Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ocean Springs

Ocean Springs Trip

Posted by Brian

The Ride In
We parked just before the St. Louis Bay bridge and began the 39 mile trek to our campsite in the Gulf Island National seashore. The scenery was beautiful and the weather was great. We were on the open road with only ourselves and a few possessions. This is what real freedom feels like!

Although the trip was a blast, the ride there had some problems. We had bike troubles, sunburn, and a few too many falls by Rheann.We started the ride with a lot of energy, but reached the camp site worn out and ready for some relaxation.

Rheann in Pass Christian
Brian in Pass Christian

Setting Up Camp
We got there in one piece ready to set up camp, but needed a few extra supplies for dinner. I left to pick some things up while Rheann handled the tent and the fire. We thought we spotted a market on the way in (about a 3 miles from camp), but when I got there I discovered that it was really a bar! Who names their bar "The Government Street Grocery"? I ended up riding a couple extra miles trying to find a supermarket. 

Rheann got the tent up, sleeping bags out, and then she made dinner. I don't care if you're name is Emiril Lagasse, until you can beat Rheann on a camp stove I will not be impressed by your cooking skills! She cooked some jambalaya on the sketchiest of fires, and it was delicious!

Fast forward an hour and we are ready to get showered.... "Where's the toiletry bag?" "Uhhhh....I can't find it...." We forgot to bring soap! We had a full day's worth of stench on us and nothing to remove it with! We had to take showers with only water. 

Despite our smell, we snuggled up to bed only to get woken up by critters trying to get at the food bag. A family of raccoons decided to keep us and our food company for the night. After chasing them off a few times, we finally foiled them by hanging the bag from a tree with our rope.

In the morning Rheann made pancakes for breakfast. We packed up camp and got ready to ride home. 
Master chef Rheann
You want me to sleep where?

The Ride Home and Meeting Our First Fellow Bike Tourist
This ride was a bit easier, even though we were sunburned and tired from the day before. We had some more minor bike problems, but nothing too serious. We made significantly better time on the ride back.

Our ride was almost over when we ran into our first road buddy! His name was Eric. He was from Panama and seemed to travel a lot lighter than we did. Eric was a very interesting guy, and his way of seeing life was very similar to ours. We only talked with him for half an hour, but we could tell he was a very passionate and friendly person. He was a lot more experienced than we were at touring. 

After he told us about everywhere he had been, Eric told us about his current trip. He was on a spiritual journey. His path is going to take him across the Underground Rail Road, where escaped slaves had to run in order to reach freedom. His journey started in New Orleans, and will end in Niagra Falls! He spoke of his trip with such enthusiasm and vigor, and I am happy for him to have found something so meaningful to him. We enjoyed meeting Eric and wish him safe travels on his journey.

Our new friend Eric

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Countdown Begins!

The Countdown Begins!

The Bikes

Posted by Rheann
Finally they are built! Our mean cycling machines are finished!
Big thanks to Bayou Bikes and Zach! They have been invaluable to us as we get started on our journey.
It took a lot of getting used to on our first ride. Learning how to get on and off the clip less petals was a little painful! Brian had used them before so he was a little better off. I had it a little harder, falling over in the middle of the road 3 times wasn't exactly the most pleasant experience! (Neither was the rain, nor the puddles I fell in, nor the traffic splashing us!) Both of our butts are sore from the seats, but that will go away with more riding.

Full Gear

Now that we finally got our bikes, we had to try out hauling the gear to see how the Bob trailers handled. To our surprise, it felt a lot easier than our first ride on the bikes. The trailers seemed to push us along once we got rolling. Even over bumps and potholes, they followed easily behind us. The only time we really felt them was starting off or going up hills, but even then it was still manageable.
I'm really excited to go on our training trip to Ocean Springs, MS. Then I'll finally have the upper hand and show Brian up with my camping skills!
Let the training begin!
To grandmothers house we go!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Plan

The Plan

Leaving everything behind and going on the open road won't be easy. Here is a rundown of how we are preparing for our journey.

Step One
We are selling everything we own
Craigslist and eBay gods please grant us plentiful bids- Amen
If you're interested Here's our eBay profile

Step Two
Stock up for the trip
lots of online shopping

Step Three
Obtain our transportation
This requires a little explanation, ever heard of cycle touring? Well it's basically riding long distances and  carrying everything you need along, that's how we plan on getting around. Currently we are building some bikes with the help of an amazing local shop 

Step Four
We are planning a short trip in a few weeks to test all our gear. We will leave from our home in Metairie, Louisiana and ride to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, spend the night and ride back.

Step Five
We've already planned the first leg of our journey. First stop Texas and all the sites in-between
here's the Map
We do have many more stops planned but that's our first

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Beginning of Our Journey

Our story

The Beginning of Our Journey

Meet, fall in love, move away together, struggle, find dream job, move....still unhappy
We searched, we moved, and eventually we found that dream job we hoped for. Great pay, great benefits... Brian was working 72+ hours a week and Rheann never saw him. Meanwhile she was was taking classes, not because she really wanted a business degree, but because she felt like she had to.

We had what we thought we wanted, but the job hours were only getting worse. All the work we had done together and all we had made it through was being tested to the core. 

Why was all this so important to us? Why were we looking for this dream job and money? To buy things that we didn't need and only thought we wanted? To help everyone else get rich and contribute to a broken system? Why do we spend so much of our lives working for nothing, when we can spend it actually living?

 We are RETIRING EARLY, we are hitting the road and seeing the beauty and majesty that is all around us.  It's easy to sit back and follow the plan society has put forth for everyone; school, college, a 9-5 job, marriage, mortgage, babies, mid life crisis, and then becoming grandparents. We don't want easy, we want exciting!!