The “Flatlands”

We have been told lies. Lies that gave us false hope. Hope that made dreams. Dreams that were crushed. People from home, and locals, had shared that Montana and North Dakota would be flat and easy. But I know differently. Every day we have had rolling hills to conquer. Although the hills may not be a tall standing mountain, they were plentiful and brutal. As the days passed, we found we were doing almost as much vertical as Going to the Sun highway. But unlike Glacier Pass, we were not mentally prepared for the elevation gain. Each day we went up and up in the “flatlands”. We have learned our lesson. People in cars don’t notice the inclines and declines of the strait roads. But every little hill is noticeable on the bike. We can’t expect any day to be easy. Now we know to be prepared for anything.  

Los animales

One of my favorite parts of this trip is watching and observing all the animals on our trip. While riding, I constantly watch the birds fluttering and chirping around us. One of my favorites to watch are the hawks. They are so big and sometimes I can even feel the powerful swoosh of their wings if they come close enough. The variety of birds definetly keeps me ouccupied during the long hours of riding.

Another one of my favorite animals to see while we are riding is the horses. I love horses and I am always thrilled to see them on the side of the road. On one of our training rides before the trip, I made Dad promise to stop and let me pet the horses whenever I wanted to. So if the horses are right next to the fence, or even if I just need a break from riding, we stop and I pet and feed the horses. I especially love the baby horses. They are so cute! Today we stopped and there were two baby horses! It was a great mental break.

Not only do I enjoy viewing animals while we are riding, but also in the rig. Yesterday we were at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It was so beautiful in the badlands! We saw wild horses, prairie dogs, elk, and deer. But at the park my favorite was the buffalo. We went up to the park during the heat of the day, so we only saw one bison very far away. But later on we were told that they all come out later in the evening. So after dinner we again drove up to the park. We were desperate to see more buffalo so we kept searching for a while. Then, all of a sudden, just like we had dreamed of, we rounded a corner and there was a whole herd of buffalo standing in the street! It was absolutely amazing. And there were also baby bison which I loved, just like the baby horses. We watched them slowly cross the road, and were amazed by their size and beauty. Also, on the way out of he park we saw a single buffalo right next to the road! We slowly drove past it and got an amazing up close view of the wild animal. The park and it’s wild animals definetly made my day. 

Day 5 Orondo to Sun Lakes

Right off the bat, we rode up a 6 mile hill, 2,000 feet! It was exhausting! We eventually had to turn off onto a side road, and continued uphill. This was when we ran into our first intimidating dog. It ran up to us and started barking at us right at our feet. But it never tried to bite us, and didn’t have the meanest face, so we refrained from spraying the pepper spray, and it ran off. Continuing on the side road, we ran into some literal road blocks. Fallen rocks and collapsed road made us have to carry the bike over the obsticals. It was quite a workout! But we eventually made it back onto solid road and continued on farmland roads until Waterville. This was such a cute little town where we stopped and had a delightful breakfast. Claude was an amazing cook we meet at Kopey’s Cafe. He made us omlets, eggs, and bacon that was absolutely delicious! After this strong and nutritious breakfast, we continued riding along the plateau. It was blisteringly hot, and painfully strait. But along the strait rode, I just drifted into my thoughts and the time passed more easily. Towards he end of our trip that day, we stopped at the Dry Falls Visitor Center. We got a milkshake and learned about the dramatic scenery. On the plateau, there were huge canyons. In this location, during the ice age, here used to be an enourmous waterfall caused by a break in an ice dam. It’s was quite fascinating. After we continued on, we made it to camp right next to a lake. We relaxed and cooled of in the lake. And when we were eating dinner, the wind picked up, and was rattling our awning very roughly. We had to scramble to quickly bring it in before the wind broke it. I am excited for more fun adventures!

Training Ride 5/27

Hey guys, this is Olivia with another training ride post. Today we rode about 45 miles as we went on a Woodinville I-90 loop. For the first half of the ride, there was so much fluff in the air from Cottonwood Trees. It looked life it was snowing! As I sat on the back of our tandem, I tried to catch pieces of fluff, but was sadly unsuccessful. but it was still fun to ride through! For lunch we stopped at Starbucks and my dad got a much healthier meal than I did. But my chocolate cake pop sure was delicious! If he wants me to pus him across the county, he’s going to need to feed me a lot! towards the end of our ride, we stopped off at our local bike shop and got some more accessories for the bike. Although we only rode 45 miles, these next few days will be a taste of our average day this summer. We plan to also go on a bike ride tomorrow and the next day.

Until next time!

-Olivia Carpenter

Ocean Poem

This is a poem I wrote about the ocean. It is always beautiful and free, and nothing should ever disturb it.

Come to the Ocean

Deep dark depths of the dancing ocean
Churn and swell beneath the surface.

Beautiful bliss blue waves
Surge around the world.

Crashing like drums, the current courageously advances,
Sending the shore hurtling backwards.

Salty mist satisfies the sweet serene air,
Which surrounds the flowing sea.

Warm waves of soft water
Briskly ebb and flow.

Cascading pebbles peacefully pierce
The smooth and glassy water’s edge.

Clean crisp cool wind
Shapes the melodic ocean tunes.

The spray flies,
The waves crash,
And always the sea is free.

-Olivia Carpenter