Part 3


Day 23 {Wednesday}

Chadron Nebraska


Off day!  I needed to get some prescriptions filled, so after breakfast Julia took me over to the pharmacy.  The pharmacist was curious why folks from New York would be in Chadron, so I explained our situation, mission, trip and film to her and she became very sympathetic to me and impressed by our trip. 

When she was calling my doctors and transferring my prescriptions she noticed that my insurance had lapsed by one day (thanks to my employer) and I was going to have to pay out of pocket for all of my medications.  She paid half of one out of her own pocket and got another down to the pharmacy’s cost so it was deeply discounted.  She also called a local clinic and had them give me a sample of my asthma medication to get me through the rest of the trip! 

An incredibly kind gesture of a stranger, I will forever be touched by her.

Julia, Meghan and I traveled to the Badlands via the Pine Ridge reservation, Wounded Knee and Scenic, South Dakota.  We also visited Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse before having dinner in Rapid City’s oldest and first microbrewery.

The Nebraska night sky on our way back to Chadron was void of light pollution and it was the clearest of nights.  It was as if we were in outer space, the stars seemed like we could touch them.  I’ve never seen so many planets, satellites and shooting stars, leaving the three of us dazed and awestruck.  I will never forget this night. 



Day 24 {Thursday}

Chadron, Nebraska to Valentine, Nebraska

133 miles

A very long day.  The folks in Nebraska are incredibly friendly.  Perhaps being from the east, these folks are too friendly, albeit annoying with their friendly welcoming.  Every car that passes us, gives us the finger – the index finger greeting including a full on wave, I’m serious every car!  That’s a few hundred a day!  Its as if they’ve never seen a person on a bicycle before.

Pete and I were separated for a good part of the morning, I was tired from yesterday’s long drive and restless sleep.  My legato pace of 30 miles at slow consistent relaxed revolutions, gave me plenty of warm up time and allowed me to follow these huge birds, float above me.  They were majestic, but all black.  I’m no ornithologist, so they were probably raven’s or black crows. 

After our first stop, I let Pete go and grab a 30-minute head start on me.  The problem with Nebraska is that the road has a joint or separation every 100th of a mile in the shoulder.  I have to brace this gap, like a rumble strip, except far worse, the edges are inconsistent and abrupt.  Rolling over them is painful, like injecting a dull knife in my shoulders and lower back.  I tried jumping, which helped and of course looks cool for the film, but after 50 or so times it defeats the purpose and I just felt silly.

So I said to hell with it and road in the (car) lane, the separations having been sealed and run smooth by the heat and weight of car tires. 

Well that lasted a while, at least until I caught back up to big brother Pete.  Which was around mile 70, it had taken me three hours to go those 40 miles to grab him, I was sluggish like mad today. I stopped a couple of times from boredom and wanting to see Julia.  Seeing Julia is a wild card decision, because of the camera’s in my face, not to mention her and Meghan do a lot of chop busting, especially if I (we, being Pete and I) are tired or sore, or hungry or if our water bottles are empty, or if I get a flat.

Anyway Pete and I had a tone of laughs today and as the miles stacked up, the heavier our mile intoxication became.  We surpassed silly and moved on to obnoxious around mile 104, that’s about when his shoe cleat for his pedal came loose, losing its screw somewhere along the way.  Being the crew’s mechanic*, I fashioned a new one for him on the side of the sandy Nebraska highway.  Close enough for government work, I’ll say.

We crossed into Central Time and ended our ride.  Beat tired, I literally fell off the bike onto the grass and waited for the van to catch up so we could get a boost to the hotel.

Our hotel, by the way, wasn’t, the owner who is an awesome fella had booked us on the wrong night.  So he put us up at another far less charming hotel, nevertheless free of charge – he was donating rooms at his place to us because he loves the project.

