Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 8

It was a sad morning leaving John Tucker’s house. We had an enjoyable breakfast and loaded up our bikes. We set our goal to make it to Walla Walla. Before heading out of town we stopped at Wal-Mart and Kiana and I bought our 4th of July bike decorations and Alex bought a white board.

The biking was a lot of fun. We biked on road for a while, Kiana and I took our state pictures, and we stopped at a “yacht” club to eat lunch. The man working there was very rude and would not let us eat there, which just showed that not everyone was as nice as John Tucker. We road on a gravel road for several miles and I had a lot of fun on it. Pae and I were in front of the group for majority of it. We also biked through a bee farm, which was terrifying. I could feel them hitting my legs; I was scared I was going to get stung.  We also stopped at an RV place to fill up our water bottles. Kiana and I met a really nice lady who owned the campground. She told us all about the history of it and drove us in her old pick up to the bathrooms (Jacob was mad we were in a car). She also told us to be careful because the road we were biking on was extremely dangerous and many people had died on it before.

We lost Pae. He was racing ahead and I gave up on trying keeping up with him. The group stopped and we had to flag a car down to go get him. Once we retrieved him, we biked on a straight road for a while. This stupid song was stuck in my head and I was screaming it at the top of my lungs. The only line I knew was “I’m feeling sexy and free!” We then made it to Walla Walla and ate some delicious Mexican food then biked to the fire station to find somewhere to sleep. Jacob got attacked by a dog as well. We toured the fire station and set up camp in the backyard. It was a great place to sleep, I felt safe. 

Day 7

79 miles
We left Rufus and set off for our next destination, not really sure where that would be. We traveled mostly on the high way and got off at a small town to get lunch. We had a picnic at a nearby park and met a group of Mormon students who were doing a re-enactment. After lunch we continued on the highway, up and down really steep hills. It was an enjoyable ride for the most part. We stopped at a truck stop to get a quick snack and rest. While there I gave myself Dread-locks because I hadn't showered in so long and we met our savior, John Tucker.

 At first I was a little suspicious, but he turned out to be the best person we met the entire trip. He invited us to his house for dinner and camping in his yard. He said his house was a little ways down the road, which I am sure it was in a car, but for us it was the longest 25 miles. We faced head winds and got lost at a military area. Once we made it to John Tuckers he had a huge barbecue already going. We ate hamburgers and the best Walla Walla Sweet Onions. I also got to call home for the first time in a while. Talking to my mom and dad was really nice, I miss them, but I am also having a lot of fun. We mostly talked about the other people on the trip and my sore butt.

That evening we had gallons of ice cream, did our laundry, showered, and John Tucker let us sleep in his house. It was the best night sleep I have had on the trip. The bed was super comfy and I was so tired and thankful that I didn't have to sleep with the ear wigs we had brought with us from Rufus.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day 6

Total Miles: 60
We woke up after a night of terrible sleep in spandex; needless to say, I am never sleeping in biking shorts again. We ate breakfast at Safeway that morning and enjoyed Starbucks’ coffee. According to my memory, this was THE BEST DAY EVER! We began the morning biking along the highway, but eventually ventured off into a cherry orchard after crossing a terrifying bridge that I walked over. We had some tough climbs due to the hilly terrain, but for the most part I remember smiling up all the hills and soaking up the sun. A few memorable moments of the day included, trying to lick my elbow, flying down a huge hill, Jacob almost getting hit by a semi-truck, stopping at a campground for water/bathroom break/snacks, and then crossing another terrifying bridge.

        This time however, we crossed the bridge into Washington and stopped to eat ice cream and local cherries in Biggs. It was the best snack, especially since we only had to go downhill for a ways, and then were at our stop for the night, small town, Rufus. We went downhill for 20 miles and found a great park to sleep in next to a school and a gas station. We made burritos for dinner that night, which I really enjoyed, and then Jacob led a few of us in yoga and abs. That night Kiana and I biked to the gas station, brushed our teeth, and went to the bathroom, then bought milk and cookies. It was really nice to be at camp by 7pm with 60 miles done, it meant we were getting faster. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day 5

65 miles

Today we left from Portland, unfortunately without Jackie. She decided it was time for her to go home; we are all going to miss her very much. We biked through some beautiful hills and ended up at the Vista House. It is a really beautiful building that overlooks an amazing forest. I also got my official nature name, "slug", because the floor of the forest was covered in slugs. I really enjoyed them because they were moving so slowly on the ground, I felt like they were appreciating every moment in life, which is what I was trying to do.

