from start to finish, was the perfect ending to the perfect trip.

SLC to Denver.Day 5: Maybell to Yampa River State Park

In Maybelle the diner is wonderful and the food is fantastic. The few others people in the diner are locals.

I order a burger that on the menu is in memory of someone. I ask the waitress who that person is. I am imagining that this person died of old age and lived here forever and is remembered for such and such. Well, no such thing.  The waitress is also the owner. She explains that the burger is her son’s favorite burger and she lost her son, her only child.

This strikes me as super sad obviously and I don’t ask how. I don’t want to know really. Here’s a portrait of them together. The husband is the cook and as I said the food is fantastic .

IMG_5743This painting is over the cash register.


The few people who come in the café after me also are all locals. Locals as in 50 miles away this direction or that direction. They catch up on news. They talk about the mine. They talk about the new foreman who is too young. They talk about the danger of credit cards.

Outside, there are pay telephone booths! With a great accompanying mural.


The next morning I notice there’s a post office in Maybell and I go there to mail off whatever I can get rid of to make my load lighter. I’m riding a steel bike and caring 22 pounds of stuff (clothes,camping gear, toiletries, food,drink). With hills ahead I am shipping back anything I can. Each long distance bike trip I send back my lock. They are heavy. You’d think I wouldn’t take it to begin with it. As if I’ve learned from the past. However it’s hard to leave Oakland without a lock. In Oakland, it’s hard to imagine a world without locks.
The lady at the post office tells me the whole story of the son that died. The short version is; he was drunk and he was driving.


I leave Maybelle to have an easy day of 30 miles to Craig, which is a big city supposedly, and then another 17 to Hayden.

Once I got to Colorado I started to see skeletons; skeletons of animals that are completely clean and white. I felt like I was in “The Fair Side”cartoon.

When I was biking is 57 miles of nothing all alone I wondered about those New Age people who have VisionQuests. Like they sit somewhere in the woods for 24 hours and if something happens they blow a whistle which signals for someone to come and rescue them. Where’s the conquest in that? I wonder what This trip is to that and what is a VisionQuest anyhow?

What I received most from this trip: the taste that has been written deeply upon me, is a great awe and connection with Mother Earth.



I sing all sorts of songs from childhood. I don’t sing them out loud because the altitude is too high but I sing them in my head songs like Archie Bell and the Dells or something like that singing  “25 miles to go now, over the hill.. just around the bend” or Cat Stevens “miles from nowhere, guess I’ll take my time, oh yeah to reach, there Got a mountain, I have to climb,  oh yeah to reach there” and so on.



When I pass by the cows or any animal but especially the cows, I always say hello and they always turn their heads and look at me and then I always thank them for the milk and they always listen to me and if I hold up my camera to take a picture of them they turn around and walk away. Now if you ask me that’s an intelligent animal.


When I’m home I never eat beef but here I have had to twice simply because I need all the protein I can get and it’s not easy to get in the gas station and that’s often all I have to choose from; that and or a food desert grocery store. So here, if I can get beef, I get it. Cooked.







I make it to Craig pretty early and I take my bike to the one bike store there which is a man and his wife and their 3 year old in a garage. I would have taken a photo but it didn’t seem polite.

There is a TV like box hanging from the ceiling which is playing Disney movies for the three-year-old who is on the ground on the sleeping bag.

Mine is a brand-new bike and I’ve ridden it a couple of hundred miles at this point so it needs to be adjusted. At least,

I will feel better if it is adjusted. I’ll feel safer going over the hard rocky mountain passes which are coming up.

While the husband is fixing the bike I go to an Internet café and blog a bit and get a used book which is quite welcome in my tent at night when I can’t sleep and I’m looking forward to reading it tonight as well.

I also get a cappuccino which is like a miracle.

The coal mining thing is everywhere and it’s sad because of course that’s  not going to last because energy from coal is not a good thing.

Minimum wage is $7.25 here and things are expensive because everybody is so far from a distribution point.

I tip largely because as the poet Rusty Rebar in San Francisco said at Peter Whitehead’s last performance “if you’ve got slack and you don’t share it, you’re an asshole.”  Compared to these people, I’ve got slack.

After I’m done with the bookstore café and the bike shop I go to the grocery store because I need food for dinner. When I go into the grocery store it’s a bright sunny day when I come out of the grocery store the day is covered with a dark gray sky and the wind is blowing everything in the parking lot everywhere. It looks like big rain and I’m not sure whether or not to stay in Craig or ride the 17 miles to Hayden.

But I’m getting ahead of myself sorry. In the grocery store I meet a Menonite women. She is light itself her expression of Christianity cancels out the mean ice cream lady. The Menonite women is positively glowing with Goodwill and health.


This is saying a lot for Craig, CO. Most of the people here look bad. Their skin is bad and their teeth are bad. Most of the women are obese. Life in the coal mine is not looking good on these people.


There were two other amazing things I saw at the grocery store that I haven’t seen since Salt Lake City. One was a Starbucks. The other was an African-American man. Not only was he African-American but he had an Oakland T-shirt on! It didn’t say the word “Oakland”. Instead I recognized immediately the Oakland the tree logo and I said  “Oakland!” And we did a high fire in passing.

I don’t quite make it to the town of Hayden because the Yampa River State Park is 2 miles west of that. It’s quite nice. I set up my teeny tiny tent in the tent site. I am the only tent. I always am. The rest of the park is filled with large RVs but I’m away from them. The entire facility is really nice even though they make you pay for showers.
















7.7.13. Tomorrow Noah and I leave to bike the Rockies

IMG_0578 IMG_0592This is me and Noah in the Spring before and after  we did “Ride 4 a Reason” benefitting Oakland Schools.

Tomorrow we leave for Salt Lake City and are biking to Denver in two weeks, on Highway 40 mostly. We are not doing it for any “reason”. Not one that’s conscious anyway. It’s  the continuation of the trip we did last summer. Next summer we may do the plains to the East Coast.

Sarita here pictured with me on BART after Berkeley High Graduation, will be working wwoofing on a vineyard near Lake Shasta when we will be biking and she is with us in spirit.



June 23, Day 5 Dayville, OR to Prarie, OR

Depending on who you talk to out here or what map or sign you believe
We did between 80 and 90 miles with two mountains yesterday
We were beat (Especially with the hail and all)
We had a nice rest in the Fish Ranch Inn with a cherry tree out our window
We were hoping for dinner but had only the mini mart
We went to sleep sure we’d find breakfast in the cafe we remembered seeing the day before


We went to the cafe but like so many buildings out here
It was out of business and for sale so we went to the grocery-ish store
That “grandpa” runs


I got his coffee from a machine and we all managed to buy something that resembled breakfast (like yogurt and a banana) the kids went back to the inn but I remained talking with grandpa while I drank my coffee and heard lots of stories about the ghost that lived in the store named Bill.

It was fascinating.
Then we went on to Mt. Vernon (another thirty miles or so) which had a real restaurant with real food!! We were in heaven in the “Silver Spur.”


Well nourished we went on thru John Day and finally landed at a campground in Prarie for six bucks a night. We set up tent and then did our laundry with detergent this time at “the washing well” which was painted blue.
I am blogging from the oxbow restaurant and bar that has a wooden floor a hundred years old and two gigantic wooden frames complete with half nude women.
It was an easy day being relatively flat, not too hot with good food. Forty five miles which we started at eleven. Tomorrow we have lots of climbing. Three mountain summits. At dinner we bowed our heads and prayed for a ride over. That kind of climb and seventy miles to the town we are trying to get to.
At one point today amidst the unphatomably huge landscape, I felt like “what’s the point of all this?
Then two bikers came along from the other way carrying there own gear, “self supporter” as it’s called. One of them said, “where are you headed?” we said “Virginia” and they said “we just came from there!”
“just” as in 3,800 miles. Love that.


June 22, Day 4 ochoco reservoir to Danville Oregon

First off, ive lost my glasses and cant see the text, so please excuse the mistakes
Also, since qe are camping we dont have power to power our devies even though i have a solar power iphone case
It still doesnt really powere enough
Thats why its a long time between blogs
And picture are shot on the iphone
And sometimes theres no power but the real deal is
The landscape is so huge and magnificent you cant begin to get in on a camera
Truly i am 24 /7 surrounded by magnificent nature out here

That’s over 80 miles!
Seems like a week has gone by since this morning.
I woke up to rumbling. Took me a while to figure out it wasn’t a new apple sound or people in an apartment above me moving furniture but long overly persistent thunder so
I got out of my sleeping bag and started to cover the panniers with the plastic bags I bought just in time in the supermarket last night(just in time)
As we were packing up camp it started to rain and by the time we left camp, all in our rain gear, the shower was over.
We did a long slow , not too steep thirty five mile climb to Mitchell. At the end, we kept thinking it was around every bend. Our anticipation and exhaustion level was high. The descent into Mitchell was an intense grade down ( the kind with the yellow warning sign for trucks) half way through it it started to pour. We pur our rain suits on again. When we got to Mitchell, there was hardly anything there! 2 cafes and a convenience store. We got there at noon, had chicken noodle soup (out of a cam?) at a cafe nd got some protein bars at the convenience store and heaedd out on the “8 mile” which is what they call it around here.
It was a lot of straight up for 8 miles but we actually managed it okay. The summit came before we were dead and then there was some forty plus miles of gradual descent. Those eight miles were non stop pouring sweat wearing a t shirt in coltish weather
The descent was smooth except that in the middle of that there was aHUGE downpour
So much so that we went through a rains tunnel as we were at the bottom neat rattlesnake creek ( saw one dead and one alive on the road) and the wind was coming straight up in our faces and we could hardly move and then it started to hail!!! It was super intense. Finally after some 80 miles we end up in Danville which has a nice family hotel and we have a private bath
That is where I am now finally blogging because we finally have electrical outlets to charge our devices

June 18th, Airplane Day, San Francisco, CA to Eugene, OR


This is us at 5:30 in the morning. Jon took this photo after dropping us off at San Francisco Airport.
We flew to Portland and then took a tiny plane to Eugene.
In Eugene airport we put together our bikes. Which took hours. They were more taken apart to fit in the boxes than we expected. Brett at Mikes Bikes in Berkeley was fantastic in helping us over the phone. Noah’s disk brake retailer was completely detached from the bike and the chain was all twisted up. We took photos of it and sent the photos to Brett’s iPhone in the Berkeley bike shop. He recreated the situation and then sent us a video of him fixing it!!! It was mostly Sa and her physics who did this. Noah and his noticing skill figured out that the fork had been turned around and bit by bit we put the bikes back together
We left the airport and biked the wrong way 5 miles but it was so incredibly beautiful it hardly mattered. We were so happy just to be on our bikes and riding.
After about an hour we biked into Eugene and had a fantastic guy at a bike shop go over the bikes and fine tune everything for practically nothing. After that, we had dinner and went to sleep in an over priced two star hotel with a bathtub.

Sarita and I

It’s been Sarita and I from the beginning. We committed to doing this trip in December. That’s when we bought our bikes and started training.

Everyone asks us if we have a cause for our ride. We do.
I will tell you how to donate once I figure that out.

This is a picture of Sa as one of the winners in an art contest.
The contest was to make a poster that speaks positively to youth.

So that is what we are going to do.

All the way across.