My husband, Ville, and I, Kristen, completed a bicycle journey lasting 20 months and over 18,215 miles before returning to Bend, Oregon, the place we started from. We flew with bikes up to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (the northernmost point of the Americas with a road) June 25, 2016 and rode into Bahia Lapataia, Argentina (the very end of the road) Feb. 17, 2018. We had everything from close encounters with bears, dog attacks, a bought with dengue fever, and more wild adventures! We biked from 300 ft up to over 16,000 ft crossing the Andes 6 times in Peru alone. And we are back! Ready to share our stories and harrowing tales with you. Please join us this Saturday, (tomorrow) Sept. 29th at The Deschutes Public Library (downtown Bend) at 1pm for an hour-long presentation with pics/stories/film and Q&A. Free admission, donations gladly accepted. Please help us to get the word out and bring friends. See you there!
Finally, an update! Sorry guys, both Ville and I have been a bit busy. Not necessarily with fun things, but the transition back to real life. And we have been going down kicking and screaming.
First, we have finally finished our beloved house remodel! It took far longer than we would have liked and with a lot of love and help from friends and family. Lots of late nights, and working through weekends, up on ladders painting and repainting, but it's finished. And we have it on the market and are really hoping to find a great buyer, who will love and cherish it as much as we do. It's a fantastic house, in the best neighborhood walking distance to everything, and for those that know us, know we went all out. Planning to have a potluck soon with all our pals to celebrate!
I made this fun little before/after slideshow to see just how far we have come, enjoy!
Second, we are both now back working. I worked as a real estate broker a few years and as a teacher for many years before that, before pulling the plug on work and heading off on our 2 year bicycle jaunt. Somewhere in Southern Argentina, I was able to update my real estate license so as soon as we came back to Bend I was able to begin working right away. Thanks to my long history in Bend, born and raised, with a giant social network that's far reaching, I have been able to remain busy helping to sell and helping those looking to buy. A giant THANK YOU to all of you that have sent me referrals, contacted me for work and allowed me to be a part of your housing adventure!
Ville just started last week at Market of Choice in Bend. He is a jack-of-all trades there. Having injured his already bad knee helping a friend frame houses for a week after his return from Finland, we both realized how important a job with health insurance is. Thanks to him, we both now have health insurance. It's not his forever job, but will get us by for the moment.
As for our promised Book, I'm sorry to say we are really trying to tread water while our house sells and I haven't had much time to break back into it. This makes me really sad and I am trying to remain driven to finish, but until our house sells, it just has to be on the back burner. However, we did just order a new computer that will allow me to organize and finish the book a lot easier than a little Chromebook. And Ville is beginning work on a documentary of the ride! It's been in his plans most of the journey, he will now have the time to compile all the video footage we shot along the way. So stay tuned...
For those of you in Bend, Ville's second segment, The Right Side Of Normal, was selected for the Bend Bike Film Festival. The festival will be tomorrow, Friday Sept. 7th at 6pm at the Tower Theater. Last year, Ville's first segment of the film also made the film festival, but we were unfortunately already back on bikes heading south through Columbia and my parents went in our place. So we are pumped to be able to attend this year. So come one, come all, and celebrate how cool bikes are with us!
Check out this great article we are in that just came out in B.C. about Bike Touring and Bike Packing...
Thanks so much everyone for following and continuing to follow our journey! Your love and support means a lot to us. If you enjoy these, please let us know. And feel free to share. Just click the paper airplane in the top right corner and send. Thanks!
Following My Wife 2 (the second half of our ride) is now complete and ready to view and share! Sign up for our Newsletter and I'll send you the link. Otherwise, you need to wait until my Scandinavian Stallion gets back to share it with you here on our blog.
Sorry friends, Ville and I have been buried deep in house projects with no room to come up for air. When we were nearing the end of our ride, we spoke fondly of going back home, being back in our bed again, back with a kitchen, numerous pots and pans to choose from, a hot shower anytime of day, relaxing and seeing friends. Having them just pop in, not having to tell them your life story before parting ways to likely never see each other again, but friends who really know you. Family that has missed you so much and is excited to have you around again. Time to write the book. Put all our thoughts and reflections down on paper. Share our story.
