The Route So Far - Google Maps

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We are doing this ride to raise money for Research Autism. We are aiming to raise £20,000.
We are supporting Research Autism because my cousin Jamie is severely affected by the disease, and I have seen its effects not only on him but on the whole family." He is 13yrs old, but cannot yet talk.
Just take a moment to imagine not being able to talk.
Imagine understanding everything going on around you, but not being able to comment.
Imagine having to be dressed every morning in clothes you don't choose, and then hurting your parents as you try to tell them you wanted the blue shirt today.
Imagine being swamped by having to hear everything that everyone is saying around you, and not being able to listen to just one thing at once. Jamie loves being in a swimming pool, just floating, legs held motionless by the weight of the water, while he keeps his ears underwater to just relax, hearing nothing.
He understands everything - he appears to have a photographic memory - but can’t get his thoughts out.
Frustration leads to despair, and anger, which is just one of the many things that his family has to deal with.
He has extremely specific eating requirements and requires round the clock supervision. Jamie is at the severe end of the autistic spectrum, but given that one in 100 people suffer from the disease (with varying severity), and that everyone has some autistic traits, it is shocking that so little is known about it'.
Click here to support our cause and donate to Research Autism.
Read the "Meet Jamie" post - the only post in February, for more information about Jamie, and a poem - painstakingly slow for Jamie to type, but ultimately incredible.

Photo Video - New York to St Louis

June 24, 2010

17 States

Day 60 - Lake Tahoe, NV to Kirkwood, CA, 40 miles, 2 waves, NEW STATE: CALIFORNIA - Totals: 5962 kms, 120 Waves, 17 States

Today we reached our final state; California, and it didn't disappoint. The hills were among the top ten toughest, but top three for beauty. First though, an explanation as to why we "only" did 40 miles today.

We had a lie in this morning - we were aiming to do some parasailing, but the office only opened at 9, so we had to wait until then before making a move. Unfortunately, when we got there at 9, it was only to be told that there was no parasailing today - so we did what we have always done when a decision needs to be made - ate. In this case, it was all-you-can-eat pancakes from the Zephyr Cove Resort's Lodge. Alex ate 4, I ate 6 - and we both felt like we had done well from the deal, the pancakes were huge!

Stuffed to the core with Pancakes, we decided parasailing was still a good idea, so we cycled 8 miles around the lake in the direction we were meant to be going - towards South Lake Tahoe. By this time, it was 11.30, and turning into a nice warm day. We got booked onto the next available parasailing outing, which wasn't until one o clock, so we killed time (not something we have had a chance to do for two months) by chucking a tennis ball around on the beach of the lake. Bearing in mind that when you see snow, swimming is not clever, we took a little dip, but didn't last long - although it was a warm day, the lake was not far from freezing.

We then headed off on the boat, and were launched off into the sky hanging from a kite, being towed by a boat. It was awesome. The view from 800ft above the water and the snowy mountains was fantastic, and hanging so high above the water was nerveracking enough to get the adrenaline going. We took alot of pictures, and once we have caught up on the writing, we will put those up.

After our flight, we had lunch - making an error in judgement of food consumption for the first time this trip. We have got so used to ordering the biggest and cheapest meal on the menu, that we forgot we weren't very hungry - I spent 2 hours forcing the whole dish down, and Alex gave up on it. We left Tahoe after 3 with our favourite aim - get as far as we can before dark. We had two high passes to go over - we started at 6200ft at Lake Tahoe, got to Luther's pass at 7700ft after some hard work and a lot of roadworks making things interesting. Then we headed down for a short time before heading up to Carson's pass (8500ft) - from where we thought we could coast to the coast.

The nice thing about the passes was the beauty. Although cycling uphill is not pleasant, this trip was made bearable by the scenery. All the nearby mountains are covered in snow, and the white reflected the sunset, while the green pine forests provided some contrast.

It was exciting to reach California, something we have been looking forward to doing for a long time - but we weren't expecting it to be this cold - isn't summer meant to have started?! There is more snow here than there is on the Rocky's, and the night was freezing - we camped with 4 other cross country cyclists less than 10 ft from a 3ft deep portion of snow (they were going the other way - I will show their blog later).

I am going to bed now, I will post the next day's (today's) blog tomorrow. We got to Sacramento after 101 miles of cycling from Kirkwood, and are staying with the Brown's. We have changed plans completely, instead of pushing on and finishing tomorrow, we are taking a large side trip to Yosemite, and will finish on Saturday.

We would love to hear what we should spent our time doing in San Francisco if you have any tips.

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