Valentine, Nebraska, is an up and coming golfing community, with a lot of bars and farmers.  They are expanding their airport to accommodate 747’s, so I bet we see PGA tour events from Valentine in the not so distant future, that and an influx of retiree’s.

*Pearson the mechanic, hunh?  I learned everything from my dad who can fix anything and have parts left over.  It’s that drummer ingenuity in us, we love to tinker especially when something doesn’t make sense.  I should also mention that Julia’s grandfather Leonard showed that anything could also be fixed with duct tape. He repaired the front end of his car with duct tape after a accident on the thruway.  So that inspiration along with a relentless pursuit of puttzing around, I feel I’m confidant that I am the best mechanic in this crew.



Day 25 {Friday}

Valentine, Nebraska to O’Neil, Nebraska

103 miles


We all woke up to rain and clouds.  As we got on our bikes, the skies opened up and the sun warmed us a bit.  Today we passed through our halfway point!

The riding was fine, no flats, and no crashes, nobody trying to kill us today.  Nebraska is endless, rolling prairie.  I kept thinking of Neil Young songs today.  I shouldn’t mention this but yes I occasionally have been listening to my ipod, especially when my mind starts to wonder and my pace dwindles.

We reached half way across the country today – Stuart, Nebraska in the early afternoon and had a bittersweet champagne toast! 

Julia and I had saved the bottle from one of our trips to Epernay in France.  Fitting to pop that cork after toting it nearly 12,000 miles.



Day 26 {Saturday}

O’Neil, Nebraska to Randolph, Nebraska

71 miles

Julia’s birthday!  Sadly, we woke up to a soaker.  The folks at the hotel asked us to sign some autographs, which was an honor but terribly awkward for me, they stopped me to do so while I was trying to hide their candy dish under my shirt. 

I love riding my bike through the rain it’s just those first few miles while waiting to get thoroughly soaked and past the initial chill before it becomes fun.

The rain did give way to a drizzle, but never light enough for us to totally heat up.  After a week of really long days and hard rides, today’s 70 miles seemed like nothing.  The over cast grey sky were so dense and low, it made the rolling vistas seem eerily spectacular.

I of course got a flat, didn’t feel like fixing it so it was on the 29er for the rest of the day, just 25 miles.

At the top of a long climb a dog charged out from behind the only house we’ve come across for in miles, he didn’t bark at us, all he wanted was to run along.  So run he did, probably for 2 or 3 miles, he kept running, like Forest Gump, even long after we were hundreds of yards a head.  I wanted to take him with us.

Our hotel was sad and old, the town, just as sad and old.  The sole restaurant for Julia’s birthday supper was at the gas station on outskirts of town.  So there we went.  It was a packed house, a full restaurant with fair menu, definitely memorable, but not the birthday dinner she deserves. 



Day 27 {Sunday}

Randolph, Nebraska to Sioux City, Iowa

56 Miles

Morning couldn’t come fast enough as the bed I was laying on was doing more harm to my body than resting it.  I snuck out to the van early to fix my tire and ready the bikes.  While shivering from the cold morning and rubbing talcum powder on the new tube, dad the motel proprietor came out to engage me in another escapeless conversation.  He was insisting on me to go into his basement or gimp closet to show me his train set(s).

I kept noticing the eyes of Julia and Pete peer out of the doors of our rooms (cells), worried that if they came out they too would be sucked into his egocentric nonsense.

Eventually we were able to get away, the riding similar to yesterday.  What will forever stain my memory are the unforgiving odors blasting our senses to the point of choking.  I have developed an ability to control my nausea and remain functioning, having kicked different pain narcotics over the last year, but today was an Olympic challenge not let my guts fly.

