Monday, December 31, 2007

not famous

I did not succeed in becoming a famous surfer. Playa Pesculas is for professional surfers and I am not. It is crushing. But tomorrow is a new year.

¿Quien sabe? Who knows?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas and after

The Christmas eve dinner with Julio and family did not work out. Unfortunately, Leah and I had to eat two and half pounds of fresh shrimp alone. Bummer.

Christmas day we dressed up in elf/super hero comstumes, well, the best costumes we could patch together with our limited wordrobe: tights and silk scarfs. Then rode around Colima on our bikes delivering cookies to friends whom were working on Christmas. We were laughing at ourselves and most people did not seem to understand why, they stare at us even when we are not dressed in silly clothing with silk capes yelling "feliz navidad" in cartoon voices, why should they understand our humor anyways? Our friends seemed to enjoy the cookies though. That is what is important.
That evening we feasted at the lovely Roberta and Ken's house. They prepared the juicest turkey I have ever eaten, along with cranberry chuttney and mash potatoes. So delicous and filling. Their guests came from all parts of the globe, including a 70s rocker from Finland and his wife, a social worker who spent 6 years in jail. She said, "I am out now."

Alex, famous gituar player for Sid and Fancy, graced us with his pressence the last two days. Yesterday we all met up with a new friend, Carlos, who drove us up to the Colima Volcanoe and took us on hike and tour and fancy lunch and other generous curtousies. It was fun to get out of Colima and walk around... plus we got to practice Español all day. Alex leaves today for Guadalajara. Rock on dude.

Leah and I are going to find a surf shop on the beach that rents boards. I hope to become a famous surfer in the next two days.

Monday, December 24, 2007

¡feliz navidad!

Hey everybody,
so we´re not going to be having a white christmas this year, although that god-damn song has been stuck in my head for the past few days :) No, this year will be different...I´m excited to go to our friend Julio´s house for christmas to see how his family celebrates. When he invited us, I figured we´d go over in the evening for a couple of hours but he added that we should bring our sleeping bags and any dvds that we it sounds like we´re in for our first Mexican slumber party! I wonder if Santa Claus is as fat and jolly in Mexico as he is in the states (he, he)

Jack and I celebrated last night with champagne and a whole kilo of shrimp! It was and tommorrow there will be more festivities, which will hopefully distract me from being homesick during the holidays. It´s a comfort to think that we´ll be back stateside by the summer. I feel like I´m just starting to meet a few people here and settle in...I may even have a job interview this week, thanks to Julio! It´s at a restaurant downtown in the main plaza called la Plazacita (do you recognize that Rodrigo?) so hopefully I would make some good tips because it turns out minimum wage is more like 7 dollars a day instead of 8...ugh!
Anyway, that´s the news for the day. I hope you all have a wonderful christmas and new years celebration with lots of good food and good company!
Love to you all!

Friday, December 21, 2007

more Colima

That's right, we live here and life is much slower now that we are not riding our days into the sun. Therefor, the blog entries feel as though they lack the same pissas and tone of life in the bike lane.

"Jack, let's get a hot chicken before they close." Rotissorie chickens, sold whole, some sell 2 for 60 pesos. They a treat and I love them. Someday the states will learn. Whole Rotissorie.
chillo, weh.

At the very same time, we are meeting people. Talking to them. Drinking coffee. Watching telenovelas. Bob Espogna rules. 5 o'clock, everyday.

Last night we were invited to a house party wherein an Egyptian chef was going to prepare all the food. The problem was, the building where the party was going to be never got the electricity turned on and so instead of being a house party, a group of us went to a random bar. The bar let us in after paying a cover, but it was rented out for a private party. We left that bar and went to another that had more ambiant music and a better atmosphere for conversation. Then one of the dudes in the group started ice breakers and I felt like I was in high school. Leah would not translate into Spanish that I put on tights late at night and fly around the city looking for other gringos.
The Egyptian is a cool dude. He wants to open a shisha bar in Colima but says that the people here are lazy and so he needs to find a place that has plenty of parking.

The streets are filled with Christmas shoppers even though it is the heat of the day. We are eating a whole chicken with our bare hands.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


So now if you happen to be in Colima, Colima, Mexico and need a place to stay you can go to 79 A, Francissco Villa. Ring the bell and either Leah or I will let you in. Roberta called the new apartment a regular "club med", I wouldn't go that far, but it is really nice.

