Crossing For Cancer

Another Week on the Long Road

Posted by crossingforcancer on August 26, 2008

Hello everyone,

It’s been a few days, but I wanted to update you on my progress again.

While still in Baker, I woke up, turned off my alarm clock, and managed to leave around seven in the morning. It felt pretty cool out. I wanted to try to wake up and get started by five, but it didn’t happen. Riding out, I was faced with the endless, straight road, trying to reach Halloran Summit, which is about 5,000 feet, and I was only at about 900 feet at first. It was my last major climb until Vegas, and it wasn’t easy.

FYI: If you happen to take the route I did and reach a road that’s called Summit Rd, it doesn’t mean a thing. It’s not the summit. You still have to go do some more climbing. That point is just a tease. It took me three hours and a gallon of Gatorade to get to the top, spokes popping left and right. I was up to five broken spokes and still traveling with no back breaks, because the wheel was almost rubbing on the frame.

The only time I pulled off the road at any point was because I saw this old trailer park thing over a cattle guard. There was a sign that read “Diesel and Drinks.” I parked my bike in what little shade there was, and a guy pops out of nowhere and asks if he can help. His name was Tim.

I told him, “Yeah, I’m just trying to find the shade.”

His first question: “What the hell are you doing out here on a bicycle?”

After explaining what I was attempting, Tim invited me in to watch CSI. I needed the rest, so I sat and talked with him for about an hour. Meanwhile, he’d tell other people who showed up that there was no trespassing, running them off. I felt kind of privileged to be sitting inside, talking with him, once I noticed that. He was an interesting man.

For instance, when I noticed some medical books on the table and asked him what they were for, he said, “Oh, I’m just researching what’s killing me.” It turned out that Tim had Mac disease, which complicates his Aspergillosis, a disease that’s eating away at his lungs. I asked Tim if I could sketch his portrait, and he agreed.

I finished the portrait and then went on my way soon after. It was amazing to meet Tim and hang out with him. He lives near the summit by himself, it seems, and he’s really pleased to be up there, in his small shack.

From there, I descended into the next phase of my trip and had my brother, Lee, put in a call to Low Way about my bicycle. Low Way hooked me up with a brand new wheel, but I didn’t get it until Vegas. I was still riding on the same five broken spokes, but along the way I met these really cool guys, Vada and Roger. They were honeymooners, and they offered to help me as much as they could. Anything I needed while I was in the area, they said, I should let them know.

At one point, I took a detour through the Mojave National Reserve at a cop’s suggestion, because there was something wrong with the road I’d planned to take. Breath-taking. Throughout this trip, even just this far into it all, nature has been revealing sights to me that have been absolutely stunning. Whenever I was going through Johsua Tree I felt like I was a ship in an ocean for what seemed like hundreds of miles. It was just incredible. No words I could say could describe the feelings inspired. It’s been phenomenal. I saw the moon rise right before my eyes that evening, right outside my tent. A bunch of rats were running around but I was able to get sleep. The detour was 30 miles out of the way but I was glad that I made the decision to take it.

Two more people I want to say hello to are Om and Zen, whom I met in the middle of the desert. Really cool guys. I woke up in the morning, faced with a mass of road, and riding along I hadn’t seen a car in about two hours.

I was on my way to Primm, going over a mountain to get there, and when I finally got to the top, a friend of a friend was there waiting for me. Corazone, a Filipino woman, made me all kinds of foods, and let me take a nap there. She also had this green blended concoction and told me to drink the whole thing. I jokingly asked if she had any sugar, because it was packed with about five different vegetables I had never heard the name of, but I finished the blend and went on my way.

When I hit Vegas, I met up with Sonia and Michelle and stayed with them for three or four days. I got a chance to spend time in their pool, and they also fed me. I’m extremely grateful. Thanks, you guys, for inviting and having me as a guest on the Sonia and Michelle show!

Performance sent Carrie Jo out with a new wheel in Las Vegas (Bike King had a wheel waiting). Ron, the store owner, was also extremely helpful. They put a whole new wheel together for me and checked my bike over to make sure that it was still capable of enduring my journey.

I went out to the Blick store and did some portraits there. Everyone there was incredible. Dan, Ryan, Cassandra, Adam, Dominic, and Lisa, thank you.

Right now, I’m getting ready to leave the north side of Vegas, to go over another mountain, headed to Lake Mead and the Valley of Fire. It’s pouring rain, and I just saw lightening bolt hit the ground no more than two feet in front of me. I’m getting ready to go out into middle of nowhere, faced with a lightening storm as I cut through Lake Mead and the Valley of Fire to Zion National Park and then into Cedar City, UT. I’m going to honest with you, I’m nervous. The ligthening’s hitting every few seconds, and I’ve got to deal with this pouring rain.

Before I go, I want to thank my brother, Blick, Bike King, Low Way, and Carrie Jo for everything you’ve done. Wish me luck. I’ll check in again soon.


4 Responses to “Another Week on the Long Road”

  1. Susanna L said

    Best of luck, Scott! You seem to be on an incredible journey out there, in more ways than one.


  2. Jaime said

    Hey YOU!I’ve been reading your blog and just WOW…WOW…you are really amazing…your photos are wonderful…I’m not going to bore you with life here..I’d rather read yours! So,my thoughts are with you and your endeavor. What a life changing trip!

  3. Eva Maher said

    Love from Eva, Josh’s mom..I’m trusting you made it through the storm.

  4. Char said

    Hey baby brother, you know we are all thinking about you here in Texas. Be safe and look forward to seeing you in November.
    Love you your big sis and all her family.

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