Recent Posts

  • May 16 – Burlington, Ontario

    May 16 – Burlington, Ontario

    May 16, 2017 “There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run.” – Gordon Lightfoot, “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” The train from Winnipeg to Toronto is a return to another era—with a few new disadvantages. OneRead More »
  • May 15 – Winnipeg, Manitoba

    May 15 – Winnipeg, Manitoba

    May 15, 2017 Canadians often refer to their seventh-largest city as “Winterpeg.” There are far colder places, to be sure, but winter does seem to have a long run there. Measurable snow can fall at any time from mid-October toRead More »
  • May 8 (Part 2) – Winnipeg, Manitoba

    May 8 (Part 2) – Winnipeg, Manitoba

    May 8, 2017 (Part two) I don’t have much past recollection of Manitoba, a place I once passed through on the way West way back in the 1970s. I suppose I mostly remember the north woods giving way to theRead More »
  • May 8 – Hallock, Minnesota and St. Malo, Manitoba

    May 8 – Hallock, Minnesota and St. Malo, Manitoba

    May 8, 2017 The highlight of my last full day in the U.S. was in Hallock, Minnesota, almost as far northwest as you can get in the of Land of 10,000 Lakes, fewer than 10 miles from the Red RiverRead More »
  • May 3 – Thief River Falls, Minnesota

    May 3 – Thief River Falls, Minnesota

    May 3, 2017 To a kid who loved to look at maps and had a dog-eared road atlas next to his bed, Thief River Falls, Minnesota, always seemed at the edge of known territory. Of course there is much ofRead More »
  • May 2 – Detroit Lakes, Mahnomen and Thief River Falls, Minnesota

    May 2 – Detroit Lakes, Mahnomen and Thief River Falls, Minnesota

    May 2, 2017 I’m moving right along across Northwestern Minnesota, where spring is tentative at this latitude (now 48 degrees), but the early signs are there, more like early April in places where I’ve spent most of my life. InRead More »
  • April 27 – Fergus Falls, Minnesota

    April 27 – Fergus Falls, Minnesota

    April 27, 2016 The image that accompanies this post explains almost as much as I can, although it may be a little more innocent than the reality. Or, strangely, the “Forecast Discussion” section of the National Weather Service site forRead More »
  • April 24 (Part 2) – Slayton, Marshall and Montevideo, Minnesota

    April 24 (Part 2) – Slayton, Marshall and Montevideo, Minnesota

    April 24, 2017 (Part 2) Southwest Minnesotans complain that their agricultural heartland is sometimes ignored by the rest of the state. Actually, it’s a claim that could be made by almost any region of a state dominated in terms ofRead More »
  • April 24 – Worthington, Minnesota

    April 24 – Worthington, Minnesota

    April 24, 2017 Sometimes other demands on my time take over. It’s been more than a week since I posted a blog entry; the reasons for the delay are many: the progress of the trip, weather, personal matters, just tryingRead More »
  • April 23 – Montevideo, Minnesota

    April 23 – Montevideo, Minnesota

    Here’s a link to a radio podcast they did of me in Montevideo, Minnesota (you have to  scroll down their page):      http://podcast.ruralsolutions.com/wordpress/  Read More »
  • April 15 – Cherokee, Iowa

    April 15 – Cherokee, Iowa

    April 15, 2017 As I have mentioned previously, Iowa’s history has been rather stable, with few dramatic events attending its founding and early years. But every place has its history lesson, and in Iowa’s case it’s a relatively recent oneRead More »
  • April 12 – Ida Grove, Iowa

    April 12 – Ida Grove, Iowa

    April 12, 2017 I have lived the vast majority of my life in what is known as the humid continental climate. Among its features is a great variability. Sixteen of my years were in Iowa, where that characteristic is extremely evident,Read More »
  • April 10 – Shenandoah, Iowa

    April 10 – Shenandoah, Iowa

    April 10, 2017 It’s difficult to write while the party is going on around me. I’m in Iowa, which is sort of my second home, and various groups of my friends came over to see me and spend some time.Read More »
  • April 4 – Fairfax, Missouri

    April 4 – Fairfax, Missouri

    April 4, 2017 Today is Day 12 of the sun being held hostage. The weather continues unsettled and periodically wet, but there does appear to be an end in sight, with the forecast—if it can be believed—predicting sun and temperaturesRead More »
  • April 2 – St. Joseph, Missouri