We spent all day looking and (Leah) asking the shop keepers and corner store owners about apartments for rent. Little known to gringos, asking shop keepers is better than checking newspapers. We managed to find this sweet place next to the river, off of any main streets, in the second story with a view of the volcanoes and a ladder to the roof. We had to find a place that was furnished, right? But not just for the bed, in Mexico an unfurnished apartment does not come with a fridge or a stove.

We now have a double bed, a futon, a four burner stove, a shower with mostly hot water, running water, a fridge capable of making ice, a big living room perfect for yoga, a couple chairs, a tv and a DVD player, a table and a high chair. It is really nice. Below our apartment is a big court yard used for secure parking and parties, there is a karoke machine and some awesome speakers. I want to get some chickens. Like I was saying about needing a place to stay, come on by, we can put you up.

The apartment we are renting does not have a contract, we can leave after Janruary if we want, or we can pay for another month. Our thinking about renting is to have one place to be for a while. Sink into the town and get involved at the orphanage, start taking Spanish classes, make new friends, go to parties. The thought of renting a place is a financially motivated decision as well. Not being on the road and having a kitchen and a fridge is a huge help in cutting down the cost of living, we hope. We'll see. We have gone from a twenty dollars a day food budget to a five dollars a day food budget. I hope it works to be here a while and get to know Mexican culture more completely than we have so far... if nothing else, hanging out with Rodrigo's Grandparents is awesome. And Roberta and Ken are great. Plus there is Julio who works the swank coffee bar. And my Spanish seems to be improving the more Bob Esponga I watch...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Should we stay or should we go?

If we stay it will be trouble. If we go it will be double. Should we stay in Colima? Beautiful, beautiful Colima city with it's hustle and bustle, it's university with private language classes, the casa hogar with a socially rewarding volunteer opportunity. Should we stay and volunteer with troubled Mexican children? Try to rent an appartment for around 2,000 pesos when some of the locals tell us the average is 3,500 to 5,000 pesos? Should we stay in a city when we want to swim in the ocean? Should we settle and rest even if we yearn for the rythm of biking and the thrill of adventure?

We like the feel of Colima, but ...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


What blog would be complete without pictures? right.
I wish I could figure this out, but this is as close as I have come:

My appologizes.
Send suggestions to the techniquely ilterate at:

Check out the locations of some the photos, it is kinda neat to look at them from that prospective. It is a long ways from Idaho to Mexico. wow.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ken and Roberta's

We are now staying in the luxurious residence of Ken and Roberta's in the city of Colima. It is really friggin' nice to have a shower, kitchen, and visit with Rodrigo's grandfolks. That's right! Leah and I got to meet Rodrigo's Abuelos. They are awesome. The family resemblance is apparent in the entheusasism of Rodrigo's Grandpa. He is overflowing with generosity and kept repeating how highly Rodrigo had recommended us. His Grandma treated us to lunch of delicious fryed fish and beans. We are going back tomorrow. I have to know how she makes those beans taste so good. I hope to hear some stories of Rodrigo's past.

Leah and I talked about why we are in Mexico. This question is more and more prevalent as our money dissolves. I want to learn Spanish more than I want to learn how to surf. Leah wants to work somewhere with more purpose than selling crap to gringos. Colima might be the place, it has a university with language classes and Roberta knows of an orphanage that provides housing to volunteers. Again, quien sabe, who knows. Colima might be the place.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Colima city, Colima

The city sits at the base of a giant volcano, could be two, the air quality here is not like it is in Montana. The city is somehow smaller feeling than Manzanillo and we both enjoy that. The streets are paved and there are friendly people here. Also, a great friend, Rodrigo, has grandfolks here. We hope to find them. And we have some family friends to stay with, Ken and Roberta, which is good because my ass is still killing me.

Regroup and rethink, that is the current plan because who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Also on the randomness of adventure, last night we stayed with Rosa on the beach. She has a little stand that sells seafood and such. She generously invited us to her sister's birthday party, also at the stand on the beach, and gave us fish and shrimp and beer to our hearts content. Then one of her drunk cousins walked us over to a live band that was playing at the church. The celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe goes for twelve days. Today we saw runners carrying a cross along the highway. They go from Colima to Manzanillo in the Virgin's honor.

