As of last week, we are grateful for the negative results from our recent negative Covid test results, and the end of our accompanying quarantine period. We were very cautious during our trip to the Lower 48. While down south, we took care of medical appointments, and visited some important people along the way. We took many roads less traveled, masked up when a appropriate, and stayed away from indoor crowded places during our travels. While on the road, we mostly ate grocery store snacks on the tailgate of our car. Shawn recently bought his brother and sister-in-law’s Rav4, and decided to drive it across the US so that he could accomplish a few missions. I was very reluctant to go on such a journey this time, but he reassured me that we would be as careful as possible. And now I’m glad we went. After taking care of our Santa Cruz medical appointments, we began our journey in Marina, Ca. From there we traveled through California, rural northern Nevada via “the Loneliest Highway” (US 50), Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia. It was a beautiful time of year to travel by road. In some ways we were riding just ahead of the crest of a wave of winter weather conditions, and of course, scary spikes of Covid case across each state through which we drove.
We can’t seem to keep ourselves off of boats. We had a mail/supply boat drop us off at a trail toward the beginning of the Queen Charlotte Track. We then hiked 10.5 km to Furneaux Lodge where another supply boat picked us up. We rejoined our bikes in Picton. Next stop: Kaikoura.
The day after we landed, I managed to come down with the worst cold I’ve had since I stopped teaching. But it really hasn’t stopped me from enjoying everything here. I’m glad I didn’t have it on the plane, and I will likely be over it before I have to get on a plane again.
There’s still considerable earthquake damage to the road between Christchurch and and Picton. So we put our bikes on a train and enjoyed the most beautiful scenery on the.ride to Picton, without much pedaling on our part.
Today, we’ll board a ferry to Wellington, and spend a couple of days in that area.
I’ve had some pretty good and memorable birthdays over the years. Some examples include: childhood cake and fun with my cousins, my aunt and uncle, and my cousins;
Alcatraz with Shawn (eating Togo’s sandwiches in the prison yar,while taking in beautiful views of San Francisco), and my 40th in our backyard in Santa Cruz with so many of our friends and family there, Aquarius (Dream Inn) in Santa Cruz with my cousins and my mother, a few months before she passed away; the last couple of years at home in Hawai’i with Bill, Rebecca, Micah and Amy...
And today, exploring a wonderful place in a different hemisphere, in time zone that’s a whole day ahead. Thank you, Shawn, for a great ”birthday month.”
February 9 in Christchurch. I’m celebrating 58 years on this amazing planet. I’m a day ahead of schedule here on the other side of the International Date Line. Thank you, Shawn, for such a great way to celebrate! Abalone or not, this is a great adventure, and we’ve only been here just a little over 24 hours.
Update from Manny the Manta Ray: After about 30 hours of travel, we’ve wound up on yet another rock in the Pacific. But this one is bigger than the ones on which Shawn and Tonie usually hang out. In fact, this one is about the size of California.
And after a whole bunch of time on two different flights, Shawn and Tonie dragged us on a 35 minute walk (yes, with all the luggage) to a bicycle shop near the Antarctic Centre close to the Christchurch Airport. Of course, now I’m really wondering what they’re up to.
It turns out that they’re planning to travel to different places on the South Island on touring bicycles. Hmm. I happen to know that Tonie is a real klutz, so this has me a little worried. But Tonie reminds me that they have rode their bicycles from Bellingham, WA to the World’s Fair in Vancouver, B.C., then all the way down the Pacific Coast Bike-centennial route through Washington, Oregon, and Northern California to Santa Cruz, just a few months before they got married back in 1986. There was only one little mishap of Tonie running into one a bridge piling in Astoria.
A few things I'm passionate about: