Archive for the ‘Oregon’ Category
The trip was a success! I completed over 4,263 miles from Yorktown, VA to Portland, OR and then down the coast to San Francisco, CA between May 26, 2009 and August 19, 2009 (86 days). I met many amazing people along the way, pedaled through 13 states, and saw a lot of spectacular scenery. I feel like I’ve now seen some of the United States, but there is still a lot remaining to explore.
The first few states were rather ‘familiar’ as far as scenery goes – I hadn’t been to Kentucky before, but western Kentucky was quite similar to Virginia with a lot of horse farms and open fields. Eastern Kentucky was a little more poverty-stricken and was cluttered with trash on the sides of the roads. The roads were in poor condition with potholes (we had to be very careful to pay attention and not hit one)! I picked up a staple from the road in eastern Kentucky and got my first flat tire. We only briefly saw Illinois (I think we spent 2 days biking through southern Illinois), but we met some really fun people, namely two motorcyclists who invited us to their home to camp outside, grill, and play in the lake. Also, we saw Superman in Metropolis, Illinois, which was off-route and not planned. As it happened, we had bike problems that day and had to hitch-hike 70 miles to a bike shop to get a new chain for George’s bike. Missouri was very humid and the Ozarks were filled with hills.
About 40 miles outside of Springfield, Missouri, my shifter cable broke and I wound up hitching a ride with to a bike shop. For the first time since we left on May 26th, I was in civilization again. Springfield was a large city (from what I could tell), and they had a Chipotle and Starbucks. That was exciting! We pedaled through Missouri in six days and then when we reached Kansas, we switched our sleeping and biking habits. Instead of riding during the day, we rode at night and slept indoors at fire stations, libraries, and churches during the day to avoid the 115-degree heat and humidity. It worked fairly well, except that I biked the entire state of Kansas carrying a viral infection, only to realize it when I entered Colorado.
Just 70 miles east of Pueblo, Colorado in the hamlet of Arlington, I found myself extremely sick and unable to continue pedaling. I stopped and told the guys I couldn’t go any further. This was my last opportunity to find someone who could help me – there were approximately three houses and a few shady trees. I stopped, rested, and when I wasn’t feeling any better, I walked to a house to see if anyone was home who could drive me to a doctor. A nice man, by the name of C.D. Anderson said he’d give me a ride to Ordway, CO (25 miles west). We rode there and the clinic said I needed to get to a hospital, but the next closest one was in Pueblo. He gave me a ride all the way to Pueblo, another 45 miles down the road. There, I admitted myself to the Emergency Room and spent the next five and a half hours receiving saline and anti-nausea medicine. I slept on and off until 6:30 that evening when I was released. Lucky to have distant relatives in the area, they came and picked me up and they took me to their home in Westcliffe, Colorado.
A few days later, thanks to the generosity of a complete stranger, Cindi from Westcliffe, I had a car to borrow and was on my way to visit a friend from college. Unfortunately, I got sick again and at this point was very frustrated, as I didn’t know what was wrong with me. This was the only point in my trip where I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to continue if the virus didn’t get out of my system. I slept and rested for another day or two and then went whitewater rafting (already had reservations made) and then drove to Estes Park to see the beautiful Rocky Mountains and take photos.
I finally got on my bike again almost two weeks after getting sick and was now solo pedaling to meet Chase, my new riding companion, who was a few days ahead of me now. Unexpectedly, I spent a few nights in Salida, Colorado when I met Mike. He showed me around town and then guided me up my first 14er, Mt. Elbert. It was an incredible experience to be on the highest mountain in Colorado and one of the highest in the lower 48 states! After a day of recuperation, I climbed 26 miles up and over the Continental Divide at Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet! There, at the top of the pass, Chase found me and I rode down the other side of the mountain and then hitched a ride back to Pitkin where he and his family had rented a cabin for a few days. We spent a couple days in Pitkin and Ohio City with Chase’s family before we hit the road again on July 14th.