We passed multiple hog farms, but the clincher, the Mecca of all un-holist of putrid was the 1000 plus cattle farm.  It was the most abominable, suffocating stench that I have ever inhaled.  I knew Julia and Meghan would drive right pass here so I had to dupe them into stopping and getting out so they could get a whiff of this tang.  Pete wussed out on my devious plain and kept on riding, but I stood and waited.  I thought perhaps, I could get used to it for the ten minutes or so it might take for the ladies to catch up, but no, every breeze blew something wicked my way that have altered my nostrils forever.  It’s far worse than any rotten cheese, or flesh, or septic tanks or wet dogs.  Its 1000 or more cows, defecating (for years) and rolling around in it, its not just manure its, well, I simply just don’t have the words. 

Julia did get out of the car and the ghastly look on her face as she began to gag for air, blew me from giggling to feeling terribly guilty that I did this to her, never the less it was hilarious and Meghan’s photos do show that.

Speaking of feces and horrible smells, as we road to the outskirts of Sioux Falls, the city’s wastewater plant is open air, sending out all that dangerous ph into the atmosphere, given the afore written description, I will simply say this; no animal has anything on the smell of a few thousand humans. 

I hope the smells do not get any worse.

We were treated to an awesome dinner courtesy of the Texas Road House in Sioux Falls and are really excited for an off day tomorrow.


Day 28 {Monday}

Sioux City, Iowa


Off day! I hoped to sleep in, but the local CBS station came knocking early for an interview.  Samantha Suttle was the reporter, perhaps the best television story on us so far.  It was the lead story for the 6 and 11 pm news!  So far folks here have been really interested in the mission.



Day 29 {Tuesday}

Sioux City, Iowa to Rockwell City, Iowa

95 miles

Leaving the city was great; I was psyched to finally get out to the Iowa plains.

Good climbs, whirling winds, stunning views and all of the sudden, terrible roads.  There is no shoulder!  It’s a white line, then an abrupt edge dropping off a few inches to gravel, then a few feet to a ditch then corn.  For a state that has so far been very supportive of us and one that boast the yearly RAGBRAI – Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa – I’m very disappointed.

I know that this year hasn’t been good to the folks of Iowa, with the “500” year flood and devastating tornados.  So I’m sure the capitol needed for road repair will be appropriated for the needed aid and rebuilding.  I just hope that they can someday take a look at their roads.

Folks here are reluctantly friendly nothing like Nebraska and the road sharing is not at all desirable.  A lot of dangerous interactions with trucks giving us only a few inches – that is not an exaggeration, its horribly scary and has happened at least a dozen times today. 

Pickup trucks pass us with more room, but small compact cars buzz by us at outrageous and unnecessary speeds.

The sky and landscape are appealing though.  It is really beautiful here.  I love the rolling cornfields and gentleman farms.  The hills give way to superb vistas of literally the curvature of the earth full of farmland, corn and wheat fields.

We were told that the United States is 40% of the world’s corn.  The bulk of the corn here is used as fuel, as it does seem late in the year to still have corn in the fields.

We stopped for a snack at a cross roads and a wind farm.  Being fond of wind farms this was a neat place to take a rest and stretch out.  While there, a school bus passed by and a bunch of young kids sticking their heads out the window, shouting their names and waving.

15 miles down the road I was craving cookies and a bathroom, the van needed some gas so we stopped and coincidentally a crew of the those kids rolled up on their bikes to the same gas station.  They were buying RedBull and Monster energy drinks – Pete and I signed a bunch of autographs and took some cell phone pictures with these awesome kids. 

I was disturbed that none of them were wearing helmets on their dirt bikes, on these god-awful roads.  There is something particularly wrong with that in my mind. 

When we got into town, it was about 6:30 pm.  We took showers and got ready to go for dinner.  We found the only restaurant in town…except it was 7:55 and they close at 8 – they wouldn’t serve us any food.

We were relegated to the Subway at the gas station.  

Then it was back to the smallest motel room Julia and I have ever shared – it also had  a funky scent, partly sweet, partly vomit – its only one night and we’ve stayed in far worse.



