RISE Across America

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This tour took us 3,200 miles from Seattle to Washington, D.C. We ended up raising over $7,000 for WAI-IAM, Inc., biked through or into 11 states, and met a countless number of truly outstanding people! It was the hardest ride we have ever done, but it was so worth it!


Life, liberty and the pursuit of 3,200 miles (Pt 2) - August 27th, 2015 - Day 56. August 8. Part Two After we got cleaned up and dry, we loaded up and got back our bikes for what we hoped was our last day of biking. We had 60 miles to get to DC, but it was already 12:30 and we still needed lunch. We both thought there was no way we’re … Continue reading Life, liberty and the pursuit of 3,200 miles (Pt 2)
Life, liberty and the pursuit of 3,200 miles (Pt 1)  - August 27th, 2015 - Day 56. August 8.    Part One (Sorry about the lack of pictures!)  We woke up at 7, ate breakfast and packed up our gear with excitement about the new adventure of white water rafting! We stored our gear behind the office and headed down to the loading area to get the gear we’d need … Continue reading Life, liberty and the pursuit of 3,200 miles (Pt 1) 
It’s gonna be a bumpy ride - August 27th, 2015 - Day 55. August 7 We slept great at the hotel and ate as much of the free breakfast as we could. We headed out under more cloudy skies and we crossed our fingers that it didn’t rain. Before we left we had a great chat with two other bikers (Eric and Colin… Sorry if I … Continue reading It’s gonna be a bumpy ride
E & S on the C & O  - August 27th, 2015 - Finally got some time to finish these up! Did my best to remember the details, but the last couple days were a whirlwind! Without further adieu… Our last 4 days on the road!   Day 54. August 6. We woke up from a decent nights sleep in the tent feeling pretty sore from the 100 … Continue reading E & S on the C & O 
Bridges and tunnels and mountains, oh my!  - August 7th, 2015 - Day 53. August 5 Before I talk about what might have been the single longest day of this entire trip, let me first tell you about how Ethan and I are nature heroes! So after we left the pizza place, even though we had literally ate our weight in pizza and wings, we needed a … Continue reading Bridges and tunnels and mountains, oh my! 
Into the woods - August 4th, 2015 - Day 52. August 4 The home stretch! The final countdown! It’s on like Donkey Kong! Our day started out a little slow because it was hard to leave the hotel knowing that we had several days of camping ahead. But we also had a little over 300 miles of bike trails between us and our … Continue reading Into the woods
Steel City - August 4th, 2015 - Day 51. August 3  We got a bit of a late start leaving Lisbon, but Ruth Ann made breakfast and we got to talk a bit more so it was worth it. As usual. We headed out under cloudy skies and hoped it stayed cloudy, but didn’t storm. Since the hills ha given us so … Continue reading Steel City
Almost Appalachia - August 4th, 2015 - Day 50. August 2 David and Donna treated us to cinnamon rolls in the morning, of which I ate four or five. I’m not sure. It was a lot. We got on the road later than we would have liked, but the food and conversation were worth it. We headed out of town and ran … Continue reading Almost Appalachia
Amish country  - August 4th, 2015 - Day 49. August 1 It’s pretty hard to sleep in when you’re camping, so we got an early start. Earlier than we’ve been leaving in a while anyway. We ended up walking our bikes over the bridge, which I was a bit nervous about, but it saved us about 2 miles of riding so I … Continue reading Amish country 
Somewhere in Ohio - August 4th, 2015 - Day 48. July 31. I’m still not caught up with these and it’s getting the point where I can’t exactly remember the details of this week. So bear with me and I apologize for the lack of detail. I keep meaning to take notes, but it just never happens! One of these days I will … Continue reading Somewhere in Ohio
oh hi oh  - August 3rd, 2015 - Day 47. July 30 We ended up staying up way too late watching Mission Impossible and ended up not walking up until 8:30. We sleepily headed down to our free breakfast and ate as much as we could fit in our tummies. We were not looking forward to getting back in the heat so we … Continue reading oh hi oh 
it’s still too hot  - August 2nd, 2015 - Day 46. July 29 That morning, we took our time getting ready and reevaluated our plan for that day. Ethan had planned some pretty long days going through Indiana and Ohio, but with the heat and my mental struggle, that just wasn’t going to happen. He adjusted this particular day to only 40 or so … Continue reading it’s still too hot 
It’s too hot.  - August 2nd, 2015 - Day 45. July 28    I woke up feeling awful on this particular morning and was not at all excited to get back on my bike. I think Ethan felt fine, but we were both sore and exhausted. Getting back into biking all day, every day was going to be harder than we thought. We … Continue reading It’s too hot. 
