EMMANUEL'S 20% PROGRESS REPORT
August 19, 1999 Miles Completed: 3,374.31
Route covered since last report: Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, to Crescent City, California, USA.
Dear Friends and Supporters:
We have all seen TV shows where a continuation is shown. In these cases the producers remind us of what happened on the preceding show. Here is my "On our last episode" section:
I began riding with Nolan Lamb on June 23, 1999 ---- On June 25 Nolan announced he was going home ---- I rode with a German guy for five days including the cross into Canada ---- I made it through the Yukon Territory and was in British Columbia ---- The last line of the report read: I HAVE NOT HAD ONE FLAT TIRE. WE'LL SEE HOW LONG I CAN GO LIKE THAT.
The day after sending the report I got my first flat tire. In the following three weeks the tally went to 2 for my front tire, 3 for my rear, and 2 for my trailer tire. Some of these were caused by broken glass on the side of the road, which I have to be more alert for now due to the fact that I am out of solitary land and into bigger cities where people unfortunately litter.
I continued to ride through British Columbia and had the pleasure, or luxury, of staying at a home in Dawson Creek. This is where the Alaska Highway begins, mile zero. I rode all 1440 miles of it and counted down every day. My turnoff was at mile 1, but I decided to go the extra mile to get my picture taken. In Dawson Creek I stayed at the local newspaper's editor's house, which was convenient for me as for the editor, because he was able to interview me right there in his living room.
As I continued to ride through Canada I met many pleasant people and saw lots of different scenery. The vegetation has changed little by little, yet enough to notice a difference every day.
on...trusting in the
promises of God,
People that I have met have been very supportive of the trip, just like all of you have been as well. One of my stops during the day while riding on the Alaska Highway was at Mae's Kitchen, where I had been told I had to try the homemade bread. It was a huge toast, very tasty. The people next to me began to ask me about my trip. Then the ones from the adjacent table, and the next. In a few minutes I had the entire place asking me questions and learning about my trip. The people next to me ended up paying my tab. I have received generous discounts from several places where I have camped.
I crossed over Pine Pass, the lowest Highway Pass of the Rockies, below 3,000 feet. I then rode for a few days through the Frazer River Canyon. I encountered near 100 degree F temperatures and strong head winds. It was the first time I was glad to have head wind, because it was a good way to stay cool while riding in the heat.
I crossed into the USA through Sumas, Washington. I spent the last of my Canadian cash at the duty free shop at the border. I bought a postcard and an 85g chocolate. When paying, I realized I had more money still, so I exchanged my 85g chocolate bar for a 100g one. "3.74", said the cashier. I dumped all my money on the counter. There it was, exactly 3 dollars and 74 cents. The lady said I should be on The Price is Right.
It was special to be in the USA again. In Washington I rode through many farms and small valleys. I rode in a ferry from Keystone to Port Williams, about a half hour ride. Something different for a change of pace.
My parents, together with my younger sister and brother, met me in Washington and stayed with me for five days. I continue to downsize my equipment, with every day that goes by I get more accustomed to the things I have to work with, they have become my closest friends.
Mom, Clarissa and
Once in Oregon, the road finally made its way west to the coast. Beautiful. Highway 101 has been taking me through some splendid ocean views as well as hills through dense vegetation and fog. In the morning the ocean is covered in fog and the mountains clear. During the day these rolls reverse, and then in the evening the fog again drops over the ocean. Unless there is wind, when everything clears up during the day.
Crossing into California, yes I am already in California, was a strange feeling. I stopped some 20 feet before the sign which read "Welcome to California", and sat there for a while. After realizing that I actually was where I was, I crossed into my home state. Coming into California we have an agricultural inspection, where fruits and vegetables can be confiscated to protect the agriculture from diseases or pests. I had eaten all my fruit, but had some carrots, pistachios, and onions at easy access as a preparation for the inspection. I was ready. To my disappointment, the inspector did not even make me stop, he just told me to go through. My entire trailer could have been full of pest-infested fruits which I was planning to plant as I make my way down the California coast. I think I should have been asked if I had anything.
I arrived in Crescent City and went to the Dodson's residence. I met Brad Dodson at a California School Board Association conference in San Diego last December because we were both School Board Representatives at our High Schools. We both graduated in June. He is going to college and I am on a bike trip. Not the average High School Graduate's plan, but I really do get to experience lots of different circumstances.
Meeting and interacting with different people has been what I enjoy the most so far, and the fact that I picked up a Canadian accent in three and a half weeks. Just the other day a lady did not believe me when I told her I was from California because of my Canadian accent. There is nothing I can do about ("aboat") it. Just as I picked up a different accent by being exposed to it, I also pick up customs of different sections of my journey, without even trying.
Something interesting that I realized is that all the other touring bikers I have met consider my trip, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, to be "the dream tour." Many of them have done several shorter trips in the USA, Canada, Mexico, even some of Europe. Still, they look forward to the day when they go on "the big one." I decided to go for it now. Why not? One biker I camped with for a night, Garth, said that it was like the saying goes: "Shoot for the stars and land on the moon." I would like to rephrase that. "Shoot for the stars, take a break at the moon if you have to, maybe even several moons, but keep going for those stars, you will reach them." With this type of determination, as well as our eyes on God, who gives us the power and strength to endure, we can go for our goals without thinking we may not reach them.
Crank by crank, mile by mile, state by state, country by country, progress is made. Another stage will be marked when I cross the Golden Gate Bridge on Saturday, August 28. Everyone and anyone who reads or hears about this is invited to come cross it with me. We will meet at 2:00 P.M. at the Vista Point on the North side of the bridge, in Marin County. We will cross and have a potluck picnic at the Golden Gate Park on the South side of the bridge. I hope to see many of you there to talk more in-depth and share many experiences. Come with a bike, or no bike. You can walk, run, crawl, cross it however you can. Anyone on stilts? Even by car I suppose. I will ride.
I have been here in Crescent City for two days, after finding that I had a two-inch crack in my rear rim and had to have it replaced. Other than this, the bike and gear have been performing very well. My body also, thanks to God, has remained strong and endured all the riding and my cooking, which is improving. Maybe I'm just very hungry.
My 30% report will come from Mexico, se que se van a acordar de mi aunque este al sur del borde. I know you will remember me even though I'll be south of the border. That is why I will keep you all up to date. Thank you very, very much for everything. See you at the Gate on the twenty eight.
Campfire with my sister
Clarissa and brother
precious time in
BIKE IT SOLO,
Consider the following:
Please forward or make copies of this report and post them where others may read it as well.
Due to the fact that I have close to 150 people on my mailing list, please let me know if you have E-mail. You will receive the report sooner, with pictures attached. Send your name and E-mail to:
emmanuel.gentinetta at bikeitsolo.com
Watch for Emmanuel's 30% Progress Report, get one free when you buy 3 for the price of 4 coming to your town in a few more miles.
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