“Every man dies, not every man really lives.” -William Ross
Today is the 90th day of our crusade. A 1/4th of a year ago, Steve and I left the comfort of our small town and ventured into the unknown. When would we eat? Where would we sleep? Who would we meet and how would they become a part of our story? Could we actually ride our bicycles day after day after day for thousands of miles through treacherous conditons? Could we fight the bone-chilling cold, the ferocious wind, the scorching heat, the soaking rain, the frozen snow, and the relentless hills and mountains? Could we actually spend 24 hours a day for 4 and a 1/2 months with another person? The biggest question was: are we stong enough? Through perserverance, tough decisions, confidence, brother-hood, and pure strength, we found answers for all our questions.
Utah is truly beautiful. It’s home to the most spectacuar scenery I’ve seen, yet. Mountain sized rock faces brightly colored orange, red, and beige tower all around us. The photos I take can never do it justice. We are ants in a big big world. As we make our way along the winding road, prairie dogs run to their homes standing straight right like a soldier on duty. Never flinching. Though this has been the most delightful to-look-at state, it has also been the most energy obliterating. The hills never end & only seem to climb to the sky. The wind is relentless and has not let up since we arrived. Actually, that’s not true…the wind ceased while we slept. (pointlesss) On March 31st, as we made our way to St George, we felt like salmon attempting to swim up river. The wind was more difficult than ever before. We slowly pushed our way through about 50 miles before pulled off to the side of the road and collapsed. Exhaling deeply, I laid back against the gravel and set my gaze to the bright blue sky. For a moment I thought about where we were. It felt surreal knowing that I got where I was all on my own mental and physical strength. No one was there to hold my hand. No one helped me or told me how to do it. Steve and I did it alone. Forced into independent adulthood. “Let’s bike another hour and find a campsite”, Steve suggested. I agreed. We biked that hour through tormenting gusts, until finally we saw what looked like a nice place to set up camp. Beside a small pond filled with anxious ducks that flew away as we neared, was a small grassy field. We set up our tents and decided to climb one of the rocky mountains. We slowly inched our way up loose rock and gravel. Carefully placing our hands and feet, we made it to the top. Eyes grew wide and jaws dropped as we peered across the landscape. This was my favorite camping site yet! See our tents and bikes way down there? They looked like toy trucks. Animal tracks imprinted into the stone. We were quite high up! When we got back to our camp, we decided to build a fire and cook some rice and beans. It was our first hot meal while camping. It was succulent. Following dinner, we laid back on our sleeping pads and did some star gazing. We laughed and reminisced about our trip up to this point. April 1st began lovely. The wind had calmed and the sun was shining brightly. However, this was just an an April fools joke on us. Right as we began to pedal, the sun disappeared behind the clouds and the wind returned. I had little water on me, so I created a schedule. I wouldn’t take a sip for the first ten miles, and then I would allow a drink every 3 miles following. This day will forever be in my memory as the most brutal riding I had done up to this point. After 18 miles of climbing straight up the side of a mountain with the wind forcing us back, we pulled over. We laid out our sleeping mats and pulled out our sleeping bags. We cocooned ourselves and took a break. It felt like we had gone 50 miles. As we laid there, we saw a white cloud coming fast toward us. The temperature dropped rapidly and then it came. A bitter blizzard. We quickly packed all our gear and substituting socks for gloves we pressed SLOWLY onward. We faced the cold, the snow, and wind head on. As the snow flew into my eyes, I was blinded momentarily. 3 miles later, we took another break. We kept trudging until we hit about 23 miles up the mountain. We were only 4 miles from the summit of 9,000 + ft when a pick up truck passed by. It stopped and headed reverse toward us. A truck full of greasy guys offered us a lift, and we decided it was the smart thing to do. The snow was coming down harder than ever. We threw our bikes in the bed of the truck along with ourselves. “This was one of the most insane experiences of my life”- Steve Kerr. I had to agree. We stood in the back of the truck climbing the mountain with ice crystals flying fast into our faces. I covered my face with my hat it became so painful. The truck flew up the mountain at an alarming rate. It was exhilarating and terrifying. Our way down the summit was the most horrifying. As the truck zipped down the curves and turns, we looked along the thin road and noticed we were above the tree line. One slip, and we would be off the mountain. It gives me the shivers just reflecting on that moment.
