Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Portland or Bust

Helllloooo. I'm writing to you from the basement of the very gracious Girard family. Jacob and I were in quite a bind earlier today and the Girards came swooping to our rescue. I'll explain, but first I'm going to bring you up to speed on our trip.
After Tillamook, we ended up in Manzanita. Not sure where we would be spending the night, we decided to deliberate over a few pints. This turned out to be a very wise course of action because at the San Dune bar we met an awesome couple named Mike and Sandra. After hearing about our trip, they offered to let us stay with them at their house 4 blocks away. Mike showed us to the residence and returned to the bar for some live music by the Oystershooters. Jake and I showered and went back to meet Mike and Sandra. These two were absolutely incredible. Such hospitality to two strangers on the drop of a dime. We had a pancake breakfast and they even packed us bag lunches!
After Manzanita we did the last 45 miles to Astoria. Coming into Astoria we immediately did the brutal climb up to the Astoria column. The ride was really hard; a thorough test of the skills we'd been working on for two months but certainly worth it. The views from the column were incredible. After taking in the views we headed down to the waterfront for some food and refreshments. We consulted some locals about where we might be able to bunk down for the night and once again "road magic" provided us with an unexpected host. Dave is a 20 or 30 something ex (?) hitchhiker who was currently living in Astoria. He consulted his roommates and determined that it would be no problem for Jacob and I to crash on the couch.
The next morning we awoke and caught a bus to Portland where we met up with Cat, a friend from UNC. She let us dump our stuff at her apartment, pointed out some places we should check out in town and set us loose to wreak havoc on Portland. Today, two days later, we felt like we had seen much of what we wanted to see and done much of what we wanted to do. We also felt like we might be becoming a bit of a nuisance for Cat and her roommate Gina. In light of these feelings, we decided to try and head to the airport and move our flight up. You know, get on standby and sleep there if we had to. Unfortunately, Delta airlines sucks and no longer has a standby list.
That about brings us to our moment of despair. I called the Girards out of desperation, not wanting to pester anyone. Dave immediately offered to come pick us up! Amazing. Now we're shacked up in their basement, which suits us just fine because they have two sons about our age. Tomorrow we'll keep pestering Delta to see if they can't help us head back to NC, but at least I'm not sleeping in the park tonight! I'll also be able to upload all the the pictures from Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon, so prepare for about 4 or 5 albums of glorious roadtrip splendor. Until next time, take care!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Final days :(

Well, sorry for the gap in coverage, but I finally reached the Pacific on Monday! We checked out the beach at Florence, but it was too windy and inhospitable to do a wheel-dipping. Tuesday we stayed over in Yachats after battling wind, narrow roads and heavy traffic all day. The wind is unbelieveable and makes riding extremely stressful on such narrow roads with cars constant. The next day we made better headway up the coast until we hit the Rogue Brewery in Newport. Rogue is one of my favorite breweries, but they tend to overcharge on the east coast, so getting to visit the brewery was a treat. We rode just north of Newport and camped at a nice USFS site. They were having a screening of Planet Earth's episode on caves, but all of us passed out and missed it! Thursday Rich woke up early and headed towards Tillamook (he's eager to get home) while Jacob and I took a more scenic route and soaked up the views at Pelican Bay brewpub in Pacific City. We had a heck of a ride uphill in mist/rain/fog, but were rewarded by a hot shower and nice campsite at Cape Lookout (ironic OR has one as well as NC!). Today we've ridden along the scenic route some more and are in Tillamook right now. Tillamook makes awesome cheese, so we are going to visit the creamery and then decide how much farther we want to ride today.
I'm extremely pleased to be done, but feel somewhat disappointed that the trip is coming to an end. I can't wait to get home and share the pictures and stories with as many of you as possible, so give me a call or drop a note sometime soon and we'll get in touch. I'll probably post up here a few more times as well as get the last sets of pictures up, so make sure to keep stopping by. Cheers!