And it has been those things, just slightly off from our expectations. Back two years ago, when we pulled the plug on our house remodel and peaced out to head off on our bicycle journey of the Americas, we left the house in a livable state, rented it to friends and didn't look back. Until the day we walked in the door. And with a hot real estate market and a solidified desire to see and experience more of the world than just Bend, we realized we needed to tackle the remaining house projects, finish it all at once, divide off the second lot we own attached to the property, and sell our beloved home. And it hasn't been easy. This last couple months has been a very emotional and hard road to ride. Ville and I bought this house and tore into it when it made more sense to bulldoze it. But there was history here in this old 1935 Old Mill house. That and we just didn't have the funds to completely start over. So we dug in. With help from friends and family, we made it ours. So finally coming to an end in the journey of this old house and knowing that we will let go of all of what we have done is hard. As hard as letting go of a two year bicycle journey.
To move back in, we had to paint first. To unpack dishes and use the kitchen we had to tear it out first and rebuild it. We spent over a month and a half with our kitchen sink in the side yard and no counters. To get the tub refinished and tile work fixed without our added bathroom quite finished, we relied on our amazing neighbors for showers. Having our plumber, electrician, drywaller and roofers actually show up in this feeding frenzy of building boom in Bend has been a blessing, but has consumed all our early mornings, weekends, and holidays. And the day they finished, is the day the City showed up right outside to tear out the entire water line down the street at 7am every morning with jackhammers. Our home was not little projects either, but big projects. Finishing our kitchen, installing granite, a new sink, lights, adding a whole new bathroom, ripping out and redoing the wood flooring upstairs, trimming half the house, fixing tile, cleaning the stone fireplace, building decks, rebuilding our back porch, painting and installing all our doors, adding doors, insulating, updating electrical, tearing off and re-roofing our entire house, painting, painting again, and painting some more. It's been no joke. And every single step of the way my parents have been here helping. Helping us do it all. I will never be able to thank them enough for all their help! And as our house is FINALLY starting to look like a finished house, and we sit in the backyard under our big apple trees to eat lunch, it saddens both of us to let it go when we will never enjoy it completed.
Along with letting go of our home we love, we have been letting go of our Ride as well. It's been very hard to come back. What do you do after The Ride is over? What do you do after two years of our life has been full, on, in it. Deep in it. A cycling meditation. Every day just waking up and pedaling and each pedal stroke just focused. Being in your breathe. Being on the road. And being in nature. And being surrounded by people on the road. Walking, waiting for a bus, pulling a cart, smiling. Buenos Dias. Animals. The wind. The rain. The sun. And then going to sleep your mind is clear. Completely clear. And you don't think about what your going to do tomorrow. Or reflect on everything that needs to be said or unsaid. To be fixed or not fixed. Your list and how you are going to tackle it. Everything that tumbles around in your head like in a dryer every night. You don't have that on the bike, on The Ride and then one day it's just over. We have come back to "reality" and "reality" is where there is noise, and there is traffic, and there is chaos, and there is bills, and there is work, and there is lots of stress. And I lie awake at night thinking about how much of this stress I have created.
I sat in traffic one day and just began crying from the stress. My stress has been for genuine reasons, running from a bear, dodging traffic on a bike to get through a city, but not this. This stress was overwhelming and it surprised me. Was I really once here? Where it felt normal sitting in traffic, always checking my cell phone, running from place to place, always speaking or being spoken to. What happened to silence? Just listening to the wind? I miss the wind.
As busy as we have been, we have had some play time. Our friends Ryan and Lydia (biked Baja Mexico with us) came for a few days to visit us and we hit up a Critical Mass Bend ride together. Our buddy Marc has drug us out of our dungeon to come out to play. Robin and I went kayaking for an evening and even squeezed in a hike one day. Our little friend Torin did Cupping on our backs to help us heal from The Ride and work. And we walk down to our local coffee shop almost every morning to see our good friend Saracha who is always has a big smile and hug to kick off our day. One of the members of our neighboring art studio, Kinker, decided one morning to paint our beloved work-in-progress and left it for us on our porch. And we continue to make time for speaking engagements at a bunch of the local schools. After so many people took care of us, watched out for us, took us in, and so much good came out of our ride, it's our way to give back. We both feel that it is really important. After so much negativity in news, media, online it feels as if everything out there is overwhelming and scary and we know that is so far from the reality in the world. We know that sharing our story will spread the positive and inspire others. We always leave time for questions and it has, by far, been the best part. How curious kids are! We recommend NOT doing a two year bicycle journey, but ask what their goals and dreams are. Where would they like to go?
