b'EpilogueDominic & Emilies Bike Trip by the NumbersI place the photos, postcards, maps and letters in the small wooden box that for a quarterWe did not cross the country unassisted. In fact, we received a good amount of century has held the mementos of our 1990 bike trip, and return this little treasure toassistance along the way. a solitary corner of the basement. I doubt it will be another 25 years before it is openedWe traveled 320 miles by car or truck, meaning it actually took 4,443.2 miles to traverse again, but before I leave it to its place among our other keepsakes, I take one last look atthe United States on this trip. Of the miles we covered not under our own power, we the little spiral steno notebook that served as the diary of our trip across the country.took five different ferries across various bodies of water for 24 miles; we hitched rides For the record, heres our trip by the numbers for 114 miles from truckers, friends, or family to get us beyond areas that were not easily navigable by bike; and once we were saved by Charles Chip in the Badlands of South TRIP DURATION AND LODGING Dakota during a record heat wave. Charlie drove us 31 miles to get us safely to a KOA We left Pat and Sue Gubbins house in Port Orchard, Washington on May 29 and arrivedwhen I had heat exhaustion. Plus my mom was kind enough to drive us 117 miles from in our New York City apartment on August 30, a total of 94 days. We rode for 64 of thoseLouisville to Berea, Kentucky so we could safely begin our ride over the Appalachian days and took 30 days off, including: 4 days in Whitefish, Montana with my friend Davemountain range. Erdmann; 5 days in St. Louis with Joe and Michele Patke; 7 days with my parents Barbara and Paul Schmitts in Louisville, Kentucky; 9 days with Emilies sister, Irene, and herWEATHERfamily in Virginia; and 3 days at Jack Garveys mothers house in Ocean City, NJ. Emilie tells the story that it rained 5 of the first 6 days of our trip. Actually, it did rain Of our 64 days on the road, we spent 30 nights camping, 16 nights in a motel or hotel,quite a bit but only for part of the day for 3 of the 5 days. Anyway, we were out in the one night in a camper, and one night in the cab of a semi-trailer. We spent 11 nights withelements and it was rainy and cold. And we had a very difficult time keeping warm. Our people we had just met that same day on the road pitching our tent on their property,gear and clothing were basically wet for the first five days. Over the entire 64 days of sleeping in their guest rooms, or crashing on their floors or couches. riding, it rained on 12 occasions. Those were some of our toughest days as our helmets We cooked dinner on our propane camp stove or over a campfire for 30 nights. We atedripped with water, and we were either riding in rubberized rain gear, or soaking wet. We 28 dinners in a restaurant, and 9 nights we had takeout. Over the entire trip, we enjoyedalso each only had one pair of shoes and drying them out after a day of rain was not easy. 26 dinners as guests of friends or family, or with people we had just met. We rode in temperatures over 100 degrees on four days and another two days over 90 degrees. We endured a hailstorm (putting our helmets and tarp to good use) and a cloud MILEAGE of mosquitoes. On our climbs over the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains and My odometer read 4,122.9 when we arrived at our apartment at 112th Street andalso over Rainy and Washington Passes in the Cascades, snow banks lined the road. We Broadway in Manhattan on August 30. That means we rode an average of 64.42 miles percamped on three different nights when the temperature dropped into the 30s.day. When going back to my notebook, this number confused me because it was 157 miles MORE than the sum of each days ridewhich was 3,965.19. (At the end of the day, onceTERRAINwe had changed out of our biking shorts, I would check in the days mileage and recordIn all, we crossed three mountain ranges: the Cascades, the Rockies, and the this number in my notebook). What I had not accounted for is all the errand running byAppalachians. We rode through the dry flats of Eastern Washington driven by the jagged bikegoing from our campsite to dinner, or to the Laundromat, or into town to shop forsnow-capped peaks of the Rockies that grew closer with every pedal stroke. In Idaho, we food. This additional riding ended up being about 1.67 miles per day. were in their midst and they were a breathtaking blue from the evergreens covering their Sixty miles over 64 days was pretty remarkable considering we werent quite sureflanks. Here the Rockies rose tall around us, wrapped in wisps of fog. We rode for days where we were going on a day-to-day basis. through the flat farmland of Iowa, each town welcoming us with a water tower and silos 80'