Well. I’ve been back from my two-week (12 days, really) bike adventure to Eastern Oregon for a few days now, and have been absolutely at a loss at to how to write about it. Partly, I’ve been trying to create a map that I could post showing my approximate route, but I’ve been arguing with Google maps and, for all the work I’ve put into it, still don’t have a map to show. So partly I haven’t written because I’ve been (unsuccessfully) holding out for a map.
Also, I’m partly at a loss as to how one encompasses twelve whole days of amazingness into one wee blog post. This trip was phenomenal. Despite some pretty craptastic weather at times, there is nothing that beats getting up, getting on your bike, biking/hiking/seeing new things all day, and then bedding down somewhere beautiful in your tent at night, just to get up the next day to do it again. SO AMAZING.
(the sun rises on Smith Rock State Park on my 3rd day)
I have so many stories of wonderful people, fantastic biking, inspiring hikes, ridiculous weather (how many times did my rain fly freeze solid?!), absolutely breathtaking scenery… it’s impossible to write about it all in one go. On the other hand, I think a lot of it is worth writing about. So I think I may go the way I did with my trip down the California coast, back-posting about each day as I have time for it (but before I forget the details:) So stay tuned about more specifics.
In the meantime, I have posted my pictures over yonder on flickr. There are many of them (way too many to hold your attention I’m sure;), all accompanied by mini travel narrative. Feel free to whet your appetite over there for as long as your picture-viewing stamina holds out.
(just another day on the John Day River:)
As is usually the case, most of the people I ran into were pretty surprised that I was out there by myself. Older women especially seemed really psyched about it, though, which was sweet–like I was living the emancipation they didn’t get to enjoy when they were younger. And bike travel always makes me remember how much I like people. I get shy, especially when I don’t necessarily have to interact with people as was the case for much of this sparsely-populated trip. So it’s nice when folks want to know where you’ve come from, where you’re going: an instant ice breaker and excuse to chat. Being an obvious bike traveler is a great way to meet the utterly lovely people in the itty-bitty towns that you’d never really stop in if you were driving.
I kept track of how much money I spent so I could get a real idea of how much bike travel costs. Ready? For 12 days of vacation, food, lodging, everything, I spent a whopping total of $134. Most of which was food. That’s probably way less than I even spend just living my normal life in Portland, much less “going on vacation.” Granted, sleeping in a tent in undeveloped national forest land (which is free) is my idea of fun for a vacation–I know it isn’t everybody’s. But damn! It definitely makes me think that long-term bike travel is more feasible than I thought.
And now that I’m home? I can’t believe that was 12 days of travel. It was over in a blink, and there’s so much more to see. I’ve already got ideas for twenty million more trips I could take. But on the other hand, I’m also so happy to be back in Portland. I feel like my city has already wrapped around me like a comfortable blanket, full of the things and people I love. You know life is good when you’re happy when you’re away and you’re equally happy when you’re back.
(this helped me feel pretty welcome, too:)
So yeah. Stay tuned for more if you’re interested in the actual details of an Eastern Oregon bike adventure. Maybe I’ll even have a map someday:) And again, pictures are here if you want to check those out. And while you’re waiting, get the heck out there on your bike, your feet, whatever it is that helps you enjoy the world around you. I know I’m enjoying the feeling of my spunky little bike sans trailer:)