State 28 – West Virginia

3/14/2020

Its spring break and we’re ready to travel to new states. We have 8 states planned for this trip out east and south. No trip would be complete without some drama. We’re dealing with the COVID-19 virus and things are starting to shut down around us. No formal lock down requests were made that we were aware of. Our plan was to get in and out of each state fast with minimal contact with people.

We came in fast to West Virginia and of course it was night time. We needed a photo of the state sign and were not sure if we would cross paths with the state again. Hence the night shot. This sign was a bit closer to the road than we would have liked!

Behind us was a very large refinery with many lights on. There were several stacks flaring the gas from the refining process.

We did end up finding a daytime photo later in the trip. I like the color better, but just remembering how desperate we were for the first shot, I didn’t want to forget it.

Our plan was to ride a section of the Greenbrier River Trail. Its a 77 mile trail along the river that seemed to be peaceful. I looked at a map and picked the perfect location for us to ride. The plan was to drive out to Clover Lick, West Virginia and ride out to Sharp’s Tunnel, then come back to the car and move on.

Unfortunately for Corvin and myself, my planning didn’t turn out that good. First off, Clover Lick is not an easy town to get to. The last 30 is miles took about an hour. The road curves a ton. It is wide enough for about 1.5 cars with gravel on each side. When you do have to pass somebody. Both vehicles have a set of tires in the gravel and play the how far can I get to the side without going off the road game. Corvin was getting a bit motion sick from the turns and elevation changes.

When we did get to the town, I had us go the wrong direction on the trail. We eventually met a couple that was riding in the opposite direction on bikes. He explained to me that the tunnel was 5 miles one way from where we parked. At least the scenery next to the river was peaceful!

Very cool bridge.

Then Corvin wanted us to stand up on the ledge. I was freaked out and didn’t stay up there very long. Dang,I think I’m getting old!

This is what most of the trail looked like. Peaceful and would be amazing in the summer. Probably tons of places to stop and swim!

Corvin’s Journal Entry

Our Strava Entry.

Our map of completed states.

Stats:
Total Trip Miles:  159.61
Total Moving Time: 30h 39m
Total Elevation Gained: 4209 feet
Total Hogan UPD: 15
Total Corvin UPD: 9

Hogan Haake

State 27 – Louisiana

2/16/2020

The last state of our 3 day weekend is Louisiana.

You can see from the photo, it was raining. Not a great thing when you want to be outside uni-cycling. We took a detour south of New Orleans to visit Fort Jackson.  We’ll cover that visit later in another post. After our visit, we went back north to New Orleans. There, Corvin and I were surprised to realize that there were parades. It was the weekend before Mardi Gras and the city had already started celebrating. Traffic was high, causing us to drive a bit before we found a suitable parking garage.

We managed to see some of the parades and get to Bourbon Street. We managed to get a meal on a balcony overlooking the madness. Corvin got to try some of the local fare and we generally had a good time. But time was running out and we still needed to unicycle. We went back to the car and drove across the Mississippi river. We were going to unicycle in Algiers, New Orleans. There we would look back across the river to downtown.

Always concerned about parking we ended up parking in the lot of the local police station. I figured it would be legal and safe. It must have worked because the car was still there when we finished, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

We did our best to make the Louis Armstrong statue pose with a unicycle. Unfortunately for us, the base was high off the ground and everything was still damp making climbing dangerous.

Corvin holding both unicycles allowing me to get a photo.

The photo we were getting ready for.

Corvin was getting sick of me acting like a child and saying, just wait for one more boat to go by.

Unicycles near the river.

Look another boat. Cool thing about this boat is that we took a ferry across the Mississippi about 4 hours earlier and saw the same boat during our ride continuing upriver!

And a speed up view of the boat. This shot took about 2 minutes to record.

Corvin’s Journal Entry

Our Strava Entry.

Our map of completed states.

Stats:
Total Trip Miles:  153.78
Total Moving Time: 29h 36m
Total Elevation Gained: 4166 feet
Total Hogan UPD: 14
Total Corvin UPD: 9

Hogan Haake

 

 

State 26 – Alabama

2/15/2020

We had an hour long drive between our Florida riding location and our planned Alabama ride. We took our time to get rest between the two rides.

Our ride was planned to start on the Backcountry Trail in Gulf State Park. This is a paved trail in the park that will join other trails and take people through different local ecosystems. It sounded interesting and that was where we started. I hoped with a name like Backcountry , it would be remote, but the parking lot was nearly full when we arrived. Since we felt ahead of schedule, we took more time stopping to take photos and video.

We didn’t want to go too far off the trail after this sign!