The adventures really picked up once Chase and I met and started riding together – we found ourselves first taking a short-cut from Telluride, CO to Moab, UT in two days and meeting a really nice woman by the name of Lauren. As it turns out, she invited us to have dinner with her (grilled steak and peppers along with pickled asparagus) and sleep in her camper van just outside of Paradox, CO. Then we met Wayne, who gave us a lift from La Sal Junction to Moab and then into Arches National Park, where we toured the park in the afternoon together. It was a great time and nice since Wayne hadn’t had an opportunity to see the park before! After Moab, we rode down to Monticello (I had to pick up mail) and then onward to Hite, UT (Lake Powell). This was one of the worst days (from Blanding to Hite) as the heat was cranked up and the 88-mile stretch without services was brutal. We each carried 1.5 gallons of water and pedaled all day to get to Hite campground.
What would have been a long journey across the deserts of Utah and Nevada turned into a spontaneous adventure where we found ourselves 700 miles north getting dropped off in Yellowstone National Park. We caught a ride with Jack and his 7-year old who were on their family vacation. We were like family for 3 days and it was amazing. We had such a great time! Once we parted from Jack and David, we left to go to West Yellowstone where we ran into five cyclists that Chase last saw and rode with in Missouri! Who knew we’d end up back on the Transamerican Route in Montana weeks later and run into them!
A few more mile of pedaling as we rode through Montana to Missoula where I bumped into my best friend’s ex-husband in a bike shop, saw my last chiropractor of the trip (6th one), got my second (and last) flat tire, and did my last long uphill climb (before reaching the coast) of 46 miles over Lolo Pass into Idaho! Just into Idaho, we met a great family from Frederick, Maryland who invited us to eat dinner and camp with them. Thanks again to nice people, we camped with a couple from British Columbia at a campground in Washington, camped on someone’s front porch in Walla Walla, Washington, and found ourselves chased out of a campground after we spotted three large snakes within five minutes. Needless to say, we camped on the side of the road that night only six miles from the campground, as we were exhausted from riding 106 miles in the blazing heat with headwinds!
Finally into Oregon, we were excited to reach Portland. However, it wasn’t over yet! We hit horrible headwinds in Columbia River Gorge (apparently the windsurfing capital of the world), yet no one gave us a heads up about this! We battled the headwinds for about 100 miles or so (on and off with the intensity), but once we were within 150 miles of Portland, the winds picked up even more! Chase wasn’t enjoying it. Nor was I. We agreed to hitch a ride the last 90 miles into Portland so we wouldn’t pedal away for two more days to get there. Instead, we wanted to enjoy seeing Portland before having to continue down the coast (or in Chase’s case, before he had to fly home).
On August 9th, we reached the Pacific Coast at Cannon Beach, Oregon. I had 3,570 miles at this point. Our last evening of the ride (coast to coast), we camped in a city park as all the campgrounds were full and the motels/hotels were all booked. To make our story more fun, we camped illegally (in a city park, as there was nowhere else to go) and the next morning the police came at 5:55am asking us to leave.
The last leg of the trip, I rode solo down the coast from Nescowin, OR to San Francisco, CA. I met a lot of really nice people along the way and rode with several groups of riders as well. I met four motorcyclists from Victoria, British Columbia in Bandon, OR and then we reunited again in Brookings, OR the next day, 100 miles later. It was fun to see the same faces again on several occasions and we really had a great time exchanging stories and hanging out at the campsites together.
At last, I reached San Francisco on August 19th at six o’clock in the evening after riding my final 72 miles. From August 19th until August 25th, I spent the time in San Francisco sampling some of the most delicious ethnic food while hanging out with one of my best friends — Iman, who flew from the east coast to meet me! On August 25th, we departed on a train back across the country. Again we met many interesting people, including Thane and Brenda of Sioux Falls and the friendly Amtrak staff. My arrival into DC was mixed – the trip was officially over and I would have to re-acclimate to life back home and return to my full-time desk job.
Friday, August 14th – Harris Beach State Park (Brookings), OR – Elk Prairie Campground, CA
I got up about 7am this morning with really cold feet – I didn’t have my heavy socks on and I was pretty cold for the last 30 minutes after initially waking up around 6:30. I packed up and talked to Spencer in the morning and snapped a few photos from his book so I could have an idea of the elevation profile, since the map I’m borrowing from Craig doesn’t have any elevation for the California coast. About 8:15 or so I went over to talk to the motorcyclists from British Columbia and they asked if I wanted to eat breakfast with them, so I had some oatmeal and hot chocolate with them and wound up hanging out and talking until 10:30am!
