Monthly Archives: March 2017

Mixing nutbutter 2

Last Saturday, I woke up uncomfortably hot and sweaty in Matt and Monica’s living room, a hard heavy lump lying on my stomach. Their most precious and spoiled “fur baby” – Napoleon, the french bulldog, and I had shared a short leather couch all night, his loud snores lulling me to sweet dreams and his short labored breaths hitting my face like a pleasant tropical breeze. As I sat up Napoleon woke with a start, his beady eyes staring into mine with a look of annoyance. As I stood to pack up my things, Napoleon went to play with his stuffed lobster toy. Last night, for the better part of an hour he laid sucking on the claw of the bright red animal, with the utmost care and with absolutely no shame for the strange noises he produced as we talked and observed the odd creature. By the time my sleeping bag was stuffed into its stuff sack, I turned and saw Napoleon had destroyed the toy he had so gingerly suckled less than 12 hours ago. It seemed Napoleon had a had a change of heart and it wasn’t long before the toy was unrecognizable as a pile of red fuzz and white stuffing on the hardwood floor.

Napoleon pondering his existence

Napoleon pondering his existence

Monica and Matt were up, being the most gracious and helpful hosts you could imagine – changing over our laundry, hand grinding coffee. We stood in the small organized kitchen and talked for a long time, sipping the dark brew, and wondering how we convinced ourselves that gas station coffee was drinkable. Along with hosting us for the night, Matt, as always, gave great life and career advice. We turned from talking about the day to the much more indistinct FUTURE, dark and swirling like our hot cups of coffee. Careers, plans, the future – topics twenty-somethings on a bike tour are not quite sure if they hate or love to think about.

We stood outside waiting for our laundry to dry as Napoleon attacked a new dog toy Lizzy found at our last campsite and cats climbed and fell off of things. Fully entertained by the animals, it took extra effort to convince ourselves it was time to leave. Before long, we were back on the bikes headed to Winco to score some bulk items, the detailed directions Matt had given us in our mind’s eye. After some turns in the complete wrong direction, and after descending and then climbing a giant and completely pointless hill, we made it to our destination. The Winco of our dreams. We meandered through the bins of the bulk section, filling bags with the finest calorie-rich goodies and carefully mixing and mislabeling our items. I insisted it was my turn to pay, and Tim and Lizzy wandered off as I took the heat for mixing our almond butter with peanut butter. “If you’re going to mix you have to put in the code for the most expensive item,” the cashier assigned to the self-checkout stations scolded me. Not for the first time this trip I succeeded in playing dumb, I said something like, “Oh I didn’t realize, that makes a lot of sense,” as she typed in the code for the much more expensive item and I was forced to pay the going market price of almond butter for a container mostly filled with ground peanuts. Lizzy and Tim returned just in time to help me carry off the groceries. I was unable to look at the cashier, me face turned floorward in red hot, nutbutter shame.

We biked south of Eureka through a stretch of freeway I honestly don’t remember that well. By the late morning we took an exit for a viewpoint that turned out to be really unspectacular but rested for awhile as Tim and Lizzy discussed long term plans for the continuation of their trip.

Timmy and Lizzy planning their future

Timmy and Lizzy planning their future

Eventually, we got back on the freeway for five minutes to exit at the Avenue of the Giants road for a scenic stretch of redwood cruising. Lizzy insisted we stop to take a picture of a corn statue early on and we refilled water at a small post office somewhere along the way as two neighbors mowed their lawns and tried really hard to pretend they didn’t notice us.


So long 101 (for now)

Throughout the day, I paid the price for a comment I made over last night’s meal to Matt and Monica how we hadn’t yet had to stop for any major bike fixes. My well lubed chain slipped off my gears several times. Lizzy and Timbo of course were helpful even though I was most definitely the one to blame either for my careless jinxing words over Thai food or the fact that I still haven’t figured out what cross-chaining is.


Lizzy feeling corny

That afternoon was another highlight for me, it is always nice to escape the highway and gradually descend through thick forest on roads with signs that declare “Bikes Can Use Whole Lane.”

Tim and Lizzy sharing the road

Tim and Lizzy sharing the road

Before nightfall we began to be on the lookout for suitable places to camp. Tim at some point asked me my opinions on the matter and I replied “we’ll just know.” Surprisingly, these words came true as we found a beautiful spot nestled on old river channels and gravel bars next to the gorgeous South Fork of the Eel River. Hidden behind the “Giants” we felt stealthy and inspired by our spectacular surroundings. The full moon rose just as dinner ended, providing so much light that it felt like daytime as we sat around a fire Lizzy made out of dry willow and river-swept grass. No fire has started so quickly perhaps since Moses and the burning bush. Lizzy got skillz. Soon we were asleep and my final full day of this crazy journey came to the perfect end in our cramped and cozy tent as Tim sang me back to sleep with his famous #1 hit, The Langlois Song. Boy I wish I could hear him sing it one more time.

Timmy and Lizzy acting like they like each other at our campsite

Timmy and Lizzy acting like they like each other at our campsite


Take care ya’ll,


Many Birthdays, Especially Counting the Trees’ 2

After a night of full rest at Katie’s church we woke up to the sound of the same rain that we’d fallen asleep to.  Enjoying the comforts of the church community room, Kyle made oatmeal and I enjoyed some chocolate yogurt (yes it was weird). Lizzy some grocery outlet cereal.  We packed up our stuff and by the time we were ready to leave the rain seemed to have stopped or at least lightened up.

As we rolled out of Crescent City we noticed it was much warmer than we’d experienced during the fist few days of our tour.  The warmer weather and cloudiness that describes the Northern California area so well made our climb into the Redwoods a hot one.  We ascended to the top of the 1000 or so foot hill that Katie had told us about, with a few stops along the way.


Shifting into granny gears and warm weather attire


The descent down our first hill was pretty breezy and I think we were all pretty excited when we saw “7% grade next 2 miles signs.”  The the bottom of our first climb we stopped to see the coastline we’d covered as well as a little boy that fell in the ocean.  We were glad he didn’t get swept out, walking back to hi family’s RV with his dad he was bawling and yelling “I hate water.” Poor little guy.  There was various construction in the area too, and after waiting, one flagger asked us if we wanted to go first or last. Of course we chose first and she warned, ” okay but you’ll be sorry…  An interesting warning but nothing bad has happened just yet!


Very Tall

We began climbing again and eventually got to the infamous (or just famous) Paul Bunyan and Babe.  This required photo taking, at least according to a father who told his son to take pictures of us.  Inside we were offered fudge but just came out of the store with some postcards and stamps.


Paul. Lizzy, Kyle, Timmy, Babe (from left)


Perhaps this bear isn’t getting paid enough.

Next turn was Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, a 10-mile-or-so road that goes west and parallels the 101, without the major elevation that’s gained over the 5-mile-or-so climb.  Lizzy had once before not known about this scenic byway when riding north on 101.  To her and her legs’ surprise she had to climb up to 1500′; the scenic byway tops out around 500′.  Our time on Newton B. Drury may well turn out to be our favorite part of the trip.  Not only because of the magnificent redwoods, colossal in scale, but because the complete lack of traffic on the road.  Normally the scenic parkway is open to cars and RVs and tour buses, but because of some winter road damage it was closed to all traffic (but bikes fit under gates!).  On Newton B we climbed a small hill and then cruised generally downhill.  Lizzy showed us a tree in which she slept on a previous tour and we had the entire road to ourselves.   Ten miles of car freeness was  a very special way to experience the redwoods.

I’d (me Timmy) been camping here previously before and therefore wanted to show Lizzy and Kyle a particularly large-trunked tree.  So we stopped for shortly near the campground and filled water.  The next leg of our trip was through some floodplains and less magnificent scenery, although still rather magnificent…  We rode through Orick, a small town with an RV park with a sign warning that, “Tenants previously evicted will be arrested upon reentering premises.”  The birds were also rather intimidating- as if they’d grown up in a hard town or something. Tough bird lyfe.


