My wife Carol and I wrote these reflections as we pursued our long-held dream of bicycling across the USA. This trip was sort of an unnatural act for me; my previous 30 years had been spent at a desk job.
If there is one message you could take away from this, it is that if I can do it, so can you! All you have to do is take your time and have a place to stay each night that's within your biking range.
People ask if we didn't get bored all those hours on bikes, going so slowly. The deserts must have been especially boring, they expect. Our answer: Not at all! Going at bike speed gives you time to think about what you're seeing. You see a desert plant in bloom, and you have time to really admire it and perhaps even to be thankful for it. You see an abandoned farm--or perhaps several abandoned farms--and your thoughts have time to go in several directions: who used to live there? why did they come? why did they leave? did the climate change? or the economy? or the government?
I had always wanted to write a journal. I started several but never got more than a few pages into them. Several journals on my bookshelf with one or two pages worth of entries attest to that. To provide the motivation to start this journal, I promised my friends and anyone else who evinced any interest at all that I'd stay in touch via email while I was on the trip. The positive feedback I received, and the fact that the distribution list for these ramblings grew to several hundred people, kept me writing. The fact that I'd plunked down the cash for a laptop to take along for this express purpose provided motivation as well.
Carol initially thought this was a dumb idea, but, as you will see, it wasn't long before she added her voice.
Our journey started at the Pacific Ocean in Ventura, CA, on April Fool's Day, 1996. My sore knee stopped us at the Gulf of Mexico near High Island, TX, on June 8. We resumed our journey on March 8, 1998, and finished at the Atlantic Ocean at St. Augustine Beach, FL, on April 12.
Enjoy our written-as-it-happened thoughts on our journey in Ken & Carol's Cross-Country Ramblings. The journey starts here.
Ken & Carol Lyon