Back to “reality” - August 1st, 2015 - July 27. Day 44.  Hello! Apologies for the huge delay! It’s been a rough week, but things are going well for now. I promise I’ll get caught up on these in the next couple of days. Anyway… Here’s what we did on Monday!  We spent the weekend hanging out with my family in the city … Continue reading Back to “reality”
Back to the beginning - July 25th, 2015 - July 24. Day 41. It was so hard to leave Monica’s behind and as we were getting ready Claire and Emma both insisted that they were going to bike to Chicago with us. They even filled up their water bottles. They are great kids and we will certainly miss them (though I’m not sure Ethan … Continue reading Back to the beginning
Our seventh state - July 25th, 2015 - Day 40. July 23. We had a great night’s sleep and were able to take our time getting ready since we only had 60 miles to get to our next destination. There was a McDonald’s 10 miles away in Whitewater, which was nice because we didn’t actually have any of our own breakfast food. There … Continue reading Our seventh state
Badger Country  - July 25th, 2015 - Day 39. July 22 We had a great nights sleep that night and woke up to the smell of bacon. We had planned on leaving early because we had a long day ahead, but didn’t actually get on the road until 7:45. Oops! Oh, well. Rob told us that we only really had one hill … Continue reading Badger Country 
Light at the end of the tunnel - July 22nd, 2015 - July 21. Day 38.  Finally getting caught up with these! Hooray! And we’re on schedule to get to Chiacgo on Friday – hooray!  It was a relatively easy day thanks to the creepiest tunnels ever. More on that later. We ended up going to bed at 9:15, so we woke up pretty early and were … Continue reading Light at the end of the tunnel
Cheese Please  - July 22nd, 2015 - July 20. Day 37.  We woke up a bit later than we wanted, but it felt so good to sleep in. Rosemary made us a wonderful breakfast of ginger/cinnamon/molasses pancakes and they were so amazing. It was all we could do to stop eating and get on the road. We headed out of Winona under … Continue reading Cheese Please 
10 States. 1 River.  - July 21st, 2015 - July 19. Day 36.  We spent most of this day continuing on the MRT. After leaving Red Wing, the terrain was mostly flat and cruised along at a nice pace. Eventually the route brought us along Lake Pepin, which was really pretty. The lake is just a very wide part of the Mississippi. Being along … Continue reading 10 States. 1 River. 