I finally got going after that and rode to the California coast which was about 8-10 miles from the campground. Just before I got to the border, the two families from yesterday drove by and honked and waved at me. I caught up to them at the Oregon/California sign and rode through their ribbon that they had brought for their husbands Bob and Dave to cross when they finished their Oregon coast ride. Bob and Dave were apparently not too far behind me when I crossed over into California. They were going to end their ride there and turn around and head home.
I continue on shortly after talking to Gayle and Pam and then get to Crescent City, CA which wasn’t anything spectacular. I end up going to Walmart to buy a few more supplies like cliff bars, shampoo, soap, and Heet (turns out Heet isn’t sold in California) and that was my source of fuel for my cat food can stove. So I check at ACE Hardware and they also don’t know what I’m talking about, so I figure that makes it easy – I just won’t be cooking anymore. I leave Walmart and plan to continue on riding but it’s pretty windy and then I see a Denny’s and figure, what the hell – I might as well stop for lunch since I still have the gift card Michele gave me prior to the trip. I had a bit of money left on it so wound up getting a buffalo chicken sandwich with seasoned fries – yummy energy food! I looked at the maps a bit and then chatted with a family sitting across from me and then I rolled out about 2:40pm to continue on.
I threw everything in low gear and started up the hill into the Redwoods National and State Parks which had a nice 1200 foot hill and several slightly smaller hills. About 12 miles from Elk Prarie State Park, I got really tired and out of energy for some reason. I was dreading the last hill (another 1,000+ foot) that I’d have to climb before descending the last 6 miles into the Redwoods again and to the campground. Once I was up and over the hill, the ride down into the Redwoods was really nice and scenic (in a different way than that which most of us think when we say ‘scenic’). I was surrounded by huge trees that are thousands of years old and that are extremely huge in diameter – I don’t know what the largest is that I saw, but I tried to capture some sense of the size by putting my bike up next to the tree and taking a picture. Still, there were trees much larger than what I photographed – just impossible to show the size in a picture easily when you’re by yourself. You need like 6-10 people stretching arms and going around the tree to show the real size of these giants!
I arrived to the campground and paid my nice $3 fee for hiker/biker and had a 75 cent hot shower and set up camp and cooked with Spencer. He let me use his stove and fuel to cook my pasta which was nice since I didn’t have any other way to fix hot food. I would have just eaten my cereal and english muffins or pop tart or something in the worst case scenario. After dinner, I went to my tent and tried to work on my journal for a bit, but fell asleep almost on the computer and didn’t want my battery to die on me while I slept, so I woke up enough to turn the computer off and crawl in my sleeping bag for the night. Tonight I put my hat on and even got inside the sleeping bag liner since it was so chilly.
36.6 max speed
11.7 avg speed
05:25 moving time
37.5 max speed
11.9 avg speed
05:25:26 moving time
Posted by Kiki | Oregon | Posted on August 13th, 2009
Thursday, August 13th – Cape Blanco, OR – Harris Beach State Park, OR
I woke up super late – I think the latest on the entire trip. I got up at 10:40am and packed up and rolled out of the campground by noon. I went to check out the Cape Blanco lighthouse and the views were nice and the fog had enough time to burn off so I could actually see the lighthouse and coast. It was probably the first day where I was starting to see some really nice scenery along the coast. I biked on out 6 miles to the main road, Hwy 101 and headed towards Port Orford and another cyclist (without gear) passed by me. We said hi and then I saw him again along with his family down at a rest area just in town near a view of the coast and beach. I chat with him and the others (two families). There are two families who are doing a little vacation together along the coast while the husbands ride down the Oregon coast from border to border. Dave, Gayle, and Kelsey and the other family of Bob, Pam, Bethany, and Josh tag along with Dave and Bob as they ride the coast and offer SAG support and hang out in the evenings and do the fun stuff after the rides. So it was fun chatting with them and then Gayle gave me a lift 20 miles that day, since I’d had such a late start and wound up chatting so long that it was 3:30 and I had only ridden 20 miles thus far.