Corvin thinking twice about if he should leave the trail!

This long wooden boardwalk was fun to ride and walk over. I stopped riding for a bit to just admire all of the nature it afforded us to view.

The sun was setting, we had plenty of light left, but our shadows were growing!

After the ride, we drove a short distance to hang out on the beach and enjoy sunset.

No beach visit is complete without digging a hole in the sand. After a few failed attempts too close to the water, Corvin finally moved the hole back and got deep enough for water to seep in.

And now the cold ocean water bath to remove as much sand as possible.

Corvin’s Journal Entry

Our Strava Entry.

Our map of completed states.

Stats:
Total Trip Miles:  148.14
Total Moving Time: 28h 31m
Total Elevation Gained: 4166 feet
Total Hogan UPD: 14
Total Corvin UPD: 9

Hogan Haake

State 25 – Florida

2/15/2020

We started this 3 day weekend with a long drive on 2/14, Valentine’s Day. Lucky for me, Danelle and I don’t celebrate this made up holiday! Instead, Corvin and I headed out. We knew we wouldn’t make it to Florida this night, but we needed to get as far as possible. The goal was that we would get there by 11am the next day to ride. Longer driving today, meant we could sleep in a bit on Saturday.

One interesting side note, Corvin loves to stop at Taco Bell and order the most expensive tacos that he can…

It didn’t take long Saturday morning to finally make it to the Florida border. The state sign was right at the border and hard to get to. Corvin saw another sign saying not to stop, but to go to the welcome center down the road. I don’t think the welcome center’s sign was nearly as good, but we try to follow the rules!

Here we are in Florida officially.

In case you were not sure, Florida wants you to know that the Blue Angels are from there…

I managed to only grab 1 photo during our ride. Its something we go back and forth on remembering to do. In the background, Corvin is pointing at a large smoke cloud. It was there several hours later as we drove to our next destination. I couldn’t find any reference to it, but it didn’t seem good based on the size!

We had lunch on a beachfront restaurant outside and it was a bit warm, fantastic for February. Corvin now knows that he likes yellow tail tuna…

After lunch, we visited the beach that we looked at during lunch before heading out!

I always end up digging if I go to the beach.

Corvin’s Journal Entry

Our Strava Entry.

Our map of completed states.

Note, if you’re looking closely, Strava shows 414 feet of elevation gain. There is no way we had that much. We decided on 42 feet as close enough.

Stats:
Total Trip Miles:  142.05
Total Moving Time: 27h 27m
Total Elevation Gained: 4112 feet
Total Hogan UPD: 14
Total Corvin UPD: 9

Hogan Haake

State 24 – Nebraska

1/4/2020

This is the second time we’ve had issues getting a state sign. This one cost us $1.75 in tolls…

When we drove I-29 to get to Nebraska from Kansas, you’re actually traveling in Iowa right until you cross the border on a bridge over the Missouri river. Of course we can’t stop on a interstate bridge as there is nowhere to stop safely. When we left the interstate, there was a sign for a welcome center. I figured there would be a sign there, but it was just a building in downtown. I figured we would have to figure out the sign after our ride. It turned out that we had to take a side state highway going back south on I-29 out of Omaha to cross back into Nebraska. There, we went over a toll bridge just to get the photo above. I asked nicely and only had to pay the toll once since we were just getting a photo and leaving.

For the uni-cycling, we were going along the Missouri river and planning to cross the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian bridge. I found this looking for places to ride and it seemed interesting. It spans 3,000 feet and goes from Nebraska into Iowa.

There is a troll statue under the bridge. Its interesting that the bridge isn’t just a straight run across.

Here we are on top of the bridge. It was a really windy bridge. With the guy-wire system on the bridge, it hummed from the vibrating wires.

This was another cold ride right around 40 F outside. Corvin wore gloves the whole time to stay warm. This was the only pair of gloves we had between the two of us.

After the bridge, we rode around trying to get our time and distance numbers up before we could call it a day and just go home. Corvin found about 100 geese sitting in the grass and was able to run over making all of them fly to the safety of a nearby lake. That made the whole day for him.

Its crazy to note that as of this ride, we have accomplished half of our unicycle goal. 24 of the lower 48 states have been ridden in. With this trip complete, we have averaged 415 miles of driving per state we have visited. More observations to follow.

Corvin’s Journal Entry

Our Strava Entry.

Our map of completed states.

Stats:
Total Trip Miles:  136.38
Total Moving Time: 26h 24m
Total Elevation Gained: 4070feet
Total Hogan UPD: 13
Total Corvin UPD: 9

Hogan Haake