Saturday, July 26, 2008

Observations on 370 Miles Pedaled from Eugene, OR to Arcata, CA

We (tandems, gear, and people) weigh 680 pounds. Two different truck weigh stations confirmed it.

Eugene was pavement-melting hot, much of the Oregon coast was wear-all-your-layers chilly and windy. Kite-flying weather. Today California is sunny-yahoo.

Dana's wildlife count includes a rough-skinned newt (They're orange on their underside), the tail end of a baby black bear, elk, sea lions ("they look like sausages" she reported from our cliffside riding viewpoint), a raccoon family, an evening with hundreds of pelicans, and some red-hot colored crawfish.
More than one hill has been 50minutes of pedalling in the lowest gear - but then there's those multiple miles of downhill. Tom's bike's top land speed record so far = 49.3 mi/hr.

Riding among the Redwoods, why pedal - just look around at the amazingly huge giant trees and breathe.

Even if you only need 58cents worth of gas (high octane, for the campstove), you can't pump it yourself in Oregon. "Don't touch that"said the attendant to the arm-outstretched Tom.

Noah's trading books at the 'take one, leave one' campground shelves, recently left Star Wars: In Mandolorian Armor for Jurassic Park.

Our kids on beaches = lots of holes dug and waves jumped.

We're changing up tandem partners every day. Less complaints about mom not going fast enough on the downhills.

Best campsite = too hard to call. The Redwoods Park backcountry freebie down a half-mile mountain bike trail, with a sunny seastacked beach?
We're having fun, and also looking forward to riding with our pals Mark and Jade starting at the Golden Gate Bridge on Aug 4. Who knows what else is up ahead?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

From Dana and Noah

Good Morning,

We got on the AMTRAK train in Bellingham yesterday morning. Traveled to
Portland, walked around and got ice cream. Then got on the train and rode to Eugene, Oregon. It was late when we got there. Picture A shows my dad as he got off the train. We got our tandem bikes and all of our stuff off the train - please see
picture B.

They met us with a van and a big white pickup to carry our bicycles.

We drove about 45 minutes, and now it was very, very late. I slept well in a futon
bed upstairs at the Jane & Quentin Holmes' house. I slept in! We are in a house
with tall rooms. It is located out in the woods on the Mohawk River. This morning
we ate a delicious breakfast.

Tomorow we will start out on our tandem bicycles for the Oregon Coast. Dad and
Mon are figuring our a route that will travel along paved roads that belong to the
Forest Service.


P.S. Noah recorded his impressions of travel so far, see the link at right to his audio posts on his wikispace.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Packing Playmobil and Other Things That Matter

We've cleared shelves for our renter, the yard and garden are in the best shape we can manage, and the detailed bike trip/Mexico to-do list actually has most items crossed out.  With two days until we get on the train to Eugene, Oregon to start our bike trip, we are making piles.  One for the bike trip, one for life in Mexico (sent ahead to my sister's in San Diego), and then there was that pile we sent to Michigan already as we'll be there in January to celebrate Tom's parents' 50th wedding anniversary.  Helping the kids, I mention another category, the everything else category, which I call "things you want to see when we get back."

I bet there will be Playmobil in every pile.  And books.  Perhaps the constants show what is important to us no matter where we are.  But of course the most important things aren't things I can physically put in a pile: the friends and family (and Annie the cat) we can't take take with us but will think of often.  Did you know you were along for the ride?  Feel free to comment or e-mail so we'll know you're out there, take care, and we'll see you later.

P.S. The second photo illustrates Playmobil that came along on the European bike trip, for those of you less familiar with those little toys.  Wow, doesn't Noah look different just two
years ago.  The bike photo is also from that trip, but shows just what we'll be doing for the next six weeks.