For a few weeks in a row, we were asked to join a handful of Mountain View High School students every Friday morning at 6am to bike up the local Pilot Butte in town and it has been inspiring to see so many teens commit to do this every week. That was NOT me. We had a community presentation at one of the high schools and we were excited to see so many came to hear our stories and share in the finish of our ride. We packed in a big bar-b-que and bowling party for Ville's birthday, and it was a huge hit! I mean, who doesn't love to Kingpin every now and again? And Ville has a flare for throwing, flinging really, the ball down the lane as if he is having a seizure and somehow manages to strike about every ball. Don't go bowl with Ville unless you want to demolish your self esteem. It was a heck of a good time with great friends!
And now Ville is gone, I drove him to Portland on Monday, where he flew back to Finland for five weeks to spend time with family and friends. At least the toilet seat will never get left up, but it has been two whole years solidly together and an adjustment being apart. I was fortunate enough to have my parents, our friend Robin and my brother come and see us on the journey, as well as a few stops in Bend along the ride, but Ville has not seen anyone from Finland in over two years! And it's been really hard on him. Missing family and friends is our biggest struggle on our adventures. So he has gone back to enjoy time with everyone and once we sell our house and shift our finances, maybe we can both go. Until then, back in the pile.
Along with being a professional house re-modeler, I am also back working as a Real Estate Broker. And as busy on the house as I have been, I have managed to stay busy helping to sell homes and trying to help friends buy. Before I left on The Ride, I was able to help a bunch of great friends get into their first homes. As the market has climbed, I have returned to a more challenging market to continue to help friends buy in, but nonetheless, there are still deals to be found and I enjoy helping friends find them. And after using only my legs for two years, it's fun to get back in the game using my brain :)
Oh, and Following My Wife 2 (the second half of our ride) is now complete and ready to view and share! Sign up for our Newsletter and I'll send you the link. Otherwise, you need to wait until my Scandinavian Stallion gets back to share it with you here on our blog. Thank you all for following along. I hope to have the much awaited and highly anticipated "Before and After" pics of our house! So until next time, keep on keepin' on ya'll...
My husband, Ville, and I, Kristen, just completed a bicycle journey lasting 20 months and over 18,215 miles. We flew with bikes up to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (the northernmost point of the Americas with a road) June 25, 2016 and rode into Bahia Lapataia, Argentina (the very end of the road) Feb. 17, 2018. We had everything from close encounters with bears, dog attacks, a bought with dengue fever, and more wild adventures! We biked from 300 ft up to over 16,000 ft crossing the Andes 6 times in Peru alone. And we are back! Ready to share our stories and harrowing tales with you. Please join us May 23rd at Mountain View High School Auditorium in beautiful Bend, Oregon, doors at 6pm show at 6:30pm. Free admission, donations gladly accepted. Please help us to get the word out and bring friends. See you there!
Ville went to the doctor for his check-up and blood work and because his pulse was so low, he passed out. They sat him in the waiting room and he doesn't remember walking out. He doesn't remember walking across town home and "came to" a few blocks from our house as cars were honking at him for being in the middle of the street...
Hey there everyone! Thanks for your patience, I know it took us a while to get to an update, but we have been busier than biking the Americas. Last update, Ville and I were in Portland, having taken the train from Los Angeles straight there because we wanted to catch up with family before the chaos ensued in Bend. Words can't describe how good it feels to be reunited with your entire family after so much time apart. When Ville and I were riding, as we moved south and further and further from everyone, we always made sure to call home and check in with our families. To hear the sounds of their voices and to see their faces on a cell phone screen, was a needed reprieve from the constant revolving door of new faces. To finally hug each other in person and kiss faces, after waiting so long to do it, was the best feeling.
My sister, her husband, and their young son live south of Portland and my brother lives in the city. So for the weekend, my mom and dad (whom were on the second half of the cruise with us along with my brother), drove from Bend to Portland to install a door my dad built at my sister's house and spend family time all together. Grund klan unite! And after a busy weekend of family time, mom and dad drove us the 3 hours back home to Bend, Oregon. Unfortunately for us, the first thing we did on re-entry into Bend was head straight to a County Meeting on the Preservation of a 3 mile Stretch of Canal in Bend (of which is a political mess and has put my poor parents and their neighbors in the middle of). If you want more information about the canal preservation debate, check out this site : http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/NATREG/Pages/Central-Oregon-Canal-Historic-District.aspx. After spending two years traveling the world to see historical places, with a love and appreciation for preserving our history while building our future, and being a native of a city that plows straight forward to the future barely glancing back to the past, I felt it important to be there and speak up for the preservation of a piece of canal from the piping of all the canals in Bend.
