Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oh Hey!

Hello friends, I apologize for the severe lack of updates to this darn thing recently. Let me catch you up to speed. On July 14th, Ashlinn and I hit a wall, metaphorically speaking of course. In Napoleon, Ohio, we decided, for many reasons, that we were going to pursue a more direct route to Portland. After a quick visit to the largest Campbell's soup factory in America, we rerouted ourselves back to Toledo. We hopped on a midnight Amtrak train to Washington D.C. I know, that doesn't seem like the fastest way to Portland, but if we weren't going to continue on bicycles, we were going to take care of a few things first. Ashlinn's sister, Sensei Brenna, picked us up and we spent the next week playing with dogs, scouring Forever 21, and watching The Colbert Report. We packed up Ashlinn's beloved Subaru, and hit the road for Chicago. Here we celebrated Brenna's birthday at a Carol's Pub, a beautiful country bar conveniently close to St. Boniface Cemetery (I wanted to die by the time I left.) Our accommodations in the Windy City were great though. We stayed with Ashlinn's mother's college roommate, who just happens to own a great house in the city and a little bar named Murphy's Bleachers. The best part of the house was the huge balcony/porch. IT HAD A HAMMOCK!
So from Chicago we headed to Rochester, Minnesota. We visited Ashlinn's grandparents and went out to eat at a restaurant that appears to make all it's money on celebrities visiting the Mayo Clinic. Brenna left for the airport to fly to NYC, and Ashlinn and I hit the road again.

We stopped at the Badlands in SD. While setting up the tent, the dry weather and my chronic nosepicking fueled a nosebleed of epic proportions. You know how they tell you not to keep food in your tent...or even food wrappers....or even clothes that you wore while cooking food? Well, I don't think they want you to bleed all over the tent either. Making me even more nervous was the fact that they were doing a special presentation on bats at the campground. You do know what bats turn into, right?
Further westward, we visited famous tourist traps such as Wall Drug, The Corn Palace, and a Prairie Dog City. We also stayed at a lousy campground that placed us right next to an animal shelter. Barking dogs and a sprinkler system isn't my idea of a lullaby. Luckily, they had free pool in the lobby, high speed wireless, electric hookups at every site, and baller status bathrooms.
Ashlinn and I spent a week at a campground outside of Portland, visiting the City of Roses during the day. We met up with my old friend Garrett, who has been living out here for almost 2 years. He's doing good, and now we are crashing at his house in the SE area.
We are searching for work, and turning up a few good leads. Lucky for me, Ashlinn is a resume wizard, and has been helping me format mine. I'm at a constant mental battle on wanting to either work freelance as a grip or electric or try to get something more consistent, like a rental house job. I guess I'll see what happens.
OK, now for the really tough news. I'm officially done with this blog. It's over. I've decided I need to see other blog services...Yes, there's someone else. She gets me more. And she listens. And she's prettier too. Sorry Blogger, but Wordpress makes better templates. And I'm sick of the hyphen in my blogger address. I am now the happy owner of adambelanger.wordpress.com. Update your bookmarks and links. I have been posting a few short stories and photos from the trip and previous work. To my friends from Rockport College 07-08, as soon as I find my dvd with all the shoot pics, I'm going to post my faves, along with links to your films if they are online. If you've got it online, send me an email, or post a comment to the other blog. And if you don't have it online, you should check out Vimeo. It's like Youtube, but the quality seems to be a lot better, it supports HD and the user interface of the player is really clean. A+ in my book. 
So that pretty much catches you all up to speed on what I've been up to for the last month. Sorry it had to come at you all so quick! This will probably be the last post I make on here, so please check out adambelanger.wordpress.com for more content!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Map (So far)

Hi everyone. Here's a map of our route so far. It's beautiful here in Boonville, NY. Last night we camped in a public park, right in the middle of town. It was fun, but there was definitely a loud game of basketball on the other side of the park. We're heading towards Pulaski tonight, and that should break the 500 mile mark.
Wish us luck!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Water Safari - 5 stars

So in case any of you are heading near Old Forge New York, be sure to check out NY's largest waterpark, Enchanted Forest Water Safari. I know it sounds like an asian game show, but it is really awesome. Ashlinn and I took a day off the bikes to splash around on some great rides. We spent two nights at Old Forge Camp Resort. It was mostly RVs and trailer camping, but it was still fun. The night before we got to Old Forge, we slept in an apartment above a convenience store/laundromat/wine store. The very nice man who runs it told us we could stay there for free. Ashlinn repaid the favor by giving the man's dog a bath. Isn't she nice? The night before that, we just barely found a place to stay. Unfortunately, a map sent us in the wrong direction. We didt end up at a campground, but instead at a weird headquarters for DEC and DOT people. We found the grounds manager, and he told us we could stay at a flat spot that was out of sight of his boss. This also just happened to be right next to
a lake. It was tough for Ashlinn to fall asleep with all the frogs, but worth it to wake up next to a beautiful view.
We are officially out of The Adirondacks, and now we are just in a strange world named upstate New York. Wish us luck!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Beautiful Burlington, VT