From the point where I was dropped off (about 7 miles north of Gold Beach), I had another 26 miles or so until I’d reach Harris Beach State Park just outside of Brookings, OR (the last town in OR before crossing into California). I stopped briefly in Gold Beach at a peach stand and got a peach, about 1/2 pound of cherries, and a homemade brownie – all amazing! I’ve definitely become a fan of the fruit stands I’m now seeing alongside the roads! The coastline was so beautiful that I kept taking my time stopping at overlooks and snapping photos and then I ran into one couple from California (25 miles outside of San Francisco) and they were all curious about my trip and we swapped photo taking and then they gave me all their AAA maps for California which was awesome – I didn’t have to hung any down when I crossed the border!
I pulled into the campground about 7:45pm and registered and then set up in the hiker/biker area and there were tons of other cyclists and hikers there. I met a few, Leonard from Holland, Spencer from Long Beach, CA, and Rodney (not sure where he was from). And there was a couple on their honeymoon riding their bikes down the coast but were out of time and were going to rent a car the next day from Crescent City, CA and drive the rest of the way to San Francisco, I believe.
As I was paying for my camping fee, guess who showed up? The three motorcyclists (well 4 really) that I saw in Bandon, OR the day before. Deb, Ken, and Tony were there along with the fourth whom I hadn’t met yet (Jase). So after showering and getting organized, I took my cooking stuff over to their campsite and cooked there and chatted with Ken and Tony for a bit and made penne pasta with pesto! It was pretty yummy and Tony had two leftover cupcakes so guess who got to eat those? ME!
So it was a good day of nice scenery, met lots of nice people and it was fun hanging out with the motorcyclists from Victoria, British Columbia and talking with them. After they went to bed, I headed back to my campsite and wound up chatting with another cyclist, Scott – he’s from San Francisco area and heading north on the PCH and stopping and doing fishing along the way. He was pretty chatty and very knowledgeable on all sorts of topics and laws and different things – apparently cannabis is legal for medicinal use in San Francisco. He was telling me all about that and the different issues he’s had with his husband regarding the use of marijuana and such and his husband Dan apparently has been involved with some of the wrong people. Finally, I crashed about 12:30 at night after chatting and then just as I was going to bed, another couple people showed up in the hiker/biker camp area. I think they were ‘cheating’ and not really hikers or bikers because they had a huge tent and there’s no way they could have been carrying it, plus I think their truck was the one parked outside the hiker/biker area in the morning. The campground was completely full except for the hiker/biker area, so I think they were trying to sneak in and stay there.
Anyway, off to bed around 12:30am to wake up around 7am in the morning.
GPS Stats: (including hitched 20 miles approximately)
62.9 max speed
15.7 avg speed
04:11 moving time
51.0 max speed
12.2 avg speed
03:46:17 moving time
Posted by Kiki | Oregon | Posted on August 12th, 2009
Wednesday, August 12th – Dunes National Park, OR – Cape Blanco, OR
I set my alarm early again to get up and out and get in a long day. I wake at 5:15 and roll out by 6:30am after packing up the tent and all wet again – it rained overnight. Gah…I’m done with the rain.
On the ride from Reedsport to North Bend, three cyclists pass me and I later catch up to one (the one riding on a single bike, not tandem) and we ride all the way from Reedsport to North Bend (approximately 20 miles) together chatting occassionally and me following his pace. Bob, the other cyclist, is riding the coast with his brother, sister-in-law, and two friends Patti and Tom from San Francisco area. Bob’s from Miami and his brother and sister-in-law live up in Portland, so they all met up to do the ride down the coast together. And they’re lucky enough to have a sag vehicle driven by Bob’s wife Joann. Once in North Bend, I set up the tent in front of the visitor’s center and lay out the rain fly, tarp, and my sleeping pad to all dry out. Meanwhile, the bunch of cyclists leave and go eat lunch.
After all my stuff is dry, I head to the post office to pick up Torey’s small point and shoot camera he mailed me along with the long lens mom sent for me to use for my SLR, since mine broke way back in Kentucky. After the post office, I decide why not climb some ridiculous hills with all my heavy gear, so I head up the steepest hill in town and then realize this can’t be right, this doesn’t look right at all. I wasn’t paying attention and thought that the main road to my right was too easy for the route, and therefore I must have to continue straight up the 45 degree hill! Haha, wrong. I goofed up and wound up doing a lot of unnecessary and steep hills in the towns of North Bend and Coos Bay. Oh well, once I got straightened out, I was fine.
