Cape Gazette
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SEA TO SHINING SEA: The route

By Dennis Forney | Apr 17, 2013
Photo by: Dennis Forney This is one side of the first maps we will be using to cross the country.  There are 12 of these in all. This one covers a total of 294 miles.

LEWES, DELAWARE — It's not often you buy one-way tickets on airplane trips.  Becky and I did that recently.  Two tickets from Baltimore to Portland, Oregon. Our bicycles, which shipped this week from our front porch, will meet us in Astoria where the TransAmerican bicycle route across the US starts for us.

We're bicycling from west to east for a couple of reasons. First, the prevailing winds in this country blow from west to east.  Second, we're going to be so far from home, we thought we would have a psychological advantage knowing we're getting closer to home every day rather than farther away as would have been the case had we started in the east.

Here are some images of the maps we will be using. Adventure Cycling Association in Missoula, Montana has laid out these maps across and up and down the US.  The TransAmerica route we will be following goes down the Oregon coast a ways, then eastward across the state, across Idaho into Montana, then southeastward into Wyoming and Colorado.  The route crosses the Continental Divide seven times.  Once east of the Rockies, the route makes a beeline east across Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia.  In Virginia, we'll have to hitch a ride across the mouth of the Chesapeake, and them make our way northward up Delmarva into Maryland and then Delaware. Jiggity jog.

We plan to deviate from the route in eastern Kansas to hook up with the Katy Trail which crosses almost the entire state of Missouri.  It tracks the Missouri River for a ways and is an offroad trail the entire length of its 267 miles.

Life is an activity.

I mentioned Meher Baba the other day, an avatar who lived most of his life in the 20th century. He operated from all over the world and the universe.  He was born in India but also eventually set up retreats in Queensland, Australia and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  How about that?

At any rate I glean a lot of wisdom from Baba's teachings.

Here's a piece that captures the essence of it all:

"Although the sense of equality is made the basis of many social and political ideals, the real conditions of rich cooperative life are fulfilled only when the bare idea of equality is replaced by the realization of the unity of life."

We are all one.

Follow our cross-country bicycle journey on Facebook by liking Sea to Shining Sea »




This shows the individual panels on the maps.  This is the starting panel for us in Astoria, Oregon.  It covers about 27 miles and starts us working down the Oregon coast. For a ways it follows the Lewis and Clark River, named for the famous explorers who were the first to map sections of the western US, in the first decade of the 1800s. Astoria, eventually named for John Jacob Astor who started a fur buying operation there, is where Lewis and Clark finished their cross country journey.
These panels are the most daunting part of the maps.  They show the elevation profile of the area we will be pedaling.  This section covers about 40 or 50 miles. It's exaggerated because of scale but will still give us a sense of what lies ahead.
This shows how the map is placed in a clear plastic, waterproof sleeve on top of the handlebar bag, for reference as we ride along.
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