Twin Cities - July 21st, 2015 - July 18. Day 35.  Jackie made us an amazing breakfast and we said goodbye to the Hayden’s at 8. The forecast was sunny skies, which was good because there was no rain, but bad because it’s super hot. We were headed for the Twin Cities! Ethan was excited and I was a bit less than … Continue reading Twin Cities
Rollin’ on the river  - July 20th, 2015 - Day 34. July 17.  John and Susan made us an awesome breakfast and John even rode with us the first few miles out of St. Cloud. I didn’t quite feel as rested as I had hoped, but we were both super excited because we were headed to Coon Rapids where a familiar face awaited us!! … Continue reading Rollin’ on the river 
Here comes the rain - July 20th, 2015 - Day 33. July 16.  Ethan woke up before me and went straight for the free breakfast. I slept until 8:45… Breakfast ended at 9. Ethan came and got me and ate still half asleep. We took full advantage of this free breakfast and took some to-go bagels and English muffins. Check out wasn’t until 12, … Continue reading Here comes the rain
The perfect storm - July 20th, 2015 - Day 32. July 15.  A storm had rolled in as we got back to camp the night before, so we had set up the tent under a pavilion. It stopped raining before we went to sleep, but it was still nice to have everything stay dry… For a while at least. We had about 80 … Continue reading The perfect storm
10,000 lakes - July 17th, 2015 - Day 31. July 14.  I was so sore when we woke up that day and to make matters worse the wind was no longer on our side. Ugh. But, it was coming from the north and we would be riding south for at least a while that day. We were pretty close to the ND/MN … Continue reading 10,000 lakes
Record day  - July 16th, 2015 - July 13. Day 30.  We woke up from a somewhat restful sleep in Gackle to finally having the wind at our backs! Everyone going east was really excited and everyone going west was dreading going into the wind all day. The terrain was also going to be mostly flat with only a few small hills. … Continue reading Record day 
Midwest is best - July 16th, 2015 - July 12. Day 29.  Apparently, North Dakota is technically the Midwest. We decided we were ok with saying that the eastern half is the Midwest, but the western half is definitely the west. Anyway, we finally made it to flat ground!! Like actually flat, not the rolling hills “flat.” It was glorious to be able … Continue reading Midwest is best
The longest short day  - July 14th, 2015 - July 11. Day 28.  Exactly 4 weeks on the road!! Wooooo! It feels like just yesterday we were getting off the train and anxious about the next 6 weeks. It also feels like an eternity has gone by since we first set out. So much has happened and we’ve covered so much ground that it … Continue reading The longest short day 
Going nowhere fast - July 14th, 2015 - Day 27. July 10.  We headed out of Hebron at our usual time and had 70 miles to get to Bismarck where we had stay a Couch Surfing host lined up. We were on old highway 10 for the first 10 or so miles and it was fairly flat so the riding pretty easy. Then … Continue reading Going nowhere fast
No good very bad day - July 13th, 2015 - Day 26. July 9 The title makes the day seem worse than it really was, so don’t worry nothing really awful happened. It was a really hard day though.  We started out going straight uphill from Medora. I was sweating and exhausted by the time we reached the top and my left knee was killing … Continue reading No good very bad day
North Dakota!!!  - July 11th, 2015 - Day 25. July 8. This day we officially entered the Badlands and North Dakota! Wooooohoooo! A new state! Yippee! It feels so good to have Montana behind us and to be getting closer to the Midwest.  We left Glendive after a breakfast of cinnamon rolls, watermelon and cereal. It was great to have all that … Continue reading North Dakota!!! 
How now brown cow - July 9th, 2015 - Day 24. July 7.  After surviving the wind storm I was super tired and could not get going. It was a struggle to get out of bed. I was so glad we only had 50 miles and that we had another host to stay with at our next stop in Glendive.  We left Circle behind … Continue reading How now brown cow
Head for the hills - July 9th, 2015 - Day 23. July 6.  We didn’t wake up until 7 and it felt really nice to sleep in. We were out the door by 8:10 and this was the day we said goodbye to highway 2! We’d been following 2 since right after the Rockies and were happy to be leaving it behind. We headed … Continue reading Head for the hills
A real pain in the neck - July 7th, 2015 - Day 22. July 5. After our lovely stay with Mary and John we woke up feeling refreshed and were really glad we ended up taking the day off. Also, the heat finally let up today, so we were extra happy that we waited a day. The only issue we had was that I had slept … Continue reading A real pain in the neck
