• The Lone Star State - winter 2008

    The Lone Star State
    Entering Texas was big. Having previously lived with Texans and having also lived in Europe, I had some small notion of what “Texan” means to the Texans themselves and also to foreigners, or other “non-Texans.”

    Large not only in territory, Texas is also large in personality and reputation. It is larger than the country of France (which is, itself, one of the largest countries in Europe), and in France, “Texas” often means “America.” The people of France, a.. Read More »

  • The Southwest - winter 2008

    Stephane receives his green card!
    Stephane’s immigration appointment was set for mid-November in the Philadelphia office, and although we were happy that the process was moving along quickly, we had hoped it would be in December or January so that we could spend the holidays with the family. We were enjoying the biking and the biking weather was certainly better in November than it would be later on in the winter. We requested a change of appointment, but were unsuccessful.

    But we couldn.. Read More »

  • Canyon Country: Glen Canyon and the magnificent Grand Canyon with Klaus - late Oct. - early Nov. 2007

    Canyon Country: Glen Canyon and the magnificent Grand Canyon with Klaus
    Lake Powell forms the heart of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which is more than 1 million acres of incredibly beautiful and diverse land that extends into desert and canyon country. The very blue lake, with its 96 named side canyons, is considered one of the most beautiful in the world and, at 186 miles long and with 1960 miles of shoreline, is longer than the whole western coast of the U.S., from Seattle to San Die.. Read More »

  • Canyon Country: Zion and Angel’s Landing and Slot Canyons with Cowgirl Patti - mid-October 2007

    Canyon Country: Zion and Angel’s Landing and Slot Canyons with Cowgirl Patti
    We spent the month of October and the first week of November in Canyon Country, part of the Southwest’s 1400-mile Grand Circle of stunning parks, national monuments, and scenic byways.

    From Bryce Canyon, we headed southwest to Zion National Park, enjoying the warm weather, the bushes the color of marigolds, the pastel and gray mountains, and the smell of the outdoors. When we reached Zion, my first, and perhaps,.. Read More »

  • Towards Canyon Country and Magical Bryce Canyon - early October 2007

    Towards Canyon Country
    After Grammy’s memorial service and a short stay at home in Pennsylvania, we flew back out to Leila’s house in Phoenix. She and Mark had just married a couple of days before and were now in the midst of packing up to move out to California. There was still a bed for us, though, and after spending the weekend with them, we headed north, once again towards the Grand Canyon.

    Twice we had come to within 80 miles of the Grand Canyon, and twice we had bypassed it, planni.. Read More »

  • The Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert, and the Pow-wows and Rodeos of the Navajo Nation Fair - late August to early Sept. 2007

    The Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert, and the Pow-wows and Rodeos of the Navajo Nation Fair

    The 28-mile long road that cut through the Petrified Forest National Park required an entrance fee, and since we had a National Parks pass that could accommodate up to four people, we asked Nathan and Lynn if they wanted to join us. Nathan was happy for the chance to go, and so we all drove together in his pick-up.

    The park was stunningly beautiful. The petrified trees, themselves, are not ac.. Read More »

  • Arizona: The Wild Wild West and Route 66 - mid-August 2007

    Arizona: The Wild Wild West and Route 66
    We had crossed the border into Arizona at the town of Parker, where the brilliant blue Colorado River made a welcome appearance at the edge of the Mojave Desert. This was where Mike and Joy lived and where we experienced our first taste of Arizonan hospitality.

    After leaving Mike and Joy, we biked north towards Lake Havasu City, in the western part of the state. Lake Havasu City competes with the Death Valley for the hottest place in the United States.. Read More »

  • A Scorching 121 degree bike ride through the Mojave Desert - early Aug 2007

    A Scorching 121 degrees in the Mojave Desert

    We knew when we woke up in 29 Palms, just outside the perimeter of Joshua Tree National Park, that we were headed for several days of hell. We knew that we would be facing some of the most physically and mentally challenging days of our lives. We knew that we would have to endure trials and difficulties that would test the limits of our endurance. We knew that we would be going through the longest stretch we had yet encountered where we would not b.. Read More »

  • Wacky and Weird Joshua Tree National Park, an experience right out of a Dr. Seuss book! - early August 2007

    Wacky and Weird Joshua Tree National Park, a psychedlic experience
    We spent one more week in Venice Beach with Aaron and Chris, but this time around, we were primarily occupied with making sure that Stephane’s immigration papers were in order.

    Now that we’re here in the U.S., he is applying for legal permanent residence. We had already spent a lot of time working on his immigration papers before we left for our two-week trip in California. We had gone to the immigration office downtown a.. Read More »

  • San Francisco and the Pacific Coast Highway - July 2007

    San Francisco and the Pacific Coast Highway
    From Yosemite, we headed west towards San Francisco. We passed hundreds of windmills by the highway, miles upon miles of stuck traffic trying to leave the city, and the city of Oakland, before negotiating the hilly streets of the Bay City. We arrived late Friday afternoon at Jeremy and Justin’s “Bus Stop House.” Jeremy and Justin were two cyclists we had met in the Sequoia National Forest who had told us to come stay at their “party house” w.. Read More »

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