Hello all! Ashlinn and I have spent the last few days in beautiful Burlington Vermont with good friends Pat, Seth, and Kaylee. The days leading up to our arrival were very interesting. We left Rumford for Gorham, NH and made really good time. From Gorham we continued on Rt.2 to Concord Vermont. There was a really tough climb first thing in the morning, but we still got about 50 miles in. We woke up the next morning and were invited into an RV for coffee and bagels. We hung outwith Steve and Elogene, and learned a bit about them. We left Concord and had a real slow day. We found time to stop at the Dog Chapel though, which is a strange place on top of Dog Mountain where dogs can run around without leashes. There was a dog art gallery there too, filled with stuff from a guy named Stephen Huneck. You can check it out at dogmt.com We made it as far as Marshfield before it was time to sleep. We didn't get the same breakfast surprise that day, but it was still a nice place to wake up. The next day ended up being a beautiful long day. There were lots of long descents to enjoy. We even got to ride with some Vermonters, Dan and Ray, for about 7 miles. Burlington has been really great; lots of barbequeing, video games, and roaming around the town. We left Burlington via ferry, and arrived at Port Kent New York. This certainly isn't like any New York I have seen in the past. There's barely anything here. Today we are going to be riding into Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 winter Olympic games. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 1 & 2 (abridged)

First of all, big thanks to everyone who made it out to Virginia's house on Saturday night. It was a lot of fun, and the first time I had seen a lot of you for a while. It was a very special night.
After a late start, Ashlinn and I jumped onto Rt. 17, headed for Augusta. Less than five miles into the trip, I received the first flat tire. It was surprisingly easy to replace in the rain! We kept our spirits high, and continued riding. We saw a ton of animals along the way. Let me make a list for you:
Wild Turkeys
A big turtle
A goat standing on it's hind legs
Baby goats bleating at us
Duck Eggs
Quite impressive if you ask me. We got into Augusta late in the evening and enjoyed Pizza Hut, courtesy of Jenny Parmalee! We stayed at the cheapest place we could find, which was Motel6. It wasn't the camping we plan to do, but we were already soaking wet and needing showers. I passed out, as you can see in this watercolor that Ashlinn did. Total miles: 41

The next day, we rode to Dunkin Donuts, fueled up, and then checked out Tom's Bike Boutique in Winthrop. Tom was a very nice guy, and gave us some good advice about our days route. He was right, there was construction on Rt. 219, and we did have to walk our bikes across some rough roads. Day 2 was a lot drier though. The mist kept us cool and comfortable. We saw more roadkill than live animals this day. Despite big hills on Rt. 108, we made it back to Rumford for hot chicken soup with my folks. We will hang out here for a few days before we head to New Hampshire. Total miles: 50.4

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Catching Up

I've been riding my Trek 520 for almost two months. I love mine, and Ashlinn loves hers. I still haven't done any long days on it yet, but with unemployment less than two weeks away, I feel I will be in the saddle much more. I've also been riding with my new BOB trailer, which I bought from Minya. The combination of the two are really great, even for quick trips to the dump or grocery shopping. 

In other bike touring news, friends Alan Winslow and Morrigan McCarthy are heading across country this summer too. They've got big plans though. Read all about it at www.tandemproject.org.
And in more bike news, Bagwell has fixed up his new old Peugeot. I got the frame last summer, but it was way too big for me, and wasn't even close to ridable. Bagwell has got it going though, and will join us in the Camden bike gang.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Deal

So here's the deal:
Ashlinn and I are riding our bikes to Portland, Oregon. We're leaving at the beginning of June, and are allotting two months to complete the trip. 60 days of biking and 60 nights of camping. Once there, we are going to give the Northwest a shot. From what people have told me, I'm going to love Portland. "It's not 'too city' or 'too country'" they tell me. "It's so progressive and green."

That right there is Ashlinn's bike. The folks at Maine Sport Outfitters were very helpful, especially Mike Hartley. He gave us a lot of information about realistic touring. As much as I read about touring, it still seems more useful hearing it from a real person. Minya, a former 7 Bay roommate, has also proved herself to be a wealth of knowledge.
Although I will miss The Workshops, and everybody there, I think this is an opportunity for me to do something that may never be possible again. 23 years old seems like the most appropriate time to be doing things like this. Afterall, if I had gone to a traditional four year college, right now I'd be a new graduate, sick of working part time at a restaurant in Bangor or Lewiston, and be ready for an adventure. Luckily, I've got enough cash saved up that these 2 months of unemployment, preceded by many large purchases, will be survivable.
In addition to the fantastic things people tell me about Portland, they also like to tell me how much of a "life changing experience" this is going to be. What a great way to start a new life; saddle sores and soggy sleeping bags.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Google Maps Test

Just another Google Maps test. This is done without the iframe, and just the embedded maps provided by Google Maps. I'm not sure why I didn't do it like this before.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Posting from Email

This is a test post from my Gmail. I am also attaching an animated gif.