Chugging Across the Midwest

Rows of GMO corn in the lovely rolling hills of Nebraska.

Rows of GMO corn in the lovely rolling hills of Nebraska.

We crossed the Mississippi! 2,500 miles into this journey already. It’s flying by, albeit ever-so-slowly some days. Every mile still takes effort; each hill is a challenge. Today is Day 62, exactly two months into our bike tour. And where the heck, you ask, are we? Northern Indiana! In the last few weeks, we’ve plowed through Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, putting the leg power to the cranks and making some great time. Snow in New England waits for no bike tourist, as the experts say, and so we pedal on.

There was little time to write in the last couple weeks – just too many adventures, people to meet and renting our house to take care of. Which is why this is a short “we’re still alive” post with a few pictures. I’ll get a longer one posted after Labor Day, which will find us well into Ohio and on the shores of Lake Erie.

Chelsea flanked by corn on either side on a country road somewhere in central Illinois.

Chelsea flanked by corn on either side on a country road somewhere in central Illinois.

Thanks to all of you for the quick texts, emails and comments on the blog with notes of encouragement or just to say hi. We so appreciate it. Just so you know, I’m taking a hiatus from social media (all apps deleted from my phone) to stay more present, which means the little tidbits and pictures of our trip will not all be relayed. It was a hard call, but one I think is important for me. I’ll still put each blog post up on Facebook since a lot of people follow it that way.

On the banks of the mighty Mississippi!

On the banks of the mighty Mississippi at the Iowa-Illinois border!

Why shut off Facebook and Instagram? They were starting to feel like noise, a pull away from the present and an expectation (of myself) to deliver fun and interesting content. As much as I want to share every funny and beautiful moment from the trip, sharing was distracting. The blog is a ton of energy by itself in the midst of this journey and social media was taking away from the experience of traveling. I’ve taken breaks before (a month off in January earlier this year) and loved it. This stems from that, but the feeling deepened two weeks into a personal challenge to meditate every morning in August.

With that, I bid you adieu! Tomorrow we cross into Eastern Standard Time. We’ve mapped out a timeline for our trip and expect to reach the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Maine by early October through some gorgeous, fall-colored countryside. New England, here we come! Have a lovely Labor Day y’all.

Dakota

Chelsea rides through a field of soy in Illinois.

Chelsea rides through fields of soybeans in Illinois. A 70 mile day in 95 degrees and 90% humidity…woo! We won’t miss the humidity, that’s for sure.

8 replies
  1. Jeremy Barlow
    Jeremy Barlow says:

    Couldn’t agree more on social media being a distraction that removes you from the present. Deleting the Facebook app from my phone was liberating.

    You guys are kicking ass out there—you’re my heroes!

    Reply
    • Dakota Gale
      Dakota Gale says:

      It was a tough call, thanks for the support. Hard because there is limited connection to friends while traveling…but I don’t want to be stuck in limbo between two places not enjoying either to the full extent available. And thanks for the kudos! This tour is proving to be hard work, great times and a grand adventure. Looks like you two rocked Hood to Coast, way to go!

      Reply
  2. Brandon Smith
    Brandon Smith says:

    Hey Man,
    Glad to hear you’re doing well and unplugging. As someone who has never engaged in Social Media as a conscious decision, I feel you. I spent the morning cleaning up my email Inbox, which I still find challenging to stay on top of. I know Social Media has its place, and I do use it for my business, but I think it easily overwhelms and distracts. Congrats for taking that step. Even if you do decide to go back to it one day, I think you’ll have a different relationship with it. Congrats too for sticking with the meditation. Take care, my friend, and pedal on!

    Reply
    • Dakota Gale
      Dakota Gale says:

      Thanks B! I’ve always respected your decision to skip social media. I think it takes a strong sense of self and inner peace to do so. I was social media free in January and it was clarifying for me, so hopefully a month off in September will be good too. It could extend longer than that too, we shall see. I have a blog post that I wrote almost 6 months ago about disconnecting that I’ll have to revisit. Ciao for now!

      Reply
  3. Jeff Moore
    Jeff Moore says:

    Hey Dakota. It’s Jeff from Avon Lake. I was wondering if you made it around Cleveland via the Emerald Necklace route. Presque Isle? Following your route and writings with great interest and telling tons of people of our chance meeting. Hoping you guys have strong tailwinds.

    Reply
    • Dakota Gale
      Dakota Gale says:

      Hey Jeff! We checked out Presque Isle but didn’t get to see the Emerald Necklace – too many miles and MAN it was hot that day. Just busted straight through Cleveland, which actually worked out nicely. Coming at you from Barcelona, NY, a tiny town on Lake Erie tonight. Thanks for staying in touch and glad we ran into one another. We’re chugging onward to Niagara shortly!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply to Brandon Smith Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge