Olympia – Castle Rock – Scappoose (very fun to say aloud – try it!) – Portland, Oregon
It feels great to be back on the bike…until your butt starts to hurt, that is. Despite cycling five months in Africa we had a little work to do to get back into the groove. Four months of zero cycling will do that! In spite of our aches we managed to push out a 70 mile day on this stretch with the help of a pep talk and some caffeine. Doing such a long day so early in our trip was a big physiological boost to remind us that we can hit bigger distances if needed (we usually average in the 50-60 mile range).
We are (mostly) following the Adventure Cycling Association map for the Pacific Coast, which has been a great resource so far in Washington and Oregon, and one of the reasons we pedaled so far to get to a cheap campsite. The hiker/biker sites (aka primitive sites) at state parks are set aside for non-motorized drop-ins and happen to be really cheap ($5-$12 USD per tent)! Showers cost 50 cents for three minutes, well worth it after a long day in the saddle.
It’s nice to have the quieter roads planned out, campsites highlighted, and gradient outlined, but we are trying not to get too hung up on following the ACA route to the letter and often just wing it. It’s more fun that way! Our first/only night of wild camping so far was an interesting place to spend the night… After scoping out the area we decided that: a) it was far enough off the road b) we were unlikely to be spotted or disturbed by anyone c) the hundreds of gun casings littered around, while disturbing, had been fired months or years ago so nothing to worry about, and d) offered the perfect opportunity to try out our new camp chairs #winning!
The last couple weeks we’ve been spending some time off the bikes with family in Portland, Oregon. We’re grateful that we’ve had the flexibility to visit both sides of our family during illness in the last months – this time giving support to Olivia’s step-dad as he battles cancer. Lots of love, fond memories, and good food have been shared here, and now it’s time to continue our journey and head to the coast. Look out for our next Post!