She's re-tracing part of the route followed by Lewis and Clark when they returned two centuries ago, with a bike journey that began in Williston, ND, on May 13. Her travels will eventually end in St. Louis, MO.
"I took six weeks off to do the trip, and I'm sure there people who can do it in five weeks, but my idea of riding is not about getting done fast."
She would rather enjoy the journey, she said Saturday as she enjoyed a break in Vermillion.
"My pat joke about it is years ago I met a retired couple from Seattle who were biking," Alyson said. "The husband's way of describing how to be a good bike touring person is to find the best place to eat pie every day.
"I've taken that as my challenge. I've had good pie along the way," she said, "and I've met fabulous people and have enjoyed everything about the trip."
Her goal is to be in St. Louis by June 19. Alyson is a Unitarian Universalist minister, and after attending her church's general assembly there, she must return to her work in California.
Last year, Alyson was leading a book discussion on a book titled The Prophetic Sisterhood.
"It's the story of the history of the first women ministers who were reluctantly ordained by congregations in Iowa who became the first women ministers to serve the denomination," she said.
At the same time, Alyson was reading Stephen Ambrose's book Undaunted Courage, which describes, in detail, the journey of the Corps of Discovery.
"I was reading these books, and I knew this conference was going to be held in St. Louis," she said. "Deciding to take this bike trip was a confluence of an idea, and I was just at a point to give myself some space and time to be my own little version of a pioneer."
Alyson works as a community minister for a non-profit organization in San Francisco called the Home Away from Homelessness.
"I run a mentoring program, but we also do after school programming and recreational programming for youth whose families are homeless in the city, living in either shelters, domestic violence shelters of other family friends."