Saturday, January 30, 2010

We Pass Through Joshua Tree

The companion was full of surprises last night. His internet card ended and he didn’t get a new one. Instead he packed up the entire contraption and watched TV. So this morning he didn’t have to do anything but wake up, shower, and go. We were on the road at 9:30.

Today we biked to Yucca Valley but we went through Joshua Tree. The companion was excited to see his first Joshua Tree. And he biked at a good pace so we could get there fast. Plus he wanted coffee, and from our hotel, in the direction of Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree was the first place for coffee that the companion liked.

Before we got to the coffee, we found this dinosaur statue. There was one on each corner of this property. No sign, nothing to tell us what it is. The companion was on the phone at the time doing an interview for a paper. But he stopped, took a picture and moved on. He later said, that’s just like the giant spider we saw.

Yes, exactly. Exactly like that VW bug car made into a spider.

Then suddenly there was a Circle K and I thought the companion was going to go crazy. Oh we are stopping for coffee. But we got more than coffee. We met Danielle, who was just so sweet to us. First the companion leaves me outside while he goes in and tells everyone: we are biking across the country. (I never brag). Danielle recognized him from the paper. Front page! And she gave him a copy. Then she came out to visit with me for a time, and they talked.

She advised him on a better route to get to Yucca Valley to stay out of crazy traffic. Thank you Danielle. She gave him a yellow caution vest to wear so we don’t blend in with the sand. Thank you! And she told us a little bit about the place.

Turtles migrate through Joshua tree! Who knew? I didn’t. But slow and steady wins the race, and I should know: Cause I’m winning.

Here is a Joshua Tree. The companion likes them, cause he likes plants. I think it is odd, but nice. They are all over the place here.

Now for a slight surprise. David from San Francisco is coming to spend a few days taken pictures of us. Should be fun!

And I would like to thank Denise from the basset rescue who has really gotten us some media attention!

Friday, January 29, 2010


Today we are in 29 Palms. And the companion likes it. He things it’s a cute town. Well this is what I see.

It is nice this town. Lots of cute things on the walls. But the people are really better than the town looks. Everyone we’ve met has been really friendly! They all compliment me, and talk to the companion. Lots of smiling! I like that, smiling is my favorite. We stopped at a café and hand lunch. The server was really sweet!

But across the road from the café was a statue. Again there was some disappointment in the companion’s voice when he realized it wasn’t a Roadside Attraction. But he liked it anyway.

There is also a Marine base here. The companion loves all things military, and said: you got to love it when the Marines are around.

Do I?

We also had an interview with the paper here, and with the paper in our next town. Two in one! Thank Goodness. That means: no interviews for a few more days. Excellent. This picture was taken by the newspaper. I like it. Isn't the companion funny looking with his head turned like he is in thought! Oh dear!

Lovely town 29! Lovely!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Final State!

Well look out world! We made it to California.

What a pleasant bike ride today too. We went through the Colorado Desert, or at least that is what the companion said was posted on a sign in the middle of it! I enjoyed it too. The sun was warm on and the wind cool.

We biked for several hours today. The companion said when we started out: pray we get a ride, I don't really want to camp in the desert. But for hours no one paid any attention to our sign asking for help to Twentynine Palms. And still he biked on.

After we climbed the mountian, the ground leveled off. But not completely flat. Dips. Dips in the road, ups and downs that were kind of fun. We made it to Vital Junction. And the companion talked with some people about how to get places. See this is where two roads intersect, and one of them was out. So no one could go north. People were looking at each other really confused. The companion was hoping for a ride from there. Instead he talked with a couple who are on a motorcycle. They were having trouble too with the wind.

But soon the road veered toward the sun more, and put the wind behind us. It may have disappeared all toegether, cause we didn't really feel it anymore. The companion was actually doing great on time! he was really moving.

There are few lonely roads, there is always traffic of some kind. But today after we left the junction, there was less.

We had quiet time. Just the sound of the tires to the road.

Finally, the companion thought it best to set up the tent. We had not received a ride and he didn't want to wait later, so he wouldn't have to put the tent up in the dark. We found a spot to hitch the tent. He starts to put it up but he can't get the stakes in the ground. They bend.

He looks at me and says: we will have to keep on biking, keep on walked, cause we can't put up the tent. And he quickly puts every thing into the contraption, and we get back on the road.

And within 15 minuets we get a ride!