The big one

Our destination this night was Big Lagoon county park, where we arrived after a few more miles of rolling hills and nice weather (finally!).  Here Lizzy’s friend Linsday would meet us for a night of outdoor camping fun.  It was her birthday (On the 9th of march!) and she made the drive from Portland to hang out with us.  Team Dynamix pulled off the 101 onto a rough road and arrived at this park within a mile or so.  We set up our tent, checked out the campground, and waited for Lizzy’s friend to arrive.

Elk friends

Elk friends

Coastline near our campground

Coastline near our campground

Sure enough, up pulled the white Prius we’d been waiting for. Sometime or another Lizzy presented her birthday present and Kyle and I opened a bottle of the real party starter:  Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider.  We had beans and kale taco leftovers and left the dinner tarp with full stomachs.  Desert consisted of Chik-O-Sticks and Dots.  It was a pretty killer birthday party.  It’d been a full day- about 56 miles- which is no amazing feat but longer than we’d done in our days with cold rain and strong headwinds.


Blurry photo club!

We slept in the next morning; we didn’t plan to go far, only to Eureka- the day before we’d gone a bit few more miles than planned,and Kyle had a friend in Eureka that we planned to stay with.  Before leaving, Kyle and I ended up at the beach and enjoyed watching the powerful waves.  The beach was sandy but steep and the campground was protected from the waves by a spit that extended north and a lagoon that had formed behind it.  What beautiful landscape to wake up to.  Kyle and I laughed at the fact that we could remember few times on the Oregon coast when the wind was so light and the air so warm- March in Northern California.

We found Lindsay and Luzzy when we came back to camp and after a breakfast of Chik-O-Stick and other snacks we cleaned up camp and got ready to go.  Kyle and I practiced knife throwing (I got it to stick!) into a nearby tree and we said farewell to Lindsay.

If I could only blabber about one thing today (it’s the 10th) it would be the weather. 60 and sunny baby-like heaven.  The funny thing is that we are biking in t-shirts and short shorts, and we’re rather warm.  We left the campground and began up a hill on the 101.  Looking ahead we saw coastline, neat trash on the side of the road and many fast moving cars…  We stopped at various vista points and a rest stop to let Lizzy change too.  The 101 here is  more freeway-like than in Oregon, with faster speeds and multiple lanes and exit signs that remind you of the interstates.

Lizzy and Kyle are biking real fast and smiling in this photo!

Lizzy and Kyle are biking real fast and smiling in this photo.

We stopped at the library in Arcata, a medium sized coastal college town with a good food co-op that had delicious rolls, turkey salad (Kyle) and samosas.  Here we all used the computers to catch up on some blogging (for the fans) and to plan our route a little more.  At one point we were approached by the librarian and asked if we’d been using the computer for more than an hour.  I thought the librarian was nice enough but Lizzy and I couldn’t help but laugh when another patron using a computer between us whispered to us that “she’s kind of a butt isn’t she?”


Snack spot north or Arcata

We talked to several folks in Arcata, and were told of a non-101 route to Eureka where we’d spend the night.  Twice.  People love to give directions.  We rode to Eureka on a back road as the sun neared the horizon and the moon rose above.  Myrtle road was a great way to end my birthday ride, and before we knew it we arrived at the house of Kyle’s buddies Matt and Monica.  Our hosts for the night were welcoming and had much to offer; their generosity was uplifting.  We sat for a short while enjoying a chubby dog named Napoleon and another, more human, Yuma.

I’d been set on Thai food all day, so we headed to a Thai restaurant that did not disappoint.  The aroma as we opened the restaurant door was more than enticing, and that was after three stinky folks walked in.  Matt and Monica also joined us for dinner so we had the opportunity to hear entertaining stories of river rafting clients, as Kyle and Matt met working as river guides.  After dinner we headed to a cider brewery, where we tasted several and were impressed by the quality.  We often wonder if the consumables entering in our body are actually delicious (beans, more beans) or if it’s an illusion that results from the long days of cycling.  I choose to believe that we’re darn good cooks, and that there’s no better food in the world than the beans that Kyle dehydrated before our trip.