I wound up catching up to the group of cyclists from before lunch and rode with them until Bandon, OR – something like another 25-30 miles from North Bend, I believe. They would be spending the night in Bandon, Oregon. I planned to continue on, but once in Bandon, I kept meeting people on the street and chatting (2.5 hours later and I finally hit the road again). In Bandon, I talked to a couple with three big dogs and we chatted for a bit. I also talked to Clyde and Colleen who just opened C’est Verte and they were really interested in the trip and all. As I was leaving their store, I chatted briefly with three passing by on the sidewalk, Ken, Deb, an Tony (three motorcyclists from Canada exploring the coastline). And finally, I left thinking I only had a few miles to ride down to Bandon State Park, but apparently I couldn’t even get there from Hwy 101 easily and the GPS told me wrong, leading me through private drives so I couldn’t get to the park.
Instead, I decided to just push on as best as possible, refused to backtrack and lose miles, so I rode with a super sore butt another 35 miles or so down the road. It was getting late and I just wanted to be in bed asleep somewhere. I finally reached Cape Blanco at about 8:45pm and it was practically dark. I had a few minutes to set up camp in a grove of trees with no lights from the campground. But tt was the greatest feeling rolling into camp and knowing I’d have a nice little spot and sure enough I did. I was the only one at the biker/hiker camp.
I set up camp, showered, and cooked some dinner and then hit the sack with no intentions of waking up early in the morning. I knew my butt would need a bit of sleep and rest to heal up after such a brutally long day in the saddle.
11.5 avg speed
32.7 max speed
08:35 moving time
11.6 avg speed
35.0 max speed
08:39:28 moving time
Snake count: 2 dead
Posted by Kiki | Oregon | Posted on August 11th, 2009
Tuesday, August 11th – Lincoln City, OR – Dunes National Park, OR
I wake up to some drizzel and wetness all around. I’d left my t-shirt out last night to air out and dry since it was so sweaty – I didn’t want to wear my cycling jersey after the bus ride yesterday and was just wearing my cotton t-shirt from Yellowstone, and big mistake. It wound up really sweaty, so I’d left it out to dry. It didn’t dry – instead it got more wet from the rain overnight. So it was a nasty morning, but I got up about 5:30 and was going to roll out around 6:30, but then the other tent’s occupants woke up. There were two girls cycling from Tillamook down the coast to San Diego or somewhere over the course of the next month. So I chatted with one of them for a bit and then headed out around 7am into the nasty and dense fog that was everywhere! I was sporting my blue tail-light and my headlamp along with my bright pink jacket.
Most of the morning was pretty foggy and I wasn’t able to see much of anything along the coast which was a bit of a bummer, but by the afternoon it would clear up. I snacked most of the morning and then decided to stop to make some pasta for lunch. I pulled over just after Yachats at Neptune State Park, 57 miles into my ride today, and two ladies (Mary and Helen) sitting at the table invite me to join them at their table and have tea. So I sit down and have tea while cooking up some angle hair pasta and telling them about my trip and stories here and there. They’re with a whole crew of others that are out painting scenery of the rocks and coastline there. Though, there’s still a fair amount of fog so they have to be careful of what they include in their paintings in case the fog covers it or uncovers it. We chatted for a bit and then I went and checked out the water temperature of the Pacific Ocean and it was chilly, but refreshing.
Eventually, I get going again and on the road shortly before 2pm. The terrain’s pretty decent with some rolling hills, but nothing horrible or anything. I stop by the Sea Lion Cave and debate as to whether or not I want to go in and blow a ton of money ($11) to see Sea Lions. I almost didn’t bother, but then decided, what the heck – I’m on vacation and maybe it’ll be really cool. Unfortunately, it was just as I expected – a damn tourist trap and I couldn’t even get any good photos of the Sea Lions. Major disappointment, but oh well.
Off to the Dunes National Park for my evening destination. I rolled in fairly late, probably around 7:30pm or so and was looking for a place to camp and had lots of empty campsites, but conflicting signs. One sign said $10 for camping, and the others said $20. I said, I don’t want to pay either particularly, because these campsites aren’t even close to the Oregon State Park sites which are amazing. So I camped out behind the bathrooms hidden away in the grass and no one ever questioned me or anything. I charged up my phone and solar panel battery partially and then hit the hay after making dinner (pesto pasta with parmesan cheese)… it was yummy!