This is a picture of me flying through the desert!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Today should have been a day off. It should have been a day for me to stay in bed. But the companion called KLPZ 1380 and got an interview in the afternoon. Yes I'm pleased that we finally got some media attention, but did we have to wake me for it? No.

Here is the link to the web cam of the show. You can't see me at all. I'm a bit upset about that. But you can see the companion, who by the way looks like he gained 30 pounds.

Even his mother commented on how big he looks. I don't think he has gained weight but he looks it.

Bicyclists, Help from Manuel

We got up and got moving from Salome to Parker. And it was not uneventful. The companion called this the worst day because of his mistakes. But that didn’t come out until later.

First we climbed a hill for about three miles or so. The companion noted that everyday starts up hill! Then we went down hill forever! It was a long down hill streach and we were moving! The companion as rearranged the contraption again, and suddenly, I’m all comfy! So the downhill we went, and met a bunch of bicyclist.

This time the companion got a photo. They all smiled and waved and said: OH look at the dog!

We then turned off that road and on the road to Parker, AZ. The turn was in Hope, AZ. This is the back of the welcome sign. Foreshadowing the day.

We turned and hit a headwind, and that wind didn’t stop for the rest of the day. It hit and hit and hit. Not really strong, about 9 miles per hour. But remember the companion only goes 8 miles per hour. He walked a lot, he rested a few times. But kept moving.

He said: we are going to be late, I’m worried.
I told him to calm down, and not worry. Rely on yourself, you can get us there, even if it is dark we’ll be ok.

He liked that, and kept moving. But the problem wasn’t the head wind, or how tired he was. The problem was he was out of food. All he had in the contraption was dry cereal. He taught he could make it to the store, in Hope. But the store was closed. And it was 15 miles to the next store. He was suffering.

Finally we found a store and had some lunch. And he felt good so we biked some more. We had 25 miles to go. But he kept going. Luckly, Manuel saw us and picked us up and drove us the last 15 miles to Parker. And this time, the companion asked his name!

Thank you Manuel!

We Bike Again, Run for Liberty

We biked from Wickenburg to Salome, in a semi uneventful way. We saw this wagon, which the companion was excited about, but less as excited as he gets when he sees those “roadside attractions.” The road took us to a hill, but the companion didn’t complain. Then it leveled off, and he biked well. Although kind of slow.

I was concentrating on the smells of the area, while he was talking on the phone. Modern things really make this journey not be one of solitude or isolation. He talked with his parents; he talked with Katherine. It was talk talk talk.

Early that morning we saw our first bicyclist since Oklahoma. The guy was in shorts and had a back pack. Clearly doing something similar to us. I wanted the companion to get a photo, but he was awestruck.

While he was on the phone with his dad, the companion noticed a hitchhiker. The man was just standing in the middle of the high desert. The man asked for water, and the companion gave him some. I was kind of proud of the companion for just doing it without thought. He later confessed that in Biblical times the golden rule was the rule, and you helped like that because it could easily be you stuck without water in a desert

I was concentrating on the smells of the area, while he was talking on the phone. Modern things really make this journey not be one of solitude or isolation. He talked with his parents; he talked with Katherine. It was talk talk talk.

Early that morning we saw our first bicyclist since Oklahoma. The guy was in shorts and had a back pack. Clearly doing something similar to us. I wanted the companion to get a photo, but he was awestruck.

While he was on the phone with his dad, the companion noticed a hitchhiker. The man was just standing in the middle of the high desert. The man asked for water, and the companion gave him some. I was kind of proud of the companion for just doing it without thought. He later confessed that in Biblical times the golden rule was the rule, and you helped like that because it could easily be you stuck without water in a desert.

We moved on. Sunny skies, lovely views. The road is in a valley, flat but on both sides two mountain ranges.

As dusk was approaching, we saw two men ahead of us. One was on a bike, one was not. It turns out that these men are doing what we are doing: crossing the country from California to New York (I think it must be a longer distance than ours). Chris, on the left, bikes and films, Paul, on the right, runs. They cross 25 miles a day. They are calling their tour: Run for Liberty, and you can find them on Facebook under that name. They were not only fun to talk with, but they filmed us and talked to us about our journey, but they also drove us to Salome.

We had to pass one town before Salome called Wenden. Wended was flooded with the rains we had. So it was a good think the companion stayed put in Wickenburg.

Good Luck to Chris and Paul!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Log Wagon, The Ting Tings

This is the Log Wagon Inn in Wickenburg, AZ. We have stayed here far to long, but the weather was cold and wet. So I’m not mad. But I fear the sitting around will get to the companion. He doesn’t do well when he has little to do. He tends to not do anything. More on that later. First the Inn.