    April 2 – St. Joseph, Missouri

    April 2, 2017 Today is an anniversary: two months since leaving home, and now just about two-thirds of the way into the trip. I’ve had countless experiences that never would have happened if I hadn’t left my comfort zone andRead More »
  • March 30 – Lawrence, Kansas

    March 30 – Lawrence, Kansas

    March 30, 2017 The weather continues unsettled, apparently vexing the National Weather Service as well as myself. Other than a couple of peeks of less than a minute, I haven’t seen the sun in a week now. A stubborn lowRead More »
  • March 29 – Ottawa, Kansas

    March 29 – Ottawa, Kansas

    March 29, 2017 If promotion is the key to a town’s growth and success, Ottawa, Kansas, should be flourishing. The city of 12,600 residents, about an hour’s drive southwest of the Kansas City suburbs and a half-hour from Kansas UniversityRead More »
  • March 27 – Erie, Kansas

    March 27 – Erie, Kansas

    March 27, 2017 Sometimes once is not enough. That’s the conclusion after a second day in small-town Erie, Kansas. I would have ridden on after a single night, but the National Weather Service originally predicted a 90 percent chance ofRead More »
  • March 26 – Erie, Kansas

    March 26 – Erie, Kansas

    March 26, 2017 “She caught the Katy and left me a mule to ride.” – Taj Mahal That classic blues song has been echoing in my head as my route shifted about 25 miles to the west and picked upRead More »
  • March 22 – Afton, Oklahoma

    March 22 – Afton, Oklahoma

    March 22, 2017 I tried to post this on the first day of spring (two days ago), but just didn’t have the time. So my apologies for getting caught up two days late. Spring, of course, is an essential notionRead More »
  • March 19 – Jay, Oklahoma

    March 19 – Jay, Oklahoma

    March 19, 2017  Tonight, I’m in Jay, Oklahoma, a sleepy county seat town that seems in danger of drying up and blowing away. It stands in stark contrast to Northwest Arkansas just 11 miles to the east, where the economyRead More »
  • March 18 – Siloam Springs, Arkansas

    March 18 – Siloam Springs, Arkansas

    March 18, 2017 In the annals of American places, Northwest Arkansas is well on its way to being “disforgotten.” I ducked back into Arkansas for a two-night stay in Siloam Springs (population 16,000), just across the border from West SiloamRead More »
  • March 16 – Sallisaw, Oklahoma

    March 16 – Sallisaw, Oklahoma

    March 16, 2017 With the history lesson taken care of, I can move on to what has so moved me in “Indian Territory.” My planned trip to the historically questionable Heavener Runestone (and almost that entire day) was a bust,Read More »
  • March 15  -Sallisaw, Oklahoma

    March 15 -Sallisaw, Oklahoma

    March 15, 2017 This post may be of interest mostly to history buffs. Some explanation is in order about Oklahoma, especially its history. Such things are frequently essential to understanding a place. For example, the license plates here proclaim “NativeRead More »
  • March 14 – Poteau, Oklahoma

    March 14 – Poteau, Oklahoma

    March 14, 2017 As winter reasserts itself in much of the North and Northeast, its icy fingers reach into the South Central states as well, although not with the same firm grip. For the past three nights, temperatures have beenRead More »
  • March 11 – Mena, Arkansas

    March 11 – Mena, Arkansas

    March 11, 2017 It’s a good day to be off the bike, although I can hear the voice of my friend Doug Miller, one of the most committed bicyclists I know: “What’s the matter? It’s not raining at the moment,Read More »
  • March 7 – Texarkana, Arkansas/Texas

    March 7 – Texarkana, Arkansas/Texas

    March 7, 2017 Welcome to Texarkana, a city in two states. The dividing line is State Line Avenue, on which I currently sit in a motel on the Arkansas side. But last night I walked across the road and hadRead More »
  • March 4 – Marshall, Texas

    March 4 – Marshall, Texas

    March 4, 2017 The location for this weekend is Marshall, Texas, a town with some history of note but perhaps also somewhat underappreciated by its residents. More about that as we move along. I left Nacogdoches three days ago withRead More »
  • February 28 – Nacogdoches, Texas

