Saturday, April 18, 2015

9 Days!!!

Well I'm 9 days from leaving Rehoboth Beach, Delaware! Here are some details on what's happening between now and then. My last day working at Walmart is April 24th. Saturday the 25th is moving day. A couple of great friends offered to let me move a few coffee tables, boxes of books and clothing and some small appliances into a small storage area they have. Saturday night will be my last night in my apartment. My mentor is giving Fledge and me a ride in his pickup truck from Hanover, PA to Lewes, DE. We're leaving right on the dot at 7 am, arriving in Lewes around 10 am. I'm meeting with a reporter at the Cape Gazette (the local paper) around 1:30 and giving him some more details and perhaps getting some pictures. Planning on arriving at my host's home around 3 pm or thereabouts. My departure on Monday the 27th will probably be around 9:00 am.

Now once I get going, here's what to expect... I'll try to update on a daily basis when I'm able but it's not going to be detailed. For me, this trip is about getting back to nature and that means using technology as sparingly as possible. I'll show you where I'm starting and where I'm finishing and I might give you a sentence or two if I think words are necessary. A few pictures might find their way in also. :-) As for details, those will have to wait for my rest days once a week or thereabouts.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Walmart World!

Great news today! I was contacted yesterday by my company's magazine, Walmart World, about putting together a story on my ride! Thanks to a great friend and coworker I'll be able to get the word out to a whole lot more people on Lou Gehrig's disease and what the ALS Association is doing to combat it. Hopefully this will mean many donations and an end to this disease forever!

In other news, I'm getting so much better at changing tires! I picked up what will hopefully be my last couple of inner tubes this morning and got a mirror for my bicycle donated by another great friend/coworker. I'm two weeks away from my last day at Walmart until July and seventeen days from the start of my journey! Three weeks from today I'll be in Fredericksburg, VA and very close to starting the Trans-America Trail put together by the Adventure Cycling Association. I'll have already passed through Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, and a good chunk of Virginia!

It's hard to say how often I'll update this blog while on the road. Depending on how my daily routine gets set up I may give a very small update every day, a couple times a week or just once a week. I'm looking into how to link maps into this blog so you can see just where I am on any given day. Anyway, that's enough for now! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Determined

I'm really pissed off right now. Like seriously upset. This isn't the first time either. Since last May I've been doing everything I can to prepare for this trip and it often feels like I've come up against barrier after barrier after barrier. In May a lot of it was learning how to ride a higher-end bicycle with clipless pedals and cycling cleats. In June I got lost coming back from Carlisle and suffered a minor knee injury. For a good long while I was dealing with popped tires. In December I got stitches. Then I got hit by a car. Then I had to put up with weeks on end of freezing temperatures and snow. The latest thing that's got me down and upset is trying to install these stupid tire liners to minimize my flats on the trip. What would have taken 20 or 30 minutes for a more skilled mechanic has stretched into 2 days for me. My hands are sore. I worry that I may have damaged my tires. Although unrelated to the tire liners, the handlebar mount for my cell phone has a broken piece of plastic now. After straining and struggling I have 2 (possibly damaged) tires back on the rims and NOW they aren't inflating. I think it's a problem with the connection between the pump and the valve on my tubes.

Don't worry. I'm not giving up. I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. Honestly, that's a remarkable thing. If you know me, you'll know how easily I get discouraged and just quit trying. I just want to make it clear that this is not easy. Honestly, I think the easiest part of this whole entire thing will be riding from Delaware to California. You see, once I get on my bicycle everything gets a whole lot simpler and easier to manage. And also, I want you to know that *nothing* that's happened in the past year would be considered a trip-stopper. Not getting lost or injuring my knee or cutting my forehead open or getting hit by a car. None of those would put an end to the trip. At worst, they'd extend things by a few days. I hope none of those happen on the road but if they do it won't be the end. Just wanted to let you know; I'm determined.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Full Blown Itinerary

A while back, I posted a tentative itinerary of where I'd likely be staying overnight. The more I plan this trip, though, the more I realize that this kind of trip can't be planned out all the way. There are just way too many details to take into account. I don't doubt that most of the time I'm just going to be rolling with the punches. So here is a complete list of every small town I'm going to be passing nearby or directly through. If you want to come out and say hi I'd be more than happy to meet you for coffee or to grab a quick bite to eat!

