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Thursday, July 21, 2011

4,414 miles...and done

Today I rode from AStoria, about 15 miles to the town of Seaside, Oregon, so I could finish my bike ride like I started..with my wheels in the water.   So, today, I dipped my front wheel in the Pacific Ocean, and completed my 4,412 mile journey.   Took me through 10 states, cold rain and hot dry weather, longflat straight roads and mountain climbs.  I survived nasty dogs in Kentucky and bruises and a swollen achilles heel.  But I made it!!

My brother and his wife and two young daughters drove from near Spokane, WA to meet me at the end of my ride.  Karen, who I rode with over the last week, was there to celebrate her accomplishment as well.

Thanks to everyone who supported me and followed me on my ride.  And please do not forget the good cause of Livestrong...research for a cure for cancer, which took my mother and my brother and so many others.

And a special thanks to everyone who supported my ride on a personal basis too (list of sponsors on the left)

Dipping my front wheel in the Pacific Ocean in Seaside Oregon

Me and Karen, both celebrating a great accomplishment

This is Lewis and Clarke Country!
My final odometer tally.  4414 miles!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Riding up the Oregon Coast

A nice ride today up the coast...getting very close to my destination...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I see the Pacific Ocean!

Today brought me to the Pacific Coast.  I still have about 100 miles to ride north to reach Astoria, but seeing the Pacific Ocean was amazing.  To realize I bicycled from sea to shining sea is pretty unreal!

Today started out rainy and mid 40s.  It rained off and on most of the day.  I hate riding in the rain.  Put on the arm and leg warmers and the raincoat, get rained on, climb up hill, sweat, get wetter, it's not comfortable.

My ankle/heel whatever it is felt really bad this morning.  Looked as bad as it felt, too.  But as the day went on, it actually started to feel better.  I am definitely icing it all evening.

I have met a biking partner, and she and I have been keeping up with each other for the last several days. Her name is Karen; she is a teacher from Alaska.  She is completing the Missoula - Astoria section of the trail, as she did the Yorktown - Missoula portion a few years ago.  We start out in the morning together, and usually meet up at the end of the day.

Tonight I am staying in Tillamook, Oregon and today as the last 'IT'S ALL GOOD IN DELAWARE' DAY!

My first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean

I made it to the West Coast!

A large expansive sand dune

Beautiful view up the coast of Oregon

Monday, July 18, 2011

Eugene Oregon and beyond...

It's hard to believe I am almost finished my journey -- 235 miles more.  I expect to finish on Thursday.
I  started out Satruday  morning knowing I had a big climb.  I climbed over 2000 ft, to Ochoco  pass, which took me two hours ... about a 12 mile climb.  i spent Saturday night in Sisters.  Then Sunday another big climb...McKenzie pass.  Interstingly enough, the road I was riding on just was opened, as the snow had finally melted and the road was passable. 
Sunday night I made it to Eugene, and when I started this morning, Monday, I had 235 miles to go.

Unfortunately, my achilles heel has started to bother me...lots of ice and thankfully it feels better when I pedal than when I walk.  Just want it to hold out a few more days...

Some of the landscape we rode past were lava flows which was pretty cool.  Weather is cold and rainy (47 degrees and a misty rain).   After 101 miles yesterday,  and 92 miles today, I am stopping in Grande Ronde, OR for the night. 

New meaning to the term 'shoe tree'

Saturday's climb

Lava field

Sunday's climb

Thursday, July 14, 2011

3 mountain passes

Today was a great day for riding.  Beautiful weather.  I rode over 3 mountain passes today, did a total of 82.5 miles.   All were over 5000 ft elevation, and the climbs were between 1000 and 1300 ft.    Met up with other bikers today.  Including a family that is taking a bike tour of Oregon (a lunch party!), and Karen - she and I keep passing each other on the road.

All in all a good day; and less than 500 miles to go.  I will ride to the coast, the north up the coast to Astoria, my final destination.

 a lunch party

Summit Dixie Pass, (5277 ft)

Top of Tipton Mountain  (5124 ft)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I crossed into Oregon yesterday!  Last 2 days ride has been very hot, hilly and not particulaly easy.  Lack of phone service for most of Idaho made keeping in touch difficult. 

I've met some folks along the way who have donated to Livestrong, including one interest lady named Diane who ran the Scotty Gas Station in Hell's Canyon...I asked when I stopped if I could drop off my flyers..she basically said "I'll give you $100 if you just leave me alone."  haha.  Done.  Thanks Diane!

I had the opportunity to help a broken down motorist who was towing a large fifth wheel.  No cell service is no fun out here.  Luckily, I was riding in the direction of help..and found a telephone repair man just down the road who rode back and helped them out.  A while later, they both drove past me, beeped, waved and thanked me!

I passed a huge swarm of monarch butterfield too...they were everywhere, including stick inside my biking helmet. 

I rode through Hell's Canyon, and it was hot and it was difficult.  There is a reason it's named that; the ride out was challenging.  After crossing into Oregon, I felt I needed (deserved) a real room. 

There was a nice article about my ride in a local Montana paper.  You can see it here:

From here on out, I believe it will be shorter days of riding.  Tonight I am in Baker City, Oregon.

I rode along the river for miles and miles

this is cool!

Last State of my Ride!

My lunch break

okay this is definitely an odd site

The clouds!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday, July 10

The last 3 days have been alot of riding and most of it in the middle of nowhere...60 mile stretches with nothing...and a major Verizon Wireless 'dead zone'.

I spent Friday evening in Missoula, MT - which is a nice size little city, and I took advantage of a nice motel room, because I knew it would be a while before I could find another one.  Not to mention, my tent was pretty wet from a major windy storm from Thursday night!   Missoula is the home of - which is the founding organization of long distance cycling, and the organization that maintains and promotes the cross country bike trails like the one I am riding.  So I stopped at the headquarters for a visit.

Saturday the route backtracked south and then west to Idaho - woo hoo state # 8,  - and I have spent the weekend riding along the Lochsa river which basically parallels the trail I am on.

Campground last night in Lowell, Idaho.

Interesting site today:  several homes located on the far bank of the river, yet there is no bridge.  The all park their cars on the other bank, and then step into a 'car' or 'gondola' of a sort and ride across the river to their house.

So, Idaho is pretty but very isolated, and I've not seen a whole lot of cyclists anywhere. I have been riding by myself since I left Yellowstone, but still have met lots of nice folks at the campgrounds.

Lola Peak.  Pretty but thankfully not on my route!

Woo hoo State #8 and   Pacific Time Zone!

Here is a 'car' or 'vessel' that homeowners across the river use to get from their 'driveway' to their house.

Riding along the river for 2 days now...