The re-entry for Ville and I in Bend has been a roller coaster. Elated to be back, full circle from where our bicycle journey began, to the place I am from, and the place we have a home together. To see our friends again, those whom we left so long ago riding south, has been the best part of it all. On our first night back in our house, our buddy Marc stopped by for a beer by the fire, our neighbor Pat saw our front room lit and headed over with beers, and our other neighbor Paul skidded into the driveway sideways and smothered us in hugs. It felt so great to be back and so nice to be missed by everyone.
We had rented our house to friends, Zoltan and Kristi, and their two kids to be able to fund our ride, and we are extremely grateful to them for taking care of our home and making our journey possible. Thanks in part to Bend continually making the "most desirable places to live" list, the buying and renting market has skyrocketed and for our return, our friends struggled to find an affordable place to live and understandably had to move out a month and a half early leaving us in a rough spot financially coming back broke off a bike tour. To top things off, our health has really been a struggle coming off the ride
On our return, we both had a laundry list of ailments. Most of them expected from someone who lives on a bicycle seat living in "fight-or-flight" mode for 8 hours of almost every day for 2 years. And after a forced trip to the doctor (thanks mom for financially helping us to go), we are told to rest and take it easy with an expected full recovery to take up to a year! And are we resting? Hell no. We walked straight back into the Money Pit house. Ville and I had bought this little diamond buried deep in rough over 4 years ago and then spent over a solid year gutting it down to studs and trying to make it livable. All 2,000 square feet of fun. And after spending all waking moments of time not working jobs, we were living in our continual remodel. And did we have our very own 40 man crew like HGTV? I wish! Nope. Us. With a little help from Dad and Zoltan. After the year, we couldn't take it anymore, and pulled the plug, rented it to our friends and went to ride bikes. For 2 whole glories years.
And after the honeymoon was over, and we rolled in the door to our old home, dropped bags and bikes, reality set in that our house is still unfinished. And the memory of why we left this remodel project house has beyond crept back in. Like crept in and drove over the top of us and reversed back over us. My absolutely incredible parents, rolled up their sleeves and have been at our house every single morning until past dark every single day to dig in and help us get the house finished. Repainting the entire house, drywalling walls, redoing the kitchen, adding a full bath, etc. etc. We took a "break" for a weekend and drove to my Uncle John's 75th Birthday Party in Medford, Oregon to see more family and get away from the house. So prescribed rest, not quite.
Ville went to the doctor for his check-up and blood work and because his pulse was so low, he passed out. They sat him in the waiting room and he doesn't remember walking out. He doesn't remember walking across town home and "came to" a few blocks from our house as cars were honking at him for being in the middle of the street. Once home, he was painting with my mom, and passed out again on the floor. My poor mom called the doctor and the doc was upset he had left and demanded he immediately crawl into bed and actually rest. We are both planning rest in a few weeks when our house is finished.
After two years spent traveling on bikes together living a very simplistic way of life, we both feel we want to continue this way of life until we don't want to anymore. Adventuring, traveling, meeting people from all over the world and finishing our book. Not ever knowing what is in one's future, the time to do this is now. Although living on a shoe string while on our ride allowed for experiences we would never have had otherwise, we have decided to sell our house to free up some funds that will allow us to pursue these dreams. So we have chosen to dig into the house, so that once it sells, we can then rest. Rest, finish the book, and Ville can finally go back to Finland. My parents came to see us in Peru and then again with my brother at the end of the ride, but Ville has not seen any of his friends or family in over 2 years since before beginning our ride. And it has been really, really rough on him. So he needs to be able to go.
Last week, Ville and I were brought back to Mountain View High School (my old high school), to give a presentation to a large group of the Freshmen class there. At the mid-way point of our ride (a year ago), when we flew back to Bend from Costa Rica, we had given a handful of talks for the then Freshmen and Seniors and they asked us to come back at the end of the ride. As promised, we went back to speak, again this morning and will be heading back there bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to speak tomorrow morning. Giving back and inspiring others is incredibly important to us, and even though we are consumed by the house right now and suppose to be resting, we will make time for the kids. We were also in the Bend Bulletin and have been contacted by the Central Oregon Community College and the Library to come speak as well. It feels good to be able to share our story, and even better when we are told how it inspires someone in someway.