The Log Wagon is all we need. Microwave and refrigerator. There is a TV so the companion can relax. The bed is nice and the room is good. They didn’t charge for me because I’m so sweet. The price is affordable and nice. We’ve had nice time I the hotel.

I enjoyed the screen door. The companion opens the door and I can lay on the floor and feel the fresh air, and just let the smells come up to me. Nice!

But what has caught my ears is the song “We Walk” by the Ting Tings. This is a fun group, that plays fun music and the Companion loves their stuff. If he is at the gym, he will watch their videos and not lift until it’s over. They are fun. I like them. And its so funny that the Companion likes them cause he mostly loves chamber music or choral music. Music for the companion reaches into him, and it causes things to happen to him that I pick up on.

Music will return him to a time, or recall memories for him. But he never sees the memory in his mind’s eye. If he did I would know what he was remembering. But he feels it. Music brings back the feelings of times gone by.

If the Companion listens to The Go! Team, then he starts to feel happy again. And sometimes dances around like a crazy man. It’s fun. He always says: Come on Antigone Dance with me! I never do such common things as dance.

But when the Ting Tings comes one with “We Walk” it means something else. It means he is remember The Overnight. It means he is remembering the depression. It means he may start writing. The Ting Tings sing this fun song with the lyrics “When it all goes wrong, we walk….Nothing makes you feel good.”

I think the song helps him. He is going to listen to that song repeatedly, then he’ll jump up and we will go for a walk.

But then he will write. I hope so. The companion’s joblessness is something that is odd to me. Because he is without work, I get to see more of him. And that I like. But when it goes on too long, the companion changes some, and I get worried.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Last Leg

The companion has planned our last leg of the journey. I'm excited to finish. He thinks it will be about another 20 days. That's almost an entire moon. But it will go by quickly, i'm sure. I think he wants to do it a fast as possible cause he is tired too.

So here is the route he has planned. But please keep in mind, he changes his mind often. Its not etched in stone, says he.

We are currently in Wickenburg, AZ
Wickenburg, AZ to Salome, AZ to Parker AZ. This is were we will leave AZ

Parker, AZ to Twentynine Palms, CA to
Apple Valley to
Santa Clara to
Santa Barbra to
Lompoc to
Santa Maria to
San Luis Obispo to
Salinas to
Santa Cruz to
Pacifica to
San Francisco

Then we cross the bridge, and step into the Pacific from the Golden Gate Park. This looks like 835 miles to go. So this picture is what I will be doing for the next 20 days or so. If we can ever get out of Wickenburg. The skies today are gray, but no rain. I hope the sun comes out in the morning. I like biking in the sunshine the best.

Twenty more days, and then who knows what will happen to us.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bicycling father raising awareness of teen suicide

Bicycling father raising awareness of teen suicide

Yesterday we were biking to Kevin's house for the night. And the companion's pedal fell off the bike. He couldn't fix it by hand so we started walking. The companion likes to call his parents when this sort of thing happens. He does a lot of laughing so I think it keeps him calm.

Grandmom told the companion about David Alexander, who is also biking across the coutnry. He's gone 6000 miles so far! Wow congrats to him!

I want to share his story with y'all as a reminder of our second mission on the bike tour: Preventing Suicides. Pleasae read his story!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bungalow, Pink Chair

The companion and I were invited to Coffee this morning in Mesa, AZ. We went to this lovely place called Inside the Bungalow. Cafes don't offer much for me, I admit. I mean, I can get a human treat, like a cookie, but otherwise--boring! No so at Inside the Bungalow.

This is the yard where we sat. Lots of little plants for me to smell. We got there and the companion got his coffee, and we sat down. And I could smell a bunch of things. The Companion got an egg back and pumpkin bread. He loved both and said: such nice presentation! He of course shared it with me, and I like them both too.

I just sat and enjoyed the patio, the smells that came up to me. I relaxed but was too excited with this patio that I couldn't nap! If you are in Mesa, AZ--go to the Bungalow!

We then walked down to The Big Pink Chair. Need I remind the readers of the Companion's obsession with roadside attractions? I think no. We walked down town Mesa just to see this Chair. The Companion loved it.

Me? well, it's not soft like a sofa, so what's the point.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tempe Bicycle, Hands

Well we started the day sluggish. The companion thinks he has an allergy to Arizona, but he finally got up and got going. Me? I just let him sleep and be sluggish if he wanted too.

