Susan Therese Garrett

i'm Susan Garrett and i am going to be a college sophomore this year. my reason for gong on this pac tour is to see new parts of the country i have never seen before and also to get back to my current hometown(at least during the school year) of Los Angeles(GoUSC!!). sorry i don't capitalize much. i think it makes things look too formal. i have been on one pac tour before but it has been four years since then. here on pac tour i am referred to as either susie(yuck!) or therese(which is my middle name).

June 2: Bloomington

today was difficult. it was a time of meeting new people and trying to adjust to them. it was also a day of getting up at 3:45a.m. if you know anything about college students, it's that 3:45 is not a time to be arising but rather a time to be thinking about going to sleep. i did not get to ride much today and unfortunately when i did get to ride, i felt nauseated and could not ride very far. hopefully things will go better tomorrow. i'm not quite sure how i will do on this tour in terms of keeping all of my mental faculties about me, because it someimes gets difficult not being able to have any time to yourself or having anyone of similar age on the tour.

June 3: Litchfield

each day is a new experience. i learned that illinois is not QUITE as boring as i thought it was. always having gone through illinois by car, it seemed to be nothing more than a falt monotonous state which did little more than lull weary drivers to sleep or allow the police to give me a speeding ticket (it only happened once, but still...). while riding today, i saw a beauty in the flats of illinois. since i had to look at things more intensely and for a longer amount of time, i noticed more.

June 4: Gray Summit

Wow! What a rush! today's ride went through my old hometown and current summer home (with my parents). we got to see the chain of rocks ridge and then we got to cross the mckinley bridge over the mississippi river into st. louis with a police escort. all of my family was at our lunch stop (Ted Drewes). it was the best day so far.

June 5: Lebanon

today went from gray summit, mo to lebanon, mo. today susan notorangelo and i rode 40 miles on the tandem. on the uphilss we were a little slow, but on one of the downhills we actualy got up to 41.8 miles per hour. that was great. Tonight i am leaving the tour foe two days to visit a few of my friends in joplin,mo. i will miss the tour but will have fun with my friends.

June 17: Winslow

Today we went from Chambers,AZ to Winslow,AZ. Arizona is much more desolate than New Mexico. Today most of the day our route was on the intertate, unfortunately. I decided somewhere in the middle of New Mexico a few days ago that in order to get an idea of the true beauty of a state, the interstate is completely insufficient. Not only do you fly by things on the interstate, but also the interstate goes through the flat portions of the state. In New Mexico, it was so wonderful to be on a small, windy road where solitude is forced. There were no semis flying past with the strong gusts of wind and noise as well as the exhaust fumes to smell. However, today I found it quite unnatural to be riding along past untouched land in its preserved(although relatively barren)state while listening to the whine of the semis flying by. At one point, when we were riding on the dirt road option we did get to see a pronghorn antelope, a few jackrabbits, and many prairie dogs. Sue Notorangelo also pointed out to me how many plants grew near the side of the road. I had been wondering why there was so mach more green next to the highway than out in the open. She told me the quite logical but unknown to me reason-- all the runoff from the road allows plants to thrive right next to the highway. Because of that runoff, there are flowers of orange, yellow, pink, and purple along the highway. The flowers provided a nice contrast to the few colors in the open of Arizona. The colors of the soil/sand are beautiful. Going past areas of slightly different color. Arizona as well as New Mexico, being new states for me as of this trip, I would gladly return to, for the beautiful unspoiled nature.

June 18: Williams

Today our route went from Winslow,AZ to Williams,AZ. The ride was wonderful. Although there was a headwind, it was cooling. Although much of the route was uphill, it went through beautiful territory. Getting up into the mountains, the number of trees increased from zero to innumerable. This evening we went to the Grand Canyon. The view was impressive...if it hadn't been for all the people there. We started hiking down this trail into the canyon which was basically a gravel road. There were people everywhere. I just tried to imagine what it would have been like minus a few hundred people and also minus the gift shops and little food stands. We were in a national park, and I was trying to figure out if we were encountering nature or an amusement park. I still am not quite sure. I hope to return there with some friends this fall, but I want to hike down to the bottom and camp in a secluded area--I want to carry in all the things I'll need and have no connection with the outside world of tourists and material things and convene with nature and enjoy the company of my friends. Wouldn't it be nice to escape the material world if just for a few days?

Backpedal to Therese's first posts.