Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Some more pictures.

Lunch on top of a big climb after Gold Coast. Cody and Walker helped us make it up this one.

Not every day was clear. But the ocean is still cool.

Most of the pictures were taken with a clear sky.

It was deemed good luck to add a rock to the stacks. So Cody and I each added a couple rocks.

The early morning fog.

Look at us. First lunch on the road.

So fresh and clean. It only got better.

View over the Colombia River Gorge.

This was on the ferry from Washington to Oregon.

I liked this. I found it in the Olympic National Forest on one of my hikes before the bike trip started.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hey Guys, here's some pictures.

There are blackberries everywhere! Walker and Lindsey seem to have an eye for good patches along the road.

They were everywhere!

Big indeed.

Lindsey gets her first flat. I think this is somewhere in California.

The incredible view in Southern Oregon. This was at the bottom of a really chilly descent. I think the hill was a little over 800 feet. It gets really cold coming down into the ocean air.

There are many pictures of Lindsey from behind. You can guess who has the camera in their handlebar bag.

Another incredible view at the top of one of our many climbs. It is always worth it.

The Octopus Tree.

The Cliffs of Insanity! or the Oregon Coastline.

Lindsey at the Tillamook Cheese factory.

You can see what we thought of it.

A fabric store in Wheeler, OR. This was the only thing open on a Sunday when we rolled through.

This was the first Hiker/Biker site we came to in Oregon. The state parks will never turn a biker away, and they have free hot showers. It's pretty incredible. The staff is always really nice.

Another view of the Oregon coast. This was the top of our first 800 foot climb.

We made it to the beach. Holding our bikes up over our heads was the only logical thing to do. It was a hike down, worth it.

Our sleeping spot on the beach.

The view.

Lindsey cooking one of her fantastic rice, chicken and corn combos.

The yard where we stayed in Washington. We were having trouble finding a campsite our second night out and Randy pulled up next to us and offered his yard for free. He had a great lawn next to a nice creek.

Randy's home, and Bandit.

Mmmmm... I love eating.

Bandit protected our food while we slept.

The ferry out of Seattle, WA. I look sick, I wasn't.

Getting ready to leave Kashena's house in Seattle. She gave us a base in the city and was willing to watch our car for the summer in order to make this whole trip possible.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Week Down

Hello All,

We've finally made it to a place where we can update. It won't be too long and we can't get pictures up, but we thought we'd say hi and give a quick overview.

Basically, it's been amazing and challenging. We've averaged about 60 miles a day since the first day. Bremerton, WA, the very first town we went through had some huge, steep hills we had to walk up and were somewhat discouraging but since then, every hill gets a little easier and now we're in shape and climbing hills with 800 ft. elevation changes. For most evenings we've been camping in state parks, the occasional RV park and one night in nice guy's backyard by a creek. He just pulled up to us while we were looking for an RV park and offered us his yard for free. We've decided we really love Oregon because their state park system is incredibly bike friendly. First off, they will never turn a cyclist away, even if they're completely booked and they have secluded hiker/biker group sites for $4.00 per person per night and free showers! And the park staffs have all been really friendly.

We've made a few friends along the way, other cyclists heading the same way. The first were a group of three Canadians who made us feel really organized. We saw them about three days in a row. The last three nights we've been on track with a couple of ladies celebrating their 50th years by biking the Oregon coast. Most bikers seem to be planning on ending somewhere around the end of Oregon or San Francisco. We may be alone on the road after that.

The weather was pretty hot in Washington, but now that we've hit Oregon and the coast, it's been foggy and chilly in the mornings and evenings. Overall I think we've been pretty lucky weather wise. For setbacks we've had one flat tire, my derailleurs acted up a little, and we've been chased by at least 4 dogs. Other than that it's working out pretty well.

We'll try to add pictures next time. But just so you know, we're really enjoying ourselves.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

To Stillwater Minnesota for Family Wedding

Day 1

We biked to my sister's wedding in Stillwater, MN on May 15th. It was a beautiful weekend for biking and we decided to take it easy after Duluth. The first night our destination was Lake Elmo State Park, about 8 miles outside of Stillwater. The ride was a combination of city roads to the Gateway Trailhead in St. Paul and then county roads to the campground. The Gateway Trail is a great ride, pretty flat, some pretty scenery, and well traveled on nice days.

Joe's bike before starting out.

Final adjustments before leaving

First bathroom break of the day, 30 minutes in.

"Reading" at Lake Elmo Campground.
It took so much less time and energy to bike here than our first day to Duluth. We didn't know how to spend the rest of the day.

The Swimming Area
Pool or Beach or both?

Cooking dinner in the rain.

Dinner - some tasty dried soup.

View after the rain cleared.
Lucky for us, it stopped raining in time to enjoy a nice campfire before bed. Unlucky for Joe, it got colder than expected and he froze in his 30 degree synthetic sleeping bag while I stayed warm and cozy in my 15 degree down mummy bag.

Day 2

Snack break right before town.

What we see when traveling by bike.



Walking to the wedding

We were lucky enough to stay with Spike and Kathy, a friends' parents in a beautiful house right in downtown Stillwater. They kindly opened their home to us for the night. It's the oldest house in Stillwater and Spike, a carpenter and author has renovated and added on. Definitely ranks high on the list of coolest places I've ever slept. Meeting new and hospitable folks was a great experience and got me looking forward to staying with hosts from Warmshowers.org. Thanks again!

Heading Home

The ride home is a slight downhill grade. There's not much more to ask for.