Column: By Scott, she crossed the country

A lot of people talk about taking to the road and seeing the country from coast to coast. Jodie Scott and her boyfriend, Dan McMullen, actually did it.

Scott, a former Carson City resident and 1994 Carson High graduate who moved to Reno several weeks ago, and McMullen recently bicycled across the United States.

After saving up for a year and picking up several sponsors, they made their trip.

"We decided not enough people our age go out on an adventure and discover themselves," said Scott about why she and McMullen made the trip.

They left Astoria, Ore. on June 18 and arrived in Ocean City, N.J. on Sep. 29, completing a 4,700-mile trip across 14 states:

Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Ilinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

Scott and McMullen averaged 60 miles a day, taking 103 days to make the trip. They rode for about six to seven hours a day.

On the way, they dealt with below freezing temperatures to above 100 degree heat. They traveled through Yellowstone and visited the Council, Idaho porcupine races on the Fourth of July.

Seven families took them into their homes, including a woman who was a yodeler. She serenaded them with her ukelele.

"I think most of all, we were overwhelmed about the kindness of people," Scott said. "People are really good. It was really nice to discover that."

The couple also met 50 to 60 other cyclists making the cross country trek. They ranged from ages 12 to 75.

"It's something that I know that anyone can do," Scott said. "It was amazing. I recommend it to everybody. It does take a lot of patience."

The highest elevation that the couple crossed was 10,276 feet in Colorado. They dealt with hurricane conditions, taking two days to cross the Chesapeake Bay, hail storms and had 32 flat tires.

But the worst conditions they faced were the heat and humidity in Kansas. The couple needed 13 days to cross the state.

The longest they rode was 21 hours one day in Colorado. They wanted to surprise McMullen's fraternity brother by showing up earlier than expected. But as it turned out, they couldn't find his house and had to sleep in a park for three hours. They needed five days to recuperate from the experience.

Scott and McMullen aren't done, yet. They plan to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mexico in May. It will take them five months to complete the 2,700-mile hike.

Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal sports editor. He can be reached via e-mail at appeal@swiftnews.com.

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