In our last post, we were headed eastward toward Michigan for a bicycle tour of the Upper Peninsula. Unfortunately, a family emergency halted us in Wisconsin, and we canceled the tour, heading instead back west, to southern California. Now, after 6000 miles of driving and only 40 miles of riding (we went on two short rides in Wisconsin while visiting family there) we are finally back home, planning a new trip.
Our automobile diversion took us across Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, a corner of Arizona, Nevada, and a two-hour traffic jam over the mountains into the L.A. basin. By the time we crossed Utah, the limitations of running an office on the road became clear, so we filled the last remaining space in the car with a multi-function printer, which did come in handy over the next week. Our trip home took us up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), adding an extra day to the journey, but giving time for reflection and the chance to scope out the scenic route so many of our bicycle-tourist guests this summer have journeyed.
The amazing PCH is truly beautiful, but a tortuous route along the coastal cliffs much too daunting for our aged bones to consider riding on the bike. At Cresent City, CA, we headed inland to the Interstate and home, saving the Oregon coast for another time, having driven most of it 18 years ago. That portion, we might consider for bicycling.
But, now, we are faced with continuing our training in the rainy Pacific Northwest, where el ninõ is scheduled to bear down on us later this week, before heading out at the end of October for Florida, where we plan to ride the Keys, then ferry to mid-state to bicycle back to our starting point. The new trip is much longer, with longer riding days, than the Michigan trip would have been, and is self-supported, meaning we have to tow the loaded trailer and share in the cooking and group camp duties. But, Florida is as flat as bicycling ever gets, so it may be doable, even for old folks who have spent the last three weeks sitting and look forward to yet another week in the car before the ride.
During our 3-week travels, we did manage to keep up with work, to some extent. WiFi is now nearly everywhere, with the exception of the small beach hotel we landed in, the only room available after a harrowing drive over winding mountain roads in the dark. But, the cafe across the street had service, letting us catch up during breakfast, and we found another hotspot in a larger town up the coast at lunch time. Having a printer was helpful for printing contracts, maps, and diagrams. During the nearly two-week bike trip upcoming, we plan to carry only a Netbook, and will be camping, so expect limited service and not much time to tarry in coffee shops while keeping up with the rest of the tour group. And, another two weeks in transit with long days in the car will also limit access. Perhaps vacations are still possible in the Internet Age, even if not totally disconnected from that from which you need a vacation…