The day seemed so long. We saw beautiful waterfalls on our way down from the Vista House, we ate lunch at a nearby park, we saw a fish hatchery, we played a letter game to keep ourselves entertained, and we met a man with really cute dogs. We asked him if there would be more hills or if we should get on the highway. He said there weren’t any hills and it would be a relatively easy ride. Maybe if I were in a car this would be true; however, there was a huge hill, so big that three of us had to walk up it-- even walking was difficult.

Finally we made it to the highway, and from there we were able to go a lot faster, but it was getting dark outside. As soon as the sun set, Alex got a flat tire on the side of the highway. We had to wait for him and David to fix it, luckily they are super quick at changing flat tires so we didn’t wait too long. We were back moving and I was starting to get tired, which also meant I was getting cranky. We made it into a town, Hood River, and went to the grocery store to eat dinner. To get to the Safeway we had to bike up another HUGE hill, at this point I wanted to throw my bike. 

Once we got to the Safeway, Alex and I played in the kids grocery cart, then begged the store to stay open so we could eat. We had a really “nice” dinner. We found a nice park to camp in for the night. Kiana and I thought we would try sleeping in our bike shorts to save time in the morning and the boys tried to all sleep in the same tent so they could get to bed faster. All night, the park sprinklers were spraying our tent, but it was so hard that the walls of our tent were falling in. The almost perfect park turned out not to be that great, but we did accomplish 65 miles! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 4

Total Miles: 73 (The most miles I had ever biked- ever)

Today we woke up at 7am and Kiana and I took forever to figure out how to re-pack our tent. Once that was accomplished, we loaded up our bikes and enjoyed some hot oatmeal for breakfast (it was gross). We started the morning off with some really hard climbs. I was in the front for a while, but then moved to the back. Jackie was really struggling so Julia and her hitch hiked again. We waited a while for them to figure out what they were going to do. We kept going and had to cross this HUGE bridge, the “Columbia River Bridge.” I learned that I HATE bridges.

We were on our way to lunch and I saw this huge hill coming up. I didn’t think I was going to make it, so Alex offered a push. He tried to push me and he ended up wiping out into the street. The cars slammed on their breaks and I jumped off my bike. We dragged him out of the street and recovered his bike. Everyone stopped to ask if he was ok, I felt really bad, especially since we never even went up the hill…oops.

We finally made it to lunch! I was starving! We ate lunch with Jackie and Julia at a grocery store. We had a rotisserie chicken that was so good. We ate a lot, which made it hard to bike afterwards because we were tired. Jackie and Julia hitch hiked to Portland, where we would meet them for the night at a hostel. Alex and I were biking on flat stretch for a good time so we decided to stop at a gas station. I went inside to ask to use the restroom and the guy responded in a BRITISH ACCENT!! (He was cute, that is why it was a big deal.) (He made a joke too, but I can’t remember it now). While Alex and I waited, Kiana showed up, and we stuffed our faces with some Nutella. 

We weighed ourselves on a truck ramp scale thing and we weighed 1,750lbs! (It was all the Nutella). We made it to the outskirts of Portland, after stopping a million times for Jacob to eat (he is seriously always hungry). We ended up on a side walk (not meant for bikes) and we had to navigate carefully down the ramp. It was dark by time we got to the Portland Hostel. I was really hungry, tired, and cranky (which means I was the most unpleasant person to be around). The hostel was awesome! Jackie made us cookies and were so yummy and Julia made us dinner. We all sat around a big table and ate. You could tell we were all exhausted though. I showered (best shower of my life) and then went to bed. I had to lay my sleeping bag and stuff out because we had gotten soaked in our “waterproof” tent. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 3

Total Miles= 55
                Today was our first day of actual riding. Successful? Depends on what your definition of success is. We cleaned up the hostel, loaded our bikes for the first time, and headed off towards Astoria.

