11 February 2011

Ken and Jen

Forever Friends

10 October 2010

My Final Post

Hello everyone, and thank you so much for following along on our epic journey across the United States.  It has been such a life changing experience and thanks to blogger we will get to keep our memories here online forever. Years ago before the invention of digital cameras and blogs people didn't have the capabilities that we do today and I am so grateful that we do!  To know our memories will always be here at The Zen of Ken and Jen pleases me to no end!  I am sure Ken and I will be looking back at this blog until we grow old.

A reader asked me to tell you what my favorite things were about the ride, and although my favorite thing about it was the time I got to spend with Ken and how deep our already strong love became, here are several other things I loved about it as well:

1.  Talking about Alex and honoring her memory.
2.  The countless random acts of kindness that renewed our faith in humanity.
3.  Seeing Simon transform into a happy little dog.
4.  Meeting so many every day heroes who are now my new forever friends.
4.  The horses running along beside us, especially at sunset.
5.  The embrace of silence that was often only interrupted by birdsong.
6.  Feeling myself becoming stronger, physically, mentally, and most importantly, spiritually.
7.  The deeper sense of awe and love I now have for my country and the people in it.
8.  The steady feeling I now have that tells me no matter what, everything's gonna be okay.
9.  Knowing that people's lives were being saved by those who signed up to be donors.
10.The generosity of the people who donated to our cause and made our ride possible.
11.  Meeting Dillon and his family.
12.  Listening to Alex's heart beating in Dillon's chest.

If anyone has any questions about the ride please don't hesitate to contact us!  And to see where this next chapter of our life is taking us be sure to check out our new blog at:  kenandjen-rockymountainhigh


Ken and Jen
Over and Out

02 October 2010

Florence Oregon - WE MADE IT!

Florence, OR was a town we'd been talking about for 6 months.  Since this small coastal town was our final destination our arrival in Florence was much anticipated.  I'd envisioned (in slow motion of course) running hand in hand down the sandy beach after dipping our tires in the salty sea.  Well, here's how it happened instead...
Ken's rear wheel suffered a fatal break about half way between Eugene and Florence, and we had to get a ride from a farmer named Mike.  His sister Sheryl lived just down the hill from where we had turned our pedals for the last time, so Ken walked down there and asked for help.  These folks were characters!  Sheryl called both her brother Mike and her father Jerry and soon there were a bunch of us putting stuff into the back of Mike's truck.  Mike is building his own tadpole trike so he was interested in our trikes and our experiences riding.  Ken and Mike had lively conversation as we made our way to Florence, while I lay in the back seat trying not to vomit.  I get VERY car sick, even when I take my medicine for it.  When we got to the coast I could hear Ken saying, "There's the ocean, Jen" but I was so ill I couldn't even get up to look at it.  We found a campsite and unloaded our things, said thank you and goodbye to Mike, and the moment Ken set up the tent, I went to sleep.  I woke up to it raining and it would be two days of that before I would even see the ocean that I could hear roaring from just a two-minute walk away.  Finally on Friday the clouds were gone as was most of my sickness so we took my trike down to the water and dipped the tires.

It's official!
Simon's first beach.

Ken can't believe it.
There were lots of sand dunes.

Lookin a little like Magnum there, Ken.
We are going to pull this back to NC so Megan can put it in her yard.  :)
Sweet victory!!!!
WE MADE IT!!  Coast to Coast.

This marks the official end of our cross country trike trek.  Next Spring, however, The Just BeCauses TerraTrike Tour will resume as we head down the Pacific Coast.  We plan to ride every Spring for many years to come, raising awareness and enjoying our country, and maybe some other ones too.  

Stay tuned for a couple more posts, and then this blog will come to end when we arrive in South Fork, CO where we will spend the winter.  You can find us there at the Foothills Lodge and Cabins, and we invite you all to come ski with us!!!  Thank you all SO MUCH for following along with us on our journey.  And for the donations so many of you made along the way.  This was truly a group effort, inspired by Alex, encouraged by friends and family, and blessed by Izzi.  Thank you all!

01 October 2010

McKenzie Pass

McKenzie Pass.  Elevation 5325.  15 miles of uphill climbing.  23 miles of glorious descent.  And at the top, the most unique summit of the trip.  It was also our last pass making it pretty much all downhill from here to the coast.

The road had been newly paved and there were hardly any cars.

