Pacific Coast Highway

My Royal Steed

It is time to head south for the winter, I’ve arrived in Seattle and spent the past three days visiting with friends and preparing my bike for the long journey south along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)!! The temperatures are perfect here in Seattle a high of 70 for the day and lots of sun, let’s hope the weather stays this nice for my ride south. 

I might need a shake down

I’m very happy to finally be reconnecting with a lot of you via this post. I’ve been wanting to keep up posting while off trail and off journey but it felt a little out of context. But now that I’m back on track I’m excited to give everyone a little update! My last post also took place in the Pacific Northwest while in Portland visiting friends, since that July 21st post so much has happened and I feel so blessed to be on this journey. After leaving Portland, Pinkie and I drove the Columbia River Gorge to the Bridge of the Gods at Cascade Locks where she met a friend to southbound hike Oregon. It was a sad goodbye as we had such an amazing time road tripping together, but I was thrilled she was giving the PCT another go. 

Last time I hiked the PCT

That afternoon I camped out near Mount Hood and the next day took my time driving a very scenic route to Bend where I met my brother Pete, his girlfriend Terra and their kiddos. We had a great time hanging out in Bend and that night just before I was about to fall asleep I got a distressful text from Pinkie. Her hiking partner thought she might have a stress fracture in both feet and they planned to hike out the next day and asked if i would drive back up to Cascade Locks to pick them up. Of course!! Anything for a fellow PCT hiker and especially Pinkie! Secretly, I was really glad Pinkie was off trail because I really missed her company and was excited to surprise Phil when we picked him up in Belden Town. On our way to Belden Town we stopped at Crater Lake and then stayed in Ashland for the night with a great friend of mine Sue, her husband Dave and their two little ones Max and Stella. We had a great morning playing and visiting, only wished we could have stayed longer! Then in Dunsmuir we stopped for lunch and met up with some other great hiker friends! Proton, Dreamcatcher, Downtime and Rose (who I just met with in Seattle as she just completed her PCT HIKE!!!) 

Scenic drive in Oregon

Bella and Gavin in Bend, OR

The beautiful Crater Lake

Lunch with hiker friends in Dunsmuir

OB, Pinkie and I in Sierra City

Pinkie and I arrived later than expected to pick up Phil in Belden Town, we then drove to the next town where we met with another hiker friend Tequilla John, who is now sadly off trail due to stress injuries. That night we found a RV park to camp and the next morning drove to Sierra City where we met with another hiker friend Orange Blossom (OB) and retrieved the rest of our mail from the country store. The three of us then had a great drive down to Los Angeles where Pinkie and Erik hosted us for the night before we continued our drive to San Diego the next morning. In San Diego we only had a few days to gather our resupply gear, organize and pack because we were both headed home for Pierogi FEST! When Phil decided he was done with the hike he knew he wanted to surprise friends and family at the Pierogi Fest (A really fun festival in our home town of Whiting, Indiana that celebrates our Polish/Slovak heritage with the yummy little stuffed dumpling known as a Pierogi!). After I learned my Uncle Joe and cousin Nancy were coming up from Georgia and my other uncles coming in from around the midwest I wanted to go home too! So, I found a cheep ticket and was lucky to spend a week at home with family and friends celebrating those fabulous little dumplings! 

Potato, Cheese and Kraut Oh My!

Mr. Pierogi!!

The Baranko Gang

Pierogi Parade!!

Architectural Tour in Chicago with mom and dad

Kim and I at Millennium Park Chicago

Not wanting to be too far removed from the west coast I only booked my ticket for a week to stay at home, which in retrospect was not enough time. But after being on the trail and seeing many hikers go home for more than a week and not return I knew I needed to stay on the west coast and thought I would do more exploring in the west! Upon my return to San Diego I stayed with my friends Jeff and Penny, relaxing playing with their kids and getting some quality time in with Penny. That weekend I headed north for Las Vegas where I met up with my Alaskan friend Pete for a few weeks of bike riding, swimming, canoeing the Colorado and exploring the strip. 

Mountain biking in Red Rocks

Canoeing the Colorado

Hoover Dam Tour

Sadly, while there my car was broken into, they made off with a suitcase of all the pants and socks I own, a crate of books and most sadly a security box of my mothers/grandmothers jewelry, my pearls and passport. Luckily though they did not take my backpack which had all my camping gear! It was a stressful couple of days getting my window replaced, filing police reports and reporting the stolen items to my insurance company. Nothing will be able to replace my grandmothers wedding ring or the neckless my mother was married in or all the stamps in my passport, however, as my mother said, “whoever broke into your car and took those items must have needed them more than you”. She is such a kind and wonderful soul. But having that happen made me feel venerable and a little apprehensive about my up coming bike trip. I wouldn’t be hiding in the woods like I would be on the PCT but exposed on the open road, along a dangerous coastal highway, cycling from town to town, exposed and venerable, my bike and me exposed to the elements. Sure I’ll have a bike lock but that won’t stop someone from opening my panniers and taking what they want. It’s happened before, I once caught a man riffling through my bike panniers after work one night in Anchorage. He was homeless, most likely intoxicated and yet I still lost it. I was furious! I can only pray that I stay safe on this next journey and have the strength and positive thinking I need to overcome these fears and possible reality. I do believe in the good of humanity, hiking the PCT has truly shown me what love can look like in so many ways. The goodness the human soul poses is unbound-less. 

Speaking of good souls one woman whom I’ve always admired I had the pleasure of spending the past two weeks with! One of my dearest friends Sojourner just bought a house in Springfield, MO her home town. As I was on my way back to her place in San Marcos, CA from Vegas she asked if I would help her move from California to Springfield where she would be closing on house she bought sight unseen on Monday! Of course I said YES and was thrilled to be able to spend this exciting time in her life with her. So, when I returned to San Marcos we spend three days packing and loading her Budget Rental truck to move east! When we arrived in Springfield I fell in love with her neighborhood “Roundtree”! The tree lined streets, porches, walkability, alley’s and all her friends are her neighbors! We had an fun/intense couple of weeks cleaning and unpacking, demoing the kitchen and celebrating her new home! I’m so blessed to have this beautiful woman in my life and I’m so proud of her for taking this bold move into homeownership! I was so excited to meet all her beautiful friends and family and I am hoping to return for the Roundtree Halloween Extravaganza!  

Road Trip!


Sojourner and I

Sojourners beautiful new home!

On the horizon-
As I start out this bike adventure I hope to truly live in the moment and not hurry. To be calm and peaceful, I’ve packed a few items to help with this; my hammock for afternoon naps under a tree reading a good book, my packraft to float and exercise my arms after a long day of peddling and a frisbee for making friends at the beach! Of course though in true Lucy fashion I’ve always got something planned whether I can help it or not. I’ve applied for a ski instructor job in Garmisch Germany for the winter and was offered the position! I still have to pass the background check and hopefully this dream will come true of ski instructing in the German Alps! 

As many of you know I have been raising funds for three VERY important organizations in my life one of which is Bike Anchorage. Please consider visiting my Go Fund Me Page and donating a few dollars as I am trying to raise a dollar for every mile I ride!  

Stay tuned!