Friday, August 15, 2014

Getting it all Together

After two months of traveling, and only a couple weeks in between trips, we embarked on our third trip of the summer. This was by far the biggest trip, the one that took the most planning and packing, and the one I was the most apprehensive about. 

(flying into Salt Lake City on the way to Portland)
Houston, our friend Sue, and I biked from Portland Oregon to San Francisco. We started riding July 14 and arrived in San Francisco July 29. The next few blog posts will be about our adventure on two wheels along the coast of Oregon and California and through the redwood forests of California.
The plan...
Part 1: fly to Portland, visit friends and get ready to launch. 
Part 2: ride, ride, ride about 750 or more miles, averaging about 50 miles a day
Part 3: R&R at Jim & Pam's near San Francisco and then Houston attends conference in SF while Sue and I fly to Seattle to stay with Seal & Mike for a few days.
Houston had downloaded the Adventure Cycling maps onto our Garmins and also the book, "Biking the Pacific Coast", on our iPads. The route differs slightly, with AC maps going off the busy highways when possible. My electronics included the Garmin for my handlebar, my iPhone (mostly for photo taking), my iPad, my iPod for music (Apple addicted, I know!) and a backup charger. Besides biking up the hills, the hardest challenge was keeping the electronics charged!

 We had our bikes delivered to our Rebecca's awesome shop in Portland, Queen Bee Creations. As luck would have it, there's a bike mechanic school right behind her store. One of the instructors came out as we were getting our bikes unpacked and wondered if we needed any tools or help. We asked for a wrench which he brought out along with a bike stand. He stood by about a minute and just couldn't help himself and dove right in and helped Houston assemble all three bikes.

A few months back I bought a brand new bike, a cyclocross bike, able to take back panniers or pull a trailer. We all opted for panniers this trip. My derailed was damaged in the shipping so I rode on over to one of three bike shops in a two block radius (it's Portland after all!) and they fixed it while I waited.

 I was a bit worried about the bike being outfitted for my needs as I had no time to practice packing it or even testing out my new seat. We laid out everything in the hotel room and had a final pick of what goes on our bikes and what ships to Houston's brother's house so we'll have fresh clothes that aren't stinky bike clothes that we'll have worn for two weeks.

But first we visited friends that we know in Portland. This is Goldie, a college roommate of Houston's who recently bought this adorable cottage (forever home!).

It's the perfect size, has a beautiful garden and is a dream come true for Goldie. It's nice to see her so happy. We also saw Brad, Kelly and their two daughters (who happen to be my friend Bev's granddaughters!), enjoying a dinner out at one of the many brew pubs in Portland.

We filled up on a deeeelicious breakfast at 'Gravy'. If ever you have a chance to visit Portland, check it out. Amazing portions and a fun vibe. I loved their pendant lights, made with vintage ceiling lights.

But it's time to hop on the bike. Everything fit (cuz Houston carried the camping supplies!) and I really pared down. 

We rode downtown and took the train out of the city as far as it went. Our first stop was at some friends from our Ultimate Frisbee days, Robin and Patty who live on a farm outside of Newburg. 

It was a miserably hot day, near 100, and although we were only riding 28 miles, I felt whooped. Bad for a first day out. Since we didn't want to ride down their gravel road, Robin brought his wonderful huge pickup and rescued us from the heat. Happy day!

And fed us great local food and local wine overlooking their gardens.

Repeat for night two.

Crocosmia does amazingly well in their climate. We saw it all through Oregon.

They have two cute dogs. This is Ginger and the other is MaryAnn. Get the reference?

And their goats are super adorable. We're feeding them apples here. After video taping them, on my phone, I replayed it for them and they were at first very curious, but then snorted and ran off, not sure who those strange tiny goats on the screen were.

I can only sit around for so long, so asked what chores needed to be done. Patty said the kale had to be pulled up. Will work for food and wine!

We were only going to stay one night and camp the following night but a thunderstorm rolled in and they talked us into staying another night with another pickup ride over the coastal range to the top of the hill the next morning. Going up and up and up and around and more up, I was ever so happy that we got a ride. This 'hill' would have killed me!

(Houston and Sue ready to roll)
At the top of the hill, in a thick forest of trees and along a rippling creek and hardly any traffic, we started our big adventure by biking the first 10 or so miles all downhill. Yay! 
Next up…along the coast.


Tami Hamler said...

Can't wait for installment #2, 3 and 4.
Love, T

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