Back at Matt and Monica’s we cleaned up, started some laundry, and called it a night.  I think we all were treated to a good night’s rest, perhaps dreaming about the fresh-non-gas-station coffee we’d enjoy in the morning.  Or maybe about how goofy of a pup Napoleon was; we should have gotten a picture of that guy…

I ought to sign off here, but Lizzy, Kyle, and I hope to post more soon as we are a few days behind!  Things are really looking up- I think this story might have a sunny ending! There’s only one way to find out…

Peaceful days

Safety Turtle

great weather for birthday ridin'

great weather for birthday ridin’


Here we are, a week into tour, gettin’ freaky already:

Tim, looking his most approachable.

Tim, looking his most approachable.

sad gurl

sad gurl



Okay, so Lizzy here taking over for a bit more story telling:

So we wake up in this field out behind a big wood pile by the village market. It’s raining. We snooze the alarm. It keeps raining. Why does it keep raining? Eventually we do have to drag ourselves out of the tent and start packing up our gear. As usual, once you climb out of a tent, you realize that the sound of the rain isn’t nearly as bad as the amount of rain, but still, it’s raining.

Once we get all loaded up, we made sure to loiter a bit under the overhang at the Langlois Market. Kyle made one rule for the day: Please don’t continue to mindlessly singing the Langlois song Timmy had made up the day before. (It would start pouring out of our mouths without a second thought. I’m pretty sure we sang it in our sleep all night and kept Kyle up).

With our three rules of the road (first two being, BE SAFE & HAVE FUN) established, we got going.


Very slowly.

It was windy. Very unhelpfully directed windy. We were crawling.

Eventually we got to a construction zone and the flagger told us we’d picked the wrong week. I knew the road ahead would be cliffsides overlooking the coast, but did not know that emptied trucks had often blown over from wind there. Great.

Oh well, only thing to do was to get going. We did our twelve miles to Port Orford in roughly two and a half hours, and immediately stopped at the laundromat. Soaked and tired, we soaked our tired clothes then gave them a nice tumble dry. Our next plan was to get to the library just five blocks away and see what we were up against.

The five blocks were arduous. The wind would have us turned completely around and rolling the wrong way out of town if it could. As it was, it was very difficult to keep your front wheel facing forward as you crept along.

I stopped at the Ray’s dumpster just on the way and found treasures as always (this dumpster has never failed me). Carrots, squash, bell peppers, jalapenos! chips (funnily enough labeled “Gluten Free and Suitable for Vegans”, kettle corn, and grape juice. A nice haul.



library lounger

library lounger

We EVENTUALLY reached the library, and Timmy found, just as we suspected, a severe winds warning in effect. So, naturally we hunkered down for a long loiter. He researched a bit to see if we could find a host in town, even resorting to Couch Surfer for this stint. We had planned to at least be able to go six more miles to Humbug State Park, but even that was deemed too dangerous. (We even seriously looked into busing out of the region!)

Timmy went to wash out a dirtied pot in the bathroom when he got a text from a potential host, and promptly deleted it and any trace of the phone number. A funny accident, but eventually was able to trace the phone number using his cell phone record, and  a hopeful text was sent.

A new friend was willing to host us! We finished closing out the library, as we are apt to do, and re-hit the Ray’s dumpster, procuring more veggies to make a bountiful feast. We had four more blocks (Port Orford is a small town) to go, this time with the wind at our backs and the promise of a nice night indoors thrusting us forward.

Kyle, and Borris, the horse. or dog.

Kyle, and Borris, the horse. or dog.

We arrived to greetings from Russel, his giant dog Borris, also Bob and their friend Tyler (Bob and Tyler we right in the middle of a N64 Mario Kart battle). They were quite welcoming, and soon enough we had glasses of homebrewed IPA (I think the best I’ve ever had!) and bowls of dumpster popcorn, and were settling down to a nice game of Carcasonne.