Delaware
Rehoboth Beach, DE
Milton, DE
Greenwood, DE
 
Maryland
Denton, MD
Hillsboro, MD
Queen Anne, MD
Wye Mills, MD
Queenstown, MD
Grasonville, MD
Kent Narrows, MD
Chester, MD
Skidmore, MD
Cape St. Claire, MD
Arnold, MD
Annapolis, MD
Parole, MD
Crofton, MD
Bowie, MD
Landover, MD
Hyattsville, MD
Seat Pleasant, MD
 
Washington, DC
Washington, DC
 
Virginia
Arlington, VA
Alexandria, VA
Mt. Vernon, VA
Lorton, VA
Occoquan, VA
Woodbridge, VA
Dale City, VA
Independent Hill, VA
Fredericksburg, VA
Guinea, VA
Cedon, VA
Chilesburg, VA
Noel, VA
Ashland, VA
Coatesville, VA
Bumpass, VA
Louisa, VA
Mineral, VA
Tabscott, VA
Kents Store, VA
Palmyra, VA
Cunningham, VA
Charlottesville, VA
White Hall, VA
Crozet, VA
Greenwood, VA
Afton, VA
Waynesboro, VA
Rockfish Gap, VA
Love, VA
Vesuvius, VA
Lexington, VA
Buchanan, VA
Troutville, VA
Daleville, VA
Roanoke, VA
Catawba, VA
Blacksburg, VA
Ellett, VA
Christiansburg, VA
Radford, VA
Newbern, VA
Draper, VA
Ft. Chiswell, VA
Max Meadows, VA
Wytheville, VA
Rural Retreat, VA
Cedar Springs, VA
Sugar Grove, VA
Troutdale, VA
Konnarock, VA
Damascus, VA
Meadowview, VA
Hayter's Gap, VA
Rosedale, VA
Honaker, VA
Council, VA
Davenport, VA
Bee, VA
Birchleaf, VA
Haysi, VA
Breaks, VA
 
Kentucky
Elkhorn City, KY
Ashcamp, KY
Hellier, KY
Lookout, KY
Melvin, KY
Bypro, KY
Bevinsville, KY
Dema, KY
Pippa Passes, KY
Mallie, KY
Hindman, KY
Carrie, KY
Emmalena, KY
Dwarf, KY
Hazard, KY
Combs, KY
Chavies, KY
Buckhorn, KY
Booneville, KY
Vincent, KY
McKee, KY
Sandgap, KY
Bighill, KY
Berea, KY
Kirksville, KY
Lancaster, KY
Bryantsville, KY
Danville, KY
Burgin, KY
Harrodsburg, KY
Rose Hill, KY
Mackville, KY
Springfield, KY
Maud, KY
Bardstown, KY
New Haven, KY
Howardstown, KY
Buffalo, KY
Hodgenville, KY
Sonora, KY
Eastview, KY
Hudson, KY
Madrid, KY
McDaniels, KY
Falls of Rough, KY
Fordsville, KY
Owensboro, KY
Utica, KY
Glenville, KY
Beach Grove, KY
Sebree, KY
Dixon, KY
Clay, KY
Marion, KY
 
Illinois
Cave-In-Rock, IL
Elizabethtown, IL
Rosiclare, IL
Golconda, IL
Eddyville, IL
Robbs, IL
Simpson, IL
Tunnel Hill, IL
Goreville, IL
Carbondale, IL
Murphysboro, IL
Ava, IL
Campbell Hill, IL
Wine Hill, IL
Chester, IL
 
Missouri
St. Mary, MO
Ozora, MO
Coffman, MO
Farmington, MO
Doe Run, MO
Pilot Knob, MO
Lesterville, MO
Centerville, MO
Ellington, MO
Eminence, MO
Alley Spring, MO
Summersville, MO
Eunice, MO
Yukon, MO
Houston, MO
Bucyrus, MO
Fairview, MO
Bendavis, MO
Graff, MO
Hartville, MO
Marshfield, MO
Fair Grove, MO
Walnut Grove, MO
Ash Grove, MO
Everton, MO
Pennsboro, MO
Golden City, MO
 
Kansas
Pittsburg, KS
Girard, KS
Walnut, KS
Erie, KS
Shaw, KS
Chanute, KS
Benedict, KS
Coyville, KS
Toronto, KS
Neal, KS
Eureka, KS
Rosalia, KS
Cassoday, KS
Burns, KS
Newton, KS
Heston, KS
Buhler, KS
Medora, KS
Hutchinson, KS
Nickerson, KS
Sterling, KS
Hudson, KS
Seward, KS
Larned, KS
La Crosse, KS
Rush Center, KS
Nekoma, KS
Alexander, KS
Bazine, KS
Ness City, KS
Beeler, KS
Dighton, KS
Scott City, KS
Modoc, KS
Leoti, KS
Selkirk, KS
Tribune, KS
Horace, KS
 
Colorado
Towner, CO
Sheridan Lake, CO
Brandon, CO
Chivington, CO
Eads, CO
Haswell, CO
Arlington, CO
Sugar City, CO
Ordway, CO
Crowley, CO
Olney Springs, CO
Fowler, CO
Boone, CO
Pueblo, CO
Wetmore, CO
Silver Cliff, CO
Westcliffe, CO
Hillside, CO
Cotopaxi, CO
Coaldale, CO
Howard, CO
Swissvale, CO
Salida, CO
Poncha Springs, CO
Maysville, CO
Garfield, CO
Sargents, CO
Doyleville, CO
Parlin, CO
Gunnison, CO
Sapinero, CO
Cimarron, CO
Montrose, CO
Colona, CO
Ridgway, CO
Placerville, CO
Sawpit, CO
Telluride, CO
Mountain Village, CO
Rico, CO
Stoner, CO
Dolores, CO
Lewis, CO
Yellow Jacket, CO
Pleasant View, CO
Cahone, CO
Dove Creek, CO
 
Utah
Monticello, UT
Verdure, UT
Blanding, UT
Hanksville, UT
Caineville, UT
Fruita, UT
Torrey, UT
Grover, UT
Boulder, UT
Escalante, UT
Henrieville, UT
Cannonville, UT
Tropic, UT
Bryce Canyon City, UT
Panguitch, UT
Cedar City, UT
Kanarraville, UT
Pintura, UT
Browse, UT
Toquerville, UT
La Verkin, UT
Hurricane, UT
Virgin, UT
Rockville, UT
Springdale, UT
Mt. Carmel Junction, UT
Kenab, UT
 
Arizona
Fredonia, AZ
Jacob Lake, AZ
Grand Canyon North Rim Campground, AZ
Jacob Lake, AZ
Fredonia, AZ
Colorado City, AZ
 
Utah
Hurricane, UT
Washington, UT
St George, UT
Santa Clara, UT
Ivins, UT
 
Arizona
Beaver Dam, AZ
Littlefield, AZ
 
Nevada
Mesquite, NV
Bunkerville, NV
Moapa Valley, NV
Overton, NV
Valley of Fire State Park, NV
Las Vegas, NV
Spring Valley, NV
Enterprise, NV
Pahrump, NV
Beatty, NV
Goldfield, NV
Mina, NV
 
California
Mono City, CA
Lee Vining, CA
Yosemite National Park, CA
Waterford, CA
Modesto, CA
Tracy, CA
Livermore, CA
Pleasanton, CA
Dublin, CA
Castro Valley, CA
Ashland, CA
Hayward, CA
San Leandro, CA
San Francisco, CA

