Unexpected Salt Lake City: Ten Reasons SLC Rocks

And we’re off! Next up: Alaska via Las Vegas, LA, and San Francisco!!  It’s been some crazy days of packing and organizing.  How in the world did we acquire so much stuff in three months?  I made four trips to the thrift store to unload again!

 

My "black car" driving getup

My “black car” driving getup

We really enjoyed our time in Salt Lake City. The black car driving job turned out to be very cool. I met lots of nice folks – other employees as well as guests that I drove to their destinations wound up in the beautiful canyons that surround the city.  While it was frequently cold and snowy, it was quite pleasant to live in a sunny, mountainous area for the winter.  Enough so that SLC has made our short list of places we may return to live in the future.  Here’s our top 10 list of what made Salt Lake City an unexpected great place to live: Continue reading

Now Steve’s Bicycle Stolen! Are You Serious? WT*!

Steve & Bicycle in Yellowstone National Park

Lisa here…
So I had intended to blog about the Stop Bicycle Theft Dialog that happened…and then, ironically Steve’s touring bike got ripped off (behind our home, under a stairwell and locked) and well…WE ARE FRUSTRATED!!  For Steve, that’s the loss of a fine bicycle that has taken him on adventures throughout the world including the one in which we met.  It really is a stinkin shame. Add to the distress, now having to figure if we can afford to replace two bicycles hence thwarting our up coming experiment of living and working remote from our bicycles.

 

As our motivation builds to be part of stopping bicycle theft efforts, here’s a few notable things we learned at the Stop Bicycle Theft community dialog.
Continue reading

Stop Bicycle Theft Together

Stop bicycle theft

Lisa here…

It occurred to me that it might be useful to host a community dialog about the bicycle theft issue.  I am a firm believer that to solve problems one must first thoroughly understand them.  My hope is that by bringing together community members who care about this issue together we can learn about and figure out how to solve it.  To this end, I set a date for the dialog for Friday, February 26th at noon in the atrium of the SLC library downtown.  I sent a few emails to police officers and other public officials who I thought might be interested.  After creating and printing fliers about the dialog along with a “Wanted” poster for Steel offering a $200 reward, I set off walking around SLC to spread the word and see what I could learn.  Steve and I continued doing this during our next few days off. Continue reading

My Beloved Bike: Stolen!

bicycle wedding

Lisa here…

It’s hard to explain the rash of emotions that overcame me when I discovered Steel missing from my front porch in Salt Lake City. Initial feelings included shock of course — this being my first bicycle theft. And I was mad, but more so I felt sad and disappointed that someone would do such a thing. I grasp stealing a shiny new bike that could demand some serious cash, but Steel? — my beloved twenty year old, well-worn, purple chipped-paint-sporting, foam-seat-spurting bicycle which I married a couple years ago (here’s the story and bicycle wedding video!). Oh yes, I should add feeling utterly stupid and guilty that I only had Steel secured with a cheap cable lock, while Steve’s more valuable bikes had the U-locks. Continue reading

The Scots Are Darn Nice Folks!

  • Cycling Break!
  • Campground Ullapool
  • Cycling Scotland
  • Cool housing in Ullapool
  • Time for Art in Ullapool, Scotland
  • Cycling Obstacles
  • Sunset in Ullapool
  • Campground Owners in Ullapool
  • Campground Ullapool, Scotland
  • Beach in Ullapool, Scotland
  • Ullapool, Scotland
  • Cycling to Inverness, Scotland
  • Kilts are fun.
  • Loopallu Music festival Ullapool, Scotland
  • Ullapool Music Festival, Scotland
  • Tunnel in London
  • Cycling to Inverness, Scotland
  • Tour bus arrived while wild camping outside Inverness

On the first night at the remote campground (Ardmair Point Campground), our neighbors invited us into their camper-home to cook and dine with them.  In the morning, Steve and I unfortunately learned the hard way that we had accidentally set up our tent next to the camper waste disposal area.  One morning awaking to funky smells and gurgling sounds was enough to prompt a move.  We relocated our home to a site along the seashore — not yet realizing the challenges that would present. Continue reading

What Would You Do?