We ate some Cantalope and thought of Dave and the crew in Sandpoint.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Manzanillo Shmanzanillo

So we´re moving on tomorrow, heading inland to Colima. Manzanillo is a beautiful port-town with vibrant colors and friendly people...but it just isn´t quite what Jack and I were envisioning for a place to settle for a while. I got as far as looking at job lists and talking to people about renting an apartment but it didn´t feel quite right so we´ll be moving along again. The highlight of my day was finding a sweet little bike shop down the road from our hotel owned and run by Juan. He´s a maestro when it comes to bicycles so I felt very happy to leave my treasure in his hands for a little tune-up...and now she purs like a kitten. It´s amazing how much shit collects on your bike after 2 months of riding! But it´s also amazing that we haven´t had any major technical difficulties (knock on wood).
My greatest fear is the end of this trip because I´m not sure what the hell we´re going to do...and this fear is becoming more close to a reality since we´re running out of $$...but something has worked out for us before and I´m convinced that it will work out this time too. Biking rules! Anyone who hasn´t taken the time to do a trip should go for it!
Love to all of you!
Will write again soon

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Now what? The whole time we have been on the road, more than two months of adventure, I have had this little voice in the back of my brain that keeps repeating,
"Why? Now what are you going to do? Why? Now what are you going to do?" For the past two months it has been easy to tell that voice, "vamos a Colima, Let's go!"

Now that we are here, ... well, it isn't like it is a surprise that I do not know what to do, but I was kinda hoping for balloons and confetti, a parade maybe. Then diplomats to take Leah and I by the elbows and direct us to our dream jobs. Where we would work, effortlessly, curing the worlds ills. Then, we would feast of giant shrimp and surf the famous waves of Playa Oro, everyday.

That has yet to happen. Yet.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Destination Achievo

Si, mi espoñal es malo. Perro, apracticar ahora en Manzanillo.
That is right. The surf town and giant port, Manzanillo, located in the state of Colima, Leah and I have arrived. We made it. We made it, we made it. Done.
I have a defined line around my butt cheaks that clearly marks where my seat makes contact with my butt. It is highlighted in red, swollen rash of burning pain. It stings a little when I swim in the ocean.

Another serendipidous event, we stayed in a hotel the same night it rained for the first time and we arrived at our primary destination exactly a month after we crossed the boarder.

Manzanillo is cool, far less gringos, bigger than Puerto Vallarta, smaller than Mazatlan, and I heard a rumor that there is surfing here. I plan to check out the University for potential language classes.

Right now the Christians are celebrating the twelve days of the Virgin de Guadalupe with traditional dress and parades, music, street food. It is really cultural. I like all the shrines to the Virgin, like the one at the Pemex gas station.

I changed the colors of the blog to better reflect the Latin flavor. I hope you like it.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Oasis Hostel

Night number two at the hostel is more chill, without the drunk guy things are laid back a couple clicks. It seemed strange to me that a hostel would sell forties, but its Mexico. Yet, this guy was hurting himself on tequilla and cheap vino. He had some words with Leah and then past out in a drunken stupper, in full gringo style. Seems to me, a bunch of folks from the states enjoy that style of "traveling" drunk.

But met this cool guy, Daniel, that laughed at my plan to trade my bike for a boat. He arrived in Puerto Vallarta by way of sail boat. He said he spent eight days on a sailboat with a captain that did not know what he was doing, thaught he was going to die several times and at day five went stir crazy. But he had some good advice about jumping on a sail boat: "Make sure the people on the crew are cool and you all get along."

Leah and I had planned on leaving today, but then we didn't. We are not purests, or record breaking olympians, we are having a cultural experiance. Well, not in Puerto Vallarta, it is mostly gringos. This town could easily be a lost city of southern California. Whatever. We got lazy and walked around the town a little. I got Leah a massage because she really wanted one and I owed her for the shoes. Ate some popcorn and watched some boob tube. Tomorrow we will hit it hard and climb straight up out of here, vamos a Calima, let's go!

Talked to some dudes about surfing. They kept saying that the ocean south of here is like soap. "For you, it is like soap." I might be able to deal with that. We'll see.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Puerto Vallarta

Oasis Hostel is where we will sleep tonight, tomorrow is a mystery. Here in the comforts of free internet and a kitchen with running water and four, yes, four burners of goodness, bunk beds, and say it ain't so--showers! Yeah, but... no open air, no barking dogs or squawking birds, no free range peeing.

There is a larger more dominant part of me that loves the adventure, the thrill of not knowing where we will sleep, the engine heat of passing semi trucks, the sideways looks of village folks, gypsy charm of constant vagrancy, and the protective layer of sweat and dirt that builds up on my body. But there is the smaller less dominant part of me that loves community, routine, a kitchen. There is that other part of me that looks out and sees my friends and family in the faces of strangers, in different nationalities and with different stories.

