I just want to take a minute to let you know that I had a flip phone on this trip. I am pretty sure it was pre-paid so I used a phone card whenever I had a land line. I didn't get a smart phone for another three years. I used the computers and internet at libraries to upload pictures, blog, and make plans for future accommodations. Instead of using GPS and Siri, I relied heavily on cyclists that came before me. I can't imagine how much different logistics would be for a trip like this now.
These guys make amazing detailed turn by turn maps of bike routes across the country. I purchased and used their Southern Tier map set. They've changed it a little bit since then to make it more interesting and safe. A friend of mine from Sitka, Jeff Budd, had completed the route some time before I went and tipped me off to this great organization. This is their route map from on their website. I highly recommend!
Jean Andre Vallery was the first host we found using Warmshowers. The idea is that cyclists host touring cyclists. I've gotten to host a couple of folks since I went on my trip, but honestly I haven't checked in on the site in a while. We found a ton of amazing hosts this way and a ton of them had done tours themselves. This is a graphic right off their website that helps explain things.
Originally Posted February 05, 2007
Today we made it to Brawley and are resting peacefully at the travel something or other lodge. There is a shower and it is warm. I got to chat with a bunch of folks via land line and phone card. All good conversations. They all seem too busy. I feel I am adequately busy. That's nice for a change. John is out on the street trying to get in touch with his girlfriend in Australia. This is the real reason I am awake. Today we had 18 miles of descent from 3000 feet to below sea-level. I liked going more than 4 mph. We stopped at a bike shop in El Centro. One of the workers used to live in Sitka, but he didn't want to talk about it. They weren't incredibly helpful all around, but John really needed a tube or two. We stopped in Ocotillo and ate tacos and milkshakes. John always gets the malts. Then we rode through Plaster City. I have a picture of a sign I'll post later. All that's there is a drywall factory. When we stopped in El Centro, there was an official Blue Angels car in the parking lot. I can remember seeing them at Seafair in Seattle when I was just a tot.