  • Wild goats!
  • Wild Goat crossing!
  • Sink holes...no camping.
  • View to Ullapool
  • Laughing Sheep
  • Couples night!
  • Garilock, Scotland
  • Scottish folk jam night and sing-a-long

Every cyclist and hiker that we met returning from their travels in the highlands of Scotland described the area as beautiful but rather brutal. Midgies (very small biting insects) were out in full force. Those beasts, plus non-stop rain, curtailed many outdoor adventure seekers plans. With a pint of Scottish lager under each of our belts, Steve and I asked one another what we would each do if we were on our own? Continue reading

Yak Attack

  • Very cool suitcase guitar!
  • Barn venue at Fringe Festival
  • No Guts, No Sweat, No Glory show set in a boxing gym
  • Musician in boxing gym for Fringe show
  • Rainbow over campground in Edinburgh
  • Campground property in Edinburgh
  • Torture museum and underground vault tour
  • Beautiful venue in Edinburgh at Fringe
  • Silly Fringe venues
  • Outside a cool Fringe venue
  • Fireworks from the bus in Edinburgh
  • Fireworks in Edinburgh
  • Fireworks over the castle in Edinburgh
  • Cycling along the coast of Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh, Scotland

I’m soooo not a yakker! I’ve only puked two times in my entire life. Once when I was 4 onto our new white carpet, and once a few years back in Honduras when a 24 hour bug flew around the island where I was living. Neither time was the experience anything like what I felt on the train from London to Edinburgh Continue reading

The Change Up

  • Crossing to the Isle of Wight
  • Entering Yarmouth on Isle of Wight, England
  • Seaside Amusement Park on Isle of Wight...love those!!!
  • Illuminated Parade in Shanklin
  • Beach rentals on Isle of Wight
  • Shanklin Beach
  • Shanklin bbeach on the Isle of Wight
  • Beautiful Campground on Isle of Wight
  • Awesome German camping neighbors!
  • Steve and I leaving the Isle
  • Rog & Dee & their baby...
  • Fiona...only other solo cycling gal I've met.
  • Foxes everywhere in London...normal?
  • Crossing Tower Bridge in London
  • Small beers at the Nigerian Restaurant
  • The Eye in London
  • Proper English scones!
  • Imax Movie in London

While cycling the Southern coast of the Isle of Wight was pretty (& hilly) and happening upon a nifty luminated carnival parade in Shanklin was cool, I was still struggling to be motivated to both write and engage back fully in my experience.  Sometimes in life a change up is needed…and at my five month point on the bicycle, it seems I needed it more than I realized. That change up came in the form of Continue reading

Entering England Wrapped in Plastic

  • Steel plastic wrapped
  • Wild camping in England
  • Me and Vinny!
  • Nice bicycle shop owner that fixed Steel's spoke and breaks!
  • Thames River locks
  • Thames River, Englaand
  • On the road again..la, la, la.
  • English countryside west of London
  • Wild Ponies in New Forest, England
  • Amish??
  • Milford on the Sea, England
  • Pony traffic issues
  • Illuminated Carnival parade in Shanklin on Isle of Wight
  • Most beautiful purple cabbage
  • Camping farm in Milton by the Sea
  • Milton by the sea, English southern coast
  • Dee and mum's recycled plastic hats!!
  • Very English lunch!
  • Port on Isle of Wight
  • Seaside Amusement park!! I love those...Isle of Wight
  • Cycling south of Isle of Wight, England
  • Thatched shops on Isle of Wight
  • Luminated carnival parade

I basically wrapped my bike in a sheet of plastic meant to protect a floor from paint. I duct taped some of my camping gear to Steel and wrapped the whole thing in the plastic (took the air pressure out of my tires, and my pedals and handle bars off) and checked it. Unbelievably the ticketing agent at British airways didn’t flinch. Steel arrived in great shape minus a broken spoke which I blame on me for not securing stuff better. I was met by Vinny Continue reading