Some Thoughts 2.5 Days Before Takeoff


The going away brownie Shelby, Lindsey, Ryan and Casey put together for me.

T-minus 2.5 days until Dustin and I start our cycle sabbatical with a train ride up the Pacific coast to Seattle. Let’s just say shit’s getting real. (And let’s also say, in advance, sorry to Dustin’s mom and my dear friend and co-worker Paula Allen who will have to endure a small amount of swearing throughout this travel log. Swearing is better than lying and I would be lying if I promised I was not going to swear in this blog… or in real life… for the duration of my 4,200-mile bicycle adventure).

Physically – I think we have everything we need. It’s like that scene in Happy Gilmore. His bags are packed…just send him home..! Just tap it in! 

[Now would also be a good time to give you fair warning that there are going to be a superfluous amount of Wayne’s World, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and Dumb and Dumber references throughout this blog. I don’t condone it…. But. It’s happening.]

At this point, all we have to do now is just take the first step; leave the house; peddle the first mile; just tap it in if you want to go on this metaphorical golf journey with me.

It’s so close!! And so exciting! ….but also a little scary.

Dustin and I have been planning this journey for a year now (!). We know all of the people who work at REI and their stories (and they know ours. Oh boy, so they know ours…), we’ve done training rides, I rode my bike from Ventura to Simi Valley at least 52 times, I’ve mapped out my daily goals and contacted a bunch of straw bale builders we want to meet across the states…. Now………..we just have to do it.

I’ve never done anything like this before (nothing of this magnitude). I haven’t been unemployed for 20 weeks since 2005 (and even then I had a job. It was just a much, much better job learning about English Literature and Art History for a $0 per hour wage). I’ve never attempted to ride my bike 5 days a week for 16 weeks in a row, and I sure have never walked up to a stranger’s house to ask them if I could pitch a tent on their front yard (double entendre intended) (Sorry again, Dustin’s mom. We’re going to get to know a lot about each other in this blog, aren’t we?). So I really don’t know what to expect. It’s all new.

Shannon Hoon would be proud of all the changing we’re doing, I think. I feel pretty good about it, at least.

So, 2.5 days from leaving…. The world is my oyster.

I’m excited to spend 20 weeks exploring the northern tier of the US slowly. (oh so slowly.) I’m excited to be a part of it all (no a passer by). I’m excited about our sabbatical! About making this trip an opportunity to flesh out opportunities and move a step closer to living the life we want to live (in a magic straw bale house surrounded by food we grow and eat). I am excited that we made a commitment to take this dream adventure and that we’re actually making it happen.

And I am a little scared of all the unknows.

But a little fear never hurt anyone.

Sisyphus rock comic

This is how I project I will feel every day on this trip. (With less of the “the world is a prison” Sisyphean connotation)

I feel like this – in my introspective pre-trip ramble – is a great time and place to also mention grateful and truly blessed I am to have had so many people come out of the woodworks over the last weeks and months to show me how truly, deeply loved and appreciated I am. And – it’s also a great time to tell those people how truly madly deeply loved and appreciated they are as well.

Really, truly.

As a (not) recovering introvert, it can be easy to fall into a routine of isolation; to feel – by no one’s fault other than my own – that I am utterly alone in the world at times. That no one would come if you had a giant BBQ in your honor. Putting my plans to take this trip into the world has forced me to shatter all of those existential falsities I subconsciously and secretly harbor. PEOPLE SHOWED UP TO MY BBQ! People – YOU! – donated $10 (or sometimes much more!) to my bike fundraising efforts! It’s frikkin amazing! And really, really special.

I feel so loved and ready to share that love with the Northern Tier of the United States.

I have one more post about sparkle Grittering the crap out of my helmet that I want to share before we leave, but after that……. I’ll talk to ya’ll in Seattle! And then…. Onward! In Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine (…and possible all those other Atlantic Coast states between Maine and North Carolina).

photo (1)

A preview of the sparkle pony helmet. #BeJealous

Keep on dreaming boy cause when you stop dreaming it’s time to die.



About Chelsea A.

A slow rolling cyclist looking to be an active participant in my own life. Interested in straw bale building, Wayne's World, books on tape, and taking it all one day at a time.

Posted on May 23, 2014, in Cross Country Bike Trip Journal - 2014, Random Introspections and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Love this! Good luck and can’t wait to see you in Michigan! Love you!!!


    • !! Can’t wait to see you, too, Sara!! Hoping sailing is smooth and we are able to show up on time for our own party at your house in August. See you so soom!

      (From Chelsea. Posting from Dustin’s account.)


  2. Wow Chels, for a minute there I thought I was reading your last will and testament while hearing the old song hello mother hello, father here I am at camp Granada! if you don’t know that one have your mom’s sing it to you. honestly sweetie peeps, you give yourself far less credit than you deserve, your a very likeable funny and kind person who just happens to be smart and beautiful. well, maybe the smart because your marrying my son! but all prejudice aside, I think your pretty awesome and although my most scary adventure was the time I followed Dustin’s Dad’s lead to hitch hike from Atlanta to Chi-town at the young age of 18 or 19 I feel your vibe of a little bit man, what if this was a terrible mistake and I die out here!!! well don’t worry I’m sure that between me and mom’s over there plenty of prayers will be uttered in behalf of both of you and if I know Dusty well enough he’s too cantankerous to let a silly old mountain lion or bear make a widower out of him before he ‘s even had the chance to get married yet! and I have enough faith in both of you to know ….this is the part your expecting me to preach at, ha, not yet! as I was saying enough faith to know your gonna push through with flying wheels!! just keep posting and my ticker will keep ticking. Luv ya, catch on the flip side!


    • You’re the best, Vicki. Leave it to mom to say all the right things. And feel free to pray at us anytime and all the time. His will in the way — I’m just along for the ride 🙂

      (From Chelsea)


    • Jess, Mike, Mom and I will all be following you and Dustin. Sending you good thoughts and prayers every hill and valley along the way. We love you.


  3. Onward to great adventures, my friend. Wishing you all the best you can’t even imagine! If you have a second between getting ready for lift off, come by this weekend and meet my little angel. 😀


  4. Shannon Fulcher

    I miss you already Chelsea but I am so happy for you living a dream that many of us would never think to do even if we dreamed it ourselves! You go girl and we will see you in 4 months and we can have another big BBQ or something :). Love ya Shannon Fulcher


    • Miss you too, Shannon!! Please keep in touch via text and through this blog as much as you can. Right now 20 weeks seems like forever, but it’s really going to fly by….. Talk to you soon my friend! ❤


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