Finish What You Start

Back on Hinman Ave in the old days when kids went out to play all day and didn’t get carpooled everywhere, my BFF Harriet and I decided to ride our bikes up and down our 1 block for 100 laps. A nice round number that we figured was 10 miles, an adventure to achieve a round number staying within sound of each household’s bell or noisemaker that meant come home for dinner.

This wonderful afternoon delight hatched a dream to perhaps cross our town boundary on a bike or even something grander like across the USA. Harriet claims we eventually biked to Kenosha WI (as teenagers) just across the border to buy beer or wine. I do not remember this trip so it probably did involve beer or wine. All I can imagine now is HOW DID THIS HAPPEN wearing cut off jeans and one speed bikes ?

Here is part of the Hinman Ave crew today

Harriet Hunt Nan W and Lewis Hunt

Eventually my bike adventures evolved to 112 miles with a nicer bike preceded by a long swim and followed by a marathon. Since that is quite a workout, rest assured there were no cut off jeans worn and the beer waited until the next day.

Since I got sidetracked with swimming, biking and running a bunch of marathons the bike across USA goal got buried until I had an AARP card for quite awhile. I finally pulled the trigger in 2016 to ride in 2017. The ride happened without me due to a medical situation a few months before the ride.

2019 I pulled the trigger again and paid up, trained up and began the ride in March 2020 with a great group of riders and staff with Bubba’s C2C tour.

We had a glorious few weeks until Covid shutdown the country. The following year 2021 a few of our 2020 group completed the C2C without vaccinations. So brave.

I eventually completed a 50 state running tour when the country opened back up. Time was definitely marching on I was in my late 60’s and these athletic goals were becoming challenging.

March 2020 Bubba’s C2C trip

For the 2020 ride my inspiration was Terry Hunt (wife of Lewis) who had just lost a short battle with ALS. Terry’s photo rode up front showing me the way. Take nothing for granted, appreciate every moment and always be gracious. Even when you look like a horse that got run too hard and put away wet …..put on that beautiful smile.

Here is Terry, Millie and Sissy on a beautiful trail in Gainesville almost home to St Augustine

March 2022 we gave another cross country go with Womantours. This trip the plan included hotels not camping. This was a good idea for this presently somewhat high maintenance old lady.

We made it safe and sound to the east coast from the west coast, and my beloved Deb and the Hinman Ave crew and pal Michele threw a great party in St Augustine. Journey complete.

Finish what you start. Most importantly …..Start. I would be fibbing if i said preparing for this trip 3 times was paradise. Perseverance had some lessons to teach for 6 years and of lots of saddle time. Finish what you start. Thanks for following and feel my support for a ride around the block and beyond.

Carpe Diem -Seize the Day

A lifetime highlight for Debbie and I was traveling to Atlantic City to support and cheer our dear friend Adan Chinchilla when he completed his 50th marathon state-New Jersey.

We power cheered with signs, photo masks, flags and rented bikes chasing down Adan. The finish was glorious. The announcer gave 10 minutes of fame including an interview over the P.A. The police officer was so excited and exuberant she crashed the photos. There is simply nothing like a 50 state marathon finish. The journey through the country is magnificent and magical. It also takes training, planning and blessings of health and resources.

Treasure the day, make your bucket list a plan not a dream. It is with a heavy heart that I share that 2 months after Atlantic City and 1 week after delivery of the funds to Mozambique to build a village school Adan passed away suddenly from undiagnosed liver cancer. It is still a shock to realize over a year later.

A few days later our beloved friend Sandy lost a short battle with an aggressive cancer.I had pics of both them guiding me through the challenges of biking coast to coast a few months later.

These two beautiful and generous souls made a difference to so many. They can also make a difference if this spurs you to move forward in some way with a challenge, a goal, a dream or all three. Go big with no regrets.

Hopefully I will keep posting adventures from 2022. Here is a preview of what happened a few months later in honor of my role models Sandy and Adan.

3100 miles Coast to Coast with Sandy and Adan as copilots.
It takes a village and a family
We did it !

Feel my support for your quest. Let’s get to it.

Fondly, Nan W

Recap Summer 2021

Hello beloved readers. I have been inspired to resume the nanadventure posts. I hope you enjoy them.

Life was slowly returning in Spring 2021. After a long delay I achieved my 49th running state in Delaware. The cicadas were very abundant and it was so great to see the 50 state running posse after the pandemic hiatus.

Bear Delaware state #49
Hay ! Elkton Maryland the day after just because
Adan C achieving state 47

The Mainly Marathon series was going to do a week of New England states on consecutive days. I declined the lovely invitation to run 160 miles in a week and went back home to prepare for number 50 in Green River WY in August. Did I mention it was fabulous to be back in the world after a year of shutdowns ?!!

In July we gathered the fun seekers and did our first Womantours bike trip. The tour was Finger Lakes with emphasis on Women’s history. The scenery and information on the Suffragettes was wonderful. We got a private tour of Susan Anthony’s house. What a hero.

