2010 Alaska Trike Trip

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

We made it to Rapid City, 57 miles and some pooped trikers. All was going well until we left Hermosa and hit a 30 mph head wind. The last 18 miles were miserable and cold and rainy. Snow is forecast for overnight, so we rented a car to go back and see Crazy Horse and Rushmore tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Columbian Mammoth at mammoth site in Hot Springs

Another sandstone building -- originally a school, now a museum

More sandstone buildings -- originally a hospital, now a nursing home
I think Cal and I walked the entire town and saw just about everything in Hot Springs. The weather was beautiful and we thoroughly enjoyed the day. Tomorrow we are off to Rapid City via Hwy 79 and hoping the wind doesn't hit us too hard in the face. We planned to take a "rails to trails" bike path west of here all the way to Deadwood, but found out it is still snow covered. We decided long ago that we wouldn't go through Mt Rushmore Natl Memorial because of all the hugh RVs and narrow winding roads. We've driven that road and don't like our chance of surviving on our little trikes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hot Springs is known for it's beautiful old sandstone buildings like this VA Hospital

We are loving Hot Springs
Our 3rd grandbaby arrived at 4:06 this afternoon. Wish we could have been there, but our hearts are there. Happy birthday Shawn Calvin Simmons.
We just arrived in Hot Springs, SD. This 56 mile ride is what triking should always be. The road was great and the 25 mph trail wind didn't hurt any.
Nebraska, I hope you get lots of stimulous money to repair your highways. Once we crossed over into South Dakota the conditions improved 100%.
We are going to grab our suits and walk a couple blocks to the Evans Plunge to soak in the hot pools.
We'll take our phone to the pool -- that new grandson is due today and we can't wait for photos.

Moving on to the next state

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hey, found something interesting on our Chadron walk about

We finally left the room for a city tour.
While we are sitting here in the motel AGAIN, I thought I'd tell you a little about what we have been eating on the road. Our goal is to lose about a pound per week. I think we've lost a couple pounds, so right on schedule. While riding we try to eat a protein bar or peanut butter tortilla rollup or yogurt or banana or V-8 every hour or so. When we stop for the day and find a restaurant, we are trying to get plenty of healthy calories -- lots of veggies and fruits. After we leave Rapid City, towns will get further apart, necessitating more camping. This will require more food planning and we will have to stalk up on high calorie low volume foods like nuts and raisins because our storage space on the trikes is limited. If you guys have any good ideas for high calorie nutricious items we could easily pack, we'd love the input.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

We are still sitting in the motel in Chadron. We spent the day resting and staying out of the weather. Cal patched a tire and we did laundry and shopping for supplies that we had depleted. We considered leaving tomorrow, but it is supposed to snow again. Tuesday looks like a much better day for triking. If the weather clears tomorrow afternoon, we'll do some exploring around town. It sounds like Wichita is having weather issues also.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

55 miles motel to motel. It took us 6 hrs to ride through the 30% chance of rain and snow. We will stay here in Chadron until the weather improves -- even if it takes until May. Actually, the ride was fun after I finally got my feet warmed up with 2 Hot Hands in each sock. 34 and snowing when we left Alliance. 41 and raining midway. 38 and just cloudy now in Chadron. We are staying right across the street from a Chinese restaurant so you know where we are headed.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Just another update from the motel. We bought 2 new tires for Cal's trailer. He is carrying 20 lbs more gear than me and he has already worn out both tires. We ordered 6 more tires for the trikes and Chip will send them to us a little further down the road. The wind took it's toll on our flags and we have ordered a new ones also.

Helpful hint #4: Eat something every 2 hours or you will bonk, right Cathy?

Helpful hint #5: Use SPF 70 or higher and use it often.

Helpful hint #6: Drink a can of V8 every day. It has more potassium than 2 bananas -- to prevent leg cramps.
We are sitting here in Alliance resting sore muscles. We will check the weather tomorrow morn and see if we can sneak through the rain and snow north to Chadron. I thought while I had the time and energy, I'd share some hard learned words of wisdom for anyone thinking of trying a similar trip.
Helpful hint #1: Don't even consider contac lenses. Get unbreakable glasses (in case you roll over on them in the tent). Then get wrap-around sun glasses or goggles to keep out most of the road grime and bugs. And be sure to close your eyes to just a slit when a cattle truck or coal train goes by.
Helpful hint #2: Wear your ball cap rally style into a head wind or you may never see it again.
Helpful hint #3: Don't buy the travel size deoderant. You will need the giant. No matter how cold it is you will work up a sweat.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Forgot to give you our mileage for the day -- 46, which puts us at exactly 600 so far. Just listened to the weather and they said 25-35 mph winds again today so no wonder we are tired. We have nearly worn out some tires so we will try to find some new ones while we are stuck here in Alliance.
I am exhausted but finally in Alliance. We just checked into a lovely motel with an attached Mexican restaurant -- so you know where we are headed shortly. The next few days look bad weather wise, including snow, so this may be a pergect place to regroup. We have been riding directly into west winds for days and now that we need to head north, the winds are supposed to be out of the north tomorrow. I think I am too tired to battle that wind again tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Well, this Lutheran church will be home for the night. There is even a 3 hole outhouse out back, complete with toilet paper. After 58 great miles we are in the TINY town of Bingham
Just talked to Travis and he swears he didn't book the motel room for last night. So thanks millions to whoever did it.
Jacob, we have now passed the 500 mile mark so you are off the hook. You guys don't need to come pick us up. And thanks for looking after the house.
We are sitting in the shade in Ashby,NE. It is 82 so we are taking a break. A nice lady here has offered a bathroom and water fillup. Nice leisurely ride today. We'll look for a place to camp down the road - maybe Bingham. If we have broadband service I'll update when we get settled in.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We are making progress and into a new time zone

