I marveled at its gearing, disc brakes, and racks obviously meant for the long haul.
Just then its tall, lithe owner sauntered up to exchange hellos. He told us he had started at his home in New Mexico and is now 1400 miles into his current adventure. He bought the bike -a Raleigh Sojourn- for $900 a few years ago and modified it extensively.
Loaded for travel it weighs 140 lbs. I noticed the bottle cages holding 3 liter bottles as Jack admonished, "You can never run out of water".
Everyday he pedals about 100 miles ("I like to ride all day long") and his longest? 140 miles. He explained, "I had some downhill and rear wind helping me". He's traveled over 26,000 miles so far on his skinny steel steed. Jack camps anywhere he can and has found Canadians to be the friendliest people saying, "A lot of them let me camp in their yards and invite me in for dinner".
We invited him to our campground but he said it was a bit far for him that day. We waved as he headed west in the high-mountain meadow.
Two days later we saw him ahead of us feverishly pumping as we headed up another mountain. We slowed to say hello but he only had time for a wink. Moving your body plus 140 pounds uphill is serious business.
"When does this trip end?" I had asked earlier. He replied, "I never know. At some point I'll head back to Sante Fe. I have a great job, installing tile, and there's always work for me there."