Day 30 {Wednesday}

Rockwell City, Iowa to Waterloo, Iowa

122 miles


Damn cold this morning!  When I went to Pete’s room, I found a very sick older brother, shivering.  He had come down with a bad case of food poisoning.

Subway? Maybe.  We got off to a rocky start.  Slow as the wind had kicked up and turned  into our faces.  It was a grey, cloudy ceiling of a day and we had a lot of miles on our plate to cover.  I wasn’t in the best of moods, I despise going slow and the thought of spending 8 hours on the bike, infuriates me, but this wind was killing us.  With Pete being sick, today was going to be uncomfortably long.  I wanted to be done as soon as possible and in a nice hotel room.  When planning the trip, I knew there would be days like this, but it doesn’t mean I want to deal with them.  Plus with Pete being sick.

I was riding hard and out in front of Pete.  When the guilt of not breaking the wind for him rushed over me, I slowed down and heard horn type blasts.  I looked back and saw Pete’s orange jersey with a huge white tractor-trailer directly behind him, like a scene from Duel, the truck was forcefully trying to knock Pete off his bike and off the road.  I stopped, got off the bike and picked a handful of rocks – when the truck neared me, I saw the over weight driver, mouth “What’s your fucking problem?”  I screamed at the top of my lungs every thing I could muster – my pacifist nature took over the rock tossing, which I will never forgive myself for.  I had many wishes to break his windshield and get that lardass hick out of his cab to come down and try and get a piece of me.  He may have gotten me until Pete caught up.

When I reached Pete he was visibly shaken and deeply upset.  This was something I’m not use to seeing in him.  Pete is my older brother, he has always been bigger than me, stronger than me and much more powerful.  To me he’s goliath, incredible physical ability, athleticism and strength.  To see him scared is not normal for me.  For the first time in my life I wanted to beat another human alive for doing this to him.

That of course is not the mission.  We are not on a trip to retaliate to every asshole truck driver we encounter, but for the rest of today, we were out for blood.

Shortly thereafter on an incline the largest John Deer tractor I had every seen, ran us off the road, it looked like a mechanical spider, this is when Pete threw up for the first time.  He said, “well, I guess this is as good a place as any, excuse me….”

The wind and dangerous interstate was getting to me.  My back and knees were screaming in pain, from fighting the wind, so when I could find a place to stretch out, I did.  By this time the van had caught up and Pete went inside for a rest.

Julia, Meghan and I found a park to have some lunch.  I started to feel the first chills of something come over me.  Nausea had started to set in, but I continued to ride.  I rode on to Iowa Falls and found a bike shop to have my bike looked over.  The gearing had been off for a few days and I was getting tired of the skipping.  Well in retrospect this shop owner/mechanic did absolutely nothing to my bike, but over charged me for lubing up my chain and cables, which had nothing to do with the problem.

To make a longer day even longer, our afternoon route was on a series of county roads, as route 20 becomes a non-bike allowed interstate.  The county roads in Iowa are a sweet dirt and gravel combination.  County road 17 is 14 glorious miles of grid cut farmland that as picturesque as the Rocky Mountains, its just dirt and gravel.  Terribly impassable by bicycle, but since I’m an actual maverick, I forced Pete and me on these roads with our road bikes.

The countryside’s relentless beauty kept me from getting discouraged.  We rode until I got a flat.  Being a few miles out of Waterloo we decided to just get in the van and make up the miles tomorrow.  The sunset for lack of words to describe it was heavenly.  Iowa really could be heaven, when the sun is out.

The happiest of all the accidents today was that our hotel didn’t have rooms for us.  We were bumped to the local casino.  Perhaps the greatest and most luxurious hotel any of us had ever stayed in.  Pete had his own room.  Meghan had her own room and Julia and I had a suite, all for free.

Pete went to bed, while the three of us went out to dinner.  During dinner I lost my appetite and started to really feel ill on the drive back to our hotel.  By the time we got up to our room I was completely exhausted and nauseous, not able to keep my eyes open.



