Thanks!

Thanks to all of you for the words of encouragement, the amusing comments, and the congratulations. It was fun to post to the blog during our journey to give a glimpse of the trip. 

It is tradition at the top of a high pass or completion of a journey to lift one’s bike over your head in triumphant celebration:

Woo Hoo! The Pacfic Ocean

  

Hoosier Pass, our highest at 11,539′

Sea to Sea

We have made it across the U.S. on our tandem bicycle. Our sons Kyle and Grant met us near Florence, Oregon, where we dipped our wheel in the Pacific Ocean. What an adventure!

  

Kyle rode out to meet us
   
Heceta Beach, near Florence; the push across the sand
  
Thanks to Grant for being the photographer
  
The traditional dip of the front wheel in the Pacific
  
We did it
 

Big Bear Camp

Our last night on the road was at Big Bear Camp & Retreat between Eugene and Florence, Oregon. Our hosts were Hal and Tonia. They epitimized the gracious qualities of all of the wonderful Warm Showers hosts that shared their homes with us along the way. We stayed in cities, on farms, in the woods. Warm Showers was definitely a highlight of our experience.

 

Big Bear Lodge
  
Hal cooking breakfast
  
Good coffee in the morning
  
A garden and orchard of delicious bounty
  
Our yurt
 

1000 feet

For the first time since entering Kansas, we have dropped below 1,000 feet in elevation. As we dropped down off McKenzie Pass (5324′), we entered the lush forests of the west side of the Cascades, branches dripping with moss. Here it  takes the sun a lot longer to get down to camp in the morning.

 

McKenzie River at McKenzie Bridge Campground
  
Camp dinner
  
Ride into Eugene
  
We break 4000 miles!
 

Dinner with son Grant who lives in Eugene.

Basalt & Pines

Basalt, rough and chunky, sometimes in hexagon columns. The stark, black lava flows at McKenzie Pass.

A forest of Ponderosa Pine, clear underneath such that a horse could gallop through. 

We are happy to be back in Oregon.

A recommended essay: “Living Dry” by Wallace Stegner. A commentary on the aridity of the west.

 

Picture Gorge near John Day
  
On the way to Keys Creek Pass
  
Kelli Cripe, our dear bike riding friend, joins us in Sisters, OR
  
Windy Point, almost to McKenzie Pass
  
McKenzie Pass
 

The Best Part of the Day

Our favorite riding time of the day is the hours between camp oatmeal and second breakfast. In those morning hours, the wind is quiet, the light is perfect for photos, and there are few cars on the road.  Ones mood is just better. That is some good riding.

We have met some cyclists who get into town late, admitting that they have a hard time getting going before 10am.  We feel sorry for them, because they are missing the best part of the day.

 

Early morning coffee at Bates State Park
  
Required breakfast wear (5 layers)
  

The Strawberry Mountains of Oregon
At the Bike Inn, Mt Vernon, OR

It is hard to leave the garage when it is raining…

We were dressed and ready to leave Baker City this morning, but the frigid rain just wouldn’t quite stop. Around 9:00am, we decided to use our “we don’t have to be home on a certain date” card, and took a rest day in Baker City. We visited the historical museum, relaxed at the library, and had a beer at Barley Brown’s. It stopped raining eventually, but Kim wore her down coat all day. Tomorrow is expected to be warmer and drier as we head into the Blue Mountains. A day well spent.

 

An Oregon Trail memorial near Baker City, OR
  
At the Baker County Historical Museum

 

Snow in the Blue Mountains; headed there tomorrow.

Oregon

Today we entered our tenth state, our home state, Oregon. After all our travels, this event is complex: we are happy to be in familiar territory, but this means our adventure is nearing its close. We plan to enjoy each moment.

Last night, we had the pleasure of staying with Warm Showers hosts Leslie and Bob near Cambridge, ID. Besides being warm, wonderful people with home brew in their garage, they also have two Brittany Spaniels, Angus (8 years) and Peat (5 months). All that Brittany energy made us look forward to seeing ours, 12 year old Nutmeg.

The Snake River, just south of Hell’s Canyon
  
Leslie, with Angus and Peat (and Seamus photo bombing)
  
Oregon border on the Snake River
 

Oregon

We have entered our home state. Sequential from the bottom up.

  • Florence, OR; House at Heceta Beach
  • Eugene, OR; Phoenix Inn
  • Sisters, OR; Creekside Campground
  • Ochoco Lake campground, near Prineville, OR
  • Mitchell, OR; Oregon Hotel
  • Mt Vernon, OR; Bike Inn Hostel
  • Bates State Park, camping
  • Baker City; Knights Motel; rest day
  • Halfway, OR; Pine Valley Inn B&B

Huckleberry Pie

When your view of the horizon is obscured by smoke, you spend less time looking up and out and more time looking at things close by. That way you don’t miss the sign for huckleberry pie!

 

Smoky horizon into White Bird, ID
  
Huckleberry Pie