August 3, 2015 | Posted in:Canada, Places, Summary, USA

Well, we’re back in the USA for the summer. What better time than now to finally post the summary of our travels in the USA last year?

What follows contains excessive quantification of our activities from my last day at work, May 2nd, 2014 until we crossed the border to Mexico at Douglas, Arizona / Agua Prieta, Sonora on Christmas Eve, 2014. I kept track of a bunch of random useless information with respect to our cycling, sleeping, breweries visited, transit used and other stuff so put on your nerdiest glasses and get ready for the good times. I have broken it into the following posts:

Whole Country Nerdy Stats (this post)
East Coast & Hawaii
Midwest
Northwest
Southwest
Arizona

This post contains our overall numbers for USA/Canada for a bunch of different categories. The regional posts contain brief-ish reviews of what we did in each state and some photos.

Closeup of a spring tree bud

This is what we did with our first free day together – sat around in a park looking at blossoms and watching people play frisbee.

Moving the last of our stuff across town from our apartment by bike

Packed up and ready to move out of our apartment

We entered 24 US states and 1 Canadian province, but 3 of those were drive-thru and 5 were train-thru:

–       New York (May 2-7; May 16-19; Jun 24-27; Jul 1-14)
–       New Jersey (May 7; May 16; May 19-20; Jun 24)
–       Pennsylvania (May 7; May 16; Jul 14) Transit only
–       Maryland (May 7; May 16) Transit only
–       West Virginia (May 7; May 16) Transit only
–       Virginia (May 7-16)
–       North Carolina – Lewis only (May 13-14)
–       Georgia (May 20-21)
–       Hawaii (Jun 21-23)
–       Vermont (Jun 27-Jul 1)
–       Ohio (Jul 15)
–       Michigan (Jul 15-17)
–       Indiana (Jul 17) Transit only
–       Illinois (Jul 17-22)
–       Wisconsin (Jul 22-Aug 27)
–       Minnesota (Aug 27-28) Transit only
–       North Dakota (Aug 28) Transit only
–       Montana (Aug 28-29) Transit only
–       Idaho (Aug 29) Transit only
–       Washington (Aug 29-Sep 3; Sep 8-18)
–       British Columbia (Sep 3-8)
–       Oregon (Sep 18-Oct 9; Oct 16-18)
–       California (Oct 9-16; Oct 18-31)
–       Nevada (Oct 31-Nov 4)
–       Arizona (Nov 4-Dec 24)

We cycle toured in 12 states: New York, Hawaii, Vermont, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona; and 1 province: British Columbia. This brings our state cycle touring total up to 17, with the inclusion of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Maine and one duplicate, Wisconsin from previous tours.

A road in a state

A road in a state

 

Total USA & Canada Cycling
Distance cycled2,080 mi / 3,347 km / 13,516,150 Ron Jeremy Penises (RJP)
Elevation gained62,106 ft / 18,930 m
Elevation lost64,608 ft / 19,693 m
Cycling days70
Sleeping
Total nights236
Paid (inc. camping)43
Lodging TypeNights
Home141
Camping72
Hostel7
Hotel6
In Transit6
Vacation Rental3
Business1
Sleeping SurfaceNights
Bed101
Tent67
Couch31
Air Mattress12
Floor10
Hammocks5
Train4
Camper2
Cot2
Plane1
Drove All Night1

We were in a bed almost half of the nights of our trip, which seems crazy when I look at it, but it makes sense considering how much we visited friends and family. The hammock nights were woefully few because we kept chasing autumn down the west coast and nights were a bit too chilly. Luckily we were able to dust them off once we got to the coast of Mexico.

An immaculate bedroom

Our first Warm Showers hosts had an immaculate house that reminded us of a B & B and made us nervous to bring our filthy asses in there, but they were so welcoming that we quickly felt at home.

Our hammocks strung up in a beautiful oak grove with tons of afternoon light

Our poor neglected hammocks got used a couple times, such as this incredible stealth spot in Wisconsin.

Host TypeNights
Friends88
None82
Family39
Spontaneous host12
Warm Showers8
Couchsurfing7

We spent the most nights with friends (thanks guys!), including a handful of nights with friends of friends. We had no specific host on 82 nights, but this category is varied because it includes wild camping, park camping, hotels and hostels. Family put us up for 39 nights, which is actually a bit less than I thought it would be.