I think of you all when I am having the time of my life.

A story from the road:
Language barriers can be frustrating and dammit how I wish I could just communicate with all these generous helpful folks. And also, Leah goes to buy cheese. Quardro sounds a lot like quatra, quardo means 1/4 and quarta means 'how much.' The store owner lady keeps asking how much Leah wants, Leah says, "Quardro." Fine, "Medio." The lady nods and cuts a slice of cheese that weighs 1/2 kilogram. Leah pays for the cheese and is a little distraught, but the sun is setting and soon it will be dark. Later, when we are trying to eat the medio kilo cheese with beans and tortillas, we realize that the cheese is Parmesan.

I write more the next time I see "Internet" painted on the side of a cement building. That is to say, most of the buildings are cement and most of the signage is painted on the buildings.

Monday, November 26, 2007

currently, San Blas

Leah and I peddaled our way out of the gravity that surrounds every big city, Mazatlan included and ended up further south. Less desert and more beaches, we are surely in the tropics now. Yesterday I picked my first watermelon. It was growing alongside the road. We left a few of the smaller ones for those other bikers that might be taking the autopista south...

About biking in Mexico:
Carry water. Duh, but know that few regions have potable water from the tap and that means you´ll have to buy it.
The autopista aka: Mexico 15 quota, is the big highway that goes from Nogales all the way to Mexico City. It is paved and since Sinoloa, has a tremdous shoulder. The smaller highways do not. The Mexico 15 libre does not either. There is no toll or tax for bicycles on the quota, so I suggest taking the well paved, big shouldered quota. Also, maps are hard to find in Mexico. Bicylce mechanics with shops, aka Taller de Bicicletas, are all over the place. They stock 26 inch tires, all of them do. Some stock 27 inch and others also have 700cm, but 26inch are the easiest to find. Older brake systems and gearing are easier to find as well. Newer technology has yet to reach the master mechanics of Mexico and so you run a risk of not being able to find certain parts. However, the bike mechanics here are more inclined to think outside the box than most mechanics in the states. Neccestity is the mother of hobo-riggin´.

I´ve said this before, but bicycles are all over here and so drivers see them on the highways and are generous about giving space so don´t mind the fear culture of that USA.

And now to the topic of culture:
Bicycling gives you the oportunity to feel a place, to be a part of the landscape and it seems to give us the power to impress people. "We started in Idaho, it´s close to Canada. Yeah, on bicycles." We have certainly been given our share of generousity from strangers and every day we gain another little glimpse into Mexican culture. Last night we spent the night at the government building. It was a little nerve racking because it was also the police station and we could not really leave until the morning, so it felt a little like we were in jail. I teased Leah about how she got us a free night stay in jail. But, all in all, it was a free night stay in their government building with a bathroom and a sink to wash (dishes, face, shammy). I kept thinking how that would never happen in the states. "yeah, just stay at the county court house, it is dry and there are plenty of cops to keep you safe." But it did happen that strangers went out of their way to help us find a safe place to continue our hobo-livin´.

Now at the same time, there is an expression here that goes, "The US has it´s foot on Mexico´s neck." My heart sinks to hear this. All the while, Mexico has two presidents. One that was elected by the majority of Mexican voters and another that was determined to have won the election by a narrow margin. The first president receives no mention in any large media source and the other recieves millions of dollars from Bush to fight a "war on drugs". I want to puke on the beurocrats that make all this possible. I want them to know the horror of war and the despair of working everyday to eat beans and rice in a tar papered shack with dirt floors. I want to make enough money to buy California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and give it back to Mexico. I want to be a good neighbor.

Meanwhile, we´ll keep nievely exploring this earth and I´ll keep apracticar mi español.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


It´s our third day here and I don´t feel like leaving yet. It´s a beautiful place with (unfortunately) many gringitos running around, usually in fancy cars. But the ocean is calm and soothing...the seafood is delicious. We met a sweet Italian couple yesterday at the hotel Mexico so we hung out with them most of the day...going to el mercado where they have everything you could ever want or need. I finally found one of my favorite snacks, membrillo con queso cremoso! We used to eat that in Argentina all the time. Met a cool old dude hanging out in the plaza yesterday while we sat eating a melon and jack drew the cathedral. In a matter of a half hour he told me his life´s always amazing to me how many people love to talk with you when they learn you speak their language.
Nobody´s commented on my ´vote for pedro´ shirt...i´m a little disappointed :(
We found the first bike shop yesterday and to my demise, the man working there had never heard of tubes 700c x 32/30 so for other cyclists considering biking down here, bring extra tubes and tires! Jack´s in heaven because they have tons of 27 and 26´s.

