7 Summits


7 Summits

7 Days // 7 Summits // 

View from Trail

The first planned hike was to summit Mt. Belford and the day started out with great weather--not noticing that storm system approaching us. We had just cleared the tree line and hikers coming done advised us to head back because the storm was going to be pretty intense. So we rushed to get back, but the storm poured its might on us. Luckily we had returned to tree cover so we were fairly protected from the hail and rain. Lesson for the future: check the radar before embarking on a 4-6 hour hike. 

Start of the First Day

Start of the Second Day

We rested at base camp the night before and had a early start the next day. The drive was about an hour from camp to the trail head and we started hiking before sunrise. The plan for this day was to summit Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans through the Sawtooth ridge. 

Ian (left of center) breezed through the hike, while I (far right) lagged a bit behind, but Yahya (right of center) and Ryan (far left) were very far behind. As I remember, we waited 20 minutes before they showed up for us to take the group photo. Anyhow, we quickly realized that none of us had the chutzpah to hike the Sawtooth ridge to summit Mt. Evans. So we decided to hike down to the car and rest for the remainder of the day. 

View from the Mt. Bierstadt summit

The third day itinerary was pretty ambitious: wake up at 4, drive two hours, and summit 4 peaks. Of the four only Ian and I mustered the courage to hike the 4 summits

From the trail to Mt. Democrat

Summit photos from Mt. Democrat. I was somewhat okay, but Ian had altitude sickness. We both brushed it off and attmepted the other summits. 

Mt. Cameron in the distance

Mt. Lincoln

From Mt. Bross

The descent was awesome

Though the hike coupled with altitude sickness was a bit difficult and at times unpleasant, the end of the day triumph was incredible. The final tally was 10.2 miles and 3,858 feet of elevation gain.

The end of the 4 summit hike

During the last day of hiking, the group reassembled. We set out on our drive before sunrise to summit Grays and Torrey's peak. 

Above left: Ryan, what can you say, with brute force he trailed and the results were rather surprising. 

View from the trail

Grays peak was spectacular! The view of the distant mountains was humbling. We all made it to the top of Grays after Ian. Ian was way ahead of us and I think he was actually done with Torrey's peak and just relaxing on a ledge. 

The high of the summit carried Ryan forward to summit Torrey's peak, but unfortunately Yahya decided to head down. Meanwhile, I caught up to Ian and we hiked down together. 

From Torrey's peak

The trip was a much need break before the start of a new job and settling in a new apartment. Ian and I hike 7 summits, Rayn did 3, and Yahya did 2. We decided to have the last day as a break day before our 9 hour drive back to Kansas City. 


Bicycle Tour. 3800 Miles. British Columbia.


Bicycle Tour. 3800 Miles. British Columbia.

This was my last segment of the tour, I rode from White Fish, Montana to British Columbia through the southern edge of British Columbia. It took me 6 days to complete and I totaled 625 miles. 

// At the Border

// First Night in British Columbia 

// View from Cabin

// Farm Land in the Valleys of British Columbia 

During the 7 days of my ride, I climbed a combined elevation gain of 40,000 and passed over 7 summits - all photographed above. This was the most physically challenging part of my trip. The weather was full sun exposure during all 7 days and each consisted of 80-100 miles of riding and 4,000 - 7,000 feet of climbing. The scenery was spectacular, so the rides were consistently punctuated by stops to take photos and breaks. 

// Osoyoos, British Columbia 

// View from Rest Stop

// Resting and Preparing for a 6,800 Feet of Climbing

On my second to last night before Vancouver, I stayed in Osoyoos, British Columbia. The ride following Osoyoos was a 110 miles and I climbed 6,800 feet. I rode along the Similkameen River (top left) and passed Copper Mountain at Sunday summit (top right).

// Descending down from Manning Park

The last day of riding was a descent from Manning Park at Allison Pass summit. Thought most of the ride was a descent, I still climbed 4,000 feet over a distance of 150 miles. 

// Overlooking Fraser RIver

// After 3600 Miles of Cycling 

// Crossed over the Pitt River

// Crossed into Vancouver

This completed my tour from NYC to Vancouver. It was an incredible ride which sparked the planning of similar trips. I covered a distance of 3,706.40 miles, climbed 113,905 feet, and burned 157,796 calories over the course of 54 total days, but only 46 days of riding. 

I want to thank all of those that contributed to my trip through my GoFundMe campaign and all of the support I received while on the trip from friends and family. I especially want to thank those that took the time to FaceTime and/or call me while riding, the conversations lessened the physical challenges of this trip which made the rides very enjoyable. I also want to thank the numerous Warmshowers hosts that opened their doors and welcomed me, I'm deeply indebted to all of you. 


Bicycle Tour. 3000 Miles. The Divide.


Bicycle Tour. 3000 Miles. The Divide.

My last day off for rest and recovery was La Crosse, Wisconsin, so I cycled for 13 days and covered a distance of 1100 miles none stop. Our warmshowers host in Billings was kind enough to allow us to stay for an extra day off. Adam decided to go on drives through the mountains and I took the day to relax and planned my last section of the trip. 

// Leaving Billings, Montana 

I was riding north to Lewistown, Montana and my view was the open planes (top left) and distant mountain ranges (top right).