We had to go get the bike repaired today. First thing. The companion found a bike shop about five miles from us, so off we went. He didn't complain about the cost of the repairs on the way, but he did say he was "worried". He's worried because he doesn't think it can be repaired and he would have to get a new one. He told me about this happening before in Chicago and the bike shop told him "it would be cheaper to get a new bike, than the back wheel."

The back wheel was bend badly. You should have seen it from my vantage. That wheel made the companion go back and forth wobbling. But I couldn't consentrate on that much because we are in city traffic.

And I don't like city traffic. I don't like cars with smothering smell. I don't like the noise of the busses. I don't like the trains coming by. No give me the Tonto National Forest again: That I love!

But sometimes we have to go to a City, and here we are. And its good because there are good bike shops around to help us. So off we went. The man at the store told the companion: "well we can true it for 15 bucks, but it will never be straight again. You may want to get a new wheel."

I held my breath. See the companion had not eaten yet, he had not had any coffee and I was worried he would hit panic mode.

"How much will that be?" He asked, maintaining some quiet.
"About 50 bucks," the main said.
"OK! Let's do that!"

The companion was so excited that it was so much less than he thought it would be that he agreed to the price before asking the man to true to old wheel. Well we may need a new one anyway. Dave 0 told the companion that he could expect "a couple of thousand miles before they fail." And we have crossed over a couple of thousand miles!

We Tempe Bicycle was lovely. I went in and walked around. I inspected the place. Nice, clean, void of small animals. Go there.

Tempe is nice and so is Mesa. The traffic isn't horrible but I still don't like it. We saw this piece in Tempe. The companion kink of liked it. But I noticed his disappointment that it wasn't a road side attraction. It was just art.

The View, Help with Problems

We started the day in Heber-Overgaard heading up into a forest. I love the forest, I really do. The companion only saw one animal the whole day, but I smelled several. Oh there is lots of life in that forest. The forest is in the White Mountains of the Rockies. Which the companion realized finally he had to cross and could not go around.

Yes the companion has accepted the both Mary and Nissa know geography better he does, and the he had to cross the Rockies.
Nissa asked him ‘how are you crossing the Rockies?”
He said, “we are going around them.”
She didn’t skip a beat and didn’t look at him like he crazy and said, “they extend to Mexico.”

Mary asked how he was getting over the mountains in Arizona.
He said, “there are no mountains in Arizona.”
“Yes there are, I’ve seen them,” she said.

Well well well.

So we are crossing the Rockies in the White Mountians. And they are steep. The companion was told in town that he would be going downhill to Payson. No so. We went up and up and up. sometimes we did go down but not long and the right back up again. The companion learned later that he climbed over 1000 feet before we turned to go downward.

We were going down, and we were in the forest when we turned a corner and saw this! Amazing!

We were walking along the road looking at the view when Brian stopped and gave us a ride. He was going to Phoenix and the companion asked I we could ride the entire way. And it was a good thing he did. The road was dangerous for the bike and the contraption. There was no or little shoulder, and the mountains! They were huge going up and down and up and down. The companion would have died on the road to Mesa.

Sometimes help comes and something happens. The bike was in the back of the truck near a trailer attachment, and it was damaged there. The gears were bent. Brian felt so bad that he stopped and had it fixed at this amazing bike junk yard. We then put the bike back in and in a different place. But something happened along the way that bent the back wheel. The companion was like, oh well we will fix it.

Well I was proud of the Companion, he didn’t seem to be bothered about the problems at all. He was like “oh well get it fixed.” I think as much as he worries about getting upset or panicking he is doing so much better.

Brian was great to pick us up and drive us to a hotel. He saved us time but mostly he helped us get down the Rockies safely! Thank you Brian.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Well look at us!

We made it to Arizona!

We had been climbing up a mountian most of the day. And luckily the companion was feeling dramatic and brave. That meant no complaining from him. None of his "really? another hill. Really?" None of that. He did push some but he did good. He was quiet mostly. Which was good for me, because there is less for me here to smell. Where are all the animals? Where are the coyotes that are going to attack? How about a skunk? Or an armadillo? There seems less traffic out here. There is some, but just less. So the Companion being a bit quiet helped me concentrate on what's important.

So up hill, and up hill, and up hill we went. Then we topped a hill and it went down a long way. The companion was excited!

And in the middle of that down hill was Arizona! We are moving along! The companion is looking for us to get out of the mountains.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Strange Bone

Today we went and spent the day at Paul’s work looking for a ride to town. It never came.