Mexico is treating us well so far. i´m excited to find a cool pueblo to hang in for longer than a few days...maybe find a job somewhere and make this place home for a while. If that fails, we´re talking about heading home in the spring, on a boat, on a bus, hitching a ride...time will tell.
love to all of you


Mazatlan is a lot bigger than I remember. There are a lot of people bustling. It has a very distinct Mexican flavor in the old historic distric with the bright colored concrete architecture of stacked blocks; a regular Mexican San Francisco. I forgot how charming it is to walk along the beach and look at all the colors and styles and just smile.

We got a response from a WOOFer farm South of here, but they require a month of commitment and if they are going to be so strick I am glad not to donate my toils. Although it would be nice to have a place to hang my helmet for longer than a couple nights.

I have developed a case of the butt rot. Closely related to the dreaded crotch rot, my cheeks are red and raw from a month and a half of riding. We have covered quite a few miles and quite a few kilometers and the soggy shamey is just not enough against the force of friction on my cheeks and my seat.
Otherwise, my body feels great.

Four nights ago we took a rest day on a beach named Ceurta. It was splended. Swimming in the ocean, few bugs, beer. Unfortunately, I suffered the loss of my boots. I no longer have the super boots. I cried, a little.
Yesterday, Leah bought me some shoes for our two year anniversary. She is so good to me.

Also, we got to spend a day here in Mazatlan, on Vente de Novembre, the day of the revolution. There was a parade of all the regional schools doing marching and wearing outfits, it was nice for twenty minutes. But, we met a couple from Italy and hung out with them for the day. They had come from London were they worked in the best Italian restraut. They had learned English and could speak Spanish in addition to their mother tongue. It was nice to got to market and have a picnic with another traveling couple because they bicker like we do. Maybe more than we do. Probably not. Anyways, it was fun.

The future, who knows? We will leave Mazatalan and head, you guest it, South. In 25 kilometers we can get on the coastal highway and have the option of escaping the heat with a dip in the sea.

Other things learned in Mexico:
Get food when you can get food.
Get water when you can get water.
Rest in the shade.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Sinaloa muchachas! In this particular state of Mexico, they have shoulders along the highways, mostly. Leah and I will be riding along, side by side, enjoying the ten feet of luxurious shoulder and talking about the heat, and BAM! no shoulder. Drop off, six inch curb and no pavement. As if they ran out of asfalt. Done for the day, go home, they ran out. Then, a couple kilometers down the way-right back to ten feet of smooth shoulder.

Also in Sinaloa, people love us. I am getting used to waving at people´s cheers and waves and car horns because people love us. I geuss. I hope. It seems.
Last night we peddled into the last and only gas station for kilometers, before Culiacan, and asked about camping. Usually, in the states, the reaction is a pained look of confusion and then a vague explination about trees and maybe a gesture of the hand, shoo-ing. In Mexico, the usual response is, "You can stay here. Do you want a shower? Food? Conversation? My first born?" Quit frankly, I have been taken aback by the compassion and generousity of complete strangers. Por ejemplo:

Cuidad Obrigon, a big city, lots of people bustling around. We spent all day looking for water, a toilet, and a park. The sun was hanging low in the sky and we needed to find a hostel or a very cheap place to stay because we would not be able to make it out of town before dark. Enter random restraunt, Leah asks waitress about a hostel. She says no. Leah asks about camping. She says we can stay with her.
Her name is Lopita and she has the heart of the sun. Her husband and three kids slept in the same room together so that Leah and I could have a private room and a bed to ourselves, the same bed Lopita and her husband tipically sleep in. Complete strangers. Unbelievable generousity.

Los Mochis, a smaller town, still lots of people bustling around. We sit down at the same table as another couple to eat fish tacos. Delicous. We talk a little and they give us directions to a laundrymat. The lady says she will take us the ten blocks and show us exactly were it is. When we get there, she says we can leave our bikes and she will take us to her house, if we want a shower. We have known each other for twenty minutes at this point. Jaw dropping amazing.

Somewhere along the Mexico 15 interstate highway, nobody bustling. Brick building with a couple inside. Do they know of camping? We should camp in their yard. The lady gets us a table and chairs and offers us a bath. We decline, it seemed unneccesary to have two baths in two days. The couple have a brick building with dirt floors. A farmer goes by in a cart pulled by a horse.

