Astoria, OR to Terrebonne, OR Nothing like being wet for the first few days to get a tour started! I made it by vehicle to Astoria, on May 14th and began my epic adventure across America the following day on May 15th. The Maritime Museum is the beginning of the TransAmerica Trail and it was not very eventful. A simple goodbye and kiss to my parents and “See you in Virginia” to send me off. I rode down a few miles until I hit a good place to take a picture of the coast and my back tire in the Pacific Ocean. That night, after riding all day in the rain, I got to a county campground about 67 miles away. This place was a ghost town on the coast but they had camping. I set up after dark and headed to sleep.
The next couple days were spent riding along the coast past all of the small coastal fishing towns. I was welcomed and waved to as I rode through which picked me up a bit. Day 2 and day 3 were both showering on me. Not a crazy downpour, but instead, large clouds of mist that soaked you to the bone. Got to a campground on night two where I was able to grab a warm shower and a flat spot. Still no hope to dry out my tent until tomorrow.
The next day was spent riding about 50 miles into Salem after a massive tire failure. Not to mention I thought I had a bug in my shoe at the time of the flat which was terrifying. I was trying to meet up with some friends for the next couple days but get a few miles each day just to keep going. I hit Salem, OR and Dan from Santiam Bikes hooked me up with more sealant and a new valve. I met up with my buddies and got a cheap hotel for the night in Salem.
The next two days were spent driving and camping to a couple state parks and exploring around the area. Camped at Silver Creek State Park and woke up the next day, in the rain, and I jumped on my bike and headed for Eugene, OR and met up with my friends there. I arrived a few hours later and again split a hotel to get out of the nasty weather.
Morning of day 7 and I left Eugene and was hoping to get 50 miles out of town in preparation for McKenzie Pass. I rode all day on a slight incline and cruised 50 miles to the beautiful reservoir we camped at. The next morning, my friends headed back home and I kept riding on a failing tire. I made it up to Blazin Saddles bike shop to grab a tube to get me to a larger city. Then, I continued uphill to McKenzie Pass. About 7 miles into the ride I see this snow bank crossing the road with a sign that read “closed to all traffic”. At that point, I was so frustrated but had no choice but to backtrack and head around on Santiam Pass. It was an easier climb but 20 miles longer. Made it into Sisters, OR which marks my last day this week. Laundry and shower today.
Oh yea, and a McDonald's...
The people are generally kind and friendly. I have met many people such as “Lake” who is a hippie living in Oregon traveling from National Park to National Park and also people like Carrie, more of a country fellow making his living working as a mechanic. Everyone has a common interest in what I am doing and are normally very curious. It is a lot of fun to get them excited about riding bikes.
Geography has changed drastically throughout my first few hundred miles. The coast was a rocky, wet ride but had stunning views. The beaches had rocks towering over the surf and the windsurfers were jumping the swells hundreds of feet out in the ocean. At Rose Lodge, OR I turned East and headed inland to the more rainforestlike feel. The giant trees made a canopy that seemed to stay wet for months at a time. It was so green and vibrant that it was a great ride. Although the scenery was amazing, the rain and the clouds did not help my motivation.
Now, I am dry and drinking coffee in the little town of Sister, OR just inside the Cascade mountain range.
My select gear that my sponsors have let me try out has been amazing. From my rear panniers, to my top tube bag, everything is working great. The constant rain has tested its water proofness and the small course changes down gravel has tested the overall mechanics. Very happy with everything this first week.
What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure?The feeling of adventure and seeing new places. On a bike, time seems to move much slower and I would love to feel that again.
Have you traveled by bike in the past?I have completed the Great Divide Mountain Bike route from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico.
What is your goal for the route?My goal is to diverge from the route off the beaten trail and go find adventure! I would like to be able to gather stories about my adventure in order to motivate others to get out there!
What do you hope to get out of this journey?By the end of this journey, I hope to have collected stories, meet as many people as possible, and all around have fun. Along with doing this, I would love to have a very detailed journal and blog for others to follow and get inspired.