// Rest Stop

// Getting Closer to Lewistown

My Night's Stay just 7 miles away from Lewistown

The family I stayed with in Lewistown was very hospitable and friendly (top right), they equipped me with elk meet and fruit and recommended that I stay with a family member of theirs in Great Falls, Montana. I camped a night in between Lewistown and Great Falls and arrived in Great Falls 120 miles later. I took time to fully tune my bicycle and change my disc brakes (top left).

// Bicycle Maintenance 

// Some Silos on the Farm Lands of Montana 

// The Northern Rockies in the Distance 

// Leaving Great Falls

After five days of cycling, I was a lot closer to Glacier National Park and my views were finally changing from plains to mountains. That was an incredible feeling after 2000 miles of plains. 

// Leaving the Plains Behind

// Taking a break in Browning, Montana

I crossed over the Two Medicine River and completed my ride through Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Along the way, I was frequently warned about the dangers of cycling through the reservation lands and all of it was false. I even took a break in the center of where it was suppose to be dangerous, Browning, Montana and it felt like another city, albeit one with a high concentration of Native Indians/Native Americans. 

Entering East Glacier National Park

// Climbing The Divide

I met Dave and Gary in East Glacier Park Village the night before we cycled over the divide. I haven't seen them since Minnesota or for the last 1800 miles, it was nice to have a drink and spend one day of riding with them. We split off at Columbia Falls, just outside of West Glacier Park Village, and I began heading north to White Fish, Montana. 

// Amtrak Crossing Maria's Pass

It was a raining and windy day over Maria's pass, but beautiful none the less. We cycled through divide and took a few coffee breaks along the way to enjoy the scenery. 

// Glacier National Park

// Leaving West Glacier National Park

// Entering White Fish, Montana 

// Rest Stop near the Border

// Miles away from Entering Canada

This segment covered 550 miles and marked a total distance of 3200 miles. My last segment will be through British Columbia, Canada and it will cover the last 600 miles of my tour. 


Bicycle Tour. 2500 Miles. Going South.


Bicycle Tour. 2500 Miles. Going South.

Adam and I made it to Bismark to start our joint tour. This part of the trip took us from Bismark, North Dakota to Billings, Montana; we covered a distance of 450 miles in 6 days. 

// Adam leaving Bismark

// Rolling Hills of Western North Dakota

About 40 miles into our tour, my back bicycle rack broke. Luckily, we weren't that far away from a gas station and duct tape and zip ties resolved the problem. 

// Assumption Abbey in Richardton, North Dakota 

We did 85 miles for our first ride, a lot more than we had originally planned, but our stop was worth it. The Warmshowers host from Bismark had recommended that we knock on the door of this Abbey for hosting. Monk Odo, top right, welcomed us and we slept the night in the basement quarters. This was one of the most unexpected turns in the trip; we had dinner with the monks and spent the night with Monk Odo at the Abbey's wine cellar. And the next morning we had breakfast with the monks and I hymned with the congregation in the stalls. 

// Evening view from the Abbey

// Western North Dakota is full of these Oil Rigs

Random stop to use restroom and the picture of the baby changing station (top right) was taking at a guy's hardware store along with the saw picture (top left). 

// Water Towers were a frequent Sight across the Plains

// Entering Montana

// Rest Stop at Theodore National Park

// Theodore National Park

Montana's roads oscillated between highways and farm roads. But all of it was scenic with vistas of distant mountain ranges. 

// Morning Cycling Shadow

// Outside Custer, Montana 

// Police Stopped to Check on Us

// We Cycled a lot on these Frontage Roads

// Taking a Mid Day Break

// Celebratory Drink before our last stop in Billings, Montana

// Billings, Montana 

This segment marked 2500 miles of cycling. So far I had one broken spoke and no flat tires. I'm hoping to keep it that way to the finish. My next segment will take me across the continental divide. 


Bicycle Tour. 2000 Miles. W.I.N.D.


Bicycle Tour. 2000 Miles. W.I.N.D.

This was the most difficult part of my trip. I rode 325 miles in three days because I had to be in Bismark, North Dakota in time to meet Adam (a friend of mine that drove from Kansas City to Bismark join me for a 500 mile segment). Covering that distance in 3 days wasn't the difficult part, it's covering that distance while going westward across North Dakota. During all 3 days the headwinds oscillated from 25-40 mph, the elevation displacement was negligible and on my second day I rode highway 46 (one of the longest stretch of straight highways in the country).

// Approaching Kindred, North Dakota

After a 110 mile ride, I arrived in Kindred, North Dakota. The owner of the only gas station in the town is a Warmshowers host and spent the night with him and his family. 

// On Highway 46, heading towards Gackle, North Dakota

After a grueling 105 miles with headwinds up to 35mph, I arrived in Gackle, North Dakota. I spent the night at a hostel open for bicycle tourist by a local bee keeper. 

// North Dakota was either Grassland or Farmland

The end of highway 46 was a very gleeful moment. I cycled to a nearby town, just outside of Gackle and had breakfast there. Top right is the town's library. 

Leaving Gackle and Streeter and heading West

// Wind in North Dakota (W.I.N.D.)

// 60 Miles of Gravel Road

After three consecutive centuries, I arrived in Bismark, North Dakota. These three days were the most delirious days of the trip. The seemingly infinite horizons, little to no human interaction, the wind, and the distance all formed into one long moment. My next segment will be a lot more fun. I will ride with Adam from Bismark, North Dakota to Billings, Montana.