November 14, 2011

The public (i.e. my mother) has been clamoring for an update, so here goes.

Leaving Seattle, we had forgotten some harsh realities of living on the road and had devised grand plans of a route to Portland that would take us through Rainier National Park.  After a rainy first night, which served as a reminder about how unpleasant it can be to be perpetually cold, we all independently decided we didn’t want to go to Mt. Rainier.  So we still rode to Portland, but we took a flatter, more direct route.  We’ve all been having chain troubles as everything is starting to wear, but besides that we got to Portland mostly without incident, besides a daily rain.  Since Seattle, finding free camping has become much more difficult, and in Puyallup we were ejected from a city park for the first time.  This turned out to be a great experience, as we learned about Freezing Nights, a winterly program in Puyallup where each night a different church hosts homeless people.  We were warmly welcomed, with stew and brownies, and eggs and french toast for breakfast, and an extensive packed lunch.  Tom even got a haircut, and Joe a shave.  We are very grateful for their help in our time of need.

Upon crossing into Oregon, we again found ourselves without a campsite, so we headed to a local bar to watch the Alabama-LSU football game, with the hopes that someone would rescue us.  Sure enough, Bobby and Rhonda gave us their address and offered the use of their back yard.  We arrived later in the night to a dark house, so we set up our tents hoping we hadn’t gotten the address wrong.  Luckily, it was the right house, and in the morning Rhonda cooked us an amazing fritatta while Bobby showed us a slide show of his trip to Sturgis. Again, our heartiest thanks to Bobby and Rhonda for their amazing hospitality.

We spent two nights in Portland, then set off, keen to finally reach the coast.  Oregon has actually been much drier than we were lead to believe.  Either everyone else is a bunch of sissies or our string of luck with the weather has continued.  It does rain almost every day, but just a sprinkle, and not for long.  It does wreak havoc on my chain though, which I have to relube almost daily to prevent it from squeaking.

We hit the coast a few days ago, in Lincoln City, and it was more of a milestone than any so far on the trip.  The ocean is so amazing, so beautiful, I don’t think I could tire of watching it.  We called it a day early and frolicked on the beach, and ended up camping there too.  We’re told that the entire beach of Oregon is public property, the “people’s beach,” and that camping is allowed everywhere.  I spoke with a cop who said that technically that’s not true, but that we probably won’t be given any trouble, so that’s good enough.

The coast has been great, though we receive almost daily warnings about an oncoming storm (which never hits).  We saw seals and sea lions the other day, playing carefree in the waves.  The last couple days have taken us slightly inland, which means riding rolling hills through pine forest – nice enough, but I’m hooked on the coast now.  We’ve got another day in Oregon, then we can leave the rain as an unpleasant memory when we hit the sunny beaches of California.

I bought a new camera in Seattle, so new pictures have been posted.

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15 Responses to November 14, 2011

  1. MomLady says:

    Thank you for posting another entry! The new picturers are beautiful, beautiful… 🙂

    Suzanne has genously agreed to host your new bike light until you can pick it up. Thank you, Suzanne!!!!! Thank you also to anyone who has helped the lads along the way.

    The kindness of friends and strangers is the best part of this adventure.

  2. Mary T Johnson says:

    Thanks millions for the update. You must realize that Tom’s mom (me) and his three sisters (yes 3, lucky fellow) are so grateful for your updates. I love the GPS nightly, well almost nightly. I try not to freak out when you don’t check in.

    As I was telling Tom, the kindness of strangers must be repaid someday and I know you will. I know how excited they must have been to host you or feed you or give you new toothbrushes!

  3. Susan White says:

    Greetings MBs ! The photos…. so ethereal, hypnotic. (You should call yourselves the Lucky Boys!) Each morning I check in to see where you’ve stopped. I love the hybrid close-ups the best. Please write more often, the blog is always engaging! May California bless you with dry skies and warm temps. Coop: Call yer Mom. Love and safe biking to all! Susan W.

  4. Jamie Whalen says:

    Really enjoying the blog/photos guys, gotta say im pretty jealous of this excursion. when do you guys think you’ll go through Santa Cruz? I get there beginning of Jan. I assume you’ll already have passed it though.

  5. Rosemarie Dolan says:

    19 November 2011

    Dear Christopher,

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY WISHES ACCOMPANIED BY A HUGE LONG DISTANCE HUG. I hope you find a beautiful spot in California to celebrate. Lots of love.

  6. lucy says:

    Chiming in here with birthday wishes, Christopher, I hope you’ve had a totally rad 22nd birthday. I’m thinking of you today as snow falls for the first time this autumn… Lots of love and stuff! Happy birfday, you rule! ❤

  7. Charles Geach says:

    Dear Christopher
    I tried to text you on your birthday, but evidently had the wrong number. I hope you had a nice day
    Very worried about your feet. I would like to talk to you today or tomorrow: I am going to Jamaica for two weeks on Friday. Can I call your friend’s cell?
    Love
    Papa

  8. Mary T Johnson says:

    Guys, keep your feet dry! Change your socks when you take a break. Air them out too. The best way to keep your feet healthy is dry (cotton) socks and sunlight – honestly. We learned that in the trenches in WWI.

  9. Auntie Em says:

    Dear Christopher,

    I heard alarming reports about your feet– please take good care of them! But your photographs are gorgeous and I’ve been following your progress and been mightily impressed. If the timing had been a few weeks different, we would have overlapped in San Francisco, but alas…

    take good care!

  10. MomLady says:

    Thank you, Joe’s father, for getting my stubborn son out of sandals and into shoes. Christopher may feel, right now, that he can do without a couple of toes but they do not come off all that easily, do they?

    I hope Christopher will be more careful in future…and that this incident has not spoiled anything for the others.

    • Mary T Johnson says:

      I don’t think it has spoiled a thing. I told Tom it is another chapter in his book!

      • MomLady says:

        Please put me down for three copies! I would be honored to have an autographed copy.

        Christopher’s feet chapter could be titled “When Geach Realized He was NOT in fact a Hobbit”

  11. edmundo says:

    Nice to see you guys in SF! I’ve got some travel tips for Central and South America. Hit me up!

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