Finally, when we safely made it halfway down, the truck pulled over. After unloading the gear and passing out bracelets we were on our way again. The snow had subsided greatly. As we cruised down the mountain, I noticed my front wheel was acting “funky”. Turns out most of the spokes were loose…AGAIN. THIS WAS A NEW WHEEL!!! So, I guess it got damaged from being brutally loaded onto the bed of the pick up. We pulled over and Steve began digging for his spoke wrench, when a man pulled up to us. “You guys alright?”, he asked. We explained the situation and he offered to set us up in his yard for the night. He then offered to bring us to a bike shop in the morning. His name is Eric Allred. He is a kind and generous man. He raised a handful of boys and is now raising a 7 year old girl. We had fun chatting and hanging out.
Steve and I spent a lot of time in the garage for a next to a warm fire. My partner in crime cooked us rice and spaghetti over the fire. When time came to sleep, the wind shook our tents violently and I got maybe an hour of sleep. It was brutally cold.
In the morning, Eric cooked us hash browns, eggs, and bacon. We also enjoyed some home made salsa and raspberry jam.
Now, I am off to the bike shop to see if we can’t get ourselves back on the windy road.
Thank you for reading!
“Don’t let fear stop you. If you do, you’ll never know what it’s like” -Eric Allred
Today, Taylor and I entered Utah. There are big skies, big plains, big buttes (I cannot lie), and big mountains. We stopped at Dinosaur National Monument, which would have been cool if it was open. Luckily it had a sign that said there was ANOTHER Dinosaur National Monument about 24 miles down the road. So we went. We got a tour (which involved a wall of half excavated real dinosaur bones, and a round of applause from the people who drove up the hill to get there and watched us slave up it).
Our stay with my aunt and uncle and cousin was wonderful, and we got some solid training in. At the same time, it’s a good feeling to be back on our own. we are camping tonight on the open range, neighboring the majestic landscape on our way to the race. Posts will once again become frequent!
Today Steve, Jen, Colin, and I took a 90 mile drive to the town of Silverthorne. With an elevation nearing 9,000 ft, my ears were popping. Jen had to do some shopping, Steve planned to cycle his way home, and I planned to do some swimming. We arrived at the rec center around 1:10. Steve quickly began his 90 mile trek home, while Jen and I created a plan for the day. I had until 2:30 to get my swim work out done, and then I would take Colin off of Jens hands so she could make her purchases without worrying about her little boy.
My workout went well! I completed 100 laps which comes out to one lap over a mile. After my workout, I met up with Jen and took Colin to the mens room to get him swim suited up. I’m getting a small dose of fatherhood. The two of us splashed around in the 1 1/2 foot swimming pool for about an hour before it was time to go. I asked Colin, the 2 year & 10 month old, “Will you remember me when you are older?” “Yes, Taylor”, he responded as if the question was a silly one.
Changing the little blondie back into his dry clothes proved more interesting than the last visit to the mens room. It was difficult for me to put on a dry diaper with him screaming for his mother the whole time. Older gentlemen chuckled as they walked by, thinking he was my own son. They offered me tips on how to best approach the situation. After he was dry and found his precious mother, the smile returned to his young face. So, begins the journey home. We stopped at a small plaza to grab a bite to eat. My eyes lit up with I saw Qdoba was among the restaurant options. The other two ate at a place called “Noodles”. Colin simply had a massive cookie.
About 20 miles from Steamboat Springs, we saw Steve in the distance. He was doing great!
After a solid work out day, I think we will sit down and enjoy a movie. As it turns out, Jen is a movie buff! We had a fun conversation discussing films on the way home.
1: Hot Springs- The other day, Steve, Jen, Colin, and I enjoyed these pools of naturally warm water! It was so cool. Check out that steam!
3: Jen and Colin at the hot springs
4: Mushroom and vegetable root pot pie cooked by Chef Steve
5: YUM- Good job Stephen
6: Cool Colorado Sky
7: When the sun sets, it changes he color of the mountains!
So, let’s review the resume.
1: We have shown strength, endurance, and maturity while cycling across the United States.
2: We can cook delicious meals. Well, Steve can. I can cook waffles.
3: We are honest, hard working, and self sustaining.
4: We can change diapers.
