1 0 Posts with the tag: Oregon
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Sun, Sand, and Celebrations along the Oregon Coast

Posted by on November 8th, 2011 8 Comments

November 06 2011 DSC 5622 548x266 Sun, Sand, and Celebrations along the Oregon Coast

After traveling inland through Washington, we wound our way west and crossed the Columbia river into Oregon, connecting with the official signed Oregon Coast Bike Route in Astoria. This route winds south, mostly along Highway 101, for 592 km (368 miles) to Brookings — where we’ll pass through tomorrow and head into California! We have truly been blessed with beautiful weather – for most of our days here in Oregon the sun has shown brightly on us, and we have encountered very little of the rain we were expecting. While the temperatures have been cool (highs of 10-14 ºC or 50-57 ºF and lows of around 2 ºC or 36 ºF), we are acclimating and now quite comfortable to the point of stripping off some layers to play in parks and beaches in the afternoons, both of which are pretty deserted this time of year.

October 30 2011 DSC 5293 548x362 Sun, Sand, and Celebrations along the Oregon Coast

October 31 2011 DSC 5299 548x362 Sun, Sand, and Celebrations along the Oregon Coast

We took seeing this rainbow as another sign that the sunny weather we are getting during this time of year is unusual.

I had always assumed the coastal route would be rather flat, seeing as it follows the ocean. However, as any other cyclist will attest, it is anything but flat – constantly going either up or down, and weaving in and out with peaks of peaceful mossy forests and lookouts over stunning rocky beaches and capes in between. While there are no Colorado-style climbs over mountain passes, on any particular day we see numerous hills over 500ft, and every once in a while spin up to around 1000ft elevation.

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An Uncertain Injury

Posted by on October 11th, 2011 9 Comments

I have a high pain tolerance. After giving birth naturally to two children through fast, furious and painful labours, I’ve learned that I can deal with a lot of pain. However, I hate admitting I’m in pain – and I hate changing my behavior to deal with pain. But now, after struggling with daily pain for the last month and a half, I’m sick of this. I’m sick of not being able to cycle the distance or speed that I want to, or with my bike loaded as heavily as it was before. I’m sick of even simply walking a few kilometers one day and nearly limping the next because I ‘over-did’ it again.

IMG 0341 548x409 An Uncertain Injury

Kids resting in the trailer being pulled behind Reuben's bike - I can't handle the weight with my injury.

Discovering I had a hernia and being forced off the bikes in Wyoming? I was ready to admit that defeat to the pain in my abdomen – Wyoming didn’t seem too inviting at the time anyway. But now after being off the bikes for so long, I yearn to feel the freedom of touring again. Perhaps recently beginning to read Joe Kurmaskie’s “Mud, Sweat, and Gears,” a book about the author’s cycling adventures with his family, is also putting the fire of the open road under me again. I long for the bike touring routine; the insatiable hunger after days on the road and the ability to swoon over any food – it all tastes good! The twists and turns, the hills and valleys, the views and solitude – I miss all this, what now feels like home to me. The sound of rain sprinkling on the tent as I fall asleep, my muscles sore inside my sleeping bag. Climbing a long and steady hill with the anticipation of what is on the other side. Relishing in a long descent. Picking wild flowers on the side of the road and searching for bugs to observe. Dreaming of destinations down the road, spurring my every pedal stroke. The questions, stares and encounters of curious strangers we meet on the road.

IMG 0343 548x409 An Uncertain Injury

Reuben and the kids stayed in a yurt while I was away in Ontario.

But it seems these things I seek get pushed further out of my reach around every turn. They have eluded me the past two months because we have been waiting for my scheduled hernia repair back home in Ontario. Our plan was for me to fly home, have the surgery, and fly back to the west coast to recover – getting back on our bikes within a few weeks. Yet when I finally made my way back to Ontario, I was only there for a few hours before I was told that the surgery I flew out to have done would not be needed, as I did not, in fact, have a hernia. Instead, I was told I was suffering from strained or torn muscles. For me, having surgery would have been preferable, as not only had a I flown all the way home for that exact purpose, but the recovery time for the surgery is a only few weeks instead of the two to four months of rest required to recover from strained muscles.

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Riding (the rails) into Portland

Posted by on September 13th, 2011 10 Comments
IMG 0295 548x409 Riding (the rails) into Portland

Our trailer doubles as a luggage cart when we travel by train

Since our trip has started, our concept of time has begun to change. Our routine does not usually involve a clock – we eat when we’re hungry and we go to bed when we’re tired. So when we got a call from Amtrak letting us know the train we were scheduled to take the next day was cancelled due to a derailment in Nebraska (this was a train that normally runs once a day, so there wouldn’t be another one for at least four days) we took it in stride. Luckily, we were also being notified because the train previous to ours was running 22 hours late – so late that it was set to arrive two hours before our original train was supposed to depart! Leave it to Amtrak to be so late that they are actually on time.

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