More Trail Tales

Rails to Trails EssayEarlier this month, Russell [BROL Member Mt_Top] suggested that I submit an essay for the RTC Magazine, given my experiences last summer for the “Tater-TOT” in Idaho. I told him that I would try. Today, the deadline, I submitted this:

I traveled 2,630 plus miles from Fayetteville, North Carolina to Kellogg, Idaho to ride the Coeur d’Alenes bike path in and around Mullen and Plummer, Idaho. The ride was with a group of 30 cyclist who gathered late June ’08 at Kellogg to experience the thrill of recumbent “triking” across the panhandle. A blast it was, especially the ride from Mullen back to Kellogg. The slight downgrade gave just the speed boost for some incredible speed on our super-low trikes. I’ll always remember the journey and the beautiful scenery along the Coeur d’Alenes.

The journey began mid-June with a drive to south-western Virginia for a week of riding in the Virginia and eastern Tennessee mountains. Scenic and fun–a week of fitness training for the Idaho ride. I then drove, by myself [and 3 cycles], in 3.5 days to Kellogg for the meet up and ride the rail-trail. It took 3 alternators to get me there–the 2nd in Vermillion, South Dakota and a 3rd in Rapid City, South Dakota. There were times I wondered if I should continue my journey west or return home because it seemed this experience was not to be. Well, for the beauty of the trail and lake at Coeur d’Alenes, the trip was definitely worth it. From there, I rode the Seattle-to-Portland Classic and RAGBRAI in Iowa, with brief riding stops in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Morton, Illinois. Total experience–FANTASTIC! I’ll do the Coeur d’Alenes rail-trail again!

Thanks Russell, as I said in my reply to his suggestion, the experience [traveling to Idaho, the camaraderie, and the ride(s)] [all of them] were interesting and rewarding. Hey, if not published in the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Magazine, thanks to Russell, my essay made the Cycling Experiences Blog. 🙂

Author: jalexartis

Avid cyclist, who loves photography, technology, blogging & cooking...

6 thoughts on “Rails-to-Trails”

  1. Rails-to-Trails should be honored to have your essay submission. I truly do hope they publish it in the upcoming Green issue: railstotrails.org/GreenIssue2009 on 4/22/09. I hope you included at least 1 picture of the (crazy) Tator TOT 2008 riders!


    1. Thanks Russell. You are the one who brought the essay to my attention, so you get the credit. If selected, they say one picture. I hope I pick a good one. It will be from Kellogg. What’s included is relative to the size and if they crop. If I know the dimensions, then I have control. Now, I wish I knew when they make their selection. Thanks again for posting a comment. –jim


  2. Hi James,

    We’re considering your Trail Tales submission for the Fall 2009 issue of Rails to Trails, and I wanted to follow up to see if you had any photos from your cross-country journey or on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes itself? If we do use it in the magazine, we’d love an image to go with the story. My family has a farm in South Dakota, and I’ve been to Vermillion and Rapid City many, many times. So I could picture your alternator ordeal all the way across the state. Thanks for submitting!



    Communications Manager/
    Managing Editor, Rails to Trails
    Received the following from Karl Wirsing today:
    Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
    2121 Ward Court, NW – 5th Floor
    Washington, D.C. 20037
    p: 202.974.5129
    f: 202.223.9257


    1. I spoke by phone with Karl and sent the following email:

      Hello Karl,

      Thank you for considering my essay for the Fall 2009 issue of Rails to Trails. I have many pictures [as discussed in our telephone conversation]. Here are links to two of my flickr sets for your selection:

      1. http://tinyurl.com/dmel7z [2008 drive to Kellogg]
      2. http://tinyurl.com/djwv8o [2008 TOT Experience…]

      You will also see other sets of pictures after the Coeur d’Alenes Experience.

      As the photographer, there are few of me. I do like these two [ http://tinyurl.com/dkwg3b & http://tinyurl.com/dltofp ] from set #2.

      Again, thanks for your consideration.



  3. That is terrific James!! I looked at your flickr pics and thought the “Dobson Pass Ride – Ridden with Clu4U….. ” picture was perfect. Trikes, trees and open space, what could sum it up better!

    Looking forward to seeing you on the cover of the next Rails-To-Trails magazine.

    Good luck,



    1. Hi Russell,

      Thanks! I agree with you. I like that picture also, except the road is not a “rails-to-trail” bike path. I do not know if “in the area” counts. I’ll see what Karl likes best and we’ll go from there. Glad you brought the essay to my attention. –jim


Your comments please...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s