93 in the shade  - July 5th, 2015 - Day 20 & 21. July 3 & 4 . Sorry about the lack of photos! It was too hot!  It was another early morning and it actually started off fairly cool temperature wise. If only it had stayed that way! We had 72 miles to get to our next destination which was Glasgow. We pretty … Continue reading 93 in the shade 
Just keep biking - July 5th, 2015 - Day 19. July 2.  After a restful nights sleep we were up and at ’em at 6am. We hit the road about 7 and stopped at a grocery store before we left town. We needed a couple things we forgot at Walmart and were happy that we didn’t have to back track to get to … Continue reading Just keep biking
Little town on the prairie  - July 5th, 2015 - Day 18. July 1.  It’s July! Hooray! We tried to get going early again and actually did fairly well. We ended up leaving at 6:30 and to our delight it was cloudy! Hooray! We had just been destroyed by the sun the day before, so we were overjoyed about the clouds.     There was also … Continue reading Little town on the prairie 
Amber waves of grain - July 3rd, 2015 - Day 17. June 30 – Our 3rd anniversary as married people and 8th year of togetherness! Whoop!  As soon as we started out from the campground we hit a snag. Ethan had a flat tire. We decided to head back to McDonald’s so he could change the tube out even though it seemed to be … Continue reading Amber waves of grain
Off the reservation  - July 2nd, 2015 - Day 16. June 29.  Like most mornings, we attempted to get an earlier start, but that didn’t exactly happen. We had 66 miles to go to get to Cut Bank and were hoping that after we did one big hill, it would finally be flat. That hill was a menace, but we made it up … Continue reading Off the reservation 
The Continental Divide - July 2nd, 2015 - Day 15. June 28. We woke up at 4 am and it was still pretty dark, so we got ready a little slower than we planned. As soon as it was light enough that we felt safe in the road we headed out. Of course, I slammed my right calf into my pedal on the … Continue reading The Continental Divide
“Vacation”  - June 30th, 2015 - We woke up fairly early even though we stayed up late. We said goodbye to Phillip and a younger couple that had come in right before we went to bed. Their names were Jaden and Nick and they had just spent 5 days hiking in the park. They saw moose and bears, both mother/baby combos! … Continue reading “Vacation” 
The Crown of the Continent - June 30th, 2015 - Day 13. June 26. We rode 35 miles from Whitefish to into Glacier National Park, which has been deemed the “Crown of the Continent.” The ride was fairly easy except we had to ride for a few miles on a dirt road. We usually try to avoid dirt roads because their pretty difficult to navigate … Continue reading The Crown of the Continent
It’s getting hot in here.  - June 28th, 2015 - Day 12. June 25. We did end up sleeping in a bit, which felt awesome. Only problem was when I went to get up I could barely walk. I pretty much felt like I had been run over by a bus. It was rough. After moving around and using the rolling pin on my legs … Continue reading It’s getting hot in here. 
It’s a jungle out here. - June 28th, 2015 - Day 11. Wednesday, June 24.  We had a great nights sleep at Joe’s in the the safari bedroom and in the morning he made us blueberry waffles. They were delicious and filling, which was helpful because it was another long, hot day. We were headed to Eureka via HWY 37 that runs along Lake Koocanusa. … Continue reading It’s a jungle out here.
Idaho to Big Sky  - June 26th, 2015 - Day 10. Tuesday, June 23. We had a great night at Annie’s Orchard and were ready to tackle the last bit of Idaho and head into Montana. Our plan was to make the day a little shorter since we had just had a few longer days and we were pretty sore and tired. The first … Continue reading Idaho to Big Sky 
Week One Update  - June 23rd, 2015 - I meant do this on day seven, but I got pretty behind on the blogs obviously. Anyway, we just wanted to give everyone a quick update on how we’re doing besides what I put in the blogs, in case you are wondering. We are doing well! Hooray! We are pretty sore still, but our legs … Continue reading Week One Update 
Potato, Potahto  - June 23rd, 2015 - Day 9. We made it Idaho!!! Peace out Washington! We left in the freezing cold this morning and had about 20 miles to the Idaho border, where there just happened to be a McDonalds. Fancy that! Like I said, we are trying not to eat that crap so much, but it’s the free (clean) water, … Continue reading Potato, Potahto 
Just around the river bend.  - June 23rd, 2015 - Day 8. After a restful nights sleep for Ethan (not me), we were a bit slow in getting ready to leave the bike hostel. We were still able to get out the door by 7:10 though, so we hoped we’d be able to make it to our destination a bit earlier than we had the … Continue reading Just around the river bend. 
