TWW Monthly Recap – August, 2022
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Welcome to my first monthly recap! Most of what I write here on Two Wheeled Wanderer is practical stuff like biking how-to’s, destination guides, gear reviews, trail reports, and other ‘helpful’ blog posts, but not so much personal stuff.
I’ve been blogging for a long time (I had several blogs before this one) and one thing I really like about having a little corner of the internet is being able to share both sides: the how-to guides (in this case, tips for exploring the world on two wheels) and my story.
I miss writing just for the sake of writing and not for SEO purposes or on topics that I think will ‘do well’ (if you have an online business you know what I’m talking about!)
So, here’s my recap of August, 2022.
Where I was
After spending much of the summer in the PNW in Bend, Oregon and Bellingham, Washington, I said goodbye to the West Coast (for now) and started driving east toward Arkansas. This was actually my 6th time driving across the country! I first drove across in 2012 when I started my master’s degree in Nutrition at Bastyr University in Seattle and then my ex-boyfriend and I drove across to Vermont (my home state) the last two summers in a row. All I can say is that this is a big country 😅.
I wish I’d had more time to make a trip out of it, but I did enjoy a really nice first night on the road at Crystal Crane Hot Springs in Oregon. This is such a cool spot out in the middle of nowhere with rustic rooms, a beautiful soaking pool, and great views, especially at sunset.
From Oregon, it took me three long days of driving to get to Arkansas. I splurged with a two-night stay at Bike Inn Bentonville’s Bougie Bike Suite and after a day of just lounging, I headed over to Coler Preserve for some riding after a week of no pedaling. Such a fun place!
I’d visited Arkansas once before about two years ago, but I wanted to come back this summer for two reasons: the first is to see if I’d like to call Bentonville ‘home’ (the jury’s still out on that one) and second, I had two housesits lined up, both in Fayetteville. Housesitting is hands-down my favorite way to travel!
On the bike
August was a pretty good month for bikes. I did a few final rides in Bend, Oregon with my brother and sister-in-law (who were starting their drive across the country back to Vermont, too!).
My favorite ride/trail was a shuttled descent from Dutchman Flat via the Metolius-Windigo trail. It’s super pretty and has one of the best descents in Bend (and also plenty of climbing…).
I also got quite a bit of riding done in Arkansas. I checked out:
- Mt. Kessler in Fayetteville
- Centennial Park in Fayetteville
- Hobbs State Park
- Devil’s Den State Park (a fave!)
- Blowing Springs in Bentonville
- Coler Preserve in Bentonville
Phew! Good thing I like to ride my bike 🙂
I will say that I really wish I had a better cross-country bike for all the rides I did in Arkansas. I only have my Santa Cruz Bronson right now, which I love, but it’s definitely better for downhill-oriented trails rather than pedaly, cross-country rides.
I also got ambushed pretty badly by chiggers. I’m no stranger to chiggers – I used to work in Central America where they abound – but I didn’t realize they call Arkansas home, too. I actually thought I was coming down with monkeypox because my ankles had so many welts and blisters, but nope… chiggers.
Off the bike
If you’ve been following along for a while, you have probably noticed that I’ve redesigned Two Wheeled Wanderer several times and I decided to do it again this month. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to design and my website just never felt ‘right’.
I really love how it turned out this time, though, so fingers crossed I’m done with overhauls! (Although I’ve discovered that I enjoy building websites, so if blogging falls through, that may just be my backup 😅).
I also added a Bike Art page because I really love fun and unique art, especially if it ties into my love for cycling. And it supports small artists, so win-win!
Other than riding and working, I’ve been enjoying my two housesits. The first came with four hilarious cats and the second with two slightly neurotic dachshunds. Housesitting is never a dull moment!
What were some highlights and lowlights of your past month? I’d love to hear them in the comments!
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