Today we woke up at a gas station where the attendent gave us hot water, a grassy place to setup our tent and free bathroom with sink to wash. I shaved my beard. Now we are in a modern city with lots of traffic and people bustling around and internet. It can be tricky to make that shift from dirt floors, horse drawn buggies to cell phone, bumper to bumper. Mexico does it all the time.

Sidenote for anyone who knows an attention-whore: tell them to visit a country where they are the minority. They will receive all the attention they can handle, all the time.

How do rumors start? For all the bad rumors and comments about Mexican drivers I heard before leaving on this trip, they are totally unfounded, so far.
I think part of it is that there are bicycists here. That is to say, people ride bikes here. We see them all the time, on the highways, roads, fields. It is great. I think because it is not so uncommon to have a two wheeled traveler on the roadway, people know what to do. It warms my heart how many times big trucks have slowed down inorder to move into the far lane, just for us.

I love Mexico.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

hemos llegado a mexico

Aqui estamos, sufriendo de calor. Pobresitos, verdad? Tenemos que preocuparnos mas de tener suficiente agua porque ayer Jack estaba volviendose medio loco sin agua y suficiente comida (no te puedes llenar solamente con nueces). Pues cuando cruzamos la frontera en Nogales me impacto muchissimo la pared grande que esta alli...un tristeza profundo senti por el dolor de la gente que intenta pasar y algunos sobreviven.
De alli decidimos tomar el autobus hasta Guaymas donde bajamos con la puesta del sol y fuimos a Miramar...aprendimos que es mejor buscar un sitio para campar con la luz del dia porque lo que pensabamos que era la playa fue realmente un sitio aparte donde lleguen los pescadores a trabajar como a las 4 de la mañana! Que sorpresa para ellos encontrar dos vagos con sus bicis durmiendo alli! ja, ja Pues, no dormimos nada esa noche asi que decidimos usar el proximo dia para descansar en la playa en San Carlos. Alli estaba bonito, un paisaje hermossisimo con pelicanos (sp?) y otros pajaros bonitos...muy tranquilo y el mar estaba precioso...Ayer andamos todo el dia hasta llegar a un pueblito que se llama San Ignacio. Hoy estamos en la Ciudad de Obregon y seguimos con la aventura...
Saludos a todos

Ciudad Obregon

We´re in Mexico!
idaho to mexico... and now what? Well, last night we heard something scratching around outside the tent. Kinda sounded like plastic. Grabbed Leah´s headlight and shined it on the culprit. A dog with a bucket on it´s head!

When Gay dropped us off at the border, we were going to look into taking a bus or riding our bikes. We found a bus line that would take our bikes, if we took the wheels off. So we took the bus from Nogales to Guymas, five hours and three movies later we got off in Guymas, a bustling Mexican town with people, cars, buses--everywhere. Then the sun went down and it was dark. What to do, what to do?
We had tacos. and soda.
The man who worked the tacorilla said the public beach was only five kilometers away and it would be a nice quite place to camp. We had to ask two more people before we foudn what we thought was the playa. The next morning we woke up with shrimpers and fisherman in there boats looking at us while they were unloading their boats and every time someone would walk by they would say,¨what´s with those guys¨ only in spanish... we had camped on the sand of the inlet with the beach behind us, thirty meters away. Yet, everybody was really nice about it and just gave us wierd looks.

We have been traveling on the main interstate and then some secondary highways. Most everybody has been really nice and slow down or go way around us. I am thankful. Also, we have seen lots of people on bikes. That is really nice.

I am practicing my Spanish and Leah has made me ask the directions a couple times... so maybe I am improving. Leah is emailing some of the WOOFer farms right now, that could be really cool. It would be nice to be in one place for a little while, could help a lot with learning español.

I have yet to understand the link-deally with pictures and all that with the what-what and the deallies... but for now here is a link to my picasa account:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Leaving Tucson

We plan to leave Tucson tomorrow morning. Gay is going to drive us 50 miles to the border and we will peddle across that imaginary line that so effectively defines two distinct nations. From there we will either board the bus or bike, depending on their policy of un-boxed bikes.

Tucson has been nice. Lots of eating and drinking. Ed taught us how to make Presidente Margaritas, which fueled our painting project. Brauts, beer and booze, what could be better? Did I mention Ed and Gay have a hot tub? And cable. Basically, all of those muscles we developed over the last 500 miles are gone and now we "well rested".