07:09 moving time
34.4 max speed
12.5 avg speed
07:08:36 moving time
35.5 max speed
12.7 avg speed
Posted by Kiki | Oregon | Posted on August 10th, 2009
Monday, August 10th – Portland, OR – Tillamook, OR – Lincoln City, OR
So I decided today would be about time I should continue on with my bike trip before I get lazy. I got up around 8:30 or so and did more of the organizing stuff and then biked downtown to take a few photos and go to Greyhound to double-check and make sure I could take my bike on the bus from Portland->Tillamook, but they didnt’t know for sure, but thought I wouldn’t have a problem.
I then just explored around downtown and go to REI to wander the clearance racks and see if by any odd chance there was something there I needed and couldn’t resist. There wasn’t luckily. I met Chase there shortly later as he was having REI box and ship his bike back to Texas for him. After REI, we headed to the Pita Pit to do one last meal there since we both discovered this on the trip in Missoula and really liked it. After lunch, I rode back to Josh and Alina’s to pack up the rest of my stuff and then head back to the bus station to catch the 3:10pm bus.
The ride wasn’t too bad – almost 2 hours from Portland to Tillamook so I just caught up with my journal a bit and then I hopped off at 5pm at Tillamook and a lady there was really chatty and interested in my trip, so we talked a bit. I waited until 6pm for the next bus to catch down to Neskowin, something like another 20-25 miles down the coast, I believe. I just wanted to get a few more free miles to lessen how much I had to do in the time span I’m allowing to get to San Francisco. 4 hours after leaving Portland and I’m now ready to ride my bike again. I leave Nescowin shortly after 7pm and head towards Lincoln City. I do the hardest (supposedly according to everyone I’ve talked to) hill of the Oregon coast just after Neskowin, but it really wasn’t bad at all… it was maybe 2 miles long, so nothing out of the ordinary for what I was used to recently. It only took 30 minutes to climb, so maybe I’m just really getting good at hills or maybe it’s because I was excited to be on the coast riding finally. Who knows?
I reach Lincoln City sometime around 8:15pm and spot a Safeway so run in there to see what kinds of goodies I can get for later. I wind up with some chocolate milk, peaches, plums, bananas, and a 4-pack of Marionberry muffins (marionberry is a berry from Oregon and is like a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry). Turns out marionberry is really yummy as my muffins wouldn’t last long:)
I ride over to Devil’s Lake State Park and check in at the ranger station and pay my $4 hiker/biker camping fee and then go up to the site and set up my tent. There was another tent in the hiker/biker area and two bikes, but no cyclists to be seen. They were already in the tent sleeping. Awesome thing about the Oregon State Parks is the hiker/biker campsites which you don’t need reservations for and you don’t need to worry if the campgrounds are full, because you’ll always have a hiker/biker spot to camp at and it’s cheaper – only $4/person. Also, the Oregon State Parks (most, if not all) have hot showers for free (included in the campsite fee). So after setting up, I went and enjoyed a nice long, hot shower and then cooked some pasta for dinner:)
I hit the hay around 10:30pm and was out like a light!
GPS Stats: (includes bus ride from Portland – Neskowin)
68.9 max speed
33.2 avg speed
03:47 moving time
39.0 max speed
11.5 avg speed
01:34:48 moving time
Posted by Kiki | Oregon | Posted on August 9th, 2009
Sunday, August 9th – Portland, OR
Today was a pretty lazy day – I wound up getting up around 9:45am and then Alina and Josh woke up about an hour and a half later or so and Alina made some awesome oatmeal blueberry pancakes which were really yummy. We ate breakfast pretty late, about noon and then Chase came over about 2:45 or so and we worked on the photo swap and all. It was unfortunately a pretty time-consuming process, but we got all the photos swapped, I think. Afterwards, we (Alina, Josh, Chase, and I) drove downtown to go to a place for their happy hour specials. We wound up getting a quesadilla for $1.95, a burger with fries for $2.95, and drinks. It wound up being around $10/person, so not too bad. Granted, they get you on the drinks – making you order at least a $3.50 beverage in order to get the happy hour food specials.
