Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 1, 5/9/10 - We Are Off!

DAY 1 - We can't believe it's arrived at last!

We left Richland yesterday (5/8/10) at about noon - we'd intended to get off by 10 but figured it could well be 12! We said good-bye to our friends Ash and Nick, who will be getting our mail and such, and headed our old '87 Toyota pick-up towards Seaside, OR.

The last few days were just CRAZY, but we pretty well finished everything we felt we had to do. Becky finished out her work for the Benton City Food Bank, Riley did what he thought he had to to leave his colleagues well fixed for running the experiment without him while we're gone, we've sent out Mother's Day and Father's Day and birthday presents to family members whose birthdays fall while we expect to be away - ETC.

We had a windy but gorgeous trip through the Columbia Gorge, and SLOW traffic around Portland. Ate PB sandwiches and oranges in the car and finally headed out to the coast on US 26. There was an unexpected road closure on 26 and we had to turn around and go back to OR 6 and through the lovely canyon through which the Wilson River flows out to Tillamook - home of that wonderful cheese.

The detour meant we could not reach Gearhart, the little town where we will be storing the truck while we're gone, in time to check the truck in at the storage lot Saturday night, as planned - but in fact, the detour was a gift. 15 years ago we had biked part way down the coast of OR in this very area so the drive north to Seaside was a happy trip along memory lane as we drove through places we'd visited and stayed so many years ago - Tillamook, Garabaldi, Rockaway Beach, Nehalem, the Arch Cape Tunnel with its light for cyclists to push before entering to warn cars that there are bikes in the tunnel, then Cannon Beach and, finally, Seaside and Gearhart.

We checked into the Hilltop Motel, headed down to look at the statue of Lewis and Clark on "The Mall" along the beach and then walked into town for a nice meal at Dooger's Restaurant - lots of nice touches: They are happy to spilt a glass of wine, they offer a "light" size option on all meals (it was PLENTY), they serve huge salads topped with shrimp along with your dinner - et cetera. We shared salmon fish and chips w/sweet potato fries and spaghetti and meatballs. YUM.

Then back to the motel for 2 hours of intense work loading up our panniers -and deciding what not to take after all - we filled an old suitcase we had brought for just this purpose; our discards will wait for us in the truck! Ideally we would have done all this in advance, but with less than 2 weeks between the decision to go this year after all and our actual departure, we did the best we could!

Note Re Day 1: Riley is delivering the truck to the storage place while Becky writes this, and cycling back to the motel. Then we load the panniers on the bikes, get some breakfast, and pedal off on our great adventure!


  1. i feel like there should have been a send-off celebration! hooray!!!

    PS: got the fruit box. the pears were incredible and i ate both of them one after the other. thank you!!

    May 9, 2010 8:05 PM

  2. Hooray! May the winds be favorable and the sun be gentle. Bon voyage!

  3. It's going to take me a while to catch up with you even just reading the blog! But wow! More power to you! You are an inspiration. My husband, Bryan and I, recently had to buy bikes to keep up with our granddaughter. It was no longer possible to run along beside her. But we aren't serious bikers like you guys. A pretty flat 10 miles is perfection for us. I'll enjoy catching up with you from my armchair.
    You long lost high school friend, Laurie Oman