Thanks for visiting as we Ride & Explore!


Lake Rothbun to Eddyville, IA

We decided on a shorter day today as the hills and humidity are taking a toll on us. Enjoyed coffee and showers at the campground and talked to our new friend Fred.

Pretty cool to cross the Rothbun Dam as it is over a mile wide. The weather was not cooperating with us this morning and I am not complaining as we have been so lucky with weather all throughout our journey. The wind proved to be too much for me so 5 miles into our ride we stopped for cherry pie and ice cream. When we got to the highway the wind was blowing so hard we decided the safer option to be the backroads. This would add just a few extra miles. What’s a few more miles:)

We traveled thru the hilly countryside and towns of Moravia and Blakesburg. We had seen Eddyville on the map and wanted to stay in that town as we have a good friend that has a lake house in Eddyville, KY. Yes..we know we are in Iowa:). Tonight was a hotel night which I am quite fond of….checked in at the Eddyville Inn and spent the rest of the day checking out the local pubs. (2058 miles)

Goodbye to Fred

Only Dam we have crossed this summer

These photos definitely don’t show the wind
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But you can get a sense of the hills

Hello Eddyville
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Princeton, MO to Lake Rothbun, IA – Day 46

Woke up at the Princeton Fairgrounds and changed in my little yellow house. Enjoyed a great breakfast at Homemade Cafe. I went to pay and was informed Chris and Orville Trainer picked up our check. We had met Chris the night before for just a few moments….yet ANOTHER random act of kindness during our journey. A few unexpected stops today due to one of my tires leaking. Today was a huge day for us as we entered Iowa, put in a 70 mile day, and pedaled across mile 2000! A fabulous end to our day was the wonderful Lake Rothbun retreat. (2019 miles)

Loved my little yellow changing room

Another big thank you to our friends Chris and Orville20120218-090117.jpg

So happy I brought my mechanic with me….here he is patching my tire

And changing my tire…

Hello Iowa!

Hello 2000 miles!

Another hot and humid day..tempted to join them

Breathtaking sunset as we arrived at Lake Rothbun

Galliston to Princeton, MO – Day 45

Woke up to more news regarding heat warnings….figured we should get a big breakfast in at the Corner Cafe and check out the town before pushing out. Out goal was to pedal 25 miles before resting in Trenton during the hottest part of the day. We took a tour thru Jamesport which is an Amish community but it being Sunday there wasn’t much to see. Arrived in Trenton and quickly found a McDonalds to hang out at. We spoke to a super nice couple that convinced us to alter our route. They promised flatter roads and a wide shoulder:). A great move as the roads were great and we arrived in Princeton early evening. The bartender at Crossroad Bar and Grill helped set us up with camping at their local fairground. She even cleared it with the town sheriff:). Such a hot/sticky night we didn’t bother getting our sleeping bags out. (1950 miles)

Check out this jailhouse in Galliston – the cells rotate….



Casey’s was one of our favorite stops always offering free air, pizza, and ice cream!

Hard to tell in this photo but we think someone stole this horse and was rounding the corner on 2 wheels

Sorry BP no fuel for us or our friends…

A few sites along the way…


“I’m Lovin It”

Thanks to our friends who put us on this road…

I think Gene is going to catch him:)

St. Joseph to Galliston, MO -Day 44

Another day of rolling hills and Gene had a tough time getting going today. I am pretty sure he is low on fuel even though he blames it on bad nights sleep at a hotel. We stopped in Clarksdale and caught part of a softball game and after traveling through Maysville and Weathersby we had a really nice rest stop at Flannery’s. Really happy the road flattened out late day! We were able to catch some racing at the track and a livestock show in Galliston. The livestock show ended after dark so we headed to the Sandman Hotel. Gene wanted snacks so he stopped off at Casey’s and pulled in 10 minutes later with a police escort. I guess they wanted to make sure he arrived at the Sandman safely. (1898 miles)


I wasn’t too happy to see this photo….I am busy falling and Gene has time to capture it?


This one made us laugh

Super cool the ladies working the gate let us check the race out for free:)

So you could camp at the livestock grounds but with a competition under way there was odor in the air….


Atchison, KS to St. Joseph, MO – Day 43

Did we mention Atchison, KS gets the top rating for the hilliest town we have come across? We conquered a few more hills on the way out of town. We headed north on HWY 7 which also gets top billing for most dangerous road – narrow, no shoulder, and additional traffic due to bridge closure. It was not long before Gene navigated us to a back road…a road that turned out to be quite interesting.

We planned to cross the Missouri River at St. Joseph and time was of the essence as there was talk of levies breaking in this area. We saw the National Guard set up at several schools as we neared the river. My inquisitive guy talked to a few of the people in charge and they assured us the latest check on the levies pointed to “all good”.

I was exited to get to St. Joseph as it was not only a new state but family awaited us. We met Mark and Becky Reinig for dinner and a concert. We had a perfect evening to sit outside and enjoy the music and good conversation. (1838 miles)

Hated this road….