Chase left after happy hour to go meet his cousin for dragon boat race practice and Alina, Josh, and I went to a cheapie movie for $3 (21 and up theatre) and saw Adventureland. Nothing spectacular, but decent enough to have seen, I guess. We then went to meet a couple friends of Josh and Alina’s at a bar/restaurant and then afterwards I went back to hang out at the house and organize everything – while Alina and Josh went to another place to have a few drinks and hang out. I wound up staying up until 2:30am and packing, organizing, and doing some restocking of supplies from Safeway at midnight. Exciting, I must say – ha!
Posted by Kiki | Oregon | Posted on August 8th, 2009
Saturday, August 8th – Cannon Beach, OR to Portland, OR
“Police Department. Police Department. Police Department.” announced a police officer outside of the tent. Chase and I finally wake up after they were repeating “Police Department” probably six times or so. We look at one another with a look like, “oh boy, they found us.” and get out of the tent and talk to the officers. I openly admit knowing we weren’t supposed to be there, but then tell them that we had gotten in late in the evening and found all the campgrounds and motels/hotels to be booked, so we had nowhere to go. The officers were very friendly and understanding and gave us kudos for hiding the tent, as most people apparently don’t try that hard. The officers called in our names to the dispatcher or station to have them check our records and make sure we were clean and didn’t have any warrants out on us. And we were of course good to go and we packed up and rolled out a short bit later. Best part was, the cops saw our bikes at 3am but let us sleep until almost 6am before waking us up and telling us to leave. They didn’t want citizens of Cannon Beach to get upset when they saw us there in the morning when walking dogs or what not, so they wanted to get us up and out of there before they received complaints.
We rolled into the main part of town and went to the bakery and got some food – I just had a raspbery danish and Chase went all out getting three different danishes/pastries/biscuits and all. We also went for the Darigold Chocolate Milk (a favorite since we got free Darigold chocolate milk a few days ago at the gas station as part of a promotion).
After breakfast, we went down and took a look at Haystack Rock on the beach and looked at all the cool sea creatures living on it – sea anemones (spelling?), starfish, as well as plants and such.
Then we stopped and got a drink at a little general store and I asked for some cardboard and a marker to make signs. I drew on three cardboard pieces. One said “Lift to Portland?” and another said “3,755 miles biked” and the last one said “pretty please” – and needless to say, we didn’t have any luck with it – too much writing and all. But whatever, we wound up biking up to Seaside to try to hitch-hike from a gas station. We spent about an hour and a half looking for a pickup truck that would give us a lift back to Portland. I asked this one man (Bob) who was pulling a boat, but had an empty pickup bed if he was going to Portland. He said he was going through and we wound up getting a ride with him, his son Robbie, and a friend of his. The ride back wasn’t bad at all – a little over an hour and he dropped us off just 1 block from Alina and Josh’s house, so that was awesome!
We left our stuff at Alina and Josh’s and then went out into Portland by bike and Chase was in search of some used clothing to wear home on the plane. He spent about 1.5 to 2 hours in Buffalo Exchange looking for some jeans and a shirt or two. I went over to Powell’s Book Store and then to Whole Foods as I was getting hungry – luckily, I resisted eating until Chase was done and then we rode up to the university area and got dinner at Baan Thai. It was awesome food and Chase really liked it as well – he’s finally getting to try things that aren’t so easy to find down in the south in Texas.
We rode back to Alina and Josh’s after dinner and Chase headed out to his cousin’s to meet up. Alina and Josh were at a house-warming party for a friend’s and Jamie (Alina/Josh’s roommate) was having a party with his girlfriend Ursula. I got back to the house and wound up chatting with some of Jamie and Ursula’s friends and in particular a friend of their’s who’s big into touring and biking and was all interested about my trip and asking lots of questions and told me about his trip to Ireland where he did a bit of touring.
I hit the sack around 11pm after conking out while trying to update my blog and whatnot.
Posted by Kiki | Oregon | Posted on August 7th, 2009
Friday, August 7th – Portland, OR to Cannon Beach, OR
I woke up early this morning to get ready to head to the coast by bike. I rode down to Rose Quarter to meet Chase and ride the MAX Train out of Portland to Hillsboro. We wound up skipping out on 20 miles to get out of the main part of the city and avoid the Interstate portion of Hwy 26. We got to Hillsboro and then made a pit stop and I bought some yummy jalapeno cheetos and some oatmeal cookie pies. Finally, around 11:30 we roll out of Hillsboro on our way towards Cannon Beach.