Nebraska's version of a wind farm near Merna

Our trikes sleep with us or they get lonely
We had a fight with the wind today and almost lost. We are now in Mullen in a nice motel room courtesy of travis. Thanks T. The local news just said the winds were 23-35 with gusts even higher. we know all about the sand hills. The sand exfolliates you and the hills wear you out. 43 miles today.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A very nice ride today -- half the wind of yesterday. After 54 miles we are home for the evening in a campground in the Nebraska National Forest. Saw a few deer just outside the forest. The sun is just going down, so we'll have to get the Ipods out and listen to some audio books.
Today we will continue riding through the Sand Hills. We are keeping an eye out for the cranes. The locals say they fly north about the end of April, but maybe they left early this year. We have seen lots of pheasants and hunters. We've also seen wild turkeys and lots of birds I don't recognize.
Thanks, Donnal, for the info. I could have sworn we were going more uphill than that. I guess it was just the wind. Tonight will be another camping adventure. We're thinking of making it a short day so we can sit and read this afternoon after the wind comes up again. It looks like we are destined for head winds for the next few days.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wow, that was a hard ride! Donnal, would you check our elevation gain? Either we were on a constant incline or it was just the 20-25 mph head wind that killed us. After 39 tough miles, we are finally in Broken Bow.
We are going out to an "all you can eat" salad bar. Won't they be shocked!

Took a side trip to the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument in Kearney. Once we left Kearney there was no choice but camping tonight. If we get cell service tonight we will let you know where we end up
I'm lying here listening to the umteenth Burlington Northern train wistle by. We didn't realize Diane's back yard was only yards from the tracks when we pitched the tent. At least we are safe and out of the wind. Forgot to tell you that we finally got several miles of break-down lane to ride in yesterday, only to discover that it had been recently rotomilled. Our teeth are still clattering

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our first camp site of the trip in Hazard, NE -- 56 miles. Dee got tired of the wind and hills and got permission from this nice gentleman, Eric, to camp in his mom, Diane's, back yard out of the wind. Thanks Eric and Diane
We woke up to heavy rain in Minden, but after breakfast the sun came out so we headed north. We stopped at Fort Kearny and then went to see the arch over I-80. We tried to go to a railroad museum but it was closed, so we worked our way through Kearney, stocked up on food and headed out of civilization. We are now camped in Hazard -- 56 miles for the day. Tomorrow we head northwest into the sand HILLS. UGH!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

To all our followers: please check out another blog at http://vicarious-triker.blogspot.com. Donnal has lots of great info for you.

Cal and I were here at Pioneer Village 40 yrs ago - looks pretty much the same

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We are sitting in the motel all showered and ready to go eat a couple thousand calories. Had to do some maintenance on the trikes. It was time to clean and lube the chains.
Today Dee became an official triker -- she peed beside the road.
Easy 54 miles to Minden. We'll stay here a couple days and see Pioneer Village tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Took a little side trip to the geographic center of the US near Lebanon, KS

Nebraska here we come. Spending the night in Red Cloud. Took in the Willa Cather home and museum. Only 48 miles today -- 25 mph cross wind

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thank you Arden and JoAnn for the wonderful meal and stay in Downs

Chatted with a wind farmer. At least he is making money in this wind

Thermometer reads 43 but wind chill was below freezing!!

Arrived in my old stomping ground, Downs,KS. 53 very pleasant miles. Staying the night with my uncle Arden Putnam. Off to Nebraska tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Short ride to Lincoln today (26 miles). For you guys following on Donnal's google map, don't expect our daily miles to exactly match. I will post ALL miles traveled for the day including side trips to restaurants,motels, gas stations (to air tires) and, heaven forbid, even getting lost.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Long day -- 69 miles to Ellsworth. The last 14 were brutal hills. We have our trikes in our motel room with us because it is supposed to rain all day tomorrow -- maybe a day in the hot tub.
One last home cooked meal with Dee's Sister before heading north. Thanks Doug and Shelley for the B & B.
Saying goodbye to Dee's parents in Hutchinson, KS. See you in 6 months.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

We made it through the.storm to Dee's sister's house in Hutchinson -- 54 miles. Not too bad for day 1.
We are packed and ready to head out. Decided to leave a day early even though the weather is not great. Cal says that if we wait for perfect weather in Kansas we will never go.

Friday, April 3, 2009

We just compleated a 27 mile training ride fully loaded in a 25 mph wind. I think we are ready to leave 1 week from today.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

We have Dee's trike all packed. Hope to take it for a spin today to see how it handles.