It was all going really well, we had just dipped our tires in the Ocean and were on our way again, but then l I crashed… We were on a walking path, and I was staring up at this enormous highway. I was trying to figure out how cars got on the highway. I finally found the ramp, which was now behind me, so while looking back I didn’t see the big wooden post. I ran into it head on and flipped over my handle bars. My bike got stuck on the wooden post, but I skidded forward. After lying there for a few minutes, totally embarrassed, thinking about crying, I got up. Julia and David helped me fix my bike, which was a little bent, and the pedestrians made sure I was ok (even more embarrassing). The group kept going, so Julia and I rode to catch up. It was really hard to ride because we were on these old train tracks and my tires kept getting stuck in between the boards. I was terrified of falling again. Luckily, we made it the grocery store where the others were buying lunch. We bought a lot of food and carried it with us to a nearby park where we ate.
                The day seemed to take forever. We were moving really slow and had to stop every 10 minutes to make sure the whole group was there.  Luckily, it was a nice day. We were starting to get worried though because we had a lot of miles to still cover, but were running out of sunlight. Jacob was getting worried that we were going to have to sleep off the road somewhere. We were also worried about getting hungry. We stopped all the time to eat. We ate soup straight out of the can and Bryson chugged some mustard (that was gross). Julia and Jackie had to hitch hike, Jackie wasn’t feeling very well. So they went ahead and found a nice park in Clatskanie
Alex, Kiana, and I went ahead of the group. We were going really fast on this flat piece of land, after climbing mountains (hills) all day, which was really nice. Jacob got mad at us though because we never stopped, but we thankfully made it to Clatskanie and before dark for that matter!
We made it to the park where Julia and Jackie were. Jackie was already sleeping. We made dinner (the same soup that we were enjoying cold on the side of the road) and then got ready for bed. I was really dirty, so I cleaned off with my face wipes, which kind of helped. Julia, Kiana, and I all slept in the same tent, since Jackie had fallen asleep in Julia’s. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day Two

Total Miles = 30
We woke up today and were all really excited for our first training ride. We were going to go see the “big rock.” The girls made breakfast (I was beginning to think the boys had never cooked before). Jackie and I mainly made the pancakes, Kiana, well she tried to help. Once breakfast was over, we cleaned the kitchen and geared up for our first ride. It was a little gloomy outside so I layered up!

                We began our ride through town practicing the drop system (something we really weren’t that good at). Basically, whenever we turn someone has to say “drop right” or “drop left.” If the person was really far behind someone would have to wait on the corner for the other person to show up before they could turn. Also we signaled whenever we were stopping, to avoid a collision. I would say we were about 20 minutes into our ride when Peter’s bike broke. He had stripped his pedal- I don’t really know what that means, but it was bad because he could barely bike. We finally made it to the big rock! It was really cool. Turns out we were at “Canon Beach.”

                Some of the others were struggling, so Jacob let a few of us go exploring on our own. Kiana, Alex, Peter, and I went biking through “Ecola Park.” It was the most beautiful forest I have ever seen. We also got to go flying downhill which was AWESOME. We started to head back to the hostel and ended up in a cute little town. We stopped for a quick break and bought some delicious fudge. Once we were headed back to the hostel it started pouring rain, we could barely see in front of us. It was really gross because the person in front of you would spray mud up, so I had mud all over me and in my mouth. However, it was a lot of fun. I kept myself entertained by dancing to the beat of “Cupid’s shuffle.” We stopped really quick at the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner. Kiana and I learned that shopping with Jacob was going to be difficult; he liked to go for the sales, whereas we just liked to buy the food.

             After a total of 30 exhausting miles of biking we feasted. That night we made pasta, chicken, and salad for dinner. No one really ate the salad, but the pasta and chicken was delicious. We also bought some cake, but once it made it back to the hostel it looked kinda gross (I didn't have any). David finally made it to Oregon so we all got to know him a little better through a game of charades (He laughed a lot so he wasn't very good at it). We talked about our day with “Rose, Bud, Thorn,” which is a good thing that happened, something you are looking forward to, and a bad thing that happened. We took warm showers that night and were off to bed early, eager to start our first actual ride. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day One

           Today was the first time I was going to meet the other bikers. I have only talked to Bryson and Kiana a little because I found them on Facebook. My parents and Kristi took me to the Seaside International Hostel where the others would be. The van pulled in and 8 people piled out. I introduced myself and met Kiana, Jackie, Julia (the leader), Alex, Peter, Bryson, Alex (Asian Alex), and Jacob (the other leader). We were all there except David who was going to meet us the next day.
    I was really excited to finally be in Oregon so I told my parents they could leave. We said our goodbyes and then moved into the hostel (Hostels are AWESOME). We walked to a pizza place down the road and got to know each other a little. We refrained from sharing our whole life stories since we knew we were going to be together for the next 55 days. After pizza we went down to the ocean and took our first group picture.

On our walk back from pizza we ran into a lady (a crazy lady). She told us how dangerous the highways were and how hilly It was. She advised us to not go biking. I don’t think she understood that the only way out of Oregon, for us anyways, was via bike. We put together our bikes. I had already assembled mine with the help of my dad, so I mainly just watched the others. It was pretty funny to see how little we all knew about our bikes. It made me feel a little better.

    That night we played a few games in the hostel, a little Pictionary action, which eventually just turned into charades. It was a great ice breaker and I learned that none of us were really that artistic. I enjoyed the first night in the hostel, but I would soon learn that I was really going to miss that hostel.