Pacific Coast [news]

04/25/10 | Comments: 0 | Categories:

We have reached the Ocean !!

After an exact amount of 5 months on the road Paul Dorr and I have arrived at our destination. If there is one thing we have learned on this trip it is that a true adventurer has all the drive to explore but never plans on arriving. We have arrived to our one true location, our one true terminus.

I could write about 'looking-back' and summarize my experience for you but I feel like that would also take a true 5 months time. A very long story indeed. I implore you to read through our posts and make your own conclusions. I can tell you that when asked if I would cycle this again, I have replied "Yes! but let's mix it up, for I would pick a different route." Although not expecting a superior result I feel there is still too much left to see in a short time.

I am writing from my hometown of Mansfield, MA and have fully adjusted to my life of systematic alarm clocks and worldy expectations. It feels good to be home, but at the same time I still yearn for the sights not seen, the food not tasted, and the people I have yet to meet.

I hope Paul & I as well as Jo have been a true inspiration to some folks out there and I know everyone feels accomplished whether they biked or donated or even kept us in their hearts.

So I put this website to idle rest and for myself, well, hopefully just the opposite. May your bikes stay rubber side down.

~Clint Valentine

To Paul Dorr [news]

04/04/10 | Comments: 0 | Categories:

This has been the official completion of our coast to coast cycle ride. We have seen so much (rather slowly) in the last five months. I thought I would owe tribute to my riding partner.

Upon conception of this trip our dreams included the grandeur of cycling the best natural wonders this world has to offer.  We fathomed meeting every influencial and interesting person that inhabited this country and we excited at spending time doing the things we loved to do regularly.

Our only dissapointment may have come from the lack of timing for this was far from a mild winter. We saw the worst of it. We camped in snow and biked through rain; We saw a lot of rain! We headed into the wind our entire trip (a mild breeze, or a 50 mph continuous gusting, but never a steady tailwind). We continually adjusted our route to a more southern latitude but to no avail. Our winter wasn't metered in days or hours, but in inches and degrees.

We succeded in the fact that we stayed comitted and driven to press on. The sound of rain became a dirge and the praise of onlookers became a curse as we saw and heard the phrase 'worst winter ever' hourly. Within ideal contravance we descended into the desert for the vernal equinox. With sandy hillisides splashed with the royal purples and yellows of the desert flowers our winter had paid off. We could appreciate our bitter time in the rain.

Of course, this immense appreciation I recieve in completing our goal of cycling through seasons is indebted to Paul Dorr. Without his 'let's do it this winter!' attitude and help with finances and skills I could live my life without ever expiriencing what I have lived through. I owe it to him and to no one else.

Thanks to him for sticking with my (at the time) absurd notion that things would turn up and the clouds would clear, for the many times he awoke before me and started up a pot of tea on the coldest days, and for the fact that I had someone to talk to just before sunset after a long day biking.

Algodones & The Anza-Borrego [news]

04/01/10 | Comments: 0 | Categories:

We crossed the dwindling Colorado River and headed South to avoid the interstates. We were parched by the desert floor and exhausted from long months on the road. In the distance we saw what appeared to be a a heavily sculpted beach. Spanning the horizon. These were the Algodones Dunes and have drifted North from Mexico.

From desert floor to strictly sand, our paved road winded through terrain. Although short in width the length of these dunes spanned hundreds of miles. We met an eastward bound cyclist at the top of the sand bar and talked with him just long enough to realize he outranked us in every dimension of touring. He had crossed the country fourteen times by bicycle. We gleamed a few stories and philosophical teachings from this man and parted on our way. One thing he said struck me as memorable: "Stories are the currency of a life well lived."

Onward to the Anza-Borrego Wilderness. We passed by a Border Patrol Checkpoint and continued to Ocotillo Wells, a location known for it's off-road vehicle allure. Camping out at the base of the Pacific Crest we escaped the midday heat by a public restroom. We saved the continuous grade of 5% for 20 miles for the morning of the the next day. I promised myself a prepared burger at the summit, a town called Julian. We had are burgers later that day and many degrees cooler.

We camped out at a 'luxury' RV resort and contemplated the gravity of our last day cycling. Would it be eventful? Rewarding? Conclusive? We thought out loud before we retired for the night. 

Scottsdale Outlaws [news]

03/29/10 | Comments: 0 | Categories:

We pulled into Scottsdale Congregational Church and set up camp in their Youth Room. Equipped with sofas and a centerpiece Foosball table, we were content to say the least. Our intentions were to rest up enough to traverse the Sonoran Desert so we setup a loose schedule and wished to see the most of the valley while we were their.

First stop was old town Scottsdale where we were treated to dinner and desert in a fashionable style while the night life sprawled around us. It was strange to be in a large city after sleeping in the woods for months. We each associated our experience with Boston or New York and remembered what it was like in the metropolis.

The following day we drove up to Sedona, AZ to be amazed by geography. Towering above the nestled town are large mesas of brilliant red sandstone, carved out by a 200 million year old sea and shaped by the softly abrasive wind. It was a spectacular place of nearly mystic proportions. We remarked that even the cheapest property value had a view none better than half the world.

On our car ride back we took an alternate route up Mingus Mountain to view the strange town of Jerome. Jerome is perched on what could be mistaken as an inhabited cliff. The houses are built on streets that switchback and tier over themselves. A town of novelty and fully worth the visit.

Up and over Mingus Mountain led us to the famed cowboy and outlaw town of Prescott. We ate at the 'Palace' where the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday had a few to drink. There we met a confederate reenactment soldier whom was making the rounds with the guests.

Each day concluded with most likely a dessert and a fastidious march to bed as we awaited our next day. When my birthday came around I was treated to a Boston Crème pie and a not-quite unison rendition of happy birthday by the church congregation. We were making memories in Scottsdale, Arizona.