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Valentine's Day Fundraiser

Well I'm less than 3 months away from setting out from Rehoboth Beach, DE and I'm really starting to get excited about this trip! I've emailed my itinerary to The ALS Association in the hopes that I'll have the opportunity to meet some people on the frontlines of the struggle against Lou Gehrig's disease. In the interests of raising additional funds for this trip I've decided to raffle off a $25 gift card to Ruby Tuesday in honor of Valentine's Day. Each raffle entry costs $2 and you can enter as many times as you'd like. Here is how to enter:

1) Email me at wrosselet@yahoo.com with the following details: A) Name, initials, or a username (no need to divulge personal details if you don't want to), B) your mailing address (or a PO Box, again don't feel compelled to divulge personal details; we can figure out how to get the gift card to you and keep your information private) and C) how many entries you want to purchase.

2) Send a check or money order made payable to Wesley Rosselet to: Wesley Rosselet 10 Lafayette St. Apt. H Hanover, PA 17331 or visit www.paypal.com and send money to wrosselet@yahoo.com. To confirm my identity, you can see my eBay profile (username: wrosselet), Facebook page (wrosselet) or Twitter account (@WesAcrosstheUSA).

The winner of the raffle will be announced on the morning of February 10th (leaving 4 days to mail the gift card for Valentine's Day) both on this blog and on the Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/WesAcrossAmerica).

Thanks for participating in this fundraiser! And remember that all funds not used on the road are being given directly to an ALS family in financial need.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rough Itinerary

Well here's a list of the towns I'll be passing through and rough dates. Keep in mind this is just theoretical at this point. I'm uncertain how my body will handle the abuse I'm trying to throw at it so there may or may not be updates coming. But as of now, I *think* this itinerary is relatively accurate. If you have any recommendations for places to eat, sights to see or people to meet, let me know either in the comments or via email at wrosselet@yahoo.com. :-)