Day 31 {Thursday}

Waterloo, Iowa to Dyersville, Iowa

68 Miles

I woke up feeling worse than when I went to bed.  Julie too, she was fighting a migraine.  Pete was feeling even worse and Meghan’s allergies were gaining on her.  With all four of us were hurting, we slept in, considering the miles today were low.  Julia and I went to Starbucks, a true reminder that we were sadly almost back home.

When we got on the bikes, we got off course a little thanks to our failing GPS and found ourselves backtracking through flood ravaged neighborhoods.  It was really striking to see.  The floodwater only recently receded.  On the drive out, Julia and I spent our first night in Iowa City, Iowa.  During our morning exercise we walked through a neighborhood that was still fighting the high waters, it was truly remarkable and disturbing.  I am saddened that people have to live in such horrible conditions.

As we made our way out of town, Pete was feeling a lot better, as I was feeling a lot worse.  I think all these miles each day with only 5 hours of sleep are wearing me out like a wheel without grease.  The humidity today is potent and high adding to my body’s weak achy feeling.  Given that each pedal stroke hurts normally, adding a headache, nausea and the aching, all I want to do is stop riding and go to sleep, even on the side of this road.

We stopped at a gas station to have lunch and the owner came out to chat with us.  A cyclist herself, she rides a badass Bianchi, after we chatted for a little while, she went inside and came back out and handed me some cash to donate to our ride.  Strangers, blow my mind.

At a gas station later on Pete and I decided to stop, use the bathroom and eat some Clifbars.  While I was sitting outside on the walk way with my back against the building I saw a guy finish pumping gas, go inside the store to pay and come back out with a 24oz. can of Busch Beer.  I like a beer here and there, but not as an afternoon snack while driving.  What happens when this guy finishes his tall boy and is driving down a country road where those boys are out on their bikes or Pete and I?  Is it population control? How come he feels that is acceptable behavior and then is afforded the right to vote? 

A few miles out of town, the road was closed, again being true mavericks, we hucked it and went through.  It was awesome to finally be totally alone again.  The traffic has been relentless since Cody, so this was a nice reminder of the vast west. 

Tonight’s motel is in Earlville, rotting flesh is the best way to describe smell that was in the air when we passed the welcome sign.  Our motel was at the end of a dirt road.  This rocky, pothole laden, rutty fire road featured a curve that had a broken down yellow school bus, with folks living in, their dogs and jackass met us at the road.  Pete and I were freaked! It was getting dark and Julia and Meghan were nowhere to be seen.  We thought for sure we were being lead out there to get whacked! 

We did find the motel at very end of the road, the owners were sitting outside on the porch waiting for us.  The motel was actually nice, satellite television offered us nearly 300 channels and there was a full kitchen in every room.  Across the highway (which oddly enough was route 20) was the only NHRA sanctioned concrete drag strip in North America.

We had dinner at the only restaurant in town, Boonies’s!  That was the name, Boonies’s, also the owner’s nickname, Boonie.  The food was good, Pete and I both had the “eyeTalian” chicken sandwich, funny thats how the waitress pronounced it.  Still feeling sick, I couldn’t finish eating, in fact I could only get half down.


Day 32 {Friday}

Field of Dreams

15 miles

Essentially an off day, except I really wanted to ride to the Field of Dreams.  We had to hurry because reporters were meeting us there.  Of course I woke up to a flat tire on my road bike, so it was back on my 29er.  

How come reporters are always early?  Bizarre, they give us a specific time to be ready, but invariably they always turn up at least 20 minutes ahead of schedule.  They were waiting for us in the road.

Despite the interruption our ride in to the park was magical.  I have always wanted to get to the field. I love the film and the story.  I missed my parents today. 

The reporter was very interested and asked excellent questions, so I felt good about this interview. 

I walked into the cornfields, it was a grey over cast humid day, but being there was just incredible.