The Dias de Muertos celebrations have been happening. Leah and I went to an old Mexican movie made in the 1950s. Then we got to see a parade. It was a great goulash of cultures mixed into Day of the Dead theme. There were Somba groups and marching bands, but the best were the bagpipe players with there faces painted like skeletons. Yeah, Tucson is pretty cool. The bus costs a $1, "bicas" is awesome, and "the Ordinary Bike Shop" traded my old dead armadillo tire for a new one--without charge--Sha!

Last weekend Ed and Gay took us down to Nogales for a taste of Mexico. We walked across the border, ate some Mexican food, drank some beers, did some shopping and walked back across before dark. The city was bustling with people everywhere, the sidewalks are all uneven, people are friendly or loud, and Spanish is spoken all over the place. It was awesomely over stimulating. I am getting excited to be there for longer than a day and all this fear and caution is well intended, but also... a culture of US, fear.

I can't wait to be sending word from the other side. Love. Love. Love.

Monday, October 29, 2007

302 miles

Flagstaff to Tucson, via Sedona, Payson and Globe.
Our stop in Flagstaff bore the fruit of warm showers, comfortable beds, quality beer, and a tour to the Grand Canyon. Although amazing, comfortable and pleasant, we choose adventure.
We peddled out of Flagstaff, hopped on 87A and promptly dropped off "the rim" descending 3,000 feet in a few short miles. The scenic highway of 87A is nationally renowned for being beautiful. I thought it was cool to see water in the river beds. 87A leads to Sedona, an overrun club-med-stlye-tourist heaven, complete with Pink Jeep Tours. Leah and I both gauged. Visiting the local natural food store, we saw a man dressed in full body spandex fashion. It was awesome. I told him so. I was also wearing spandex.
We slept on the Red Rock National Forest, adjacent to the Red Rock High School and marveled at the scenic Red Rock.

The following day we climbed back up onto "the rim" 4,000 feet drawn out over twelve long miles. The sun beat the life out of us with it's 92 degree heat and the desert provided little cover. A mystical unopened bottle of water appeared along the climb to save us from completely running out. That night we slept in the unofficial city park of Strawberry. They have a park bench and it is very nice.

We ate lunch and napped at Green Valley Park in Payson. The locals looked retired and suspicious of the likes of two vagabond bikers. We camped in the Tonto National Forest and had a nice fire. It's always a good night when you have a fire. The Senora cactus kept us intrigued; I had no idea they grow so tall.

We took a dip in Roosevelt Lake. Of all the united states, Arizona has the most boats per capita, largely due to the existence of that reservoir.
Then we climbed up to Globe, arriving at sundown and crashed at St. Paul's Lutheran church. It would have been a good place to sleep had the highway been further away, the street light turned out and the neighbor's dog shut-up. I was happy to see the sky breaking into day.

Winkleman has a large city park, a gas station and a general store. The general store sells produce and food, the gas station beer and the park has camping. I liked Winkleman.

The next day we peddled up to Oracle, past the Bio Sphere 2, and into Oro Valley. Outside of a strip mall, we met Uncle Ed! He drove us into Tucson, thankfully, avoiding city traffic and near sighted snow birds. And now, I sit in there beautiful home enjoying the luxuries of modern living and the generosities of Wisconsin born in-laws. That's right: Brats and Beer!
May it never end.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

greetings from tuba city

Hey all, this is my first time as a 'blogger'...pretty sweet. I just wanted to let those that are worrying about us know that we're fine! Doing pretty awesome actually. The trip has gone up and down so far...right now the weather sucks outside but we're having a good cup of coffee and taking a break. highlights of the trip so far...definitely utah's red rock country, glen canyon, crossing the beautiful colorado river. jack already filled in on most of that. Biking really makes you look forward to every meal! Suddenly gas station burritos don't sound too bad :) Yesterday I finally felt like my biking legs were under me and we cruised a good 50 miles after lunch...that's a great accomplishment on this trip considering the load we're carrying. Anyway, we're heading towards flagstaff mile-by-mile and will write more then.
love to you all!

