Monthly Archives: August 2012

Newport to Reedsport

We three left the hotel for the bike shop which opened at ten. Elijah needed a back brake cable. Derek needed a new intertwine as he’d given his to Elijah to fix his flat yesterday and I needed toe clips.
After a long heroic day of biking I have for the last time ended it by falling flat on my back from my bike simply because I couldn’t get out of my cleats in time. That really hurts and it is extremely embarrassing as well.
NO ONE we have seen touring is wearing clip in shoes which surprised me. Derek is wearing crocks! A woman we met on road named Katie is wearing sandals! And Elijah and the Brazilians (I’ll get to them later) are wearing fancy tennis shoes.
After the bike shop, we went to a fancy cafe in the old pricey part of Newpprt and had an absolutely perfect breakfast for not so much money. With full tummies and home backed cookies to go we set off towards 50 mile away Florence where Elijah needed to meet his friends.


We went over lots of bridges today and they were all built quite a while ago with fantastic sculptural markers on both sides of the road on both sides of the river.






This last one had these cool cast glass pyramid things. I hope they light up at night.
These are big seals shot from one of these bridges. I know they look tiny here but the zoom is only so much on the phone camera. They were big seals.



Elijah was constantly setting up his tripod and photographing.


We were often looking down on things, either from the bridges or from high on the cliffs down to the beaches below.



Admittedly all this is very beautiful but the most beautiful by far thing I experienced today was these two incredibly amazing Brazilian guys we met.

Granted they are good looking but that is nothing next to their spirits. They started biking in Buenos Aires Argentina!! And biked all the way up the atlantic coast of south America, entirely through the coast of Brazil and then at the mouth of the Amazon River they flew to Miami and from there biked to Chicago and from there they went to Seattle and they were planning to go to Alaska but their timing was off and it is too late in the season to bike in Alaska so they started down the pacific coast and are going all the way down and around to end up again in Argentina!

When we met them we asked them where they were going and with big smiles, they said “South”. There was such an appealing simplicity and lightness to them but there was nothing light about what they were carrying. There were loaded down with everything!


You can see in the photo the guitar and the Brazilian flag and the box with the drum inside it. It was simply not an option for them to travel without instruments because they said they have to play everyday. They also had full camp cooking gear and solar powered battery panels and even a plastic alien animal whose head bobs up and down as they pedal. At home they are music teachers and teach about ecology through music. They were hugely inspirational and it was an honor and a joy to encounter them and in a way a huge relief to see such bright vital energy on the planet and basically they were just having fun. Wow. What an example. You can see the little bobbing toy I hope in this next photo.


We carried on until Florence where the three of us had our final meal together in Elijah’s favorite Mexican place.


It was sad to leave him especially as it took me so long to find him but such is life. I hope to see him again one day and I’ll get it right from the start if I have the chance.
Derek and I continued on another 25 miles to Reedsport. I am trying to do 75 miles a day which will put me home in a week.






This is where I am for the night and these next three photos I shot coming back to tonight’s spot after my chocolate milk shake of a dinner.




Plus one extra shot I forgot to include.



Pacific City to Newport

I forgot to mention the bunnie rabbits at our campsite. There were lots and lots of them! The camp store even sold bunnie food. They just hopped around and were not caged in any way.
The kids at the campground particularly loved them.
I got up early and went to a great cafe. This town has two campgrounds, a hotel, a pizza place, a taco place, a pub, a grocery store and a great cafe.
After tanking up on the blog and the coffee, I did laundry and Derek was up by then and we set off to meet Elijah in Lincoln City. After a huge climb, we made it and met Elijah! Hallelujah!



We three had a great time riding together. Elijah is everything my good friend Joanna said he was. He’s lively , funny, smart, artistic, spiritual and has a 26 year old slender muscular athletic frame. He’s very elf-like in a good happy way.
These are some of the places the three of us passed through on our 55 mile day.




This next photo was taken at Foulweather Cape where the winds reach 100 miles an hour occasionally. It was windy but that didn’t stop us from eating tons of huckleberries.

Here’s one of elf man new age leader.

Here’s more of our day’s terrain.











Just as we were almost to our destination, Elijah got a flat.

We carried on and found some blackberries. It seemed like we would never stop eating them. It was hard to tear ourselves away.

Finally we settled on dinner at Lee’s Chinese which had a hotel. We got a huge room that was more like a family apartment complete with three beds, dressers, desk, round table. chairs, kitchenette and bathroom.
All this for $25. Each.
I was glad because I wanted a bath and I am way tired. My pad under my sleeping back inflates but then slowly looses air all might so it’s flat I’m the morning. There tonight I am also grateful for a bed.


Warrenton to Pacific City

I didn’t make it the 105 miles to Lincoln City. I am 20 miles north of there and will have to make this short so I can get to Elijah.
I did 100 miles but part of that was a detour because I started riding with Derek who I met on a vista point outside of Seaside and he’s going from Vancouver to LA. Dispute the fact that he does things like 8 hour tri-athelons in Hawaii I was able to keep up with him and was even faster on the hills. Go figure.20120812-083732.jpg
So Derek and I rode at the same speed with the same habits (grocery store food). Also he does digital animation in LA and is well traveled so we had a lot in common and he was easy to talk to. I met him early and we did 90 miles together.
We did some crazy hard summits; one of which Derek walked his bike. Right, and you’ve seen how fit he is, so now there’s proof how hardcore I am. Tee hee!
That hardest summit was crazy unreal. It just kept going up and up and up and then the whole world and weather changed. It was like we were in the cloud and it was misty moisty everywhere. The trees were crowding in from both sides to a canopy overhead and the greenest of green ferns underneath we’re whirling and shwooshing wildly in the gusty wind. There wasn’t sun and only whiteness ahead with that slip of a gray road with a yellow line turning the corner ahead and still going up. Also, there were no cars so the only sound was the wind. A few times I thought it was raining but it was just all the fog condensation being blown from the trees and it was cold. It was very magical and I had a wish to enter into another dimension like in a fairy tale. But it didn’t happen; or maybe it did and I can back.
I stopped and waited for Derek as it was getting almost scary alone and soon after that made it to the top which seemed like it would never come.

The downhill was like an amusement ride! First there was a view of the beach below which was idyllic and far away tiny with cerulean water. After that we went through this strange plain of sand everywhere even though we were still way up in the mountain. It is like the trees growing on the rock photo earlier. Both things make sense just not together in that context. Following this going madly down was a furious wind tunnel hitting us from below.

It was super fun!!!
We ended up in the bottom where we were met with heat and bright sun. Wow. Another 20 miles we stopped at Pacific City where there were no tent sites.
Derek was adamant that by law (!?) you HAVE to give a tent site to a biker. The guy looked confused. So Derek says “OK do you have a price of grass then?”The guy said “yeah..” and charged us $5 each. Go Derek.
So we set up, SHOWERED!! (most of the day I was soaked in sweat) and then we split a pizza. After reading in our separate tents, Derek (computer guy) told me that there was a meteor shower at 11:00 so we popped out to watch the beginning of that which was more magic and I knew Noah was watching it because a couple years ago we watched this same meteor shower together.
Now it is morning and I got to get off to meet Elijah. Mad lulu ego. (That’s auto-correct for “mas lluego”

St Helens to Warrenton

Alright then, I haven’t had Internet for a day or two so there’s a lot to remember and that’s what I will try to do.
Somehow I lost my lock between the bridge juncture and St. Helens which I realized when I stopped at the bookstore in St Helens so I went to the bike shop. It was run by an older couple who were very nice and pumped up my tires to the max as well. I wanted to keep my “Ride For a Reason” water bottle which I used throughout the last trip but my water started tasting like plastic so I switched it out for one of theirs.
By the morning I still hadn’t heard from Elijah so I didn’t go to Portland but back tracked the twenty miles towards the coast.
I again saw a lot of lumber which travels a lot on trucks but here it is on a train. Most often there are train tracks by the road and sometimes there is something on them.



I had blackberries by the side of the road for breakfast. They were delicious.

Didn’t drink from the well but the image was nourishing enough.

I was feeling a little discouraged which one does at least a bit each day because it’s hard and you think to yourself “WHY am I doing this again?” especially when you are alone. I made it to Mt. Rainer for breakfast and the ladies’ room wall was covered with inspirational sayings.

That helped remind me.



The Oregon lottery is big. Some restaurants have fill in the number bubble sheets at the tables. They (and small grocery stores) will have a room in the back that you have to be 21 to enter. That’s where the machines are. The people going in and out of those don’t look so good. When a place has a room like this, it has a sign outside like this.

It was more beautiful and rural and the terrain was no longer flat but summit after summit with downhills in between. One downhill was 2.5 miles of a 6% grade. That was intense.
Climbing over a pass that has been well traveled. . .

Is often trees on both sides. Here are some shots of what’s in between the climbs.



After 70 miles I made it to the coast.


Yippee! It felt like a real accomplishment!! Only trouble was that Astoria was packed with people for the Regata and ten miles south in Seaside it was packed due to a national volleyball tournament and a big sand castle competition and so on for the Oregon coast in the month of August. It’s like salt water taffy and tourists and no place to sleep unless you’ve planned far in advance. Ha! So I went on over the bridge to Warrenton

where I paid way too much for me for a hotel room and it was so full I couldn’t get Internet.
I did get a text finally from Elijah. He was in Portland and all bummed out and sort of mad at me for not hooking up with him! At first I couldn’t get it but then I saw it from his side and we texted back and forth and agreed to meet further down the coast in Lincoln City. It is 89 miles from Portland and 105 miles from where I was. We agreed to try to make it there by nightfall. I managed to book the LAST KOA RV site as there were no campsites left due to a golf tournament and other stuff going on there this weekend so it’s full.

Centralia WA to St. Helen’s

75 miles of pleasant rolling hills today.

After 55 miles I went over the giant bridge from Washington to Oregon. It was freaky. Like going over the bay bridge but smaller. There was practically no shoulder and the cars were going an easy 60 an hour. I know it doesn’t look like much in this bad photo, but it was.