Date Location Started Location Finished Miles Traveled Total Distance
04/27/15 Rehoboth Beach, DE Denton, MD 48 48
04/28/15 Denton, MD Crofton, MD 53.9 101.9
04/29/15 Crofton, MD Occoquan, VA 50.54 152.44
04/30/15 Occoquan, VA Fredericksburg, VA 55.76 208.2
05/01/15 Fredericksburg, VA* Fredericksburg, VA 0 208.2
05/02/15 Fredericksburg, VA Doswell, VA 50.66 258.86
05/03/15 Doswell, VA Tabscott, VA 51.68 310.54
05/04/15 Tabscott, VA White Hall, VA 52.45 362.99
05/05/15 White Hall, VA Vesuvius, VA 47.04 410.03
05/06/15 Vesuvius, VA Buchanan, VA 45.92 455.95
05/07/15 Buchanan, VA Blacksburg, VA 56.6 512.55
05/08/15 Blacksburg, VA Blacksburg, VA 0 512.55
05/09/15 Blacksburg, VA Max Meadows 56.8 569.35
05/10/15 Max Meadows Grindstone Campground 47.85 617.2
05/11/15 Grindstone Campground Honaker, VA 58.16 675.36
05/12/15 Honaker, VA Elkhorn City, KY 41.28 716.64
05/13/15 Elkhorn City, KY Pippa Passes, KY 53.02 769.66
05/14/15 Pippa Passes, KY Buckhorn, KY 56.3 825.96
05/15/15 Buckhorn, KY Buckhorn, KY 0 825.96
05/16/15 Buckhorn, KY Sand Gap, KY 51.17 877.13
05/17/15 Sand Gap, KY Bryantsville, KY 48.73 925.86
05/18/15 Bryantsville, KY Bardstown, KY 60.56 986.42
05/19/15 Bardstown, KY Sonora, KY 49.38 1035.8
05/20/15 Sonora, KY Fordsville, KY 62.22 1098.02
05/21/15 Fordsville, KY Sebree, KY 52.42 1150.44
05/22/15 Sebree, KY Cave in Rock, IL 55.21 1205.65
05/23/15 Cave in Rock, IL Cave in Rock, IL 0 1205.65
05/24/15 Cave in Rock, IL Goreville, IL 58.46 1264.11
05/25/15 Goreville, IL Ava, IL 50.5 1314.61
05/26/15 Ava, IL Farmington, MO 68.97 1383.58
05/27/15 Farmington, MO Ellington, MO 59.7 1443.28
05/28/15 Ellington, MO Summersville, MO 46.34 1489.62
05/29/15 Summersville, MO Marshfield, MO 85.32 1574.94
05/30/15 Marshfield, MO Golden City, MO 82.54 1657.48
05/31/15 Golden City, MO Chanute, KS 93.55 1751.03
06/01/15 Chanute, KS Chanute, KS 0 1751.03
06/02/15 Chanute, KS Cassoday, KS 96.29 1847.32
06/03/15 Cassoday, KS Nickerson, KS 87.71 1935.03
06/04/15 Nickerson, KS Alexander, KS 102.96 2037.99
06/05/15 Alexander, KS Leoti, KS 98.7 2136.69
06/06/15 Leoti, KS Haswell, CO 100.7 2237.39
06/07/15 Haswell, CO Pueblo, CO 88.37 2325.76
06/08/15 Pueblo, CO Pueblo, CO 0 2325.76
06/09/15 Pueblo, CO Silver Cliff, CO 54.29 2380.05
06/10/15 Silver Cliff, CO Salida, CO 48.25 2428.3
06/11/15 Salida, CO Parlin, CO 52.13 2480.43
06/12/15 Parlin, CO Black Canyon Campground, CO 51.94 2532.37
06/13/15 Black Canyon Campground, CO Montrose, CO 24.13 2556.5
06/14/15 Montrose, CO Placerville, CO 49.2 2605.7
06/15/15 Placerville, CO Rico, CO 36.6 2642.3
06/16/15 Rico, CO Lewis, CO 47 2689.3
06/17/15 Lewis, CO Monticello, CO 51.15 2740.45
06/18/15 Monticello, CO Lake Powell, UT 59.68 2800.13
06/19/15 Lake Powell, UT Lake Powell, UT 0 2800.13
06/20/15 Lake Powell, UT Hanksville, UT 95.92 2896.05
06/21/15 Hanksville, UT Torrey, UT 47.96 2944.01
06/22/15 Torrey, UT Boulder, UT 35.9 2979.91
06/23/15 Boulder, UT Escalante, UT 27.46 3007.37
06/24/15 Escalante, UT Panguitch, UT 66.79 3074.16
06/25/15 Panguitch, UT Panguitch, UT 0 3074.16
06/26/15 Panguitch, UT Duck Creek Village, UT 40.61 3114.77
06/27/15 Duck Creek Village, UT Duck Creek Village, UT 0 3114.77
06/28/15 Duck Creek Village, UT Springdale, UT 85.36 3200.13
06/29/15 Springdale, UT Fredonia, AZ 49.73 3249.86
06/30/15 Fredonia, AZ Grand Canyon North Rim Campground 72.56 3322.42
07/01/15 Grand Canyon North Rim Campground Fredonia, AZ 72.56 3394.98
07/02/15 Fredonia, AZ Washington, UT 68.3 3463.28
07/03/15 Washington, UT Mesquite, NV 53 3516.28
07/04/15 Mesquite, NV Valley of Fire State Park, NV 47.2 3563.48
07/05/15 Valley of Fire State Park, NV Las Vegas, NV 38.9 3602.38
07/06/15 Las Vegas, NV Las Vegas, NV 0 3602.38
07/07/15 Las Vegas, NV Mercury, NV 70.7 3673.08
07/08/15 Mercury, NV Beatty, NV 57.5 3730.58
07/09/15 Beatty, NV Goldfield, NV 66.6 3797.18
07/10/15 Goldfield, NV Mina, NV 84.3 3881.48
07/11/15 Mina, NV Mono City, CA 71.3 3952.78
07/12/15 Mono City, CA Yosemite National Park 20.3 3973.08
07/13/15 Yosemite National Park Yosemite National Park 0 3973.08
07/14/15 Yosemite National Park Yosemite National Park 0 3973.08
07/15/15 Yosemite National Park Modesto, CA 88.2 4061.28
07/16/15 Modesto, CA Livermore, CA 52.3 4113.58
07/17/15 Livermore, CA San Francisco, CA 42.8 4156.38