A great night highway shot with blurred lights as we pass a semi

We took a photo of every place we slept, or spent the night, as was the case when we drove all night back from Virginia.

Other Miscellaneous Crap

Here is some more miscellaneous crap we kept track of.

Water FeaturesNights
Seashore17
River / Stream12
Lakeshore5
Arroyo (inside)3

Yes, I know camping in arroyos is foolish, but it’s also the best place to camp for every other point aside from being washed away in the night.

The full moon rising over a wall of sunset highlighted mountains in Arizona

Sweet moonrise from our cozy little arroyo

ActivitiesNights
Fires22
Backpacking14
Hot Springs2
Concerts23
Music Festival4
Mosquitoville4

We would have loved to have way more fires than that, but I’m pretty conservative about the conditions in which I’ll build one, especially in the desert. The backpacking nights come from four hikes: Na Pali Coast; Pololu Valley (I barely count this because it was a 45-minute hike in and out); Lost Coast Wilderness; and Superstition Wilderness. All four of these places demolish anywhere else I have backpacked in amazingness factor. Most of the 23 concerts are Phish, but we did also see Primus on the Primus and the Chocolate Factory tour, which was one of the best concerts I’ve seen. Two weekend music festivals make four nights and very good times. Mosquitoville nights are nights where the mosquitoes are “out of control” and are not good times until you’re in your hammock laughing maniacally watching the bastards bouncing off the net.

A huge bonfire shoots sparks into the night visible through the silhouettes of other revelers.

Our most badass fire (note, I did not build this)

Closeup of the boys playing at Bill Graham from our sweet spot on the floor

Phish at Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco (sorry to cut you off Page)

We spent 38 nights on public land (5 in official Wilderness Areas). Below is the breakdown by agency or type.

Public Land Management EntityNights
State Park19
National Forest7
BLM6
National Park3
County Park2
Other state land1
The trail is a thin line in the middle of a cliff, with steep drop offs to the sea. Tiny hikers are barely visible.

Approaching ‘Crawlers Ledge’ on the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast in Hawaii

The bright sun casts rays through the mist over an empty, still dark bay from behind the mountains hugging the coast. Huge wave lines come in perpendicular to the camera and stretch off to the horizon.

Sunrise from camp in the Lost Coast Wilderness in California

Looking up at Brandy staring off at epicness, sharing the view with desert vegetation

The complex beauty and epic scenery and feelings of the Superstition Wilderness in Arizona cannot be captured in a hundred photos, but this one actually tells a lot of the story if you let it sink in.

Public Transit

Amtrak
Ethan Allen Express: Saratoga Springs, NY-NYC
Lakeshore Limited: NYC-Toledo, OH
Wolverine: Jackson, MI-Chicago, IL
Empire Builder: Columbus, WI-Seattle, WA
Coast Starlight: Eugene, OR-Oakland, CA
California Zephyr: Richmond, CA-Truckee, CA

Napping in Montana on the Empire Builder to Seattle

Napping in Montana on the Empire Builder to Seattle

Regional Rail
Metra Union Pacific North: Clybourn Station Chicago, IL-Kenosha, WI
Sounder: Seattle, WA-Everett, WA
BART: Oakland, CA<->Berkeley, CA
BART: San Francisco, CA-Richmond, CA
Caltrain: Bayshore Station San Francisco, CA-Palo Alto, CA
Caltrain: San Jose, CA-22nd Street Station San Francisco, CA

Awesome roll-on bike car with tons of capacity on the Caltrain

Our bikes make some friends on the Caltrain

Ferry
East River Ferry: Wall St-Greenpoint (home from my last day of work)
East River Ferry: Randall’s Island Special
Washington State Ferries: Anacortes, WA-Orcas, WA
Washington State Ferries: Orcas, WA-Friday Harbor, WA
Washington State Ferries: Friday Harbor, WA-Sydney, BC
Washington State Ferries: Sydney, BC-Anacortes, WA
Washington State Ferries: Clinton, WA-Mukilteo, WA
Washington State Ferries: Edmonds, WA-Kingston, WA (on a bus)
San Francisco Bay Ferry: Alameda, CA-San Francisco, CA

On the Washington State Ferry to Orcas Island, bicycles are leaned against the wall in the car bay.

