Early this month, we introduced to you Team David’s Salon, the first 4-man mixed relay team to represent the Philippines in the world’s toughest cycling race. Teammates Carmela Pearson, Colin Pearson, Guillaume d’Aboville and Vanessa Hans broke records when they finished Race Across America (RAAM) in 8 days,1 hour and 45 minutes. That’s right, they’ve been cycling non-stop for over a week! RAAM started last June 17, 2017 in Oceanside, California and ended in Annapolis, Maryland. That’s covering 12 states.
To help the team focus on the race, Malayan Insurance gave all of them peace of mind with Travel Master – the country’s most comprehensive travel insurance. And just to give you an idea what it is like to travel across America, we mapped out the team’s route and picked-out some of the more interesting, relaxing and soul-searching activities you can do on your next travel to the USA.
CALIFORNIA. California is so familiar to many Filipinos but rarely do we talk about visiting Oceanside. This is the place where Team David’s Salon began RAAM. Oceanside Pier and Oceanside Harbor are good places to visit for laid-back activities when you are there. Oceanside Pier is perfect for fishing, surfing or as simple as strolling while enjoying the sunset. Oceanside Harbor has over 900 recreational boats where you can kayak, canoe or just have a simple picnic. There are also a row of various shops and restaurants, from eateries, picnic tables to fine dining restaurants.
ARIZONA. When Team David’s Salon was here, they were treated to a mesmerizing sunrise. The arid terrain of Arizona begs for a visit to the Grand Canyon National Park, but I think you can do one better. It’s imperative that you visit Horseshoe bend at the canyon which is surrounded by the Colorado River. You can’t miss it because it is 5 miles from the beginning of the Grand Canyon. This ¾-mile long walk is picture perfect but we recommend you take the air tour instead. Another way to have a unique experience is by rafting along the Colorado River as you tour the Grand Canyon guided by specialists who can give a National Geographic-like tour.
COLORADO. We recommend a hike in the town of Bedrock and a scenic train ride in Alamosa. Dolores River Canyon in Bedrock, Colorado is a protected area for wilderness. The hiking trail stretches 3 ½ miles and is easy enough even for inexperienced hikers. The peaceful canyon is also perfect for star gazing and bird watching. For those who prefer not to move a muscle, a tour via Alamosa’s Rio Grande Scenic Line of the World is a good way to enjoy the landscape, view of wildlife and history of the state. It soars up the Sothern Rockies, over La Veta Pass and to LaVeta town. In fact, Team David’s Salon was in that breathtaking view of a town.
KANSAS. Crossing Kansas was a welcoming experience for Team David’s Salon with a romantic sunrise as they switch racers during RAAM. But for you, there will be more sightseeing in Kansas but this time, it will be an underground tour. A salt deposit mine built within the Permian Wellington Formation which houses the Kansas Underground Salt Museum called the Strataca. It features history and milestones of the Hutchinson Salt Member of the formation. For the clostrauphobic a good alternative is the Museum of World Treasures where fossils, mummies, ancient relics and more can be found.
ILLINOIS. From the underground of Kansas to the skies of Illinois! The Sky Deck at Willis Tower, Chicago features a view of up to four states as it stands at 1,343 feet. To give you an even memorable experience, go to The Ledge. The Ledge is a 4.3 feet glass box on the Sky Deck at the 103rd floor of Willis Tower. There are interactive attractions and displays that features everything Chicago as well. To add to that IG-inspiring view, visit Millenium Park specifically for the Cloud Gate at the AT&T Plaza. It is an artwork of Anish Kapoor that weighs 110-ton that is so well-polished that reflects the city’s skyline and the people underneath the structure.
OHIO. Team David’s Salon was met by a foggy morning in Ohio but your trip across America’s stop in this state is a mix of both solemn and lively activities. For something quieter, go to Toledo Museum which houses “more than 30,000 works of art represent American and European painting, the history of art in glass, ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works, Asian and African art, medieval art, sculpture, decorative arts, graphic arts, and modern and contemporary art,” according to the museum’s website. Aside from galleries for art display, there are classrooms, concert hall and lecture hall. Now on a livelier night, watch a baseball game at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinatti, home of the Reds. You will be surprised at its many modern features, including the sun/moon deck, despite the long history behind it.
WEST VIRGINIA. Harper’s Ferry National Park at West Virginia offers picturesque and relaxing views through its hiking trails and museums. After that, have an afternoon drink at Bloomery Sweet Shine Distillery. According to Tripadvisor, it is “inspired by the art of crafting home-grown, natural fruit cordials, you’ll feel right at home on our farm.” Try their raspberry lemon and Moonshine Milkshake Cremma Lemma.
MARYLAND. Race Across America ends here in Annapolis, reached by Team David’s Salon in 8 days, 1 hour and 45 minutes after leaving Oceanside, California. Sandy Pointe State Park is a typical weekend destination at Chesapeake Bay where families have picnics and play along the beaches. But for a more historic destination, Maryland State House is a good place to visit. It is the oldest state capitol and is at the forefront of historic formation of the USA.
It was here in Annapolis, Maryland that Team David’s Salon broke records. Not only are they the first to represent the Philippines in their category, they also finished 2nd in completing the 3000-mile race. To reward their efforts, dedication and passion, they also received a Perseverance Award for completing the race with only 3 members after one of them got injured. Thankfully, they were protected by Travel Master. Travel Master of Malayan Insurance is the country’s most comprehensive travel insurance keeping both racers and crew members worry-free as they travel to, across and from USA and other destinations. Aside from emergencies, loss of baggage and personal accidents, Travel Master also covers accidents of rented cars while abroad and damages you may cause to 3rd parties. Most importantly, it gives you access to Assist America. Assist America is your go-to-assistance for as critical as emergency evacuation to practical needs like general travel inquiries.
Team David’s Salon images are courtesy of their Facebook Page @raam2017tds.
Article written by Kristina Relampagos.