Wednesday, June 4, 2008

West Side Story

Ahh, so much to tell, so very much. So Josh and I have departed, yes we're in Seattle. A fair bit of complexity has occurred though. But lets start back at the beginning.

Early evening Monday Josh and myself departed Cortland after a brief stop at the best place on Earth- The Souvlaki House for what are certainly the best calzones ever.

We spent the next for hours listening to Josh make odd noises in the car, and traveling to the small town of Gowanda about an hour south of Buffalo. I met Josh's family and still question how he's related. Har dee har I'm hilarious. Seriously though- really nice people. Too bad Josh's Dad and brother couldn't come for the trip.

So like the wise youngin's we are we opted not to sleep at all Monday night, seeing as we were going to have to wake up at 2:30 to be ready to leave at 3. Did I mention our flight out was at 6am? Ouch. Lets just say I regret that slumberless decision. After dodging what must had been a dozen deer, we arrived at Buffalo for our flight. The baggage check went smoothly- save Josh voluntarily reminding the man to measure our bags. Ya know, just in case they were too big and the employee didn't notice it. I have so much to teach this boy. Here's what might be the last picture of Josh with his family. Considering I might kill him along the way.

Our first flight was from Buffalo to Chicago with an hour long lay over until we departed to Seattle. Josh, excited like a 10 year old in a room filled puppies and candy, decided not to sleep. Rather he made buddies with the businessman "socialite" next to him. I slept the best I could. Same for our following flight really. But man, was I tired.

We landed to gray skies and a fair bit of rain. Seattle was really all anyone has told me to expect. It was pretty nice for me though, only about 60 degrees which might had been the only good thing for a while. We took a taxi over to the bike shop Josh and myself had shipped our bikes to, discovering the surrounding area is pretty much an commercial center with warehouses and strip malls and whatnot. So we go get Josh's bike and most everything went smoothly there. We had also learned while attempting to track my bike that UPS has lost my bike somewhere between Syracuse, Chicago, and the Bermuda Triangle.

See, UPS apparently works like this- some transfer stations are manual, a real human being physically transporting packages from one cargo area to another. Others are automated with robots doing the work. Apparently the robots in Chicago looooooove to send my bike to Syracuse. And apparently the humans in Syracuse loooooove to send my bike to Chicago. So they're in quite the dead heat, let me tell you! As of posting this my bicycle has just left Syracuse for the third time in the last week. That's right. I'm in Seattle. My bike just left Syracuse. Again.

I met some really nice guys at UPS though. They're really busting there asses for me to try to get my bike. They realize I'm stranded without it, and they're also under the impression I'm without camping gear until I get that box (not so very true, sorry Leroy and Stephen if you read this eventually~). I suppose I need a little manipulating favor on my side until things get done. So Leroy (a manager) is more or less attempting to A- locate my bike, B- get it here. Leroy said he'd absolutely get the bike on a plane and shipped next day if possible. Apparently the government wont let him though, because my bike could be a bomb. Fair enough. Fair enough. Anyway, as of right now my bike is due here on Friday the 6th. Four days after we've arrived. If Leroy can pull his magic, it could be as early as tomorrow? Although I'm not holding my breath.

We did get awesome UPS hats out of the ordeal!

Next we at least needed shelter for the night. We had discovered a church that'd let us camp on their property for the night, and also a hotel that was cheap as hell. So we started walking the four miles toward the two places, which were right near each other, only to realize we were going to have difficulty accessing a route on foot that was safe. Keep in mind I've slept 4 hours in the last 40 and Josh maybe 10 minutes. We look like vagrants Josh walking his comically huge bike down the street, and I'm wearing sandals, and after walking/standing for 8 hours I'm tired. We decide to just give up and stay at the hotel closest to us (where I've been stealing wifi) and I send Josh ahead to get pricing info.

I get there to find Josh discussing convoluted directions BACK the four miles for the church. I laid down the law and tossed my credit card down. Expensive? Yes. Free breakfast? No. Aburd? Yes. But we needed simplicity for the night.

So that's the deal. It's going on 10 here soon and I have another 2 hours in this room, which I plan on taking advantage of. We'll find out the bike deal and the bus system today. Hopefully we'll get the time to go see the city and the sites. Can anyone say "throw a fish at me!"?


pbuck said...

Glad for the update. Was wondering why no easterly trek was occurring. Thought significant sight-seeing was the attraction. Good luck.

P said...

awesome hats

Anonymous said...

Hey there...just heard about your trip on WAMC. Your dad just made a pledge in your honor. Good luck on the trip...this is an AMAZING country. Hopefully you know about this, but I'll say it just in case. My husband rode cross country about twenty years ago on a not-so-great bike seat. Since then, his "nether regions" have not worked quite like they used to. So....if you haven't checked out how to protect this part of your body, you may want to. I think you just have to stand up every ten minutes or so for like thirty seconds. But I don't know for sure. Anyway, sorry to get personal but if I never told you and you hadn't heard about potential sequelae to a long trip, I'd feel bad not saying anything (being a doctor and all).
Have a GREAT time. You'll find Americans to be a lot more open and friendly out there than they are here. Peace!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi there Rossy,

I take it you got your bike finally. Hope your doing well and enjoying your journey.

Clint said...

hey, i just wanted to say that i'm thinking of doing the same exact thing as you. I want to bike across america and see everything there is to be seen. I've also started a blog

maybe you can give me some tips later on how to manage this trek.

Good luck!