Last weekend we had a Welcome Home Potluck at our house and it was great to see heaps of friends and family again. Our fantastic neighbors, Matt and Mo, helped us to put it on and we jammed with instruments late into the night and wee hours of morning around the fire pit in the back yard. Felt great to be surrounded by friends and family. Feel bad that being buried in our house every day has not allowed us to follow up with anyone, but we know that it soon will be over and we can relax with friends. Well, gotta get to bed. Burning the midnight oil and we have a presentation tomorrow at the crack of dawn. Until next time friends, keep on keepin' on...
BIG "Thank You" to Mark at The Bulletin for writing such a great article on our bike ride! Mark met with us to write an article at the very beginning before we even started the ride, when we stopped through Bend, at the half-way point and now at the bitter end. Will post the other articles soon, but get the latest here:
It took 2 different buses and over two and a half hours to go about 25 miles (we could have biked it faster), but we saw and met some real characters. A man walking down the street with a hospital gown flapping open, complete with a shower cap on his head...
Ville and I feel as if we are on the Whirlwind Tour, trying to see everyone and celebrate a return after such a crazy adventure. And although Ville likes to say that we are "between jobs right now," with no set time that we need to be back in Bend, we do need to get back somewhat soon. When we left Bend, on a plane with our tour bikes boxed up, heading for Prudhoe Bay, Alaska in June 2016, we were giddy with excitement over the adventure ahead of us. With no experience whatsoever, and only about 10 miles up the road put on the bikes to make sure nothing fell off, we were as Newbie as it gets. I had changed a bike tire back in the day, but had no idea even about basic bicycle maintenance. With well built bikes, a compact travel tool in hand and over 18,200 miles to go, we would have a lot of time to learn. And learn we sure did! We kissed family and friends goodbye, and knew we would see them in a few months time (riding south through Oregon), so not goodbye for too long.
After about two and a half months ride south, we were back in Portland and Bend for a brief stop to enjoy time with everyone. But then riding away from my Sister's House in the south of Portland, Oregon, we knew it would be the last time we would see her, her husband, and my little nephew until we were finished with the ride, over a year away. Knowing the time apart would be long, was always the hardest part of our adventuring. As we continued south through Los Angeles and Orange Country, California, we packed in visits with as much family as they could tolerate of us. My Aunt Lori and Uncle Steve took us straight down to my Uncle's favorite bicycle shop, and had them completely overhaul the bikes. We got new cables, rotors, brake pads, chains, cassettes, chainrings and even a new pair of bike shoes. We could never have afforded more than only replacing chains and know that the bikes only made the entire journey thanks to their kindness. We are forever grateful to them and so many others like them who have helped us on our journey!
And so the return to Los Angeles and Orange County after finishing our ride in Ushuaia (but really Lapataia Bay), was not only long awaited visits with family and friends, it was to celebrate the completion of our ride with all those who helped us south along the way. With my Mom, Dad and Brother, Jordan, we went straight from the Princess Cruise Ship to Laguna Beach to stay with my Aunt Terri, Uncle Tom and cousin Sara where they had a giant get-together for Easter with all my cousins and their kids. Our family being as close as the mafia, almost all of them had followed our journey and many contributed in donations, meals and places to stay on our ride south. It was a giant hug fest and great time to catch up.
After Jordan and my parents flew home, we got a ride up to Whittier and stayed a night getting to hang out with my cousin Shannon, husband Kurt, and their kids. I'm not sure even all the riding has gotten us in enough shape to chase around three young kids :) But we had a great time just spending the time together. We got a ride to Long Beach and took a bus, that's right folks, a bus, to my cousin GK's house. Now the bus system isn't great, it actually isn't even good in these parts, but boy was it entertaining! It took 2 different buses and over two and a half hours to go about 25 miles (we could have biked it faster), but we saw and met some real characters. A man walking down the street with a hospital gown flapping open, complete with a shower cap on his head. A woman got on the bus and sat in front of us yelling and babbling something about skateboarding sitting with a woman with her face completely bandaged up. A man got on with a giant boombox and was nice enough to share his tunes with the whole bus. Oh boy! It was almost more of an adventure than our bike ride.
We had dinner with cousin GK, Manon, Parker and Alexis. They were far more upset at us taking a bus than we were. We made it to Dave and Buster's, a giant adult arcade with my cousin Sara and her boyfriend, Scott and had a killer time being big children. We had lunch with cousins, Mike, Chip and wife Nicole in Newport Beach and enjoyed catching up on lost time. From there, we made our way by train up to Montrose in LA to spend a night with a great buddy and old roommate of mine from the days I lived in San Francisco, Dani. Even after all the years and time apart, we still take over right where we left off. Thanks Dani again for the ride all the way to Tustin, life in LA on the freeways is way more crazy than our lives on the road :) We made our way back to Aunt Lori and Uncle Steve's place and went for a ride (our first since the end of our long Ride) in Irvine. Uncle Steve is recently recovering from his second bought with cancer, having parts of his lungs removed, and still insisted we head out for a ride. Now that guy is OUR hero! My Aunt Lori took a day off work to take us to lunch and replace our shoes that were completely falling apart on our feet. Big thank you to all our loving family, oh we missed you all so!