The Never Ending Day  - June 22nd, 2015 - Day 7. We woke up from our lovely sleep in a lovely bed at 5:15 and were not ready to leave it. I think we laid for at least another 15 minutes. Eventually, Ethan reluctantly dragged us out of bed and we packed up and headed out by 6:15. We had a long day ahead, … Continue reading The Never Ending Day 
Wauconda Pass  - June 22nd, 2015 - Day 6. We set our alarm for 4:15am and I think the last time I did that I was leaving for a tropical vacation somewhere. We wanted to get an early start because we had a big hill to climb and we wanted to beat the heat.  I’m not exactly a morning person (who are … Continue reading Wauconda Pass 
Into the Wind - June 20th, 2015 - We got a great nights sleep in the yard of our Warm Showers host and got a fairly early start. We decided to get McDonalds this morning even though we said we were going to try and not eat there. It was so good, but we did have a chat about limiting our Donald’s trips. … Continue reading Into the Wind
Where the deer and the antelope play.  - June 19th, 2015 - Day 4 started out great. We were pretty sore from the uphill struggle on day 3, but it was pretty flat/downhill to to the next town which was Winthrop. Eastern Washington is basically the Wild West and Winthrop is the quintessential Western town, but fully modernized. It was awesome. We stopped at an outdoor restaurant … Continue reading Where the deer and the antelope play. 
Up and Over  - June 18th, 2015 - On day three, we knew we were going uphill, but we were pretty unprepared for the intensity of this particular uphill.  As soon as we left the campground it was uphill. This part was pretty steep until we got to an overlook that was out of this world. It gave you an almost 360 degree … Continue reading Up and Over 
In the valley.  - June 17th, 2015 - We woke up bright and early Monday morning since the sun decided to grace the earth with her presence at about 5:30. I took me a while to get going because it was pretty chilly and I really didn’t want to leave my warm sleeping bag. We got ready fairly slow, ate breakfast and were … Continue reading In the valley. 
Day One.  - June 15th, 2015 - Well folks, we’ve made it through our first day!!! It been a long day and I’m super tired, so I apologize in advance for all the typos and if things don’t exactly make sense.  Saturday is kind of a blur. It felt like we spent the majority of the day eating since we were provided … Continue reading Day One. 
And we’re off! Sort of. - June 13th, 2015 - We are currently chillin’ out in our Roomette on the Empire Builder Train headed to Everett, Washington. It’s been a hectic couple of days as we prepped for the trip.  We spent all of Thursday packing, making sure we had everything and saying our final goodbyes. We kind of waited until the last minute, but … Continue reading And we’re off! Sort of.
Michigan’s Amazing Trails! - May 19th, 2015 - Happy National Bike Month!! As the temperature has warmed, I’ve been able to get outside and do some biking (Ethan’s knees have been bothering him so he hasn’t been able to join). It’s definitely more fun riding together, but I have greatly enjoyed riding around Lansing and being outside! And after our Mississippi adventure I … Continue reading Michigan’s Amazing Trails!
RISE Across America Fundraising - May 5th, 2015 - I realized recently that we really hadn’t posted much on here about the fundraising we are doing to support WAI-IAM with our RISE Across America Tour. I briefly mentioned it in our “Here we go again!” post, but I wanted to document more about what great fundraising ideas Ethan has come up with and how … Continue reading RISE Across America Fundraising
Cross Country Meal Planning - March 9th, 2015 - Howdy! It’s a beautiful almost-spring day here in Michigan! Recently, we were having one of our many chats about our upcoming bike tours and we got on the subject of food. We love food and we eat a lot when we are touring. Since our last trip though, we have switched to a mostly plant … Continue reading Cross Country Meal Planning
Here we go again! - February 24th, 2015 - It’s been over two and a half years since we biked the west coast and left our lives behind for SE Asia. Since returning, there have been some big events (see previous post) and we are all settled in to our new home. Our travel bug is still going strong though! And we’re excited to … Continue reading Here we go again!
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