Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 3 - I Sure Do Love Logging Trucks

Hmmm...I woke up early wondering "weather" I should even bother getting up. It was drizzly and overcast and a complete 180 from the beautiful day we had yesterday! Luckily, I was smart enough to wrap our saddles in plastic and pull Liam's Trailer under my rainfly before it started to come down. Headed out early with intentions of covering about 40 miles, but we made it about 15 miles. We had to go over a bridge and through a tunnel...both a bit scary when Logging Trucks are coming at you at 55 mph! I got out of the tunnel just fine, but Wendy experienced a semi-truck hydroplane and fish tail a bit while slamming on the brakes just feet in front of her. I heard it and was a bit frightened, but she saw it as it was coming towards her. Sheesh! After, roughing it uphill in the rain with some fierce winds (a headwind no less!) and some wicked fast logging trucks we made it to Manzanita, OR. I was okay...a bit cold, but could have continued on. I was worried about Liam though. He was getting a bit wet as I left his DoggyRide Raincover in NYC. I can only carry so much! I made sure to check on him frequently and kept him wrapped in a fleece blanket in his little doggy bed. He was shivering a bit and Wendy was really quite cold, so we opted to get a motel for the night. It is a cute little town...very hit and miss on the friendly scale though. Some people are really nice, and others are, well, interesting. Found a great little dog shop and bought Liam a nice water jacket with fleece lining and some Doggy Sunscreen. Didn't realize he was going to have an equally demanding wardrobe! However, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. The weather tomorrow is supposed to be nice, so hopefully we'll start making a bit more headway as we progress...not that I mind...I could venture around for eons.

Day 2 - You Can "Google" Water, But You Can't Drink It

So Wendy made her second trip to the post office already to ship off some heavy goods...one of which was her 2 lb laptop. We figured having actual water was a bit more important than being able to research where to find it. We had such incredible weather! Woke up on the beach with the "Goonies" Mountain in the midst. Stretched outside before hitting the road for Day 2. We intended to go much further, but after getting a late start and falling in love with Cannon Beach we decided to stay and camp. We met the same family that has been traveling via bike with their two kids in tow and have enjoyed bumping into them again and again on our coastal journey. The ride was pretty smooth. I encountered my first casualty...fell off my bike on Hwy 101. Ugh! I wasn't really hurt, just a scrape! I have to thank my dear friends, Chris and Dennis, for insisting I take some of their calendula cream. It was kind of comical, but I am getting stronger every day! It is a nice little seaside town and sunset was lovely. The campground we stayed at, Wright's for Camping (Since 1959) is quite nice and friendly. Liam is loving the life of a vagabond. He is so funny to watch, both in the trailer and in new surroundings. I like meeting all the new people who come up to inquire what we're up to and where we are going. Right now all I hear is, "You sure have a long way to go." In time I imagine that will change to, "You sure have come a long way!" Ha! Right now it is about enjoying the journey and living in the moment.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day 1 - EAT FEAR

Okay...woke up in a bit of a surreal state...is this really D-Day? Oh yeah. Showered, packed up tent and all my belongings. Oh yeah...all of my belongings...so heavy. Anyhow, packed the car and drove to town where we grabbed a big breakfast and said farewell to Wendy's friends, Sara and Allie. Did a few practice runs in the parking lot and hit the road. It was a bit misty, but not bad. I have had several interesting and bemused looks from passers-by as to my cargo. Touring isn't unusual in this part of the country, but towing your dog is apparently unheard of. I get thumbs up and shouts, but it has been encouraging and fun.

We opted not to go far today...just over 20 miles to make sure our bikes are in check and everything is in working order. We arrived in Seaside and it was really quite cold so we decided to splurge and get a hotel room as a send off present to ourselves. We got a nice double suite with an ocean view on the beach. We can see the Goonies mountain in the distance from the scene at the end of the movie. Took a stroll around town, bought some Italian meatball subs and salads and relaxed. I took a dip in the hot tub and sauna and took a late run on the beach with Liam amidst several bonfires. It was beautiful.

We also celebrated Liam's 1st Birthday by getting him some rainbow sherbert and a candle. Looking forward to Day 2, but am expecting 3 moderately annoying climbs, but the downward coasting makes it worth it!

Our theme today was EAT FEAR. We knew we could do it...and we did. Lovin' the moment. Day 2 is gorgeous out...I'll try to update and add pics soon.