Niagara Falls ? YES please ! The Maid of the Mist never gets old. The Cave of the Winds was wonderful. I stuck my head under a torrent and never felt so alive.

Betsy Linda Masked Singer and two strangers
No one went on the free barrel ride

Wyoming was a successful run and state number 50 for the second time was finally finished. The race was a very small field up a butte/mesa with wild horses on the road

Finisher !

It felt like a million bucks to finally finish the quest and even with careful planning cost a chunk of that amount to galavant around America and run around.

America is inspiring, people are kind and generous. I so encourage you to explore our country.

Peace to you. It’s great to be back.

Love to all, Nan W.

Still Standing After All These Years.

This summer the awe is focused on architectural detail on very old buildings. Fortunately I have had the privilege to spend a bit of time this summer in some older Main Streets and town squares. Above is a very rudimentary explanation of a few parts. In researching and spending time on this photo my awe compounded for the details over each window. This building is spreading it’s joy in Sparta WI. They have done a good job on revitalization on Main St. Here are a few more from Sparta. (Do not ask how long it took to insert the text to the above photos)

Here are two more from Trempealeau just off the Mississippi River on the Great River Trail on the WI side. Shout out to the Masons your symbol is loud and proud since 1895.

Baraboo WI has got some beauties. Chicago people take the drive, there is something for everyone in this area.

Here is a Flat Iron style building and a lovely residence in Wisconsin Rapids

Please welcome this agricultural architectural diversion to a restored round barn north of Wausau WI. It is available to host big parties and weddings FYI.

Close to home here in our summer escape is a building in Beloit. Am I incorrect if I call Art Deco ? Please comment if you have feedback.

The next block is from the Natchez Trace.

Florence AL

A visit to Tupelo is not complete without a visit to the 2 room shack where Elvis was born. It is indeed much smaller than it looks.

We will wrap up with a few from St Augustine FL where it all started in 1585 with some Tiffany stain glass. I hope you learned some new terms and if you wander into an old downtown you have a delightful experience looking up.

Keep the summer frolic going and as always sending much love to all. NW

C2C Finish 2020 Timberline

In early May we went to St Augustine FL to greet this year’s Coast to Coast (capital C !) riders from Timberline. They rode the Southern Tier which is San Diego to St Augustine -3000 miles of 2021 fun.

When the group departed vaccines were few and far between and the country and the tour operator were in transition from 2020. Texas had the big weather event and recovery from that plus evolving ways to remain safe made everyday a different challenge. Hats off to this group on the brave decision to start riding in early March.

The excitement of the loved ones as they rounded the last corner was terrific. Families, friends and pets were getting back together after 2 months.

The toes went into the sand, the front wheels were dipped in the Atlantic and the bubbly flowed. There were lots and lots of hugs and huge smiles. On a very special note Debbie and I were the family stand-ins for Mr. Tom Gray from Vermont. We were so happy and proud of the whole group but Tom was our special guy for the day.

Having made an attempt at this ride last year, getting to El Paso with most of these riders I was so elated for everyone. A special shout out to Bella the border collie who did quite a few miles with her owner Tim who pulled her trailer.

Everything is possible. To quote a good friend “The time to get to your bucket list is while you still can.”

Start dreaming, keep dreaming. What’s it going to take to make it happen ?

The miracle is always the courage to start. Love to all.


Continue reading “C2C Finish 2020 Timberline”

Texas Hill Country

In April my first post Vax break out was a trip to Texas to check in on this year’s Southern Tier bike coasters and participate in Adventure Cycling supported camping bike tour. The bluebonnets were putting on a great show. The coasters did a great job in getting through Texas. This year there were added challenges of a new tour operator, covid closures and impact from the weather event in February.

Our tour began outside of New Braunfels on the Guadalupe River. Within the first 15 miles a rancher was having an early morning concert for the horseys. The next night we camped at the Pedernales River. We had a few nights near the wine country in Fredricksburg. The last night was on the Blanco River. Near a boot fence we were up real high and just for fun in the middle of a long hot hilly bike day we were encouraged to do a big hike up Enchanted Rock. In Texas go big or go bigger !

Next is a little video of the Blanco River road. In Texas due to flash floods the roads have water crossings. There is a 12 foot water gauge next to the crossing. Instead of the road staying flat and the water going under the road they slope the road sharply down to the river bed in a valley shape . Sometimes in the crossing there is mud, high water etc. To figure this all out on a bike that is going downhill quickly is a heart rate spiker. It had rained the previous night so I was thrilled this one was not flooded. I had hoteled the previous night so I was packed up quickly and first rider out to be the guinea pig.

On the way home I checked in on the coasters who had successfully made it to Louisiana. A bonus of the trip back was a stop at Fanning Springs near Gainesville.

My heart is full of gratitude. Thanks for following. Love to all. NW

Hello Again July 2021 Update

My beloved readers it has been a year and a half since we last caught up. I am so happy to check in that all is well and the adventures are back on.