So, the question that remains is: What more do girls want in men? Seriously…
Single and ready to mingle,
Today, Taylor Thibodeau ran a marathons worth of mountains. (26.2 miles)
With elevation being at 6,700 ft and rising as I climb forward, the air is thin. My lungs are still adjusting & I find myself beathing deeply and frequently.
(Hang on…Colin just informed me: “I pooped, Taylor”. Diaper changing time again. Soon, I’ll be an old pro)
Ah, all clean. Now, where was I? Oh, yes…marathon.
I motivate myself to run long distances in quite possibly an unhealthy way. I go without running for awhile, until I begin to feel sick. I feel uneasy, because I realize that I’m slacking. Slacking is not very “iron manly” of me. This causes me to push my limits and go far and hard. Then, once I’ve gone the distance, I get comfortable. That comfortably leads to slacking, again. The process repeats. Seems to be working, though.
Today, I talked with an old friend by the name of Josiah Stinson. I really missed him. It was a great conversation and I look forward to remaining in contact!
Overall, this was a wondrous day!
Hope all your lives have adventures. If not, make the adventure!
God bless you and all you love,
Our current audience:
First off: Who’s been reading our blog?
In the last month we have had views from the following countries:
On march 16, 2012 Steve Kerr and Taylor Thibodeau road their bicycles into the heart of the Rocky Mountains. This is their story. *play Law and Order Theme song*
The two of us awoke and prepared breakfast at the home of Zack and Desiree. The married couple had gone off the work early that morning, so we all said our farewells the evening prior. After cleaning up a bit, forgetting my flannel and Steve’s wallet, we headed out the door. Destination: mountains. We planned to meet with Steve’s uncle Ben somewhere in Denver to drop off our gear. From there, he would take his 2 year old son, Colin, to the zoo. Steve and I were able to enjoy our ride without being weighed down. On uncle Ben’s way home, he would pick us up and bring us to his home in Steamboat Springs, CO. This town lies 6,700 ft above sea level.
Like the river beside us, we flowed through the mountains. Our tires hugged the turns and the curves of the great rock faces surrounding us. We passed signs warning us of falling rocks and wildlife crossings. We also passed Buffalo Bills grave.
Eventually, we were rescued by Uncle Ben! Steamboat Springs is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery I’ve ever seen. I feel so small next to all these magnificent mountains.
So, what have we been up to? Running, Cycling up mountains, and Swimming. Running out of breath fast due to the thin air makes for intense training. We’ve also been baby sitting Colin. The eccentric little man who is not yet 3 is a bundle of fun. Lot’s and Lot’s of “The Busy World of Richard Scarry” has been watched. Steve and I also have changed our first diapers! Of all the accomplishments I’ve made on this trip, handling that situation is in my top 5.
Moments after I published the last post, Steve informed me that we would be couch surfing. We were both delighted because it had been awhile since we took advantage of the website. We pedaled 10 miles to the home of Zack and Desiree. They are two newly wed Christians who have gigantic hearts and a fun loving attitude. They dig board games and I was pleased to see that Jurassic Park was in Zack’s movie collection. We both agreed that Jurassic Park 3 doesn’t qualify as part of the franchise. I was glad of this. On the other hand, I was not glad that Zack told me that he will remember my name because of Taylor Swift…I paid it back by calling him ZATCH (he hates when people spell his name with a “CH”) We’ve had fun hanging out with them.
We are not surfing alone, however. We are sharing the home also with Christyn and Hudson. They are in there early 20’s in Denver looking for work. They are a couple of cool laid back hombres.
Fun times have been had. While everyone was out doing things with their day, Steve and I walked to Qdoba and watched a series of movies including: Tombstone, The Page Master, and Heavyweights. Overall, the day was a success. When Zack and Desiree returned home with Anna (3 year old they babysit) we went to the dollar tree. I purchased: waffles, whipped cream, trail mix, and potato chips. Can you believe it was all just 1 dollar? Soon, the house was full of people and we had a regular party going on. A picture was necessary.
So, here I am. Sitting on the couch while Hudson plays Steve’s Guitar and the other married couple plays a board game with Steve. Tomorrow begins our ride into the Rockies. I am greatly looking forward to taking a bounty of photos and videos.
I will be posting a video as soon as I have enough footage to put together. Also, I am also working on “my masterpiece”. It will take about a month to complete. Should be good! Stay tuned.
Praise God for all he has done for you,