Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Adventure Continues Down Under

Hello there! We've had a nice visit with Grandma and Grandpa in North Carolina and I've had my "blogging break" so now it is time to update you on the next leg of our adventure. We depart Charlotte, NC on Saturday, Feb. 20th at 6:10P.M. and arrive in Los Angeles for an overnight stay before departing for New Zealand at 7:30P.M. on Sunday the 21st. 12 hours, 55 minutes later we arrive in Auckland, NZ (North Island) for an hour and a half layover before departing for Christchurch (South Island). After another hour and 20 minutes in the air we finally arrive at 8:20 A.M. on Tuesday, February 23rd! Whew. We lose a whole day! We will have a month and a half to explore the South Island before departing for Sydney, Australia on Sunday, April 11. We then will have 3 months in Australia before returning to San Francisco, California on Saturday, July 10th!

We really had a tough time deciding whether or not to bring the bicycle with us for this leg of our journey. After much research and consideration (communicating with Aussies, etc.) we decided that we would leave the bike in the U.S. The fact that the bike is a road bike vs. a mountain bike came into play because of the many unsealed roads and narrow or non-existent shoulders and the lack of secondary roads such as we have in the United States. We considered the limited flexibility with such a long rig and the distances between towns. We have found that we enjoy cycling much better when we aren't pushing ourselves to do such big miles and we would certainly be forced into that situation in Australia. I have to admit that the uncertainty about how my knees would hold up was also a consideration.

For months Mike has been telling me I needed to leave a post and that I sort of left you all hanging. I apologize for that and will reiterate here how much we enjoyed our cross-country tour despite some of the struggles near the end. The journey is the destination and what a journey it has been.

Gregory and I recently finished reading The Red Pony by John Steinbeck and the last pages held some words that seemed quite poignant to me. The main character Jody is talking with his grandfather whose biggest adventure in life was leading a wagon train west across the United States. He says, "When we saw the mountains at last, we cried—all of us. But it wasn't getting here that mattered, it was movement and westering (westward movement)...We carried life out here and set it down the way those ants carry eggs. And I was the leader. The westering was as big as God, and the slow steps that made the movement piled up and piled up until the continent was crossed."

We are ready for the movement to begin again and so the journey continues.


  1. Sounds as though you have made a good decision; your upcoming travels look to be very exciting. Are you going to get a vehicle with three rows of seats so you can continue in a similar seating arrangement?

    Happy travels (from the snow-less Arizona desert).

  2. It was so good to hear from you guys tonight! When I talk to you again you'll be in the land down under!