Ahhhh…a quiet country road

Wasn’t long before we ran into Vic Bear and his guys

Vic and his guys were moving things to higher ground in preparation for flooding. He took the time to show us his Diamond T which was made in Chicago

Vic warned us of the upcoming mud but we thought he was kidding

We have conquered mountains and steep hills and never walked our bikes, but this mud made us come to a complete stop.


And I push…. Can you see what I am thinking in this photo? Deep thoughts on relieving Gene of his navigation duties

Prepared for the worst


We ended up meeting Mark and Becky at "The Shop". They were good sports regarding our bar of choice. Thank you Mark and Becky for a great evening.


Holton to Atchison, KS – Day 42

Believe it or not this is the first morning where rain delayed our start. We rested in our tent and packed up late morning during a break in the weather. Our destination today was Atchison, KS where we couch surfed for the second time. We were fortunate to time our hours on the bike right as we did not hit rain until we pedaled into Atchison.

Our host Kyle along with his brother Derek and parents Marsha and Ron gave us a warm welcome. We enjoyed dinner with the entire family and look so forward to the day we are able to pay it forward and open up our home to travelers.

We had thought about crossing the Missouri River at Atchison but found out the area is flooded so we will travel further North to cross into Missouri. (1796 miles).

Scenes from eastern, KS



The Atchison City Park under water

This bridge is closed as the river is four miles wide

Thanks again to Kyle and family for opening up your home to us. We also send a big congratulations on your marriage. We hope to see you and your bride in Idaho.

Junction City to Holton, KS – Days 40/41

We woke up next to a fireworks tent which was my least favorite sleeping spot……
sorry no photos to share:( After a quick good-bye to the proprietors we started our day by pedaling through Ft. Riley. It was pretty cool they let us ride through the base.

The heat is not letting up and the humidity is kicking in. We definitely find the humidity a bigger challenge than the dry heat in Western Kansas. Our pedaling must go on and we are extremely thankful for the lemonade stands and community pools. We set up camp in the town of St. Mary’s which was a great stop as we met C.C. and had time to check out Saint Mary’s Academy and College.

The next day we enjoyed Banner Creek Campground near Holton, KS. We pulled into this campground on the lake early which afforded us to really enjoy our site – steaks on the grill and fireworks!

A trip down memory lane as I had been here 27 years ago to visit a boyfriend that was in the army. He was nowhere near as good looking, smart or fun as Gene – I’m like the luckiest girl in the WORLD!

Humidity at work

We would of paid double!

Gene’s exercise of choice today

Thank you C.C. for joining us for coffee and great conversation

St. Mary’s College was founded in 1848 as an Indian Mission. It was operated by the Jesuit order as a seminary since 1931 and closed in 1968. In 1978 the Society of Saint Pius X purchased the property. They still do the mass in Latin and are very traditional including their dress, a majority of the women and girls wear dresses every day. The current college has no direct ties with the previous Jesuit St. Mary’s College.


Oops…. I am holding up traffic

Banner Creek – a great campground

And a great meal!

Notice a pattern of who plays with matches…..

Post written by Jenny Charles
Editor Gene Marcowka

Hello Chicago!

Final ride into the city Wednesday morning. Spending tonight in an undisclosed location.

It’s been an amazing journey. Both exciting and a bit depressing that the end is around the corner. Looking forward to seeing our Friends and Family!

We are meeting some friends at the Park Grill in Millenium Park tomorrow (Wednesday) for Happy Hour – please join us if you are in the area.

Abilene to Junction City, KS – Day 39

We enjoyed a pretty full day in Abilene. Morning Mud Volleyball and free hotdogs at Eisenhower Park followed by a tour of the Eisenhower Museum and Library.

We had eaten at Joe Snuffy’s last night and our new friend Kelly told us him and his wife Karla would be catching Foghat at the Sundown Salute Festival in Junction City today…..sounded like the place we needed to be. It was a great call as we truly enjoyed the concert/fireworks and hanging with Kelly and Karla. (miles 1639)

Gene sat out as he was still recovering from the slip and slide/mattress ride.

Yes, that is me at the front of the line

If you are ever in Abilene, KS visit Joe Snuffy’s for a great meal and fine hospitality

Eisenhower’s childhood home

Museum and library




I guess it is a hotdog day

We are thankful for these kids and their lemonade stand

I feel better knowing directions to the shelter

Sundown Salute Fest – Foghat – great afternoon and evening!




Only in Kansas! – Day 38 (July 3rd)

What a Day!

What do you get when you have a four wheeler, 100 feet of plastic sheeting, ski goggles some Dawn soap, a mattress and a cooler full of Keystone Light? An epic day in Kansas!
(1606 miles)

Started the day with some volunteer work

Jenn haggling over the price of M80s

Ran into our friends Dave and Sherry from the Rendevous Bar – thanks for coming out to say hi

And now the real fun begins!

Thanks to Matt, Jenny, Doug, Joe, Hayden and his Dad for a great afternoon!

When we saw this, we knew these guys wouldn’t mind sharing a beer

“It got hot”

Got to give this a go!


Extreme Slip-N-Slide: “Hope he don’t run into the road!”

Next up – mattress rides!


And we’re off!

Ski goggles were a good idea

This much fun is exhausting

Tomorrow the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene