Kids kids kids!

Hello all, today was a good day. We started off by rolling ourselves out of the tent flap and onto the road at 3:15 this morning to drive my mother to the Buffalo airport where she will be returning to Duluth. After the hour long drive to the airport we drove back to the campsite in Evengola State Park and proceeded to sleep in the car for another two hours before we had to get up to start our day. At 7:15 we woke up again, choked down some classic oatmeal with peanut butter and revved up the engine in the Prius to prepare for our trip out of town. We stopped by the southern Buffalo YMCA at 9:00 and gave a small presentation about healthy living, our story, and how they can be safe and healthy too. After our speech and many answered questions we walked around the camp at the YMCA and joined in a lacrosse game and a couple rounds of nuk ’em. Zach had the benefit of using both his arms where I had to do them both with just one. (I also will add that all camp games played today were won by the team that I was on) we also took some kids aside at that YMCA to have them be in our radio recording that will be aired tomorrow. Here are some pictures from this southern Buffalo YMCA:

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After having a blast with that group of wonderful kids we moved onto Syracuse, NY where even more camp kids waited our arrival. We gave another presentation and answered all the awesome questions and then went off to join them in a game of water dodgeball. This game is where you put spongelike balls into buckets of water and whip them at other kids to try to get them out. It was quite the game! (It was slightly awkward seeing as Zach hit me with one right in the crotch in the first 5 seconds so the rest of the time it looked like I wet my pants) thanks Zach. Now we are killing some time before we eat something tonight and then we will end up crashing under the pavilion outside the YMCA. At least we don’t have to set up our tent. Here are some pictures from this YMCA:

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I hope you guys are having a great time as well and please realize that some if those kids in those pictures wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the strong kids campaign. Along with that, being healthy is a lifestyle, not a chore, so if you have any trouble fitting in exercise or healthy eating into your every day life, let us help. Send questions and pick our brains at bikepotatoes@gmail.com.

P.S. We ended up eating at a place called Dinosaur Barbecue, and it was incredibly delicious. Here are some pictures of the food and I quick pic of Syracuse, NY. Have a good one.

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Hike Potatoes

Hey, it’s Zach again. Even though Parker and I went on a lovely little hike with our hosts in Canada a few days ago, Im going to consider today as the day the Hike Potatoes took their first few steps into the wilderness (contrary to what Parker says, but he’s not the one writing this). After going about our morning routine of breakfast and cleaning camp, we visited Allegany State Park to hit a few trails with Parker’s mom. We decided to take it easy and found a nice 2.5 mile trail that went straight up the foothills before turning around into a relaxing, drop-off of a decline. It was a sunny, 80 degree day and the forest was brightly illuminated, beams of sunlight streaking through the leafy canopy. The trail itself was of worn clay, trampled roots and stone scoured smooth by hundreds of footsteps and wound tightly up a hill that was just smaller than that of Spirit Mountain (with the same incline). After a short climb of about 200 yards, Parker and I decided that the terrain was the perfect setting for a jog in the woods. We took off with a hindered stride, our legs burning with the effort of powering our bodies uphill. The impact of our footfalls were felt in our knees and our calves strained to propel us forward. I could feel the weight of the water that I carried in my backpack sloshing back and forth and the constriction of the bag’s straps against my chest and around my waist as my lungs sucked in dry, hot air. We slogged up the hill for a good mile before coming to rest, breathing heavily, at the apex of the hill only to run back down again to rendezvous with Parker’s mom, who we had left far behind. After regrouping, we casually navigated the remainder of the trail before exiting the forest and grabbed a quick bite to eat.
Here’s a nice pic that demonstrates the product of running up a hill:

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“Beehunter” was the name of the second trail that we took, a 6.5 mile hike around the foothills that surrounded a small lake in the center of the park. This turned or to be a much more mild hike as the topography was more planed out than the previous hill, though we did have a steady 75 yard climb to begin with. Greenery surrounded us, the forest itself was not infested with undergrowth and the moss-covered trunks of trees and huddles of boulders were easily seen. Sunlight blossomed overhead and illuminated the forest floor. Birds called to each other overhead, interrupted by the occasional slap that sounded the death of a mosquito, and small animals rustled amongst fallen leaves and branches. Chucks of stone, like the building-blocks of some fantastic castle, settled on either side of the trail, combined with the enormity of the trees they gave the environment an almost ethereal feel.

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Our progress slowed as the forest thickened during our decent. Parker and I took turns leading the way, clearing unseen spider webs from the path with our face and communicating the footing of the trail by slipping on a loose stone, stumbling over a root or crying out as our foot was caught in the sucking mud. Eventually we came upon a wide ravine cut by a river that puddled between the bedrock. Undergrowth was entirely absent here and we walked on a carpet of rust-colored bark among immense trees that soared over head.

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The combination of the river, the size of the trees and the general emptiness of the forest gave one a feeling of insignificance among nature. I spat in rejection of the feeling and moved on. A few hundred yards further in, the forest became more constricting and the mud more frequent. Flies buzzed around our heads and moths and lesser bugs stuck to the patina of sweat that formed across our arms and faces. We continued to slip through the mire and fumble across uneven ground. As I attempted to navigate a corroded decline I stumbled and split my knee open against a stone. Picking myself off the ground and confirming that I wasn’t injured more than a moderate scrape and a few minor cuts I noticed a bright lizard, no bigger than my index finger, looking up at me. It was as if Mother Nature had slowed my trek that I might notice it.

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From that point the rest of the hike was more or less uneventful and we exited the trail about an hour later. Overall we hiked a good 11 miles. Aside from a slight limp and a dull throb in my knee, I’m glad to be out and moving again and Im sure Parker feels the same way. Tomorrow we plan on either going for another hike or connecting with the Buffalo YMCA where we hope to organize a day trip in the foothills and have a few YMCA members join us. Now that you’ve heard about our wonderful day of walking up steep hills in the muddy and bug-infested wilderness, go ahead and treat yourself to a nice bowl of vitamin-stocked fruit. If you’ve eaten anything along the lines of a doughnut, candy, fast food, fried food, chips, soda or any sugary desert, you should probably go for a 5 mile run. I’m out, deuces!

Niagara Falls

Our hikes have begun! Yesterday we pushed through the crowds to see the wonderful Niagara Falls. The falls were beautiful, with 75,000 gallons falling over the cliffs each second. I did a quick calculation and with Lake Superior have 3 quadrillion gallons, it would take 460,000 days to fill up Lake Superior. Anyway, we have been camping out the last two nights with my wonderful mother, and we are waiting to hear back from the local YMCAs to see if they wanted to hike with us, or get together somehow. We are transferring campsites today, on the way stopping at a GNC for Zach, and spending the next two nights there. To pass the time we are going to track down places to hike in the area. Today, we will be hiking in Allegany State Park and we will look into some more adventures for Monday as well. Tuesday, I need to drive my mother to the airport by 4:30 in the morning and after that, Zach and I will try to get a little bit more sleep, and then head off to our next YMCA locations and some more adventures.

Here are some pictures:
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Couch Potatoes

‘Sup, it’s Zach. I figured it was time to make a post and I plan on writing a few more. First up, today was a bit of a deviation from our usual creed. With our lovely hosts tending to their jobs, we had the house to ourselves and spent most of this 80 degree and sunny day indoors, watching Netflix. We got up at about 9:00, with no complaints of pain coming from Parker (he’s recovering quite well and continues to increase the range of motion of his shoulder), and lazily slumped onto the couch and finished a full season of Dexter. All things aside, I did feel a bit guilty and did a few hundred push-ups and completed a quick abdominal workout, so I wasn’t a total sloth. [ You can still be active while watching TV or working on the computer. Exercise between every ten minutes or on commercial breaks and try to move around to get the blood movin’. ] Another bump in our hypothetical road was the food available to us. Though there was plenty of food lying around, one of our hosts is vegan and there we not many things in the fridge that I was overjoyed to try (no offense to those vegans out there, I like being an omnivore) though there were some excellent muffins on the table along with a sufficient selection of fruits and veggies. I did manage to make it through the day so it’s all good. In other news, Parker’s mom made it across the border. There was a nice reunion hug and now he has someone to spend time with, which leaves me without a buddy. Text me, Im lonely. To finish off the day, Parker’s mom treated us and our hosts to dinner at Earl’s, a restaurant known for fine food and fine waitresses (they were). After enjoying a wonderful meal, we sat at the house in the company of our hosts sipping tea and trading stories about the similarities and differences between the US and Canada. All in all, ’twas a day of rest and sitting, I’ll be sure to get in a few handstands before I go to bed. Oh, and now that we have a vehicle we will finally be able to continue our trip effective tomorrow. Spirits are high. The epics of the Hike Potatoes are soon in coming. Stay healthy, stay active!

P.S. You all have to do 80 push-ups because of the numer of comments we’ve received.

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Canadians Versus Minnesotans

The million dollar match up. The “Minnesota Nice” against the oh so famous “Hospitable and Polite Canadians”. Who wins? I’ll let you decide.

The back up for the Canadian team is as follows: We have been in Canada for 7 days, tomorrow being our 8th. We have had no previous stops planned in Canada and literally have been living off of people’s generosity. We have stayed inside 5 different people’s homes, all strangers when we met, and we have not paid for one meal. We have had warm showers given to us, along with washers and dryers, laughs, and many smiles. We have also been driven around, taken out to the movies, out to dinner, and we have had some books boughten for us. Zach and I did not ask for any of this, it was solely the kindness of the general public. The only bad thing I have to say about Canada, and I mean only thing, is that a car hit us here. But, the blame shouldn’t even be put on the guy, because it was such a mutual accident, and plus, he was most likely American. All joking aside, Canada has shown us it’s better half, or whole I should say, and we couldn’t be more happy to be able to witness it.

Now to Minnesota, the classic nice guys. My best defense towards this team is as follows. My mother, family, friends, and supporters. Wow. How could we ever be stranded in Canada here today without you guys. I’m telling ya, the support that so many of you have offered, and the love and kindness from our friends and mine and Zach’s family is breathtaking. Just look at the comments to the previous posts. The encouragement, the pride, it is what drives us. Now to my mother, the woman to the rescue. Mary Adams, if you don’t already know is my mom, a picture comes later, and she is not only the most amazing woman on planet earth, but I could not be more proud to call her my mother. She loves me more than is imaginable, and every single person I talk to that has come in contact with her, says she is the most remarkable woman. She is on her way now, from her busy life in Duluth, to come and pick up Zach and I so we can continue on our journey. She dropped her plans, her wants, her needs, so that Zach and I can have an experience of a lifetime and pass on a message. Now if that isn’t something to applaud, I don’t know what is. I love you mom, and I’ll see you soon.

So now, I have given you my insight on the Canadian, and the Minnesotan and it is your job to decide which one wins. ***The winner gets bragging rights***
I want you to please comment your answer bellow or if you are too afraid of being recognized, make an internal vote. But here’s the trick, I can see how many people visit my blog, and I can see how many people comment, so the difference between the two is how many push ups all of you have to do during my next post.

Stay healthy, stay strong, stay safe, and have fun.

Here are some pictures to help you get up to date:

Zach decided to get a new outfit:

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Zach, me, and Tom Faulds, the doctor that treated me after our crash.

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Zach and I wearing wooden shoes!!!

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Now take a peak at our diet!

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Now a quick couple from our first hike today! Not the craziest photos, but documentation is documentation!

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A picture of my lovely mother (with my dog cocoa):

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And finally just a picture of a really cute dog named Oliver. Enjoy, and don’t forget to vote!

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Make Use of What You Got: Our New Plan

We are not done yet. We are still staying in Port Bruce, Ontario, with a lovely family. My mother is currently finishing a few things in Duluth and then she will head out in the Prius to Port Bruce. She will arrive on Thursday, and pick us, and the bike up, and keep going to Buffalo. There, we will visit the YMCAs, do day trips throughout New York with my mom, and have some fun sharing our story. The following Tuesday, my mother will be on a plane back to Duluth and we will have the Prius with a bent-out-of-shape tandem on the top of it. From there we will continue on the same route that we would have biked, stopping at YMCAs and continuing our adventures. We weren’t really looking forward to driving a car to the YMCAs and trying to promote exercise so we will be looking into a lot of hiking. We will try to find the largest mountain or hill in each state and hike up, taking some wonderful pictures as we go. This way we can stress the importance of exercise, and the ability to reshape your life (healthily) around the unfortunate things that take place. So, this blog will not be shutting down, and our message has not ended. If you wish, you can just imagine that “b” in bike potatoes has been transformed to an “h” for hike potatoes. But, it was never really about the “bike” in the first place, it was about the meaning behind it. So, stop waisting any time and burn some calories before those hot dogs on the fourth. As far as any Canadians reading this blog, you’re out if luck, because Canada Day is today, so you can exercise tomorrow. I have had a few people attempt to give us money for our future progress and what would mean the most is just putting that money towards your local YMCA, or if not, there is always a donate button on our blog. As far as gas money, we will be driving a Prius. Stay safe, and give a stranger a smile.

Here are some pictures of the bike:

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“The morning after”

So I just got up. As far as I can tell another car hit me overnight because I ache and hurt all over. I had to go to the bathroom, but if I hadn’t, I don’t think I would have moved all day. I have not talked to Zach yet, but i overheard him saying how he could have biked today. I’m still pondering how to go about the rest of the trip. Not really looking forward to hitch hiking. If we can find busses that travel there, I would be up for that. Otherwise maybe we could head for home somehow and stop at those YMCAs for a second time. If you have any ideas don’t be afraid to share and of any of you younger folk are bored and want a fun road trip with us, you know my number. Other than that ill stay an Advil drug addict today and try and feel better as best as possible. I hope your mornings were wonderful, and I hope they stay that way.

Only if you’re curious:

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Crash Landing

Today was a sad day. We got a late start from Port Stanley, because our front tire got flat over night. About 15 miles into our day, we were going down a large hill, when a car, most likely traveling at about 25-30 miles an hour, hit us from the side when we were making a left hand turn. We both flew off the bike, I was actually hit by the car and landed on the pavement. Zach got up and was able to walk around, just twisting his leg a little. I had to stay on the ground because the people on the scene thought I hurt my neck and spine. After minutes if pain, I was put into an ambulance and brought to the nearest hospital. I had x-rays take of my knee, spine, and left shoulder. After reviewing them, the doctor concluded that I had separated my shoulder. My clavicle, when you look in a mirror (or an x-ray) is sticking up against my skin, disconnected from my scapula. I cannot bike, or swim anytime soon and as far as the bike, it’s not rideable. I am incredibly disappointed about the extreme halt this was in such an amazing adventure which is why I have told Zach that we are not about to stop. We are planning on continuing the trip, finding rides we can, or taking buses, and trying to make our way to Maine and back. We can still go see the YMCAs and see their camp kids and stress how important exercise is in all of our lives. A lovely family opened up their home to me and Zach for a couple days so we can get our bearings and then we will try to move on. I feel so bad that I have to tell you guys that our bike trip is done, but I am pleased to remind you that I need to be back in Duluth August first, and until we state otherwise, the adventures don’t stop until then. I hope that everyone is having a wonderful day and this would be a great time for me to stress the importance of helmets. Also, if you have any questions whatsoever about anything, please email me them at parkergadams13@gmail.com. I will do my best to answer them as soon as possible.

Here are some pictures.

Me in the ambulance. They key to feeling better is a smile.

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Here is a picture of the x-ray of my separated shoulder. It looks way scarier in person.

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Port Stanley, Canada

So after another 100 miles, through the rain, from our wonderful hosts last night, we arrived at Port Stanley, a town of about two thousand where we were going to try to spend the night. After biking along the main strip we got off the Maine road and asked a house if we could use their lawn to set up our tent for the night. Upon asking, they were gracious enough to let us crash in some beds in the basement, use their washer and dryer, take warm showers and I think I heard something about some breakfast food. I cannot stress enough how good of a feeling it is to be welcomed in to different people’s homes right after meeting them. Day after day it shows the kindheartedness that our world still upholds. Anyway, the family yesterday was kind enough to give us a little money to spend on “a nice dinner.” So, Zach and I decided to take advantage of it and we went out to dinner tonight. The food was absolutely delicious and because of it, my eyes are getting heavy writing this. After dinner we also decided to stop by grandfathers pizza where the pizza was great and the waitresses were kind. Thank you so much for staying updated with our travels and I will update you more as we move through Canada. Our plan tomorrow is to solely put in about 100. Not really sure yet where that will take us, but hey, that’s half the fun right there. Take it easy, and don’t be afraid to be healthy.

Here are some pictures: (not many, because my phone isn’t waterproof)

Dinner last night:

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Breakfast:

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