We cooked dinner and shared our good fortunes and stories and listened to music. Bob and Russel are both observers on fishing boats in the region and are quite active outdoorsmen. Their home was quite a haven from the winds and we were quite grateful. Bob offered to give us a lift to Brookings in the morning, as he was heading there for work anyways, and after a moment of private deliberation, we opted in, to get out of the crazy weather, and get back on schedule.

In the morning we loaded up our bikes, even cramming mine into the back of Bob’s car, for a nice, scenic, and dry, tour down the coast. Bob knew all the rivers and streams and kept us entertained with his local knowledge.

When we got into Brookings, he refused an offer to let us get his morning tea, and headed out on his way after hugs were given round.

Going in a car was like literal time travel. 56 miles in an hour. It was good.

We loaded our gear back on the bikes and rolled out to the post office for  a quick bit of silly loitering (Hey! We could take our time! We’d already traveled 56 miles that day!), then back on the road, only to stop again in a few miles to get snacks from a Groc Out (and half a bag of little bell peppers, a stalk of broccoli, and a bag of kale from the dumpster). We had to spend a good while there, being silly and snacking and loitering again.

silly loiter! Take over public amenities and snack!

silly loiter! Take over public amenities and snack!

how does this boy still look so fresh?

how does this boy still look so fresh?

EVENTUALLY, we really did get on the road, heading for the Cal-Or border, and the casino which lies just past it, offering free drinks to those who stop in. After losing a collective two dollars and fifty cents, we went back outside and did even more silly loitering.



A woman came by and her companion gave her a nudge in our direction and she looked up and asked if we were cyclists… Well, yes? Turns out she was our Warm Showers for Crescent City (2/2 for finding our hosts at casinos!).  She was taking advantage of the free drinks as well, and said she’d see us in a bit down the road.

Our next stretch of miles was easy and breezy with high hopes for what was to come (Katie’s Warm Showers came highly recommended). Also, we saw a huge pile of hard boiled eggs on the side of the road. Good day.


We got into town and stopped to check our phones to see where a bike shop was to get some chain lube, and a new rear light for Timmy (his seemed to not really like being completely waterlogged for a week on end) but while we were occupied, a grungy Santa Claus looking man, smoking a small cigar, walked his bike towards us. Cyclist to cyclist, I asked him if there was a shop in town, and he set down his bike, gathered his breath, and we all prepared for a long conversation.

His name was Kenneth Wayne Winters. He’d had a stroke in January. He said, “Boy, you’re a big woman, aren’t you?” His RV home had been stolen two years ago but he secretly owned a ‘top of the line’ BMW, bought for a song at $1,500. But don’t talk to loudly about that or he’ll have to kill you. Just kidding, he says, he loves people too much to kill them. What a relief. But anyways, the bike shop is just down the road that way, and the boys better watch out because he might come steal me. Good looking woman.

I was laughing my ass off as we rolled away. What a character.

Oooo, an industrial kitchen!

Oooo, an industrial kitchen!

Anyways, we headed right for St. Paul’s where Katie was having us for the night. She gave us the full rundown of the the industrial kitchen, bathrooms and showers, and huge open “bedroom” with a couple couches to boot. She headed out and we made ourselves quite comfortable and got a good snack on before suiting up again and going back out into the rain.

We hit the bike shop, then the library for a planning/blogging/journaling sesh, and also saw the longest most awkwardly shaped bathrooms in existence. After we closed that out, we waded back out into the growing deeper by the moment puddles, and headed to Groc Out for, you guessed it, more snacks, and also goods to make “real tacos” for dinner (apparently heating a can of beans on the road doesn’t make for the best tacos…), after that, the Home Depot for some needed hardware, and finally FINALLY home again to St. Paul’s to be dry and cozy.



REAL good that is.

REAL good that is.