Thanks again for all of the encouragement and notes. =)

The Calm Before the Storm

So, unfortunately I will be unable to add any photos today...maybe when I get to a different computer. The last few days have been amazing. Walking on misty beaches, hiking through dense woods, and refamiliarizing myself with the art of firemaking. It has been considerably colder than I first thought, but have been finding ingenious ways to stay warm...including buying a nice fleece blanket and hoodie for Liam. We went for a stroll on the Fort Stevens beach where there is a rusty old ship run ashore, and beautiful mountains in the distance. After romping with several other dogs and dune jumping we took a much needed rest on the beach.

I called the bike shop and everything is ready to go. We dropped into town thanks to Wendy's friends having a car and did a thorough check-out knowing Day 1 is just moments away.

The bike shop wasn't very helpful and not like my favorite little store back home, but we put together what we needed and bummed around the town. We saw the Goonies house on the hill and drove up just to say we did it. A local neighbor just pointed the way before we even had to roll down the window to ask directions...apparently, she gets asked a million times every summer.

Anyhow, Astoria is a strange little seaside town with many interesting characters...I'll post pics asap. It has been a dream.

Friday, July 25, 2008

So This is My Life

Kids Don't Float in Oregon

Made it to the West Coast

Alright. So this was quite possibly the worst travel experience of my life to date. I arrived at the airport at 5pm for my 7:35pm flight from JFK to PDX. I had to go to the "special" line because of my traveling with Liam. The line was soooooo long as a recent group of Israeli students were on tour and had missed their flight so I was far back in the queue, with only 2 reps working. After waiting an hour and a half I finally got my boarding pass. I arrived at my gate and waited, only to discover my flight had been delayed to 10:05pm. Then, 10:30. Then, 10:40pm. Then, 12:30am! After getting very disgusted b/c poor Liam was in his crate and would have to go to the bathroom, I asked if there was any place to relieve him. The attendant told me I would have to exit the terminal and come back through security!!! Argh! A fight broke out in 10 feet away from me between 2 guys and security came after a brawl. It was rather eventful. We boarded the plane surprisingly early at 11pm. THEN, we were stuck on the runway until we took off at 2am!!! Fortunately, I had a wonderful couple next to me who adore pups and helped me sneak him out of his crate and onto my lap for a good portion of the five and half hour ride. He was on his best behavior. We finally landed and got to the hotel at 5am, slept for 2 hours and then hopped in the limo to the campground...another 2.5 hours! Finally, here in Fort Stevens Campground. My bike came in yesterday, but no word on the trailer as yet. It has been beautiful and amazing, despite the kinks. I met my biking partner and we're having a great time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

All Packed and Getting Ready for the Airport

Okay...everything is ready...now we just have to get to the starting point. Looks like we'll be taking a car service afterall, but we'll consider it our last luxury before we take to the roads. We had a great offer for a ride from a friend of a friend, but it would have been out of his way - thank you for thinking of us Zack!

Liam packed his party hat, as his first birthday is this Sunday, and he insisted we celebrate. Believe me, I love my dog but I am not one of those crazy UES moms who dresses up her dog and pushes him in a stroller through the streets of NYC. However, a first birthday is special!
Hopefully, next time I write it will be from the West Coast!!!
Thank you all for the encouraging emails and support. I am going to be really weary the first couple of weeks!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Feeling a Bit Broken...

So the last minute jitters are starting to hit and I am wondering what I am thinking as I embark on this crazy adventure. I am frustrated with the details of getting from Portland to Astoria and the amount of roadblocks I hit b/c of traveling with a pet. Car rentals are either sold out or won't rent for a one way journey, buses and trains won't accept any pet other than service animals, and biking won't work as my bike is IN Astoria, ohhhh the annoying challenges! An executive car cost around $400 and I cannot justify that when my airfare was only $102.50 from NYC.

But, where there is a will, there is a way. I just have to relax and have faith that things will all fall into place.

Monday, July 21, 2008

So Close!

Departure day is almost here! Bike is shipped, trailer is shipped, stuff is packed, maps are here, blog is somewhat set-up - looks like everything is a go!

Monday, July 14, 2008

All in the Details...

So who knew that the tiniest things could be so stressful?! I have it all together (provided REI is timely in their delivery of my order). I just have to ship my bike 4000 miles, drive myself 400 miles North, fly across the country, and hope and pray I don't get an anal retentive ticket agent at the airline terminal who tells me that my pet carrier doesn't meet JetBlue's posted dimensions.

Oh...and let's all hope and pray Liam is on his best behaviour on the flight. I would hate to be that passenger with the screaming child (swap growling/barking Jack Russell Terrier for annoyingly loud and obnoxious homo sapien infant). Well, I suppose the upside is that I am only flying one way...right?

My Bike and Gear