I Rode My Bike

About a month after losing my job and my apartment in downtown Biloxi, MS, I decided “It’s now or never” and loaded up my Cannondale touring bike which I had used for long rides on the Long Leaf Trace in Hattiesburg and the Tammany Trace in Slidell, LA. After helping extract my friend Pam’s stuff from her apartment in New Orleans, stopping by Mobile, AL where I was staying with my boss Theresa’s fantastic family to pick up my bike, we set out for Pam’s new home with her family in Gainesville, FL. On the morning of October 25, 2005, Pam, along with her sweet Mom and Dad, drove me and my loaded bike to St. Augustine and dropped me off in front of the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum for Day One of my bike ride to San Diego.

  • October 25, 2005

    October 25, 2005

    Day one in St. Augustine, FL ,seen off by my best friend Pam and her Mom and Dad
  • October 26, Cross Creek FL

    October 26, Cross Creek FL

    Marjorie Killan Rawlings home
  • October 29, Greenville, FL

    October 29, Greenville, FL

    My gear before I pared it down and decided I didn’t need 7 pairs of underwear and dress shoes
  • November 3, Pensacola, FL

    November 3, Pensacola, FL

    Quirky house
  • November 4, Alabama State Line

    November 4, Alabama State Line

    Longest ride of the trip from Pensacola to Mobile, 110 miles
  • November 7, Mobile, AL

    November 7, Mobile, AL

    3-day stopover with he Tuohy family, where I was staying after Katrina. That’s Mary Ann and Kellan.
  • November 8, Mississippi State Line

    November 8, Mississippi State Line

    Back on the road, worst stretch of the trip, loose mean dogs and crowded camping thanks to Katrina
  • November 10, Louisiana State Line

    November 10, Louisiana State Line

  • November 11, Livingston Parish, LA

    November 11, Livingston Parish, LA

    Amusing Jesus park
  • November 11, Somewhere in  Louisiana

    November 11, Somewhere in Louisiana

    My typical campsite
  • November 12, Near St. Francisville, LA

    November 12, Near St. Francisville, LA

    First 1,000 miles, near St. Francisville
  • November 13, St. Francisville, LA

    November 13, St. Francisville, LA

    My good friend Zoe came up from New Orleans to meet me
  • November 14, Mississippi River in Louisiana

    November 14, Mississippi River in Louisiana

    Crossing the Mississippi by ferry
  • November 17, Texas State Line

    November 17, Texas State Line

    Start of the longest ride and most enjoyable state
  • November 18, Somewhere in Texas

    November 18, Somewhere in Texas

    The state has the corner on quaint small towns
  • November 19, Coldspring, TX

    November 19, Coldspring, TX

    Yet another cute town
  • November 21, Warrenton, TX

    November 21, Warrenton, TX

    World’s smallest Catholic church!
  • November 22, Austin, TX

    November 22, Austin, TX

    Start of a week’s rest and about the halfway point of my trip
  • November 24, Austin, TX

    November 24, Austin, TX

    Ladybird Lake
  • November 27, South of Austin, TX

    November 27, South of Austin, TX

    Back on the road
  • November 29, Somewhere in Texas

    November 29, Somewhere in Texas

    Strange show fence in middle of nowhere
  • November 30, Near Fredericksburg, TX

    November 30, Near Fredericksburg, TX

    This place
  • December 1, Somewhere in Texas

    December 1, Somewhere in Texas

    I saw many, many miles of this/
  • December 2, North of Del Rio, TX

    December 2, North of Del Rio, TX

    Crossing the unexpectedly grand Pecos River. Didn’t realize how much elevation I had banked.
  • December 4, Marathon, TX

    December 4, Marathon, TX

    The Gage Hotel, my favorite hotel during my ride, and probably the highlight of my trip. The next couple of days were the best. too.
  • December 6, South of Ft. Davis,TX

    December 6, South of Ft. Davis,TX

    More incredible West Texas scenery
  • December 6, Ft. Davis, TX

    December 6, Ft. Davis, TX

    The Indian Lodge, another great overnight stop. Rode up a mountain to the MacDonald Observatory that night, got a ride with my bike down later.
  • December 7, Leaving Ft. Davis, TX

    December 7, Leaving Ft. Davis, TX

    The MacDonald Observatory
  • December 7, Somewhere in Texas

    December 7, Somewhere in Texas

    Pretty typical side-of-the-road lunch.
  • December 8, Sierra Blanca, TX

    December 8, Sierra Blanca, TX

  • December 10, El Paso, TX

    December 10, El Paso, TX

    Another 3-day rest stop in a fancy hotel downtown and a couple walks to Juarez.
  • December 12, Somewhere in New Mexico

    December 12, Somewhere in New Mexico

    From swanky downtown hotel to this in the space of a day.
  • December 13, Somewhere in New Mexico

    December 13, Somewhere in New Mexico

  • December 14, Climbing Emory Pass, NM

    December 14, Climbing Emory Pass, NM

    Highest point on the ride, elevation 8,828 ft. I was so worried about it but it was nothing compared to the next couple of days…
  • December 14, On Top of Emory Pass, New Mexico

    December 14, On Top of Emory Pass, New Mexico

    I hate cycling down mountains and hills, did I mention that yet?
  • December 15, The Gila Wilderness, NM

    December 15, The Gila Wilderness, NM

    Descent down to Gila Hot Springs
  • December 15, Indian Caves at Gila Hot Springs, NM

    December 15, Indian Caves at Gila Hot Springs, NM

    Loved the lodge I stayed at here, and grateful the owner opened it up to me (“You’re late for the season”.)
  • December 16, Continental Divide near Silver City, NM

    December 16, Continental Divide near Silver City, NM

    Hard day’s ride out of Gila Hot Springs
  • December 17, Arizona State Line

    December 17, Arizona State Line

    Camped right at the state line, coldest night of the trip, 15 degrees.
  • December 18, Somewhere in Arizona

    December 18, Somewhere in Arizona

    Somewhere around here there was a weird stretch of rode where I could ride without pedaling uphill.
  • December 19, Near Globe, AZ

    December 19, Near Globe, AZ

  • December 20, Closing in on Phoenix, AZ

    December 20, Closing in on Phoenix, AZ

  • December 22, Mesa, AZ

    December 22, Mesa, AZ

    Enjoying the comforts of the Wroblewski home and family for a week-long Christmas stop.
  • December 25, Mesa, AZ

    December 25, Mesa, AZ

    Christmas with the wonderful Wroblewskis
  • December 27, Near Wickenburg, AZ

    December 27, Near Wickenburg, AZ

    Back on the road, memorable sign
  • December 27, Gladden, AZ

    December 27, Gladden, AZ

    Another memorable sign and surprisingly great lunch.
  • December 28, Blythe, CA

    December 28, Blythe, CA

    Homestretch
  • December 28, Chocolate Mountains, CA

    December 28, Chocolate Mountains, CA

    Delicious sight
  • December 29, Glamis, CA

    December 29, Glamis, CA

    The spectacular dunes of Glamis
  • December 29, Brawley, CA

    December 29, Brawley, CA

    This place
  • December 30, Boulevard, CA

    December 30, Boulevard, CA

    The last range between me and my destination
  • December 30, Boulder Oaks, CA

    December 30, Boulder Oaks, CA

    Rock mountains
  • December 31, Outside of Alpine, CA

    December 31, Outside of Alpine, CA

    Coasting downhill most of the day
  • December 31, Final Day, Dog Beach in San Diego

    December 31, Final Day, Dog Beach in San Diego