We cooked up a fine meal, laid out all our sodden gear in front of the many cadet heaters availiable, gorged ourselves, and then topped it off with vege ice creams, and before long, dropped off to sleep, one by one, coziest little bears you ever did see.

Anyways, that was that. We’re a bit behond on the story telling, but Timmy will have an update for you in a couple days.

Much love !


p.s. maybe not a lot of photos because rain, okay? okay.

We’ve been through hail, thank fog we made it through

Hi folks,

We have covered some couple hundred miles since Timmy’s last blog post, had a few hundred or so runny noses, and met some overly friendly people along the coast. This is Kyle writing this post, which I agreed to do a few days ago after I found out that “Within Biking Distance” was not a food blog Timmy and Lizzy were writing about bike friendly vegan restaurants and actually about our trip. So here goes, I’ll start where Timmy left off last time…

After a quick coffee in the finest of American establishments – the gas station mini mart – we saddled up and continued south from Reedsport, passing lakes and farmland on easy coastal terrain. The wind and rain surely slowed our pace, but the ride was beautiful as always in these lush temperate forests of the Northwest Coast. One incredible subtlety of less than ideal conditions is you tend to find authentic joy in the simplest of pleasures: weak, but hot coffee that feels good on your cold hands, a salty snack, the unleashed countryhouse dog, goretex, the small break in the weather, a small let-up of the wind, and honest company to share all the small victories with.

After a long stretch of riding, we pulled over below a closed weigh station awning to dip carrots in peanut butter and talk about the ride and enjoy a rest before another stretch heading across the McCollough Memorial Bridge into North Bend (just north of Coos Bay). It didn’t take long for the moist, almost tropical microclimate of our rain gear to turn against us as we stood still in the cold breeze. Soon, we were back on our bikes and back to a comfortable riding temperature cruising into the sprawl above North Bend. Up ahead was the seemingly endless bridge crossing the wide expanse of the silty bay. As always, the wind picked up in intensity just before our treacherous traverse. All day we had had plenty of breathing room from the speedy traffic thanks to the generally wide shoulders of Hwy 101. This would not be so during our crossing into North Bend. We grouped up before the approach to the bridge, Lizzy’s story of a treacherous crossing on her last trip through here echoing in my head. Lizzy pressed the shiny button to light up the “bicycles on bridge” sign and we kicked off into slick roadway. As we pedaled across, the crosswind grew, blowing from our right. Any moment of relaxation and we would be thrown halfway across the road in a moments notice. As we neared the crest of the bridge, the wind suddenly picked up and rain turned to hail. Peering out from below the flap of my raincoat hood, the hail was driving completely horizontally across and into our faces. The line of cars was slowly building behind us. It took all our concentration just to keep our frail bikes as close to the shoulder as we could. Occasionally, we briefly wondered what the folks in the cars and trucks behind us were thinking. They definitely thought we were crazy, most probably thought we were insane. With the strong sidewind, the otherwise gentle coast down the backside of the bridge was more strenuous than any other portion of our day. Throughout our traverse, I sympathized with phytoplankton floating powerlessly in the ocean. In our case, we were lost in a sea of wind, hail, and horsepower. After what seemed like an eternity, we made it across, and I slowed to greet Tim and Lizzy’s grins as the line of cars rubbernecked and speed off into North Bend.


Our test on Sunday: McCollough Memorial Bridge

A flashing sign spanning both lanes of interstate announced our arrival into North Bend. This otherwise slightly hokey sign might as well have been the pearly gates announcing our arrival into eternal paradise. The weather was still poor, but at least we had traversed the bridge. We made a quick stop at the tourist information center for Lizzy to communicate with a warmshowers host we had yet to hear back from. Within a few minutes, we discovered we had a warm dry place to sleep thanks to our host, Scott. If the woman at the information desk didn’t think we were insane as we came in dripping with rain and melted hail, she certainly did as we laughed and jumped for joy, unable to contain ourselves upon hearing the good news. We stopped in at Safeway to get ingredients for some curry, a nice break of our usual meal of beans and tortillas, and biked to Scott’s house. On our way, we saw the leftover remains of a snowy Sunday. A lonely snowman stood just down the block from Scott’s house. Once inside, we learned this was only the third time the Coos Bay area has had snow in fifteen years, as long as Scott’s family has been here. We made our meal, petted the dogs, and talked to the twins, Hannah and Maddie, who at thirteen are more grown up and adult-like than I am, ten years their senior.

