Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 2

Distance biked: 62.3 miles
Virginia Beach, VA - Williamsburg, VA

Lots and lots of biking, but that sentence is going to seem lame when we're doing 100 mile days later on in this journey. It was great to leave the clustered city of Virginia Beach and then see the rural fairytale land of towns like Suffolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and probably some more that we can't remember. We were given corn bread by a nice lady sitting on her front porch. Shout out to C and B's Diner a waitress that we all thought was very pretty. There was a dead turtle on the road at one point, and Jason couldn't believe that such a creature could make it all the way from the ocean. Jackson provided further evidence that Jason sucks, however, and pointed out that it was a snapping turtle and didn't come from the ocean. Google Maps worked really well today, bringing us through residential areas and fields of dandilions and corn that seemingly stretched forever. At many moments, we would look at eachother and say "I can't believe a place like this exists." Then we realized... this is most of the country, and how does Los Angeles exist is the real question. Perspective was rocked real nicely, and riding trough arching tall trees, open fields, and farmers was a perfect way to reflect. We biked on massive bridges over bodies of water, which was really trippy on bike. Finally, after dense forested areas and narrow roads, we were spit out to Pocahontas Street and the James River, where we took the ferry to Williamsburg, and met sir Dale, the greatest host ever. We're actually using his computer to make these posts. More of our experiences with him will come later.

on a bridge

the dank



trippy visual (to become a series)

dandilions. yeah

snapping turtle




snarf and garts (max yo)





lovin it all baby


Day 1

Distance biked: 15 miles
Eastern Virginia Beach, VA - western Virginia Beach, VA

Lane left for Bates College early in the morning and two friendly men named Scott and John came to pick us up only moments after in two pick-up trucks with smiling faces. We drove from Maryland to Virginia Beach and had some groovy times along the way. We dunked our tires in the Atlantic Ocean, could not believe the weight of our bikes (Jason struggled a lot). In the first ten miles of our journey, we proved our noobness with some more Jason struggles. One of Jason's front panniers (a bag that you attatch to your bike) was not properly fastened, and smashed into his front wheel. Fat Frogs Bike Shop saved the day, however, and lifted our spirits by reminding us of how gnarly we are for even trying this trip. They gave us free water bottles, stickers, pens, and rags and fixed Jason's tire in ten minutes. They didn't want to charge us for it, but Jason insisted because he sucks.

We continued and struggled a lot with Google Maps navigation, but from that got the chance to ask tons of people for directions, which was great. One lady that we asked had a lot of armpit hair. We made our way through a big chunk of Virginia Beach, and when night fell we started asking churches for a patch of grass to pitch our tent. The first one declined, one man at the church wanted to give us his backyard but his wife was too freaked out, but then we made our way to Rock Church. No one was around with enough authority to let us in yet, so we decided to cook Ramen bombs on the cement outside. Holy moly. Jackson rocked the cooking (see photographic evidence below).

After dinner was finished, we found out that we could stay there. The amount of love that this place showed us was simply incredible. We were graciously let in by a churchgoer named Bobby, who let us sleep indoors inside a Prayer Room. The conversation we had with Bobby was brief, but the trust, connection, and kindness that he showed us was amazing. We cannot properly say how grateful we are for the shelter that we found there. The Prayer Room operates as a 24 hour place for people to come and worship, so Bobby was not the only member of the Rock Church community that we met. Four others came in (one at 3 a.m.), and they shared some incredible stories about faith and life in general. They were all very religious, and it was nothing short of inspiring to interact with every single one of them. As we got into our sleeping bags on the floor of the Prayer Room, Jackson stopped us all with the crazy realization that this entire experience was only the first night of our trip. We slept for five hours.


August 23-August 28

States: Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C.

The Empire Builder was a trip of personal growth, trippy visuals, old people, crazy dudes, spirits in the form of people, rocks and rivers, inspiration, hills, mountains, wine, serendipity, environmental consciousness, mushroom ravioli, Häagen-Dazs, and so much freakin more. The three of us are seriously considering never flying again, because the community that existed on that train was something very, very special. We were truly taken aback by how much of a journey just this prologue to our bike trip was. A man named Louie King was the conductor of our sleeper car on the trip, and he completely appropriately referred to himself as "King Louie." This man sculpted the beginning of our trip with his incredible stories of spirituality, ecological responsibility, family, youthfulness, exploration, and more. One simple example that doesn't even do justice to his incredible wisdom is the following: On only the first day, King Louie asked the three of us what we wanted to be when we grow up. We all gave our normal answers, and he topped all of us by saying "When I grow up I want to be eleven and a half."

We met homeless people, war veterans, former drug dealers, current drug dealers, Renaissance Faire workers, criminals, fellow bikers, multiple mechanical engineers, Amish people (they spoke in a weird Norweigian-ish native tongue), and, again, much more.

In between all of this interaction and goodness, the bond that the three of us now have because of our 10 x 4 x 6.5 foot room was truly amazing. We only realized that the couch could be converted to a bed on the third night, so we spent a lot of time bundled up pretty close together. Lots of indie music, farting, weirdness, and absolutely no showering or changing of clothes made everything wonderful.

We finally arrived in our nation's capital on August 26 at around 1 p.m. We then spent an awesome three days in Chevy Chase, MD with a lovely lady named Lane Peterson. City Bikes rocks. Hurricane Irene ain't got nothin.

Friday, August 19, 2011


The Crew

Training in Los Angeles
Jackson Foster

Drew Foster

Jason Boxer