    February 28 – Nacogdoches, Texas

    February 28, 2017 Sometimes traveling is like mining. In Nacogdoches, Texas, I hit pay dirt. I’ll give my brother some of the credit. He has been doing a little advance work for me, trying to arrange people to meet andRead More »
  • February 26 – Lufkin, Texas

    February 26 – Lufkin, Texas

    February 26, 2017  I’m still in the heart of “Deep East Texas,” as they say here. Deep in the same sense that the “Deep South” is distinct from states at the border of the old Confederacy, and also deep inRead More »
  • February 23 – Livingston, Texas

    February 23 – Livingston, Texas

    February 23, 2017 Slowing down has its advantages. Some might say I’m shirking (only 19 miles today), but there is more time to poke around, sample the flavor of a place–and report about it here. Tonight’s stop is Livingston, Texas,Read More »
  • February 21 – Shepherd, Texas

    February 21 – Shepherd, Texas

    February 21, 2017 A change of plans gives me time to get totally caught up to date with blogging. I’m sitting in a motel room in the far northern suburbs of Houston, having ridden only five miles and being sparedRead More »
  • February 20 (Part 2) – Houston, Texas

    February 20 (Part 2) – Houston, Texas

    February 20, 2017 (Part 2)  Catching up with my current whereabouts (Houston), let me continue with my journey up the Texas Gulf Coast in the past week. The morning of my stay with my wonderful Warm Showers hosts Dave andRead More »
  • February 20 – Houston, Texas

    February 20 – Houston, Texas

    February 20, 2017 My wife and I are in Houston today, the last day of a three-day biking hiatus. But the forecast is for heavy rain until mid-afternoon, so there is some time for catching up on blog entries. AtRead More »
  • February 16 – West Columbia, Texas

    February 16 – West Columbia, Texas

    February 16, 2017 It’s been tough finding time to post blog entries. I’m getting way behind; I hope to catch up when I am in Houston this weekend. The days have been long, as I need to be in HoustonRead More »
  • February 11 – Kingsville, Texas

    February 11 – Kingsville, Texas

    February 11, 2017 We’re moving right along here through South Texas, hardly at breakneck speed but the miles are slowly beginning to accumulate. The highlight of my stay in Raymondville, Texas, was the appearance of my RAGBRAI friend Doc VanRead More »
  • February 8 – Raymondville, Texas

    February 8 – Raymondville, Texas

    February 8, 2017 This is day two of the bicycle portion of the trip. I’m in Raymondville, Texas, a pretty thoroughly agricultural place. The controversy over the border and the winter home of northern snowbirds notwithstanding, the Rio Grande ValleyRead More »
  • February 6 – Brownsville, Texas

    February 6 – Brownsville, Texas

    February 6, 2017 We (my brother and I) have been in South Texas for two days now, and tomorrow (Tuesday) the bicycle portion of this odyssey begins in reality. However, I wouldn’t want to leave the impression that the lastRead More »
  • February 2 – Burlington, Ontario

    February 2 – Burlington, Ontario

    February 2, 2017 It all has to start somewhere, and here we are at the beginning of the beginning. As you can see, we had some light fluffy snow last night. The temperature at departure is 27 degrees F (-4Read More »
  • January 30 – Burlington, Ontario

    January 30 – Burlington, Ontario

    January 30, 2017 “Once you’ve got them by the short hairs, everything else will follow.” – attributed to Nixon White House advisor John Ehrlichmann It’s down to the short hairs now, and yes, everything is more or less falling intoRead More »
  • January 20 – Burlington, Ontario

    January 20 – Burlington, Ontario

    January 20, 2017 There are less than two weeks to go now, and things are proceeding apace, although it seems like the backlog of projects and tasks to complete at home before my departure is the greatest impediment. But itRead More »
  • January 8 – Burlington, Ontario

    January 8 – Burlington, Ontario

    January 8, 2017 Well, there are three and a half weeks before my scheduled departure from home (Burlington, Ontario), and there is still a lot of work to be done. Probably about 10 percent of the several thousand details remainRead More »
  • Riding Into Springtime – FAQ

    Riding Into Springtime – FAQ

      Riding Into Springtime – FAQ Who am I? I’m Bill Pierce, a 69-year-old guy with an idea for a bike ride and a book.  I was born in Detroit, grew up and went to school in Michigan, and livedRead More »