In the airport, with our sandwiches, courtesy of Joan Burgess

Our host for the first day's sign

Some artsy shots of Lee's copper work

Putting the bikes together
Chris' bike got here yesterday afternoon. Any longer
and we'd be stranded for 2 days.

Riding back to Lee's house that night

Colin's Journal

31 December, 2005

Woke up too early this morning, while it was still dark out. Met Grant and Corey at the airport, checked our BOB bag and a box of group gear (tent, rack, panniers, cooking stuff, first aid), and said goodbye to my parents. Saw sunrise in the terminal, got on the plane no problem, though a chihuahua puppy and baby are sitting behind me.
I am reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which has a myriad of thoughts applicable to our trip, the first of which is on the opening page of the journal, and the good ones will be in here. Maybe I'll even reflect on them if you're lucky.

"We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with emphasis on 'good' rather than 'time'."

I like this idea for our trip. Each of us does their distance runs at 8mph, give or take, so a 40 mile day means five hours on the road that day, leaving us four to five hours of daylight to do with as we please. The way I think the trip will go best is tied to the next quote:

"Physical discomfort is important only when the mood is wrong. Then you fasten on to whatever thing is uncomfortable and call that the cause. But if the mood is right, then physical discomfort doesn't mean much."

Now, two more that don't need much explanation:

"To arrive in the Rocky Mountains by plane would be to see them in one kind of context, as pretty scenery. But to arrive after days of hard travel across the prairies would be to see them in another way, as a goal, a promised land."

"I have a feeling none of us fully understands what four [31] days on this prairie in July will be like."

David's Journal

Day 0. December 31, 2005 10 AM EST

I am sitting on the plane waiting for it to take off, hopefully in 10 minutes. I already feel a little nauseated, but the pain in my knee is completely occupying my thoughts at the moment. I first noticed an acute pain on the inside of my right knee during the cool-down after a tough workout on Thursday (two days ago). I went for an easy 5 miles yesterday, which wasn't smart, as my knee hurt for the entire run. This morning I did stationay bike for 60 minutes, with very little pain, so I don't think biking will be a problem on the trip, but I will definitely not be able to run for the first few days of the trip, possibly longer. This makes me feel pretty disappointed and angry at myself for not staying healthy before such a grueling and incredible trip. I think that I have been over-strengthening my quads lately, and they were too tired to perform efficiently during runs.

But I'm not going to let this injury get me down. "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" It is still going to be an awesome trip. As long as no one else gets hurt, I think the other guys will be able to do all the running, at least for a while. I'm going to stay positive, remain cheerful, and be a team player no matter how my knee feels. And hopefully, in no longer than one week, maximum two weeks, I'll be back to easy running.

Enough about injuries. One of the best parts of this trip is going to be seeing Arizona, California, and all the great modern and historical sights we see along the way. For my paper, I am going to write about the historical and contemporary missions and presidios we see (changed to a study of Bautista's leadership qualities).

We just pulled back from the gate. Here we go!

2:15 MST

I'm sitting on the plane at the Pheonix airport, ready for the short flight to Tucson. I saw Stephen at the airport, and we talked for a while, but his flight doesn't leave for another hour, so I will have to wait for him in Tucson. I'm looking forward to watching the mountains and desert from the air!

11:45 MST

Stephen and I met Lee Blackwell and Grant at the airport and arrived in Tubac at 5 PM. We went to the grocery store, then to Lee's workshop where the rest of the guys were getting the bikes in working order. We rode the bikes in the dark about 1.5 miles to Lee's house. Once we got there, we worked on getting the racks, trailer, and all our gear on the bikes. This took several hours, and during the process we had a delicious dinner of monster steaks, baked potatoes, green beans, tomales, and beans. I told the guys at dinner about my knee and they were very supportive. I think it will be okay with me not running for a few days.

Now we are sipping champagne and getting ready for the Ball Drop! I'm already exhausted, and the trip hasn't even started!

Day 1