*Bold locations are rest days and the entire day will be spent in the same general area or (where opportunity permits) motorized transport will be used to visit nearby areas.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Not So Much Fun Stuff

Well I haven't been up to too much that's interesting enough to report. But I have had a couple nasty experiences I think I'll share. Here are 3 stories of setbacks I've suffered in the past couple of months:

1. I was headed out of Hanover on the way to Seven Valleys when I got a flat tire. It was my first one in several months but still annoying. But the great thing was that this was the very first time I got a flat and changed it all by myself without any outside assistance at all. Anyway, I continued on and arrived in Seven Valleys about an hour or so later. I took the Heritage Rail Trail down to Glen Rock and was starting to head home when my stupid iPhone went from about 65% battery to 4% in the span of a second. Moments later, it completely died. Mind you, I'd left town with my in-phone battery at 100% AND a spare battery also at 100%. I know GPS drains the battery but 200% in less than 3 hours?!?! For the record, my new phone runs for about 3-1/2 on constant GPS (I had the GPS off for about 45 minutes in the middle of this ride) and drains to about 55% so my complaint with Apple is not unwarranted. Anyway, there I am stuck at the side of the road with no navigation or ability to contact anybody. I just start praying. Amazingly, my phone turns on again after a few minutes and I can see enough of my route to get to a road I'm familiar with. I make it the rest of the way home without further frustration.

2. A couple weeks later and I'm riding the same circuit as story number one and literally less than a mile from where my phone died on the previous venture I accidentally ride onto the shoulder which is mostly gravel. Well my narrow tires don't handle deep gravel very well and I end up doing a face plant on the side of the road. I groan for a minute and then drag myself up off the ground. There's blood above my eye. Not just a tiny little bit either. However, I don't think it's THAT bad of an injury so I get back on Fledge (my bike, named after a horse in the CS Lewis book "The Magician's Nephew") and pedal the remaining 15-ish miles home. Once I get home I take off my helmet and beanie and see that the gash above my eyebrow is considerably worse than I'd thought. It looks pretty deep. So I decide to call my stepmom and get a ride over to the urgent care facility. They end up putting three stitches in. My eye doesn't look so good for the next couple of weeks.

Immediately after the injury

About 2 or 3 days later
3. I'm riding home from work the night of the 23rd. It's rainy and misty outside and visibility is low. I'm decked out in all my reflective gear with 5 lights and my reflective rain jacket. A car pulls up to the stop sign of the street perpendicular to the one I'm riding down. He stops but then starts to pull out apparently not having seen me or paid attention to a bicycle. I yank on my brakes but they aren't as effective in the wet weather. I can see the collision coming a few seconds before it happens. My front tire hits the front of his vehicle which is still slow as he's just coming out of the dead stop. I'm going no more than 3 or 4 miles per hour when impact occurs but it's still enough to eject me from Fledge and up onto the guy's hood. My shoulder takes the brunt of the impact. I hit it mercifully lightly but Fledge isn't so lucky. The front tire is pretty bent up. Thankfully, the driver gets out and is very apologetic. A pickup truck driver gets out as well and I get the offending driver's information. He seems honest and upright and promises to pay for all my repairs at the bike shop. He's very concerned that I'm not hurt so I show him I can move around just fine and don't have any serious injuries. As I write this, Fledge is in the shop and the parts for my repair have been ordered. Hoping to get my aluminum horse back sometime this week.