56 miles from Cannon Beach, we stopped in Banks at a Subway and got lunch and then continued on. At this point, we were getting excited and ready to see some ocean and to complete the coast to coast portion of the trip. The time went by relativey fast and the miles were going fast as well. We had some fairly largish climbs to do, but they didn’t feel that bad – the grades were good and the pavement was pretty smooth for the most part. The worst part of the entire day’s ride was the amount of traffic on Hwy 26 – everyone was heading to the coast as it was Friday. But we enjoyed the last 12 miles or so on Hwy 26 as it was mostly all downhill and the pavement was really nice – I was cruising at some points doing 30-35 mph without really trying all that much.
We arrived to Cannon Beach at 7:14pm and went to the far end of town and went out to the beach area – but didn’t dip any tires. It was a bit chilly and a little windy and Chase was calling all his friend and family to say he made it, so we wound up standing out in the cold for a good while before leaving and looking for a place to eat. We headed back into the main street area and went to the public restrooms to change into more normal clothes and get out of the biking shorts and all, then we went to Bill’s Brewery for dinner. I got a mediocre dinner – prawns with a tiny piece of garlic bread, a good size salad, and we split a thing of jalapeno poppers. Chase wound up with the better deal – a seafood medley with various things and he got his money’s worth, I think. During dinner, I called several campgrounds, but they were all full as were all the motels/hotels in town. It turns out there was some sort of event going on that weekend and everything was booked and reserved well in advance – no one clued us in on that.
So we biked around and were looking for a school to camp at, but instead found a city park and a big tree in the back, so we went there and pitched a tent in the back of the park (trying to hide it behind the tree) and locked our bikes up. We have just completed our coast to coast ride – 74 days from the east coast to the west coast. That includes all the rest days and the days off I had in Colorado when I got sick. Not too bad and I’ve ridden 3,570 miles to date.
GPS Stats (includes portion that was train/bus to get to Hillsboro to start riding):
07:10 moving time
13.0 avg speed
57.6 max speed
06:26:40 moving time
11.8 avg speed
36.0 max speed
Posted by Kiki | Oregon | Posted on August 6th, 2009
Thursday, August 6th - Hanging out in Portland, OR
I woke up about 9am and Chase continued sleeping for a bit. Josh had a few things he needed to do in Portland, so we headed out while Alina was at her internship and Chase slept. About 5 minutes after leaving the house, Chase called and said he’d like to come with us and go downtown, so we turned around and went back to the house to get him. Josh needed some new soccer cleats, and I needed go to REI and swap my solar panel, since it stopped working a few days back in Idaho. We also went to get Indian at one of the street vendors in Portland and that was good. Chase’s first Indian food experience followed by some time spent at the bookstore Powell’s – amazing store full of books…just floor after floor of books. It was awesome. I saw lots of things I would like to have gotten, but since I’m biking, obviously I wasn’t going to add anymore weight to my load.
We also went to a camera shop to see what it’d cost to get my little point and shoot camera fixed – I was quoted a minimum of $80-100 to clean the interior of the camera, and two-three week minimum to get it fixed. So that wasn’t going to be an option. While we were at the camera shop, a guy walks in and Chase immediately recognizes him. Apparently Chase had ridden in Texas with this guy back in January or so. He was biking from CA to DC for the Inauguration and he and Chase met in Texas and rode together for a bit. So it was completely odd that they ran into one another again in a camera store in Portland, OR of all places!
While downtown, we also checked out a few bike shops to see what it’d cost for a tune-up, but they were all ridiculous and wanted $80-100 for a tune-up. We also checked out the skaters and BMX bikers down underneath a bridge in Portland which was pretty neat. There was also a guy there on old-fashioned roller skates doing tricks on the half-pipes and jumps and what not. And afterwards, we checked out one more bike shop, where the guy there was really friendly and willing to help and show me about the derailleur adjustments and not charge an arm and a leg. He just took a quick look at my bike and said it looked to be in good shape and that I shouldn’t bother with a new chain or tires at this point that he thought they’d do until San Francisco. So he just showed me a few things and only charged me $5, which was awesome.
In the evening, we hung out with Josh and Alina and made pizza and Chase met up with his cousin Justin and moved his stuff over there to spend the rest of his time there. Josh had a soccer game and Alina and I just hung out chatting in the evening and then eventually went to bed.