The ride today was mostly rural but it did get industrial, especially with the lumber. The lumber industry is just fine in southern Washington.



Even though there was something appealing about these giant trees being stacked like pencils, I still prefer them living.


When I wasn’t in the trees I was in more open land like this.






With the occasional curiosity.




I stopped at an expresso box today and asked about the “Barbie” stands. The lady at this expresso box told me that there used to be three “Barbie” stands in her town but the town somehow managed to close them down. She said she was glad that her expresso place was family friendly.

I was almost out of battery and I am camping at the city park which has nothing but a bathroom and the laundrymat didn’t have outlets so I am in a Mexican restaurant at a table next to a power outlet.

I was supposed to meet my biking partner Elijah but we haven’t crossed paths yet. We were supposed to both start out from Bellingham August first but unexpected things on both our sides prevented that.
However those things passed and he started south from Bellingham and I started south from Seattle and it seemed last night from our communication that he would definitely catch up with me today but he didn’t.
He doesn’t have a cell phone. Hellooo? So it’s like impossible to communicate. When I got over the bridge I wanted to take 30 East to the coast. Hwy 30 is the Lewis and Clark trail by the way. Instead I took 30 another twenty miles south just in case Elijah was going to hitch a ride to Portland. Or what?
He has an iPod touch with a phone app. ? Right. So I leave messages and texts and emails but so far: nada. Sigh. So tomorrow I’ll back track over these last twenty miles and go another fifty more and end up at the KOA on the coast just west of Astoria OR.
Also, let me just give one loud shout out to Oregon for bike paths everywhere and large good shoulders on every road!
Not so in Washington. In Washington the white line is the shoulder. What’s up with that?


Puyallup to Centralia

These guys were eating at the same cafe in Puyallup as we were. Nicole is so open hearted she can make instant friends with anyone. Two of these guys had been mayor of Puyallup for several terms and the other one was long standing superintendent of schools. The mayors said anyone who stays in Puyallup long enough ends up being mayor.

After Nicole took this photo, we split ways. She went to the bus station to catch the bus to Tacoma where she caught the train to Seattle.
I continue on the STP ( Seattle to Portland bike route) to go up the only hill on the route. The hill is quite easy but there are no trail markers at the top of the hill so I got lost for about two hours riding around but eventually I made my way back to the STP bike path in the town of Stanaway.
There are drive in expresso shacks everywhere. The risqué ones were just by the industrial parks. They are called “Barbie’s”.

Maybe why there is so much caffeine everywhere is because it is a depressing climate?
You see many churches as well but some of the church buildings are now mini marts and then there is this one20120808-213404.jpg
Conversely some mini markets become churches.20120808-213706.jpg
I hope it all balances out.


I’m back in the groove of eating out of grocery stores. As I sat on the bench next to my bike outside UnSafeway, this grocery store older man (tag on shirt) comes over and says brightly “Hi! How are you?”
I say “Great, and you?” He says, “Great too, thanks” and then he moves away to smoke his cigarette (which is why he is outside).
Then he says hello to another woman in the same way, only he addresses her by name and they clearly know each other in a daily way.
She answers his question with a kind of whiney, “oh I’m OK I guess”
He then in a friendly encouraging way, says “oh come on, you can do better than that” Her response to this is to start ragging on him about his smoking.
Then he says with a smile one run on sentence which I’m not quite sure how to punctuate. “yeah I know one of these days I’m gonna die”.

20120808-215628.jpg I ended today in Centralia which is a nice town with lots of old old buildings.


I couldn’t find nuts in the grocery store here so the cashier told me to check the bulk aisle which looked like this 🙂



Seattle to Puyallup

My friend Nicole picked me up at the Seattle airport and we went to her house for lunch which we had at 4:30.
Then I pulled out the bike from the airline box and put it together. Whenever I do that I go to a bike store right away and have those guys make sure it’s all good.
I went there with Nicole and as I was talking bike talk excitedly and non stop with the guys, she got the bug and wanted to go on the bike trip with me! So she then went and bought a bike and accessories and clothes and all of it!
As she hadn’t ridden a bike since she was fifteen, she was amazing in her courage and attitude and did forty miles!
So the road from Seattle to Puyallup is awful. There is lots of traffic and no shoulder and industrial park after industrial park and on top of all that, it parallels the interstate.
The only interesting part were the drive through expresso places. Why? Because the girls in these boxes are almost topless (pasties over the nipples). These guys in the Boeing airplane yard are drinking alot of coffee. We couldn’t believe it but as we passed more and more of them we believed it. We never saw the lower half of these girls but assumed they had on something akin to bathing suit bottoms. Whatever. Then we passed the training school for these baristas! Hmm.
Now and then we passed a roadside expresso shack which has a huge “family friendly” on it and now you know why.
I saw this place to eat with this nice picnic area so we stopped. I try to stop at anything that isn’t a chain. I am afraid chains are taking over this country.


Turns out both Julia Child and Oprah had been there and it was famous for smoked meats and that is why next to the shack of a kitchen was a yardfull of cut wood.