Sunday, June 16, 2013

Just like college

Today was our first day and even though we didn't do much (no biking) it was still pretty awesome. I met the group at St. Peter's Church in Portland around 2pm. I dropped off my bike, got my bag checked, picked up my Bike & Build shirts, and started getting to know everyone. Right away we were working on painting the trailer that will carry all of our bags and food with a white primer so tomorrow we can paint it with a cool design. My favorite part was that we used chalkboard paint for the insides of the two back doors--not sure what we'll write on them yet but we painted over a fall tracker for the past two ride groups that have used this trailer...I'm really hoping not to fall much more than I already have (only once thankfully) but I'm sure it will be inevitable. 

As would be expected for an orientation, we did a lot of ice breakers, including my favorite "common ground" where one person stands in the middle of the circle and says something about themselves and anyone else who has that thing in common with them runs into the center and has to find a new place to stand. The person who doesn't find a spot is now in the middle and repeats the game. I'm pretty good at the running part so I actually never got in the middle, although I had some ideas of things to say if I had been last (such as gone abroad, have a dog, etc.). Along with name games and ice breakers, we also watched a few presentations given by our leaders on safety, hygiene, and policy. Even though they weren't as exciting as the games, they were important things to go over and understand before we set off.

For dinner we went to St. Mark's Church, also in Portland, and had an amazing meal generously prepared for us by members of the church. The place was newly renovated and absolutely gorgeous. The road out to it was also beautiful and a part of the Old Port half marathon course that I ran two summers ago. I couldn't be happier to be starting this trip in Portland. 

For the night we are staying at the church where I met everyone, sleeping in the aisles on our thermarests and in our sleeping bags. 

I've really enjoyed getting to know everyone in the group so far. There are lots of fun ideas that people have for things to do as we cross the country that I'll keep you posted on. For now though, I am exhausted--despite the fact that we didn't even bike today--so I'm going to call it a night and tomorrow I'll explain more about the details I've learned about the trip and other fun random stories. 


  1. Great start! Will be following all the way. Love, Gee

  2. Looking forward to following your blog. Love you...Mom and Dad

  3. Sarah...........I just finished ready all your blogs. Keep the photo and comments coming. Your trip across the country reminded me yesterday of my two trips I had in 1954 and 1955. After writing for twenty minutes, I tried to Publish or Preview and ended "deleted" every word. Damn!
    But here goes a shorted version:
    The 1954 trip was taken after 6 weeks of summer camp with junior birdmen from the Amherst Air Force ROTC at Rome AFB in the fingerlakes of NY. A good friend and I decided to take a month a visit the west starting across northern route in Wisconsin to San Francisco. This car, a 1949 Chevy coupe (2 doors) had no A/C for cooling, an AM radio, and a stick shift. Interstate highways had just started, but we never saw one. I believe we covered 9,000 miles and survived on $.15 burgers from the west coast phenomenon calle McDonalds.

    The second trip in 1955 was in a 1951 Chevy convertible (again stick shift and no A/C)took two years and involve entering the USAF flight training in San Antonio, TX, Big Spring, TX, Phoenix AZ, and Las Vegas, Nevada. After 20 months of training including the F-100 Super Sabre, supersonic fighter (40,000 ft. in 4 minutes)my mother joined me for drive to Merion.In UK, bought a TR-3 2 set sports can, no A/C, door handles,stick shift and great bachelor car for chasing the local girls. It fit the pilot mystique and served me well until little Nancy was ready to pop. Then we bought a very practical Ford sedan with 4 doors. Still no A/C manual shifting. After this we became a station wagon family.

    Enough of this car talk. I'll show you photos sometime.Your Build Day in Portland blog I read to day was wonderful.Remember, sleep will be you friend on this adventure. Enjoy the biking and your new friends. Love PaPa