Our bikes enjoying a break on the ferry to Anacortes

Intercity Bus*
Kauai County Bus: Lihue, HI-Hanalei, HI
Kauai County Bus: Hanalei, HI-Kapaa, HI
Kauai County Bus: Kapaa, HI-Lihue, HI
Hawaii Island Hele-On Bus: Kona, HI-Hilo, HI-Pahoa, HI
TheBus: Pupukea, HI-Honolulu, HI
Olympic Bus Lines Dungeness Line: Seattle, WA-Port Angeles, WA
The Wave (Tillamook County): Tillamook, OR-Portland, OR

*I believe that all of these but the Dungeness Line are operated as local, fixed-route bus services, but I am categorizing them as intercity because of the distances.

An old school bus all tricked out

Sadly not in revenue service

Local Transit
We had our bicycles with us for the most part, so generally did not use local public transit, despite my professional interest. However, we did use local transit in the following cities:

NYC, obviously
Atlanta, GA (rail)
Chicago, IL (bus & rail)
Milwaukee, WI (bus)
Phoenix, AZ (rail, we tried to use the bus, but after three passed us with full bike racks, we just rode the 25 miles)

Phoenix Light Rail

Phoenix Light Rail

Multi-Use Trails

These are all trails we rode on for more than some short, half-assed amount. What that cutoff means is chosen arbitrarily of course.

TrailStateLocation
East River TrailNew YorkManhattan
University Parks TrailOhioToledo
Centennial TrailOhioToledo area
Lakeshore PathIllinoisChicago
Pike Bike TrailWisconsinKenosha
County Bike TrailWisconsinKenosha & Racine Counties
Root River PathwayWisconsinRacine
MRK TrailWisconsinRacine County
WE Energies TrailWisconsinRacine County
Oak Leaf TrailWisconsinMilwaukee County
Ozaukee Interurban TrailWisconsinOzaukee County
Eisenbahn State TrailWisconsinWashington County
Sheboygan Interurban TrailWisconsinSheboygan County
Friendship TrailWisconsinCalumet County
Fox River TrailWisconsinCalumet & Brown Counties
Wiouwash Trail WisconsinShawano County
Mountain Bay TrailWisconsinShawano County
51/29 TrailWisconsinMarathon County
Green Circle TrailWisconsinPortage County
Wisconsin River TrailWisconsinWood County
Southwest Commuter PathWisconsinDane County
Badger State TrailWisconsinDane County
Capital City TrailWisconsinMadison
Highway 2 Bike PathWashingtonSnohomish County
Centennial TrailWashingtonSnohomish & Skagit Counties
Tommy Thompson TrailWashingtonSkagit County
Lochside Regional TrailBritish ColumbiaVancouver Island
Galloping Goose TrailBritish ColumbiaVancouver Island
Interurban TrailWashingtonSnohomish & King Counties
Cheshiahud Lake Union LoopWashingtonSeattle
Olympic Discovery TrailWashingtonClallam County
Waterfront Park TrailOregonPortland
Eastbank EsplanadeOregonPortland
(San Francisco) Bay TrailCaliforniaSan Mateo County
Guadalupe River TrailCaliforniaSanta Clara County
The Wiggle*CaliforniaSan Francisco
Pioneer TrailCaliforniaNevada County
I-225 East Beltway TrailNevadaVegas Area
St. Rose Parkway TrailNevadaVegas Area
Amargosa TrailNevadaVegas Area
UPRR TrailNevadaVegas Area
Arrowhead TrailNevadaVegas Area
River Mountains Loop TrailNevadaVegas Area
Arizona Canal TrailArizonaPhoenix
Sun Circle TrailArizonaPhoenix Area
Other unnamed canal trailsArizonaPhoenix Area
The LoopArizonaTucson
Aviation BikewayArizonaTucson

*Note that the Wiggle isn’t really a trail, but it’s cool enough to mention here. It is a signed route that “wiggles” through many blocks to follow the best grade east/west to reach the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park.

A selfie of both of us riding on the crushed limestone Friendship Trail

On the Friendship Trail in Wisconsin shortly before one of our stealth mosquitoville nights

The trail is a long wooden plank causeway across a bay

We are about to discover yet another blackberry motherlode on the Tommy Thompson Trail into Anacortes, Washington

The signage for the Wiggle is a squiggly arrow

The Wiggle in San Francisco

Breweries & Other Alcoholeries

We also visited the following breweries and makers of other fine alcoholic substances. I’ve noted where we filled a growler, just because.

