Tire dip

After spending 69 days on the road biking across America, we checked into the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle. In my former life, I likely would not have thought much of this swanky hotel but having spent so much time on the road, this hotel was incredible. I took one shower after our ride and another shower a few hours later just because I could. Likely wasteful but I hadn’t taken a proper shower in days, maybe weeks. The hot water was divine. I could properly wash my hair and use conditioner without a time limit or having to insert quarters. I didn’t have to wear flip flops. I could touch the surface areas of the bathroom. I didn’t have to shower with a dozen other people or wait in a line. It was possibly the best shower of my life, or maybe it ties with the shower after coming down from Mt. Everest, when I had not showered after 14 days on the mountain. This hotel is such a great treat at the end of the ride. I would have stayed another night but they are sold out. Onwards to the next adventure, Ironman Canada is t-19 days.

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Seattle! 4,295 miles!

Bar Harbor, Maine to Seattle, Washington, 4,295 miles, May 28-Aug 4, 2013, 69 days, averaging 65-70 miles per day…

9 full time riders (Renee, Cindy, Rebecca, Zac, Kristen, Linda, Diane, Cecile, Josh)

4 route leaders (Brittany, Matt, Drew, me)

14 partial-segment riders
Robert (Maine-Iowa)
Liz (Maine-Iowa)
Susan (Maine-Cleveland)
Melissa (Maine-Minneapolis)
Shannon (IL-Seattle)
Julie (Glacier-Seattle)
Phil (Glacier-Seattle)
Alex (Havre, MT-Seattle)
Chris (Sandpoint, Idaho-Seattle)
Janet (Cascades)
Jim (NY-Minneapolis)
Rick (Minneapolis-Fargo)
Ryan (NH-VT, Glacier-Seattle)
Nikki (Glacier-Sandpoint)

27 total members of the Northern Tier 2013 team, (along with the TransAm 2013 team) biked across the US collectively fundraising $207,449.

The Northern Tier team gave check presentations at the Fairview MS Center in St. Paul and the Swedish MS Center in Seattle.

We had several community service projects in New Hampshire, Cleveland, Minneapolis and other towns along the way.

Congratulations to both the TransAm and Northern Tier teams. We did it and I am so very proud of you. You biked across America for MS and have tan lines to prove it. Don’t worry, the tan lines will fade but the memories will last forever.

Photos: Before and After photos

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Day 67

At the grocery store, I intended to buy breakfast for a team breakfast the next day but the store was sold out of everything. They only get deliveries once a week. Luckily as I was stating my disappointment to the cashier, a guy walks up to me and said I am going to x, and I can buy your groceries and bring it back for you. I said, seriously, you can buy enough for 20 people and bring it to camp? He said, sure, I am going that way and will be back by 8:30 tonight. He drove 80 miles round trip, even if it wasn’t out of his way, it was very generous. I was a little surprised myself, at the serendipitous event and how easily it was for me to trust and give him money, fairly certain I would get groceries in the evening. I love meeting strangers and the kindness they bring. Park Ranger, Andy, we thank you for delivering our breakfast.

Tonight’s campground, Squire Creek, amazing, I feel like I am in a forest. Everyone says it is like the movie, Fern Gully.

Photos: passing a mill-logging company, passing a reservation, my sleeping spot at camp and the trailer on day 67.

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Diablo Descent

Today was the first day that I wished I was not driving the van. It was the most beautiful climb and descent, one of the best of the trip, second only to Glacier National Park. The climb showcased the beauty of the Northern Cascades National Park and the Pacific Northwest. I loved the snow capped peaks and the lush green valley.

Leaving Winthrop, the team climbed up Washington Pass (5,477 ft), quick 5 mile descent, then up to Rainy Pass (4,855 ft). The descent from Rainy Pass was amazing, even in a van.

Rainy Pass intersects the Pacific Crest Trail. At the PCT crossing, I saw several hikers and was amazed by how big their packs were. If I were ever going to hike a trail for several months, my bag would be ultra light.

We camped at Diablo Lake, Colonial Creek campground, which was the best campsite of the trip. We slept to the sound of rushing water from the creeks and the pitter patter of rain above our tarps. 20130802-152432.jpg20130802-152517.jpg

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Taco Challenge

This past Sunday was Ironman Lake Placid. I volunteered two or three summers ago with friends to take a closer look at what is an Ironman and who are these people who want to complete a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run, at race pace?

Spectating seems to be an endurance event in of itself. After looking at the course finishing times, a number of my friends crushed it. I am not even confident I can finish the race. My biggest fear is not making the cut off times and being pulled off the course. In 4 more days, I will have biked America twice, and I’m still not sure even about the bike portion of the race. It’s supposed to be a challenging course with 6,000 ft in elevation gain. I want to be strong. I want to finish each leg of the race and feel good about it. I hope not to disappoint.

Photos: taco challenge from the taco truck at the town of Tonakset. Our team ate 131 tacos minus the 3 people who each ate 20, 20, and 25 tacos respectively. I myself ate 1 veggie burrito, and 2 veggie tacos. I am ready to go over Loup Loup Pass this afternoon – 4,020 ft.

I slept in the playground dome hanging from my hammock with my rain fly.

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Sherman’s Pass

A new rider arrived at camp today and made a comment about the showers not being clean. Another rider arrived at camp and exclaimed, we have showers, great. That’s the difference for someone who has been on the road for almost two months.

We arrive in Seattle in 5 days. I am so grateful to everyone who has supported us and continues to help us along to the finish. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and support. This afternoon, Sherman’s Pass, 22 mile climb, 6% grade, when it gets tough, I think of everyone cheering me on.

We camp at the top of the mountain tonight. Next 4 days, climbing thru the Casades…

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