Sleeping with Coyotes-Phoenix to Fountain Hills

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30 miles away.  About half of what we are going to be riding everyday on our journey.  That was the mileage we rode on our practice ride out to McDowell Mountain Regional Park last week.  We figured we should test out all gear before actually hitting the road in Maine and boy, was it helpful.  

Everyone can give you gear recommendations on what to bring on a cross country bike trip, but you never know what you actually need until you do a trip yourself.

We left my house around 4:00pm and headed west.  The looks we got from cars and people on the streets were hysterical!  We got everything from yells to honks, and for the most part, everyone kept their distance from us while we were riding.  

We arrived in Fountain Hills, about 20 miles into our trip and had our first grocery store visit.  Carbs carbs carbs -that’s what everyone tells us.  So that’s what we did.  We bought a big loaf of bread, pita chips, roast beef sandwich meat, bananas, cheese and 2 snickers.  It was getting close to sunset so we set off to finish the last 10 miles.

These last 10 miles were the hardest. It was hill after hill but at least we knew it was going to be smooth sailing the next morning.  We made it to Mcdowell Mountain Regional Park at dusk, and when we entered, the sign read, “TENT CAMPING- 5 Miles.” No way would we make it another 5 miles with the amount of daylight left. So we just decided to camp at the beginning of the park right next to a BMX track.

We set up camp, taking off all of our gear.  By the end, it was pitch black so we used our headlights for the first time.  Setting up camp went pretty smoothly. Then we headed into dinner.  We ate super quickly because we were starving.

Sleeping out in the middle of the desert was probably one of the coolest places I’ve ever camped.  We heard coyotes, owls and javelina all throughout the night.  

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In the morning we woke up with the sun and set off.  We made a quick stop to grab some food but soon after, sailed home.  

I’m so glad we were able to fit in one quick trip before embarking on our big trip.

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Hiking and Geocaching with Outdoor Outreach in the Elfin Forest

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Last Sunday, February 21st, Outdoor Outreach invited us on their hiking and geocaching trip with a group of students from San Pasqual Academy.

We met them at the Elfin Forest in Escondido Forest around 9am. A few of the Outdoor Outreach staff greeted us with warm welcomes and sun-shining smiles 🙂 It was the first time geocaching for both Jordan and myself so we were excited to be learning alongside the students!

Before we started the hike and search for geocaches, OO organized an opportunity for us to learn about the Elfin Forest from two park rangers that run the recreational reserve.

From the trailhead to the top, our route stretched two miles up and around the mountain. Using a geocaching app, we stopped along the trail and searched for multiple geocaches. In case you are unfamiliar, the way it works is the app informs you when you are within 30 feet of the geocache, or hidden object. It is usually camouflaged and obviously hidden out of clear sight.

A few of the kids had keen eyes and found the geocaches. When they found them, a flash of pride showed across their faces. It was a rewarding feeling to find one.

Once it is found (usually a pill bottle container), you open it up, pull it out the slip of paper and write your name and date on it. It is a lot of fun scanning the names to see how many times the geocache has already been discovered. Then, you hide it again in a similar location for the next person to find.

At the end of the trail, we stopped, enjoyed the views of a beautiful lake and then made our way back down the trail. Outdoor Outreach brough sandwich materials and delegated the art of sandwich making to their finest leaders.

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We explained to the kids the idea of the project and what we hoped to accomplish. They thought it was really cool! It was awesome for us because it was our first time explaining the project to a group of kids in the outdoors. In that moment, we had a glimpse of all that our trip has in store for us.

Special thanks goes out to Mallory at Outdoor Outreach for inviting us to join them on the trip and experience hiking in the Elfin Forest with their group!

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[Photo courtesy of Outdoor Outreach]

the beginning.

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[Photo by Joe Previte, Tucson, AZ]

7,700 miles.You read that correctly.

Every night I try and wrap my head around the fact that Joe and I are taking the world by storm, riding our bikes from an equivalent distance between New York and Paris…

All in the span of 4 measly months. And sure,

I’m scared for what’s to come.

But I’m overwhelmed with an immediate adrenaline rush every single time I think about going the distance and finishing something I set out to do.

I don’t know where I’m going to sleep. I don’t know what I’m going to wear. I don’t know who I’m going to meet. What I do know, however, is that I’m going to pass this test.

My name is Jordan Mishlove, and I accept this challenge. I’ve always been the type of guy that likes to think outside the box, progress forward and lean into my edges.

I am going to conquer this route with my best friend of 15 years, Joe Previte. Joe is just like me, except with better hair.

Joe and I will set out on our Journey from Acadia National Park in Maine, heading in the direction of Washington, finishing in Phoenix, where we grew up.

Along the way we are passing through desolate deserts, flourishing forests, and mountains 5 times taller than the Empire State Building.

We live and breathe experiencing the outdoors, which is why we have decided to raise money for others to experience it as well.

We are riding for Outdoor Outreach, a San Diego based non-profit that gives underprivileged kids an opportunity to hike, snowboard and surf.  All activities that have sculpted me into the person I am today.

Our project has picked up speed, and there is no turning back now. We feed off of each other’s energy. We constantly push each other past our breaking point.

Because whether it be physically, mentally, or spiritually, our body and mind needs to be ready for the road ahead.

Because that’s the point, isn’t it?

To continue to progress. Which is why we set out on this Journey.

To grow.

To inspire.

To do more, to BE more.

To prove to myself that I am capable of greater things and to transform into the strongest version of myself. I have never been so passionate and motivated to accomplish something in my entire life.

No matter what happens on the road, Joe and I will make a difference. We will make a difference, in the eyes of others and in the eyes of ourselves. We will educate, we will discover and we will eat our way through the great United States of America.

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