Maker NameStateCity
Dirk the NorsemanNew YorkBrooklyn
Brooklyn BreweryNew YorkBrooklyn
Crank Arm Brewing CompanyNorth CarolinaRaleigh
Kona Brewing CompanyHawaiiKona
Grand River MarketplaceMichiganJackson (growler)
Haymarket Pub & BreweryIllinoisChicago
Saint Francis Brewing Co.WisconsinSt. Francis
Sprecher Brewing Co. WisconsinMilwaukee
Three SheepsWisconsinSheboygan
Red Eye Brewing Co.WisconsinWausau
Bull Falls BreweryWisconsinWausau (growler)
Hydro Street Brewing Co.WisconsinColumbus (growler)
Spinnakers Gastro BrewpubBritish ColumbiaVictoria
Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & MeaderyBritish ColumbiaSooke
Astoria Brewing CompanyOregonAstoria
Nehalem Bay WineryOregonNehalem
Pelican BreweryOregonTillamook
Hopworks Bike BarOregonPortland
Upright BrewingOregonPortland
Hair of the Dog Brewing Co.OregonPortland
Commons BreweryOregonPortland
Base Camp Brewing CompanyOregonPortland
Crux Fermentation ProjectOregonBend
Deschuttes Brewing CompanyOregonBend
Block 15 Brewing Co.OregonCorvallis
Flat Tail BrewingOregonCorvallis
Lost Coast Brewery & CaféCaliforniaEureka
Redwood Curtain Brewing CompanyCaliforniaArcata
Faction BrewingCaliforniaAlameda
Rock Wall Wine Co.CaliforniaAlameda
Magnolia Brewing Co.CaliforniaSan Francisco
Southern Pacific BrewingCaliforniaSan Francisco
THAT BreweryArizonaCottonwood
Mother Bunch BrewingArizonaPhoenix
Prescott Brewing Co.ArizonaPrescott
Beaver Street BreweryArizonaFlagstaff
Hops and Vines WineryArizonaSonoita
Hannah’s Hill WineryArizonaSonoita

 

Cool art produced by welding bicycle wheels and gears together adorns the wall at Crank Arm Brewery

Crank Arm Brewery Raleigh, NC

Brandy admires the art at Commons Brewery Portland, OR

Brandy admires the art at Commons Brewery Portland, OR

I could go into all sorts of additional detail with crazy maps and reviews and plenty of other crap, but I’m going to leave what remains of my eyeballs in my skull and leave it at that. The next post will begin the less detailed state summaries. The first will be the East Coast & Hawaii (Hawaii included because it was sandwiched in time by the East Coast).

2 Comments

  1. Tom Kepler
    August 18, 2015

    Like the photos of the Navigator. How do you fold the bike with two permanent racks? I added a Topeak rack to the back so I could pack more, and now I have to disconnect the handlebars so the bike easily folds. That doesn’t take long, though. Any secrets to share from your experience?

    I’ve traveled from Iowa to California eight times now (4 trips there and back on the Zephyr) with the bagged Navigator. It’s been easy. I’ve also been doing S24O’s here in Iowa around my hometown. With 28C tires, I have to be careful on gravel, but I’m not a maniac on gravel anyway.

    I enjoy your posts. Keep having fun!

    • Lewis
      August 18, 2015

      Hi Tom, I’m glad you’re enjoying the posts.
      We do the same thing with the handlebars on the Navigator. The rear rack doesn’t affect our folding much, but with the front rack we have to turn or remove the handlebars depending on why we’re folding it. Our bags are pretty tolerant because they are not made for the bikes and are soft. The train has been fairly easy each time, although once the conductor made us put them behind the rear seats on the ground floor, which was a bit annoying but more secure. The worst part is schlepping them down the platform when we misjudge where the door will open. I have no problems with the racks on my paratrooper, although I haven’t folded it yet since I got the front rack.

      The only secret I can think of is for our Massage Touch bags. I discovered that it is way easier to carry it by holding the leading handlebar and saddle or rear rack rather than using the bag straps, but I suppose that won’t work if I’m removing the bars :)