While things were still restricted I enjoyed a great Space Coast (FL) bike tour with the wonderful perk of spending a week with Liz and Les from C2C last year. We had a great week exploring the area and eating some great meals with Bubba’s tour.

Debbie came a few days early and we enjoyed a night SpaceEx launch and some beautiful riding on our anniversary.

Immediately after my Vax safe date I had a really wonderful time in Texas Hill Country connecting with this year’s C2C and riding an Adventure Cycling camping tour. Not sure if it was finally getting out but it was one of my absolute favorite tours. Bluebonnets everywhere. That part of our country is really fabulous and checked off The Alamo. Ladybird Johnson’s mission to plant roadside wildflowers and deter litter was a total win for Texas.

On the way home I discovered a beautiful FL fresh water spring.

Fanning Springs
Way up high outside Fredericksburg TX
Love Love Love these.

You may want to check out the Polarsteps app and find and follow Nancy Wentink. It is a much quicker and reliable way for me to post quickly on the road and load pics without a good signal. I have a few new adventures there now. Check it out.

I will return here for some additional updates from 2021. The Polarstep is working so well to post the bike trips I hope you can make it work.

In March 2022 I hope accomplish the Coast to Coast Southern Tier. This goal has been on the schedule for 6 years and it is time to get it done !! I plan to go on Womantours and it will be all hotels. Sorry …..tents and remote bathroom, you are not in the plans.

In the meantime I have a little more running to finish the 50 states and a swimming trip to Greece with fabulous friends and my beloved green caps. Trying to do three things at once keeps the washer and kitchen busy. My friend the party is Always in the back of the pack. Keeping it festive and fabulous.

Get out and play. Love to all, NW

June highlight Brood X MD
Angela T and Hank on the Hill Maryland
Hay ! It was 95’ Running is for lunatics

Barn Greatest Hits 2020

Greetings readers. Thank you for enjoying this beautiful picture tour taken last summer-the covid summer-of some beautiful barns on the roads of Walworth and Rock County Wisconsin. My pal Trudy referred D and I to a virtual cross country bike challenge. The idea was to bike from Memorial Day to Labor Day and accomplish the mileage on I-40 to go from North Carolina to California. The daily average was plus or minus 25 miles a day. You could skip a day but the next day would have to be double. 25 miles is a lovely distance to ride daily. You can see we had a sunny summer and the barns put on a great show. The simplicity of just biking everyday and a few jig saw puzzles filled the summer.

This post got lost in a draft file so it is even more fun to enjoy a year later. The picture with the bike leaning on the silo was at the final mile of the challenge. That particular farm is abandoned and truth be told the fantasy of buying it in a tax sale was a winter ponder. City girls best stick to riding fancy bikes on the paved roads and taking iphone pictures. Do I look like I could repair a huge rotting barn and crumbling old house ? Call the HGTV hosts please.

This summer the visual delights on the bike have turned to architectural detail on old buildings in downtown squares and Main Streets. More to follow on this topic after a bit more exploring.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.- Tecumseh

Make it a great day. Love to all, Nan

Withalocooche Trail Experience

Day 2 of the central Florida fun fest started with perfect 70’ temps, great canopy out of the breeze and exciting brunch plans. Debbie started things rolling with a brisk pace down the trail with a 10 mile out and back goal. The hour passed quickly. We did a u turn back to the hotel and D went on the avocado scramble and pumpkin pancakes with cream cheese. hunting and gathering of a Brunch. Turkey Nan did a bit more riding and it was game on with Ms delicious.

The specifics on this 2 day gala are lodging at the older but spotless Central Motel in Inverness. $65 a night adjacent to the With. Trail. Yesterday was a kayak rental from Rainbow Kayak in Dunellon and lunch from the Blue Gator (scenic overlooking the Withalocooche River). Today brunch was from Cinnamon Sticks adjacent to the Central Motel. Other kayak rental options are at Rainbow Springs State Park at the headwaters /swimming hole and at the KP launch in Dunellon. Inverness has some excellent restaurants and the park surrounding the trail downtown was very lovely with a fishing pier, water overlooks, etc.

The initial plan was to do a hike in Croom near Brooksville on the way home tomorrow but home was calling after 48 hours away. That was enough excitement after 7 months of keeping it very close to the casa.

Keep moving forward, be well and remember outside is the best side.

Love to all,

N/Big D

Rainbow River 10/20

When life gives you the stuck at home blues go kayak a beautiful Florida spring fed river.

It still hotter than the surface of the sun so we added a swim at the head spring that was refreshing and beautiful.

Wildlife was excellent on this trip. Double breasted cormorant, Great Blue Heron and tons of turtles taking a suntan.

These are as big as they appear

The beloved Debbie navigated us perfectly to the take out location and a wonderful feast at the Blue Gator.

This was the left overs if you can believe it.

It’s real. It’s central Florida. Tomorrow the adventure quest is a few hours biking under the canopy of the Witholocoochee Trail. Rumor has it there are pumpkin pancakes and omelettes in that crystal ball too.

Thanks for following, stay outside and inspired and keep moving forward.

Love to all

N/ Big D