While in Dubuque we had lunch at a brewery, except no beer was available, they were cleaning their taps.  On a Friday afternoon?  Not a very happy hour.  So then we found the Star Brewery and made our way over there, which was along the banks of the Mississippi.  Beautiful, except they don’t craft beer there, the make wine.  A nice change from all brewery’s, but what really made the Star, stellar were the series of excellent folks there.  One couple, both fans of cycling and veterans of the RAGBRAI really fell in love with our project.  The bar tender’s nephew was also hit by a car on his bicycle, so we all had plenty to talk about. We learned a lot more about the flooding and what was going on politically because of that catastrophe and they asked a lot of insightful questions for us so it was a really great afternoon.

I must mention my favorite part of the Star brewery, their history.  They used to craft, hundreds of different brands of beer there.  During the 70’s they were even contracted by Labbatt Canadian to craft their beer.  In a tribute to Star’s refreshing history they had a display cans from all the brews brewed over the years, it was done with such great detail it was like a Warhol. 

Although Iowa is stunningly beautiful I am excited to see Illinois. 



Day 33 {Saturday}

Earlville, Iowa to Freeport, Illinois

98 miles

Woke up to another day of rain.  Luckily last night on our way back to the motel we stopped and bought some ponchos.  Of course I favored the camo styled rain suite, so that’s what I got.  It was $7.99 verses the brand name rain suite in dark blue for $20.00.  Like my redneck brethren, Camo is the only way to roll.  For safety we did get a couple of bright orange hunting vests.

Rain, rain, rain, as Pete and I got on the cement road, I took a nasty fall off the abrupt edge and properly tore muscles and tendons in my left wrist!  It hurts terribly bad.  I had to ride most of the day with one hand.  I bent the front brakes and rear wheel.  My cycle computer also broke off

We did finally cross the Mississippi today into Illinois and instantly I’m in a better mood.  Still it was hard to hold the bike with my left hand, so it’s really just resting on the handle bar or in my lap.

The climbs into Galena were monstrous.  Rather shocking as we haven’t had an extended climb in a whole state, but a certain welcome change for me.  There are always two sides to a climb and on this way down I reach 37 mph into the beautiful town of Galena.  We stopped and had lunch in front of some colonial homes that were painted these vibrant brilliant colors, it reminded me of up state New York and New England.  Today there is a canoe/kayak race, which paddles right through town, how cool is that.

This place in particular really made me wish there was more time to see and feel all of the beautiful places we’re passing through.  Its a strange tease, to come across a town, you’ve never been before, especially by bike.  I’m afforded an excellent perspective on these new places and its contours, in far greater detail than car or even walking.  Invariably there’s always that pang, the realization that I can’t stay long, because around the corner is another new adventure.  Well, today, I want to put a pause on the adventure and rest for a while.  I will come back here.

On the climb out of town, I slowed my roll and let Pete pass me.  I was feeling really drained, I caught up with the van and packed my pockets with a Hershey bar, a Clifbar, twizzlers and a Gatorade.

Another climb came and for the first time on this trip I was going really slow, struggling to climb, when I reached the top I stopped completely.  I got off my bike and feeling exhausted and achy, I walked around a little, ate the candy and the Clifbar, finished the Gatorade and started to feel a little better.  So I got back on the bike.  I was hoping I could catch Pete.  As I was picking up the pace and telling myself I was over the bonk and feeling better, nausea came over me and started zapping all of my momentum.  I kept surging, and telling myself I’m not sick, I don’t have a headache, I can ride through this.

As the day wore on, the further behind I got.  Totaling 12 miles.  I ended up riding 98 miles, with a badly damaged arm and a raging stomach.  Julia shut me down at 7pm.  The clouds on the setting sun made me seem invisible on the road.  Pete had already made it to the hotel.  With occasional truckload of hecklers shouting out the window while passing me and blasting their horns to try and get me to fall, the narrow shoulder and darkness, I got off the bike and hopped in the van.

