Hello one and all,
How are you? Enjoying the spring thus far? That's good. Think the A's are going to stay above .500 for the rest of the season? I sure hope so. Oh, and also, I quit my job last month and I'm five weeks into riding my bike across the US (as of 5.29.19). In fact, I'm writing this from a camping field at the Lochsa Lodge in Idaho, set to cross into Montana at Lolo Pass today.
A bike ride trip like this is something I've daydreamed about for years and years and years now, and I was finally at the point in all aspects of my life where it felt like there wouldn't be any better time to undertake it than now. So here I am; I went north to Portland, and if all goes well I'll end up at the other Portland. And along the way I'm planning a path that sees Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Wall Drug, Sioux Falls, the field from Field of Dreams, Chicago, Indianapolis, probably some parts of Ohio, Pittsburgh, Falling Water, New Jersey, NYC, the Baseball Hall of Fame, Boston, and then up the Atlantic to Portland. We'll see how much of that happens, but I have to say, 1300 miles are done, and so far, so good. And before anyone starts getting impressed, there will be a break of a few weeks in July to join family in Hawaii before flying back to continue the ride, just to be clear about that.
So, why didn't I tell you all this earlier? Good question. I don't know. Probably uncertainty at first about this trip actually coming to life, then plain old time management later, and now it's just a challenge to stay awake long enough after all the riding and eating most days. But in the interest of at least trying to provide proof of life and a rough location, I've been posting pictures up on The Gram, even though using that site feels pretty much like this. Have a look at the countless road trip photos if you like; the username is nogodnothimagain. I was shocked to see this name was even available.
So, why am I telling you all this now? Slightly better question. While I'm enjoying this trek and the attention it has drawn thus far, if it can also lead to drawing attention towards awareness and support for a good cause, even better. One cause that has been important to me is proper support for people living with intellectual or developmental disabilities. One of my uncles lived with Down Syndrome, and while I only met him a handful of times in his life, what he faced left a strong impression with me of how much our understanding of these challenges has changed since his youth, and of the importance of the programs and support that can now improve not only a life like his, but also what that life can do.
The Arc-Morris is the Morris County, NJ chapter of the ARC that provides various services for people with these conditions, as well as their familes (you can learn more about them at www.arcmorris.org). Our family has been proud to support the chapter of my uncle's hometown for several years, and it would be great if this trip could send any additional awareness and support their way. I hope you'll consider donating all that extra money you're trying to get rid of to this charity, and help make this trip I'm on bring some help to people who can do some great things with it.
Thanks for reading all of this, for any interest or kudos you may have in this trip, and for all the support you can provide along the way!