Clicking the week’s summary chart will bring up a detailed route map for the week including elevation gains. After the summary and overview of the week and Sheila’s op-ed piece, you’ll see the posts in order starting with the first post of the week.You can view any week of posts by clicking on the week in the sidebar.

Click to see week-1 overview summary

One week down and 8 to go! The first week was spectacular. This may well be the hardest week as it was 7 days instead of the usual 6 and featured 4 centuries and a few passes, totaling 600 miles and 26,210 feet of elevation gain. Note click images to see them enlarged.

This week’s op-ed from Sheila

Today is our day off. That means 2 nights in a motel with a real bed, and private, nearby bathroom. We’re well situated near a vegan-friendly restaurant. We plan to do laundry, catch up on email and news, and of course clean the bike. Spencer writes the daily posts but today he gets a break and hopefully a nap. My role is usually just editing and adding the photos. Today is my turn at the keyboard.

If you haven’t been reading our daily entries you can easily catch up by going to Week 1 in the top navigation bar. It will start with this post and then work it’s way down the days in reverse. Simply scroll to the bottom to read them sequentially. Or you can start with the first post and click on the link to the next post at the bottom right.

Also, in case you haven’t noticed yet, on the homepage there’s a couple of different maps. The top one displays a point by point tracking of our journey. You can click any of the red pushpin markers to view that day’s post. You can pan within the map and zoom in or out as well. The other map is a graphic image of the trip overview map with each week’s destination point marked. Under it is a link to the full itinerary day by day. The image at the top of this post comes from that document.

daily support

water filtering

water stop

This graphic from Cycle America’s handbook gives you some idea of a typical day. I thought I’d fill in some details of the rhythm and routine. We wake up between 4:30-5:30 and start packing up the gear. Breakfast is at 6:30 and we’re usually riding between 7-7:30. I was impressed to see that they actually filter all the water they provide along the route. And as you can see they provide it at well spaced intervals. The Picnic Stop always includes a wide variety of foods to meet any preference. Depending on the distance and gain for the day we get in around 4-4:30. We assess the weather report and terrain and decide if we’ll set up the tent outside or choose to camp in the school gym. Setting up camp takes an hour or so. Then we shower, find places to charge all our technology and it’s time for the evening dinner and meeting. We’re usually in bed with eye-mask and ear-plugs between 9-10 pm. And as they say “rinse, wash, repeat”…

There are a bunch of folks on the tour doing fundraising. We’ve set up a page listing who they are and what they’re raising funds for in case any of you are inspired to support their efforts. We’re not raising money ourselves.

By the way..we’ve really been enjoying seeing your comments even if we’re not responding directly. Now off to enjoy our rest day together.

Made it to Missoula