I have to preface this blog post with just saying happy 4th of July to everyone. Cycling around the United States has given both Joe and I even more insight into why we live in the most scenic, unique and overall best country in the entire world. I’m currently sitting on a beach on the Oregon coast, on a bright sunny day thinking about how fortunate I am to be doing what I’m doing and meeting the people that we have along the way. So without further ado here is last weeks adventures.
Raymond to Seaside
Monday morning we left the little town of Raymond and as usual we were looking for our local diner. The town is quite small, so needless to say our options were limited.we saws Chinese restaurant with the open sign on at 8:00 which we thought was quite strange, but we decided to go check it out since we were starving. We walk and people were eating pankakes and eggs, I thought for sure this was one of the weirdest restaurants I had ever been too, but to my disbelief it was one of the best breakfasts we have had on our trip. No joke, the gravy on Joe’s biscuits was flowing off the plate, he was in heaven.
As we start riding we come across 2 other cyclist, one American and the other Australian, both probably in there 60’s, super nice people. We also saw a group of high school students touring. It was awesome seeing such a variation of ages doing all colliding on the road enjoying our beautiful backyard.
We eventually made it to Astoria, where they have a massive bridge that divides Oregon and Washington. As we were riding in the mile long bridge we ran into the American and Aussie who we saw about 3 hours earlier. We rode the rest of the bridge together and everyone was waving and giving us the thumbs up.
We rode hard for the rest of the day, totaling 74 miles, our longest day yet. We got to our warmshowers host house and nobody was there. I called up Niel, our host, and he said go on in and make yourself at home. He didn’t even know us but he trusted us with his house.
Later we met Neil. Neil is the man. He hosts over 150 people a year, all the while traveling for half the year. He’s been to over 100 countries.
That night we ate a whole bag of pasta and a half gallon on ice cream. A perfect example of our extremely balanced diet.
Seaside to garibaldi
After saying bye to Neil we took off. A little down the coast is Canon beach, an iconic beach in Oregon because it has huge rocks coming out of the water.
We kept riding down the coast and at each turn there was an incredible view of the water. We got to this super small town and we were starving. We grabbed a full pizza and probably ate it in 15min.
After riding for a little longer that day we decided to take a shorter day and stop at 40 miles. We came across the camp site and they wanted $20 a person, ya right. We biked maybe 200 feet down the street and I saw a guy outside his house. I did my usual spiel and he said of course. His name was Bill and his house was right on the ocean. We couldn’t of gotten a better view. And let it be know that we have been on the road for 4 weeks as of today and we still haven’t paid once for sleeping.
Bill was a great guy. He was the president of a major construction company and now has retired to this house. We spoke for about an hour about Oregon and other things. He said right in front of his house we might see killer whales, so we kept our eyes open.
Garibaldi to Forrest Grove
Cheese. We saw so many cheese factories that morning. We stopped in at the Tillamook cheese and ice cream factory and had tons of samples of cheese. After filling up on cheddar and Swiss we rode and we rode for many miles up through the Tillamook state park. It was hard but oh so stunning. Once we got to the summit we were beyond stoked cause we knew we had an awesome down hill. It was at least 3 miles down cruising at 35 MPH.
We finally got to Forrest Grove where we were staying with our friend Krisa. We went out that night with her roommate Emily and Krisa’s boyfriend, Nathan.
Forrest Grove to Portland
Krisa took us to the local bakery where they were famous for their cinnamon rolls. Joe and I each had a whole one, they were so good.
We ended up riding over to her boyfriend, Nathan’s house, where we made enchiladas and met some more of their friends.
We set off for David’s house, a friend of our high school Spanish teacher, Robbie klasky.
Once we got there we headed out to a brewery. I swear at every corner there is a brewery in Portland. We enjoyed great beer and good conversation. David is an exceptional man. For the past 19 years he has ridin in the AIDS and HIV ride from San Francisco down to LA. Later that evening, we went to Alberta street, quite the scene to say the least. There was a huge street fair with vendors and performances. David explained it as the best representation of Portland, people were walking around naked and smoking weed, quite the scene to say the least. But I couldn’t help but realize the large smiles on everyone’s face. Everyone was living simply and just enjoying themselves. Later David treated us to Salt and Straw, where we had some of the best ice cream ever. They have flavors that incorporate crazy combos, such a balsamic vinaigrette and others. Vice President Joe Biden is a frequent Salt and Straw customer.
Portland for the next couple days
The next morning, we got off to a great start. We said bye to David and right as we left, a gentleman by the name of Quinn asked if we were lost, cause he saw our bags. We began chatting and he coincidently works for a company called Ride with GPS. An app that allows you to create maps for cycling. He invited us up to the office, which had to have been the coolest office I’ve ever seen. With 10 employees they had a wide open room with brick and wood. We met everyone else and ended up spending an hour there. One of the guys who worked there, Kevin, brought in his Golden Retriever, and all I could think about is my golden, Ollie, back at home.
We then headed out and explored Portland having a delicious breakfast at Screen Door. Later that day we were scrambling for a place to stay and luckily Tanja, a host on warmshowers invited us over. They were the kindest family ever. They were in the middle of remodeling their house and still let us come over. We went out to dinner and then they took us to a secret dessert joint that you only know of by word of mouth. I was a little thrown off at first because, my cup kept moving to the left, and I wasn’t even touching it. They all started laughing because I didn’t realize the tables were moving. They said most of them do that in the place and it’s funny watching first timers get so confused. We definitely felt like locals that night.
The next morning we went to a vegan restaurant. Not really my cup of tea but it was actually really good. A nice change of pace from the food we’ve been eating so far on this trip.
Later we went downtown and visited the food trucks and a couple more breweries, you really can’t escape them. Experienced the Portland culture and just enjoyed the beautiful weather.
We ran into a couple of my SDSU friends at a bar. Alec, who lives in Portland, invited us to sleep at his house that night on the river.
We said bye to Tanja and her family and rode to Alec’s house. We grabbed dinner with Joe’s step sister and funny enough, the waitress thought we were Joe’s parents. People also think I’m around 26 and Joe is, well A LOT younger.
Portland to Mcminville
The next day we were planning on heading out early but Alec invited us on a hike and we definitely couldn’t pass that up. It was a great hike going through mountain lakes and coming out at the top to see Mount Hood. We got home around 4:30 and left the house around 5, our latest start yet. We made it to Mcminville at 9:30, and luckily the sun was just about going down by then. We stayed with a guy by the name of Flint. A friend of Chris Beresford who I played baseball with back in high school.
What a week! We are still amazed by all the hospitality and kindness of every stranger we meet as well as long time friends that we run into. We have now officially been in the rode for a month and have about 6 weeks left!
We feel extremely fortunate to be raising money for Outdoor Outreach, if you are able to, please donate at Thebendableroad.com. Thanks