The next day we got out early and biked on hail covered road down to Grocery Outlet, which still didn’t open for another 45 minutes. We sat inside a nearby casino and Tim and I ordered a nice hot breakfast of hashbrowns, eggs (for me), and coffee (decaf for Tim). The radio played some upbeat oldies one of which was “Monday, Monday,” by The Mamas & the Papas.” The “ba-da, ba-da-da-das” and the chorus immediately became our trip theme song which we haven’t stopped singing for more than a couple minutes on our trip.

Later that day, powered by some delicious bargins thanks to Grocery Outlet, we made a left turn off Highway 101 in Charleston and headed up the first of seven steep hills on Seven Devils Road. Fighting gravity and trying not to overheat, we encountered each new challenge with a little less energy than before, until we were at the top. From there we turned at Beaverhill Rd and on to Whiskey Run to begin our decent back to 101. Some highlights from this section include the painted messages left behind by previous cyclists and my encounter with likely the oldest man I’ve ever seen, driving a station wagon down the steep hills. As old and decrepit as he looked, he seemed to be actually a great and safe driver.

Some leftover snow on Seven Devils Road

Some leftover snow on Seven Devils Road

It was in this hilly section that I realized just how awkward on a bicycle I must look, I still can’t mount or dismount my bicycle without really thinking about it, and my sleeves are covered in snot as I still haven’t properly learned how to spit or snotrocket off my bicycle without getting most of the goods on myself. The opposite is true for my cohorts who definitely have a few more miles on their bikes than me. Tim always looks sharp in what we like to call his “safety turtle” outfit, and Lizzy is more at one with her bike than I am at one with myself. She looks comfortable and graceful. If I get distracted, she is already halfway up the hill in a moment, seemingly effortlessly.


Timbo in his safety turtle get-up

Back on 101 we were treated to our first patch of blue sky and a break from the wind as we rolled into the town of Langlois. At the small library, Lizzy journaled, I read, and Timmy blogged the last blog post you read. We killed time there, hoping for the cover of darkness so we could pitch our tent nearby in the large grass field adjacent to the library, a forest and some farmland. Unfortunately for us, the librarian was working late so we headed north a couple blocks to make dinner under the patio of the market we had passed. It was closed, but as we were heating our leftover curry, every few minutes a car or truck would park near the door, a person would unlock the door head inside and walk out a few minutes later with a handful of groceries and the occasional ice cream cone. We were confused for awhile, because there was no way there could be this many owners of such a small store. Turns out all the locals have keys and they just write down what they take. Pretty neat. The people were super nice and the actual owner, Jake, gave us handwarmers for the night. Earlier, a local who we thought at the time was the owner of the store, told us to pitch our tent in the field next to the market, behind the big wood pile. We did end up doing just that instead of camping at the library, or at the state park 15 miles down the road, which was the story we were giving to the locals who passed. This was one instance where it paid off to pretend to be a lot more clueless about distances, geography, and the sanity of riding bicycles on a highway at night.


So far this trip has been different than a lot of my expectations. For one, it’s been fun to plan day by day as opposed to having all our stays and campsites lined up for the next week or so. When bad weather rolls in people seem to take pity on us, even though we are not deserving of it. I believe Timmy and Lizzy will continue posting about their journey as I head off in a different direction. We’ve fallen a bit behind but made it to California where the weather is nicer and the drivers a little less so. Stay tuned to hear about more of our adventures and crazy coincidences and our trip south of the border (spoiler alert: we make it to California). Thanks for reading and hope this blog finds you well.

The Langlois Market - home of the world famous hotdog

The Langlois Market – home of the world famous hotdog