It went from trees to rock as we got closer to the top.  At this point we saw the lava fields.  Miles of miles of what looks like rubble.  It was unlike anything I've ever seen, or even heard about.  1500 years ago all of this was a sea of red hot lava!

At the top there was a castle-like structure made from the lava rocks.  Inside there were big curved windos and in between them were tiny windows, each with a name written below it.  The name was indicative of the mountain you could see through the window.  All the way around, there were 11 different peaks you could see and identify with the help of these little windows. 

 Hard to see but in real life it wasn't.
Ken takes a look at Mt. Washington.  It had some minor volcanic activity as little as 1330 years ago.  
This is what Ken was seeing through that little hole in the wall:
Mt Washington.

See that little trail I am on?  There are 20 miles of that trail around here.  There were a bunch of workers there making even more trails:
For years this pass was closed for construction.  They had only recently reopened it.
Simon couldn't find any grass.

It was also COLD and windy there!
 As we began the descent, things started to become more green.  We thought it would get warmer but it really didn't until we were down below 1000 feet again.
It got VERY green, and the 23 miles to the bottom was nothing short of magical.  The forest here was so lush and dense, it was like something from a fairy tale.  The road was smooth and winding and we had it all to ourselves.  We camped that night at a campground appropriately named "Paradise" where there were enormous trees covered in moss, and the rapid McKenzie River ran beside us.  I didn't get many pictures of this part.  I was too busy saying, "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"  It was so much fun!!!
Knowing McKenzie was our last pass to conquer made it even more fun.  
I let some of Alex's ashes float down the river...

From this point on, things got sort of hectic.  The next day we were back in traffic and we got rained on until we arrived in Eugene where we got a room.  Everything was soaking wet and covered in road grime and we were miserable.  We admitted to one another that as sad as we were about the trip ending, we wouldn't miss this part.  Getting soaked, breaking a wet camp, and riding on a dirty busy road isn't fun.  The next day we headed for Florence...  Our final destination.  We would arrive there, but not in the way we'd anticipated for oh so long...  stay tuned!


Sisters, for us, meant not only amazing views, but amazing people as well.  While on the side of the road...
...a friendly lady stopped her truck and asked if we knew where we were spending the night.  Still a few miles from Sisters we didn't know exactly where we were going to stay, so she offered to let us stay with her and her husband Steve.  They were WarmShowers hosts who had recently begun hosting cyclists in their lovely, comfortable home.  They fed us a delicious home-cooked meal and listened to our stories for hours.  :) It was one of those Random Acts of Kindness that have astounded us this entire trip.

Steve and Karen.  They ride a tandem.  :)
Their friendly dog, Zeke.
 Ken lets Steve take a ride.
 Of course he enjoyed it.  I have yet to hear anyone who doesn't like riding a TerraTrike.  They all get a similar smile on their faces.  The same smile as the one I've been wearing for half a year!
Above their garage they have a little apartment that cyclists have all to themselves.  It was so very comfortable there, and we slept great.  Thanks Howrey's!  Cyclists, don't miss this stop!

After we left the Howrey's we pedaled a few miles into the quaint little town of Sisters and found a place to have breakfast.  A little place with big portions. :)

 While eating we met these friendly folks, Barb and Jeff...
And Tammy.  Tammy's husband is waiting for a kidney!  They stopped us after we'd left the cafe and gave us a donation and wished us well on the remaining miles of our trip.  We pray Tammy's husband gets his kidney.

Just as we were about to head on up toward the much-anticipated McKenzie Pass, a carpet cleaning van pulled up along side us and the people inside were waving at us frantically.  Pressured from the traffic behind them, they pulled ahead and disappeared.  A few minutes later they came back, and this time their window was down and they were yelling our names!  Who were these people???
Jim and Paula had been following us on Ken's CrazyGuy Journal since we left!  They knew all about Simon, our taste for Root Beer, and our new shoes.  :)  Jim rides a quad made at Utah Trikes. It was fun meeting someone like that.  It kinda made us feel famous for a few minutes.  :)  McKenzie Pass would put us back in our places, though.  The tough climb right after all this attention quickly humbled us.
Paula bought a "Luck" JenTile.  :)  Is it working for you, Paula?  Let us hear from you!
Stay tuned for the ride up and over McKenzie Pass. The view from the top is very unique!  And the ride down was my favorite descent ever!