You've asked them, now we'll answer them!
How can you take so much time off work?
I work at a wonderful church, First Baptist Church of Los Alamos, and they have graciously accommodated to my absence by rearranging the schedules of the other lovely ladies that work in the office. David will have saved up 5 weeks of vacation and his company has agreed to take him down to part-time status (5/8 time, actually), the 8 weeks we'll be gone. It will reduce his paycheck but will keep him from taking unpaid time and having to pay out-of-pocket for his benefits.
What about your poor, lonely yet amazing dog?
I guess inviting my sister, Deziree, to come live with us 1.5 years ago was a good idea after all, because she's agreed to stick around an extra few weeks to be a live-in dog-sitter for us. So, that means long hours of Dez sleeping on top of her bed and Latah sleeping under it, plus random trips to visit Dobby or attend Gordan's concerts together - Latah has quite the social calender with her Auntie Dez :)
How can I help?
Great question! Since we are fully packed and ready to go for our trip, the absolute BEST WAY to help is to consider sponsoring a few miles of our trip for charity! We're doing the hard work, all you have to do is check out our "Sponsor a Mile" tab and for $1 per 1 mile, you can help us rebuild a well for a village of 150 people in Nicaragua through Living Water International. Clean water is a basic necessity that we often take for granted, and we hope our trip can be of some use helping people in need.
What is your route? Will you be on major freeways?
First of all, take a look at the "Our Routes" tab. It's a rough approximation of our planned route. We chose our route based on maps by Adventure Cycling. It's a combination of their Northern Tier and Lewis and Clark routes. The maps we bought from them are pretty amazing and to prove it to you, watch this:
We originally chose "Portland to Portland" because David thought it was clever, but we ended up decided it was the best route for us after all. We opted to travel from East to West because we're from the West and have more friends and family from Montana over, so way we'll have something to look forward to the whole time we pedal!
Another nice thing about the Adventure Cycling maps is their dedication to finding the safest roads for cyclists. Our route is fairly out-of-the-way, and most of the towns we go through have populations around 3,000-8,000. So no major freeways for us, mostly back highways with low traffic.
Where will you stay?
We're planning on 5 nights of camping and 2 nights in hotels each week. Our trailer holds everything we need to camp comfortably in developed sites but can also work in the wilderness if necessary. All our gear is designed for backpacking, so it's ultra light. The two nights in hotels will be for real showers, real beds, and doing laundry in real sinks. Hooray!
Will you keep updating your blog?
We've got smart phones and a few ideas, but quite frankly, our route continually takes us through the piddliest little towns, so I'm not sure what our cell coverage will be like. We'll try to post pictures and brief updates 3-5 times a week, with as frequent updates to our Trip Tracker site as possible. Essentially, we're gonna make it up as we go (like we're doing with the rest of the trip!).
Any questions I missed? Leave a comment and ask whatever is on your mind!