Hola a todos mis amigos y amigas que hablan espanol!! No uso el idioma tanto en este viaje (hasta el momento). Pronto vamos a estar en Mexico donde lo puedo usar todos los dias. Algunos saben que deje de trabajar en Eugene, Oregon donde estuve viviendo por 5 anios y ahora estoy haciendo un viaje en bicicleta con mi novio, Jack. Si no se dieron cuenta por el titulo de este 'blog', estamos viajando hasta Mexico. Pues, eso es la meta que tenemos por el momento. Mis amigos y amigas mexicanas me inspiraron a visitar su pais para conocer mejor su cultura, historia y todo. Siento que somos muy afortunados para tener esta oportunidad de viajar un poco y tener una aventura juntos...hace dos semanas que empezamos en Sandpoint, Idaho...hay algunas fotos que muestran algunos sitios donde estuvimos y vamos a anadir mas en el futuro. El clima estaba tan feo en Idaho (mucha lluvia y viento) que decidimos tomar un colectivo hasta Green River, Utah. Pasamos una semana con mi padre en Orofino antes de tomar el bus...fue super lindo estar con el y poder ver algunas amiga en el pueblo donde creci. En la ultima semana hemos visto un monton de sitios bonitos en Utah y ahora estamos en Arizona en el desierto...pero gracias a dios, no esta haciendo demasiado calor. la ciudad donde estamos se llama Tuba City y hay mucha gente indigena aca del grupo navajo.
Pues, les prometo escribir mas adelante y espero que todos se encuentran muy bien. Para mi familia argentina, les mando muchos abrazitos y besos. Ana, lo siento que no te he llamado. estoy en la busqueda de una tarjeta de llamadas para argentina.
Tengo que irme ahora pero les mando a todos muchos saludos y espero que esten bien de salud y espiritu!

cuidense mucho

Green River, then Tuba City

We got off the dirty dog in Green River, Utah, intent on seeing Arches and the town of Moab. Put our bikes together, reanimating their boxed up selves, ate at Ben's Cafe and were about to head East when two Colorado folk informed us of a much better, less traffic, few trucks, kinda route West. We bit.

Road out into the desert. Slept on BLM dirt. Rose and shone, road into Hanksville for Hamburger and groceries, realizing that it will be a while before we see another grocery store, give or take 120 miles. Huh. Shoulda, coulda, woulda taken a longer look at that there mapper-thingy.

The road fallows a red rock canyon of empty beauty, crosses the Colorado River, lifts up into the pygmy forests of Pinon and Juniper trees. Then drops off a cliff in dirt switchbacks at Moki Dugway, to strech out into the horizon again. Remarkably serene, endlessly remote and in October, lightly traveled.

Four days later we safely roll into Mexican Hat. We still had food: a tortilla, some oats, a cliff bar.
We ate pizza to celebrate our return to "towns with gas stations."
We almost made it to Kayenta after stopping for groceries at Gouldings. But the sun was setting and so we asked a dude if we could pitch our tent in his property.
"Yeah Sure. Whatever." His name is Gearison and has three kids and a wife. He gave us BEER and Spare Ribs. (Beer is hard to come by on a dry reservation).

Since then we have been pushing along the flat expanse of the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona. Yesterday we left Kayenta and slept at Red Lake. Right now we are sipping coffee in Tuba City. Hoping to wait out the dust storm that is darkening the sky so we can push on to Cameron and up over into Flagstaff...

Skills learned:
Cooking beans.
Map skills.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

7 days in Orofino

Leah and I bought bus tickets to Green River, Utah. The nearest city to Moab via bus route and on the 13th of October we will board the bus and resume our bicycle adventure south.

In the mean time we are enjoying down time with movies, popcorn and Mark, Leah's Dad. He is awesome and hilarious. Also, Leah has been looking at various WOOFing farms throughout Mexico. I have been reading the prehistory of the Far Side. And napping. My beard is huge.
We are both thankful to be out of the rain and cold.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bitter Sweet

The longer I am somewhere, the harder it is to leave.
Sandpoint is a beautiful town and has a great City Park and bi-weekly Frisbee games. But, the real hard goodbye was to Dave and Janeen. They are really wonderful, beautiful people that are living an honorable life of simple joy. I type that with a touch of envy, because I hope to someday achieve what they have mastered.
So we had to say goodbye and mount our bikes and ride away.
That's about the time when it started raining. Our first morning, we were drinking coffee and discussing our plans, the news said it had rained two inches the night before, which could explain why I woke up in a pool of water.
The fallowing day we charged into the wind hoping for a seventy mile day. Hoping for Grandma's cooking and Gordon's jokes. Hoping for a dry bed and fire. After riding six hours we had managed to cover thirty miles.
The weather report calls for rain. Then next week, more rain. And of course, wind and more cold miserable weather. Maybe we will buy bus tickets.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hankerin' for adventure

The love of my life and I are planning to ride our bikes down through Mexico. The gears for this adventure have already started turning and soon we will be in transit towards Northern Idaho for some landscaping work; money being a necessity for the successful completion of our tour.

I sit on the edge of my seat.