A time consuming, but worthwhile, foray off the bike.

I stepped off the bike in order to regain my composure (something I had desperately lost on the west coast) and make a few extra dollars for the continued journey. Well, after 700 hrs of challenging and rewarding work, the second part of that objective has been reached. I based myself in Colorado Springs to work on remodeling a kitchen, along with a good deal more of the attached spaces. In order for the project to be indicative of me taking time away from my southern pedal-powered journey I stipulated that I needed to be involved in everything, from design to construction, including the custom cabinets. Albeit stressful, with nearly 500 hrs in just April and May alone, in the end it was a hugely rewarding project that has me confident in at least part of what I have learned over the last 15 years. At the same time I still find myself slightly demystified at the glory of self-employment and the freedoms that turn out to be elusive. While I may be able to entertain the notion that I could nestle myself into a little niche, I am by no means prepared to do so. As that realization has slowly and laboriously come into focus it is simultaneously re-inspiring me for the continued journey to Patagonia. With everything achieved I am ever more ready to get back on the bike and venture south, but it will continue to wait.

At the moment I am trying to build a 440 sf. raised and covered deck in Rapid City, to assist my dad, but today we sat watching it rain. As I mentioned before, following this detour I will be making my way to Montana and then down to the Tetons for the Targhee Folk Fest. My journey south will resume just after the music ends (or I wake up the next morning). I have decided to “get back in shape” by riding the section of the Great Divide Mtb. route from near Ashton, ID to Hartsel, CO where I will deviate back east to Colorado Springs. I have settled upon a month of brief and hopefully quick work in August to let the blazing summer heat pass over the desert, and to complete my growing checklist for the rest of my trip, not to mention ring in my 30th Birthday and watch the Pro Bike race in Colorado. When I do roll south in September, I am looking at 15,000 additional miles to the southern tip of South America (after 5,000 so far, and 800 on the Great Divide this summer), and something like 15-17 months of travel. My companion of the first part of my trip, Nathan, has rolled his way down Baja, across to the Copper Canyons, and now down to Mexico City. Loving nearly all of it, he has me yearning for the experiences of biking south of the border.

For the skeptics out there, here are some photos to prove I have been a busy man:

Kitchen and Dining Rm beforeKitchen and Dining Rm before


Kitchen and Dining Rm before

Kitchen and Dining Rm afterKitchen and Dining Rm after


Kitchen and Dining Rm after


The whole short album can be seen on my photos page – quickly compiled before I left town with better images to come in August. My biking exploits are soon to resume, and so are my ramblings.


2 Responses to “A time consuming, but worthwhile, foray off the bike.”

  1. samh says:

    Justin, great meeting you this morning in Bozeman while watching Le Tour. I wish you the best of luck in returning to your trip and look forward to following your progress as it develops.

    – Sam

  2. Nathan says:

    At this rate I’ll probably still be in Mexico City in September! Nice work on the kitchen… I knew you’d be good at something! No really, very impressive. Enjoy the rest of the summer pal.

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