It’s been brought to my attention that “I certainly have been flying a lot lately,” and it’s true. I have been. After waiting out winter in New Orleans, I cycled to Fort Worth, Texas, and quickly realized it was too hot to continue west. (Camping in the summer heat of Texas isn’t ideal, and cycling in the triple digit temperatures can be downright dangerous)

Fortunately, I had planned a trip to Pittsburgh to see the family and teach ballet classes at a summer course. (Had the great joy of helping my niece learn to ride a bicycle! Grandpa did most of the teaching and hard work. I just gave a couple pointers and it clicked.) After a month of eating pierogies in Pittsburgh, I had the opportunity to teach for the Martha Graham summer school in NYC.

Three weeks and countless amounts hot dogs and pizza later, I was heading back to Texas and received a text message from a friend in Seattle. She was asking when I was FINALLY going to make it to the west coast. I told her it would probably be around December. That was no good as she, and two other ladies, are heading to Australia for a year and would be gone by then. I told her if she could find me a part-time job to help cover costs, I’d fly out for a visit. Fast forward a month and you’ll find me sitting in a coffee shop on Bainbridge Island writing this as it gently rains outside. My four weeks in Seattle is coming to an end and I’m preparing to fly back to my bicycle in Texas to continue pedaling west, towards San Francisco. During my “summer vacation” I’ve had the pleasure of catching up with friends and family in Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Toronto, NYC, Fort Worth and Seattle. I’ve also had the pleasure of eating way too much food and putting on a few extra pounds. I’m excited to start bicycle touring again to burn off my summer of over indulgence.

Here’s a map of all the states I’ve cycled in since my first big bicycle tour in 2012. One of the goals I have, for this grand Lewis and Clark and Mark expedition, is to cycle in every state. I’m thirty-one deep and will knock out three or four more en route to Cali.

Any recommendations of must-see, off the beaten path gems to see on the way?