The next morning early, we got a ride from Aunt Lori to the Tustin Train Station and caught a train, with the help of two guys heading for the train to help us carry our boxed bikes. When we arrived in Union Station, we had to haul our boxes and gear down the tracks to the next Amtrak Train heading for Portland, Oregon. A journey that would take 30 hours! And after it took over a month and a half to bike, 30 hours was nothing. Unfortunately, for me, I had yet another horrible migraine and a series of bloody noses for the entire journey and it wasn't quite as fun as I had hoped. I've struggled a lot with these; before, during and now even more so after the ride and will be following up with my doctor to "work out the kinks" that arise after nearly two years on a bike.
For anyone considering taking the Amtrak Coast Starlight, heading between LA and Seattle, WA, it is a very scenic and pleasant ride. It winds right along the coastline from LA to just south of Big Sur, before jogging inland and winding through lush pastureland littered with farms and cows. When we were chugging through a tunnel, all of a sudden they hit the brakes and screeched to a halt just outside the tunnel. As we watched a cop car come flying up through a field near the train, then followed by an ambulance, fire truck and multiple other cop cars, they announced that they thought that they had hit someone in the tunnel and were trying to get help. After feeling terrible for such a horrible thing to happen to someone, the entire train sighed with relief when they announced that they didn't find anything and we were cleared to leave. Very thankful it ended well.
We opted for the cheapest seats and so sleeping was a bit of a challenge (along with a migraine), but by morning, as the sun broke through the windows, we saw Mt. Shasta, in Northern California towering above us dusted with snow. It brought a big smile to our faces to be back near the mountains and on our way back to Oregon. As we watched the "Welcome to Oregon" sign pass, we were hugging each other with excitement. We passed into a high desert landscape covered in ponderosa pine trees and sagebrush as we stopped just south of Bend on Highway 97 at Chemult. Originally we planned to get off here and have my parents pick us up, but since we had not seen my sister, her husband and our nephew in so long, we wanted to go first all the way up to Portland to see them. The remainder of the ride turned very green and wet as we climbed back over the Cascade Mountains into the valley stopping in Eugene, Salem, and finally pulling into Union Station in Portland.
We had met a very nice man, Gary, on the train who lived right near my sister's house in Tualatin and was kind enough to have his partner, Pat, bring their truck to give us, along with our giant bike boxes and gear, a ride to my sister's house. Thanks again so much for the ride! We made it to my sister's house just as she (Lisa) , her husband (Sean) , my little nephew (Braydon) and my brother, Jordan, pulled into the driveway. And after all this time, we were finally all reunited! Leaving little Braydon as a baby was difficult knowing we would miss a lot of time with him as we headed south on our ride, but getting to see him after all this time as a big two and a half year old was really special. He was so excited showing us all his toys, talking a mile a minute, and then all of sudden hugged Ville's hand and said, "I'm really happy your here Uncle Ville." It made me cry it was so precious. Missed time is hard, but knowing how precious time is, is a blessing.
We are very happy now to be reunited with family. We are planning to stay until Monday, the 16th, here in Portland. We have a lot of time to catch up on. My parents just arrived from Bend this evening and we all get to be together. Life is good. Monday, we will be getting a ride back to Bend from my parents and, well, complete the circle. The entire journey, from start to end. What an adventure. Thanks again all for following along. Thanks for those who have written us, signed up for the Newsletter, helped us and continue to stay connected. For those who have requested, We Lost The Map T-Shirts are on the way and will be right here on our website, very soon!
For Bend Friends and those who will travel, we are planning a big Welcome Home Cinco De Mayo Party, right at our house in Bend! Mark your calendars, May 5th, details to follow. As for our Bend Presentation, the planning is in the works, stay tuned for date/time/place. Bend-LaPine Schools, get ready, we will be making the rounds for presentations when we arrive home and the final video is complete (Ville is working on it as we speak). Alright, that's all for now, until next time, keep on keepin' on...
K.G. & Ville
In Oregon, working on the Book and Documentary
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” - Hunter S. Thompson