2017 CROSS COUNTRY TRIP
posted 23 January 2018
Photo of Reed Finfrock (Class of 1965) taken last summer on his cross country trip. July 2017
I am home! And, glad to be here. You never realize what a castle your home is until you spend seven weeks sleeping in some very sketchy motels or even worse campgrounds. I'm glad I did the trip, but I will most likely never do another.
I rode 4,120 miles, some of it being completely lost. I took two days off and had a very short 10-mile day due to heavy thunderstorms. Total days gone 46. Forty-three riding days, averaging 96 miles a day. High day of 143, low of 49 (35 mph headwind, gusts to 50).
I very much enjoyed the views of Glacier Park from the east side. Rode a long ways through the Mississippi Valley, two days on the dirt/mud towpath of the Erie canal and alongside Lake Erie. The hills of Maine were beautiful, but brutal. Thank God for granny years!
Highlights of the trip were: a day off in Illinois to visit a good friend from college for a few hours. We had not seen each other in more years than we couldn't remember. Spending two days in Minnesota on the paved rail trail that was almost 200 miles long. No cars!
Running into a rider I met on day 2, climbing the Cascades, 3,400 miles later where our paths crossed in New York State. Crazy!! Pulling into a town in Vermont where a B&B advertised camping for cross country bicyclists. This place was ritzy, so I knew just from the look of it that I couldn't afford a room.
As I was getting ready to set up camp, I mentioned I was riding cross country. The receptionist said, "You just said the magic words. You get a room and breakfast free!" My amazement was understandably off the chart. The owner had done cross country trips and had received such kindness from people on his tours; he was just passing it forward.
Nicest room of the trip!
Lots of other stories to tell. So next time you see me, I will be glad to bore you to death!
- Reed Finfrock (Class of 1965)
Email dated 22 January 2018