Dinner was awesome, a true Italian restaurant.  It was delicious, although still feeling bloated and nauseous, I forced all the meat and bread I could fit.  Even took it back to the hotel, to eat a few more bites.  Not the best move as I threw it all up.


Day 34 {Sunday}

Freeport, Illinois to Chicago, Illinois

99 Miles

A morning interview got me out of bed far too early.  My health is not good today.  Vomiting and far too much time spent in the bathroom.  I forced a cinnamon bun down my throat to keep from passing out in front of the reporter, although I almost did.

I couldn’t get on the bike, so Pete put on his poncho and rode off in the rain alone.  I promised to catch him.  After he left, I went back to the room to vomit and force myself to get pumped up for riding.  I am exhausted.  I am scared that I’m not going to be able to do this today.  Again, my rear tire is flat, with my left hand swollen like softball, both Julia and Meghan had to help me work in the new tube and re-seat the tire. 

Some more bouts’ of nausea and it was not looking good for me to get on the bike.  I sat in the back seat of the van as we started to make our way to out to catch Pete.  Beside myself, in pain, frustrated with anxiety, I sat in the back feeling like a weakling.  A quitter.  A pussy.  We stopped at a CVS to get some medicine and I spoke with some folks about the mission, our ride and what we were doing there in this horrible rain.  The rains were coming up from gulf coast storm, hurricane Ike.  I kept singing Jimmy Webb’s track, Galveston, over and over in my head, hoping everyone is ok down there and his song doesn’t come true, again.

We caught up to big brother at a Taco Bell.  He was shivering and soaking wet.  I started to feel better and was eating some Saltine Crackers and sipping flat coke. 

A little further on down the road, I got out the van and forced myself on the bike.  Wrapped up in the Poncho and my tights, I road and caught up with Pete at a McDonalds about 40 miles out of Chicago.  Getting on the bike weak was the best thing I did.  I was amped up and feeling considerably better.  The cool air rain washed away the bulk of any illness I was suffering.  Meghan gave me some of her fries and we rode on.  It was fun and I was trying hard not to let my disappointment distract me from this great ride we were having.  It was a blessing to be able to get back on the bike.  It felt as if I wouldn’t be able to ride, but when I got back in the saddle it was very special.  Today was an incredible day so far.

As the clouds started to fade away we got much closer to the city of Chicago.  Then out of the blue the road became a dangerous highway, so that’s when I decided that its best to not get hurt again, we’re done for today.  Pick it up on Tuesday.

Our drive to our hotel took another two hours.  The flooding was surreal.  Suburbs, apartment buildings, parking lots were all underwater.  We had to drive through a causeway only to find that the road we needed no longer existed.  As we turned around we drove through an abandoned neighborhood, fresh homes with boarded up windows and no lights on, a hundred or so.  Strange seeing eminent domain in 2008 being used and for what, to expand a runway?

Our hotel was super fancy.  The Crown Plaza.  The bed, sweet, Pete stayed at another hotel with Erin who was in town.  Julia, Meghan and I went into the city to find, the Great Lakes brewery.  We did, while walking down the street we came upon Wrigley Field!  A huge moment for me, I love baseball.  I was brought up a Yankee fan, but the Cubs have a similar devotion of followers, so I loved seeing this historic building and on the same night Zamrbino pitched a no hitter. 

I actually ate dinner too!  It was fun, I didn’t drink beer, save for their homemade root beer.  It was a relief to be feeling better, except my swollen hand and wrist. 

Being out here and seeing a new place every day, is an amazing indescribable feeling.  I am incredibly lucky to be doing this.  To reminisce on how I got here, from a stranger running me over, is amazing.  I’m a long way from my walker.  Its not that original to ride a bicycle across the country but, to be here in Chicago via Portland, via bike, despite everything that has happened, I am very lucky and forever grateful to everyone that has helped get me here.






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