Sunday, May 26, 2013

Road trip to Idaho

After over 2,500 miles of road tripping in the old family minivan, I've made it to Stanley, Idaho!  Despite some very long hours in the car, it was a great time as I caught up with relatives in Detroit, former teammates in Boulder and Indianapolis, the Verry's in St. Louis (who hosted me for several months in Burlington when I was attending UVM in 2011), and a high school cross country ski teammate in Wyoming.  I also camped and hiked in the Tetons (without getting eaten by bears) and passed "the world's largest wind chime" and signs for the "largest prairie dog" in the plains.  Go figure.  Anyway, I am now in Stanley Idaho, at the base of the Sawtooth mountains, training to be a white water rafting guide.  I got in a couple runs  here on the Salmon river already and can't wait for the rest of the summer!
driving through kansas, almost 14 hours on the same road from St. Louis to Denver

following the oregon trail in Wyoming

Hiking by the tetons

sunrise over the tetons

Stanley, ID

Visiting the Verry family in St. Louis!

some mountain biking in Laramie, WY 

the old family van broke 200,000 miles as I started the trip

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Well, it's been a long time since I made an appearance on the blogosphere, so I thought I'd post an update to let any of those who are still checking in know that I am still alive and well.  After returning from my South American adventure last December, I moved down to Burlington and resumed my studies at the University of Vermont.  While most of the kids I graduated high school with are in the final stretch of their college career, I've been gone for so long that I almost feel like a first time student.  The first week or so was a bit of an adjustment, as I seemed to have forgotten everything that I had learned in my freshman year.  I quickly caught up, and for the first time, I wasn't using every second of free time to be out training on my bike, and I was a bit confused as to what a normal twenty year old does with his free time.  Fortunately, I was not long left in a state of dazed wandering through the grocery store, looking for pasta and rice a la my bike racing days, and took the opportunity to get back into some of my interests that had been sorely neglected during my racing.  I picked up some alpine and nordic skis and a college deal ski pass relearned how to enjoy the powder.  I also got involved in the UVM outdoor club where I just finished training to be a leader for next semester, and did a fair bit of camping, snow shoeing, and even some backcountry skiing in Vermont and Mount Washington.  After the sun came out and the snow started melting, I started riding bikes a little bit, even going so far as to go to a race with the UVM cycling team.  I started doing some coaching ( and learned the best places to go dumpster diving to stretch my grocery budget as far as possible.

I finished up exams last week and am now preparing for my next adventure, which is a job with a white water rafting company out in Sun Valley, Idaho for the summer.  I'm starting my westward road trip in a couple days, and can't wait to see what the summer has in store for me!
Any way, I'm still alive and adjusting well to my new "retired" life.  Sometimes I watch a bike race on TV, and feel a bit nostalgic, especially when I see old friends and teammates racing doing well.  However, the more time passes, the more perspective that I gain, and am grateful for both the experiences that I had in my cycling life and the opportunities that are presenting themselves now.  Thanks for reading and check in soon for updates from Sun Valley!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


A collection of some photos from myself and my travel buddy Matt, over three months spent in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.  They are a bit out of order, but hopefully you can get the idea and enjoy a bit of the adventure as well

Trailhead to Volcan Misti

Bull butchering day

Pancake breakfast at 12,000 feet

Tombstone of Pablo Escobar, Cocaine King

Skinning the bull

dried ant, think taste of old coffee grounds with consistency of sunflower seeds.

Climbing Volcan Misti in the night

Otovallo Market vendors

road to Machu Pichu

Shrunken head

backpacking through El Cocuy national park

Market in Villa de Leyva

Coconut chopping in Colombia

Fishermen in Taganga

waterfall in El Cocuy

Top of Volcan Misti: 19,101 feet

Bus rides on these roads are not for the faint of heart

Pre-colombian ruins, at the ceremonial sacrifice temple

Machu Pichu's citizens were fed by crops grown on terraces that stretched all the way to the valley below.  The soil was imported from the capital of Cusco

Matt's Birthday at the Mt. Pisco base refuge

This camping area was surprisingly bereft of lamas. 

Reed boats used by the fishermen of Trujio

Rope swing over the Amazon basin

More ruins

Donkey Francis helping us transport gravel to build the mini hydro-electric plant

Our guide, Edwin

The nights were so cold, I resorted to using the fur-like bark of a  dead freilejone plant for added insulation

Guinea pigs, or "Cuy" are a delicacy in Ecuador and Peru

Exploring some of the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu

Ecuadorian wedding

Helping out as a server and bartender at a local wedding in Ecuador

Edge of the World?

camping in the entrance of a cave

This hike yielded a less than spectacular view at the top

Matt uses a pedal powered washing machine while the bull hide dries

Building a mini hydro-electric on the farm

Matt enjoying some South American football

The thumb-war champions of Guyanne village, Colombia

Hitching a ride on top of a gravel truck

Amazon basin

Cusco, capital of the former Inca Empire

Old Spanish fortress in Cartagena

high altitude hail

One of the poorer barios of Medellin, Colombia.  Formerly the murder capital of the world, more recently ranked as the 8th most dangerous

Villa de Leyva, Colombia

Mountain road

Cartagena, Colombia

The Andes

Dinner in the shelter of a small cave

Road to absolutely nowhere, as it turned out

The Carribean 

scuba diving

The work of one of Colombia's many cartels

New friends!

Don Elias showing how to roast freshly harvested and dried coffee beans

The Otovallo tribe of northern Ecuador is famous for their hand made weavings

Matt looking thoughtful by a large waterfall

Dinner in the amazon

Tumianuma at rush hour

2,000 year old pyramid in northern Peru

Regard for personal space or safety is usually checked at the door of most South American busses

Live Guinea pigs

Every thing is for sale at a Peruvian market

South American bridge crossings require balance and balls

The pass at over 15,000 feet

Climbing through a rock formation on our way up the mountain

A breathtaking view (and altitude) at base camp

“What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road