But I did met three nice dogs. They live at the store.

One had this large odd bone that she carried around all day. And when I walked near by she gave me a warning growl. As if I were interested in that thing. I’m not even sure I could lift it.

A Great Host

We are now in Quemado. And it looks like we are going to be here for a few days. I can tell the companion is tired, and we have a nice place to stay. In fact we have a good host.

This is Lucy, our host. She is really friendly to me, and allows me to eat from her bowl, and drink from her water. She never barks at me or bothers me much at all. I’ve been allowed to sleep as much as I like. I love being left alone.
Lucy does give the Companion some attention. But not too much. She does it to be friendly but not to over step her space. She knows he is mine, but still wants him to feel welcome.

Lucy is a great host!

Datil, Mark the Hitchhiker

We arrived in Datil near dark. Datil was higher up the hill than Magdalena so its colder. We found the one hotel and checked in. Then the companion cleaned up and we went for a walk. The companion stopped at the motel office, which is also the grocery store, and café, and gas station. While he was in there he met Mark.

Mark is hitchhiking across the country, and the companion told him he could sleep on our floor if he wanted too. So he did. He came later and set up his bed. They talked and watched TV most of the night.

Mark gave me some attention too. He gave me some peanuts and I loved them. They were so good. Then we said good bye to Mark in the morning as he set out toward Idaho! Farewell Mark and have a safe trip!

High Country Lodge, VLA

In Magdalena we found a lovely motel called the High Country Lodge. We have been traveling up hill most of the day and arrived kind of late, but not dark. I wasn’t allowed in the lobby because there is a restaurant connected to the lobby. The companion stayed in there a bit longer than I would have liked but he came out smiles. The lady who works there came out and said hello.

Well the room was nice, and I loved the bed. I just feel into the softness. I was asleep in no time. The companion said this: it’s clean, it’s nice, the bed is great! I’d stay here again!

Then we set out in the morning kind of early for us like 9:30. Heading for what the companion said was the VLA. No clue. But he said it was something he wanted to see, and that he wanted to stop at the visitors center. Well after four hours of biking we found the VLA.

Really? That’s it? I wasn’t that excited about it.

The companion determined that biking 4 miles off the path, and 4 miles back wasn’t possible. So we only got to see it from the distance. Well Ok. I’m not too sure I would have had any more fun than I was already having.

The VLA is like another one of the companions Roadside Attractions. But I put on a brave face cause he seemed to like it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Toward Snow, Lovely Biking

We took off this morning late. I was slightly irate and slighted relieved. I was hoping that the companion would delay it for another day. The hotel was cheap so I think it would be a good idea. But he gathered himself together and we left. He gets nervous at times. We've been bicycling for three months, but sometimes, when the money gets low, or when he doesn't know many people in front of us, he gets nervous.

I don't.

We started today in Socorro, and headed to Magdalena. Magdalena sits on top of a mountain. The companion did well today. He didn't complain too much. But he did say: "oh come on, for real, another hill to climb."

Well what did he expect? We are two days from the Continental Divide. Aka The Great Divide. We will be rising until it is to our back. Why he didn't listen to Mary back on day one, I don't know. She said to him: How are you going to cross the mountains? he says: we are going around them. She goes: you can't.

But nooooooooo, he has this idea in his head that can go around it. We can't.

We the day was still good biking and still fun. The mountains are really pretty. I think the companion worried about Mountain Lions. He kept trying to come up with a plan using the pepper spry.

Way to go mighty warrior!

We stopped on top of one of the many hills we crossed. The View was so lovely, I took a nap.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Here I am on the road to Las Lunas sitting at a bus stop. I"m sitting here because we had a flat. The companion put me on the bench so I wouldn't get any sand spurs in my feet. He fixed the flat and on we went. Well he didn't really fix it, he replaced it with the spare. He said he couldn't see any holes and he would need to put the tire in water to see the holes.

About 20 minuets later, the companion turned around and said: "Not again!" and he pulled over at a Walmart. One of the wheels of the contraption was flat. So he fixed it. It was only one hole. So he patched it up and we went on. This was good I think because he doesn't have a spare anymore.

We made it one mile before it went flat again. So we were stuck at the Lotaburger. Stephen and Jeremy drove out to us and took us home. When the companion looked at the tire and found that one tire had seven holes and one had five.

I just napped.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Journey So Far

The Companion has drawn a line on our tour so far! Look at how far we've traveled!

Wow! Wow!